Jun 15, 2010
From Tom K...
(Paraphrased from the "Shinden School of Samurai Swimming.")
Water is the source of wisdom; swimming is the mother of all the arts. Children should be introduced to the sea as early as possible. Rather than being strictly "taught" how to
float and swim, they should be unobtrusively guided at first in order to allow them to gradually acquaint themselves with the water.
Body and mind must remain flexible. A calm mind is the single most important element of successful training. A swimmer must avoid struggling against the water, against him or herself, or against others. A trainee must strive to harmonize him or herself with the waves, becoming one with the body of water, be it a pond, lake, river, or ocean. Ride the waves with your mind as well as your body.
There are four levels of mastery, symbolized by the four seasons.
In spring the raw summer, bursting with energy and eager to compete, needs discipline and hard physical training.
In summer, the experienced swimmer, now at his or her physical peak, should explore the full dimensions of the art.
In autumn, the mature swimmer can relax a bit, sporting more freely in the water, and reflect on past experiences.
By winter, a true swimmer has become a wise old master, beyond the limits of victory or defeat, in prefect harmony with the sky, sea, and shore.
Swimming teaches us how to live properly. There is no way a solitary swimmer can impose his or her selfish will on the water. Swimming against the current will ultimately result in disaster. Swim with the flow, without strain, resistance, confusion, or unnatural movement.
Diving fosters bravery.
Distance swimming, fortitude.
Racing, a fighting spirit.
Swimming in frigid water, perserverance.
A swimmer should practice in all manner of water -- seas, lakes, marshs, rivers, and ocean...and under all types of conditions -- currents, waves, muddy water, and whirlpools.