Gung Fu; the Higher Order Skill
Gung Fu: Health Warning (you will get punched and kicked)
Gung Fu is a singular, insular activity with limited real world value. I rarely get into fights and training martial arts is arguably dentrimental to health on a variety of levels; such as elevated cortisol levels and the obvious wear and tear on the body. Additionally, over the next few years I predict that the medical fraternity will publish further research regarding head trauma as a consequence of getting hit and long term brain damage.
Benefits of Gung Fu: Free Your Mind
So what are the benefits of Gung Fu, or any type of martial art training? Ultimately, training Gung Fu is about learning a life skill which will help us survive if we end up getting into a fight. Now that I’m in my eighteenth year in Gung Fu, I am beginning to recognize the fringe benefit, which can be said to be true of any vocation that is approached with a high degree of focus; self mastery.
In Gung Fu we are obviously learning to express our own bodies (e.g. proprioception) but by doing so, we are also creating a foundation which allows us to relate to the World and connect with nature, consciousness, or the divine. By striving for mastery we are forced to approach the subject matter from multiple and diverse angles, figuratively and literally and therefore we learn about the ACT of learning. For instance my Gung Fu training has been a segue into topics ranging from kinesiology, to body language and hypnosis.
Gung Fu as a Higher Order Skill
Mastery of Gung Fu is a higher-order skill as it covers critical thinking, experiential modes of learning as well as specific skills like anticipation, which instill a level of foresight. The latter being especially important in enabling us to predict the build up to potentially dangerous situations (awareness leads to avoidance).