Concentration and abstraction in combat

The detachment from the struggle

Resuming the talk of abstraction in combat (read Concentration: reason and instinct), we now want to define, in relation to the practice of fighting, what does it mean (at its most extreme level).

Bearing in mind that these are just general guidelines and examples let’s see, in 6 Dragons Kung Fu, what does it mean to abstract the clash:

  • Be highly responsive but detached – Stay in a highly responsive state but with a meditative and detached mental attitude; on the battlefield, we must not focus on the opponents, we must understand that we are alone with ourselves, we are against ourselves; the others must stop worrying us
  • The fighting scenario is part of us – Understand that everything is part of a big single one (read Nothing belongs to us) that we can use without hesitation and limitlessly to reach our goals; the ambient and all the elements it contains are at our disposal, they must be seen as opportunities to grab
  • Everything is subjected to precise rules – Reduce any entity of the fight scenario (a room, a ring, a forest, etc.) to a set of elements that move and work according to well-defined rules imposed by physics (humans, inanimate objects, weapons, etc.); we have to focus only on what is possible and especially to what is probably
  • Perceive the possibilities of our opponents – Analyze the opponents as inert targets with a range of tools (hands, weapons, etc.), body / mental characteristics (size, muscle mass, etc.) and possible movements limited by the conditions / positions in which they are
  • Analyze do not mean to think too much – Do not worry (if reasonable) about what the adversaries are probably thinking to do but rather concentrate on anything that they are actually in the condition of doing (mentally, physically, etc.); in this way the 90% of fake / tricks are almost useless (this is the reason why in 6DKF we train to handle more unpredictable, fast, changing and “evanescent” targets of a human being, read Basic tools: the cloth and Basic tools: the Hanging Speedball)
  • Read the opponents’ errors to find weak points – Understand not only the general human mechanics (eg. the difference between a movement that is so evolute that it cannot be “reversible” by one who can hide another one) but also the personal mechanics of opponents (recognizing emotions, damages, repetitions, errors, sequences, involuntary signals, tactical settings, skills, attitudes, etc.)
  • Forget the causes, ends and effects of the struggle – When we really have to fight (read The 6DKF’s diagram about the use of violence) it is fundamental to eliminate any spontaneous human emotion (desire for revenge, anger, frustration, fear, hurry, etc.) or feeling (pain, fatigue, malaise, etc.) as if we were struggling in a virtual, ethereal, mental environment (eg. the opponent speaks, we absolutely do not ear him)
  • Use emotions at our advantage – If we are trained to do it, we can invoke in our favor every possible emotion / sensation (read How to use emotions in workout and combat) to give us energy, strength, resistance, determination or courage (firmness, decision, enthusiasm, etc.) but without being its victim (one of the most impenetrable states of a warrior is the one where he is so detached from the struggle to sincerely feel piety for his enemy)
  • Manage the fight as a (serious) game – Quoting Masaaki Hatsumi, we have to serenely play with the opponent as if we were not risking anything (not our life, not defeating, nothing at all); we must have a relaxed, enthusiastic but patient attitude; we have to feel that we are so close to our element, so mastering our tools (limbs, weapons., etc.) to live combat as our natural environment
  • Avoid any doubt focusing only on the flow of combat  – Be 100% there, we must not be in the condition where we do not want the fight and at the same time do not want to avoid it; this does not mean to feel pleasure or to desire the clash but to deal with it intensely and at the same time, without being subdued by its dynamics
  • Who is voted to win is who has nothing to lose – Choose to have nothing to lose (we are made of matter, energy, we are at the same time continuous revolution and eternal staticity); the greatest expression of a “Zen warrior” is to remain completely indifferent to the idea of victory or defeat, life or death; we have to eliminate any desire

See the fight from outside, as if it did not concern us

This state of “mental absence” is not only difficult to achieve but it is also very dangerous (if truly interiorized). It has to be used only in situations where life is really in danger (it is possible to fight very well even without a complete access to this state of “trance”).

With this mechanism in action:

  • The mind is completely emptied of thoughts (doubts, disturbances, inhibitory brakes, ethical judgments, etc.)
  • The body is free by its inhibiting brakes (work of antagonistic muscles, Qi restraints, etc.)
  • Each part of our body is focused solely on combat and will continue to fight relentlessly
  • At the highest possible level of detachment, the practitioner risks to stop only after annihilating (or being annihilated by) the opponents

There is more to say but for now, we stop here, then we will deepen the subject further (read Become the absolute zero).

In-depth articles


Reply in the comments and share your experience:

  • What is, in your opinion, the biggest obstacle in maintaining a good concentration level?

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