Origins of Still Mind Martial Arts T Shirt & Hoodie Merchandise

Origins of Still Mind Martial Arts

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Origins of Still Mind Martial Arts - Karate-do Mug

Today we will take a look back at the origins of Still Mind Martial Arts. Over a decade ago in January of 2010 I was designing some martial arts T-shirts, hoodies, hats, coffee mugs and other martial arts merchandise. [We plan on creating many new martial arts merchandise designs in a new section here on the blog. So stay tuned!]

I wanted to create a new name and logo to brand this new martial arts merchandise. So I set off on a martial arts mind-walk that led to the origins of Still Mind Martial Arts.


Taking a Martial Arts Mind-walk

I started by throwing out some simple possibilities.

  • DreamLight Martial Arts Merchandise
  • Dream Martial Arts Merchandise
  • Zen Martial Arts Merchandise
  • Shadow Martial Arts Merchandise
  • Lucid Martial Arts

I have always been fascinated by the cerebral aspects of karate and the martial arts like Zen and Qigong. So I started to brainstorm some related martial arts concepts.

Zen, Meditation, Enlightenment, Koans, Paradoxical Statements, Unsolvable Riddle, Subconscious

I took a stroll over to Wikipedia to dig into a few related martial arts concepts to use as starting points.

Mushin (無心; Chinese wúxīn; English translation “no-mindedness”) is a mental state into which very highly trained martial artists are said to enter during combat. The term is shortened from mushin no shin (無心の心), a Zen expression meaning mind of no mind. That is, a mind not fixed or occupied by thought or emotion and thus open to everything.

Zanshin (Japanese: 残心) is a term used in the Japanese martial arts. It refers to a state of awareness – of relaxed alertness. The literal translation of zanshin is “remaining mind”. In karate, zanshin is the state of total awareness. It means being aware of one’s surroundings and enemies, and also being prepared to react.

I liked the concept of Mushin. I thought of perhaps using a more English translation, but somewhat different than the typical “no-mind” along with the Japanese kanji for mushin. Maybe something about subconscious. So I continued brainstorming by throwing out more words from a thesaurus.

subconscious desires, unconscious, latent, suppressed, repressed, subliminal, dormant, underlying, innermost; informal bottled up

the creative powers of the subconscious (unconscious) mind, imagination, inner(most) self, psyche

Void: the void of space vacuum, emptiness, nothingness, nullity, blankness, vacuity; empty space, blank space, space, gap, cavity, chasm, abyss, gulf, pit, black hole.

an empty house vacant, unoccupied, uninhabited, untenanted, bare, desolate, deserted, abandoned; clear, free.

I then thought of a couple of possibilities using the martial arts concept of still water as a mirror for the mind.

Still Water Martial Arts
Mirror Martial Arts


Exploring Japanese Kanji Possibilities

I wanted to incorporate some Japanese kanji in the logo so I then turned to online Japanese and kanji dictionaries to continue brainstorming. I explored variations of mind, empty, mirror, etc.

shin kokoro
深心
jinshin ; shinshin
じんしん;しんしん
in the depths of one’s mind; profound mind

shinshin ichi jo
心身一如
shinshin’ichinyo
しんしんいちにょ
(n) body and mind as one, mind-body unity

monogokoro ichi jo
物心一如
busshin’ichinyo
ぶっしんいちにょ
(exp) Matter and mind are one, body and mind as one

moto kokoro
元心
genshin
げんしん
original mind

hotoke kokoro
佛心
busshin
ぶっしん
buddha-mind

mushin
無心
mushin
むしん
lacking [defiled] thought

mushin tei
無心定
mushinjou
むしんじょう
thought-free concentration

zan kokoro
残心
zanshin
ざんしん
(n) follow-through (e.g., in archery)

karate
空手
karate
からて
(n) (1) karate, (2) empty handed, (P)

kokoro sora
心空
shinkuu
しんくう
mind is empty

mi kokoro
身心
shinshin
しんしん
body and mind

kokoro kagami
心鏡
shingyou ; kokoronokagami
しんぎょう;こころのかがみ
mind-mirror

bou kokoro
亡心
moushin
もうしん
forget the mind; abandon thinking

sora geki
空げき
kuugeki
くうげき
void

kuugeki
空隙
kuugeki
くうげき
void

ten kyo
天虚
tenko
てんこ
great void

sora jaku
空寂
jaku
じゃく
void and tranquil

kyo

void, emptiness, unpreparedness, crack, fissure, untruth

mukou na
無効な
mukouna
むこうな
(1) void, (2) invalid

oki

chuu
ちゅう
empty, void

sora sora
空空
kuukuu
くうくう
(adj-na,n) empty, vacant, void

munashi i
空しい
munashii
むなしい
(adj) vacant, futile, vain, void, empty, ineffective, lifeless, (P)

mukou
無効
mukou
むこう
nullity; null; void; invalid

sora jaku
空々寂々
kuukuujakujaku
くうくうじゃくじゃく
(uK) (adj-no,adj-t,adv-to) (arch) deserted and lonesome, quiet and alone, innocent and nonattached, All is void

sora sora jaku jaku
空空寂寂
kuukuujakujaku
くうくうじゃくじゃく
(uK) (adj-no,adj-t,adv-to) (arch) deserted and lonesome, quiet and alone, innocent and nonattached, All is void

i mizu
意水
isui
いすい
mind as still as water

sumi

clear and still water

kokoro sumi jou
心澄淨
shinchoujou
しんちょうじょう
purity of mind; the mind becomes clear and calm

i sumi
意澂
mind as clear still water

kokoro

seishin
せいしん
still mind

budou
武道
budou
ぶどう
(n) martial arts, military arts, Bushido, (P)

kokoro mizu
心水
shinsui
しんすい
mind like water


Final Origins of Still Mind Martial Arts

At this point I liked the idea of mind like still water, shortened to Still Mind Martial Arts

澂心武道

Choushin-budo
Still Mind Martial Arts

心水武道

Shinsui Budo
Still Mind Martial Arts

I then did a Google search to see which kanji use was more frequent.

(kokoro mizu, 水の心 Mizu no Kokoro)
水の心 20K
水之心 6K
心水 2.9 Million


Creating the Brand Logo Trademark

So I settled on 心水 which was by far the most frequent kanji formation. I then created a first rough draft of the logo using the full kanji 心水武道Shinsui BudoStill Mind Martial Arts. I went through an iterative logo design process to simplify the initial sketch into the final logo design. Once I had the new logo completed I published the first merchandise with the trademark to Zazzle.com for its first commercial use on January 11th, 2010.

Initial Rough Sketch
Still Mind Martial Arts Logo
Final Logo Design

Later that year I registered StillMindMartialArts.com at GoDaddy.com on 5/17/10. After ten years of continuous use on martial arts merchandise at Zazzle.com we rolled out the trademark on our new Still Mind Martial Arts blog. We hope you like it and we hope you enjoyed this peek behind the scenes of the origins of Still Mind Martial Arts.

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Arigato Gozaimasu (Thank You Very Much!)
-Renshi Mike Scaramozzino

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If your logo has become outdated and you would like to redesign it please don’t hesitate to contact me at DreamLight. I would love to design an awesome new logo for you!

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