Thursday, December 27, 2007

I think therefore I am frustrated - Ashley Cutmore

I think therefore I am frustrated - Ashley Cutmore

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

11th December: Untitled.

Life and current thoughts/doings

Been doing an awful lot of reading recently, varying topics, and developing my beliefs and mentality through reading and adapting many aspects into my life training.

Been doing a fair amount of reading on Bruce Lee and his training methods over the past few weeks. As was pointed out by the Author of the book and Mr Wayland during a big old chat, his methods were used 40 odd years ago, and so, more advanced and effective methods of training the body with the further understanding and incorperation of science and physiology are implemented making some of his methods less effective to todays standards. I've not been reading stories, and myths about him, but facts brought forth by a devotee of Lee and from records he, himself took while training produced to the writer by Linda Lee Cadwell.

He hit a period in his already extensive training in various MA styles, where he was too slow, too un-conditioned, and being the personality he seemed to be, possibly much like some 'Traceurs' or individuals who aim to train their bodies, knew things needed to be done to make his movements more effective and to make his fitness
much better. He researched Everything avaialable at the time (books, magazines, articles etc), tested things out, rejected the useless and adapted/adopted what was effective for his training. With all this said he did great things at the time of his life, and we should take admiration for Bruce and figures like him who aimed to better themselves physically, mentally and spiritually.

However regardless of possibly now outdated methods, we can still learn a great deal from the man, who could have been, at his time at least one of the greatest physical athletes and human beings around. He intergrated supplementary weights training, isometric training, and cardio, along with his MA training in order to better himself and make himself as good as he could be. His concept of 'Jeet Kune Do' was incredibly important also, finding flaws and weaknesses in learnt techniques and styles, and therefore in his own life and movements, and seeked the ways to overcome them and better them, to better himself not merely as a Martial Artist but a Human Being.

It's one and the same goal. Regardless of the direction of physical disciplines, the
destination is the same, up the mountain path in life, hitting our goals along the way but constantly striving forwards, upwards, and aiming nothing but bettering and perfecting ourselves in whatever we should chose to do.


My opinions in what it is I do have changed and I am learning more and more as each day passes. Life is a learning experience, the world around us is the school, the training ground. We shouldn't care or rather, worry too much about what it is or isn't that we do or practice. Definition in terms of our chosen directions, 'hobbies' or disciplines are nice to have, but shouldn't be put at the cost of the direction and journey, the importance is through the general and consistant direction, moving onwards and bettering ourselves through, learning from our experiences, 'teachers', and lives.

[more Parkour and Life orientated part of this post]

"All knowledge ultimatly leads to self-knowledge" - Bruce Lee.

Our lives aren't easy at times and for those of us wishing to rise up and better ourselves, life shouldn't be easy. If we take the easy route, we are merely sliding down the mountain rather than heading in the direction we should aspire to, unfortunatly, too many people today do this, taking the easier options as much as possible. If we take the difficult and tackle it with all our courage and all our heart whether we 'succeed' in the goal or not, we are succeeding in our battles for self achivement.


"I do not pray for a lighter load, but for a stronger back." - Philip Brooks.


I practice what I do in order to better myself, I wish to be strong, I wish to be able. These goals are
always moving, In different directions along the way; onwards and upwards and, according to different interpretions depending on where we our in our journeys.
Perfection is not a goal or a destination, as it is unatainable, my only real destination in life is death, but I wish to face my life with heart, and love and faith, to help other people and better myself towards the aspiration, or perfection along my path through life.

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As promised, a little something from my writings on "The Spirit of Parkour".

('The Spirit of Parkour' was the original title of my work, however it's relevance to it may be questionable in some peoples opinions, it has helped me realise a great many things and I hope my words may help you in your journey).


"Experience within Parkour" [or other movement areas]


Experience is important and starts from birth, and is a process of life, learning from what is around us, and inside us, through conscious and subconscious thought, and through the natural process of the mind, remembering and creating memories of lived experiences. Through conscious thought and effort we can understand these experiences, and use them to benefit us on many different levels; spiritually, morally, practically and on other aspects of training within ones' life.

Parkour and life adopts these principles as a part of everyday life, using these experiences within our lives as lessons, in which we can learn and grow from, bettering ourselves and moving onwards 'up the mountain path' (I love the mountain anology if you didn't notice :-p).

In specific relation to Parkour, experience plays a large role on the conscious and subconscious actions we have, are, and may take while practicing and moving. For example, a new arm jump situation to you, roughly a 6ft gap, and standing at the edge of the wall take off, the landing ledge comes up to around chest height.
--The Arm jump movement is within your ability. How do you know this? (Obviously, if at that ability currently).

Past experiences flash into our minds, thinking of Arm Jumps previously practiced or seen, many at first are in our mind from our (hopefully) vast experience practicing, then our minds eliminate those which do not match the criteria, of distance and height, or prehaps making the whole environement up in our minds.
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Past experience allows us to make calculated decisions based on past decisions, choices, events, and their outcomes, whether they were productive or unproductive, or; of course, the shades of grey in between those two factors.

Again, using the example of the above described Arm Jump. This may have been practiced 2 minutes, 2 weeks or 2 years ago, in [insert location here]. When practicing the movement we take conscious and subconscious information about the movement, both small and large lessons being learnt singularly or at the same time, this could include, as an example, how the [landing] wall looked and felt, how the shoe type you are wearing (if any) reacted, did it slip, grip too much?, what kind of strain the size of the Arm Jump put on your arms and body.... The list goes on...

The important lesson to take from this is understanding and focusing your attention on certain areas of the movement in order to take in as much detailed information through the whole movement, feeling through all senses and taking in as much
useful information as possible to make a more informed; safe, and effective decisions on future practices, and disregarding the information which, in all probability, will not make a difference to your movement. Of course, to be aware is a vital skill when practicing in the uncontrolable world around us. Yes, the bird sitting nearby could fly up and get in your way while executing a movement, so be aware and ready if that should happen, but the woman 50 meters away watching you, smoking a ciggeratte during her lunch break, with blonde hair and pink shoes etc; probably won't make that much difference in the movement which may happen in only a few moments. Use selective attention to enable what you should be aware of and what can be put aside in your field of awareness (this is discussed in the Process of movement in an earlier blog [LINK HERE]).

As someone who aims to be useful, what we take in should enrich and benefit us, leading to future benefits and progression. Different amounts of focus and areas of attention should be employed for whatever areas you personally wish to improve and learn on, maybe landings, take offs, or any vast variables of the movement or within life.

For beginners you should repeat many times and take in as much information as possible, with time and practice you can eliminate areas you find not to be useful in
your individual training. All of this contributes to aid possible future situations and movements.

A Warning: Please Bear in mind that although past experience CAN be a valuable tool in your training, do not solely rely on it. To do so is complacent and may lead to serious injury or a poor decision in life.

In Summary:

Use the movements in everyday life to learn from and grow from, whether it be walking up the stairs, or making a new precision jump. The information we can consciously take in, through selective attention, and subconsciously attain through the senses, and kineasthesis, can and will naturally be used to judge and react to future situations through practice and life. With conscious thought on these natural processes, we can make great leaps forward (no pun intended) in the areas or sensitivity, mental, physical and spatial awareness, posture and general understanding of who we are and what the important factors around us are, to incorperate and improve on to make us better people, Traceurs or whatever you all yourself.

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I hope this helps, as ever if there's an area you don't understand please comment and I'll try to answer any questions or if you want to input on it, or just want to leave a comment, please do.

Take care on your journeys! Merry Christmas.

Brad