Meeting the Day in Play

October 24, 2011 at 8:38 pm | Posted in Around the House, Barton's Blogs, Ramblings, The Nitty-Gritty | 1 Comment
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,
Barton training in AL.

All clear for take off: Barton training in AL.

A couple of night ago in martial arts class, we were working on a technique that had a particularly light feel. The person who I was working with was a rather large guy who tends to rely on his muscle to make techniques work rather than relaxation and body mechanics.

At first, I was a little worried about how to make something so light work against a person who appeared to be so sturdy. The first time I did the technique, I felt myself picking up on his tension as I moved in to take him off balance. My teacher came over and watched for a minute. Grabbing a chair and plopping himself into it, he said, “No Barton, try it this way.”

With just as much grace and softness, he dropped the same 200-pound guy with a turn of his head and a bend at the waist. I got a feel for how to maintain that feeling of easy playfulness despite what the attacker was bringing to the interaction and tried again. As I began to incorporate the feel, I noticed that the less effort I put into making it work, the better the outcome.

Toward the end of class, the technique came more easily to me, and what I began to notice was that as I moved and allowed myself to have patience with my own movement, the rigidity and tension in my training partner began to dissolve. There were even a few times where, after he collapsed onto the floor, we looked at one another and wondered, how the heck did that even happen. All we knew was that one minute he had tried to punch me and the next he couldn’t stand and was on the ground.

The next morning, Megan and I were chatting about how busy the past few months have been, and how there was still a feeling that in spite of all we had done, there was still even more to do. And we wondered how on earth we would ever get through it all. Don’t get me wrong, all of this work is dear to both of our hearts and we are completely excited by every facet of it. Yet, the sheer quantity of “to do’s” is at times overwhelming.

All of a sudden, the lesson from the night before flashed in my head. I laughed as I looked Megan deeply into the eyes. “What’s so funny?” She questioned.

I told her what had happened at class and said, “I think it’s the same thing. Somehow we need to drop all of these to do’s and just play with what ever it is that we are working on. The to-do’s will always be there, don’t worry about them getting lost. For now, let’s pick one thing and work on it lightly.”

And so we did. As I suspected, it worked itself out just as the technique in class had the night before. No effort required, just a soft touch and a light heart.

Advertisements

1 Comment »

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

  1. Hey Barton, you are an inspiration, a good looking one too. Recently I became unable to work due to prolonged spinal damage. After 30 years as a caregiver in aged care and disability care in NZ, it was hard to come to terms with not doing ‘realwork ‘ again. Just because the body no longer functions as it used to a year ago does not mean my mind has to follow suit. In New Zealand we have a TV program called, Attitude, an amazing show about people with disabilities, physical and intellectual challenges and how they overcome to live amazing lives. Watching your youtube clips is encouraging. So keep it up sunshine you have nade my day.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.
Entries and comments feeds.

%d bloggers like this: