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 Post subject: "Psychological Warfare"
PostPosted: Fri Oct 30, 1998 6:14 pm 
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Giella Sempai,

Thought perhaps it was time for a new thread... one thing I have been interested in for some time is the role of psychological "conditioning" as it relates specifically to dojo practice and demonstration. In particular, discussion of what Richard Mooney can or cannot do, and whether there is a psychological component to it (a rhetorical question) or to demonstrations like it, is a subject I would like to hear folks expound on.

Just some brief notions (then back to work...). Many of us who have been in front of a dojo know that psychology plays a large part anytime one tries to demonstrate a concept. If I explain what I intend to do, invariably one of my students will 'help' me to do it. The simplest example of this is when a student throws a punch, which, without me doing anything 'magically' moves aside to avoid hitting me, as if I had really blocked it. A comparable example from throwing arts is when the student 'throws himself' (I am not talking about techniques which use momentum to accomplish this), without tori truly effecting the waza.

I believe this is a crucial issue, and is often what is being controlled for in some of the experiments designed by folks like James Randi. Certainly, in some situations, learning these psychological "tricks," some of which are very effective (e.g. hypnosis, Neuro-Linguistic Programming, etc.)in certain environments can be useful . Simply learning how to 'play' a person in a situation can save much unecessary conflict and bloodshed. The other side of this, is when the deshi assume that sensei's 'magical' techniques, which work for some of the above reasons can be relied upon on the street.

Anyway, what do folks think? Are we neglecting study of an important aspect of our training (again rhetorical!)

Domo Arigato,
Greg


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 Post subject: "Psychological Warfare"
PostPosted: Fri Oct 30, 1998 6:35 pm 
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Well stated Greg. I just posted a response on Evan's forum regarding this subject. Like you, I'm most interested in hearing what Paul has to say about the whole subject.
Best,
George


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 Post subject: "Psychological Warfare"
PostPosted: Sat Oct 31, 1998 1:07 pm 
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In my view, there is no question that students 'lend a hand', though unintentioned, to their much admired teachers. Aikidoists would talk about the 'ki' power of the Founder, Ueshiba,and would say he could throw an attacker without even touching him (or other fairly similar claims). They would discuss the old film clips, and find a 'now-you-see-him-now-you-don't' moment in which he seemed to change position fromin front of the attacker to behind in a flash.And many of us have seen the demonstations in which multiple hakama clad attackers are sent whirling and tumbling across the mats, etc.I have seen these old films,too. Lest I be misunderstood, I should say that I fully respect Aikido (wish I had the time to study it myself)and I am using this example only because it is fairly clear to me.Having studied these old films, I believe they show an automatic "flinch" or reaction on the part of many of the students which lend the appearance of effortlessness to the sequence. And the 'disappearing act' business is no more than an artifact of the grainy and scratchy old film (which pops anf jumps as old film do. Advanced students (of our art as much as any other)tend to be so filled with respect for their teacher (a good thing, no?) that we would have it no other way than to want to make him look good in front of the class. And isn't it an entirely different matter to practice a prearranged sequence than a freestyle encounter? To get back to the Aikido example, I also saw an old film in which a somewhat skeptical American journalist, having studied a little Aikido with one of Ueshiba's top instructors,challenges him to an"old-fashioned rough and tumble"...i.e.;basically a freestyle match. Well, as you might expect, the Aikidoist defeated him handily, though the journalist was much bigger and claimed to be a ex-marine with much fighting experience. But it was no show of elegance, and the Aikido teacher looked to be sweating at points!The point here is that the journalist had no preconceived belief or need to recognize the martial artist's skill. Quite the opposite; he wanted to challenge him to prove himself. And prove himself he did... so the sequence ended with the journalist offering a true bow of respect and acknowledging that he was converted.We could find many other similar examples to illustrate this point.
Now, would we want a dojo in which every student intentionally tried to upset, challenge or defeat the teacher every time a technique was being shown? We all know students who do something of this sort. They punch or kick against the block instead of at the target, or they add an extra movement or two to a prearranged sequence in order to show that id 'doesn't work'... I would argue that that student is missing the point of the exercise. Since it is prearranged we know exactly what the teacher is going to do and it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out how to mess the sequence up. This is the flip side of the automatic flinch problem, and has as much to do with the preconceive notions of the student as the opposite problem does.
So what to do? Obviously we can't have each class end with a freeforall brawl so that the teacher can establish his dominance. (or can we...I suppose some dojos do exactly that, but what happens when the teacher has a bad day, or an emerging younger student consisitently beats him?)
The concept of transference, as first discovered by Sigmund Freud, is the key to this issue. Greg, you, of course, know what this means but many of our other readers will not... transference is the unconscious need to misinterpret relationships in the present based on unresolved and deeply repressed emotional issues from the distant past, especially the childhood developmental years.Because transferences are unconscious (i.e.;we don't recognize that we are doing it)they cannot be easily dispelled. The art and science of psychoanalysis has evolved over the past hundred years to teach us that there id no quick cure or shortcut to changing this, just as there is no 'ten easy lessons' way to learn karate, no matter what the make-a-buck enterpreneurs want to sell to the public.Psychoanalysis (and its derivative forms) is not for everyone, and I would not expect people to jump into it casually... but I do know from my professional experience in both fields (psychology and karate)that the problem of which you write is not one that will be easily or quickly resolved, unless human nature changes in some fundamental way.


