Wednesday, May 30, 2012
To all my fans and supporters I would like to say to you first, I love you. You are the are the jelly in my doughnut. I enjoy sharing my experiences, ideas and hope we can continue to grow closer to truth together. I only wish to serve you, the reader, with hopes that be it kung fu, or life you you will be able to obtain the highest level of true achievement.
Let's talk a little bit about a kicking strategy that I learned when I was a youth. I have mentioned several times that my background in the martial arts was spawned from living in an abusive neighborhood. So everything that my father told us about our training was crucial for our safety and survival.
"Your kick only has power at the height that you can hold it. If you can only do the kick fast, but you can't control every part of the technique, it is a fake kick." He told us one day while we practiced holding the kick that was making my face squirm through a slide show of expressions while trying to block out the pain. When I was younger I hated the long still training, it made it easier to hear the kids playing outside.
Still I made time to work on it, but it was only about as high as stomach level. I knew that heavier kids were not safe to kick in the stomach because it acted as a shielding for many nerves around the sweet spot. I struggled to try to increase the speed of progress so that I could raise my leg to chin level. It was the only chance I would have against a continually growing danger in my personal life.
A kid that looked like a young full grown man. There were two rumors floating around the school at the time about this brick wall of a student. One of them was that he was already shaving at 13. The other one was he wanted to kill me. I was much more concerned with the second rumor.
As I passed by him in the hallway time almost stopped, as his eyes gazed down on me with a familiar look of disgust that I had grown to know. This wasn't a rumor at all, he had shaving cuts. And his eyes definitely were filled with dark intent.
Under his menacing eyes I also took the time notice that his veins made a perfect target for me to locate a pressure point next to his temple. I felt reassured that if I ever had to deal with "the bear" I would at least know where to attack. The only problem was, this kid was a foot taller than me, and I could only hold my leg up to my own stomach level.
"What are you going to do?" My friend asked me at lunch, feeling almost sorry for me.
"I'm gonna weight for God to tell me what to do?" I said while hunching over eating my lunch hoping not to be noticed.
My idea was that if I held on to the table while I was holding my leg in the air, I would be able to put my foot higher quicker. It was still painful and it seemed to be working when...
"What are you doing?" Aaron asked me while I was dripping sweat and holding on to the table as if my life depended on it.
"Trying to increase my power." I said to him while struggling to keep my leg elevated.
"But if you practice with your hands holding you up, won't that make you defenseless?" He added. "It's better to just do the move the right way, with your natural balance and weight." He said while patting me on the shoulder.
I always listened to both of my brothers when it came to martial arts. Even though Aaron only trained a year longer, it seemed he had more wisdom about somethings. Or maybe he learned it from the fight he was in last week. All of us were fighting more often then taking test. The KKK make the best bullies.
"What should I do?" I asked Aaron, while putting my leg down.
"God, will make your enemies your foot stool." Aaron said to me feeling confident in my ability.
Being one of only 3 black kids in my school, it was only a matter of time before he found me and cornered me in an empty class room. After a few insulting remarks I began trying to find the right moment to attack while backing away.
"Backing away makes you look scared, so they will never see the attack coming." I remembered Eddie telling me at one time. He was 5 years older and at least a hundred fights ahead of both me and Aaron. So I continued to step back as he moved at me more aggressively. I knew that any kick I through at him while stepping back would case me to fall back and be in an even worse position. As the Bear grew frustrated he began slamming tables and chairs to the side of the classroom.
One of the tables almost crashed into me as I used my a front kick to stop its momentum. My leg was still pressed against the table as the Bear tried to force me off balance. I had no choice but to slide backward on one leg while I waited for some form of rescue. Then I heard my brothers words in my mind, "God will make your enemies your footstool."
I grinned as I realized I that maybe my kick training hadn't matured enough, but my jump training sure had.
I quickly jumped up on the desk on my right hand side just in time to watch the other table crash into the wall. On the desk I stood taller than the bear and I only needed to be able to kick as high as my waist in order to reach the pulsating red target next to his temple. As my hip turned my foot snapped into his pressure point causing the Bear to black out before he even hit the ground.
Tuesday, May 29, 2012
If you practice martial arts, it is common for people to suggest that you enter a competition or begin fighting so that people can see you. If you have a good voice they may suggest that you go to Hollywood and try to see you if you can make it. Because I speak Chinese I often have people ask me why I don't get a certificate and become a translator. All of these suggestions as harmless as they seem, would certainly lead you down the path of self doubt and eventually destruction.
Just as subtle as the sword we can be cut to ribbons with bad suggestions. Satan told Eve that if she ate the fruit she would be like God. The problem being that she was already like God. When she ate the fruit she lost what she never knew she had.
Our world today is under the very same illusion. Many people are rich in many ways and still seek "success" because we are educated into believing we need something that we don't want. The martial artist who begins competing may enjoy it at first but slowly his view is tainted of the art because he wants to win. The idea of winning is completely contradictory to your ability to learn. When you are hit in combat it teaches you where you need to protect yourself. It doesn't matter how gruesome an MMA fight may appear to be, it still isn't fighting. It is a sport. A fight takes place between you and an enemy. An enemy who seeks to harm you not for the attention of others, but for your destruction. No matter how many competitions you enter, it will never be comparable to a real enemy.
