Thursday, April 14, 2011

Relevance and Reframing

This is probably going to be too esoteric for anyone except me to spend time on, but it's one of the threads that spawns from the last post.

(Caveat: like anything where I talk about levels or different ways to think, I can only describe the stuff I've done.  Don't think there is an endstate.  Anything I do, someone else has taken farther or deeper.)

Knowing what matters and what doesn't matter is important, but there is a lot of latitude in deciding how something matters.  In seminars, I'm always hammering on the concept of 'gifts.'
 Almost anything you see and anything the threat does serves you if you learn to see it... but sometimes disaster also has a gift if you choose to see it right.

Someone grabs your leg.  Are you off balance and unstable?  Or can you choose to own your common center of gravity, make his legs part of your tripod and keep your stability while you hammer him with your completely free hands?

Is a ground-and-pound the worst case scenario or (as it often is on concrete floors) a gift where a slight hip twitch gets the threat to shatter his own hand?

This goes subtle.  If I tell you "It's only pain. Ignore it." You will find it encouraging.  If I tell you, "It's only pain, don't think about it,"  you will likely obsess on the pain.  The meanings are identical, but the brain processes positive ("do" statements) and negative ("don't" statements) very differently.  It's an especially important point in teaching, but it affects things as varied as whether your children will be active or passive to whether a threat can maintain the will to fight.

There is an old description of jujutsu as the 'art of advantage.'  In any instant, any action, any situation there is something that can be turned to your advantage.  Not to go all pseudo-Japanese on you, but the difference between a fighter and a strategist is the practical application of this skill.

A fighter practices hitting harder, moving his or her weapon more fluidly.  A strategist practices recognizing and exploiting at the same level of reflex, the chaos inherent in the system.


ush said...

I trained with a man who liked to sum up his approach as "I win or you lose". I never really got what he meant but I'm starting to think it was similar to your gift idea.

Jacob said...

I think understanding the positive-negative relationship is important. "Stop" is more powerful than "don't move." If you hear "don't think about and elephant," where does the mind go? What about "think about a monkey?" Focusing on what you don't want, like a fist coming toward your face, usually ends up badly; while focusing on what you do want, like getting into the space where the punch is not going to be, opens up opportunities. Defense postpones the inevitable, while offense achieves what you focus on (offense can be escape).

Joshkie said...

I like to think in questions vs. statements. Where statement is ether positive or negative and tend to be framed in absolutes, a question engages the mind in the creative process.
As you can not have all the answers, you can not let finding the answer or not having an answer stop you from taking action or making a disision. Sometimes you just got to go with your best guess.

Rory you talked about the freeze where you get stuck on the why question, so I've wondered if this mind set will be a hinderance or not in an assault situation.

I wandered there. Back to the topic.

The question I see a "strategist" asking is how and what if questions, the more experience you have means the more answers you have available.

Maybe asking questions would help in evaluation relevant and irrelevant date, but I guess that would depend on if you asked or know the right question to ask.

Funny I'm not even sure if I'm asking the right questions now.


Anonymous said...

It's maybe a deep way of recognizing that just because by definition we can only generate our own actions, those are not precluded from being part of the fabric of a larger thing …that gets greater and greater even as you step back to the most outside levels of perspective. We are not alive in a vacuum. Our actions are part of a vast life, and that life is not static. It is maybe like swimming with the river’s current at an angle to be carried to shore with the greater motion, rather than using swimming mechanics to fight a far greater power with nothing but the energy we can generate on our own.

Or, maybe Bill is having too much fun thinking about this stuff and should switch to listening for a while.

Either way great series of posts…

-Billy G.

Tansau said...

When someone attacks you, he gives you a present of his strength. To make use of this gift you must know how to receive it.
-- Yukiso Yamamoto

Michael said...

I enjoyed what Ush said. I guess it's best to keep it simple as much as you can. Always enjoy your posts!

Anonymous said...

This will go against alot of beliefs and I am in no way encouraging violence. In a fight, when one doesnt want to be hit they will usually allow themselves to get scared and be hit. When one actually wants the attack to be thrown the mind stays in its state and one can think clearly. Now the word want is very strong and this is why I mentioned that I am not condoning violence. Merely stating the difference in mind set.deseecie