Beware the beast, man, for he is the Devil’s pawn. Alone among God’s primates, he kills for sport or lust or greed. Yea, he will murder his brother, to possess his brother’s land. Let him not breed in great numbers, for he will make a desert of his home, and yours. Shun him, drive him back into his jungle lair, for he is the harbinger of death. Cornelius
Archive for August, 2010
“Mindless hate,” on the other hand, is a kind of irrational, emotionally-charged hate speech that places no value on facts, reason or logic of any kind. It is merely an emotional discharge, almost a kind of mental vomit that has been splattered across the online world. And it contains some of the most vicious hate speech that has ever been recorded in human history.
The Japanese master Nan-in gave audience to a professor of philosophy. Serving tea, Nan-in filled his visitor’s cup, and kept pouring. The professor watched the overflow until he could restrain himself no longer: “Stop! The cup is over full, no more will go in.” Nan-in said: “Like this cup, you are full of your own opinions and speculations. How can I show you Zen unless you first empty your cup.
The ‘Emptying your cup’ parable suggests that one should keep an open mind, or at the very least one that is uncluttered. Opinions and beliefs should be replaced by a willingness to learn. I’ve often found that those needing the greatest help are the ones who promote themselves as having some special knowledge. I recognize this fault in myself.
Favourite hip-hop song for all time:
(Can I say that? Haha.)
But, seriously, it did. Let me tell you why.
1. Other than His Dark Side coaching me to keep my head forward, boxing has taught me to keep my head forward and chin tucked. Keeping my head forward and chin tucked keeps the balance when I’m in YJKYM. If I perform the ever-so-common lean back (and consequently put my head back), I’m uprooted very easily.
2. I’m all about less pigeon-toe now. Power comes from the ground no matter what endeavour I chose, so the way I used to do things is wrong. If it doesn’t work, it’s wrong. If I perform the normal pigeon-toe stance, my triangle is too small. When I ‘open up’ my stance, my triangle (therefore my ‘base’) gets bigger. But there’s a catch…I can only open it so much before it becomes no longer a triangle or eventually a backwards triangle. Boxing has shown me what a mobile and stable stance should look like – and more importantly feel like.
3. “Think wrestling with punching,” was what I once was told at the gym in regards to ‘sinking’ into my stance. I was told I was too upright. So eventually I fixed the problem and got lower in my boxing stance. From it, I gained faster evasiveness and incredible punching power. I first noticed the lowering of my Wing Chun stance when practicing the Wooden Dummy. I thought it was perhaps just an off-chance that I was incredibly powerful and stable while practicing all the movements. But after having the opportunity to practice Chi Sau with a partner, I can safely say that my stance has been lowered for the better.
Today’s brief Chi Sau session created the canvas for me to realize that things from Western Boxing have improved my Wing Chun. It got me thinking about what they were specifically so I wrote them down. …perhaps they might help you, too.
I’ve decided – when I die I only want two things:
1. For my parents to know that they did the best job raising me (they left a legacy behind)
2. To leave my own family legacy behind
Ayrton Senna was the Bruce Lee of the F1 Racing world; a trailblazer and renaissance man. He was hyper-aggressive and possessed a preternatural skill of anticipating dynamic changes during a race.
Had Ayrton Senna’s legacy limited to him driving a Tata motor vehicle, he would have remained unknown. All cars are not equal, and F1 cars are superior driving machines. It was behind the wheel of an F1 car that helped create Senna’s legacy and facilitated his rise to the top.
If a cars job is to get you to a destination, then an F1 car would get you there far faster than anything else on land. Some cars are faster than others, some look prettier than others and some are just beasts on the road. And like learning to drive, a martial artist requires the correct tuition from someone suitably qualified before one can reach a level of competence.
How does this compare to martial arts? The job of a martial art is to make someone competent at fighting. The question then is, which “vehicle” will you drive to get there? – a Ford Escort (Tai Chi), a Subaru STI (Wing Chun) or a Lamborghini Murcielago (Western boxing, MMA).
