Saturday, December 5, 2009

The Body Language of Fear and Tension

It is said that the bodily manifestations are the mirror of our deepest and innermost state of mind and mental wellbeing. If you are fearful of being injured then your body will act in ways to reflect that fear. You may be able to willfully mask and hide your true state of mind behind an inscrutable facade when you are still conscious of your mental faculty but once that is lost your body language will reveal to the observer your true mental, spiritual and emotional state of mind.

The flinch response of a fearful practitioner being projected air-bond into the air is typified by recognizable natural body reactions such as shutting his eyes tightly, squeezing his facial features by grimacing, holding his breath, flapping limbs wildly in an uncoordinated fashion, awkward pose due to stiffening his body, etc.

To avoid unnecessary injury during training it is important that the trainee should be relaxed at all times. This can be achieved by synchronising his breathing with his body actions. Instead of holding the breath the trainee should learn to breathe naturally and freely. Breathing naturally and freely means to inhale and exhale at the rate that is in harmony with his bodily actions. Inhaling represents tension and exhalation represents relaxation. Thus just before the body slam the uke should have completed his exhalation and by which time his body will have released the stored tension and soften sufficiently to receive the impact without suffering bodily distress.

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