Dynamic Combative Movement Infinite Possibilities Part II
May 05, 2020
“Whatever your determination or will power, it is foolish to try to change the nature of things. Things work the way they do because that is the way of things.”
- Miyamoto Musashi, The Book of Five Rings
The Way of Things
So anyway... I was speaking with one of the Warrior Flow Instructors recently and we were discussing the importance of understanding how to develop better movement and how it relates to combat and as usual the conversation invariable leads to a discussion on the proper development of your mindset. In this post before I get into discussing Dynamic Coordination stuff I thought I’d reiterate a few points because it makes a huge difference in how to focus your training.
So, as I described it to him once again the way Warrior Flow works is simple,
“We train to move in a way in the body that alters the other person’s perception of time to get ahead of them and kill them.”
There is no daylight between those words.
Now, of course, there are things we train in order to develop this ability in the body but that’s it in a nutshell. But at the forefront of this is developing the proper mindset because your mindset directly influences how you focus and what you focus on in your training.
As I’ve said in previous posts, in Warrior Flow, we don't bifurcate the fight into this or that. The fight is what it is. So we train for what the fight is and nothing else and really don't give a shit what it is because if we're training with the right mindset to end that shit. There's no ambiguity about it and no need to figure it out because we already know what it's all about but more importantly what to do about it!
If It Can Be Done Then It Can Be Done Part II
Anyway, as I repeat myself, it's simple if you train to do it and you have the physical capability to do it and it's within the laws of physics and human physiology then it can be done. The way you move good, bad, or indifferent is the way you will move either consciously or subconsciously even under duress because that's the way you trained yourself. So even when you move even if "inefficiently" on some level you trained yourself to move in that fashion thus developed bad movement habits. This is the reason we focus on not only training with the goal of shutting people's eyes forever but with the understanding that it'll take you just as long to develop bad habits as to develop good or purposeful ones. So train right.
Now when it comes to movement as I explained to him I can tell you right now, most people, "most people" move way, way too much and because they refuse to develop and refine the movement of their body through Subtle Muscle Control and Dynamic Coordination there are things they just can't do and will never be able to do until they develop more control over their bodies. Friend if you plan on learning how to move to get there first and winning the battle you need to exorcise the demons of superfluous movements because as long as they are within you they will hold you hack.
If you’ll recall in The Matrix, at the beginning of the movie as Neo learns how to use his ability, first he learns how to move in impossible ways, moving to all sorts of extremes, but later in the movie he begins to move like the Agents.
As his skills grow we see in the final battle with Agent Smith, Neo has transcended the type of movement everyone else aspired to and is actually moving as little as he needs while kicking that ass. Fighting Agent Smith with one hand behind his back blocking his strikes while not even looking at the guy. Just cruising along while Agent Smith flails about.
Who wouldn’t want to be able to move like that?
The Riddle of The Spoon
You see, Neo started off with a preconceived notion of the world he lived in, plugged into The Matrix, into the machine and its programs, its code that predetermined his existence he knew nothing else. Then he learned the truth, swallowed hard on the Red Pill, he woke up, he got unplugged, learned a little Kung Fu along the way, and finally, he understood what I call The Riddle of The Spoon (Not to be confused with The Riddle of Steel).
The Riddle of The Spoon - the meaning of The Riddle of The Spoon is that you do not bend the spoon but the spoon bends you because in The Matrix there is no spoon. That the Matrix is designed to deceive you, that the Matrix is designed to hold you back, enslave you, to keep you a prisoner of its false construct, that it is your perception of it that makes it real in your mind, that nothing in it can be trusted. The Matrix was a control system to do all of the above and there was nothing good about it. Once Neo figured out that The Matrix was all bullshit he became empowered through the knowledge not so much that the Matrix was a lie, but the knowledge of the truth of what it really was... for it was this truth that set him free and allowed him to make different choices, to shape it to his advantage.
Breaking free allowed Neo to shape things and remake them to his will. But he first had to accept it for what it was. That is the real meaning of the Riddle of The Spoon, the realization of what The Matrix really was and to sort of getting over yourself and get about the business of reshaping it to your own making. But as long as you thought the spoon was real it held you back from what you could become.
We are all human and while we are not all equal in terms of ability we are generally equal in that we all function on a biological level the same. When you understand how people actually learn, how our senses work, how we interpret information, how the body processes information, how we make decisions both consciously and subconsciously, and how we develop a skill. When you understand and see the science in the art and the art in the science of how a thing is done down to even the quantum level. Within that understanding, you are able to then train yourself to develop the skill you desire for combat, and depending on your understanding. Even to a level that allows you to transcend your even your physical abilities or perceived limitations.
It was Neo's mind that held him back because it was his mind that made how he experienced The Matrix what it was, and it was the freeing of his mind that altered that experience and unleashed his true ability.
