First of all, I see absolutely no need to apologize for your english writing skills. Your expression is fluid and fluent. Thanks for your posting.
You made some interesting points I thought I'd ramble on about,
<I observe -not lead- my body "responding". For me the real task is in not interfering with this bodily exploration of possibilities. When I stay out of this process, the body itself "studies" how far it can twist, rollback, stay vertical, breathe, open or close, fold, push, grab etc. >Andres
First interesting point...I absolutely agree that in some cases, of simply responding without apparent, conscious thought or intent. Not interfering to allow the body to simply respond as it should, naturally.
I am sure everyone has experienced an instance when their instinctual/bodily response has saved their lives.
Most especially, though, it seems, in times of crisis or necessity...
Needs must, Will is fickle-Wushuer).
Like being tossed into a lake to learn how to swim instantly-Audi)
Like taking a single step backward before that big truck, which you had not noticed, roars past your nose, etc.
I saw in the movies once, I forget which one now...A master was teaching his disciple a lesson by grasping a penny in his hand and telling the student that his duty was to catch the penny in his own hand below, when released.
The student tried repeatedly, but to no avail.
The moral explained was that if you took the time to think before responding then you would not succeed at the task.
Why? Technically because 1)your eyes have to first register the hand movement releasing the penny then 2)send a signal to your brain then 3) the brain has to process said stimulus then 4)the brain sends the signal to hand...if no other mental conflict becomes involved(doubt,fear,confusion etc) causing further hesitation then 5)finally moving hand towards act of grasping penny, to open and close hand at the exact second.
This all requires time, too much time to act/react /respond efficiently/productively/successfully to be capable of passing the test.
So rather than use the eyes as the initial starting point, one must eliminate 'thought interference' and simply allow the body to move on it's own.
I think this falls under the category of 'responding to your opponents action before your opponent actually moves' through feeling(Taijiquan sensitivity skills).
The body certainly does seem to react very efficiently without the interference of conscious intent or thought,
Especially well when there is no interference of thought and especially well when functionning under necessity(the self-defense mechanism).
I had an experience once, which made me question this type of bodily response in great detail many years ago.
I was quite young, in a very big rush,and faced with about 200( I am not exaggerating) stairs to tackle(due to a disfunctional series of escalators-3 to be exact)
So, resigned, I began to proceed at a moderate speed down the steep marble stairs to the subway below, holding moderately to the railing.
However, becoming impatient at my slow rate of descent,and becoming discouraged at seeing another 170 to go, I quickened my pace.
Arriving at the halfway mark, it had now become a challenge to see how fast I could run down the stairs.
That was when, racing, full force down the final hundred stairs.(forget the railing)
My foot hit the edge of the stair, rather than the flat surface...
Striking the stair at such an angle propulsed me upward and outward, away from the flight of stairs completely, sailing, airborne, arms outstretched before me, diving fashion, with about fifty stairs below me.
That was the last conscious image I could recall before final impact.
Now this is the part concerned with 'body response without interference' I wanted to demonstrate...
At that moment my eyes and thoughts "blocked-out"-not blanked out-they were replaced.
I was unable to see even with my eyes open, instead, my "life had begun to flash before my eyes"(ever heard of that expression? well it really does happen)like a slideshow, in disjointed, random 'shots' and clips of memories from my past.
The brain, rather than actually shutting down(which would not have been helpful) simply replaced my thoughts and mental reactions, 'distracting' the mind so it could not interfere unduly in the physical functionning of the body at that important moment.
Also, being in a state of 'distraction' allowed me to remain thoroughly relaxed as well.
I am certain that if I had consciously thought about what was happening or even just saw what was happening I would have panicked, tensed and thoroughly interfered in the perfect recovery capabilities that the body inherently posesses, and would not be present today to speak of it.
However, the human body is a marvellous creation, capable of incredible instinctual response.
So finally, my body had somehow turned itself of it's own volition(subconsciously?) from a direct forward dive to a sideways horizontal, landing, onto the last step at the bottom.
I don't know how, "It did it"
When I regained the courage to open my eyes ( I wasn't too sure I had actually survived at that point),I was lying completely parallel to the stairs.
Tucked very gently and precisely into the nook of the stair, completely unharmed.
I had hit no angles at all, yet I had landed with my whole body simultaneously in full impact, shoulder, hip, side of body.
I just stood up and walked away completely unharmed, to the surprise of the witnesses, who were all quite pale...
I did NOT do a spectacular gymnastic feat...If I actually tried to repeat that type of stunt consciously, I would break my neck (at least), no doubt there!
But without mental interference and with the 'need' for self defense the body can react to almost any challenge without effort or stress in miraculous ways.
[This message has been edited by psalchemist (edited 10-26-2003).]