Sunday, September 18, 2005

Go with the Flow

I don't know how many of you looked up the article that KickerChick cited in her post, The Ability to Flow in Combat. I just did today, and I feel like the author was speaking directly to me!

One quote:
Tony Blauer, a pioneer in performance enhancement research as it relates to combat, teaches the word ‘fear’ as an acronym – “False Expectations Appearing Real” or “Failure Expected, Action Required”. In essence, what this means is that we are usually not scared of anything when we are certain of the outcome, but when the outcome is unknown, we automatically project onto the situation the worst possible thing that can happen to us. This creates instant anxiety and disallows us from acting without reserve due to expectation of impending failure.

Oh yeah. "Disallows us from acting without reserve . . ." I believe that means that one stops breathing and feels like running.

The author even gave an example of facing an aggressor "an agressor that outweighs you by 100 pounds' making you feel like "a five-year old child" . . . I've BEEN there!

This is cool, though; he has some good advice to follow, including 1) learn how to focus your attention and 6) practice, practice, practice.

I was headed that direction; this article gives me more to go with. What it aims for is "flow," which means a period in time in which one becomes so completely involved in an activity that all other thoughts and emotions – what some consider the "self"are excluded from consciousness.

Yes! That reminds me of that other quote by Sensei Webster-Doyle about giving oneself to the movement. Hey, that's the experience I love best about movement--about ballet and swimming and hiking and TKD.

Some people think of "flow" as a nice side-effect of exercise/fitness. I actually see it as an end in itself. I don't want to JUST do forms, to spar. I want to achieve flow while I do those things.

At our school, we don't talk about or practice these inner aspects of TKD: achieving flow, practicing focus. As I said before, those are probably not as interesting to most people at our school who are more athletically gifted (and experienced) than I am. They don't need to think about it.

But that's OK. I'll find that spiritual direction for TKD elsewhere. It's something that interests me anyway. I'm finding it all the time.

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