Archive for strategy

Gung Fu; the Higher Order Skill

Posted in Martial Arts and Training, Strategy and Psychology with tags , , , , , , on January 3, 2012 by His Dark Side

Gung Fu: Health Warning (you will get punched and kicked)
Gung Fu is a singular, insular activity with limited real world value. I rarely get into fights and training martial arts is arguably dentrimental to health on a variety of levels; such as elevated cortisol levels and the obvious wear and tear on the body. Additionally, over the next few years I predict that the medical fraternity will publish further research regarding head trauma as a consequence of getting hit and long term brain damage.

Benefits of Gung Fu: Free Your Mind
So what are the benefits of Gung Fu, or any type of martial art training? Ultimately, training Gung Fu is about learning a life skill which will help us survive if we end up getting into a fight. Now that I’m in my eighteenth year in Gung Fu, I am beginning to recognize the fringe benefit, which can be said to be true of any vocation that is approached with a high degree of focus; self mastery.

In Gung Fu we are obviously learning to express our own bodies (e.g. proprioception) but by doing so, we are also creating a foundation which allows us to relate to the World and connect with nature, consciousness, or the divine. By striving for mastery we are forced to approach the subject matter from multiple and diverse angles, figuratively and literally and therefore we learn about the ACT of learning. For instance my Gung Fu training has been a segue into topics ranging from kinesiology, to body language and hypnosis.

Gung Fu as a Higher Order Skill
Mastery of Gung Fu is a higher-order skill as it covers critical thinking, experiential modes of learning as well as specific skills like anticipation, which instill a level of foresight. The latter being especially important in enabling us to predict the build up to potentially dangerous situations (awareness leads to avoidance).

Choose your passion. Mine is Gung Fu.

Death, Insomnia, Gung Fu and Coffee

Posted in Death and the Macabre, Strategy and Psychology with tags , , , , , , , , , on January 2, 2012 by His Dark Side

I spend an inordinate amount of time sipping black coffee at varying Starbucks locations. I once sat down with a warm cup and wrote about my visit to the death scene of a young man who slit his own throat. Perhaps some subconscious neural association attracts me to the coffee shops. Perhaps it my obsessive compulsion to contemplate death. For instance, even today I found myself reading some dark quotes by the late clothes designer Alexander McQueen. Or conversely, perhaps it just speaks to the more mundane aspects of my life. Whatever it is, the elevated levels of coffee in my body are at least a contributory factor for my insomnia.

I need to cut back on the coffee, focus on the fact that I am alive and practice more Gung Fu.

***click on the highlighted links above for further readings

Dark Side

Posted in Death and the Macabre, Quotes and Articles with tags , , , , on January 2, 2012 by His Dark Side


Gung Fu and Deliberate Practice

Posted in Martial Arts and Training, Strategy and Psychology with tags , , , , , on January 1, 2012 by His Dark Side

To get good in Gung Fu;

a) immerse yourself in the art,
b) allow it to be a consuming passion,
c) invest resources into it; read around the topic, see what other Gung Fu/martial arts clubs do, and;
d) devote at least several years of study to it.

A popular meme is that it requires 10,000 hours of deliberate practice to attain a level of mastery. That is 3 hours a day, for a 10 year period. The act of deliberate practice requires;

a) structured goals,
b) a measurable means to chart improvement,
c) problem solving within the activity, and:
d) the development of skill based solutions.

Learning the technical skill of Gung Fu is about training the mind whilst developing qualities such as focus, patience, fortitude through the medium of an extremely violent and aggressive activity.  And a powerful mind has an infinite capacity for creating our view of the world.

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.

Mindfulness Meditation Video

Posted in Health and Wellness, Music and Clips with tags , , , , on December 25, 2011 by His Dark Side

On Good and Evil

Posted in Quotes and Articles, Strategy and Psychology with tags , , , , on December 22, 2011 by His Dark Side

“…. It was only when I lay there on rotting prison straw that I sensed within myself the first stirrings of good. Gradually it was disclosed to me that the line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties either, but right through every human heart, and through all human hearts. This line shifts. Inside us, it oscillates with the years. Even within hearts overwhelmed by evil, one small bridgehead of good is retained; and even in the best of all hearts, there remains a small corner of evil.

…. If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?”

Aleksandr Isayevich Solzhenitsyn (11 December 1918 – 3 August 2008) 

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