Control Time…and You Can Control Your Opponent
Time is a liquid that can be manipulated at will. At first glance, it is a measuring stick, measuring the universe. The truth, however, is that a little martial arts training can bend this ruler at will.
To understand time is very simple, yet it requires that a person have a certain presence of mind. A person can gain this presence of mind by understanding the theory I am about to give you, and applying it to his martial art. The theory comes in four distinct stages, or steps.
The first step is to see/think/react. The beginner sees a threat, thinks about it, finally reacts. This would be the block and counter stage.
The second step is to see/react. Through practice, the student eliminates having to think about a technique and goes from seeing a threat to reacting to it. A student is getting faster at this stage of timing, and he is usually able to block and counter with the same hand.
The third step is to merely react. Becoming more polished, the student doesn’t even need to see a threat to react, he begins to have a sixth sense when a threat is about and whirls to meet it. This is a simultaneous block and counter stage.
The fourth step is act. A student perceives a threat developing and moves before it can result in a raised fist or launched foot. Simply, the person has eliminated rea-, which is reaction time, and is moving in the moment.
Moving in the moment is what the Japanese called Mushin no shin, mind of no mind, which is manifest through time of no time. When a person achieves this stage he is not a victim of the world, only capable of reacting to a threat, but is a master of the world, able to see things before they happen, and act accordingly. This is a stage of immense and developing choice.
The world is measured by time, but time is a perception of the world. If you train your perceptions, you can train yourself to handle the world. This is just one of the many blessings of a course of study in the martial arts.