Now that I have set some vocabulary for thinking about Quadrants from a Martial Arts perspective, and narrowing it down from four Quadrants to three perspectives, what do we do now?

What if we dissect each of the three perspectives individually and view the Martial Arts from there?

The Personal “Quadrant” or Perspective

Pretty much anything that you cannot cut open and look at with a scientific or physical instrument falls into this perspective. These are the things that go on internally inside you. At this point, Science has not really developed any tools (physical or otherwise) to look directly at anything occurring in this perspective, although one could argue that the study of psychology is at least a start to that. After all, can you detect an emotion with an instrument? You may be able to see the effects of an emotion: change of facial expression, increases of certain hormone levels, etc, but you cannot actually measure the emotion itself and apply some metric unit to it. Now what about thoughts? You cannot detect them either, unless you are talking about measuring brain impulses. Again, here you are measuring electronic currents and magnetic fields, not thoughts.

This does bring up an important point associated with Integral Theory. Every one of these Personal phenomena has some kind of physical equivalent in the physical world. Thoughts have brains. Emotions have guts and hormones, and so on. You cannot really prove that the thought IS the brain or that the emotion IS the cortisol. You can only prove a link between them.

So it goes with Martial Arts. There are internal phenomena, including thoughts and emotions, that happen and they have physical equivalents, or better put, external manifestations of what is going on inside of you. Thus, training from this perspective is all about paying attention to what is going on internally. Here are some appropriate Personal perspective questions you can think about while you practice any technique:

  • Breathing
  • During a technique are you breathing or holding your breath?
  • Can you picture the pathway the breath is taking down to your abdomen and back up through your lungs?
  • When you picture the air in your mind, does it have a color?
  • Does the color of the air in your mind produce any differences in your technique when you perform it?
  • What happens if you picture the air going to places that the air isn’t actually going to, like your hands, feet, etc?
  • If you work with chakras, breath into different ones. How does that change the technique?
  • Thoughts and feelings
  • Think about your hands. Do a technique while only thinking about your hands and nothing else. What happens to it?
  • Think about your feet. Put your mind solely in your feet and nowhere else. Was it any different from when you had your mind in your hands?
  • Do the same thing again, but this time put your mind in your ear lobes. What happens to the technique?
  • What happens if you do the techniques while actively trying to stop your thoughts?
  • How does that change when you simply give up trying to control your thoughts and let them happen, while still keeping your mind focused on the technique?
  • Causal Attention
  • What is the one thing within you that never changes, no matter how you do a technique?
  • Can you find it?