“Visceral Training” is the theme of our 37th annual Festival coming up this October 6-8, 2017. This year you have a chance to focus on honest realistic feeling – inside and out – in your To-Shin Do martial arts.
Kata teach us the mechanics of how to do the techniques and how to approach embodying the principles inherent. But what lies beyond mechanical learning? Shouldn’t we pay attention to what happens on the inside as well as what happens on the outside in a conflict? Is it possible to know a kata so well that it falls apart and stands staring at us like a stranger when we go to apply it under the stress of actual attack?
Experiencing something viscerally is to feel it “deep down” in the guts. Visceral often refers to things experienced emotionally rather than intellectually or philosophically. Shouldn’t that be a part of our training? The messy and clumsy and unexpected variations that might be necessary to win a fight?
Have you ever thought about what it would be like to face a real-world assailant? Someone determined to humiliate you, abduct you, or harm or even kill you? The real thing has a feel very different from training in the dojo with friends. There you are doing enjoyable things and learning life expanding concepts. In a real assault, different areas of the brain are activated and electrified. Senses are altered and time moves in a strange way and even your thinking process itself works differently. Without careful guidance, you might not be at all prepared to face a real aggressor intent on harming you.
I think you will find this year’s Festival electrifying. Join us!