before uni goes back – on visualisation & being IN THE ZONE

OK…. So i’ve been a bit slack on the blogging side… but I haven’t stopped thinking about my project. There seems to be never ending things to read and the more I think about this and talk about it… the more ideas come to mind.

I have talked to a friend of mine who performs Kata for the National Australian Karate Team. And I have decided to interview him about Performance and what role it plays in his competition. The element of VISUALISATION has become one of the main ideas to focus on for this project. The role it plays in relation to “triggering” the mind into a state of pre-rehearsed emotion and reflex. Both of these combined with the real-time element of the actual performance are key to how this project will pan out.

On a personal level, what I have to say about visualisation is… firstly, that is a very hard skill to master. Through yoga practice and meditation, I have found that random thoughts fly in and out of your mind, no matter how hard it is to focus on the particular “train of thought” on on “not thinking a single thought” – and if that it is even possible to “not think”. The practice of visualisation is used by all elite athletes in preparation for their performance in competition. It allows them/ us to envision our own “peak performance” and to carry out a perfect performance on any given day. The use of triggers – whether they be physical actions or words that we say to ourselves are what we use to evoke a feeling or ritual that is closed off from outside distraction. It is a way of cutting our minds off from the real-world and returning to a place inside ourselves where the feeling we are trying to evoke is singular and self-contained. In doing this, the idea is to “trigger off” a chain reaction of physical functions that contribute to our peak performance.

Once we are in this “world” – a combination of what is actually happening and our rehearsed state of being, this place or state of mind is what is often referred to as “being in the zone”. When this happens to an athlete, when asked about what they felt, they will often say that they could not remember what they did – this is because their body’s output is so in tune with the forces around them, that everything becomes REFLEX. Their reactions are INSTINCTIVE.

This feeling can only be truly understood if a person has felt it themselves. They “lose themselves” in what they are doing – they achieve a state of “being” completely “in the moment”. Completely experiencing the present.

I would like this idea to be represented in some way in my work. I would like, if not in the performance itself, for this idea to somehow represented in the rules of the system. For the relationships between each of the elements to seem instinctive as opposed to logical – if there is a way of showing the difference.

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