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Featured Quote:

"The [Inay(an)] System (of Eskrima) is Complete" ~ Mangisursuro Inay 1944-2000

Instantaneous Adaptation

For those of you who aren't in the know, I have recently been experiencing some minor issues with my vision. I came to the sudden realization last night that eye glasses do not always clear the issue up!
I have a unique eye problem that stems from a bad run-in that I had with a pair of jewelers pliers as a toddler. While my vision returned to the eye in question, I have always noticed some minor distortions that mostly act up when I'm under bright lights for an extended period of time. Opthalmologists and Optometrists have told me that while I have adapted to the injury that my eyes get fatigued much quicker than the average healthy set. This interested me as I've found that I naturally tend to rely more on my other senses when in fights or practicing close quarters techniques.
In any event, after what had seemed to be a lifelong struggle, I set my pride aside and picked up some prescription glasses. Progressive bifocals! Full speed ahead, right? Well, not exactly. While I found that my glasses work well for reading contracts (I deal with a lot of those as a security consultant), driving and watching Zatoichi (a great show), they don't work too well for athletic endeavors. By not keeping up with my good old ("tried and true") blind training, eye exercises, etc. and relying primarily on my new prescription glasses, I forgot something that is at the heart of Inayan and is literally engraved on my Guro medallion: "Old Style, New Style". I had discarded the old in place of the new instead of piecing together the best of both worlds.
Whew! I was really at a loss last night when I had problems seeing a simple angle one strike being delivered to my noggin. Thankful to a very patient student giving me a handful of strikes for me to judge with glasses on and off, I was able to adapt for the time being. Now I could have immediately questioned my glasses and my sanity but by persevering I made it through. This event humbled me and caused me to question if I had been doing my best to adapt to that situation. I was not. I knew that I could have done better. After exchanging a few text messages with Suro I acknowledged that I need to go back to the basic eye exercises and Inayan techniques that had helped me adapt in the past. When I'm able to meld the new with the old my eyes should be ready for any angle that comes my way. Woosha! 
With that in mind my recommendation to anybody reading this post is to do your best to practice the basic techniques and concepts daily especially when you feel like you have them down pat. You never truly know when an opportunity for instantaneous adaptation will present itself, right? If you do, we need to talk because I could use a little of that mojo for my bag of tricks!
All the best,
Guro Josh 


Physical Challenges

 I have always found the times where I have had a real handicap or an imposed one, that the opportunity for growth through adaptation has been highest. When we are fighting and training to fight, either in the ring or the street, conditions may vary as your results will vary too. Being able to adapt is an importan aspect of being fluid in combative situations. In traditional martial arts as well as street fighting we have to consider under what contexts will a fight occur (almost anything at anytime) and try to simulate those.


For me times when I am experiencing some kind of injury or illness is often when I decide to train the most, the opportunity for gained insight and empirical knowledge can not be valued highly enough.


Be Excellent,


Suro Jason Inay