Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Dimensions of Expression

In Kali Majapahit, we are always training to achieve self-expression.  This is the "ART" in martial arts.  We want to synthesize who we are as martial artists and human beings and express it through our movement in relationship with others.  This is of course both philosophical and practical.

Practically speaking, we explore many dimensions of movement as we discover solutions to the problems we face in combat. Not only do we express by choice of technique (Kali, Silat, Hakka, Boxing, Dumog, Trankada, etc.), we also explore, discover and express ourselves dimensionally.  Here are some examples:
  • Inside/Outside of the attacking line
  • Split Entries (simple and reverse)
  • Same Side/Opposite Side Interception
  • Above/Below the attacking line
  • On/Off Centerline
  • Largo/Medio/Corto distance
  • Gunting and Atemi Variations
  • Clockwise/Counterclockwise Palusot Variations
Chess is a great example.  There are a limited number of spaces and pieces in chess.
However, the number of possibilities is limitless.  In 1950, Claude Shannon estimated that there can be as many as 10^123 possible combinations, more than the number of observable atoms in our universe.  You get the point.

In Kali Majapahit, one of the principle goals is to change our opponent's vision of the fight.  In other words, we want to use the element of surprise to disrupt our opponent's tactics.  We do not want to be or move in any way which which an opponent can predict.  This means becoming free to express in all dimensions.

In Singapore, it was common for Guro to give us bounds/limits on our training, to force us to flow through uncomfortable dimensions until we could solve problems in them and feel confident.  He told us again and again that we should not limit our flow to just techniques we liked or felt confident in, since we could never grow or improve that way.  For example we had to stay on the low line, or switch from inside to outside every 3 moves.  This made us work our brains to find ways to flow while satisfying the conditions he set.  It was frustrating but very rewarding training.

The lifetime study of Kali Majapahit techniques and tactics is largely spent in exploring, discovering, and expressing this dimensionality.  There is no end to what we can find here.

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