alan little’s weblog


9th November 2007 permanent link

My colleague Kai and I – not masters, but we’ve met some – were swapping stories over lunch about his fifteen year judo career and my ten years’ yoga.

Knees, inevitably – Kai’s anterior cruciate ligament that he says is better than new; my torn meniscus that still gives me trouble, indirectly.

A class with a little sixty year old ju-jutsu seventh Dan where Kai found himself flying through the air, surprised, without even having felt the guy touch him. Ki.

Backbending in Mysore, the day Sharath was sick. Pattabhi Jois’s grandson Sharath had been working with me on my backbending. My backbending was very stiff and heavy at that time (nowadays it’s almost respectable, on a good day). Fit, strong thirty year old Sharath had been visibly struggling, according to friends of mine who were watching. Came the inevitable day when Sharath was sick, and Guruji, then 86 years old, walked over to me. Oh no, I thought, poor old Guruji is going to injure himself trying to lift me, and the whole yoga world will hate me. A couple of attempts later, there I was floating upwards, surprised, with just the lightest pressure from a couple of fingers behind my hips. Prana.

Ki. Prana. Just enough force and no more, at exactly the right place and time. Nothing supernatural, just practice. Lots and lots and lots of practice.

If you expect to become a martial arts master in a matter of days, you have a very long couple of days ahead of you.
Tyler Hass

The time scale for “mastery” is decades … the idea of someone claiming to be a “master” under the age of sixty is ludicrous.
Marc MacYoung

related entries: Yoga

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