Thursday, March 31, 2011

Seeing Options not Opposites

Following on from a post about imagination a while back, and connected to a sword flow with Rory Miller, and a conversation about 'changing scripts' from the Thug Whisperer paradigm -
It seems our minds often have the tendency to see opposites instead of options - 'either this or that', left/right, go/stop, offense/defense, win/lose.
This tendency creates limitations of course, especially in the dynamic and chaotic environment of dueling. There are really too many variables to consciously think about, and often the reason why you get stuck in a corner is because you failed to hold in your imagination (and body) all the alternatives available in the previous moments and now face their inevitable diminution towards zero .....

All the variables at any one time hold within them alternatives, it's a question of being able to imagine/feel as many variables that are in your power to change, at that one moment, to increase your options, and thus the chances to prevail.
Sonny called it "Not running out of angle".  The implication being that there is always somewhere to 'go next'.

Keeping all the options in your conscious mind is just too complex to filter in real time, but luckily you have a body that is very smart and that remembers and can hold these alternatives in it's muscle memory.

Here's a few physical principles that you can practice to up your odds -
- 100% weight shift, and the ability to understand the 'neutral positions' where you can change your mind.
- 'Flush blocking' and the ability to pull to your center.
- The ability to pivot and generate movement off line from turning or 'throwing' any part of the body.
- The ability to focus and see the space between the cuts.

1 comment:

ctkwingchun said...

Perhaps in a follow-up post you could comment on how you explore these options at any given time.

You gave a wonderful list of examples, but I'm curious as to how you apply them/practice them.

...Or you could just tell me it's all about the flow ;)

Best,
CTK