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Thread: "Unleashing the Master Within" article

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    Default "Unleashing the Master Within" article

    This was a short, summarized version of some material that was going to be worked into a book. The book project was abandoned, although much better written, including references, and a video accompaniment to walk the reader through the exercises. Also accompanying was going to be a series of cassette tapes (it was that long ago) that included hypnotic inductions aimed at potentiation of unconscious resources, with key words to release capabilities accessed during the "generative Visualization" sessions. Also included was going to be a Hemi-Sync type tape to induce a deeply relaxed -- but mentally alert -- state, and the ability to trigger that state like a conditioned response. Inhibit the adrenal dump phase, and replace it with detached, but highly attentive and functional relaxation (remember Neo when he's fighting Smith, and "gets it?" Looks detached and disinterested, looking away and checking his nails while his body keeps on fighting effortlessly. This tape was engineered to produce that type of "functionally calm, restfully aware" state about 10 years before Matrix came out...to mentally condition listeners to be able to enter zone states at the recall of a single word or gesture).

    Although it was writtent to be a marketing balloon to prompt more interest for the series, there are at least 3 specific things in here to try. Give them a shot, and let us know how it went.

    Regards,

    D.

    Gates Unbroken: Programming your Mind for Peak Performance.
    By David W. Crouch

    Have you ever wondered what the difference was between those who could excel in the martial arts, and those who could not; between the "natural", and the person who had to work for every inch of progress? Have you ever wondered how to crack the code to your own performance, and make the most of your mind? Surprisingly, the techniques of mental programming which would allow you to unleash the master within have been available for some time, yet rarely are these methods made available to – or used by – athletes in the martial arts. Because so much of outstanding ability is held within the dimensions of mental processing, let's take a look at some techniques and perspectives that would allow you to become your own master, and achieve your personal best.

    Neuro-Muscular Firing Strategies:
    When asked to comment on where mastery comes from, traditional instructors will answer that it comes from within. If asked how to develop this elusive entity, they will suggest large numbers of repetition and meditation. The meditation aspect presumably sets up a frame of mind in which mastery may occur, and the repetitions develop a neuro-muscular groove, which allows the body to push harder and faster…or does it? Neurophysiological Programmers would argue that you don't make an optimal groove for performance; you find it. Learning is simply the act of discovering that which was already there.

    Your body shares a connection with a part of your unconscious mind – what can be called a "body-mind". This body-mind has been calculating and recording the effects of complex muscle-movement combinations, storing the results of these combinations in archival memory since you first started kicking the inside of your mothers womb. Your body already has a neuro-muscular firing sequence that provides the optimal path of execution for any martial arts movement. To significantly improve your martial performance, you need merely discover what that sequence is, and apply it.

    What is a neuromuscular firing sequence?
    When you throw a punch, the muscles throughout your body – your shoulder, arms, back, legs, and so on – are recruited in specific sequences, like the ordered digits of a telephone number. In the same way that misdialing a phone can lead you to a wrong number, if the muscular firing sequence is wrong, you won’t be able to get the results you want. You won't be able to develop mastery. The barrier to mastery is not so much one of creating muscle sequence combinations, as much as one of discovering the appropriate sequences for your body, in the context of performing a given basic movement or series of movements. The challenge lies in finding a way to communicate with the body-mind, and elicit specifically what these firing sequences are so that you can perform them deliberately and with intent, as opposed to discovering them accidentally. Rather than finding your mastery through the exhaustive trial-and-error of countless repetitions, you can communicate with the body-mind and maximize your performance potential, now!

    Opening Lines of Communication.

    We know that unleashing the master within is a process of opening up a telephone line with the unconscious mind, but how do you actually go about doing it? Following are three specific tools you can use in your daily training to enhance your performance by tapping into the potential of the unconscious mind.

    Mindscapes: Creating Environments of Excellence.

    Often, the unconscious mind is way ahead of the conscious mind in knowing how to approach a given challenge. For example, some prominent theorists believe potent dreams are your unconscious minds way of getting your conscious minds attention on a given subject when more subtle means have failed. As someone who plans on using the hidden knowledge of the unconscious to produce states of mastery, you need to learn to pay closer attention to what the deeper mind has to say.

