Move Like A Porsche


“Straighten the front foot, move from the Seiki Tanden, circle the foot through a line dropped from the hip, put the bodyweight through the power point on the foot, sink the chest to find the feet, tuck in the tailbone and stretch the neck as you would touch the opponent and apply the movement……..”

We were working on Sanchin Kata and Sensei was working our “brain muscle” hard.

“What’s the hardest muscle in the body to train?”

“The brain muscle Sensei!” we all chorused, familiar with question.

“Then why aren’t you using it?”

“It’s too hard to think of all these things at the same time Sensei, we just go into overload…..”

“Then why are you trying to think of them all at the same time?”

“Because you told us to!”

“No I didn’t……  I gave you a list in sequence, you do each point as you get to it, no wonder the pea in your brain went into overload!……”

“Yeah, but the movement happens too quickly to be able to think and then do in such a short space of time…..”

“That’s because you are moving too fast dohbrain…..  slow the movement down until you can think and move at a pace that you can do it correctly….”

“But that means that I would have to move really slowly……”

“Ah!  The light goes on!  Put your ego to one side, become like a beginner…..  work at a speed that means that you do it correctly, however slow that is, you cannot learn it any other way……”

“That may be alright in Sanchin but what about rapid moves in say, Chinto?”

“The same still applies.  Speed in the Martial Arts is as a result of skill not just effort.  Rushing into the movements simply means that that you are noisy, uncoordinated, clumsy, with lack grace, fluidity and power……  Think of it as like a mini and a Porsche pulling away from the traffic lights….  The mini would make lots of engine noise, tyres screeching and would appear to be going fast, but the Porsche would just glide effortlessly past………  Which would you rather be?”

“The Porsche, of course Sensei.”

“Then lets “tweak” you engine and get you firing in the right order and finely tuned…..”

“So if we are using the thinking mind so extensively, where does the Zen and “no mindedness” come into it?”

“The thinking mind is a useful tool, when we can develop constant awareness, we are able to discipline the thinking mind and use it to our advantage.  By constant observation of our movements, posture, breathing and awareness we are able to polish our technique.  With time and effort, this technique will progress from a long list in our left brain, spontaneously, to a spatial expression in our right brain.  The observing left brain will no longer be required at which time you and the movement merge to become one.  This is often your first Zen experience.”

“How long will that take?”

“As long as it takes.”

“So will it takes years?”

“First you have to master being able to maintain mental awareness, we do this by giving the brain a constant stream of tasks that it has to carefully adhere to.  Then we assist it by bringing more oxygen to the brain with deep powerful breathing.  We help to release the body by moving it carefully in correct alignment and then flexing it in such a way as to increase its vitality and awareness.  We then shape it in such a way that it connects to primal layers in the brain that release powerful energies that are channelled throughout the body and mind.”

“Wow!  How soon can I start to learn these exercises?”

“You all ready are Richard Head, its called Sanchin Kata.”

“Doh!  Caught out again.”

“You have to remember that we don’t have the time to explain everything in your training, the first job is to give it to you by “direct transmission”, this takes an act of faith on your part and consistent, careful practise.  Martial Arts is an ancient magical training in the truest sense, the training to become wise.  As an initiate, you have to practise without too much explanation, to explain one part would mean having to explain everything, which cannot be done without you having had the direct experience……..”

“You mean like a chicken and egg thing?”

“Exactly, you have an inner drive to improve, but you don’t where it’s going to take you, your instincts lead you to a Sensei and he points you in the right direction and trains you in the appropriate rituals. At the end of the day it’s up to you to make the journey and when the transmissions become evident you don’t need to ask the questions anymore.”

“In other words shut up and get on with it.”


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