A master of calligraphy, swordsmanship, tea ceremony, martial arts, among other arts, is held in the Japanese tradition to be “acting from tanden“. Following is a segment from an email correspondence I’ve recently had with Unsui Sensei regarding tanden in our study of Kobudō. I found it to be a valuable summary, one I think we can all understand.
“If you put all your focus on Tanden then the power will be removed from all the other parts of your body, unnecessary movement will be eliminated and your movement will become extremely smooth. [As snow built up on the leaves of a bamboo plant will fall without any sound, in this way move so that your opponent does not realize what has occurred.] To begin training concentrating on Tanden, it is important to put your power in the lower abdomen and move from there.” Unsui.
Director of the Jinenkan Kosei Gogi Dojo, and personal student of Manaka Unsui.