Isn't this a big part of the promise the martial arts claims to offer people?
Elevating your skills to a point that levels the playing field by teaching skills that transcends size, strength, and speed?
If it offers you no advantage then as I've said many times then why even bother?
I'm just going to say outright if you do not try to master your body (which believe me is achievable on a basic level in a relatively short period of time, but is a lifetime commitment of constant refinement, meaning you're always improving and can always get better at it). This type of movement is not going to happen, it's just not. Until you get that shit straight between your ears first as to what your overall objective should be and that's is to move in a way that alters the other persons’ perception of time to get their first and kill them. You can't even begin to develop the benefits of this type of movement.
There should be no ambiguity on this point.
Too many folks train with a very self-limiting mindset that prevents them from taking the leap of faith necessary to attain the level of skill they desire.
Think about it and I’ve said this sort of thing before. If you trained to throw a strike the opponent can train to counter it. If he can counter it, you can also train how to respond to his counter and on and on with the 5th-dimensional chess match and learn to recognize the impression of their movements and get ahead of them. My point is if you trained to do one thing you can train to do another but you first need to know what it is and how it works in order to solve the puzzle thus all of this focus on how people perceive information, how people process information, how to develop your body to deal with what's going on and then what the Hell to do about it
Like I’ve said in previous blog posts there's the world and how it really is and then your perceptions of it. If your perception doesn't jive with reality then you’re wrong. The key is to develop as close a world view in your mind as to how the universe works in order to exploit how the universe works. To come to the understanding that Neo came to when he finally understood The Riddle of The Spoon. That though The Matrix was a control system that lied as a basic function The Matrix wasn't the only problem but his perceptions of it as well. He couldn't change The Matrix per se but he could alter how he experienced it and those around him. You can't change the universe but you can alter how you respond to it and experience your reality. When you develop your mindset/ body within the way things actually work you alter how you interact with another human being even in combat.
Why Train At All
The whole purpose of training is to cause a change in behavior. So whatever it is you desire within reason of course through proper training you can at least close the gap to be able to stand in that space between courage and fear known as confidence. To know you can wage noble righteous battle and if it's your time then let all of the blood be on the front of you and die a warrior’s death with honor.
I'm so all about it...
If you get attacked regardless of circumstances my attitude is do something because doing nothing is not an option. So while fear is normal and to be human what you do about it and how you manage it is a choice. You see I believe one of the main reason people become paralyzed with fear and get that deer in the headlights response is they literality in the body don’t know what to do so they get caught in limbo while they try to figure it out. Often too late…
Thus the importance of training. See when you train you to open up your options or choices and the more options you have the less apprehensive you'll be provided that you train to fight to end the battle through utter ruthlessness. This is exactly why when you are experienced at something whatever it is the level of confidence you have is night and day from when you were a novice. The same is true for developing the warrior skills.
The way I see it and I'll keep saying it if for nothing else but to reinforce the Warrior Flow philosophy and that is I believe at the end of the day. Every person has the right to risk their own life and no so-called expert including me has the right to tell you when not too. This is important because when a person shows up to a martial arts school there is an expectation that what they will learn is going to give them their edge if they have to engage in a real fight especially one for their lives. Otherwise, why bother?
Now, if we're training you with the right mindset hopefully you'll learn to make good decisions and not just fight for the sake of engaging in mindless battle. But should you step into that space and go there that they had better understand that they better kill you because it's going to be like that. And if you've made peace with your God then so be it.
Those who been in combat know where I'm going on this... Combat is stressful enough no need adding fuel to your fears by creating new ones. At some point, you have to come to grips with your own mortality and then decide where you stand and whether, no matter the danger, decide who you choose to be with honor. Trust me I can tell a number of stories where people dishonored themselves in combat. Not because they had a healthy sense of danger and knew what to be afraid of. But because they refused to accept the same level of risk as their young Marines and Soldiers. More importantly, their men knew it. Oh fuck yeah!
You'd be surprised what young men say around the campfire dipping Tabaco and talking shit when they think no one of higher rank is around or can hear them talk. While they were smart enough not to say anything insubordinate or seditious the tone of their carefully chosen words spoke for itself.
The reason this understanding is important is that If you consider yourself a martial artist and more importantly a martial arts instructor. Once you step into this way of life "this calling" regardless of the reason you stepped on the narrow path there is no getting a little pregnant. Either jump in with both feet or go home.
Judging False gods
So circling back on all of this...
This is why I get into all of this body's movement stuff and try to present things to help people regardless of what they study to find ways to increase their lethality in whatever it is they do. I'm serious when I say this I really don't care what you study, Karate, Wing Chun, Jiu-Jitsu, Close Combat, Boxing, MMA, JKD, Shaolin, etc. I don't care. If I can share something with you that helps you gain an edge over the bad guys where you come out on top I'm all about it.
