The Centered Driver Workshop

February 6, 2014 Comments (1)

A Fine Beginning…

Last week, Denise McCluggage came to The Loft at European Motorsports in Lawrence MA to introduce The Centered Driver Workshop. It is based on her 1970s book, The Centered Skier, which successfully introduced elements of the martial arts, to the physics of downhill skiing.

Centered Driver loft

The Centered Driver Workshop, as did its skiing predecessor, deals with the importance of recognizing the changes that skier/driver actions have on the attitude of the skis and the automobile’s contact with the road. With her guidance, participating students demonstrate the effect that combinations of driver accelerating/braking/turning have on the four contact patches (tires) of a car. When demonstrated this way, the physics are easily grasped. The second aspect of this workshop deals with the role the martial arts plays in focusing the mind and body on the task of driving a car. McCluggage, obviously a practitioner of the art for many years, demonstrates the powerful effect of focused energy as a strong young volunteer tries unsuccessfully to bend her arm.

Denise McCluggage

The final third of the workshop is devoted to anecdotally marrying the physical and the mental with the practical aspects of daily driving. McCluggage has thought driving through completely. Whether she is explaining the joy of “celerating” (a word she coined) through a turn carrying adequate speed to maintain balance without either accelerating or decelerating, the difference between seeing and comprehending what you see, or simply why she turns off the radio when she is driving, you come to the realization that by becoming a centered driver you can enjoy driving at a level of awareness which you never even knew existed.

Denise McCluggage driving


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Comments (1)

  1. Paul Chenard:
    Feb 07, 2014 at 07:00 AM

    It was a great really event, and was an honour to spend time with Denise and hear her workshop.
    It was also an honour to decorate the space before the event with the murals.

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