Aloha fam, here are a few notes I have been taking and reflecting upon from our recent Virtual Training sessions with Chief Instructor. Please feel free to expand upon them or to add more that have resonated for you.
Movement is essential.
Movement is our thought and movement is our intent.
Show me how a person moves and you will show me how they exist.
The "and-then" is the margin between life and death. Between the maneuver and the attack lies the valley of life and death.
We strike as we move, not after.
Encourage your opponent's movement, join it, marry it; rather than frustrating or resisting it.
The less resistance we put up, the more freedom we have to express ourselves.
Strength is not a prerequisite, nor is speed.
There is no such thing as defending here, because the ultimate defense is an attack that quells the attack which is coming towards us.
A person is most vulnerable when they are striking, which for us, is the best time for us to attack.
Combat occurs in the presence of three energies - your energy, your opponent's energy, and the energy of the fight.
Instead of seeking to know it, seek to live it.
This discipline, it comes alive. It lives in us as we live in it.
Thought is limiting; it imprisons our minds. It keeps us stuck in stagnant patterns, and unable to create freely.
Kumite is not our combat application; it is our greatest conditioning aid.
It is where we bring together all of our facilities into one instance - all thought, all feeling, all focus - being in that moment.
In kumite, we face our fears.
When you engage in kumite, you cannot think, for thoughts confine you, they limit you. You must let the thinking go.
Every move is for advantage. Every time we move, we move to strike. A maneuver is not to avoid a blow; we maneuver to strike.
You can be quicker even if you move slower than your opponent, as long as you are effective and efficient in your movement.
Position yourself to be effective - limbs ready, gaze aware - which will afford you the luxury of patience and, hence, time.
You don’t need to rush nor compete with the blow. In fact, there is no need to maneuver on every blow.
Your answer changes the opponent’s question.
Any situation in which we have to exercise trust is one in which we are dealing with relationship.
Movement is the single most crucial aspect of our humanity.
Therefore, we need to gain awareness and control of our movement.
We enter with no expectations - that is freedom. From there, we can create. Without thought, we can create. Freely. And our opponents can then never predict our movement.
Feeling is how we see.
We are multifaceted creations - far more than flesh and bones.
Think of the cut open wire, with the various colored wires within it; for power to surge through it and be delivered effectively, each those wires must come alive and be in sync with the others.
The trick is bringing our whole self together in one act - that is power.
One-pointed mindfulness - that is how we bring all aspects of self together into an act.
Intention and attention must preclude the act.
In practice, we only strike the candle when full attention and intention is present.
Eat your bitterness.
Move without fear and doubt.
The body is much smarter than we often give it credit.
We must learn to incorporate the sensitivity and intelligence of the body into combat.
Every strike creates and opening.
Q: How can we strike without offering openings?
A: We cannot; however, we can always be ready to move as we need to.
Change is an easy thing to handle when we are fluid and open.
I cannot always move my opponent, but I can always move myself.
The heart is not aware of what the lungs' are doing, unknowing of the rhythm of their respiration is, and yet, there is an everlasting trust between them.
We don't deal in theory; truth comes from experience.
Vigilance is to loan yourself to the experience.
Trust is the essential foundation of any relationship.
Our aim is to bring our personal will into harmony with the divine will.
It is a joining with, rather than a surrendering.
Struggling with the questions brings growth.
Life doesn't happen to you, life happens with you.
Honor our shared indwelling intelligence.
Trust comes from experience. You catch a kick and you learn to move, not to fear, but to move. Fear pulls you away, out of the dance; trust moves you in, into the dance, towards the treasure of life - it lies there, in the center.
Is learning adding something or taking something away?
Reminders - these are reminders of the divine. They lead us back to the actuality that all of this, each minute detail - whether we like it or not - is divinity unfolding, just as the cells and the thoughts and the molecules that move through us now.