When most people think about “kung fu” they immediately think about Chinese martial arts. I have dedicated a large portion of the last 10 years of my life to the study of Chinese martial arts with one of the world’s last true masters. There are many Chinese martial arts styles which fall under the heading of kung fu: Tai Chi, Wudang, Wing Chun, Choy Li Fut, Shoalin, Wushu, amongst many others. But, you might be surprised to know that “kung fu” actually translates as simply “hard work”. Calligraphists, artists, athletes, chefs, and school children in China are all said to practice kung fu (hard work) because what they do takes concentration and extreme effort to get good at it. In fact, there are tea ceremonies (much like those performed in Japan) which are considered some of the highest forms of kung fu because they take a lifetime to perfect.
So, what does any of this have to do with SOI and what we do with it? Well, this gets to the very root of what SOI is! SOI is both an assessment and a protocol of proven exercises (both with the body and the brain) to improve learning abilities. In my opinion, there is much kung fu involved in both stages of this process and on both sides of the coin (the SOI practitioner and the client).
As we all know, there is a certain art to learning to give the SOI assessment, both in understanding what each sub test is asking of the client, and what you can and cannot say during the test. But, the client is the one really performing kung fu! Taking the SOI assessment is hard work as is evidenced by: rubbing of the eyes, rubbing the temples, running hands through hair, shaking of heads, breaking of pencil lead, etc. Many people are truly exhausted after taking the SOI assessment. In fact, Continue reading “SOI and the Art of Kung Fu”