We like: Enter the Dragon by Rory Miller

Chimp Brain in a jarWe really like this article by Rory Miller about the three minds/brains we humans have. He writes:

Your human mind is thoughtful and aware, reasonable if not always purely logical. You are not in this mode nearly as often as you think you are. When you are, you weigh the costs and do the right thing regardless. You live up to your highest ideals.

Your animal mind, your lizard brain, is older. It is concerned with you as a physical animal- it deals with danger and hunger and movement. When you are in your animal mind, you move like an animal, like an athlete. It is pure. It can be vicious and it is ruthless. It is older than human concerns like justice or mercy…

In the middle is your monkey mind. We evolved from social primates- animals that lived in tight groups completely dependent on the group for survival. Our interdependence drove an evolution toward social skills and social strategies to deal with conflict. Your monkey mind is concerned, always and obsessively, with what other people will think about you.

These are very true words and we all should have some experience with the different minds in us. Rory goes on to applying this theory to martial arts:

Martial arts should be about the human mind and the lizard mind. Developing an ethical understanding of force and violence and educating and training an animal body to new levels of efficiency. Martial arts should be, fundamentally, about empowering students.

When the training caters to the monkey mind, it robs the students of power. It cripples students who may, some day, need to do the right thing (human brain) with absolute efficiency (lizard brain) to survive. The monkey has no place here.

Funny thing, Peter Gloor was also mentioning (a slightly different version of) the three brains we have on the COINs Conference last saturday. However, he was talking about the development of the fourth brain, the social brain, which in my opinion could be separate to above mentioned monkey brain – more about creativity, innovation and strength coming from teams.

We encourage everyone to read the whole thing on Rory’s blog as it’s very well written and compact.

[via The Striking Post]

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