Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The magician in the martial arts

For the past week I have focused on my stage show. I was drafted into a large magic competition and I performed on the Austin City Limits stage. It was a really great time and my new act won over a lot of fans.

So I have been viewing Aiki through the magician's eyes again. Here are a few random notes.

1. The power of kata

A magic routine is very much structured like a kata. A magician practices it hundreds of times so the body acts on its own. Yesterday I did my rope sequence 50 times. When I was on stage a level of mushin (no-mind, unfettered mind) takes over. Trust in the magic kata, and use the concious mind to accomodate to circumstances that arise.

2. The eye more easily tracks linear energy than curved energy

In recent years psychology and neurologists and been taking closer and closer look at magic. We understand things others do not. One of the deep studies we make is in the way people track with their eyes.

People do not pay close attention to a hand moving across a straight plane. They see it and estimate and track it eventual destination, then they refocus on whatever it is you really don't want them to see.

A curving motion locks in someone's eyes. The brain is unable to calculate the destination so it pays closer attention. The effect is magnified when the curve is moving upward.

Now go and figure out how to add that gem to your martial path.

3. Magic and Aikido are arts of controlled message sending

In magic and Aikido I am attempting to interface with your nervous system. I am attempting to control the input into the nervous system so I steer the person to a desired goal. Often in both arts I give a person something to think about - as a cover for the real dirty work that is happening.

4. Much of the power in Aikido and magic comes from angles. Angles between bodies control what information is being expressed. You can melt right into the holes of someone's perception by introducing information or no information at just the right perception angles.

"I am the universe."

Morihei Ueshiba

Another nice article on magic and aikido

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