Friday, May 20, 2011

Let's Dance!

Let's Dance!
One of the greatest lessons my Sensei, Mr. Paul Dean, taught me was how to 'dance'...He used to always tell me it was important to dance, and or blend, with your opponent. This keeps your opponent off balance and easier to lead.

To be honest with you, I never really understood this when I was younger. To me fighting was about getting in fast, furious and full of flurry and loud noise...well, add a few decades onto my body and now "I get it"...

A Warrior knows how to have what I call 'blended engagement'...this is what Sensei Dean calls 'dancing'....In Budo, it is about 'Ceasing the Struggle"...the Struggle contains a combination of fighting and running. When we struggle we want the situation to end and so we tend to either fight it or run from it.  It's the basic fight or flight syndrome....sometimes you win sometimes you lose...mostly you lose, though.

I see people on daily basis who struggle with anxiety, depression, addictions and life in general. They are fighting and running all the rest. This leaves them feeling out of control and generally very tired and more depressed than before.  Teaching them how to do zazen, qigong, daily mindfulness and hypnotic techniques takes them off of fight and flight. It suspends it long enough so they can Dance!

When you Dance, you are full of life. Blended engagement is neither fighting your opponent (whether in the seen or unseen worlds) or running from your opponent. It is about embracing your opponent and embracing the situation, pleasant or unpleasant. Embrace it and begin to harmonize and dance. Smile.  Blend and float...and lead your opponent.  Aikido is a great example of this philosophy.  It exists in Karate and most Martial Arts...Tai Chi is another great example...Kung Fu for sure...I have had many of my Fu Chen bros 'dance me around' quite well.

Working with your opponent takes 'getting a feel for it'...sort of like riding a bike. You can talk about it but you don't know it till you do it. Watch the older masters...they 'know it'...

We can do this with our emotions and thought processes as well...even physical pain. There are many great ways to dance with pain and reduce your suffering...(read my book Black Belt Healing).

Like most good things, practice is paramount...but it is Fun! Dancing,blended engagement and/or harmonizing brings forth the joy inherent in our spirit...bring it forth!

Hands palm to palm,


  1. I immediately thought of Aikido when I saw the title! I'm just a babe in it (been training for all of three months or so), but I get it - even if I can't really DO it yet, LOL...

    Dancing can be fun, for sure :-)

  2. Aikido is's harmonizing and leading your partner...the same happens in Karate over time...I had a great compliment from a Kung Fu master a few years...he told me I moved like a Kung Fu guy (his system is very flowing).

  3. Oh..Felicia...keep practicing is great stuff!!!

  4. Aha, a book promotion!

    Very nice, often I forget about this. About dancing with life instead of struggling with it. This post omes to me in perfect timing. Great reminder.

    In gassho.