Friday, October 5, 2012

Walk the Walk - the body language of an Alpha personality

Hiroyuki Sanada (photo above) is a Japanese martial artist, swordsman, and actor.  You may have seen him in movies such as Last Samurai, Twilight Samurai, or 47 Ronin.

But the reason I'm bringing him to your attention is because his skill with a Japanese sword offers some of the best examples of Alpha body language.

What is Alpha body language?  Well it's the way an Alpha personality walks and talks... and it's all an expression of their attitude to life.

What's their Alpha attitude?  Well for a start, an Alpha personality (male or female) has a strong sense of who they are, and where they're going.  They understand the game - or at least the game going on around them - and that knowledge gives them a calm and aware state of mind.

They walk with a relaxed balance - never tense. Their shoulders are rolled back in a way that expresses a gentle pride in who they are.  Overall they demonstrate self-control and a calm focus... but they're ready to take action in an instant.

This is why I often recommend that security and military personnel undertake some form of Japanese swordcraft... even if it's just for a short time. 

In fact it's something that can benefit everyone - both men and women.  Let me explain why.....

The postures and techniques make you repeatedly express an Alpha attitude to life.  And that experience strengthens your ability to Walk the Walk.... which is going to have a subtle but profound effect on everyone you come in contact with.

Even the ceremony of sword-craft is a way of practicing an Alpha personality's calm mental focus. 

Most people (including many martial artists) don't fully understand this kind of ceremony.  They usually think it's just a quaint little bow of respect... something you have to do before and after you practice a technique with someone.

But it's actually much more than that.  It's an exercise in adopting a state of mind that will give you the best chance to handle a daunting confrontation.

To understand this you must first understand that any emotional extreme (fear, anger, sadness) will distort how you see a situation... and that's going to distort how you respond. 

In short, any emotion that's experienced in the extreme will affect what you do and what you say.  For example, you could end up being frozen with fear, or blind with rage.

Warriors understand that this lack of emotional control is a dangerous thing... so they train to control themselves... they train to retain a state of mind that is non-emotional

The Japanese call this Mushin, which translates as meaning 'No Mind' - no thought, no emotion.

So when a swordsman bows to his opponent, they are actually switching off how they personally feel at that moment, and adopting a Mushin state of mind.  And they strive to retain that state until the confontation has finished.

Many Alpha personalities have a natural ability to control their emotions. It's something that people used to call 'being cool'... because it seemed like they were cold as ice when they dealt with a problem. 

In other words, nothing seems to phase them - because they can control their emotions! 

You can still see that kind of 'cool' in movies today - expressed by heroes played by the likes of Daniel Craig (James Bond), Liam Neeson (Taken), and of course Hiroyuki Sanada (below).  
To watch a clip from The Last Samurai that demonstrates what a cool Mushin state looks like and moves like, click on this link : *(2mins 17secs)
It's a Primal Thing.

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