Ashanti Proverb

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Ashanti Proverb

Postby Jason Bernard » Mon Feb 08, 1999 3:13 pm

In case some of you haven't noticed I love nifty sayings. Sure it might be corny but I find it very helpful to put me in the right frame of mind.

Anyway, I have this calender that has an inspirational saying of the day, and today's happens to match my thoughts on self defense mindset perfectly.

"You must act as if it is impossible to fail."

- Ashanti Proverb

It has been said in many other forms ("Defeat must never be an option.", "You must first cut down your opponent with your mind.", "... and need not fear the result of a thousand battles: for they win in advance, defeating those that have already lost."), but the truth of it can never be said enough. There is no such thing as "Do or die" there must only be Do (dying is just something that happens every now and then, so don't worry about it)!

Osu!
Jason
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Ashanti Proverb

Postby david » Tue Feb 09, 1999 12:26 am

Jason,

Like you, I like catchy phrases/sayings.

I have to paraphrase a bunch of stuff from Zen/buddhist teachings. But, essentially, I find useful the idea -- to act when the situation (reality) warrants it and to not worry about the outcome.

I know there are those who would disagree with this as "short sighted." But, I find myself acting while others are obsessing...

david
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Ashanti Proverb

Postby Lori » Tue Feb 09, 1999 3:02 am

Sayings like that serve as wake up calls to things we often already know, but may not practice. We know that to be truly successful at something we have to commit to it fully - it seems to me that it can be no less with a survival situation. Cultivating this as part of mindset before such an occasion arises makes sense; and may help to differentiate being paranoid from being as prepared as possible.

In discussions about mindset in women's self defense classes - those who have been studying for a while notice a progression of awareness that they often equate with a kind of paranoia at the beginning - looking for a potential threat in almost every situation. After a while this feeling progresses from constant worry to a heightened awareness, and the worry fades. Either before or during the action, worrying about the outcome doesn't seem to have any positive results. I wouldn't call your view "short-sighted" David-san - if as martial artists we work on efficiency of movement, should we not work on efficiency of thought as well? Why waste thought energy on worrying about the outcome - it will be the same whether we worry or not - and may in fact be worse if we are distracted by that worry.

The power of the mind is still largely understood, (just ask JD about placebos) but it seems that choosing to act as if failure was not an option is an attitude cultivated by successful people.

Peace,
Lori
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Ashanti Proverb

Postby JOHN THURSTON » Wed Feb 10, 1999 3:37 am

"Fear is the Mind Killer"

Frank Herbert "The Prophets of Dune"

JOHN T

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Ashanti Proverb

Postby david » Wed Feb 10, 1999 11:22 am

Lori,

Thanks for not affirming the negative. I thought about your comments. Also, some of what DeBecker wrote come to mind. Basically, one can operate on "intuition". Not intuition in magical/mystical sense. But, one that operates on past experience and knowledge and sends an answer that bypasses long drawn out internal debates on a conscious level. One should methodically think an issue out if time permits. Yet, there are enough occaisons, including self defense situations, where time allotted is in seconds if not milliseconds. In such cases, the decision to act and the act itself must almost be simultaneous.

Each act creates a new set of conditions (reality), sometimes what is intended and as often (I think) what may not have been intended. This new reality creates the need for another decision/action. I find that a flexible approach allows me to move with the situation better. This is how I experience and describe it. Others may have similar experiences but describe it differently. Or, they may have a totally different experience of it. However, whatever works and allows one to act is fine.

david
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Ashanti Proverb

Postby paul giella » Sat Feb 13, 1999 12:53 pm

In my work, I am constantly exposed to the potential for violent behavior (psychologist on an inpatient psychiatric unit). While the actual occurences are infrequent , due to good planning and management, the potential is almost a constant. I find that the anticipation or worry about such an event is worse than the actual fact (when it does occur). The actual events themselves are usually brief and, though upsetting to all in the vicinity, usually end without serious damage to anyone. I find that the 'deeper nature', or 'instinct' takes over at the moment of truth... the fear somehow just goes away, and you do what you have to do to restore control and order. You usually feel drained and shaky afterwards (as the chemical cocktail is metabolized by the nervous system while you are regaining your equilibrium. It is the constant, low-level worry about the potential event that is worse than the event itself. Ironic, but true. And I think this is one reason why a good vigorous workout at the dojo serves such a useful function... it helps us metabolize, on a day-to-day level, the chronic 'subclinical' anxiety we deal with in our fast-paced, and often insensitive, American society of the late 1990's.
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