Mushin is a Japanese word that translates as "no mind".

This ties in with the concept that the process of conscious thought actually interferes with and delays response to a given stimulus.

Applied to martial arts mushin results in either the counter for a particular attack or an attack on one's opponent being made without consicous selection of technique.

This takes many years to develop and although it could be argued that this is simply conditioned response this is not strictly true. In combat this state is not simply desirable so that the correct selection of techniques results; it's also desirable because the mind becomes freed from fear of injury or even death. The freedom from fear is a necessary component in the attainment of zanshin - the overpowering spirit that dominates one's opponent completely.

An elevated sense of awareness can only be achieved once the mind is freed from the contraints of conscious existence. This concept is also common to the practice of Zen and yoga.