First some background on the Plastic Mind Drills. If you want a more detailed description, check out the "Drills" manual available on Smashwords and Amazon Kindle (link is over on the right).
Mind controls the body. It actually works both ways, the body influences the mind as well, but changes in thought change a lot of things, some deeply. The Plastic Mind exercises are a progression that show, first, how emotion, even artificial emotion completely changes the way that you fight. Second, that iconic images (think the Animal Styles of Kung-fu) change movement in an integrated way and that almost all of the integrated ways are effective, yet different.
In the third step in the progression, the students create in a matter of minutes four complete, integrated martial arts. The arts are each unique, coherent (you can tell the difference at a glance, usually) and in many cases, the student fights better in this mode after thirty seconds of thought than they do in their primary martial art even with years of training. Get this, it's not some miracle or magic bullet, it is merely a way to show that thought can influence motion and that integrated thought (everything connected and arising from a single concept) makes for efficient motion.
Because it works on some pretty primitive brain levels, I've always known that there was a possibility for a student to get into it pretty deeply, potentially to match the trance-states of some of the animistic practices. Last weekend, it happened.
Subject: male, mid thirties, former kumite competitor for the national karate team.
What I observed: He was doing the drill with a slightly stronger but less-skilled opponent. I noticed the subject was breathing oddly, exhaling with a sharp rhythm. He was not looking at his opponent. Subject was on his knees, knees wide and feet together with his opponent face up. Subject had one hand on the opponent's upper chest, the other on his abdomen at about bladder level. Subjects back was extremely arched, like a seal.
Despite the apparent weakness of that position, his (slightly stronger) opponent was unable to move and starting to panic (white showing around the eyes, struggling ineffectually, unable to remember or follow the steps of the drill.) I ordered them to freeze. No response from subject. Repeated order. No response. No response until I shook him hard. He appeared dazed and uncertain of what happened. He had been fighting as the alchemical element 'fire' and had no memory of the incident other than a need "To spread wide and get higher." He had tears on his cheek during the debriefing.
Things to note:
- No response to verbals; physical contact required
- No memory of events
- Extremely effective results from what appeared to be an extremely weak position
And two other things:
- It affected the subject pretty profoundly and he kept trying to tie everything else covered that weekend and other extraneous events to that one aspect of the one drill.
- I had to really fight a very strong urge to make a joke or belittle what happened. I wanted to give him a nickname. I wanted to say how ridiculous he looked while he was completely dominating his opponent. It seemed to trigger some kind of deep defense mechanism in me. If I ridicule, it might not happen again, perhaps?
No conclusions here. I'm just not keeping a private log right now and I wanted the observations recorded while they were still fresh.
FWIW, I've considered two more levels to this drill, Masks and Personas, but I'm not sure who is ready. Definitely not for public consumption yet.