Our self-image consists of four elements involved in every activity we perform; movement, feeling, emotion, and thought.
How much each one contributes to a specific activity depends on the situation, but all elements are to some extent present in everything we do.
To think, for example, you must be awake and know that you are awake and not dreaming. In other words, we must be able to feel and discern our physical position in relation to the gravitational field. It follows that movements, sensory impressions, and feelings are part of thinking.
In order to communicate with others, we must have a certain body posture that expresses our message and have some kind of relationship with those we seek to communicate with. That is, we must be able to move, think, and feel.
To proceed, one must use at least one of their senses, consciously or unconsciously, including knowing and thinking.
If one of those four activity elements disappears, the whole of our existence is endangered.
You cannot survive, even briefly, without any movement. In a person who is deprived of all their sensory impressions has no life. And without feelings is not operating in life. It is, for example, the feeling of being suffocated that forces us to breath.
In Taijutsu we restrict our studies to the motor part of the self-image, but we cannot ignore the instincts, emotions, and thoughts that are closely associated with movement.
Our self-image is significantly less than it could be. In an infant, the self-image is limited to the lips because it is through his lips that he discovers the world. The self-image of a pianist is through his fingers, which are much more developed than normal in the brain’s cortex motor.
All the parts that are unused, were never in the self-image, and there are parts that are never fully developed because we never become aware of their potential.
Self-image is built up by the group of cells that we actually use. A person who can master multiple languages using more multi-cells and cell combinations than monolingual people. Multilingual people’s self-image is slightly closer to their maximum potential in the language field then in people who can only speak their mother tongue.
The same applies in other areas. Our self-image is generally limited to less than our potential ability. There are a few people who can speak 30-70 different languages. This means that the average self-image takes up about 5% of an individual’s maximum capacity. This figure indicates roughly how much of our combat ability we have achieved.
The full potential of using our body in acute emergency situations, for example physical combat, as Ryūtai defines a maximum self-image.
The exercises that we do at the beginning of or lessons – Ryūtai Undō – is to increase awareness of personal ability, the body’s operating range, and its ability to discriminate range.
The average man is accustomed to dealing with 5% of their ability and do not realize how the development could be hampered over the years.
An optimized Ryūtai is a prerequisite for shizentai (natural body; 自然体), which in turn is a necessary prerequisite for Kosshijutsu. And Kosshijitsu is the basis on which everything else our battlefield martial art is based upon.
Ryūtai Undō 龍体運動
1. Anza (Relaxed Seat; 安座)
Sit quietly with the legs crossed. Place the soles against one another, legs precipitated to the sides so that the knees are resting on the floor. Roll up with the hips, to the stomach, and down to the feet.
2. Kaiza (Rolling Seat; 廻座)
Lie on your back and roll up onto your shoulders in Yoga’s “plough posture”. Straighten legs so that the toes touch on the ground. The knees are down against your chest and touching so that the back is straight.
3. Chōza (Extended Seat; 長座)
Sit with your legs straight, bend at the hip, bringing your belly to the thighs and your hands grasp around the feet. Toes pointing straight towards the ceiling.
4. Kaiza (Open Seat; 開座)
Sit in the splits with the toes straight pointing at the ceiling. Bring your stomach down to the floor, and roll up onto the hips a little.
5. Enza (Circle Seat; 円座)
Sitting on your knees with your buttocks on the floor between the feet, and lean back.
6. Seiza (Correct Seat; 正座)
Sit on your knees with your buttocks resting on your heels and rotate the spine and waist in the same direction. Repeat equally in both directions. Exhale as you move back, closing the shoulders and inhale as you open the chest forward. Keep your hips and shoulders parallel to the ground during this exercise.