Last updated: 17 December 2015
My journey into hypnosis started as a result of learning from a variety of hypnotists. But I also sought out the wisdom and teachings from a variety of well-known neurologists, anesthesiologists, molecular biologists, theoretical physicists and even martial artists.
And one teacher that really resonated with me in regardings to my hypnosis practice was actually Bruce Lee. Here’s what I learned from studying his teachings, and how I harnessed my hypnotic Black Belt Of The Mind as a result.
How To Attack!
The function of hypnotherapy is much like what Bruce Lee described as 5 Functions Of An Attack:
- Move ahead of the opponent’s defense. (The hypnotist moves quickly past the subject’s critical factor.)
- Put the opponent on the defense. (The hypnotist keeps the subject responding to suggestions.)
- Control timing and distance. (The hypnotist controls timing of suggestions, controlling the subject’s movements towards or away from trance.)
- Control the play. (The hypnotist uses leading and pacing, and controls the hypnosis scene.)
- Build confidence. (The hypnotist first builds confidence in himself, then as the hypnotist, and then builds the subject’s own self-confidence.)
He also noted that there are 3 factors in attack:
- A fine sense of timing. (Instant inductions require the hypnotist to know precisely when to shock the conscious mind and then the hypnotist must follow immediately with suggestions or the technique fails.)
- A perfect judgment of distance, which Lee defined as “a continuously shifting relationship depending on the speed, agility and control of both fighters”… “When he expands, I contract. When he contracts, I expand.” (Hypnosis is a continuous shifting relationship between the hypnotist and the subject’s responses.)
- A correct appreciation of cadence. (Hypnotic language patterns are all about cadence of both words and body language.)
Bruce Lee learned Wang Chun as the base or first system of martial arts. Then he learned several styles of boxing, American fencing, Shotokan Karate and Tai Chi. Likewise, one should learn hypnosis from a wide variety of teachers and disciplines. To sum up his reason for accessing a wide variety of educational resources, Bruce Lee said:
“Man … he is constantly growing and when he is bound by a set pattern of ideas or way of doing things, that’s when he stops growing.” tweet
Wow! That’s the main message of hypnosis, is it not? I would add, that’s also when the profession of hypnosis stops growing.
The Truth In Combat… (And Hypnosis)
After learning from a wide variety of martial disciplines, Lee taught “The Truth In Combat,” which is actually much like the truth in hypnosis:
- Research your own experience. (What has worked or not worked for you as a hypnotist in the past? What have you learned entirely from your own experience with hypnosis subjects or from your other studies or personal experience?)
- Absorb what is useful to you. (Same as above.)
- Reject what is useless for you. (For example, I learned instant inductions from a stage hypnotist but don’t use stage skits.)
- Add what is specifically your own. Bruce Lee developed Jeet Kune Do which he called “a style without a style”… “a mirror in which we see ourselves.” (Milton Erickson said “don’t imitate anyone else.”)
Jeet Kune Do practitioners believe in minimal movements with maximum effects and extreme speed. This is how hypnotherapists believe hypnotherapy differs from traditional psychological counseling and psychoanalysis.
Bruce Lee believed that combat was spontaneous, and that a martial artist cannot predict it, only react to it, and that a good martial artist should “be like water” to move “fluidly, without hesitation.” Likewise, hypnosis is spontaneous, because we are all spontaneously moving into and out of trance throughout the day. A hypnotist cannot predict someone’s hypnotic trance, only react to it, the good hypnotist moving instinctively, fluidly, without hesitation.
12 Famous Bruce Lee Quotes That Apply To Hypnosis
- “When there is an opportunity, I do not hit. It hits all by itself.” So does the good hypnotist act instinctively.
- In relation to martial arts, “You have to train yourself into it, I mean you better train every part of your body, keeping the continuity going, bending, stretching everything, you just keep it all moving. You see, the idea is that running water never grows stale, so you have to keep on training, keep on flowing. Be water, my friend!” The same can be said about hypnosis.
- “Using no way as the way, you are the way.” This quote reminds me of the importance of keeping hypnosis knowledge flowing and flexible.
- “With too much control, you are concerned about the execution. Just forget about it and just do it! Flow! When you just ease the burden of your mind, you just do it”. So also you must let go of too much control individually and as a profession, and just do hypnosis, flow!
- “The untrained will falter in their movements because they haven’t trained to be able to react to a variety of different circumstances.” So must a hypnotherapist train to build subconscious mental memory in order to be able to react to a variety of different trance circumstances without faltering.
- “A few simple techniques well presented, an aim clearly seen, are better than a tangled maze of data whirling in disorganized educational chaos.” So must a hypnotist perform every session with a few simple techniques masterfully executed with the intent of a clearly defined outcome or expectation.
- “It is not how much you have learned but how much you have absorbed what you have learned.” What good are a bunch of hypnosis training certifications on your wall if you cannot consistently deliver successful outcomes?
- “Here it is natural instinct, and here it is control. You are to combine the two in harmony.” So also, I believe it is important for the hypnotist as well as the hypnosis profession to allow natural instinct and not be too much in control, but combine the two, in harmony.
- “A good martial artist does not become tense but ready, not thinking… yet not dreaming, ready for whatever may come.” So also must a master hypnotist use H+ instinctively, not thinking, not tense, but ready for whatever may come, in harmony, with control… to just do it and flow.
- “You can feel the difference when I put all my energy into it.” So can hypnotherapy subjects!
- “If your feeling is involved in your technique, then your technique is also improved”. A hypnotherapy technique is improved by accessing your own emotions. Sometimes your emotions are a reflection of your subject’s emotions that you are in tune with and vise versa. Going first, changing your own state, is much more effective to change your subject’s emotional state.
- “Martial arts has a very deep meaning as far as my life is concerned as an actor, as a martial artist, as a human being because all these I have learned from martial arts. Do not practice your art, become your art: internalize its teachings into every facet of your life!” And so it is that you must not only practice hypnosis on others, but internalize the teachings of hypnosis into every facet of our own life to explore yourself, as hypnotists, in your relationships, and as a human being.
Has your hypnosis practice also been inspired by the words and wisdom of someone outside of the hypnosis sphere? If so, why not share how their teachings have had an impact on you with the community (just like how our guest author, Deborah, has done). To find out how, click here.