Monday, November 18, 2013

Keith Johnstone - Impro

Friend Scott Phillips studied with this guy, and brought up his work quite a while back as having many parallels with great martial arts training. It's taken me this long to post a few thoughts.

I have not read his book - 'Impro', though intend to. Here is part of an interview talking about his work and the book:

In the first 30 seconds of this interview you pretty much get the core of the method by which Sonny taught Eskrima -
Keith Johnstone says "Get rid of the fear"..... Sonny would say "Get rid of the freezing points"
"Make the right answers obvious" - This is what 'seeing' is.

"You have to fail" ..... There really is no learning without failing. Rote learning is not the same. You have to find the 'edges' of what you know to truly own it.

Don't be angry when you make a mistake, be happy .... Not Ha!Ha! happy, understand that mistakes may be gifts, so learn to surf them and use them to your advantage. Do not deny them.

"Learning to accept ideas is not good enough" .... Learn what your partner wants and give it to them. If it seems a little bit of a stretch to give your dueling opponent what they want .... think of giving them 'enough rope' instead ... But the key here is communication, not just playing by yourself.

Take risks ... "It's the goals you don't get that make it worthwhile ..." This is what training is for - it's a place to experiment, try, fail .... and gain skills.


Jake said...

I need to sit down and watch this, and am partly commenting here just to remind myself of that fact.

And to add that, my freshman year of college, I took an improv acting class. I remember thinking at the time that there had to be some connections with my martial arts training, but I couldn't see them. One of those "I should have followed this further" moments.

Jake said...

And now that I've watched it, yeah, that's awesome. So much wisdom in there.