Monday, January 30, 2012

Resistance is Futile

Resistance is futile.  That's what The Borg say, anyway.  Despite this, the Enterprise continues to resist --- successfully even, despite their many setbacks.  It is in our human nature to aspire to prevail.  However, there are two sides to this story, and one must ultimately consider "what are we resisting?"

Today at swim class, Yamada-coach talked about resistance.  He talked about not fighting the water.  We must co-operate with it to allow ourselves to pass through.  This means always "thinking forward" (a lesson in and of itself), relaxing the body(again, a lesson in and of itself), and removing resistance to the water.  By doing so, we pass smoothly and effortlessly, and go the maximum distance with the minimum effort (efficiency).
In hearing this, I began to consider whether or not mental resistance plays a factor in swimming.

We can consider two types of resistance to our progress through the water and, in fact, our progress through life:  resistance of the body and resistance of the mind.  resistance of the body is the inability to relax.  It is any muscle tension which prohibits us from moving freely and expends energy needlessly and wastefully.  Indeed, we should apply only that energy which is needed for a particular task, not more and not less.  This is efficient.  In the pool, this means streamlining our motion to reduce drag and pushing the water directly behind us, neither up nor down.  In the dojo it means keeping the body relaxed until the moment of impact (kime).

At the same time, our state of mind can also cause resistance.  We allow our preconception of situations and people to create our reality, and in doing so lose the possibility of viewing things with a child's mind, an open mind ready and willing to accept new ways, ideas, concepts and beliefs.  This limits our human experience and narrows our abilities.  It is inefficient.

In our training, we should focus on removing resistance whenever possible.  This means allowing our mind and body to remain relaxed, and to allow our natural flexibility in human interactions, problem solving and, yes, in combat as well.  Removing resistance is one important key to improving FLOW, both on and off the mat.  What are you resisting?  Is your resistance mental?  Physical? Both??  How can you remove this resistance?

Resistance is Futile.  Especially when your goal is success.  Think about it.   

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