Images and learning (Gord)

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Images and learning (Gord)

Postby Josh Young » Thu Jun 28, 2012 7:32 pm

page 33
believe that it is the image of the person
that taught you the form you practice that
helps you get to the internal! That is why
it is so important to learn from a teacher
who has learned the internal! If your
teacher is doing only a physical posture,
HOW can that teacher give your mind the
correct image to work with?

I was wondering, Gord, if you could elaborate on the first part of this. I would like to know your thoughts on how and why the image of a person (who taught you) the form helps.

I am convinced that the most important
part of internal training isn’t doing the
form or joining hands. While you MUST
do this training, as they are how we get
our bodies to DO the movements, it is the
time spent watching your teacher DO the
form that is vital to understanding. I
don’t mean watching and TRYING to
understand! Just watching and let your
mind SEE! It is my belief that once the
correct images get into your mind, those
images will start to guide you..

Does this work only for those you meet face to face or for video?
if video: Does it work for any video or only instructional videos?

We start that process
by getting the correct images to our
internal, our mind. The internal part of
all of us that we have regular access to is
our mind! I have found that when we
can get our mind doing the form, it
becomes apart of us and we don’t HAVE
to “train” any more.

Do you mean that watching video can replace training?
I use muscle memory and repetition to assimilate moves, i've never been able to get them from watching them, rather I have had to work hard and train. Is there a way to avoid this by watching enough video?

How would you say this works so that someone could apply it as a method?
If someone has seen thousands of hours of form and such, is that good for their skill development and why?

I've never even considered the idea of the image of the teacher or mind, but I don't
think in images, though I know some people who seem to. Being autistic my mind works differently than most.

Thanks in advance!
Josh Young
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Re: Images and learning (Gord)

Postby wpgtaiji » Thu Jun 28, 2012 8:49 pm

This came about from a man named Leland Val Vandewal, through Bob Proctor, well the seed of it. When people are asked to think of their car, they see their car in their mind (well, most do Josh). Their home, they see it. When people are asked to see their MIND, maybe their brain comes up, or something else. But that isnt their mind. The Mind is movement, and the body is a manifestation of that movement (sounds like internal arts to me, though it took me 10 years of study to get it!).

Leland created a picture of the Mind. he called it the Stick man. It is in 3 parts. The top is a large circle with a line across the equator. The top he called Conscious mind, the bottom is Subconscious mind. He added a small circle beneath, attached by a small line, this is the BODY. So very quickly, the conscious mind creates an image, that is impressed on the subconscious mind and manifest in the body (fear is an excellent QUICK acting manifestation of this).

The article came about because i was wondering HOW we get to internal. There are so many people claiming to do internal martial arts, but show ZERO principles as to what makes an art internal (i know you and i have differing ideas on this). So i looked at why.

The very first thing we are told by a good teacher is to watch. Most of us, in our excitement attempt to figure out what is going on, and with our untrained eyes, we miss TONS. We also are moving our bodies around, so we never let the image just sink in.

See, the subconscious mind, once an image is impressed on it, works regardless. Until that happens, the movement stays with the conscious mind and we have to think about it.

The idea is that, watching your teacher do the movements, and just letting him do it without ANY mental interference on your part (meaning, you are not analyzing it), allows, what I believe to be the seed for later growth.

Bruce Frantzis wrote about standing in qigong for entire taiji classes for a full year watching form. He says he learned so much. I asked Erle (as he was alive when i did this), and he told me that he sees the teacher that taught him the form when he did it. That image should be your standard. It is what your subconscious relies on when you BE taiji.

What if your teacher doesnt have internal ability? Find one who does! Seriously. How can you learn ANYTHING from someone who has no clue themselves? From someone who understands, simply being there is more than enough to learn IF YOU ARE READY, and that is a big part of it. You may, like so many have, watch Erle do his advanced forms, then they copy that, but they never get it right. I dont mean to pick on anyone, but this guy has this out there, for people to see, so here it is I have had a conversation or 2 with him, and despite being in the UK, in the hub of the WTBA, he has either learned from someone who learned from a DVD or he himself has (without credit to Erle, which is interesting in and of itself). His form is full of errors because he is copying the advanced form, but has not corrected the basics. His subconscious mind is attempting to manifest something that he has no foundation for.

In the WTBA, we have been discussing this sort of phenomena lately, as it is rampant through the organization (everyone wants to be better than they are!) so no one is immune. Even that clip I have up is incorrect as i was doing what this gent is doing. I have since went back to basics to correct things.

When I do my form, I see Erle doing it at a basic level. It may or may not manifest as that image, depending on the qi flow, what i ate, etc, but that is the driving force behind it. It in NO WAY diminishes the amount of training you have to do. What it does do is help get the right stuff inside, so when you start to get to the internal part of training, that jelly comes out.

How would someone apply it? Simply, whenever you are learning something new, just watch it the first time or 2. Dont think "oh he's doing that, ok" or "that is from".. just watch it (if it is something you WANT to learn). It may even be helpful to run through the images in your mind (repetition is one of the ways you impress the subconscious mind). Then go about learning the material. If you are in person, you can get lots of input. If you are watching a DVD, watch the entire DVD this way FIRST. Then go back and start to work on it (i wrote an article about learning from DVD on a friends webpage taijirenegade).

Mate, it is just my way of looking at things. How do we get to the internal? We first need to get something inside! The easiest is the image of the thing (and the subconscious manifests pictures).