Think about this, now for those who are fans of the Predator movies and definitely the graphic novels. I can tell you that next to the lightsaber in Star Wars no one has cooler weapons than the Predator(s). IR sensors? UV sensors? Optical camouflage? Lasers and laser range finders? Lightweight indestructible blades? A cool kinetic weapons package with a gyroscopically mounted grenade launcher? A badass helmet? And of course, what guy doesn't want to walk around with a .25 kiloton thermal nuclear weapon on their arm just in case shit gets really dicey? (Apparently on Predator world POWs don't fair too well). Believe it or not, most of these things actually exist, well except for the ADM (advanced demolition munition) for the arm it's just too heavy but not for a lack of trying.
The thing I always liked about the Predator was he wasn't just some alien who landed on earth running amok because some fool opened up some container he had no business touching and messed up the zen thing he had going on causing him to want to wipe humanity out. He was here on safari for the hunt. Later on, he'd go back to the ship with a few skulls of some hardened warriors and tell a few embellished sea stories while throwing back a couple of flagons of mead and talking shit.
In the original, he seemed unstoppable until they made a startling scientific discovery that the Predator could bleed. Once they saw that they knew, using their astute powers of reason, they had a chance because as the theory went, "...if it bleeds we can kill it."
To put it bluntly, once they saw that the Predator bled just as we do, for all of his technological advancement and extraordinary physical prowess at the end of the day... he was just another motherfucker they had to kill. There was really no more to it than that.
Folks, let me be very clear here when you ascribe powers and abilities to the enemy that are reserved for the gods, you diminish yourself and make him your god. A false one but none the less your god. And when you do so you make him beyond reproach. The bad guys are not gods, if they bleed and they do then you can kill them. They're human and therefore move like humans. Understand that the vast majority of criminals fall within the average range of physical body types meaning that the 6'6" 350 lbs so-called monster is the outlier and far from the norm. Do they exist? Sure, but so do Kukris and 7.62 x 51 high grain match rounds.
My point is and I can only speak for myself. If you're the bad guy and I have to go there you won't have to ask a doctor what's wrong with your gallbladder because I'm going to hand it back to you so you can see for yourself. My point is if I have anything to say about it, it's going to be like that. It's sort of like that scene in the movie 300 where when they told the Spartans that Xerxes was going to send the "Immortals" against them, the Spartans just shrugged their shoulders and said, "Immortals? Hmmf... We'll see about that..."
Yes exactly! We'll see about that!
Now, this is not to say you should underestimate what people can do because you shouldn't. You should train to expect the unexpected and crush them sooner than later if possible. My point is I don't care how much pain they can take, how crazy they are, or evil, or presumed tough. If they bleed they can be killed and when you train that's all you need to know.
Here are a few questions,
Who among us doesn't want to strike with lightning speed and bone-crushing force?
Who doesn't want to be able to move so well with their body that the bad guys almost trip over themselves trying to deal with you?
Who wouldn't want to be able to handle and apply themselves so well that virtually any object in your hand can become a lethal tool?
Who wouldn't want to be able to channel their fear and anger in a way that allows them to do all of the above with a level of ferocity that seems almost superhuman?
Otherwise, why bother?
It's all about being able to stand I that space and face the hordes of Hell and bring it. And if it’s your time well...?
Ain't no shame in that...
But to live in fear of "what if?"
Fear of imagined boogie men and tales of prison trained monsters (also known as inmates)?
Fear of "Baba Yaga", ghosts or "Hanks" as my grandma used to call them?
To do so, to live like this, is to die without honor over and over.
The whole reason for training along with kicking that ass is to develop your mind and spirit to get over that shit and crush the wicked. Not to reinforce your fears but to learn the difference between irrational fear and danger and then what to do about the danger with boldness and sobriety. They are not the same!
Having an RPG or machine gun fired at you okay yeah… that's dangerous… like for real.
But worrying that somehow the enemy is going to send flying monkeys at you with nuclear-tipped thermobaric weapons is not just irrational it's insane.
Trust me I can tell you stories about people being on sentry watch so long without rest they start telling stories of the moving trees and bushes.
But what makes it any different than the examples given above?
Listen, you don't want to discount a threat that’s just stupid, but you also want to be realistic. All too often in the self-defense arena, we give the bad guys waaaaay too much credit. Like I said, just because someone has the capacity to be evil doesn't make the tough or brave, just evil. Trust me there are lots of evil cowards out there and their whole game is convincing people (including themselves) they are anything but.
Above all the bad guys are not gods and if they can take incredible punishment well... So can you even if you don't know it. So you know what? Fuck them and the horse they rode into town on.
The point is you're either trained or you're not. So train right and work the skills you desire to crush the fucking bad guys after all they're human as well. At the end of the day, you need to train in a manner where they should be more worried about what you're going to do to them than the other way around. Just something to think about when you train.
