Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Bend or break

Image courtesy of Papalars
We're coming to a close of our month-long dojo focus on the value of relaxation in martial arts.  I'll be doing a full-fledged Relaxation recap here in a day or two but for now I'll leave you with a quick but absolutely vital tip.
You have to learn to relax when you are playing the role of the attacker.  Extra tension/strength does not make it any harder for an experienced player to throw you.  It might make it harder for a beginner to do the tehnique, but that just hinders their learning and yours - and who wants that?  What the extra tension does do is make you more easily broken.  Bend or break!
It's a natural reaction to clamp down with your muscles when you realize you're in trouble, but we're trying to re-wire that reflex so that you are less likely to get broken and more likely to be able to do something positive about the trouble you have gotten yourself into.  When you find yourself clamping down, try rewinding the relationship back to how you got into the trouble that made you tense up, take a breath, relax, and walk back into the killing field to see if you can maintain your relaxation.
Bend or break!
Image courtesy of Jezs
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  1. I remember reading an interview with I believe Koichi Tohei. When
    asked by the interviewer what Tohei
    learned from Ueshiba Tohei said "In the whole time I studied with him he only taught me one thing of value, how to relax". It sounded at first almost insulting.But he also realised the importance of that lesson.

  2. I have been enjoying your blog lately. Thanks for your contributions.

    Your dojo made my blog today! Check it out!


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