Monday, May 5, 2014

Intuition and Self - Defense

Intuition is something that comes to us spontaneously by definition.  

As defined it is : 

1.  the power of knowing immediately and without conscious reasoning
2.  the power or faculty of gaining direct knowledge or cognition without evident rational thought 
       and inference 
3.  a natural ability or power that makes it possible to know something without any proof or evidence : a feeling that 
         guides a person to act a certain way without fully understanding why

As it applies to Self-Defense, upon finding ourselves in a compromised or violent situation there is little to no thought or conscious reasoning that needs be performed.  In the act of fighting, or real combat, physical intuition takes full control.  We can imagine graphing these moments on a continuum.  On one end is the highest degree of 'mindlessness' and is most purely expressed during fits of "blind rage" or during "rage blackouts".  Often times those who suffer from this type of anger problem report seeing a light at the end of a tunnel which then gets snuffed out and will then "come to" in time as the rage passes either after some act has occurred or, as we would hope to happen, the person has been subdued or restrained during the episode in the spirit of maintaining the safety of all parties and standers-by.  The other end of the continuum is seen as complete and total submission or even paralysis like a deer in headlights.

While we all hope to never be in a situation where fighting were necessary it is an unfortunate reality that there are still those in this world with evil intent and ignorant directives sometimes even disguised as divine righteousness or civil privilege.  So how can we prepare?  How can you be ready?  

Simple, you must train your body physically to be capable of reacting.  Prior to physical confrontation you're going to need to give your physical body a tool-kit or some sort of background to fall back on should the mind get shut off.  This is where Martial Art comes in.  As you train Martial Art it is not for the purpose of going out and beating somebody up.  It is for the purpose of sustaining your person in the event that your health and well-being may be compromised by another.  It is to give the cells in your body a sort of physical memory or "physical intuition" should your consciousness flee in a time of severe distress.  The body's physical cells do have a certain capacity to store memories of their own.  To flush this out let's take a pianist to use as an example.  

When someone first starts learning how to play they have to look and focus very hard on each keystroke to be sure they are producing what is written on their musical sheet.  After some practice pressing the proper notes in proper order and on time becomes second nature.  Now, if you ask the finger "Where is the 'G' key?"  While it doesn't have the proper equipment to speak back to you to tell you "Its between the 'F' and the 'A'."  It can perform the act of pressing the 'G' key easily, repetitively and on time when sitting down to play.  No longer does he have to think about "Now I will press the 'G' key." every time he goes to press it.  This finger now holds within it a certain 'physical intuition' as to where the 'G' key is and when it needs to be pressed to make the proper expression.

So getting back to Self-Defense we can perhaps understand a little bit now as to what is going on when you set out to learn a form or a certain style.  You are giving your cells and your body a "physical intuition" on how they move, how to move and what they're capable of.  If you go to practice a form 1000 times this is one of the best things you can do for yourself.  Not only are you staying out of the Devil's play-pen for several hours, but you're putting in good work on yourself.  You are improving your awareness and your ability.  Just knowing what your body is capable of (or incapable of) is valuable information that could be the difference between a great counter-punch and getting knocked out.  Mentally the benefits are there too.  If you have the discipline and mental focus to perform something 1000 times, that strong mindedness is guaranteed to bleed into the other aspects of your life.  Going through repetitions and movements to that degree will automatically make you more proficient and in tune with your body and all of your extremities.  Your limbs.  Your fingers.  Your toes.  Your trunk.  Your brain.  Your heart.  Your entire body through and through.

So we train.  We train to give ourselves a "physical intuition" that should a situation arise where physical confrontation is unavoidable we have some sort of tool-kit to fall back on.  Whether that be Boxing, BJJ, Wing Chun, Karate, Aikido, Muay Thai, Krav Maga or some other Martial Art it is of little difference.  The difference is if you have something to fall back on or if you are left floating on thin air.


Getting back into intuition more closely the conscious-self is often well off the mark.  But this should come as no surprise.  As the definition tells us from before, intuition is the power of knowing prior to conscious reasoning.  This implies an innate, natural and spontaneously, ever-presently occurring event that is "knowing without thought".  The disrupting agent of intuition then is thought itself or conscious reasoning / "logic" / "rationality" (side note: rationality itself is often a perversion of reality in an attempt to accept and excuse partial or complete failure).  Letting your intuition guide you is as difficult for some as hearing it.  Many are deaf to its voice and more yet willingly disobey its selfless advice.  At times I find myself included within that curious phenotype as I am learning.  As we all are.

So listen to yourself, but at the same time remain critical.  As the river of intuition flows on ever-more there are incredibly varying ways for it to reach the sea.  While intuition as defined is "knowing prior to conscious reasoning" it is usually that which is most readily known that first pops up into thought.  

Hark!  Listen!  

However, one must be wary as it is through both intuition and conscious reasoning that we can discover or recognize the river water as tainted.  Duping one's self by exclaiming toxic water is pure is to hoodwink one's self and pretend it's a top hat. Moving forward still it is through changed action that we can purify the water, remove the hood and transform the flow of that river into the peaceful, transparent, shining image within our minds.  Ebbing back again, our intuition alone is often smart enough to recognize a tainted flow and the crux again resides where it always has, in a willingness to really listen and truly pure, intuitive action.