The Adaptability of Mind
By Dr. Marc Ellis
When I met Grand Master Sams in the early 90’s he would always tell me not to train in patterns because they are a liability. Sajido practitioners train to be adaptable to change in the current situation. Even if that means doing something they have never thought of doing before. The astute practitioner often is simply an observer of their own movement allowing the body to find the best solution. Many people aspire to simply exist in a state of “No Mind” and to move in this manner. The Sajido practitioner understands that using conscious thought to solve a problem may be the best option. Conscious thought allows the Sajido practitioner to be mentally ahead of their opponent and to position the opponent where they want them. When the Martial Artist can fluently move between “Mindfulness” and “No Mindfulness” then they have the best of both worlds at their disposal. Many Martial Artists argue about which one is better. The Sajido practitioner understands there is a value in both skills.
Bruce Lee wrote in the Tao of Jeet Kune Do on page 22. “Because one does not want to be disturbed, to be made uncertain, he establishes a pattern of conduct, of thought, a pattern of relationships to man. He then becomes a slave to the pattern and takes the pattern to be the real thing.”
I assure you that when you train without patterns it can be, as Bruce Lee said, disturbing. You do not have a linear standard to compare your progress to and to predict what goal you are trying to reach. You must trust your teacher and constantly test your skills to see if they are actually effective. When you have gained great skill in this method of training you will have learned to be adaptable. You will be able to solve problems you have never seen before. This skill is not confined to fighting. It benefits you in your day-to-day business as well as your personal life.