The Art of Winning Blog

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Process (musing by Mary Aitoshi)

I've been thinking a lot about process lately and I decided to write about it as part of my process of processing process. While it's possible to delve into a long-winded philosophical treatise on process, I'd rather not. Instead I'd like to take us on the mat (figuratively) to visualize a kata.
For today, let's use the Earth straight punch defense. The 5 Ds provide the outline for the process so let's add some flesh:
1. Discern: are you are and responsive to what is going on? Ideally you are ready for whatever happens: your hands are up, you are clearly communicating your intent, and you are moving lightly and groundedly on your feet. Do you see the punch beginning?

2. Defend: The fist is flying at your head, can you avoid impact? Ideally, you have moved purposefully to avoid disaster, set yourself up for success, and begun to effect your aggressor. You've also communicated to yourself that you are worthy of defending. 

3. Disrupt: Now that you aren't unconscious, can you capitalize on the gains of your defense?  Ideally, you are in good balance and your aggressor is not. If you can move, your aggressor can move. The goal of the disrupt is to force the aggressors next move to be one of self recovery, rather than aggression. You are now leading this dance and it's still not over. 

4. Deliver: If your aggressor is still fighting to be in this fight, it's time to finish it. Deliver your blow or blows designed to disengage or incapacitate your aggressor. Ideally, the fight will go out of your aggressor. Either because of intense physical or mental disruption. Your aggressor may realize you are not the victim they are looking for and turn tail. 

5. Discern: So what did your aggressor do? Is there anyone else that needs to dealt with, either another aggressor or an injury that needs tending? Ideally you can Bo clearly in this moment that you discern what needs to happen now without being overwhelmed by the events of the past or the future. Be here now. 

When you visualize the steps above, take note of how your mind related to the description. Were there descriptions that you skipped? Did you skip them because you were so confident in that step or because you were uncomfortable being in that space? Did you rush through to get to the end or did you hang out at the beginning? Did you stop in the middle because that was good enough? Did you get distracted or frustrated by my lack of physical descriptors? Take notice of every spot where you got confused, intrigued, frustrated, excited, etc. 

By analyzing our relationship with process on the mat, we can gain insight into ourselves off the mat too. Personally, I'm working on being fully and completely present in every moment. It means being open and even vulnerable and I'm learning to be comfortable with that.

What correlations do you find between how you process a kata and how you process conflict?

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