    One method is to use creative visualization to supply the deep mind with a means for communication. In the "Master Within" visualization, it is suggested that you create in your mind a place of learning you can visit in your thoughts. Some people choose elaborate eastern temples, while others just make simple creek-side patches of grass. Next, you need to have a master. This master is going to be a puppet through which your unconscious mind communicates with you, so it really doesn't matter who or what it is. Some people have chosen to use real-life masters, while others have opted to use images ranging from Master Po to Yoda.

    Now, this place is going to be your own temple of learning, and it is very easy to use. Just take a few minutes to relax (you can sit comfortably or lie down), then imagine yourself going to this place of learning, and approaching the master within. Next, simply send the master an inquiry about what it is you want to know, and pay close attention to the images, impulses, and ideas that crop up in response. If you want a better reverse punch, ask the master to show you how it's done, and coach you through the process. Observe the way the Master does it, noticing the ways in which it's different from how you did it prior to the inquiry, and remember to employ the differences in your next physical workout.

    Now remember: part of the theory here is that, although the guiding principles of the reverse punch remain the same, there has to be room for individual differences. The way it has been passed down for generations represents only one way of doing it, and probably reflects the best firing sequence for someone whom you may never have even met. The way your body and brain tell you to do it may be radically different from the way your instructor wants you to do it. Just remember: his way is right for him, and probably traditional within your system, but it is not necessarily the best way for your physique to generate maximum speed, strength, coordination and performance.

    Self Suggestion. People’s performance levels are both driven and limited by their beliefs. If they believe they can, they probably will. If they believe they can't, they probably won’t. Yet every belief – limiting or empowering – has its birth in some sort of suggestion. If you tried flying, but only fell off the roof, then this would suggest that you can't fly – leading to the belief that jumping off rooftops without a crash pad is a bad idea. Well, if suggestion affects belief, and belief affects performance, then it only makes sense to take control of the belief/performance dynamic and make it work for us.

    First, think about what you wish to accomplish in your training. Do you want to be faster? Cleaner? More authoritative in your delivery? Next, place your objective in a positive present-tense "I am"…, or "I can…" statement which includes your name. For example, if you want to develop blinding speed, design self-suggestions such as, "I, John Doe, can move quickly, easily, and efficiently", or, "I, Bob, will execute my punches at twice my previous speed". Next, place yourself in a deeply relaxed state, and begin to imagine moving in the way you will be moving in your improved condition. While you view these internal movies, repeat to yourself each of your self-suggestions several times. By the naturally occurring laws of associative conditioning, the performance level in your mental movie and the phrases in your suggestion will become paired, like an excited pet at the sound of the can opener. Then, the next time you want to move in that certain way, say the suggestions to yourself. This will cue the body-mind to uncover the necessary firing sequences required to make you move the way you moved in your mental rehearsals. Making small changes in how you represent your capabilities to yourself can have a dramatic impact on your performance.

    Breaking the Gate. Another way to take control of how you process skill is through a Neurolinguistic Programming technique called the New Behavior Generator. As its name suggests, the New Behavior Generator is a technique designed to install new actions in your behavioral repertoire. It is perhaps the best-kept secret on how to communicate with the Master within, and develop your capabilities more rapidly. Although slightly more complex than the previous methods, it is certainly the more powerful. It involves a several step process, as follows:

    1. Form in your mind a representation of the skill you wish to master, in its mastered state. This basically means to make a mental movie of yourself, or someone you know, performing the movement you wish to master. If you have seen it performed before, then simply re-play that movie in your mind. If you have not, then imagine what you think it would have looked like if, in fact, you had seen it performed. Make this a clear representation of what you want, because it's what you'll be doing when you're finished.

    2. Run the movie of the technique several times, making sure it has all the components it should have. If it lacks something (like a wide enough stance, or the proper hip torsion) then put that something in, and re-run the movie again. Keep checking to ensure the movie has everything in it required for excellence. If it lacks something, and you're not sure what it is, then ask your unconscious to clarify it for you; the only way you can know it's incomplete is if, deep inside, you know what would make it complete. Once it has everything you want it to have, then move on to the next step.

