“Got That Flow like Christopher Wallace”
Flow State be it Basketball football, performing major surgery, painting, playing music, fighting, or whatever a state of flow can be found and that’s where people perform the best. So whats this flow state, how do I get to it, how do I sustain it, and is it real.
Well lets start with the easiest presumed question with yes its real, I know from experience but there have been test and other anecdotal evidence from people in just about every field. Muay Thai greats like Saenchai, Lerdsila, or boxers like Mayweather and Ali in his prime, if you watch their movement or breakdown what they are saying about the fights they usually figure out there timing distance and emotion of the opponent and then stop thinking and start reacting and just flow with what they have trained their entire life. Roy Jones Jr. did this a lot I know this because of his character while in the ring he would be super scientific during the first couple of minutes; then he would start to have fun in the ring and just flow from one thing to the next defense to offense volume punching to select pot shots. You hear it from neuro specialist as well in medical studies where they try to figure out why someone like Steph Curry just can drain 3 pointers over and over again. So yeah its real hope into the ring with someone who is flowing and experience that death if you need reason to believe.
So what is this flow state in my opinion it’s best relaid with the Japanese term Mushin or zen state of NO MIND. Samurai (and the Japanese as a society really) practiced Kata and Old Skool Judo with a linear focus for hours until mastery was achieved, that’s where the rule of thumb about 10,000 reps comes into play. After mastery was achieved doing things without thinking about it would become the practice why, because if you have to think in combat that split second is the time you get hit or killed. So a flow state is a better option because there is no gap between action and thoughts because there is no thought just reaction. The other side of the coin however is that if you technique was learned incorrectly or if you have a gap somewhere in your foundation it doesn’t matter how seamless your motion is if it’s wrong you will be exploited by the person with better technique even if they aren’t flowing. An art form where flow is always discussed is in Hip Hop take the recent battle or assault between Meek Mills and Drake. Drake isn’t thinking he’s reacting everything in his bars are just flowing like a river, and Meek is a boat headed for a waterfall while Drake is constantly flowing faster and faster.
How do I get to this state, well I kind of already dove into that kind of but it comes from mastery of the fundamentals and a conscious reaction to not think about other stimuli around you just the objective at hand. Take a sparring session for example if you focus on thinking oh he or she stepped her i have to step here; even when you body already knows thats where you need to step not allowing that thought to take up that time is what starts that flow state. Literally not thinking about anything but where your target is. You can flow on a bag on mitts or shadow boxing it doesn’t just happen in sparring or fighting. Stopping your natural inclination to absorb and breakdown every little stimuli is that starting point to developing flow at will. You could try this get some head phones and a jump rope, turn on some speedy rhythmic music like some 90s hip hop or funky James Brown sounding stuff and start jump roping not thinking about anything but that rope and footwork. This is literally how my dad got me to where I am now with being able to get to that flow. How, because you have a singular focus and the sounds you’re hearing are fluid and cohesive versus varied like the outside world usually is. So jump and stop thinking.
So you figured all the other stuff out now how do you sustain. Well like anything else it’s all about your endurance firstly physical endurance and secondly your endurance practiced. Meaning if you haven’t practiced flowing for all long period of time then you really can’t expect to just flow for a long period of time on command. That’s not to say you cant but keep in mind it will be a unconscious thing where your separate from your body flowing and you telling your body to flow, if that makes any sense.
So yeah flow zen no mind all of it is the same thing, use it try it or don’t whatever you feel.
-Stay Zen Family and Folks