“Learning Taijiquan means to educate oneself. It is like slowly advancing from primary school to university. As time passes, more and more knowledge is gained. Without the foundations of primary school and secondary school, one will not be able to follow the seminars at university. Studying Taijiquan requires starting from the very bottom, working one’s way systematically and step by step towards the more advanced levels. Someone who does not accept this, thinking that he may take a short cut, will not be successful”
-Master Chen Xiao Wang
Click here for a humorous personal account of what it means to learn with a master (in this case, Master Chen Xiao Wang).
“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.”
“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.
“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)
Clickhere 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.