I have mentioned before the two primary ways to “feel” tension in yourself. The first is the physical contraction of muscle and tendon. The second is mental and physical discomfort. Both are equally illusive because they require internal sensitivity and a willingness to confront weakness. Mark Zamarin, Systema Utah instructor, says that people become accustomed to tension and remain tense even when they feel relaxed. The goal is ultimately control. Can you shut tension on and off where you need it and when you need it? Or does your opponent control your tension? Do confrontations send you into a state of frustration, panic, fear, or anger? These are obstacles to comfort. No one can feel comfortable and frustrated simultaneously! Here are a few quotes that may help understand our tension and how we can remove obstacles to our personal comfort.
“The more you discover yourself, the more tension you see in yourself.”
“Nothing you do should require any more physical “effort” than it takes to merely move your body through empty space without a training partner or opponent.”
-Scott Meredith, about Soke’s presentation of Jutaijutsu
“There are only two states from which you can respond to any situation. You can respond from love (and focus on honoring, edifying and validating the other person) or you can respond from fear (and focus on what you need). Every other response or emotion fits into these two categories.”
“For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. For every force applied, there is an equal force applied back. The ‘world’, the universe, maya only exists because of resistance to it: you push against it, it pushes back. The only way to freedom is surrender. You stop pushing, asserting yourself, and illusion stops pushing back, asserting itself. Stop pushing, putting energy into the system, and there is no energy in the system to push back. Stop telling the story, and without that constant input of energy the story collapses.”