The Power of Movement

Everything around us is in constant movement. Life is continuously changing every second in different levels, unfolding along the lines of movement, expansion, contraction, growth and decay. This “movement”of life might be perceived by the senses as physical, spatial or chronological phenomena and it plays an essential role in the way we see ourselves and our interactions with the environment.

if we want to gain a better understanding of ourselves we must understand these movements and how they synchronize under a constant pulse. Everything in the natural world operates under a pulse, from the rotation of the stars and planets above, to our hearts’ beating sixty times per minute below.

The purpose of this article is to emphasize the importance of movement and its relation to natural laws. Life is made by movement. If we understand the importance of movement and its implications in our daily life, we may be able to have a better understanding of the dynamics of life and the forces behind them.

One example of this, is the importance of breathing.  Breathing is movement, it is an interaction of inhalations and exhalations. We tend to take the process of breathing for granted that we hardly pay attention to the way we breathe. A high percentage of the population breathe incorrectly due to their lack of attention to the process itself. Breath is life, and by denying ourselves the opportunity to breathe correctly, we are giving away our power.

if we breathe incorrectly it creates a chain reaction that can have a negative impact in our health and in the way we perceive the world. By improper breathing we starve our blood cells of oxygen, which in turn can have an adverse effect in our brain’s functioning, cognition and chemical processes. Chemical processes that are intimately related to our moods and states of mind. 

In brazilian Jiujitsu like in any other prominent martial art, mastering breathing is essential. It allow us to escape uncomfortable positions, while remaining calm to look for better options of transition. In the same manner in daily life, when “things are not going our way”, if we have a conscious control of our breathing and actions, it would be easier to take the most efficient solution for any given situation and to transition to prosperous grounds.

It is important to recognize your individuality. Each and everyone of us are unique beings. Even though we operate under universal natural laws, it is essential to develop the necessary sensibility to recognize your needs. Remember that almost every plant needs water to survive, but the quantity and conditions are predetermined by the nature and characteristics of the plant itself.

This phenomena is recognized in the world of grappling as “game”. Each jiujiteiro has their own way of expressing themselves, their unique fighting style, which is highly dependant in their physical attributes and mental dispositions. To find balance in your “game” takes time, training and constant experimentation.  But once it is found, is one of the most rewarding experiences that money can’t buy, it gives purpose and sense of direction to your grappling experience. It has the potential to make you a better person in different levels if allowed.  

Again, we go back to the importance of movement, which is the backbone of Jiujitsu, to be an effective practitioner you must be able to transition with ease from one position to the other.  The main goal is to move to the most dominant position which facilitates the implementation of leverage in your opponent and render him to submission.

In the same way, in daily life we must find our “game”. To find it is essential to be patient and sensitive to our individual needs. We are organic and complex beings, so it is of great importance to take the time, dedication and practice to know ourselves through our mind, body and its relative functions. Go out and expose yourself to new experiences, enroll in Brazilian Jiujitsu, read diverse books, interact with your surroundings and be open to different perspectives. You never know where it might lead you. Remember that the origin and end of life might not be ours to know or control, but how we live it, experience it, and the legacy we would leave behind, that… is completely under our control and disposition!

“Life is a journey, not a destination”

                                   -Ralph Waldo Emerson

Become a master in the art of living. Specially in these times where stress seems to be the norm. Learn to know your body, your body is wise when it works in harmony with your mind and soul.  It regenerates in the same manner nature does in proper conditions. Do physical activity every day, walk, breath consciously and be joyful!

 

White belt mentality
Relaxation allows clarity of mind. A relaxed mind and body is sufficiently detached to see through the gaps.

 

 

 

 

The Broad Way

    Do you ever wonder how life transpires in cycles? One moment to the next, and we are different.  There is no stop in life.  Everything around us is pulsating with life, we are IT.

A game of two
Sketch of an armbar

We don’t get to decide if we want to submerge in it, because we are already in it, we are happening in it. Each of us are just unique perspectives of life occurring in time and space.

     It is hard to describe what life is, because life is much more than a poetic, or romantic concept, simply, life cannot be explained, it can only be EXPERIENCE.

     It is like asking a fish to describe the essence of water. Even though it cannot explained what it is, how it looks like, or how it smells, the fish is intimately bond to the water in an experiential level, its very existence depends on it and its interrelated connectedness.

     The individuality of the fish exists within the confines of the sea, but in a similar manner, the sea responds to natural laws beyond the sea itself, so the fish instantaneously becomes part of something bigger. 

     The fish does not resist the many currents. But in the contrary, it uses its inertia and dynamic movements to swim in undulated flows to become one with its element, to experience the process of what it is to be a fish.

     Jiujitsu at its core principles teaches us how to ride the wave of life.  How to become one with the flow and yield to its movement and natural forces, like a fish in the water.

     Life just happens and the future is not ours to see or control.  The only thing we have control is over us. We are the masters of ourselves, although sometimes we tend to confuse the servant with the master, especially in theses modern times of wild appetites. 

     The battle is not against extraneous opponents, but against our lower habits, against the lower versions of ourselves, against stagnation, which leads to death, while life is movement, fluidity and transition. We are our greatest opponent and our lower nature monster of many heads. 

     Jiujitsu is an inclusive art. It is a fractal that reflects in proportion all the natural laws that exist in the material world and its many forms. If we want to absorb the intrinsic values of any worthy discipline, we must pay a price, a price that can’t be covered with money or gold, but with contemplative meditation.  Only then, and only then the secrets would unlock to us, like a flower opens to the warm rays of the sun.

     There is a hidden wisdom in the heart of jiujitsu, at the core of its technical principles. Musashi Miyamoto, Japan’s greatest Swordsman and samurai once said, “ Truth is not what you want it to be, it is what it is, and you must bend to its power or live a lie”.

     But how do we bend to the power of life? Life greatest lessons and blessings are most of the time disguised as stormy skies and invincible monsters. To be open to life it is necessary to cracked our protective shell when is of no longer use.

     The metamorphosis of the caterpillar to butterfly represents the very process of life and transformation in a nutshell. The fuel of life is change, which it can be uncomfortable, a step out of our comfort zone into uncharted territories.

     Jiujitsu has the innate potential to become a tool for transformation, especially in these modern times of rapid change and fragile identity. It has the basis to become a solid rock in which to build a strong and honorable character.

     jiujitsu as the transformation of the butterfly, is a microcosm of life. It works from the inside out.  First we must become humble to learn, it is necessary to get rid of the old patterns of action and response. We must lose ourselves to find us anew. We learn by losing and making peace with it.

     If we want to absorb the essence of the art, it is essential to master the primal instinct of survival. It is necessary to merge the rational side of man with the primitive instinct of the animal, only then, when the two natures becomes one, a new man is born, one of elevated humanity.

     Jiujitsu can become a key to unlock our inner potential as individuals, a tool of balance and equilibrium.  It carries within the essence of oneness and equanimity. Its fundamentals are derived from the natural law of leverage and efficiency, the path of less resistance.

     Jiujitsu offers a way to calm the mind under peril. It overrides instinctual reactions for efficient calculated actions.  It forges the spirit to find comfort in the uncomfortable. It is a token of respect, courage, rectitude, compassion, honesty, honor and loyalty in a modern world of instant gratification and ephemeral pleasures.

     Jiujitsu if allowed, can be nourishment for the body, mind and soul in these times of character superficiality and expendable trends.  It can become a way of life. Like an ancient ronin once said “ If you know the way broadly you will see it in everything”