Working with my psyche: observations after Emmanuel Manolakakis in Kortrijk

Two weeks ago Emmanuel Manolakakis gave a seminar in Kortrijk. During the seminar, Emmanuel used working with weapons as a means to instruct us on a stable psyche.

I used to consider the main cause of disruption of my stable psyche during training irritation with my partners or myself. These days however I can manage this quite well and I rarely loose my calm over these things during training anymore. Nevertheless something was agitating my psyche during the training to such an extend that it was difficult to do certain exercises.

Now obviously fear can play a role during training. The interesting thing I observed is that often it seems to creep up on me. Most of the time it does not fall out of the sky and suddenly leave you unable to do anything. It is more like an ambulance you hear coming from afar that eventually stops next to you. The distant sounds already tend to make slight differences in my work. Even though I was already aware of this, the seminar made me more attentive to it and made it clear that even if the ambulance is only far away, it is already a reason to try to stay calm.

Fear however was also not the most disturbing factor to my psyche during the seminar. So what was it? During one exercise we were working on the ground and when we felt threatened by the other, get our gun without agitating the other person. At a certain point, in stead of getting the gun in a calm fashion, I find my fist in my partners face (sorry Vincent) and hear Emmanuel laugh in the background. “That is the opposite of the exercise.” What happened?

I was not afraid, I was actually having good fun.

One might say it is not possible to have too much fun during training. I think it depends, if you are training as a pass-time maybe not. If you want to learn things, it can. It agitates the psyche and can lure you away from the exercise as much as a competitive training partner can. Am I worried that in a violent situation my psyche will be agitated by ‘having too much fun’? Not really (though they might send you to a mental hospital for it). For me however it was the most important point of ‘psyche-instability’ during the seminar and a good point for practice during training. Practicing with irritation I can do plenty during working ours.