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Old 01-10-2015, 09:40 AM   #26
Dan Richards
Dojo: Latham Eclectic
Location: NY
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 452
Re: How essential is timing, and how do you develop it?

I grabbed this from the article:
Easy is something I’ve never encountered in the dojo. I keep working at the timing. I’m collecting bruises right now as I work on training myself to not move too soon when someone attacks with a weapon. I stand there watching the sword come up and down and at me and wait and wait and move at the last possible moment when they can’t change the direction of the attack and can’t even stop it. That’s the goal anyway. Often what happens is my lizard brain shrieks and I move too soon. Or the lizard brain forgets to say anything and I get clocked in the head while watching the sword come in.
Easy is something I've encountered in training — often. Sometimes almost constantly — for years. In fact, anything that wasn't easy and simple just felt off, and often simply just didn't work.

I worked for a week or so with an eight-year-old kid a few years ago. Nose and toes. Nose and toes. Getting him to absolutely trust 1000%, that where ever his toes were, his nose would be right above them. We were able to have adults attack the kid at full speed — and with random timing — with a bokken, and the kid moved every time. Even smiling sometimes.

When I explore "timing" with students, I do it within the context of space. And explore the resolution of opportune movements by really really slowing down the movement. So, that instead of seeing, say a few increments of space where they could enter and move, they see many increments, stretched out before them in which they can move freely and easily.

This is literally dialating time. All time is, is space. And if you can make that space bigger, then your options increase dramatically.

I agree with Keith, that this is more of a feeling intelligence that needs to be grown and fostered.

It's interesting to even take new students and have a person grab each one of their arms on either side. At first they'll feel "stuck," as if they have no space to move. But then I ask them to not focus at the point on their arms where they're being grabbed, but rather on other parts of their body that they can move. I ask them if they can breath. Yes, OK, that's a start. Can they move their waist, shoulders, knees, etc.? Miraculously, within minutes, they become someone who can freely move around. The people grabbing them just topple. And — it's easy. There's nothing to it. And that's the point.

All that I've done is to show them — remind them, actually — that even though there are forces being applied to them, they still have integrity and freedom of movement. Firstly, it has to be mentally realized, then physically explored and expressed.

So, I think much of this "timing" issue, is really more of a space issue. And even within that, it's an internal space issue.

If we look at the idea that energy follows mind. Then intention (Yi) is really at the heart of the matter. Intention can create all the space it needs. Increasing space increases the resolutional increments of time. And by increasing the resolution and span of space/time, then the possibilities for actions, as well, as non-actions, expands.

Trying to avoid getting struck narrows focus, creates tunnel vision, and collapses the space, internally as well as externally, and it engages the limbic system. The walls of our abilities and possibilities close in around us. On the other hand, engaging the neocortex, and having the courage to take an entering irmi step into the face of death opens up an infinite world of possibilities.

Maybe there was something after all to all those budo teachings about not having an attachment to life and death.

Work out why you're scared of death, and time will cease to exist.

Last edited by Dan Richards : 01-10-2015 at 09:45 AM.
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