#137 On Guard
The “On Guard” position is what Bruce Lee called his resting stance in JKD. This is the optimal stance from which movement can initiate. The On Guard stance can be used as a metaphor for having the proper stance and orientation in life. With this stance you are poised to initiate movement in your life.
Bruce’s On Guard stance was a strong side forward stance. For Bruce, he wanted his strongest weapon out front. His stance was a natural step apart and his rear heel was lifted like a “coiled snake, ready to spring.”
“The on-guard position is that position most favorable to the mechanical execution of all the total techniques and skills. It allows complete relaxation, yet, at the same time, gives a muscle the tension most favorable to quick reaction time. The on-guard position must, above all, be a ‘proper spiritual attitude’ stance.”
Bruce believed that this position was the most favorable for the execution of action.
What is the stance for you that gives you a feeling of centeredness, knowingness, and confidence, that would allow you to move through your life with the most ease and power?
The way that we stand and move about physically in this world projects and broadcasts our ideas and spiritual mindsets. Our body is an expression of our spirit.
The on guard position is, “A simple and effective organization of oneself mentally and physically.”
What would it take for you to be organized in your mind and your body so that you can move through your life most easily?
“Balance is the most important consideration in the on guard position.”
“The position adopted should be the one found to give maximum ease and relaxation, combined with smoothness of movement at all times.”
It takes a lot of self-work, self-discovery, and practice to understand what your effective ready position is and how you operate best.
“Proper posture is a matter of effective interior organization of the body which can be achieved only by long and well-disciplined practice.”
It does not matter how well polished your performance is on the outside, if you are not in harmony and balance with the spirit inside then you will become depleted and break down. It takes a lot of effort to keep up a performance.
“Fundamental positioning is the foundation.”
What is your foundation? Where is your set point from where you start and stop? You can start by examining how you begin and end your days.
“Practice instantaneous explosion from neutrality and retain neutrality in commitment, all into one constant smooth flow.”
“Practice constantly to apply ALL tools from the on-guard position and return to the on-guard position with all possible rapidity. Shorten the gap time between position and execution more and more. Ease, speed, relay.”
It is impossible to always be in a state of neutrality in whatever we encounter in life, there will be times where circumstances knock us out of our neutral zone or we are required to have fast action. But it is how quickly we can return to our neutral foundation that is important, and then we can reflect on what happened with more clarity. If it takes you a long time to return to your foundation then that is important information to have about yourself.
“Do not be tense, but ready; not thinking, but not dreaming; not being set, but flexible. It is being wholly and quietly alive, aware, and alert; ready for whatever may come.”
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