I have no idea about autism. I know that the mind works in pictures, but some people, the pictures arent clear (dont think of a pink elephant). Words are pictures. Even music is attached to images (if you really pay attention to what is going on). I have heard of people with no sight who see from their nose or taste buds (the mind creates the pictures). In fact, it can be argued that EVERYTHING you see is really only an image in your mind that you created (yes, it gets deep).

I am one of those "different" martial artists. I wanted so much, 30 years ago, to be a zen student! To be eastern! But i never really enjoyed that stuff. I found western ideas (or interpretations of ideas) and studied them for a period of time. Then, all of a sudden, I found i didnt have mind and taiji/bagua. I had taiji (Erle said repeatedly, Taiji is the mother). Now, it is all just one thing. People have 50 forms! I have more forms now with Erle's stuff than i did previously, but it is only ONE. How did I get there? The only way I can explain it is that it started with this simple idea.

hope that helps Josh. I havent read that article in a LONG time (i wrote it 5 months before that mag came out), so this may help clarify (or confuse) as it is how i feel today.

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Re: Images and learning (Gord)

Postby Josh Young » Thu Jun 28, 2012 9:20 pm

Thank you for the detailed reply.

What is your opinion of books with pictures for something similar?

My mind works in what might be called waves, not words, pictures or images. Sometimes I do meditative exercises to create a mental image of something, but i almost never see anything like an image in my mind without using very specific techniques to do so. I am unusual though, I've yet to meet anyone who has met anyone else like me.

I have on the other hand employed study of forms to learn from, not to learn the forms themselves, more like something inherent to them. It is a lot like taking apart a machine, to see how it works, (and putting it back together again) for me at least. Kind of like how athletes study video of themselves to improve their technique... I agree that this sort of thing is a good comprehension aid.

Anyway, thank you for the reply!
Josh Young
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Re: Images and learning (Gord)

Postby wpgtaiji » Thu Jun 28, 2012 11:50 pm

I have no idea on the mind stuff you are relating! LOL I am leaving that alone :P

With respect to books, that is not an easy one. When I started karate, i took classes. At the same time, I was reading just about every thing i could find on Karate (the very first book i ever saw on karate had this picture of a "wild man", who was the chief instructor of the karate school i attended, so it was a little bit of fate). I would look at the pictures and read the text, then I would try out the moves. At class, they would be corrected by my teachers. Then I went back and saw, in the books, what i missed. I got so cocky at it, that i remember vividly, that a performer did a kata at a tourney. He was older and more advanced than me, but I learned the kata from a book (my teachers hadnt taught me yet cuz i wasnt ready!). I knew he made a mistake, and when i got home, I checked Nakayama's book (the bible series)! Turns out, i was wrong!! (I know you are all shocked, but i was a mere 13 years old - an orange belt learning black belt kata on his own :P ). That taught me so much about learning from books.

In brief, NO WAY! Especially taiji. In taiji there is ONE MOVEMENT. All of the postures that people talk about are not really there. That is what makes taiji Taiji. So, when you learn from a book, you see it incorrectly. I would have sworn up and down that it doesnt matter, but it does, in my opinion.

I should check that. That is UNLESS the person has spent so much time in the art of the book, that they understand what is going on. Erle wrote Internal Gungfu vol 2, and I have yet to see or work on some of the fighting methods with my seniors. Could I figure them out from the book (yes, and i have), but would I show them to anyone? NO WAY! Words just do not do justice to the movement that is actually being done. It may turn out that I was 100% perfect on learning the sequences, but so what. Why take that chance?

In my experience, there are very few people who have studied from books like I have, and had instant access to corrections to see where they went wrong. I can see the pictures in 3 dimensions when i look at them. I can see them in space around me. I can even visualize me doing them. But there just isnt that same imaging that is needed to take it to the internal eventually, that a teacher gives.

thanks mate
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Re: Images and learning (Gord)

Postby wpgtaiji » Fri Jun 29, 2012 6:15 am

My troubles is that there is so much on this topic!

One of the very best internal martial arts books ever written (in my opinion) was 1) not a martial arts book, and 2) was written in 1960 by a plastic surgeon. In the book he talks about MENTAL Rehearsal, or seeing in your mind, doing the activity (shooting baskets) and compared to a group who actually did that (and a control). He found that doing mental rehearsal gave just about the same, if not better, results as did those who actually did the activity.

That is another bit of the puzzle that i had originally used in the article (not referenced, but gave me background for it). The book is Psycho-cybernetics, by Maxwell Maltz.

It is important to understand that NONE of the mind stuff is mine! I did not come up with "we think in pictures", etc. I took the ideas from sources, so if you have questions on those things, it isnt with me! I am just the recycler of the info!
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Re: Images and learning (Gord)

Postby Josh Young » Fri Jun 29, 2012 2:24 pm

wpgtaiji wrote:It is important to understand that NONE of the mind stuff is mine! I did not come up with "we think in pictures", etc. I took the ideas from sources, so if you have questions on those things, it isnt with me! I am just the recycler of the info!

No worries, I am familiar with quite a bit of neuroscience and cognitive theory.
I didn't think it was your theory and it is as good a theory as any out there.

I have a decent size martial arts book collection.
I vastly prefer books to video, but I don't learn things like forms from books, my focus is more on theory and basics, as well as history and philosophy. which along with biology were my major focuses in college.

Anyway thanks.
Josh Young
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