Good show! It's a satisfying feeling when those things happen...kinda cool and definitely makes one wonder about years of meditative eastern training and how some monks can possibly be "in the zone" all the time.
I imagine high level team sport athletes experience these events on a regular basis. Reacting with no thought. I think of hockey (being a Canadian; BTW gold will be ours @ 2010 Vancouver!
Ice hockey goalies don't have
time to think in the classic sense as the hand has been scientifically proven to be quicker than the eye (and thought!).
I just had to get into this thread with a two of my experiences.
I was at a co-worker's house years ago and we had a few...there were a handful of people there, and we were playing pool and I was in a relaxed state in a conversation. My gaze was on a co-worker across the room digging in an ice-bucket (20' away). I didn't think anything of it and turned aside to continue my conversation and a few moments later I sensed/saw/perceived motion and I just ducked. Apparently my co-worker had whipped a piece of ice at me and I had just reacted. My back certainly wasn't turned but I was definitely facing away. The best part of it was
that I processed the event so fast that I never skipped a beat in my conversation and continued to do so just for effect. After a bit I turned to look at the culprit and the look on his face was priceless!! His jaw was open and you could almost see the smoke from his gears turning trying to figure out how or what. Of course I had seen him in the ice bucket earlier and perhaps it was foreshadowing intution; but I reacted totally without my mind; then with my mind. The event kind of blew me away also. Strange. I had taken kung-fu for a while when I was younger....??
Another incident was when I attended the same aforementioned kung-fu later in life after having taken Aikido for six months....
We were all doing an ancient chinese exercise where a student stands in the middle of a giant ying/yang painted on the dojo floor (approx. 20' across) and the rest of the students surround it on the perimeter. The object was to hit the student in the center with a hackeysack; throwing it and someone across picking it up to repeat.
Designed to train awareness and avoidance.
The average "survival" time is around 20 to 30 seconds as people are sneaky with the fake hand offs; "pass to another for a one-timer"; and baseball pitcher speeds.
One time I lasted about 8 or 10 minutes. They just couldn't hit me. I attribute it totally to Aikido and specifically Tenkan!
I'm a smaller guy and fast; so I was in such a mind frame that I knew the general direction the sack was coming from and was just possesed. My Sifu was commented to the students as it was happening on the benefits of getting out of the way. Another student said it was like The Matrix.
(Andy Warhol said; "Everyone has 15 minutes of fame": I'm not gloating here).
I received a small glimpse of true mushin...maybe I can develop it over time.
Indespensible in a real life encounter.