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  • #31
    Originally posted by R.N. Armstrong View Post
    That's what I pursue in practice, "an empty mind". When I can get in the "zone", I hit more consistently--just look at the ball and hit it. Staying in the zone is hard to maintain. I find that I start trying to aim and begin missing.
    Have you tried breaking boards? Same sort of mind visualization. It's better to drop them just before striking through. It's kinda fun to shatter boards in flight...
    Credo quia absurdum.


    Quantum mechanics describes nature as absurd from the point of view of common sense. And yet it fully agrees with experiment. So I hope you can accept nature as She is - absurd! - Richard Feynman

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    • #32
      Originally posted by Bwaha View Post
      Have you tried breaking boards? Same sort of mind visualization. It's better to drop them just before striking through. It's kinda fun to shatter boards in flight...
      Yes, I have two black belts. The mind and strike is focused behind or below the boards. The difference from archery and petanque shooting is the mind is focused on a distant target and struck by an object free from a direct physical extension of your body. I find my shooting improves if I image the path of the shooting ball to the target ball in the last split second before releasing. That path for a perfect shot must drop through the target ball as I have read a zen archer's arrow must drop through their target.

      Hence my question is to those who have practiced the technique and can talk to how to hold consistently the mind to the aim and strike. I have asked French master petanque players, but they always give me a western scientific answer. They do not have the eastern concept of the empty mind. I think they are doing the same thing as zen archer, but are unaware of the mind's role. For example, I asked one if he relaxed before and during his shot. He replied he never relaxed in a game, he gained energy from staying intensive. In martial arts generally, the practice and training is to perceive the threat and quickly react versus the perception of the threat, deciding what technique to use, then react.

      It is a relaxed, empty mind that reacts faster. If an archer or petanque shooter is concentrating on his stance--the mind stops there. If they are concentrating on holding and releasing the arrow or ball--the mind stops there. If a movement around the archer or shooter occurs, the mind will stop there. In all these stops, the mind is not on the target--it must remain empty to allow the perception-reaction to work perfectly.

      A couple of scenes in the Last Samurai illustrate this point in sword fighting, particularly against multiple opponents. Japanese sword flicks of have the hero fighting multiple opponents and dispatches them in moves and sequence which allows no time for decisions on technique demonstrating the swordman's high level of perfection.
      Last edited by R.N. Armstrong; 25 Oct 17, 06:02.
      Leadership is the ability to rise above conventional wisdom.

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      • #33
        Just came across an nice book at "second hand" store and one I've meant to get and read for a while now.
        The Book of Five Rings: A Classic Text on the Japanese Way of the Sword
        https://www.amazon.com/Book-Five-Rin.../dp/1590302486

        I expect you may have read this at least once, and I'm just starting to leaf thru, and ... maybe time for a re-read ???
        TANSTAAFL = There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch

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        • #34
          Originally posted by R.N. Armstrong View Post
          Yes, I have two black belts. The mind and strike is focused behind or below the boards. The difference from archery and petanque shooting is the mind is focused on a distant target and struck by an object free from a direct physical extension of your body. I find my shooting improves if I image the path of the shooting ball to the target ball in the last split second before releasing. That path for a perfect shot must drop through the target ball as I have read a zen archer's arrow must drop through their target.

          Hence my question is to those who have practiced the technique and can talk to how to hold consistently the mind to the aim and strike. I have asked French master petanque players, but they always give me a western scientific answer. They do not have the eastern concept of the empty mind. I think they are doing the same thing as zen archer, but are unaware of the mind's role. For example, I asked one if he relaxed before and during his shot. He replied he never relaxed in a game, he gained energy from staying intensive. In martial arts generally, the practice and training is to perceive the threat and quickly react versus the perception of the threat, deciding what technique to use, then react.

