Connecting the dots

March 29, 2011 by Carlos A. Basconcelo  

At the recent Summit of Masters in Cancun, Vladimir Vasiliev talked about the real time we dedicate to training during class.
After a quick self-evaluation I was able to find more than a few instances during class in which I was not exactly training but just moving without a purpose or leaving my mind to wonder. I set up an experiment to catch and cure myself of letting my mind wander and of negative thinking, in order to become more effective in my movements.
I was pretty amazed to learn that a great percentage of the time in class I was not really present, for two estimated reasons:
1. Mind wandering and negative thoughts

I found myself anticipating my partner’s move and planning my response to his/her moves or appraising results according to effects.
2. Ineffective, and purposeless movements.
As the class progressed, I started to increase my speed and the number of movements. The biggest problem with ineffective moves is that they perpetuate excessive tension, which produces more ineffective moves (vicious cycle).

The cure.
I prepared my mind to allow certain detachment and then effortlessly bring my attention back to the training. I needed a catalyst and I found it right between the physical and the mental – Breathing. Breathing is a necessity, which can bring mind and body to a relaxed and harmonious state.

At that moment, I had the components for a very interesting session and I was ready to test my cure. The work is very simple! If I catch myself distracted, I calmly bring my attention to the breathing, which enhances my fluidity, and increases the effectiveness which, in turn, helps my breathing.

So what did I discover?

My breath became a beacon for my mind's attention, movement and awareness. I experienced a timeless state of mind. Even after class I felt very present on the street and at work.
Best of all, I adopted this new behavior of my breath leading my actions, and allowing my breath to lead me in my actions.

I am looking forward to the opportunities to test these exercises in day to day situations...

Carlos A. Basconcelo Carlos A. Basconcelo is an Instructor-in-Training, certified by Vladimir Vasiliev, based in Cordoba, Argentina. He can be contacted in English or in Spanish at: