Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Posture Is Not Just Posturing

Consider the open stance of the classical fencer:

  • Tall, upright, back straight. 
  • Feet shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent.
  •  Chin up, gaze forward. 
  • Weapon arm well-extended. 
  • Rear arm aloft. 

What does this posture communicate?

When I was keeping company with actors, we used to discuss two different ways of working: from inside to outside, and from outside to inside. Working from inside to outside, means conjuring up an emotion and then letting that emotion manifest itself in your body, posture, expression, movement and speech. Working from outside to inside means to use the body to conjure up the emotion: clenching fist to summon anger, for example, or assuming a particular facial expression. That latter approach could be called was "Fake it, until you feel it."

Aristotle said, "Act as if you already had the quality you desire, and you shall have it." 

Psyhco-cybernetics says that thoughts you put into your subconscious mind determine your self-concept, which determines your behavior.

Sport psychology says, visualize your performance and pose your affirmations in the present tense.

Do you begin to see a pattern here?



  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Dear Maitre:

    The on guard position was born out of necessity. For defense, attack and recovery. While it is good to be proud to study a martial art, what is necessary for success in a fight is competence, and clear-thinking, not false bravado. The techniques that this woman suggests are excellent for the realm of social interaction, but if you are going to fight with swords, you need to know what you are doing. A degree from Princeton isn't going to help you. Only hard work, practice and experience will do.

    Nevertheless. I enjoyed the video and found Amy Cuddy's advice really helpful.

    Thank you.

    I read your blog regularly and I do appreciate your posts.


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