Hello, finally we arrived at the last part on "Finding the Flow - Using flow to shape your own development in iaido".
The pace of modern life may estranges us from our true nature, making it easy for us to lead lives lacking in meaning. The hurried pace, the need for instant gratifications, lead us to desire instant results.
Our intuition and curiosity are innate tools that we can rely on to help us connect with our flow. Earlier on, we touched upon the 7 requirements for achieving flow:
1. Knowing what to do
2. Knowing how to do it
3. Knowing how well one is doing
4. Knowing where to navigate/ direct oneself towards
5. Perceiving significant challenges
6. Perceiving significant skills
7. Being free from distractions
How can being in a state of Flow help shape own development in Iaido..? and where do our intuition and curiosity fit?
Flow, like any other activity comes with practice. The more you practice, the easier it gets - you condition yourself over time to entering the state of flow.
The 1st 2 points: Knowing what to do and how to do it lays the foundation for Kihon. A solid Kihon meant better waza, it also facilitates understanding of more advanced wazas.
As one progresses in Iaido, surely there will be times one starts exploring techniques in greater depth, or starts combining elements of wazas together to form a bigger chain. This is where one's curiosity comes into play (pun-intended). And it is also where one's intuition would serve to guide the combination of waza techniques, supported by a sound understanding of Kihon. It would also facilitate gaining more insights into the meaning and nature of wazas as one slowly examines each part of the actions and transitions in any waza.
Being in the state of flow while practicing or "playing" generally helps to maintain focus and navigate either to work on areas of improvement or explore concepts/ test out waza combinations.
So. We reached the end of the article. Where do we go from here? In Iaido, the path is an never-ending path of self exploration and improvement. For a start, one may approach Kihon from a new perspective - how can one built on Kihon? How can one make Kihon more interesting?
For example, a simple standing nukitsuke exercise gains a new dimension when one attempts to do it forwards, then backwards.
Yet another example one might practice noto (sheathing) while slowly moving forwards continuously - this is actually a most base form of an advanced waza.
Coupled with the creativity of the human mind, the possibilities are endless. So go on, find your flow, have fun.