Thursday, June 16, 2011

Dig deeper

This morning I woke up feeling the chill on my finger tips and ears as soon as I cracked the door. I don't know whether it's global warming or just because it's 5am but it sure doesn't feel like June. It was enough to make me really question my motivation to train today. After all I have a job interview at 8 that I could be getting ready for. Soon I will be dedicating 9 hours a day to some one else's quest to make more sales. If I can't give myself just two hours of something meaningful, then I will eventually find my being drowned in the sorrows of artificial comforts. So I bite my lip, button up my jacket and grab my spear.

Every morning I wrestle with the thoughts that would discourage me from making that small amount of progress I need for the day. It's amazing how persuasive we become when we choose to comfort or feel sorry for ourselves. Every time we can overcome this mental wall we bring more quality to our character. This mental accomplishment will become the most significant part of our training.

Today's battle with the cold sparked a new revelation in the terms of energy. Bagua studies energies from 8 directions that lead into an infinite amount of gateways. In order for me to open more doors I must relentlessly explore within myself. In the middle of an empty street I can hear my shoes tearing away at the step of every technique. I've done this technique so many times but I still can't do it fast enough...or slow enough. It isn't good enough to just practice, I must practice more perfectly and completely.

Some where between hearing the words of my master, my father and the sound of my hands slicing against the crisp breeze, I found something. It was as if I touched something so real that everything else seemed to become an illusion. It was only a flash but the feeling continued to linger with me. At the end of my work out I found myself surrounded by animals. Birds and squirrels within a hands reach stood next to me unafraid. It was like they were able to identify a part of me that I never knew I had forgotten.

In the shower I was able to start putting together what it means. It's said that we can identify hundreds of logos from every type of product yet we are unable to identify the plants outside of our own house. Why do I know more about the lives of movie stars than I do about my own neighbors? All of the food, information and entertainment is provided by people that I don't even know. We are being stripped from each other and the Earth to live as isolated servants. We may seem smarter and stronger than people in the past, but how many of us can retrieve our own food? We are completely reliant for our most basic and essential needs.

Maybe that's why martial arts is the one thing that keeps me feeling in tuned. Fighting seems to be the most surface level of the arts. Who knows what secrets have been hidden inside the depth of the techniques? We must continue to train in order to find the real truth behind the illusions. What ever your trade is you must grow enough that you can take care of your family not just in terms of finance. If you are unable to do so then I suggest you get started in those little things that might save your life. The system that we all have grown to love, might not be there one day.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Journal tip for trapping

This is more like a journal entry gaging some of the different events that I have been going through with my training. It has been rolling around in my head so much that I figured it would be best for me to right something down.

This season I have been working with section 3 in the post heaven section which is " The way of diverting energy". After practicing these 8 movements hundreds of thousands of times, it is time for me to dig even deeper into the meaning. Every movement in this section leads to trap the opponents hands. For a trap to work effectively you do not need to be fast, you only need to know your opponents timing.

At first it seems like a sixth sense, the ability to always counter your opponent and make him fumble over his own hands. While he stumbles his other hand is pinned leaving his face exposed to your attack. Distant water can not extinguish close fire.

The secret behind this technique is being able to "bait" your opponent. A trapper doesn't just leave a trap in the middle of an open field, he first looks for the tracks of the animal he is seeking. In our case, tracks indicate the habits and tendencies of the other fighter.

Baiting your opponent means that you must make your opponent strike at a place he feels he will be advantageous. Or sometimes a small step can make him attack first, giving you the perfect opportunity to counter. It may look like a counter, but the step initiates the movement. You can see some masters do this while dodging a sword in a demonstration. The student whales away at the master and misses every time. It's because once you've forced your intention onto someone they have to react, if you are waiting with the counter then they should fall right into the trap.

Try it out. Keep training.

Saturday, June 11, 2011


Amidst the training of thousands of moves my mind wanders into the sea of undiscovered options. Counter techniques and new footwork applications that haven't been explored for dynasties. The Tianwudao, my kung fu brothers and my master all help me to reach deeper within myself. Still ultimately my quest can only be carried out by me. Guided in faith I seek the truth behind each technique. In every move is a fragment of mirror that reflects the truth in me. The light that radiates from the mirrors is the only true power I have. In my daily training and focus I continue to unlock to myself perfect gifts.

These gifts remain cluttered in a series of locks all with different combinations. So it only makes sense for me to dive deeper into my combination training. When I practice a combination I find the speed between speeds. Awkward movements and possible weak points bury themselves within the cracks of timing. Unpracticed movements create a paste in my reactions, leaving me vulnerable to surprise frays.