          It is a relaxed, empty mind that reacts faster. If an archer or petanque shooter is concentrating on his stance--the mind stops there. If they are concentrating on holding and releasing the arrow or ball--the mind stops there. If a movement around the archer or shooter occurs, the mind will stop there. In all these stops, the mind is not on the target--it must remain empty to allow the perception-reaction to work perfectly.

          A couple of scenes in the Last Samurai illustrate this point in sword fighting, particularly against multiple opponents. Japanese sword flicks of have the hero fighting multiple opponents and dispatches them in moves and sequence which allows no time for decisions on technique demonstrating the swordman's high level of perfection.
          You third paragraph describes someone who is competent in any skill, even something as mundane as driving a car. When you are learning a skill you break it down into its constituent parts. Once you have mastered it you perform seemingly without thinking.
          "To be free is better than to be unfree - always."

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          • #35
            Originally posted by Surrey View Post
            You third paragraph describes someone who is competent in any skill, even something as mundane as driving a car. When you are learning a skill you break it down into its constituent parts. Once you have mastered it you perform seemingly without thinking.
            How do you master facing multiple opponents in different situations with different degrees of competency, different weapons?

            Certainly not like driving a car on a paved road, and could not perform seemingly without thinking on a narrow curving mountain road with no guardrails, or a torn up road with tire busting pot holes....

            There is a quality of mind that makes some archers (or in any sport) consistently better than others despite learning the constituent parts.
            Leadership is the ability to rise above conventional wisdom.

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            • #36
              Originally posted by R.N. Armstrong View Post
              My interest is in the role of the mind in zen archery. I am not using a bow; rather, I am a shooter in the French game of petanque. With twenty plus years experience in various eastern martial arts and weapons, I never pursued zen archery, but I have an appreciation of the eastern mind in this art and believe it has an applicability for a western 'shooter'
              in petanque for aiming and throwing a 72-76mm steel ball (boule in French) to strike and knock out a target ball (72-76mm) at distances between 6 to 10 plus meters. Perfect hit on the target can result in the shooting ball replacing the target ball (which usually held a scoring point).
              FYI ~ petanque
              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P%C3%A9tanque
              TANSTAAFL = There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch

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              • #37
                Originally posted by R.N. Armstrong View Post
                How do you master facing multiple opponents in different situations with different degrees of competency, different weapons?

                Certainly not like driving a car on a paved road, and could not perform seemingly without thinking on a narrow curving mountain road with no guardrails, or a torn up road with tire busting pot holes....

                There is a quality of mind that makes some archers (or in any sport) consistently better than others despite learning the constituent parts.
                The 'quality of mind' is called practice, lots of practice and experience.

                That is how you determine how and who is going to attack in multiple opponent situations. Or driving on a mountain road, or a champion tennis player returning a 100 mph serve.

                https://www.amazon.co.uk/Bounce-Myth.../dp/B003P2WJ18
                Last edited by Surrey; 20 Nov 17, 03:08.
                "To be free is better than to be unfree - always."

                Comment


                • #38
                  Originally posted by Surrey View Post
                  The 'quality of mind' is called practice, lots of practice and experience.

                  That is how you determine how and who is going to attack in multiple opponent situations. Or driving on a mountain road, or a champion tennis player returning a 100 mph serve.

                  https://www.amazon.co.uk/Bounce-Myth.../dp/B003P2WJ18
                  There is no question it takes practice to be very good at anything.

                  If you have the book, can you tell us the background of the author? The blurb on the book talks about his astounding summer--doesn't sound like his has practiced something over a very long time.
                  Leadership is the ability to rise above conventional wisdom.

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                  • #39
                    Originally posted by R.N. Armstrong View Post
                    There is no question it takes practice to be very good at anything.

                    If you have the book, can you tell us the background of the author? The blurb on the book talks about his astounding summer--doesn't sound like his has practiced something over a very long time.
                    Been a few years since I read it. The author was a leading UK table tennis player, on the national team I think. Not world champion or anything but compared to the average leisure player in a different league.
                    Essentially the book says that to get to be really good at anything you need lots and lots of directed practice. That practice is much more important than talent or aptitude. And if you look behind supposed overnight success stories you will find someone who has spent many years preoaring. Even child prodigies like Mozart just started practicing at a very young age.
                    The oft quoted figure is 10000 hours of directed practice are needed to make someone world class.

