Martial Secrets: Psychology


Sterling HaydenImage via Wikipedia

Sterling Hayden 1916 –1986 was an actor and author. At six feet five inches his forte in acting was the western, and many great film noir. He was in Dr. Strangelove , and The Godfather and many other films. Hayden, always considered acting a way financing his adventures. Read his words from his autobiography, “Wanderer.” and see if you have any resonance with his comments.

“To be truly challenging, a voyage, like a life, must rest on a firm foundation of financial unrest. Otherwise, you are doomed to a routine traverse, the kind known to yachtsmen who play with their boats at sea… cruising, it is called. Voyaging belongs to seamen, and to the wanderers of the world who cannot, or will not, fit in. If you are contemplating a voyage and you have the means, abandon the venture until your fortunes change. Only then will you know what the sea is all about. “I’ve always wanted to sail to the south seas, but I can’t afford it.” What these men can’t afford is not to go. They are enmeshed in the cancerous discipline of security. And in the worship of security we fling our lives beneath the wheels of routine – and before we know it our lives are gone. What does a man need – really need? A few pounds of food each day, heat and shelter, six feet to lie down in – and some form of working activity that will yield a sense of accomplishment. That’s all – in the material sense, and we know it. But we are brainwashed by our economic system until we end up in a tomb beneath a pyramid of time payments, mortgages, preposterous gadgetry, playthings that divert our attention for the sheer idiocy of the charade. The years thunder by, the dreams of youth grow dim where they lie caked in dust on the shelves of patience. Before we know it, the tomb is sealed. Where, then, lies the answer? In choice. Which shall it be: bankruptcy of purse or bankruptcy of life?”

Here is a short interview by a French company – stay with it it goes to English for those of you who don’t speak French, (like me).

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Buzz AldrinImage by cliff1066 via Flickr

Deliberate Calm is a term used by pilots and astronauts, to describe the ability of the mind, through training, to override an emotional response to an intense moment. Cops feel it, fire fighters feel it and you have too when you have had to swerve to miss another car and you feel nothing but the moment while you drive, yet afterward you become a mess.

Simply put, this is what repetitive martial arts training attempts to bring to the practitioner.

Listen to this four-minute explanation by author Jonah Lehrer of How We Decide. I find his comments challenging and enlightening at the same time.

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