|Much better than humans fighting, right?|
The idea with Guided Chaos is that in real life-or-death situations, there aren't systematic moves that will save you every time. The fighting is chaotic and messy, and you have to adapt to what's happening—split second by split second.
What struck me the most about the class (other than my immensely uncoordinated limbs) was how the four main principles of it can be applied to any situation in life (which can also be chaotic, if you haven't noticed...).
- Balance: One must maintain his or her balance—with a low center of gravity and flat feet—so as not to get knocked over.
- Sensitivity: Being acutely aware of sights, sounds, and touch enables you to react more effectively.
- Looseness: Staying loose in your body can put you at an advantage. A floppy arm can easily fling back up and hit an attacker in the face without much effort. Rigidity actually gives the other guy an edge—he can manipulate or knock you over more easily .
- Body Unity: Coordinating arms and legs/hands and feet allows you to stay in perpetual motion and retain your balance better.
When life gets crazy and chaotic and we have no idea what's going to come at us next, isn't it critical to work on keeping our balance? Using our senses to react appropriately? Staying relaxed and going with the flow? And unifying with our bodies (not our heads) to be fully tuned in to our intuition?
The entire time I was in the class, I was thinking, "WOW. I need to use this stuff when the Universe throws termite infestation punches and family illness kicks at me." Imagine how much more effective I would be at defending myself if I could stay balanced, tuned in, loose, and unified. I think I'd do a much better job of saving my sanity.
And, if necessary, I might even be able to save my purse from a thief.
I've always wanted to do more self-defense training and that sounds really interesting. I've had a few dreams where someone scary is coming toward me and my body is totally immovable and stiff and I can't yell or scream. I wonder if those dreams, too, are a parallel to life! I need some guided chaos I guess, in all areas :)ReplyDelete
Ooohh I would love to do a dream analysis exercise with you sometime! Whenever we have scary dreams like that, there's always a benevolent message underneath them and it can be really amazing to decipher what it is!ReplyDelete
What an interesting class! These things you mention are a lot of what yoga has taught me. Not that I expect an actual warrior pose to help me in an attack situation, but it is very interesting to me that as these things happen in your mind, the body is quick to follow.ReplyDelete
That is such a good point. Yoga is amazing for reminding us how to stay balanced and breathe and so many other things important for coping with day-to-day life.Delete
Sounds very interesting!! I try to remember techniques from running or spin class, where if you start to feel your body tense up, you relax your shoulders or wiggle your toes. I use it at work a lot when I realize I have been sitting at my computer for hours and haven't moved.ReplyDelete
Checking in with your body like that is such good practice. If I don't stay aware of my shoulders throughout the day, they creep up to my ears over and over in response to work assignments...Delete
Okay what I'm going to say here is both going to add to your philosophical take-away, AND detract from the class. Impressive, no?ReplyDelete
The thing is, all the techniques the class advocates are great... but only if they're practiced to the point where they become instinctual. In a real-life threatening situation, the brain goes into an auto-mode and kinda shuts down as shock takes over (I can sorta attest to this, as you well know). So the kind of self-defense thinking advocated in the class does work, but only if it's practiced so much that you act on instinct. And that requires not only a great deal of practice at the beginning, but also continuous ongoing practice as well.
And that's where what I've said enhances your take-away: because all of the techniques you learned in class and want to apply to your life in general aren't a one-time thing. They're something that must be practiced again, and again, and again... :)
You're exactly right. Thanks for your input! All of this stuff does require major practice (I think that's the ultimate goal with it - it's supposed to become second nature so you don't have to think about it in the moment). And you're right - the practice rule applies to pretty much everything in life.Delete