First Guided Chaos Seminar Netherlands - a review
WARNING: I'm not a native speaker. So I apoligize for my poor English. I hope the message is clear though.
This past weekend (November 13th - 15th 2015) Guided Chaos masters Al, Joe and Kevin came over to conduct the first Guided Chaos (GC) seminar in the Netherlands.
Being a human movement scientist specialised in motoric learning and training professionals to act professional under duress, a life-long students of the martial arts and a dream at the age of 4, to experience GC was something which was on bucket list since I first read the book 'Attackproof' in 2000. Not directly based on rational arguments, but a strong feeling
And now there was this possibility, organised by Learn From The Masters and the Guided Chaos Study Group Netherlands.
So, was my intuition right?
The seminar lasted three days covering all the basic aspects more or less of the GC system from contact flow to groundfighting and combat boxing.
What struck me the most was that the teachers (Al, Joe and Kevin) are very genuine when it comes to their art and teaching. They worked with all the participants personally. So in this seminars I had several exchanges with Al, Joe and Kevin, who were not holding back on information. When they thought you were ready for it, they just offered it. So, no: You have to wait for this untill you are a 5th degree black belt. None of that, you're ready, try it! If not, then they tried to coach you untill the limits of your understanding and skill. In my opinion the way anything has to be taught.
Force v.s. Power
Newton's Third Law of Motion states that for every action there is a reaction. For me this means that no matter how strong, fast I am compared with my attacker, when I use force I always get something back. So, from this point of view I have two choices. 1. I have to take care to be the biggest, strongest etc out there. So even when something is coming back, well, who gives a sh..!
However, for me that's not a realistic option. I'm not big and not heavy. And one of the things Al said over and over again: You need to know the possibilities and limits of your body. Well, I'm never going to be 8 feet tall and 300 pounds.
So, if not force, what then? After this weekend it became very clear for me what I've searching for all the time: True power. And true power doesn't mean strength. No, for me it's the subtile combination of sensitivity, looseness, balance and body unity. If I can create that, then making the added combat skills work is a piece of cake.
After experiencing Contact Flow now hands on with the experts, I consider it to be the 'piece de resistance' of martial arts. If it was up to me, we could have done it the whole seminar. Contact Flow is simple but not easy. With that I mean, the exercise is realy not difficult to understand. But once you know a bit were 'to look', especially working with Al, it becomes an in-depth study of intra and inter processes while interacting with an other human being. Very interesting!
Teaching method of GC
Methods of teaching, especially related to combat, is my core business. So, of course I look at how different teachers teach their art.
Also from this point of view GC is very interesting. To me GC is a very principle-based system. Already something I like. But more often then not I see systems claiming to be 'principle-based' using a teaching methodology which is more suitable for technique-based, which in the end is also what these system are.
GC is different in that perspective. The teachers sincerely try to create conditions which enable the participants to explore their interpretation of the principles. So, the learning process is truly focused on identifying the possibilities and limitations of the student at that specific moment and how that relates to using the principles effectively.
Although I practice martial arts and combat systems now for almost 40 years, GC defenitely is very worthwhile to explore more.
Next to that it was realy nice to meet with Al, Joe and Kevin, who are very involved with their 'art' and trying to represent it in the best possible way.
See you next time guys!!