Monday, March 7, 2016


The word "control" isn't one I hear a lot about in either of my arts.  Words like tension and connection and grip and adjustment come up, but rarely "control".

I've been thinking about this concept lately.  Are you "controlling" the technique , or are you "in control" of the technique?

I'll admit this is semantics, but I define "controlling" the technique as using too much strength, holding tension, gripping too tightly, etc.  I define "in control" as making micro-adjustments, staying loose, adapting on the fly, etc.

Control under the "controlling" mindset is often an illusion.  Being stiff and tense is a way to feel like there's a sense of command over your body or a technique, but is it really?  In karate, being stiff means you limit your speed, power, and are more likely to be off-balance.  In taiko, tension kills the sound quality and causes separation, both visually and in terms of striking efficiency.

Think of those that you consider a master of their physical art.  They're not stiff, they're not tight.  They aren't controlling their technique.  Odds are, they're fluid, efficient, relaxed.  They can move in and out, strike, and/or compensate for errors without thinking about it.  That's being in control of the technique.  And it's not just a matter of experience, either!  You can practice a technique poorly for years until you have an inefficient technique that you do "well."  Using tension during specific moments, using core strength instead of limb strength, etc., - this is why the masters are where they are.

It might feel like you have to give up control in order to get more control, but once you change your viewpoint of what control really is, you can then take steps to a better path!

No comments:

Post a Comment