A real enemy one might meet with in competition would be injury. Injury is sure to delay and maybe stop your training all together. Martial arts is a lifestyle. What good is it if you have to quit when you are 30? or 50? Human beings originally were never meant to die. Which means your connection to what you like to do should be eternal. Imagine how much your view would change if you played the piano a 1000 years. It's foolishness to put a time limit on your interest.
The singer that goes to Hollywood will find that she is faced with an invisible empire. One that would appear to be trying to help but they just want to steal your ideas, talent and voice. American idol is a great way to round up lots of talent and kill their dreams all at once. The singers are actually far superior singers compared to those that judge them. They would be kings in a more honest time. Yet they take their "shot" and we throw them away and wait for the next season. In 11 seasons of the show do you know anyone more famous than Mariah Carey?
You don't need a certificate to know my Chinese is good. You don't need approval to practice what you love to do. You don't need the silly form of success that you they would offer you. Your interest is your gift!!!
I'm not saying certificates are evil and yes you may want to go to Hollywood to pursue your dream. What is important for you to understand is that you must do what you do with out justification. It is the reason that kills your dream.
If you continue doing anything that you enjoy, on a long enough timeline it will become valuable to our society. You don't need to make plans for your piano practice or art work. You just need to continually enjoy what God has given you until you finally see the blossoming of his promise. If you are doing it because you are trying to make money, then it is only a matter of time that you will not be interested anymore and you will quit. Money quite easily will replace interest and one day you won't even know why you do what you do.
Do it because you love it. There should be no other reason. If you do this, I promise you will be truly successful.
The most powerful form of kung fu is to know yourself even against the pressure of society. After all society killed Jesus.
Saturday, May 26, 2012
Thursday, May 17, 2012
Sorry it's been so long since my last post. You could say the past year I have been inside of my cocoon of training while trying to sort things out. When I first went to Taiwan 9 years ago everyone warned me that I would experience culture shock. Even though it was tricky adjusting at first, I got used to my life in Taiwan pretty quickly. Continually being able to train martial arts and practice Chinese excited me. But all good things must come to an end, in order for great things to come.
I have been back in America for over a year now and the culture shock I have now seems to be permanent. If you leave your country long enough, it gets easy to see all of the BS when you get back. It's like your vision goes from VCR to DVD.
What I see is that many people are busy obsessing over things that they have been tricked into wanting. Their true desires have been put on hold so that they could find a way to fit into the system. The system pretends to feed the participants but actually feeds on them. Every thing you buy will make you heavier and less able to roam the globe. Eventually you become so heavy you get stuck in a life you don't want.
Let me be the first to tell you if you haven't already heard it....this world is yours. The whole thing belongs to you. At any time of the day you can get up and go any where you want. You can become anything you want. You are God's creation and you are a masterpiece.
Of course you probably don't feel like a masterpiece because the media will remind you, you are not tall enough, strong enough, rich enough, thin enough, happy enough...that's what I mean BS. Even as I eat my breakfast the news is telling me about every person that has been murdered this week. Of course none of the people who were murdered live in my area. In fact there were many people whose lives were saved today. Of course none of the good stuff makes it on the news. It just shows us the worst of the worst on loop. If you inhale poison long enough you might forget you are a masterpiece.
Health wise you are what you eat. Spiritually, you are what you believe. If you believe that you are in a situation that you can't get out of...then you are. If you believe you're not good enough, you're not. So it is very important to filter what you let into your mind.
You could find all of this information in a self help book of your choosing, but your positive thoughts alone are not enough to keep you from inhaling the poison. You''ll eventually find yourself being overwhelmed by your surroundings of negative friends, bosses, places or whatever.
In my cocoon I have been working with the nine palaces. It's an organized pattern around 9 poles or objects that teaches you to use effective footwork with multiple opponents. Bagua requires the stance to be rooted even as we turn, spin, evade or counter the danger. If an unseen danger impacts us in a rooted stance, we can still manage to overpower an opponent that is not rooted.
The problem with positive thinking alone is that you are unable to have a true root. Whether it's money, career, science, or religion, you will not have a true root without Jesus.
Once you have established this root it becomes priority for you to listen to the ideas that run through your mind. Your dreams are the instructions that God has given you for your joy. If you don't follow them, you are only going to get lost. Everything is difficult so you might as well do something you like.
So we must follow our desires in life, just as our instincts in combat. As Bruce Lee said, "Learn unnatural naturalness or natural unnaturalness." It may feel unnatural at first when you hold the stance for Bagua, Wingchun, or the guitar. Yet given enough time you almost forget that you were ever in a stance. Learning to believe the best about your situation is just as unnatural a feeling as any stance in the beginning. Especially when we have to apply our faith which means we are practicing moving for real combat. This means that it is most important to see the best of your situation at the lowest times of your life.
Start practicing by combating negative situations with positive thoughts. If you are short on money think to yourself "I'll always be rich." These thoughts will eventually form the habit of seeing the best of your situation. You will have the opportunity to use this 1000 times a day. So there is no shortage of opportunities to practice.