Musashi was a Japanese swordsman, strategist and author of The Book of Five Rings. He was born around 1584 and died in 1645. The quote above is something I know to be simple truth for everyone.
I have neither kept secret nor overly publicized the changes in my own perception of the world around me in the past few years since my esoteric Hoshin practices under the guidance of Shihan James Alexander brought me to the kundalini awakening. I am compelled to write about some of the shifting of paradigm that has occurred for me, especially in regards to physical training and how it relates to esoteric concepts. Revisiting the wisdom of Musashi’s Book of Five Rings as a part of my Hoshin studies got me to thinking…..wondering about all the things that I had not only accepted as true, but adopted as my own philosophy without adequately testing them out. Without testing them, how can I possibly presume to know if they are the best path for me?
Several years ago my friend Adam Glass began talking about a different approach to training on line. They were calling it Gym Movement and it was based off the concept of using biofeedback techniques to guide the user through training sessions. I was interested, but skeptical and adopted the thoughts of several people who had more experience and I more knowledge than myself. Because of this, I dismissed and denied stuff that was obviously working for Adam and many others. I also lost a friend in the process, which made me sad.
Post kundalini, I have been examining various facets of my life, including of course all things related to how I approach training, with an enhanced sense of the intuitive process. I revisited the Gym Movement protocol with objective eyes, not expecting and particular outcome this time. I realized that while those folks I mentioned earlier did have more knowledge than me, they do not have more knowledge ABOUT me, which is the only thing that really matters when you get right down to it. If I am going to be open to chi practice, aura viewing, kundalini phenomenon, and various other esoteric things and fully experience that they are present and affecting me in my life, then does it make sense that would biofeedback and ROM testing seem so far-fetched? As Musashi also said “You must understand that there is more than one path to the top of the mountain.” The path that each of us must be most attentive to is our own path, not the one someone else has told us we should walk. To follow someone else’s path up the mountain may wind up with you being on top of the wrong mountain.
What I now understand is that GM has a lot more in common with my own approach than it has differences.
Effort. I have said many, many times that I have zero interest in how heavy, how fast or how many times a person can do something poorly. Poorly being defined as ineffective or counterproductive. If we are to treat training as a practice, we logically must strive to do more with less effort. As a performer I want to make feats of strength look easy. StrongFirst feed forward tension techniques are great when used appropriately.They are inappropriate if A. The movement itself is not optimal (the individual shouldn’t be doing that precise movement in the first place, loading externally or applying excessive tension is only going to be bad) or B. movement is good but reflexive stability is not optimal. Using feed forward tension as your first line of strategy is like riding around in the General Lee with the nitris flipped on all the time. You’ll go real fast and very powerfully in the direction of broken.
Limits. Test your limits and you will find them. I find it works far better to focus on expanding the limit from afar rather than smashing into it. This is another way to express the importance of consistency over time. Take the next small step……
Mental State. During the winter of 2013-2014 my cold exposure experimentation taught me that the mental state of relaxed preparedness is far more conducive to long-term progress than purposefully going into excitement/arousal mode.
Better. I want to improve. I want my students and clients to improve. Ultimately anything that helps in that progress is useful and has value, no matter the source.
So to keep it short, I contacted Adam and some of the other guys I had “feuded” with online and apologized for my part in perpetuating disharmony. I got a copy of Dave Dellanave’s book Off the Floor, which is about biofeedback and the deadlift. I friended the systems’ founder Frankie Faires on Facebook. I’ve had some very good discussions with my brother in all things strength, energy & movement (esoteric and otherwise) related Dustin Rippetoe about how looking at things from a particular vantage point will cloud the observation. I am thankful for all these things.
Mending occurred and I now call Adam my friend again. After watching the 4 hours worth of video in the Gym Movement course and talking with Adam, I have objectively been implementing the stuff I have been learning to my own training and am enjoying the process.
Last week Frankie Faires released a book which is an excellent introduction to biofeedback based training and the movement in general. It is available HERE: http://areyouthemovement.com/3040-2/
That is not an affiliate link. I will not get a commission if you buy it. I just believe it is worth having and want to share that with you, because I want you to become the best version of you that you can possibly can. Enjoy your path. I am enjoying mine…..