                    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matthew_Syed
                    Last edited by Surrey; 20 Nov 17, 08:52.
                    "To be free is better than to be unfree - always."

                    Comment


                    • #40
                      Originally posted by Surrey View Post
                      Been a few years since I read it. The author was a leading UK table tennis player, on the national team I think. Not world champion or anything but compared to the average leisure player in a different league.
                      Essentially the book says that to get to be really good at anything you need lots and lots of directed practice. That practice is much more important than talent or aptitude. And if you look behind supposed overnight success stories you will find someone who has spent many years preoaring. Even child prodigies like Mozart just started practicing at a very young age.
                      The oft quoted figure is 10000 hours of directed practice are needed to make someone world class.

                      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matthew_Syed
                      IMHO, the easterners have a better perspective on the role of the mind in the martial arts than the westerners' scientific answers.
                      Leadership is the ability to rise above conventional wisdom.

                      Comment


                      • #41
                        Different perspectives:

                        A samurai walks into an inn and orders a bowl of rice with fish and sake. As he eats his bowl of food, three ronins sitting at a nearby table make rude remarks about the samurai and become threatening in their tone. The samurai with his chopsticks snatches quickly three flies in the air, then resumes eating. The ronins look at each other and hurry out of the inn.


                        A marshal walks into a tavern and orders a bowl of chili and beer. As he eats his chili, three gunslingers standing at the bar turn around and make taunting remarks with a challenge in their tone. The marshal quickly snatches up three flies from the tabletop with his right bare hand and then sips his beer with his left hand. The three gunslingers step closer, and their leader said, "Well, you're good with flies, but how about with men?"
                        Leadership is the ability to rise above conventional wisdom.

                        Comment


                        • #42
                          Petangue - I

                          Originally posted by G David Bock View Post
                          If I understand this game correctly;

                          > The "Jack"(target) ball is a solid while the "game" balls of the two teams are hollow.
                          > Both teams (# 1-3, with six balls/boules to play) roll~toss~mix from the same launch circle/ring towards the target/"Jack" ball.
                          > Players of each team might be classed as rollers(Pointers), tossers(Shooters), or "mix"*.

                          Game is played in rounds/Ends where closest balls/boules to the target/"Jack" gain points and/or round/end win.

                          Play goes until a team totals 13 points, equals a win;

                          Got the basics here ???

                          * = My invented term for a "lobber" whom then applies a landing/impact roll to the ball/boule via "spin"/"english" ...
                          TANSTAAFL = There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch

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                          • #43
                            Pentangue - II

                            Originally posted by G David Bock View Post
                            If I understand this game correctly;

                            > The "Jack"(target) ball is a solid while the "game" balls of the two teams are hollow.
                            > Both teams (# 1-3, with six balls/boules to play) roll~toss~mix from the same launch circle/ring towards the target/"Jack" ball.
                            > Players of each team might be classed as rollers(Pointers), tossers(Shooters), or "mix"*.

                            Game is played in rounds/Ends where closest balls/boules to the target/"Jack" gain points and/or round/end win.

                            Play goes until a team totals 13 points, equals a win;

                            Got the basics here ???

                            * = My invented term for a "lobber" whom then applies a landing/impact roll to the ball/boule via "spin"/"english" ...
                            So ...
                            Unlike other "projectile" sports where the target grid is verticle-horizontal, like archery/bows/arrows or firearms/powder/bullets and there is a mechanical assist, here we have a "horizontal" target grid and the "projectile power" is all human muscle. Somewhere between a cross of verticle~Javelin/shot-put/horse-shoes and bowling~crocet~billards,etc. ~~~ ...

