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Train Your Mind To Train

Advances in neuroscience are making it possible to understand how our minds function. I like to use these modern science discoveries to put into perspective our ancient wisdom. The interesting part of studying these discoveries, to me, is that they continue to confirm concepts from our art, like Taizokai and Kongkai perspectives.

When you train with one of the kata from our system your focus while doing so will determine what you get out of it but the question arises is that actually the point of the kata or just what you believe it to be?

One of the neuroscientists I follow stated, “Nothing in life is as important as you think it is while you are thinking about it.” What he means by this is that our minds assign importance to whatever we are focusing on, at the expense of everything else. So if you are watching your teacher’s hands durring a demonstration and your training partner is watching their feet when you go back to try the kata each of you will think the hands or the feet are the important part of the kata.

At this point in training you get a lot of discussion about what each of you believes is important and as I talked about in an earlier post, your lawyer comes out and defends your point of view at the same time your partner’s lawyer is defending theirs.

In order to rise above these limited point of views you have to rise above them with a different perspective. That of the scientist seeing the kata from above. You have to train your mind to see from above as if the kata were being done on a chessboard to see the spatial relationship of the attacker and defender durring the kata. In simple words, which square on the gameboard are each and which squares do they move to durring the kata.

The power of our art is that it does not require muscular power to win. It is all about where you are and when. This perspective gives you the chance of surviving an attack from a larger, stronger attacker. You don’t play by their rules of strength and speed,  you move around the gameboard to help them defeat themselves. But to do this you need to train your mind not to fall into the trap of thinking that your perspective is the only one. Rise above this to a higher perspective and you can improve your training.

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