In the forty years I’ve been practicing the martial arts, I’ve seen physical confidence in students allow them to release the fears of their pasts… including abuse and neglect issues. But they have to allow the physical movements modeling animal and human confidence to penetrate to their cores. Motion creates emotion.
Help them breathe, move, hold their faces and use language (words, tonalities, pace and rhythm) like a confident, healthy human animal. In my martial arts, whether they are Yin or Yang, there is health and safety. In Tai Chi, you yield while maintaining your center, allowing an attacker to over-extend and destroy their own balance.
From that position, your counter attack is devastating. In karate, you deflect an attack while denying target… and then counter with crushing speed and power, part of that power created by the collision of vectors. When these tactics become metaphors for dealing with aggression, guilt, shame or anger, the movement of the body in conflict teaches, at the neurological level, how to be safe in the midst of conflict.
How to remain calm and safe even when others are trying to maim or kill you. And when you ask questions about the core beliefs, attitudes and perceptions that allow mastery in this arena, and begin to apply them to your emotional, intellectual, personal, or financial life, the results are generative.
You change the way people move by changing their emotions. And change their emotions by changing the way they move. When you remove fear, what remains is love and passion. That heals, and then drives personal evolution.
Our work changes lives. And changed lives change the world. The inner exploration is vastly superior to the external.
As Captain Nemo said in “20,000 Leagues Under The Sea”: “this world does not need new lands. It needs new men.”