Writing this post reminds me of an earlier post ‘All the Small Things’, 23 Dec 2010. It is a discussion about small things from another angle.
This time, the small things I want to discuss is from my sensei’s perspective. For someone his age, he sure can flex his wrist. And very much similar to a Personal Trainer in a gym, he always pushes us to give that little bit more. because it is in that little bit more that makes the difference.
The challenging thing for us is finding that little bit extra, funny how we, being physically younger, we should have more pliable muscles, more flexible tendons, but the opposite is true. We have so much tension and stress in our system, that we are physiologically tightened and locked in only a certain geometric range of movement.
It is also a matter of mental projection, where we look, where we go. Sensei can somehow see a little further than us, project his intent slightly ahead of us. So whenever i am is uke he will always be half a step faster because he is able to project his intent, and expand his presence. Its liken a kind of ‘shield’ or sensory bubble around him. once you move into that bubble, he would have engaged you, even before there was a physical contact. Once that is engaged, you’ll be helplessly sucked into his movement and the inevitable happens.
So he is able to capitalise in the smallest of movement, and extract the greatest disadvantage against his attacker. A lot of things happen in the minute, small actions, that in an untrained eye, will miss. Good thing that my sensei takes pains to explain tirelessly to us, and show us the small movements that makes the big difference. He likened this to a 100 m Olympic dash, and he says the difference between gold and silver is a matter of seconds. It is as if a 100m sprint champ sharing his ‘winning secrets’ with you. He wants us to ‘win’ in our engagement with our opponent, because if we lose, we might lose our lives. And the difference in the life and death? Attention to details.
It is alway that last straw that broke the camel’s back. He is always telling us that when we have used what we think is our last straw, was actually our second last. Somehow he is always able to milk that last bit that made the difference.