Darts: a game where participants compete with one another by throwing small arrow like devices at a target that is round and has numbers and sections and an inner bull with an outer bull and so on. Darts now refer to the standard game with a specific bristle board design and a set of rules. Rules that are general to the game and rules that govern games like, “501,” “301,” and “Cricket.”

Darts is a traditional pub game that was and is commonly played in the United Kingdom as well as other places in Europe and across the pond here in the America’s.

Wikipedia tells hits history in a terse form, i.e., “The dartboard may have its origins in the cross-section of a tree. An old name for a dartboard is "butt"; the word comes from the French word but, meaning "target". In particular, the Yorkshire and Manchester Log End boards differ from the standard board in that they have no treble, only double and bullseye, the Manchester board being of a smaller diameter, with a playing area of only 25 cm across with double and bull areas measuring just 4 mm. The London Fives board is another variation. This has only 12 equal segments numbered 20, 5, 15, 10, 20, 5, 15, 10, 20, 5, 15, 10 with the doubles and triples being a quarter of an inch wide.”

There have been a variety of darts created over the years but the most common today is the tungsten dart. There are electronic darts but for this blog and for my efforts in tossing darts I remain a steel dart fan and enthusiast. I am recommending a book for novice darters but only because it appealed to me and my studies and rest assured most of the dart books out there are outstanding. In short, find one if this one does not fit your needs and get it. I can tell you when I started to play over twenty years ago, before I laid down my darts in 96, I tossed darts for several years without knowing some very important and critical mechanics, etc., of the dart game. As I take up once again my steel darts I have found a fountain of information to help make the game both enjoyable and competitive. Enjoy, diddle for the middle and let the darts fly!

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Mastering the Dart Arts Mind

Dart Arts Article/Post Caveat (Read First Please: Click the Link)

Shoshin, Mushin, Fudoshin, Zanshin and Senshin are martial arts and karate terms on the stages of one’s spirit or in direct relation to the mind-state one works through to achieve mastery, or at least expert proficiency. 
  • Shoshin (残心)(Beginner’s Mind); Shoshinsha no Kokoro [初心者の心]
  • Mushin (無心) (No Mind); no thought or emotion, innocent. A state of mind with no emotions or no thoughts. 
  • Fudoshin (不動心) (Immovable Mind)
  • Zanshin (先心) (Remaining Mind)
  • Senshin (先心) (Heart) Purified spirit; Enlightened Attitude
  • Heijoshin (平叙心) A transcendental state of mind created through the blending, morphing and mutual connectedness of the five states or stages of mind in the dart arts. 
Shoshin mind is that of the initiate, the novice or the beginner who for the very first time takes up the darts and approaches the oche line to toss out the first three darts. It is an attitude that one must maintain even after mastery because it is the removal of all preconceptions that makes for a present moment no-mind, the next level, that when mutually coupled with the other mind-states brings about a level of mind that can conquer all things. 

It is a mind that expands to better see, hear and act, to achieve understanding and ability beyond mere practice, training and competition, a spiritual aspect not of religion but of heart. 

Mushin mind is a state of no-mind, a place of trust in the self, a faith in our innate potential and the fidelity to get the job done. A degree of action that goes beyond what the mind originally conceives in the dart arts as in life’s trials and tribulations - all tools to learn, grow and expand the mind and understanding. It is about achieving a no-mind that is present in this moment, the only moment when it all comes together and is expressed in the perfect dart toss. It is the removal of all mental and physical obstructions, distractions and interruptions. 

Fudoshin mind is one mind and heart that is imperturbable, steadfast and cool in the heat of battle under conditions of adrenal stresses and effects that all work hard to block and break the ability to toss the perfect dart, the perfect score and the perfect game. It is achieving a state of mind and motion in heart, mind and spirit that takes the negative and tosses it out and allows the positive to create, act and achieve all the milestones toward mastery of the dart arts. 

Zanshin mind is that state of mind provides balance in all things, that is left over from all the hard work, trials and tribulations that speak to the process toward mastery. It is that mind one achieves leaving behind the ability to move and act freely as if in a state of primal reflex conditioned mind where all our dart mastery resides waiting to be awakened. It is achieving a natural process and way to expertise and mastery. To achieve flow, rhythm, consistency, patterned processes, and a cadence like music that speaks to the heart of the dart arts. It is the creation of a creative mind through awareness and experience thus achieving a true state of zanshin. 

Senshin mind is a compilation, connectedness and mutually balanced whole of all the four parts that harmonizes with the Universe or the physical manifestations of our world as expressed in these ways. It reconciles the four and presents the final, senshin, that leads to a final state of body-mind-soprit that gives peace of present moment mind called, “Heijoshin.” 

Heijoshin mind is that mind that flows, that gets into that state of flow where the body reacts and triggers the primal reflex conditioned mind of action often thought of as, “Instinct.”  It is that which creates the matrix of the mind to achieve a state of Zen and the Dart Arts mind. 

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