Sunday, August 09, 2015

Upside the Head

Every so often, you get your perspective shifted for you. You get one piece of data, or hear one thing, or look at the same problem from a slightly different angle and the whole world shifts. You don't just see the particular problem in a different way, you see the entire world in a new way.

On the martial journey, you'll occasionally hear a beginner say something with utmost sincerity and only later remember that you used to believe that, too.  I've written about one experience here, a minor one:

Another one, as near as I can remember it--
I was hitting the heavy bag, doing as I had been taught, throwing fast, loose karate punches and tensing them at the moment of impact when Mac said, "You realize that's unnecessary, right?"
I was flustered. It was the way I was taught. I hit hard. I started to argue and explain.
Mac continued, "All you need to do is get these bones (he indicated my metacarpals) in line with these bones (the radius and ulna)."  Then he completely shifted my understanding of martial arts "Tensing and clenching are what people do when they don't understand structure."

No one is stronger when they're tense. No one is faster. No one is more flexible or agile. We all know this. All of us. And even the instructors would pay lip service to it... but there was an awful damn lot of practicing tension while talking about relaxation. Misunderstanding of structure.

Haven't been writing for a while. Had one of those paradigm-shifting whacks upside the head. Took me some time to get equilibrium back.


Marcus said...

I enjoy your writing ,find it helpful. Had a awakening while working out with some boxers.Scoring points, being able to hit some one.being able to hit some one hard. Aren't always the same.


Kim said...

Big moments like that can really shake you to your core and make you question everything. It's like learning there's no Santa, and your whole worldview changes. The most challenging pieces for me in the aftermath have been trying to communicate with others who still believe in Santa, and trying to understand why others don't have that same shift when exposed to the same information/experience. It can make you feel quite lonely.

Unknown said...

Rory, have you heard of or taken lessons in the Alexander Technique? I'm convinced you would be into it. They introduce a concept called "faulty sensory kinesthesia, basically how our body's standard of rightness is off. It's purely based on experiential learning with a teacher. Plus it would help your martial arts. Look it up see if it's for you.

Unknown said...

It's like trying to communicate the color red to a blind person.

jeffrey cooper said...

There's no Santa?!!!

Mike said...

You're human, Rory, and that's good. There is no stasis in the universe. The old must crumble, and something new must take its place. It's all only a matter of time.