A lot of what Kaneda-sensei teaches is about the flow of energy. Resisting the flow is damaging: accepting the flow is inconvenient at worst. One thing that amazed me in tonight’s class was his sensitivity to the energy around him. We were learning a simple reaction technique- someone grabs you from the side, you respond by moving away and upwards, without tensing. But Kaneda didn’t need to do even that- he could sense his partner’s intent before the grab came. To demonstrate, he stood facing us, eyes closed. His partner stood to his side and went to grab Kaneda’s wrist, and without batting an eyelash he lifted his hand out of reach. He did this multiple times in different scenarios- he could feel what was about to happen.

I learned that I have this ability too. Not nearly to Kaneda-sensei’s proficiency, but most people are born with it. We know when someone is standing behind us. We can feel them watching us. We know we’re about to walk into a pole the moment before we collide with it even when we’re not looking at it. It is this awareness that we are encouraged to expand- to feel all that happens around us, to broaden our senses and be aware.

Even more amazing is that after many years of experience, Kaneda can connect with people in such a profound way he can put ideas into their head, if you can describe it so. Rather, he puts into their mind intention. He wills them to do something and they are tempted to do it, against explanation. He can draw a person’s attack from them by willing them to move in a certain way. Even more interesting is Malcolm, a long-term fencer for Australia, has expanded his awareness so that he knows when Kaneda is doing it.

Such powerful men… More time on this I must meditate.

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