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The mind of the Matrix

Vasyl Lomachenko's incredible mind and the evolution of training.

Can the mind be trained in such a way, one could create a person of limitless ability, agility and problem solving technique? Could that said person’s movements be like witnessing a Da Vinci painting unfold before your eyes? Could this person use his elevated mind and consciousness and become one of the greatest fighters to ever walk the planet? How much dedication would someone need to endure to bring out such focus and intelligence? Does someone like this even exist in the world? Well, I think there is someone who answers these questions. He is a professional boxer from the Ukraine and his name is Vasyl Lomachenko. Now before you get all “a boxer story, no thanks” hear me out. This is not about Lomachenko’s abilities in the ring primarily (however stunning beautiful they are). It is about the training, specifically of the mind that Vasyl endures. He and his father have put together a series of brilliant training games to fire up the problem solving areas of his mind. Creating an immense focus and supreme ability for dodge punches, position his body in specific locations and throwing punches at his opponents with pinpoint accuracy. Here is my purpose of this article; I am trying to show the magnitude of the human mind and what it can accomplish. Put boxing aside for the moment I implore you, and read with an open mind. What this man has accomplished and is continuing to do so speaks to the magnificence of the human brain.

The story behind Lomachenko is quite interesting. He was always trained by his father, who Vasyl claims had never coached boxing previously. Lomachenko was not allowed to start training in boxing until he took ballet lessons as per his father’s orders. So from the get go Lomachenko was doing things differently. Movement and agility are key components to strengthen as a boxer and he began learning that lessons at an early age. Lomachenko’s rise to boxing stardom is so different from the usual, I could not help but become intrigued by him right away. Especially for a boxer coming from the Ukraine, he already has a steep mountain to climb. Not being an American or British boxer hinders his ability to be a marketable asset. I believe that is probably why his father trained him in such a contrasting manor to the norm.

I am no boxing expert by any means, but I have watched many a bout. I remember a specific discussion with a friend about this boxer who garnished the nickname “The Matrix”. Lucky the dawn of the social media is upon us, so I hopped on YouTube and searched Vasyl Lomachenko and behold, his fights were there to watch. It’s hard to explain what you’ll see when you watch him fight. His movement is like nothing I’ve ever witnessed, but not just in boxing, I mean in human beings. He is able to move so robotic and precise, to his opponents it appears that he vanishes right in front of them. Only to reappear on an angle they were not prepared to be attacked from. The way Lomachenko is able to move around the ring, dodging punches thrown by the most well trained and top fighters in the world is staggering. If you look deep enough on the internet you’ll come across a video of Lomachenko talking to a fighter he had just beaten. His opponent goes to explain that fighting Lomachenko was light trying to hit nothing, and his will was broken. It is shocking to hear someone (especially a professional) talk about losing so badly.

As i said previously, I wanted to dive into the “brain training” that Lomachenko goes through. During one particular set of training practices, Lomachenko has a gym size wall full of paper. Picture if you could, multiple pieces of rectangular paper with individual squares in them. In each individual square has a number. Each rectangle has a series of these numbered squares inside, and they are numbered from 1 to 26. Some squares are white and some are blue and orange and many different colors. Some numbers on are even upside down. Lomachenko will start at a table with these pieces of wood. They are rectangular in shape as well, think of them as long wooden dominoes roughly 4 inches in height. He will start with two lines of these blocks, and on top of them he’ll have another set of blocks placed on them in the shape of a capital T. He will start, move to the number wall and begin at the first rectangle and touch with his hands the numbers in sequence from 1 to 26 as quickly as possible. Once that is completed, he’ll then turn to the table of his wooden domino capital T’s and remove the top of the T so there is now 4 rows of wooden dominoes. Upon completion he turns back to the number wall and completes another rectangle. Once that rectangle is completed he’ll turn back to the table and use the first two rows of wooden dominoes and place them on top of the sequencing rows, creating his capital T once again. Lomachenko will continue to repeat this exercise until the whole wall is complete.

Please take my understanding of what Vasyl is trying to do here with a grain of salt. I do not have a PhD in anything. Never studied philosophy or neurology. However, I am very much intrigued by the human mind and its capacities. For a boxer, this type of exercise develops the ability to train the mind to continue searching for a faster way. Any weak spot in the number rectangle that can be exploited. That way, if you keep searching and training the brain to do so, you can start completing the task quicker. Take that lesson from the number board to the boxing ring, and now you have a fighter whose mind is constantly penetrating his opponent’s defenses. A mind that allows Lomachenko the ability to go toe to toe with the most elite fighters in the world, and break them down that they just flat out give up in the ring. (Take for instance his latest bout with Guillermo Rigondeaux. Rigondeaux was being beaten so badly he didn’t come back out to fight after the 6th round break.) Lomachenko finds the weakness you didn’t even know you had. No by simple brute force, but by training his mind to heights I believe we’ve never seen in boxing before.

Now he has a numerous amount of incredible training techniques I could write about, that this might turn from an article into a novel so I digress. Besides having an incredible mind in his arsenal, Lomachenko is incredibly accurate with his punches. There is a video where Lomachenko is wearing a backwards baseball hat and attached to the front of the hat is a piece of string. The string hangs down in front of Lomachenko’s face with a tennis ball on the bottom of it. He then proceeds to hit this tennis ball with his bare fists repeatedly and with deadly accuracy never losing control of the ball from his hands. I’m not talking a slow up and down, but strike after strike at an extremely quick pace, drilling that tennis ball exactly where it needs to be hit to remain controlled. It is an absolute sight to behold. You can also see his pinpoint accuracy in his fights, leaving his opponents defenseless against his precise striking and android like body movement. I use the word android because Lomachenko moves like he was programmed to avoid contact and his sensors all over his body that are able to predict enemy impact.

Now I asked a bunch of questions at the beginning of this article. If you have the chance (or interest) get online and Google some of Lomachenko’s fights. There are highlight packages a plenty, but sitting through a full fight it truly an experience. The man can move in three steps what it would take a layman like myself maybe 5 to 10. Before you even know what he has done, he has already hit you several times. In the dawn of a new age of technology and the onset of artificial intelligence, it feels like to me that the human mind is expanding more than ever before. Perhaps we are on the cusp of another leap in our human evolution. We have had many, that being the arrival of consciousness our greatest accomplishment, are we about to witness something new? Will our minds take us to a whole new realm of problem solving? It remains to be seen definitively, however with someone like Lomachenko who is just so far beyond his fellow advisory, perhaps this is the beginning.

In a never ending search to find out why we are here and what lies beyond the stars, it is possible that we might look deeper into our own minds see what we really can achieve if we dedicate and focus our efforts on expansion. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the answer to all of life’s great mysteries are buried in our brains, and we could be on the precipice of unraveling the proverbial scroll. I know that is a long way away from a Ukrainian boxer and his unique training regiment, but I ask you dear reader to watch the man in action. Worst case, you can make fun of me on social media! 

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