Some other gifts may be found in the routine watering of a single movement for a season. Making sure that the movement finds itself in every learning session of everyday. It can be painfully boring to drill the techniques that are old or unexciting. But many of the greatest gifts hide themselves in the bones of ageless repetition. A revelation awaits at the end of every season, another addition to my collection of mirrors.

My revelation for this season has brought me deeper into the understanding of good. Only by continually stripping away at our darkness can we gain wisdom. The agony of doing the right thing is contradictory to our imperfect self. Yet it unlocks every gift that will be needed to win the war inside of the mirror. From inside to out we must remain diligent. To dwell on any doubt will only feed the possibility of my defeat. While bearing love failure doesn't even exist.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

The Adventure Of Your Life

A lot of times we may find ourselves frustrated because we are lacking tools needed to achieve our goals. Lack of money, time, or whatever can lead us to believe that we don't even have the necessary components to begin our quest. How can you learn kung fu if there are no teachers in your area? How can you go to another country if you don't have any money? How can you get any money if there aren't any jobs available?

We all come into problems and questions that can create doubt for our own identities. Focusing on what we don't have is the perfect recipe for depression. Especially when you have all of those personal problems added in like your relationship, job or whatever. How can we achieve anything if the deck is stacked against us?

The good news is that all of these little "problems" that you have are the challenges that you need to get to your goal. No matter how insignificant an event may seem it may be the most important part of your training.

First you must understand that there is nothing that you can't do and there is no one who is better than you. As a citizen of the Earth you have just as much right to anything as anyone else. It is our faith in rules placed upon us that is the source of our frustration, not life itself. Some very smart and very greedy people would have you believe the illusion cast upon you. You can't fish without a license, you can't start your own company or even that the house you live in isn't your own are regulations that were decided before you were born. And everything you see is designed to make you see the weakness within yourself. The truth is that if you knew you were strong, then you wouldn't need to buy any of the junk they always sell.

Real kung fu is not about fighting, competing or ranks; it's all about the training. When I am practicing a technique there is nothing else that exists aside from the movement. I train until I can feel the ache in my legs, until my hands quiver, until my eyes water from the pain and I am grateful to be just a little bit stronger than yesterday. The truth of who I am begins to release into my spirit and slowly the world of illusions around me takes less effect. When commercials tell me I am not good enough I smile, when my boss threatens me I smirk, when they tell me I should be scared of the terrors outside I laugh. I know my goal will be attained and everything they throw at me is just another step.

The best thing about life is that at anytime of the day you can decide to be great. Take all of your disadvantages and stare them down with the power of your spirit. No matter how terrible your situation may seem, the fear of the result is much worse than the result itself. Be excited about taking the risks that pull you closer to your goals. There is no failure, only more experience. Only take advice from people who seek greatness in you. Live a life with the freedom of fear.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Conserve your energy

In the martial arts world there are many things that we may find ourselves concerned with. Training, teaching and research are vital parts of developing our understanding or purpose in the art. In the process of our development we will most certainly come across different fighting ideas, concepts and strategies. The evolution of both ourselves and our styles requires a degree of understanding of the differences between styles. Is it better for me to use a roundhouse kick from Taekwondo or a roundhouse kick from Muay Thai?

The correct answer of course is that there is no correct answer. If you favor speed and accuracy then you will like to use the Taekwondo kick. Good for setting up a combination, fighting multiple opponents and controlling your environment. If you want to over power your opponent and break through his defense then you are certainly a Muay Thai kicker. Both of the techniques are correct, the question is can you do either of the techniques correctly?

This is a more obvious example but these types of differences between styles and movements have kept martial artists literally butting heads with each other since the beginning of time. Today if you look at the comments of any youtube video you can find remarks that are long drawn out arguments between self proclaimed martial artists. This master isn't legit, he isn't using fajin correctly, this is a bad technique etc. etc.

If you are really seeking to find truth about your style or movement the answer is always the same....train it. Only through training it will you have a full understanding about what the technique means. Time spent arguing and debating about the differences will lead you to a dark room of doubt and frustration. This dark energy will eventually take the joy away from you and hinder your growth all together. If your style is so effective, then why are you unhappy?

Remember that all styles and skills that we may achieve in life are merely a mirror we use to understand our world. In the very finite details of everything you will find the same truth. The only real truth that we can gather in this lifetime is that we can not know everything. When we attempt to prove others wrong our energy will darken regardless of the circumstances. In short, shut up and train!