Continuing our theme of publishing great comments, here is one that I find very agreeable. It was a response to our previous blog post;
Big-up to ‘Peter’;
I have to agree that there are a LOT of Wing Chun practitioners out there who really have no idea how inept they would be in actual combat, but I think the enlightened ones know their limitations and have adapted their training accordingly. I train Wing Chun, but also do some Jun Fan and wrestling/groundwork. However, I still consider Wing Chun to be my main art.
However, I disagree with your view of forms and Chi Sau. Forms are useful for training correct structure and body mechanics, and Chi Sau is great for sensitivity and auto-response skills (albeit limited in its application). Chi Sau alone is not enough. You have to work at different ranges.
Fighting is situational, and I do agree that in order to be a good fighter, you simply have to fight. If you have never been hit with malice, you cannot call yourself a fighter.
One thing I have learned is that it is a mistake to judge someone’s fighting ability by the way they look or what martial art they train in. I have met Karate and judo guys who are simply great fighters.
A friend of mine, Michael Holdsworth;
who is an instructor in JKD and FMA sent this to me and I post it here to get to get your thoughts;
An observation I want to share and discuss with you bro. When you chain blast do you key in your transverse abdominus?
A thought hit me (rather than a punch), when boxing I was always told to make a hissing sound when punching to tighten up my abs in case of a counter punch as it was explained to me, I have also observed that this is done in a similar manner in Karate with the Kia and other forms including Yoga and such like.
I believe it may be a way to momentarily cause a sudden cohesion of muscle as the kinetic energy passes through the punch and a relaxation to allow for another wave for want of another word. I am not sure but could this be what is talked about in Goju Ryu?
Anyway I am experementing with it as I have the muscle awareness for Torqueblade training to key in my abs on and off.
Let me know your thoughts and I will let you know if there is any benefit.
Please read the original blog post about Bruce Lee’s street fight with and a Karate man before you read Steve Smith’s excellent comments which were worth publishing in their own right;
There were actually several things to learn from that engagement. One if you are attacking finish the attack. The Karate Man had trained to pull his kicks, so when he kicked dust flew from Bruce’s Jacket then Bruce blocked and did the rest of the fight at full on. The Karate Man was severely beaten and probably learned not to train for point work ever again if he was planning to fight. If that kick would have landed history may have been quite different.
Second when you engage stay on the guy as Bruce showed he gave the Karate Man no room to counter and was able to end him in 11 seconds. Ed (Hart) told me that he told the Karate Man that the fight lasted 22 seconds so he would not feel bad. Steve Smith
Steve Smith’s bio is available here;
We’ve all heard the talks by spiritual teachers: we must squash the ego. But allow me to flip this in a different way…
My ego wants, right? My ego wants awards, accolades, money, success…always wanting so that it can satisfy my false self. So I squash the ego. I make peace with myself and know in my heart of hearts that I should just be. No wanting. No seeking. Just calm.
But what if. What if that type of mental behaviour was just an excuse. A kind of ‘resignment’ that a person uses so that they don’t have to put any effort in to achieve something.
And we’ve all heard the saying, “If you want it bad enough, you’ll make it happen.” So which is it? That’s the question I find in my mind. Am I content? Truly at peace? Or am I just another human being with just another lame excuse for my poor performance?
I can’t tell from whence it came.
Perhaps it is due to all the poetry I’m reading. Perhaps it’s due to the company I’m keeping. Perhaps it’s just all part of the process.
Part of me feels like it’s dying. But it’s a good kind of dying. Dying to the old and I can’t quite get a grasp on the new.
What’s it all about? I guess some would call it priorities. But for me, it’s about peace. I’ve been so agitated for so long – so long that this kind of calm scares me.
“Slow down. You move too fast. You got to make the morning last.”
May the whole Path now be plain to all!
Frater Perdurabo is the most honest of all the great religious teachers. Others have said: “Believe me!” He says:”Don’t believe me!” He does not ask for followers; would despise and refuse them. He wants an independent and self-reliant body of students to follow out their own methods of research. If he can save them time and trouble by giving a few useful “tips,” his work will have been done to his own satisfaction.