My good friend from Lithuania, Modestas Tursa, sent me an interesting article about the brain activity of soccer star Neymar during complex movements.
In karate we constantly talk about “bypassing the brain”, using the breath to make decisions (along with past experiences and proper wiring of the nervous system).
We stress that the brain has to be quiet during the many decisions and lot of information that we have to process in very short time.
Judgement, analyzing in intense situations when a lot of factors are involved and decisions has to be made quickly cause doubt, hesitation and conflict in ourselves.
The brain monitors, is aware of all the actions and the information, but once strategy is decided and interaction starts, the choices of action are subconscious, which is the only way to flow and be ahead of the opponent, leading the action, it is as the action is done for us.
“It is done for us” is not magic, it is experience and proper movement patterns acquired through quality training, along with the intuition we “allow” to take over by avoiding brain interference.
This low activity of the brain is beneficial to any sport when many decisions have to be made in a short time. I do not believe that in soccer quiet brain is taught systematically, but in karate the method is passed from generation to generation, we have a system by which anyone can attain this state of mind, I believe.
Brazilian superstar Neymar's brain activity while dancing past opponents is less than 10 percent the level of amateur players, suggesting he plays as if on autopilot, according to Japanese neurologists.
Results of brain scans conducted on Neymar in February this year indicated minimal cerebral function when he rotated his ankle and point to the Barcelona striker's wizardry being uncannily natural.
"From MRI images we discovered Neymar's brain activity to be less than 10 percent of an amateur player," researcher Eiichi Naito told AFP on Friday.
Naito concluded in his paper that the test results "provide valuable evidence that the football brain of Neymar recruits very limited neural resources in the motor-cortical foot regions during foot movements".
Naito told Japan's Mainichi Shimbun newspaper: "Reduced brain activity means less burden which allows (the player) to perform many complex movements at once. We believe this gives him the ability to execute his various shimmies."