Tag Archives: Goshin-Do Karate-Do


18 Jun

Whether one is a casual fisherman, a competitive angler, or a “weekend-warrior”, one’s state of mind is an all important element of successful fishing. The various states of mind experienced and cultivated by the martial artist can uniquely improve one’s success on the water and also one’s enjoyment of the entire fishing experience.

I had previously explored an omnipresent state of mind within the martial arts known as Mushin (pronounced “Moo-shin”) and how maintaining Mushin can enhance the fly fishing experience. (here is a convenient link to the article: https://flyfishingdojo.com/2010/10/10/fly-fishing-using-the-mushin-state-of-mind-2/) (See endnote # 1)

There is an additional state of mind derived from the martial arts that can increase the productivity of a day spent fly fishing. This state of mind is known as Zanshin (pronounced “Zahn-shin”). The kanji (Japanese writing) of Zanshin translates as the “remaining mind”.

Kanji for ZANSHIN

Within the martial arts, Zanshin refers to a mental state whereby the mind “remains in the battle”. A very simple example of martial arts based Zanshin is as follows. One may strike or disable one’s opponent and victory may appear to be at hand. Although seemingly victorious, one’s mind must remain in the battle so that one is not lured into complacency by a wily opponent.

Zanshin applies equally to fishing. At the moment a fish strikes your lure or your fly, or takes your bait, invariably, one’s mind flashes thoughts of excitement and jubilation. It is at this most jubilant of times that Zanshin is called for. One’s mind must remain attentive to the circumstances that led to the successful encounter. What was different from every other cast? Was it a difference in specific location that led to success, or as it the manner in which the fly drifted or was retrieved. If retrieved, was the retrieve steady or was it paused? If paused, did the fish strike the fly or lure on the retrieve or the pause. If the fly  or lure is fished below the surface, at what depth in the water column did the fish take the fly?

Zanshin can foster a greater productivity when on the water and enhance your overall fishing experience.

Largemouth Bass caught with a #14 Bloody Mary Nymph

For the competitive fisherman understanding and using Zanshin means more fish in the live-well, which means more money earned. For the weekend fisherman, this means a more enhanced fishing experience. By being attentive to the circumstances that led to success, one can replicate the successful technique so as to hopefully once again be productive and lure a fish to the fly.

Until the next article I (and my mind) remain,

Sensei John


BLOODY MARY BASS, Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8COsXhjoKTc

DOUBLE BLUEGILL (2Flies – 2 Fish), Link:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NVZlgyR1zb8


  1. For those interested in a more detailed exploration of the Mushin state of mind, here is a link to a four part article that I had previously posted on my Sensei John weblog: http://senseijohn.wordpress.com/2009/12/21/mushin1/

Sensei John is available for lectures on the interrelationship of fly fishing and martial arts protocol, ideology and philosophy. Please see the “LECTURES & LESSONS” Page tab above for more information.

You can follow the DAILY adventures of FLY FISHING DOJO on FACEBOOK, See the Video & Media Page for details.

Please feel free to “window shop” our unique logo products by clicking on the “SHOP” page tab above.

You are also invited to read my martial arts protocol, philosophy and ideology weblog for non-martial artists at WWW.SenseiJohn.Wordpress.Com.


22 Apr

Three months of steady work in New Jersey have come to an end.  The Fly Fishing Dojo “Dry-Heat Crew” is now back home in Arizona, getting unpacked and settling in. As we do so, I would like to reflect a bit on the past few months in New Jersey.

It was a good time on many levels. I was able to again see family, including my dad, mom, daughters, Jess and Kim and especially my grandson Stratton. At 19 months, the little guy is turning into quite a handful and a bit of a daredevil. With his Mom, Jess, he even took his first ride in a cherry-picker!


I was able to spend time with my Sensei, Shihan Thomas DeFelice, Ku-Dan (9th degree black belt) and hone my physical, mental and spiritual skills.

With great pleasure, I attended weekly training sessions at the USA Goshin-Ryu Karate Dojo of Shihan Wayne Norlander, Ku-Dan (9th degree black belt) in Bogota, NJ.

Shihan Norlander graciously allowed me to use his Dojo to produce a unique video entitled “Fisherman As Warriors”. Here is a convenient link to the video which is archived on the “Video & Media” Page – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-cMRW503DbY

I was especially honored to have attended the senior black belt promotion of Sensei Pablo Peneque, Roku-dan (6th degree black belt) and Sensei Scott Zamora, Yon-dan (4th degree black belt).

The promotion ceremony was a forum for a reunion of several of Shihan DeFelice’s Goshin-Do Karate-Do Yudansha (black belts).

After three and a half days on the road, we arrived back home in Arizona on April 18th.

Di, Chloe and I were able to be on the water for the first time on April 20th. A great morning was spent at Veterans Oasis Lake in Chandler; even Chloe got a chance to “savor” a few bluegill.

And thus, begins another segment of the Fly Fishing Dojo weblog. The “Dry Heat Crew”, including Sensei John, will continue to provide Arizona Fishing Reports, while our New Jersey correspondent, Sensei Bob, will continue to submit reports from the Garden State.

Much more to follow. I remain,

Sensei John

Fly Fishing Dojo can be found on Facebook; please see the “Video & Media” page tab above.

Please feel free to “window shop” our unique logo products by clicking on the “SHOP” page tab above.

You are also invited to read my martial arts protocol, philosophy and ideology weblog for non-martial artists at WWW.SenseiJohn.Wordpress.Com.

%d bloggers like this: