Thursday, 19 November 2009

Psy-ki-do - Psychic Blood and Gore!

Pat Parker here from Mokuren Dojo. Today Marks has graciously allowed me to post an interesting little piece of pseudoscience here on his otherwise most excellent blog. This is the latest in my series of blog posts inspired by the movie, The Men who Stare at Goats - you can see my previous post in the series at Dojo Rat's blog, and here's the intro to the series at Mokuren Dojo.

Have you ever noticed in sparring or randori that there are some opponents that just absolutely freak you out? The kind of person that you're wholly reluctant to engage with becuse you feel like they look at you the same way a wolf looks at a baby goat? Nothing that you know works for you because you're either too jittery or else you're paralyzed. Predators have this effect on prey animals. It's not a learned trait in the prey animal; you can put a rabbit in a cage next to a dog and it will behave like a prey animal even if it's never seen a dog. The same type of thing happens in people too.

Here's the experiment...

Just before a sparring or randori match, as you are getting ready to begin, start thinking the most violent, evil, predatory thoughts about what you are about to do to your opponent. You don't have to change your face or posture or the energy of the match or anything - just start thinking about blood... your opponent's blood, and lots of it running through your fingers... Pile up evil thought upon evil thought about the gruesome, painful, humiliating, degrading demise that you are about to perpetrate on your opponent. Add as much awful detail as you can. After you have run through this line of thinking, do the sparring match being careful not to be extra rough or fast or mean. Just randori as usual. Then, after the match, try to figure out if it went differently. Was your opponent more defensive than usual? Did you feel any different than usual about the match? Ask your partner how they thought you did during the match.

I think you'll find that after just a little practice, you can impose this sort of predator-prey mindset on most any match you want to. With a little more practice, this can be an outstanding tool to use against opponents that give you the willies. Rather than letting them have their way with you, you can make them realize that you're a predator too. Make them understand that they might eat you in the end, but they will have to trade a lot of blood and guts for the meal.

Pats blog, Mokuren Dojo is well worth the look if you dont know of it. Crammed with years worth of blogging on Judo, Aikido, Karate and other interesting topics, it is clear that Pat is not only a humble martial artist, but one who seriously knows his stuff! It has been a joy to have Pat guest post here and for me to do the same at his blog.(check the post here) Hopefully soon, we shall work together again so stay tuned.


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Neal Martin said...

Very interesting. I'll experiment with this technique this evening at training. If it works it could prove quite useful in a real situation as well. I'll let you know how I faired with it.

bigWOWO said...


I'm visiting from Pat's blog.

In Forrest Griffin's book, he's got this hilarious story that he calls "the Devil Wears a Pocket Protector." It's exactly what you describe. A bunch of jocks decide to pick on a nerd, but he fights so damn hard that he winds up scaring them senseless. Everytime they knock him down, he keeps getting back up. Finally, it's the jocks who are running. Hilarious story.

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