Thursday, October 8, 2009

The Connection Between Kung Fu and Calligraphy

I have heard many times about the connection between the Chinese characters and martial arts movements. This is what actually stimulated my interest toward learning Chinese and gathering a deeper understanding of the "root" of martial arts over ten years ago. I believe it would have been impossible for me to gather such an understanding of Bagua or the internal arts without seeing and understanding the characters with my own eyes. At first glance the list of movements appears to be the explanation of the techniques and how they are practiced or applied. But there are many places where they use "words behind the words" or "meaning behind the meaning." It's almost like trying to decipher a song that Shakespeare and Tupac wrote together. Every year reviewing these scrolls and continuing my training I am able to peel a deeper level of understanding of the words and adjust my training accordingly. Don't worry you don't need to be able to understand Chinese to understand martial arts at all, I am just explaining my personal journey in the understanding of new concepts.

Recently I have focused an extra amount of time in my writing practice. Writing these complex characters over and over smaller and smaller have given me a great deal of hand control.

It is the same feeling that I have when practicing accuracy with my sword. At first you are just doing or immating the movements that you see. Through practicing yearly you begin to gain a sense of structure. A standard in how things need to be done. Through this structure you finally find real power. Then you realize that it is the same structure that has given you power, that must be forgotten in order to achieve free flowing power. Only with this free flowing power do we have a real understanding of martial arts, Chinese characters, or life.

This is the process of refining ourselves. Real martial arts, calligraphy (or whatever vehicle you choose) is about cutting away at the part of us that is a weakness. A weakness can take many forms inside of ourselves and continually distracts us from becoming free. Pride, Vanity, Fear, Greed etc. are the parts of us that are not our personallity. They are flaws that we can choose to refine out of our lives completely. First we just need to find our one focal point. Then, slowly let that expand through out the rest of our lives.

If it was easy, we'd all be masters by now. Keep up the fight of positive energy.

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