Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Create a very deep and relaxed mental radar system


wareness training. As far as self defense goes, don’t leave home without it.

I discussed the topic at some length in previous posts: constructing a mental radar field; learning how to move through crowds while being totally aware; training to listen to people to gauge their real intentions; being aware of another’s negative emotions and the basics of redirecting them…

As I’ve also mentioned before, the key ingredient in awareness training is to learn to relax – deeply. Stress and tension squeeze your awareness inward (just like they do your musculoskeletal and cardiovascular systems) until you’re left with a form of tunnel vision.

That can’t happen, either in a self defense situation -  or in your personal/ professional life when your character, dignity, sanity, etc. are all on the line.

Awareness of the other’s real intentions, his emotions, the traps that he sets  for you, his strengths and weaknesses, literally provide you with an edge.

My suggestion is to practise relentlessly as we do in the martial arts. Practise until awareness training becomes part of you!

Practise while moving along a sidewalk


Let’s, for a moment, go over some very basic 5 senses training. In today’s post, I’ll concentrate on the sense of  touch.

Training in touch creates a sense of spatial awareness while your surroundings are constantly in flux. We learn to touch with our hands; in this case, we want to learn to feel with all the sensors across our entire body.

1.   In the beginning, I recommend sitting or standing meditation. Calm both the mind and the body, and imagine your breath coursing through the body. In order to “read” the changes in your surroundings, your mental radar must be relaxed – and empty of ego. (You can’t have anger, rage, worry, anxiety, etc. block or otherwise interfere with the information constantly coming toward you).

Practise this form of meditation for a least a few weeks.

2.   Next, become aware of everything around you. “Feel” the wall in your room with your skin, even though you may be sitting several feet away from it. Feel the pressure of the air between you and the window. Become aware of the subtlest movements of air; feel it against your skin. Become aware of temperature variations in the air – cold, hot, etc. Become aware of the vitality of the air – stale, energetic, listless, frenetic – just like a traditional Chinese doctor reads the pulses of the different organs in the body. In fact, learn to read the various pulses of your surroundings.

3.   Next, move about, as you do in Tai Chi. Just a walk around the house, or outside will do. Notice how air pressure changes from step to step. Feel how the entire area of your skin receives this information.

Build confidence in crowds


4.   Finally, take your training outside. Go for a walk, and practise #1 through #3 while moving.

Let’s take an outing along the sidewalk for example. Notice how light touches your skin, the variations in temperature, the play of shadows across your face and forearms. Everything on the sidewalk is connected through the pressure of touch!

5.   And now, let your skin feel the approach of another person. Notice how the pressure changes. Deepen your ability to relax as you move among people. You’re building a confidence of the most profound type.

Play a game: walk past someone while looking at the ground. (Please don’t worry – your body language isn’t sending out signals of submission…in fact, you’re more like a Monkey Kung Fu fighter, hiding her intentions before tearing into her opponent). Try to guess how close the passerby is to you solely through the pressure of the air between you.

Next time, we’ll start to “bridge” with another person through touch. We’ll continue to build our confidence while we become aware, through touch, of the other’s real intentions.

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