Speed Control (Wan Gup)
The final of the eight key concepts is Wan Gup or speed control. The word Wan translates in Korean to the word slow, while the Korean word Gup translates as the word fast. Just in that simple terminology, we can begin to understand the process of speed control. As we learn new things, we always have to take our time in the process. As we gain confidence and what it is we are doing it becomes quicker to do. Just as in the technique in the martial arts, the fundamentals have to be in place and performed at a slower speed so that the mind and body can grasp the concept. As I mentioned before the body has to go through a certain process to create good power. If this is rushed in this manner, the outcome is never very good and a student loses confidence. The objective is not to see how fast we can go but rather how smoothly we can perform techniques allowing all three aspects of our self to be incorporated. Our mental focus, proper use of anatomy, and her spiritual intent have to be combined in harmony.
When students progress to learning forms in the martial arts it has to be taken in stages. The stages are then put together to create the whole picture. In every form, there is a different speed and dynamic movement disassociated with it. Some form stress rate power, while other forms focus on the gentleness of the body. Timing of movement is critical for the performance and accuracy of the techniques within the form. By developing an understanding of timing, the slow and fast movements of a technique in its use we gain greater understanding of its applications. By following this process, it also allows her mind to dissect the motions we are asking it to perform. Repetition is key in this type of training so that we can develop muscle memory. If the motions are performed too fast in the beginning, we can cause injury to her body and therefore slow down our training process.
If you look around us in society today, everything is never fast enough. We want fast food restaurants, high-speed Internet, faster cars, shorter trips, and quick dinners at home. However, we move with greater speed we miss opportunities that may present themselves for us to enjoy. Take for example when your family comes home for dinner. Everyone is coming back from school or work and is hungry. Someone has taken the time to prepare the meal for everyone to enjoy. Nevertheless, because everybody has commitments we have a tendency to rush through the time we can spend with our family during dinner. How many times have you spent all these hours making supper only to have everybody eat it within 10 minutes and leave the table? By slowing down and enjoying our food, actually tasting its flavor several things can happen to our body. Our body and mind have a chance to recognize that we are feeding ourselves. We hurry our meal and he quickly it takes a little while from mine to catch up to the process it’s going on and then suddenly we seem very full. Most times, we eat excessively much and then we realize it. This is one of the main reasons why weight gain happens.
If we slow the process down even at the dinner table, you will find that you will probably eat less and still feel full. This is because the mind is given the chance to understand what is entering its body and process it. We have all gone out to dinner to a restaurant before, and the first thing the waiter comes up to ask us is if we won an appetizer. Because generally were so hungry we are going out to dinner most times we will order an appetizer prior to our dinner. Then if you notice when your main course comes most times your not able to finish your meal. You end up getting that takeout container to take it home and finish it later that night or the next day.
By applying the concept of Wan Gup, or speed control we can consciously think about our actions and decide the outcome. This is an exercise that I give my students every now and them to make them aware of this process. Each student is given one potato chip to eat. However, they first have to chew it at least 20 times. I asked them think about the texture of the food, the flavor of the food as it passes around their mouth. Then there loud swallow the potato chip and think about what it actually tasted like. It is always interesting to see the feedback from this exercise as each person perceives something differently about the taste. Therefore, this is one of the simplest exercises that you can apply in your daily lives to understand this concept can then relate to other areas of your life. Take the time to slow down and enjoy your meal at home with your family. Taste the food, smell the aroma, see what it looks like sitting on your plate. Our brain stimulated first by the site of the food, and the smell of the food, and lastly the taste of the food. This is why restaurants and chefs try to make sure that only is the food quality good but also appealing to the eye.
Human emotions fluctuate throughout every day based on the experiences that surround us. In stressful situations, we sometimes act too quickly without any thought behind the outcome. Just as I discussed in the last section and reducing stress we should pause, take a breath, and then act according to what is proper. It is very easy to be tied up into an argument with another person and want to respond back quickly. We should try to avoid this method because most times it is not what we really wanted to say or do. It is that unthinking reaction we have because is driven by her emotions. Taking the time to slow down and process what we need to do to handle the situation helps us to reduce stress and approach it in a calm manner.
Been a surgical technician for 30+ years I have seen many situations when speed control will affect everyone in the room. It could be a very traumatic case that comes to the ER, and it has now been sent to the OR. Someone’s life could be on the line due to an accident or some other event. How the surgeon handles the situation using speed control determines the outcome of the case and how the team is affected by it. Some of the best surgeons I worked with always become even calmer when faced with these types of situations, because they know that everyone else around them starts to want to move quicker. Speed is of the essence in these types of situations however, if there is not the correct thought process behind it, you can turn into chaos.
Every morning in most homes, mothers or fathers are trying to get their children up and ready for school or to leave the house on time for work. Everyone seems to be scrambling around grabbing all their necessities before they hit the door to leave. I am sure we have all heard mom or dad saying to us “hurry up to be late” we were small children. Moreover, the faster we tried to move the more things seemed to be messed. We race out to the car, jump in and fasten her seatbelt, and then realize we forgot our homework or school lunch. We then raced back to the house only to realize that the door is now locked. Therefore, we hurry back to the car and grab the keys from our parents, and race back in and grab what we left behind. Were trying to make up time now so we race to the car jump in, hand the keys back to our parents and then remember we forgot to lock the door. We can see in this example of moving too fast causes too many things to go wrong.
This goes back to the idea of preparation. We make sure all is prepared beforehand it allows us to slow down when it is time to act. We also feel more confident because of that preparation beforehand. During that time of preparation, we allow ourselves the chance to slow down and look for the details that we might normally miss.
Now there are also times we do have to move quickly. One of the questions I ask my student is “When should we move quickly”? They all seem to have a puzzled look on her face as if they are contemplating what the correct answer should be. Therefore, I feed them possible responses to get them to think. Sometimes when the children answer the question because they are trying to do it quickly and be the first one they get it wrong, and then you can see the confidence immediately drop. Therefore, when I ask a question I always allow them the chance to think first before the answer. When given this opportunity most children have answers the correct. We talk a lot about safety with the children in her class so one of the examples that I guess is we should always move quickly to get out of the house if there is a fire, and we should run from someone who’s trying to harm us as to examples. This is a good exercise to try with your children home so that they understand the difference between moving quickly and moving cautiously. I will usually follow up examples of how they should move fast or slow. I usually use their answers to begin with, such as how fast do we get out house if there is a fire. Should we move fast or slow? How about our homework, should we do it fast or slow? Most time the children’s will answer that their homework should be done fast which opens the door for the lesson that I want them to understand, they should take their time and fully understand their homework so that later when they have the opportunity to go outside and play for example they can fully enjoy being outside and that worried about finishing their homework.
Therefore, speed control is not necessarily just the physical action, but also most times a mental approach to situations. Whether it is a physical action or mental, the mind has to have the chance to process what needs to be done for an effective outcome.