Okay, enough on that moving along…
Developing Continuous Moment
As one of my old Battalion Commanders, Col Bob Faucet, UMSC (ret) used to say, "Train to the edge but not beyond it..."
So we're going to go with that idea on how to train this because if you don't know where your boundaries are. You’re never going to learn to control your body and the over travel and when to start your deceleration to either reverse direction or change the vector of your movement or how to capture motion to accelerate circular motion.
This is a major part of the essence in Warrior Flow of the concept we call The Quantum Sphere.
Back and Forth
Back and Forth – to go a little deeper, when you move in on direction in a back and forth manner in order to move in another or opposite direction you have to first stop moving in one direction come to a stop even if only for a brief moment and then you can go in another direction. However, in order to do this. You have to decelerate before you come to that stop in order to slow down in time to prevent the over-travel in your body. so, what you’re going to practice is the following:
- You’re going to starting slowly move forward and back and side to side in a straight line.
- Concentrate on feeling internally how your weight shifts as you move in this fashion.
- Now what I want you to do is then focus on feeling your body actually slow down before you come to a stop.
- Feel what it feels like to decelerate your motion. This feeling this level of awareness in your body is important because if you don’t know what it feels like to slow your body down. You will never learn how to decelerate at will and change direction within the movement in a seamless continuous manner. Nor use this type of movement to deceive people into thinking you’re moving in one direction when in fact it was your plan to go in another direction opposite to it.
- Start slowly and then pick up speed. Also, understand that when you add speed it changes the nature of the movement so you want to anticipate the possibility of your body over traveling. One thing you will discover is that in order to do this you will actually need to shorten up the movements as you move faster since you will need more time to decelerate and stop your body under control.
- Next take the same idea and do the same with your hands (see below)
Arching Movements – in the same fashion that you practice moving forward and back you are now going to do the same thing only focus on moving with your body in an arching fashion.
- Move relatively forward and backside to side in with arching or turning movements with your arms, your torso, your legs. By doing so you will begin as when you moved back and forth to feel the movement of your body.
- Concentrate on feeling internally how your weight shifts as you move in this fashion also notice the rotation in your body as you turn and feel how your body flows back smoothly to and fro.
- Now what I want you to do is focus on feeling your body actually slow down before you come to a stop to change direction only pay close attention to how long your body stays in one place and in a smooth manner try to change direction without becoming jerky.
- Feel what it feels like to decelerate and gracefully turn and control your motion. This feeling this level of awareness in your body is important because if you don’t know what it feels like to slow your body down as you make these aching movements. You will never learn how to decelerate at will and change direction within the movement in a seamless continuous manner. Nor use this type of movement to deceive people into and lead and pace them to go to the wrong place or to change within change within change.
- Start slowly and then pick up speed and as before remember when you add speed it changes the nature of the movement so you want to anticipate the possibility of your body over traveling. One thing you will discover is that in order to do this sort of like taking a turn in your car if you try to take it too fast you will lose control of the car this is because as you move in this arching fashion as you move faster your body tends to pick up speed as you reach sort of the tangent of the arch. So you will need to anticipate this so you can begin to adjust your body within the movement sooner in order to maintain speed and power throughout the movement without having to slow down. Or shorten up the movement sooner as you move faster since you will need more time to control or decelerate and/or stop your body under control.
- The images below show this with a little more detail.
Circular Movements – now just as a boxer when he does speed bag work with his hands at lighting speed you want to train yourself to do the same thing. The reason he’s able to do this is that he is actually catching the momentum of his hands as they move either forward or backward.
- So what you want to do is move your hands in this fashion and then with a slight bend in your arms striking in a circular manner to the side, in front of you.
- Then rotate your hips in both directions in this fashion.
- Then roll your shoulders forward and back then do the same while twisting and turning your body in both directions then and your hips and so on.
Elliptical Movements – okay please stay with me on this just like before you want to do the same thing but… you want to now do the same movements as best as you can in a more elliptical fashion.
- So just as you caught and used your momentum hands and body moving in a circular fashion you now want to narrow your movements down and move in a more elliptical manner.
- Move your hands in this fashion and then with a slight bend in your arms striking in this elliptical manner to the side, in front of you. Then rotate your hips in both directions in this fashion. Then roll your shoulders forward and back then do the same while twisting and turning your body in both directions then and your hips and so on.
- Eventually, you want to start moving less and less but feel your body in the body while focusing on moving in this elliptical fashion until you become so fluid moving in this fashion that you develop a smooth graceful non-mechanical or better yet organic fashion.
- Check out the image below...
Well, I’m going to cut it off here because I want to get into how Dynamic Coordination ties into developing your Perceptual Awareness in my next post.
P.S. for those who want to learn more about how to develop this type of movement.
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