Friday, March 30, 2007

Concentration on the...Hey, cookies!

I know this is a topic I've dwelt on before, but it's been at the forefront of my thoughts again....Okay, honestly, it's at the forefront on and off for about 30 seconds at a time. Yes, it is my eternal battle with concentration. Exhibit A: Not being able to concentrate on work and writing this instead. I read two articles this morning on about recent studies into our powers (or lack thereof) of concentration. And while it's comforting that I am not alone in the frequency of my space-outs, there is no cure yet. Meditation was mentioned as a possible means of training the brain. Fencing was not.

But, perhaps I misrepresent myself. Fencing does not help my ability to concentrate. However, my time on the strip is virtually the only time I can keep my mind on a single finite thing for more than a minute. It is a relief, truly, to have a break from the constant struggle to focus and to have a reprieve from reprimanding myself for drifting off to other matters (usually fencing, actually).

The question though, is what am I concentrating on while on the strip? Last night, I tried during a couple bouts to focus on accomplishing certain maneuvers and find that the times that I am trying the hardest to think through my moves are the times that I am least successful. It just seems like too much work for my little brain to execute attacks and maintain a heightened defense at the same time. When I think about the times I am most successful, it seems that my mind is more abstract. Sort of...feeling my way through the bout and relying much more on instinct than on plans. That is all well and good, but I do not think that I can improve much fencing this way forever.

That is why I'm going to advocate for more drills at practice. I do believe that instinctual may be the best way to fence, but I think that I can train my instincts in order to reach a higher plane of fencing. If, by drilling, I can make more advanced actions - and perhaps even analysis - a more automatic part of my game, then that is the way to go.

I do realize that I have drifted from the original slant of my post, but really, what did you expect?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The instinctual game is the way of the warrior;"knowledge into action" Charles Selberg termed it...other master's like those of Zen call it beginner's mind.