After a short while, everyone feels more at ease!

Patriotic Ribbon
Patriotic Ribbon

March 2002

Volume 4 Issue 3

Aibudo Kanji

A strategy

from last month's Hoodoo


"Do not appear weak

in your appearance."

     Appearance is more important than you might think, when it comes down to "mentally" winning a confrontation.  There are four things, I believe, that are involved with appearance.  One, is how your clothes fit. Two, is your posture.  Three, is your voice and Four is your facial expression.

     Notice that I didn't say what your clothes look like, but how they fit.  I'm not going to say much about this item, but if the crotch of the pants is down about the knees and you're walking on the pants legs, you evidently don't have much to offer in the way of a threat.

     When you walk down the street, do you walk slumped over and shuffle your feet or do you hold your self upright and appear to move without effort.

     When you talk to someone, do they have to "turn up their hearing aid to hear you" or could you be heard 50 feet away.  50 feet is not very far and you should be easily understood at that distance, unless of course, you are purposely whispering.

     Facial expression, along with the voice, are probably the most important, when it comes right down to controlling a situation.  Myself, when a "situation" occurs, I bristle up.  What I mean is, that my posture becomes even more straight, the voice level increases slightly and my facial expression becomes a radiating glare.  With this "bristle", becomes an increase in awareness of available weapons of harm.  These "available weapons of harm", include not only the individual(s) right in front of you, but others close by, as well as physical items within arms reach.  I begin to focus on the most probable entity's that an opponent might put forth in my direction and particularly the shoulders.  It takes some amount of time for someone to kick you, even somewhere below the waist, but hands can be devastatingly fast and the shoulders tell the story, long before the hands begin their journey.  The hips are the "story tellers" when it comes to the feet.  The hip will generally move either before or with the foot, particularly with the untrained.  You have heard us say before, that to be efficient in your attack, you should move the hand or foot before the shoulder or hip.  Movement with or later, can be wasted effort.

"Are you worth as much to the arts as the arts are to you"?

     I forget where the above philosophical statement comes from, but it sure is relevant no matter what your time frame in the arts is or has been.  If you are just starting, you have no idea of the long-time worth of the arts and all you can do to make yourself worthy, is to put your heart and soul into everything that you do.  If you are an "old-timer", you know good and well the worth of the arts.  The problem is, that it is hard to be as worthy as the arts demand or require.  Time constraints and outside requirements take natural priority.  Then comes the desire to improve.  Each practitioner should want to improve, minute by minute, hour by hour and class by class, but even that is hard to achieve because of "excess baggage" that we all possess due to life's everyday demands.

Development of the required "automatics".

  The mental conditioning that is mandatory for the advanced practitioner, most times, seems not to be developing as fast as you think it should.  This development has to be "primed" before each and every drill or kumite session.  You have to force an action that doesn't come naturally, time after time, until one day the body and mind seem to have come together and work without effort or conscious thought.  After that entity comes somewhat natural, then it is time to start the "priming" all over again for another mind development combination. The focus point for this mind development has to be on the conclusion of the movement or movements and not on the individual things that happen along the way.  Any focus anywhere in the middle, causes the mind and body to stop at everyone of these focus points, instead of at the end of the string.  This is no doubt a bit "over the head" of the beginner, but in time, it will be well understood, but nevertheless not any easier to perform.  Time and forced movement are the primary entity's required for this automatic development.

The "Caveman's" Cut and Slash Philosophy

"He who hesitates is lunch"

The Unavoidable "Fear"

The startling and disconcerting effect of a strange, sudden, or violently obtrusive occurrence.

One of the things that happens with the onset of fear is a faster heart beat. There is a releasing of stored adrenalin in response to being frightened or nervous causing the heart to race.

Fear changes behavior. One of the most common defenses is to avoid whatever you fear. Another response, in some situations, is to freeze or become paralyzed. Yet another response is to become angry. Some people cry. Or, you can use fear to become mobilized. Fear also generates internal changes, often described as anxiety. These changes involve blood flow, breathing, skin temperature and muscle tension. Whatever your responses the experience of fear generates behavior. 

In response to fear, the heart starts to pound and diverts blood from the digestive system, providing energy to fight or flee.  The immune system and the pain response are suppressed to prevent swelling and discomfort, which could interfere with a quick escape.  And, as a preventive measure for similar confrontations in the future, the learned fear response is etched on the *amygdala. It is located within the temporal lobes on each side of the brain.  Its principal task is to filter and interpret sophisticated incoming sensory information in the context of our survival and emotional needs, and then to help initiate appropriate responses.

Usage: Many gestures reflect the amygdala's turmoil. In an anxious meeting, we may unconsciously flex our arms, bow or crouch slightly, lean away, or angle away from colleagues who upset us. Lip, neck, and shoulder muscles may tense as the amygdala activates brain-stem circuits designed to produce protective facial expressions.  The amygdala also prompts releases of adrenaline and other hormones into the blood stream, thus stepping-up an avoider's response and disrupting the control of rational thought.

     The amygdala also plays an important role in the development of emotional memories.

*Amygdala1. An almond-shaped neuro structure involved in producing and responding to nonverbal signs of anger, avoidance, defensiveness, and fear. 2. A small mass of gray matter that inspires aversive cues, such as the freeze reaction, sweaty palms, and the tense-mouth display. 3. A primeval arousal center, which is central to the expression of negative emotions in man.

After the first month, things begin to get a bit easier,,,,,,,,,,,, what?

Falling in to line after the seniors!  Yes you are back there!

Falling in to line!

Congratulations Sempai Bodwell