Moving Your Mind and Body Immediately
By Tom Olson
Your sitting in a cubicle while working at company ABC. Your boss comes in and says “I need a volunteer for a project.” You look up from your desk and then at your co-workers stunned by the sudden request. Looking about, you begin to think about how much of a work load you have and take a deep breath. Just then, the person who is brand new in the back volunteers. The boss takes them back and begins training them on a new system that will be put into place shortly.
Now some people would argue that volunteering would simply add more work to your list of projects, and some would argue that the boss never stated what the project was. The actual answer is, you froze. Looking about at the other workers like sheep searching for a Sheppard you never made a decision, not even one to at least ask what the project was. As a result, an opportunity to learn something new passed you by.
Another situation could be that you are sitting at a gas station waiting for the pump to engage after swiping your ATM card in the machine when 2 people approach you. In your gut you feel that something is wrong but wonder what the correct response should be. One man approaches quickly staring at you as the other circles around your car. The first steps right up to you, and you see his shoulder begin to roll as his feet widen to brace for a punch that he is about to throw. What do you do? What should you do? Honestly, its too late.
Learning something that is as important as not hesitating is one of the many things that you have the opportunity to learn and practice in Kung Fu. It’s a skill that you can put to use immediately and see the results. What are some ways while in Kung Fu class that you can learn to react efficiently?
One method is to be completely in the present. When you enter Authentic White Tiger Kung Fu, you cross a physical and mental barrier in the door way. That barrier demarks when you have entered the school and left the issues of everyday life behind you. Once you do, smile, take a look around, see who is present, and be sure to look at everyone quickly. Next take a nice deep breath and smile, as you breathe in the healthy air of the school, flushing your system with oxygen and chi. Look at informational products that may be either written on a white board or hung on the wall. Finally, locate your Sifu and greet him or her with a smile and an eagerness to learn.
This method is what is known as “taking a senses check”, and it is a practice to get you into the present situation. What do you see, smell, taste, and hear? Your reaction to entering the room should be immediate, and assessment should be fluid and happy.
A second method is while in the school, you do not “pause” to separate yourself from your surroundings. You are in a room with people who are excited to be there too. Engage them with smiles and quick conversation before class as you begin to immediately warm up after placing your belongings in a spot designated. In other words, you get busy as soon as possible, never turning off your senses or your enthusiasm for being there and in the moment.
This is used to keep the brain engaged and the senses alert. At no point are you allowing your mind to drift to what you had for lunch or what you will wear tomorrow for work. You keep yourself involved in your surroundings, and you actively know that you are applying your energy toward an action while at the same time knowing what is going on around you.
The third method to utilize is what is known as “MYBI” or “Move Your Butt Immediately”. When given an instruction, immediately do it, and with enthusiasm. When told to get Dit Dar Jow in class, don’t wait to see others move, you immediately move to the Jow station quickly. When told to switch your feet, no hesitation should take place, switch your feet. When told to begin an exercise, do not hesitate, begin immediately. A common mistake is made when sparring as Sifu tells you to bow to him, then to each other, then assume the fighting position, then begin. A moment or two of complete stillness takes place, as both participants stand there and just reason with the idea of sparring and what to do next. What should they be doing? MYBI! When Sifu says begin sparring, go into action immediately. Apply what you have worked on for many hours immediately, not after you sum up your options.
These three methods, when done consistently both inside and out of the Kung Fu school will promote a faster moving, quicker thinking, more engaged person who has a much higher chance of walking away from a self-defense situation than one that freezes in the face of diversity. The situation previously mentioned when two people are approaching you at the gas station would have been defused before they got close enough to even throw a punch. Keeping an eye out and being in the moment would have allowed you to read their intent, and perhaps just simply getting into your car and locking the doors. It would have allowed you to at least ask what the project was from your boss before someone else took it.
In conclusion, enhancement of your Kung Fu training and your life starts with you. Take an active role in your training and life by being enthusiastic, positive, and engaging. When an action is needed or commanded, quickly move on it without hesitation. When something is suggested, allow your senses to take in the suggestion and move on it. Something as simple as sitting at a table with someone and their tea cup is low, so you offer to poor more tea or something as complicated as someone gunning for your job that you can see their movement and act on it before it’s too late.
Engage the senses, stay in the present, and MYBI will keep you engaged and successful. Apply it often and you will reap the rewards immediately.