Archery

Living this beautiful adventure

I will be 35 this year. I am truly excited. I mention my age because each year I grow and find there is so much more to learn and I enjoy this. I feel like I'm on the path to living this beautiful adventure. I can not think of a more productive year (in my adult life at least) for learning as this one thus far. From becoming a father of two, life lessons experienced, interactions with many people to the continuing and ongoing process of studying/learning and always being a student. With the latter I still have more lined up in the form of courses/workshops and trips... I am super grateful to my lovely wife for being so patient with my indulgent quest for self discovery, investment and growth... I do it to bring back home to us my love - looking inward to then focus outward to those most important to me. 

I'm not sure what is going on here... But I know that I loved it. Taken from the recent Tom Weksler Movement Archery and Zen Acrobatics workshop. Photo taken by the talented  Julia Testa  

I'm not sure what is going on here... But I know that I loved it. Taken from the recent Tom Weksler Movement Archery and Zen Acrobatics workshop. Photo taken by the talented Julia Testa 

This picture taken from a recent Tom Weksler workshop sparked this ramble of self reflection. It made me think how outside of myself I have come, from a shy introvert to now, where I am confident and self aware enough to take risks and explore something new like Tom's workshop and many other things I have experienced in the last few years, outside my comfort zone that I would not have been confident or open enough to experience and continue to learn. So I am excited.

Below is a quote from Frank that articulates far better than I how I feel at the moment:-


"So what is the path to experiencing the beautiful adventure? It starts, of course, with attention. Keep getting back to the point of engagement, over and over. Embrace the risk that comes with growth and participation. Play a bigger game. Open your heart to the ambiguity and the beauty of the adventure. To live this beautiful adventure most completely, you must develop a well- rounded capability that’s comprehensive, holistic and multi- disciplinary. Specialization will only take you so far. Train yourself across the range of human capability; develop a repertoire of skills. Most importantly, you must learn to embody the lessons that you learn along the way. Knowledge is vital, but the true mark of mastery will lie in the way that you bring that knowledge to the ground, into the actual living of your life." - Frank Forencich

Roughhousing play - Underwater grappling

Now this isn't an attempt at grappling or wrestling in the combative sense. There are far better sources than myself to go to for that. This is a game/interaction to allow people to sincerely explore and roughhouse in a safe space.

I picked this up from Tom Weksler at his Movement Archery workshop: the task is to try and take your partner down to the ground but you don’t want them to take you to the ground. Once you both arrive on the ground, you then want to lift your partner off of the ground and again avoid them lifting you. It is about control and intent­ - who decides who goes where and not necessarily in a combative context (so generally I would suggest to not try any takedowns, judo throws etc... save that for the gym/dojo).

It is intended to be playful and tactical, using cunning over brawn is one way, but if it evolves to be a little rougher due to the rapport you and your partner builds, that is ok too. It is a loose guideline to explore. As you can see from the video, it's also fun and possible to play with odd numbers - one person floats on the outside and then interrupts the dance of a pair, for the person who is left out to float and continue by interrupting  another pair and so on. Why underwater? It's just some imagery to help stay relaxed and fluid. 

To paraphrase Tom: try and find "the space between combat and expression, free of gestures". 

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