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 Post subject: "Psychological Warfare"
PostPosted: Fri Nov 20, 1998 6:22 pm 
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Mr. Mooney and I are discussing these issues and how to address them in trying to separate what I call "emotional responses" from what Mr. Mooney is actually accomplishing. This is a very difficult subject to discuss on the web, but I would think we might be able to devise some simple procedures to create an unbiased setting for having Mr. Mooney demonstrate his qi. Any thoughts?


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 Post subject: "Psychological Warfare"
PostPosted: Fri Nov 27, 1998 10:09 am 
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Hi Paul,

to quote from your post:

"Because transferences are unconscious (i.e.;we don't recognize that we are doing it) they cannot be easily dispelled........................
the problem of which you write is not one that will be easily or quickly resolved, unless human nature changes in some fundamental way."

How does the buddhist model of karma [your view] hold up to the 'art and science' [psychoanalysis] view of transference?

I view impermanence [change] as the fundamental nature of all beings. Would you say that "transference" is an avoidance vehicle for dealing with the uncomfortable 'certainty' of change?

If our human nature is "to change" then our "resistance" to our self-nature spins off myriad vehicles [our quirks and quarks] to support our denile. ..my conclusion

I guess your bread and butter is to locate these resistances and dislodge them/free them up/dissolve them [err, restore the deluded mind to it's self-nature] by some skillful means...

way to go

joseph


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 Post subject: "Psychological Warfare"
PostPosted: Sat Nov 28, 1998 10:05 am 
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First, allow me to introduce myself.

I am Michael Richardson. I study the central Chinese style Lung Tong, or by its American name: Wind Fist Kung Fu.

It is my (and others of my school's) belief that the upper path (mental studies) of martial arts have definitely become a haphazard and uncommon pursuit in modern martial systems.

Its importance is one that I feel is unmatched. Any disciplined and well studied practitioner of a complex art will tell you that so much is dependant on attitude and perception.

In Wind Fist, it is a well founded belief that physical ability will lose to mental superiority. All students who achieve sufficient rank recieve instruction in NLP and other cutting edge techniques to influence and manipulate the energies of others.

It is an old belief that a true master of martial arts is defeated when he must resort to physical conflict, for this demonstrates that he has already lost the greater battle. (with moderation, of course, for there does come a time to set aside diplomacy and draw the sword)

So in conclusion, yes, there is definitely a need for more spiritual and psychological discipline in general for martial students.

Kato


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 Post subject: "Psychological Warfare"
PostPosted: Mon Nov 30, 1998 10:12 pm 
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Melanie,
Nice to have you aboard our forum... your thoughts would alsp be right at home on Sensei Van Canna's forum, where he focuses on the importance of reality training.


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 Post subject: "Psychological Warfare"
PostPosted: Mon Nov 30, 1998 10:30 pm 
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Joseph,
If I understand the concept of karma, it means the left over, unfinished business of one lifetime carried over to be completed in the next. If this is so, then it has a somewhat different meaning from th transference of psychoanalysis. In the former, the unfinished business would be inborn... a kind of innate destiny to which one must applies one's efforts to free up the true self. The transference of psychoanalysis develops in the early formative years of life (i.e.;childhood) and clouds the consciousness in a way that colors later relationships (along the models of the original ones). Now if you consider the earliest years of life to be largely unremembered, as the usually are, and the dawn of real memory and consciousness (in the adult sense) to occur sometime in the middle of childhood, then you could make the argument that both schools of thought are actually referring to the same idea, though in somewhat different language. One's 'karma' would then be not something left over from a previous life per se, but from an earlier, and unremembered, part of this life.
Does transference serve to resist change? Yes! In one of his wellknown papers ("Remembering Repeating and Working Through") the great Freud himself referred to transference as a special form of resistance to change, in which a person endlessly, and unwittingly, repeats a maladaptive pattern again and again based on a unconscious fear of confronting the original anxiety that gave rise to the resistance in the first place.The task of analysis is to slowly bring these patterns to light so that they can be seen for what they are and finally dispensed with.


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 Post subject: "Psychological Warfare"
PostPosted: Tue Dec 01, 1998 5:41 am 
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Location: Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
Hello everyone!

As a relatively new "Round Table" reader I would like to say that the threads I read cause me to explore the psychological side of my Uechi development. For that I thank you all.
While working out with a newcommer to our dojo who had not studied for three years he expressed some concern for attacking me too hard out of respect for me as a woman. I thanked him for his respect and told him I appreciated the sentiment. However I also mentioned how not attacking me realistically enough was arguably disrespectful in that it points to a lack of confidence in my abilities to defend myself. Furthermore I mentioned that attacking me unrealistically would do nothing to improve my Uechi techiniques. These are concepts that my senseis have drilled into my concsiousness and as a result permeate my karate mentality and training. And I will always be thankful to them for doing so.
We are always cautioned by our teachers about the perils of false confidence arising out of unrealistic half-hearted karate practice. Perhaps if new students were made to understand this concepts from their first sanchin steps situations as you have described will arise less frequently.
Thank you for your time

Melanie Little


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 Post subject: "Psychological Warfare"
PostPosted: Tue Dec 01, 1998 1:20 pm 
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Paul,

I agree with your more refined view of karma.

We may look at it literally as cause and effect...the string of events that have led us to the present moment and beyond, whether in the physical or psychological or spiritual realms.

The "unfinished business" to which you refer might be thought of as the "effect" of some previous "cause" [yet to be born in the next moment or some other]. Resolving our karma or someone else's requires understanding and responsibility [such as "owning" our anger].

Our martial training may become a mirror for understanding our reactions and fears and the like if we are willing to look, indeed that is our responsibility.


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