    3. Bring the movie closer and closer, until you can step inside of it, as if you were stepping into a mirror to become the reflection on the other side. Notice the differences in perspective from when you are watching it being performed from an observers point of view, to when you are watching it from the perspective of the person performing it. Can you see your hands and feet flashing out in front of you? This is important to do, because it signals your body-mind as to the movements it will have to calculate and uncover firing sequences for, and gives your mind a reference point for how it will know when the sequencing is correct.

    4. Next, you have to test-fire the sequence. Watching the film several times from within the perspective of the person performing it, twitch your muscles along with the film a couple of times; flex your arm muscles in sync with the flexing involved with the punches you see coming out from your body, and check with your body-mind to make sure the timing and sequence of the flicks are correct. This opens lines of communication, so you can check with each other about what else needs to be done. Once you have the movie from the first-person perspective, and you have a match with the firing sequences, move on to the next phase.

    5. Do the move. Start slowly at first, making sure your body matches the movie in your mind. Next, gradually increase the speed, making sure at each step of the way that your internal representations of the technique and your external execution of the move still match. Slowly turning up the speed of the movie while keeping pace with your body assures proper execution. Interestingly enough, some people find that, once they have found the connection between the movie speed and their bodies speed, they can keep turning it up faster and faster, blowing past their own previous expectations for performance and entering new territories of skill.

    6. FuturePace. In futurepacing, you go inside and give your mind instructions to do the technique in this new way again, the very next time you execute it. The way you do this is to imagine the next time you anticipate executing the technique (i.e., in a tournament, self-defense situation, promotion exam, or next workout), and see what you will look like performing the move successfully in that situation. Notice what you would see, hear, and feel performing this move at its new level of performance. What is the sound of your gi brushing against your skin at this new level? What does it look like to you to see your limbs flash out at that speed, with that accuracy at this new level? What sense of guiding your body do you have in this new place, as you perform this technique in the future tense? Next, just as we did near the beginning of this method, bring the movie closer and closer, until the you in it is life-sized, and step into the movie. See what it will look like from your eyes to be performing this technique at new levels of excellence in that circumstance; notice the sounds you would hear while performing this technique; notice how it feels to be executing this move, in this future circumstance. This provides your brain with a roadmap on what to do the next time you are in that situation.

    Remember: your brain only knows to do what you tell it to do, so be specific, and spell out what you want in your mind with as much detail as you can.

    Closing suggestions.

    Taking the time to make friends with, and listen to, your creative unconscious mind can have some unique benefits as a martial artist. One way to do this is to set some time aside, and train a little differently then you usually do. Try designing a belt or a uniform for use in private, creative training time. In the same way you set aside your regular training uniform, set aside your regular expectations and objectives, and open yourself to the creativity of your unconscious. Let your mind teach you some moves you've never seen before, then make those moves into a kata for your own private practice time. Keep company with your body-mind, and let it teach you how to maximize your physical capabilities. These methods and ideas may seem unfamiliar at first, but the more you practice them, and the more familiar you become with your own unconscious mind, the greater your progress will be in developing the skills of mastery. Reacquainting yourself with your unconscious mind can have endless benefits to your development as a martial artist. Unleash the Master within!

    About the Author:
    Dr. Dave Crouch, DC, is a Santa Rosa based Master Practitioner and Trainer of Neuro-Linguistic Programming, Ericksonian Hypnotherapist, and martial artist. With over 35 years experience in the martial arts, Dr. Crouch has been a performance coach to athletes and martial artists from a wide variety of disciplines, and brings his knowledge base in biomechanics, sports physiology, and sports psychology to bear in his coaching methods.

    Clear mind, clear movement. Mastery of the Arts is mastery over the Self. That in this moment, this motion, the thoughts, memories, impulses and passions that cloud the mind must yield to the clarity of purpose, and purity of motion.

