The type of mental breakdown in the martial arts I am talking about is one you want.
This is the breakdown, or loss, of scattered and shallow surface thoughts; thoughts that get in the way of the drive and desire to do the martial arts technique as cleanly and efficiently as possible.
I first noticed this in Chinese Kenpo back in 1967. In my first few kumite lessons I realized that I was launching the body, and my mind had nothing to do. So, in the space while I was waiting for the completion of technique, I had time to think. My mind would wander, I would wonder when this was ever going to reach conclusion, can’t this closing technique ever get any faster, maybe I should have done a side kick, and yawn, so on.
The solution, it seemed, was to make the body go faster. So I worked out harder, and made it go faster, but it didn’t work. Body go faster…mind go faster.
So the solution wasn’t a faster body, it was a slower mind. But slower only in the sense that I refused distractive thoughts. And here is where the blessing of the martial arts forms came in.
I could practice that kata, that shrot form and long form and so on and the book set and the two man forms, and…my mind became more comfortable with practice, I stayed focused, and surface thoughts went away.
I have to say, however, that the practice of the classical karate forms, seuch as the Heians (pinans), and so on, seemed more efficient. Of course, by then I had a kenpo base. So I can’t be absolutely sure. But…it sure felt like it.
Anyway, that is how i slowed my mind down, broke down the mental apparatus of compulsive having to think about something, and just observed reality. This observation of reality should happen in any martial art, but now that I knew what I was trying to do, I put together a more logical set of forms to make it happen faster. These are the matrix forms, and the techniques on the matrixing courses.
Pop over to Monster Martial Arts, check out some of the things having to do with slowing the mind down, have yourself a mental breakdown (grin), and I’ll talk to you later.