Training of the Future
How do you get the best results, as quickly as possible, and with as little wasted effort as you can get?
The E⁴ Training Method.
The human body & mind is governed by fundamental principles, that once understood & obeyed, open up new potential. The best athletes in the world achieve their level of success with a systematic approach to their sport, and by pushing the envelope of what’s possible.
The E⁴ Training Method is built by combining the best traditional training methods with the latest in sports science research. It’s a 4 dimensional approach to total life optimization. Each “E” is an integral part of life development.
Here’s what each is, in proper sequence.
“Sucking at something is the first step to becoming sorta good at something.” ~Jake the Dog, Adventure Time
You are a body. You do not have a body.
In order to get something different, you have to train your body to do something different.
The mind/body separation seems logical because it feels like we’re a tiny person driving a meat puppet, but in reality there is absolutely no difference between the two.
We all understand how severe head trauma affects a person’s abilities & personality, but we seem to completely ignore the brain is it.
Example: Think about a punch. Can you point to “punch?” No. “Punch” is the verbal short-hand for the function of a fist through time & how it affects the outside world (as in “the opponent”). The same can be said for the mind.
Mind : Brain :: Punch : Fist
Since the separation between mind & body is an illusion, you can affect the mind by changing the body. “You” is a collection of neurons that compose the nervous system that tells the muscles what to do.
Certain pathways from the brain to the muscles have more insulation (myelin sheathing) than others, and these reinforced pathways are the most efficient making them the preferred patterns of behavior.
This is the secret of encoding.
In the first phase of the system, we establish new physical routines in the neuromuscular system through slow repetitive movements & postures. This establishes new pathways from the brain to muscle by way of the nervous system and encourages creating more insulation along these preferred pathways which leads to new reflexive responses.
This is the real mechanism of so-called “muscle memory.”
Your muscles have no memory; certain neuromuscular-pathways have more efficient transmission of the electrical impulse through the body due to increased myelin insulation along that particular route. By training slowly, you’re increasing the time spent doing that action perfectly. It’s essentially the same effect as performing more reps faster.
Train slow; learn fast.
By going slow, you’re really taking the time to do it right the first time, and gaining more control of the gross motor function more quickly. This gives you the time to do it right from the first repetition. More reps of perfect practice encode the perfect motor skills.
Going fast will not yield you the same results, despite looking more flashy and being more intellectually stimulating. Going slowly is boring as hell, but it’s absolutely the best way to do it. If you try to shortcut this process, you are cutting your progress short.
Do the time, and get the benefit.
Try to move on too quickly, and your foundation will be weak. Everything built on a weak foundation will be weak, too.
Since you’re performing postures, think of it like doing yoga extra slow, except if someone tries to push you off your mat, you know what to do about it.
That’s encoding: choreographed postures that ‘install’ certain physical principles directly into your neuromuscular system without the need for conscious understanding, first. The process completely by-passes the small mind in favor of the bodymind.
You don’t need to know why you’re doing something to do it. (Practice your scales first. Understand why scales are the way they are later.)
Since you can think of it like learning choreography, this means you can learn it on your own time. You can simply follow along with a pre-recorded video of the movements. This is how living in the 21st Century becomes so valuable.
You can practice your choreography without a real person being there to explain it. Simply follow along with the video. Pause. Rewind. Replay as much as you need to.
There’s no shortcutting this process. Put in the time every day. You don’t have to be in class. You don’t need to leave your apartment. But you do need to put in the time actually doing the actions.
Depending on how much time & energy you devote to this process, you’ll eventually be able to perform the whole sequence of postures without missing a section, or forgetting a step.
Once you have a handle on the gross movements, we move to the second phase.
Now you have a handle on the broad strokes (what postures to perform, and what order to perform them in), we work on optimizing the smaller details.
- Is your elbow in the right place?
- Is your hand at the right angle?
- Are you drifting too far from the middle?
- How’s your stance?
- Are your feet too wide?
- Do you lack grounding?
- Too relaxed?
- Too tense?
- Is your weight shifted too far back?
- Is your spine too straight?
- Is it too bent?
- Is your chin too high?
- Is your shoulder floating?
These are the infinite details you learn to manage with the appropriate feedback.
There’s no quick fix here, either. This requires a real person to provide an honest evaluation of where your structure can improve. Fortunately, it can be done over video conference.
This dimension of the training system can be done in a group dynamic (while one person is getting feedback on areas for improvement, all are learning), and it can be done over video conferencing.
The instructor needs to see what’s going on in order to provide feedback, and the more immediate the feedback the more useful.
Compare that to dog training. If your puppy does something you want to encourage, you provide the treat immediately after the action. Allow too much time between the behavior change and the reinforcement, there’s no association between the two.
Same goes with negative reinforcement, too.
So, live video conferencing allows for maximum progress, but pre-recorded submissions with voice-over changes are possible (but less ideal).
Now that the small details are taken care of, we move to the 3rd dimension of the method.
You’ve created & reinforced neuromuscular pathways. You’ve refined the responses.
Now let’s see what they do in real time in relationship to another person. AKA: Stress testing.
There’s no substitute for application. You have to use what you know, or you don’t really know it at all.
This is the in-person part of the equation. There’s simply no other way to create a proprioceptive awareness of pressure, force, vectors, and other dynamic components of managing transitions.
Quarterly live events are held where people who train all over the country can gather with their fellow students to gain a greater understanding of what their bodies already know.
Local students have weekly opportunities to train & develop their 3rd dimension.
You’ve built a structure, refined it, and now you’ve learned how to put it in a person-to-person context.
But, how are you going to put your skills to use in a broader context? How are you going to apply yourself on a social level?
The common “monk on a mountain” trope is so common because it’s tough to spend time around people who lack integrity and the skills to keep their word, but they’re precisely the people who need Kung Fu the most.
This is the final level of refinement, the most difficult, and the one that takes a lifetime to play out.
Follow the video, get real-time tweaks via video calls, train in person, then work to improve the world. This is the fastest way to build your skill set, and sharpen your physical skills.
Along the way you’ll find your mental & emotional skills growing right along with you.