  2. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Dr. Dave in da house For This Useful Post:

    Brother John (04-30-2008),Drew (05-01-2008),Mikael151 (05-01-2008)

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    Default Re: "Unleashing the Master Within" article

    Great article! Excellent brain food.

    Now remember: part of the theory here is that, although the guiding principles of the reverse punch remain the same, there has to be room for individual differences. The way it has been passed down for generations represents only one way of doing it, and probably reflects the best firing sequence for someone whom you may never have even met. The way your body and brain tell you to do it may be radically different from the way your instructor wants you to do it. Just remember: his way is right for him, and probably traditional within your system, but it is not necessarily the best way for your physique to generate maximum speed, strength, coordination and performance.
    So would this idea justify tailoring of a specifc technique? If so, how much tailoring should be allowed without distorting the technique into something different?

    Remember: your brain only knows to do what you tell it to do, so be specific, and spell out what you want in your mind with as much detail as you can.


    I used to workout with a guy from Idaho Falls back in 1998. I noticed that when he worked LF 4 and above, it seemed as though his eyes rolled back in his head and he never really seemed to focus visually on an imaginary target; his body just moved like it was on auto-pilot. Rather confused, I asked him why. He stated that at some points while working his techniques and forms his mind just did the work and his arms, legs, posturing, etc, just "did it" and that he was never real concerned with the visual focus part. Now, he didn't do it all the time in everything he did, just some of it. I always thought it was kinda weird. Reminded me a lot about what takes place with most sharks, including the Great White Shark, once they latch on to food and begin to chew. They have a protective cover (eye lid) that comes up from the bottom of the eye socket that protects the eyeball from debris as the shark rips and tosses it's prey. A documentary I saw once stated that this was completely instinctive; something the shark doesn't control because the shark's brain takes over and processes the information concerning location of the prey within the shark's bite, so it has no need to "look" at it while eating.

    I don't really know what all this has to do with what you wrote Dr. Dave. Your article just made me think about it.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Be safe,

    Roach

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    Default Re: "Unleashing the Master Within" article

    Quote Originally Posted by Roach View Post
    So would this idea justify tailoring of a specifc technique? If so, how much tailoring should be allowed without distorting the technique into something different?
    don't concentrate on the finger or you will miss all the heavenly glory of the moon.
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    Default Re: "Unleashing the Master Within" article

    Quote Originally Posted by Roach View Post

    So would this idea justify tailoring of a specifc technique? If so, how much tailoring should be allowed without distorting the technique into something different?
    There are poor, mediocre, better and best ways of deploying ones anatomical parts in motion. The mind is a sponge, and will do the best with what it has to work with, if we get out of the way to let it. Key part in that last sentence: "what it has to work with". The introduction of new information into the cognisphere gets evaluated, assimilated, and applied, making something new.

    Consider the reverse punch: Optimal timing and location for rolling from palm up to palm down will differ, based on genetic differences in muscle physiology, lifestyle habits, fitness levels, experience with the movement, and multiple other variables. Take 2 guys, each doing it ten years the way thier instructor said to; clones of someone elses best practice. Have one "tailor" to the suggestions from his master within, and he'll pass the first guy up by miles in skill, strength, speed, etc., in a very short time. Good mechanics can be taught and learned; applying them well comes from a subjective place inside, goverend best by that part of you that already knows how.

    Hope that clears it up,

    Dave
    Clear mind, clear movement. Mastery of the Arts is mastery over the Self. That in this moment, this motion, the thoughts, memories, impulses and passions that cloud the mind must yield to the clarity of purpose, and purity of motion.

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    Default Re: "Unleashing the Master Within" article

    I have used visualization in my training since I started, sometimes more than others. I like this particular twist on the method, it is very similar to shamanistic approaches that I have looked into - going to a specific place, finding a guide (spirit animal for shamanism) and listening to the guide for advice that you already know.

    My only concern is when I begin talking to that guide/teacher/master, he becomes real and then I am carrying around this other personality...the more it develops, would it lead to schizophrenia?

    And If I end up with multiple personalities and threaten suicide, would that be considered a hostage situation? These are the things that keep me up at night.

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