About a year ago I joined this forum, and I believe my first question was about RMAX and olympic fencing. Coach S, among others, replied very kindly, and also asked me to post any progress.
Since then, I've practiced bodyflow, some prasara, and watched Maximology and Fisticuffs.
I'll attempt to paint an insight I had, about a very related art, kendo.
Why kendo? because it's 2 handed, and somewhat easier to visualize, also Mushtaq can correct me (thanks in advance!)
Before RMAX this is what I saw:
Sensei is bouting with a student. After a few attacks, parries, etc... they stand still, then sensei pushes the student's blade counterclockwise, student reflexively pushes back, sensei goes to 9:00 o' clock (his clock) into the opening, and hits student's right side, this again and again. What I thought: sensei has some dark arts, ninja mesmerizing stuff, he's mind controlling his opponent.
After some RMAX practice I see:
sensei has pushed student into the vortex, then both go still. But sensei is on the upward spiral, he's attentive, focused but relaxed, in the flow. Student is the opposite: tense, steeling himself, drawing on every reserve of courage. When the push on his shinai comes, he jerks against the push. Student remembers only that he's armored, that the shinai can't hurt him, his anger pushes him into resisting. If it was an empty hand bout, he'd have used judo and gone with the direction of the push, unbalancing sensei and attempt to throw him. Instead he falls victim to his inner turmoil.
Conclusion: no dark arts, ninjutsu, etc... Just someone in the flow, the opponent resisting flow and falling ever deeper.
Of course, being able to see it doesn't mean I can do it. But I think being able to have this insight is a great start.
Please add any comments and advice anyone might have, they would be deeply appreciated.
Yours in RMAX,