chapter  6
Sutemi and Heijō-shin: The 'Go-for-Broke' Attack and Mental Calm
Pages 1

The term 'sutemi,' used previously, now needs elaboration. Sutemi is an attack based on desperation when, for example, the practitioner encounters a superior opponent - an opponent with an intimidating kamae. In such a case, a novice would find that sutemi is the only effective form of attack. Nevertheless, because it is born of desperation, this kind of attack is rarely employed by a skilled practitioner. A skilled practitioner is expected to maintain mental calm at all times. Mental calm, in this case, is called heijo-shin (literally, mental 'evenness,' that is, the absence of emotional swings).* One without emotional swings is in control of himself. As such, that person is capable of reading the intent of his opponent - the opponent's potential movement and the moment of his attack.