Archive for body language

Reading People – Redux

Posted in Strategy and Psychology with tags , on August 6, 2012 by His Dark Side

I read people like a book. In my minds eye, I peel back the pages in order to get an insight into the story of their lives. My accuracy is about 80% and nowadays my ability to read people merely relies upon me glancing at them; akin to Gladwell’s theory of ‘Thin-Slicing’.

The key to reading, is not to draw out inferences based on singular facts like the style of hair or props such as bags or umbrellas, but instead to read clusters of patterns in their entirety. In other words, you must apply some Gestalt Theory; where you consider that the whole to be greater than the sum of the parts.

In particular, I look for congruent patterns as any incongruence is usually significant; for instance smiles that engage the zygotic major muscle, but fails to engage the ocular muscles usually demonstrates that the smile lacks sincerity.

Non-Verbal Cues/Body Language makes up the majority of communicative information. Therefore, failing to learn the basics of body language, especially for the serious martial artist who must establish risk based on how an aggressor moves, can be a dangerous thing indeed.

The martial artist should not only aim to understand aggressive traits, but he should also learn the language of the streets, the etiquette that prescribes how people engage.

Violence exists and it is not vacuum sealed. The posturing, movements, telegraphs all aimed to deceive and distract a victim are cues that can be read.

An aggressor gives away his intentions through a plethora of subtle dynamic tells. So, while you hit a bag, punch pads and spar, consider whether this avenue is also worth examining.

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Use Your Illusion

Posted in Health and Wellness, Martial Arts and Training, Strategy and Psychology with tags , , , , , , , , on March 11, 2012 by ctkwingchun

Sick and tired of being sick and tired?

Change your body language:  Sit up straighter.  Pull your head up and back.  Pull your shoulders back.

Change the language: Saying that you’re sick and tired will create a condition where you’re just that.  What do these words mean to you?  “Happy.  Elated.  At peace within.”  Change the words you use and you change your world.

Use Your Illusion: Picture yourself happy.  Imagine in your mind’s eye what that would feel like from the inside out.  This can be used for all sorts of states.

Exercise: Kung-Fu is my drug of choiceWhat’s yours?

Make it yours,
CTK

Regroup, Gung Fu and Psychology

Posted in Strategy and Psychology, Uncategorized with tags , , on March 9, 2012 by His Dark Side

I’ve thrown no punches in the last couple of weeks, yet I’ve thrown many. Discontentment set in a few weeks ago with impact and follow-through in punching, so in typical fashion, I restructured my approach to focus on punching in air with light dumbells only.

So, whilst I’ve thrown many punches, I’ve not hit a single thing. This is momentous for me as an advocate that nothing improves in a vacuum. At times I’ve even said that throwing punches in air has zero value.

But right now, at this very second,  I’ll concede that I was wrong. Punching in air has helped me defocus on the aspects of training that were troubling me during heavy bag or pad work.

Instead I gave myself room to breathe and contemplate. My fists have been given a long overdue rest, even though I have no doubt that arthritic conditions await me soon enough through overuse.

Sometimes you have to take a step back, regroup and evaluate your training methods. After having fought adrenal fatigue, a battle I lost ultimately in 2010, I have become increasingly cautious about a mind state which pushes an unwilling body to yield.

Step back. Breathe. And when the time is right… only when the time is right, move forwards, fast.

*click on the hidden links to unlock articles on body language, creativity and aggression.

Gung Fu, Deception and Mordor

Posted in Death and the Macabre, Martial Arts and Training, Strategy and Psychology with tags , , , , on December 29, 2011 by His Dark Side

When shadows reappeared in Mordor in the third age, it gave rise to a reawakening. The evil that had dwelt in the lands “dying but no yet dead” became revitalised. The rebirth happened quietely, outside of the gaze of the shire and was led by Saruman.

Gung Fu is never meant to spill into the public domain. Its effectiveness relies on its technical aspects remaining firmly behind closed doors so as to enable its underlying principle to function; deception

The purpose of *dissimulation is simple. As Gung Fu men, realise that deception is one of the key traits of a successful street aggressor and so our training, although mostly physical, is presented in a way where we train to out beguile the attacker. A good example would be to place the hands in a preparatory position evoking the non-verbal cue of submission and tricking the attacker to believe that we are being compliant. And it is from this position that we launch our non-telegraphed pre-empted strike, be it a punch delivered to the nose, jaw or neck, or a well-timed kick delivered to the groin or knee. A central maxim in Gung Fu being ‘sien faat jai yan’ – (move first to gain the initiative).