                            Basic training in targeting methods for either horizontal or verticle would center around use of a grid to achieve two goals;
                            A) General area/grid accuracy
                            B) Specific Target/Vector Impact WITH re-act vector/direction move of target-impact ball/boule.*

                            This would suggest training on two goals;
                            1) An instintive/generic toss~roll~Lob/mix stance and method to hit a "target" square/grid of the test/train field.
                            2) An adjust the basic/instinctive/genric toss-to-grid/square for specific placed target ball/boule.

                            There is a training ~ Skills-set method that comes to mind here ...

                            * Where "spin" or "english" comes into play.
                            Last edited by G David Bock; 05 Dec 17, 14:08. Reason: context adjustment
                            TANSTAAFL = There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch

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                            • #44
                              The object of the game is to get more of your boules closer to the object ball than your opponent(s). For each boule closer than the opponent's closest boule is one point. 13 points wins the game. Depending on the situation a player can be a pointer or a shooter.

                              One, as a pointer, can place their boules closer to the object ball (jack). They can throw the boule in the air much like a mortar round landing close to the jack and rolling a very short distance. Or one can throw the boule, like an artillery round, half or more and essentially 'walk' the boule in close for the point. Or on a flat, hard court a player can drop the boule early, about two meters, and roll it close to the jack much like a putt on a golf green.

                              English is used to throw the boule around blocking boules or obstacles (such as a large stone or broken branch....).

                              If one cannot get a boule closer to the jack than the opponents, because it blocks the avenue of approach or is so close (even touching) the jack it would be very tough to beat it, then one, as a shooter, can shoot away the opponent's near boule. Courts are not always flat, nor even. Sometimes the shooters feet is above or below the target boule which requires an adjustment in the targeting to compensate for the difference (just like in golf the compensation in the club swing for when the golf ball is above or below the feet on a bank).

                              Your verbal equation doesn't suggest too much to me, because the variables in the throw will change as the shooter gets tired and looses control in the arm swing, wrist snap, and release timing as well as the mental concentration on the target.
                              Last edited by R.N. Armstrong; 05 Dec 17, 14:23.
                              Leadership is the ability to rise above conventional wisdom.

                              Comment


                              • #45
                                Pentangue - III

                                Originally posted by G David Bock View Post
                                So ...
                                Unlike other "projectile" sports where the target grid is verticle-horizontal, like archery/bows/arrows or firearms/powder/bullets and there is a mechanical assist, here we have a "horizontal" target grid and the "projectile power" is all human muscle. Somewhere between a cross of verticle~Javelin/shot-put/horse-shoes and bowling~crocet~billards,etc. ~~~ ...

                                Basic training in targeting methods for either horizontal or verticle would center around use of a grid to achieve two goals;
                                A) General area/grid accuracy
                                B) Specific Target/Vector Impact WITH re-act vector/direction move of target-impact ball/boule.*

                                This would suggest training on two goals;
                                1) An instintive/generic toss~roll~Lob/mix stance and method to hit a "target" square/grid of the test/train field.
                                2) An adjust the basic/instinctive/genric toss-to-grid/square for specific placed target ball/boule.

                                There is a training ~ Skills-set method that comes to mind here ...

                                * Where "spin" or "english" comes into play.
                                So, ... how does all this translate into "training" ... ???

                                First, we are dealing with targeting a horizontal "grid" of proximity to a "target location ("Jack")", so we should practice on getting our (hollow)ball/'Boules' where we want them to be ~Close as Possible to the target/"Jack".

                                Second, we want to find ways to hit and distance the opponent team's balls/boules from the target/"Jack"; while hopefully placing that effecting ball/boule closer to the "target"/"Jack".

                                The best way to do this is to develop skill set (instinctive~generic) of pitch ~ toss/roll that gets our ball/boule closer to the target/"Jack" while "bumping" the oppossing team's ball/boule further away ...

                                Hence the use of a "Grid" target matrix practice system ...
                                TANSTAAFL = There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch

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