Bruce Lee is a bit of an icon and means a lot of things to a lot of people but despite the myth he did speak a lot of sense. My favourite Bruce Lee quote comes from the start of Enter the Dragon, in the clip below.
“Don’t think feeeeeeeel”
I’ve used that quote over the years many many times. I have written on here about developing a sense of body awareness or feeling, kinaesthetic and proprioceptive sense to help with self-teaching aspects of martial arts training. Learning this ‘feeling’ was a gradual process which has taken a lot of effort.
It’s funny how it still keeps cropping up in my own training. The more groundwork and clinch fighting we do the more it crops up and the more useful a strong body awareness and sense becomes. Originally, I adopted the Bruce Lee phrase in an attempt to stop people over-analyzing during learning. Certain people just love to break things down and consciously run through a movement and attempt to control it. This often serves to block the ‘feeling’ sense, it’s as if conscious analysis is the default mode and in order to learn to ‘feel’ involves overriding this default.
This next video provides a good example of where a keen sense of kinaesthetics and proprioception can be applied in controlling the opponent. In this video Steve Rowe is demonstrating ‘pushing hands’ but within this demo he shows how when the opponent attempts to escape one lock he is put into the next time after time.
As I was preparing this post I stumbled across an article on a very similar subject which provides an example of how to begin to develop kinaesthetic and proprioceptive senses for joint locking. Although the author refers to this as the ‘touch reflex’ it is essentially the same.
In order to develop these senses it is key to move away from the ‘think’ and get to the ‘feel’ pretty sharpish. There is no way you would be able to ‘think’ your way through the number of movements in the push hands video, in this arena the conscious mind is just too cumbersome to process and effectively use information your opponent is giving you. To use it you have to ‘feel’ it, attempts to ‘think’ it through will fail.
As Steve Rowe mentioned in the video this ‘feeling’ becomes intuitive, this is true whether you are using proprioception and kinaesthetics with locks, in the clinch or on the ground. It’s a case of letting go, for want of a better phrase, trusting the subconscious/intuition and going with the flow.
Once you start to get a ‘feel’ for it you get to notice the ‘feeling’ in other situations but to get it you need to work at it. In everyday life you can train this ‘feeling’ sense as you are walking by listening to your feet and take this into your training and listen on the floor, in the clinch and when punching. Observe what is happening rather than trying to control it. You can adjust if necessary once you can observe what is going on.
“Don’t think, feeeeeeeeel!”
Originally posted 2011-01-01 17:55:46. Republished by Blog Post Promoter