So, to create an environment in which our Gung Fu skills can operate, our aim is not to reveal the intention behind our actions, be it in training or the street. If the general populace has no idea as to how Gung Fu works, then they are unable to prepare a defense against our attacks or a system of movements to counter-act our skills.

Disguise what you do under a veil of secrecy and overall, do not allow the techniques of Gung Fu to become public (biu jee but chut mun).

*Dissimulation is a form of deception in which one conceals the truth.

Judge Books By Their Covers

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on April 11, 2011 by shadowsamurai

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I wholly disagree with the phrase “don’t judge a book by it’s cover”. True, there is more to people than meets the eye, but the initial meeting or feeling can reveal volumes about them. Moods, feelings and mannerisms can all be inferred, remembering to take all indicators in context and congruence of the situation at that given time.

I’ve worked in large department stores for a long period of my life and throughout that time I have become acclimatised to the power of brands, the meanings and values they carry; and the image their customers also hope to project on to themselves. Styles, trends and fashion all have a limited time span, but those who take them on board feel the importance of outward appearances, they take time to understand and make them a part of their appearance.

Regardless of how much time was taken to make a decision, “I only bought it because it was comfortable” or “I always buy this brand”, there are driving factors that push people to make those choices and all of those choices speak masses about them, remembering to keep all ‘judgements’ in the context of a particular situation.

A case study then; a person who buys recognised brands and goods can be seen to be affluent or working towards living an affluent lifestyle, buying brands that represent where they would like to be in life. On the other hand, a person who visually puts in less of an effort toward their appearance, wearing frayed worn jeans, scuffed shoes and heavily washed t shirts for instance can be seen to take solace in or a lack of regard for their outward appearance. This could denote the opposite from what was mentioned previously, they value the relationships of others far more and are not possessed by material items. These examples are not absolutes and are just general inferences, the important factor throughout all of this remains congruence.

Congruence defines the entirety of the situation, what has bought that person to be standing in front of you on that particular day? Do you already know them? Are they ill? Are there any other factors that are driving them to be a particular way? Congruence then goes beyond merely the clothes that they wear. A lot is drawn from body language, posture and language used; verbal and non verbal cues are constantly given off. For an excellent case study, read HDS’s dissections here:

https://darkwingchun.wordpress.com/2010/11/04/pretty-girl-no-2-a-lesson-in-body-reading/

And here:

https://darkwingchun.wordpress.com/2010/12/04/reading-people/

Posture Power

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on January 7, 2011 by His Dark Side

“Although not anticipated by the researchers, they consistently found across three studies that posture mattered more than hierarchical role — it had a strong effect in making a person think and act in a more powerful way. In an interview situation, for example, an interviewee’s posture will not only convey confidence and leadership but the person will actually think and act more powerfully.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110106145257.htm

Reading People

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on December 4, 2010 by His Dark Side

I read people like a book. In my minds eye, I peel back the pages in order to get an insight into the story of their lives. My accuracy is about 80% and nowadays my ability to read people merely relies upon me glancing at them; akin to Gladwell’s theory of ‘Thin-Slicing’.

The key to reading, is not to draw out inferences based on singular facts like the style of hair or props such as bags or umbrellas, but instead to read clusters of patterns in their entirety. In other words, you must apply some Gestalt Theory; where you consider that the whole to be greater than the sum of the parts.

In particular, I look for congruent patterns as any incongruence is usually significant; for instance smiles that engage the zygotic major muscle, but fails to engage the ocular muscles usually demonstrates that the smile lacks sincerity.

Non-Verbal Cues/Body Language makes up the majority of communicative information. Therefore, failing to learn the basics of body language, especially for the serious martial artist who must establish risk based on how an aggressor moves, can be a dangerous thing indeed. The martial artist should not only aim to understand aggressive traits, but he should also learn the language of the streets, the etiquette that prescribes how people engage. Violence exists and it is not vacuum sealed. The posturing, movements, telegraphs all aimed to deceive and distract a victim are cues that can be read. An aggressor gives away his intentions through a plethora of subtle dynamic tells.  So, while you hit a bag, punch pads and spar, consider whether this avenue is also worth examining.

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