“It’s better to do something simple, which is real… something you can build on because you know what you’re doing…. Over a long period of time you have to be aware of what is really accurate and what is not.”
Legendary jazz pianist Bill Evans, revolutionary trumpeter Miles Davis and boxing great Floyd Mayweather are all known to be masters of improvisation. Many think of improvisation as being an easy, stream-of-consciousness type of outpouring that requires little in the way of preparation. Yet, just as with producing superior works of art, dance, architecture, literature, science, engineering, or social science, producing a good improvisational piece requires thousands of hours of painstaking attention to the bare fundamentals–fundamentals that once better understood or even mastered, allow the artist/athlete to move in unexpected directions. Perhaps it’s no accident that boxing is called, “the sweet science.”
“So many witnesses observed the utter freedom of his flights of thought, yet when Feynman talked about his own methods he emphasized not freedom but constraints.”
-James Gleick (in reference to Richard Feynman’s use of constraints in physics)
Watch this video to see a highly imaginative use of constraints applied to the game of basketball (Apparently the Belgians are not only innovators in the world of soccer!)
“Perhaps what really differentiates Bruyninckx from other coaches is that he is not only interested in creating better football players, but also wants to create better human beings…” (from the article)
Click here for a fascinating look into the highly imaginative and humanistic approach of Belgian football coach, Michel Bruyninckx. Bruyninckx’s innovative use of constraints along with measures for cognitively overloading players provide an excellent model for learning and integrating a myriad of complex patterns while removing the unnecessary self-judgment. I call it the Feldenkrais-Erickson-Inner Game (Moshe Feldenkrais, Milton Erickson, W. Timothy Gallwey) approach.
“And what about a form of urban design that, instead of concealing repression, visibly organized our shared world as a commons? Because this, and nothing else, is a city: the organization of our shared world.”
Click here for Leónidas Martín’s insightful Op-Ed piece on modern architecture’s affect on communal space.
“…But at the end of the process, what really creates the sounds that comes out of the instruments is the movement that they make.”
-Uri Vardi (from the video)
“If you are a duffer at golf, say, and make the same mistakes every time you try a certain swing or putt, 10,000 hours of practicing that error will not improve your game. You’ll still be a duffer, albeit an older one.”
Here’s a lovely blurb by Brain Pickings regarding how learning is associated with attention, time and allowing oneself to mistakes
Watch this video by Steve Cutts for tragic and hilarious insight into our culture–one of rampant consumerism and degraded sense-abilities.
“In the world of 2001, people have become so machinelike that the most human character turns out to be a machine. That’s the essence of Kubrick’s dark prophecy: as we come to rely on computers to mediate our understanding of the world, it is our own intelligence that flattens into artificial intelligence.” (from the article)
Click here to read Nicholas Carr’s insightful article in the Atlantic on how technology has changed and continues to change the way we live and think.
Look for the metatarsal-tibia-femur connection as well as the metacarpal-ulna-humerus connection in the super slow motion sequences (5:50-6:00 and 11:50 to 12:24). Both connections work in spirals. Also listen to the role of emotions, trying too hard and the resultant “co-contractions” (or what Feldenkrais would call, “parasitic contractions”) in Asafa Powell’s defeat to Tyson Gay (35:26 to 26:15)
“Here is natural instinct, and here is control; you have to combine the two in harmony. If you have one to the extreme you will be very unscientific. If you have the other to extreme you will become a mechanical man–no longer a human being.”
“We have forgotten that the first maxim covered life as well as sport judo and few of us seem to have ever learned the meaning of the second (which means simply love).”
-Robert W. Smith
The Feldenkrais Method was born out of a childlike curiosity that all of us possess–even if it lies dormant beneath layers of assimilation to our fast-paced culture. Its founder, Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais, exemplified the same fiercely independent way of thinking that we see in all great scientists, musicians, artists, writers, dancers and athletes—indeed, anyone who values exploration, uncertainty and playfulness. It is also the same sort of mindset that we see in infants, toddlers and young children and that we ourselves embody in our more spontaneous, less defensive and perhaps more vulnerable moments.
Here’s an amusing and important video on _______ with Alan Watts narrating.