Thursday, January 20, 2011

Firey Trances--The All Blacks Haka Dance

When someone is trying to intimidate you and dominate your environment, what can you do?

Last Wednesday's I was co-instructing an intro class in hypnotic inductions. The question arose about whether trance has to be that sleepy, zombied-out state that you see in the movies. Definitely NOT! Any focused, emotional state is a kind of trance. Athletes talk about "being in the zone" Shamanic cultures use ecstatic dancing, dervishes whirl, and New Zealand Rugby team, the famous All Blacks, do the "Haka," a ferocious Maori war dance.

Some key elements for any of dynamic trances include mental focus, rhythm, breath, emotional intensity, even physical challenge.

See them all here:


You can see the powerful effect it has on the practitioners, and maybe even on you too (if you're not feeling anything, just watch it a couple of times), but also try to notice the effect it has on the other team and even the audience. It can be very intimidating. It not only fires up the players, but dominates the playing field and the arena.

How do the opponents cope with it?

Samoans (also a Polynesian culture) have their own war dance:


The Welsh hold the field and refuse to yield, which seems to take the All Blacks by surprise (you can see their surprise!)


The British fans, in a show of solidarity, all sing together and literally drown out the Haka cry, reminding them they're not on home turf:


The Irish challenge the "prestige" of the Haka by violating the space of the All Blacks:


What about you? When someone is trying to intimidate you and dominate your environment, is there anything you can take away from these videos?

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