July 9, 2014

The Power of the Great

"Sifu, anyone can perform the motions of combat, but what is needed to execute techniques in accordance with Zen Principles?"

I Ching: Hexagram #34: Ta Chuang, The Power of the Great (Chen over Ch’ien) – The Arousing over the Creative: Thunder over Heaven, we may be able to shed some light on this important issue.

The hexagram shows the great power of heaven in the three lower lines. This power also rises up to form the base line of the upper trigram. Thunder is the movement, the arousing.

So the techniques (the Arousing) are skill based on intelligence and insight. This is the power of the great.

The Judgment says, “Perseverance furthers.” The hexagram shows that inner values must rise into movement. The true martial artist does not respond with hostility and aggression at the first indication of threat. He uses his mind and his character and never forgets his spiritual principles. He quickly analyzes the situation and waits patiently for the right moment that is truly great in power, the moment in which he can maintain a unity of action with the fundamental principles that constitute rightness and justice of action. Thunder may be considered "electrical energy" or that quickness to anger that tempts an aroused man to strike.

This is what must be tempered with the principles of enlightenment.

The Image shows the superior man - who does not tread upon paths which are not in accord with established order. Being in harmony with the order of things in one's situations produces great power.

“As the opponent comes, you receive with no fixed technique or resistance; as he leaves, you escort them in union.” In order to do this, you cannot and must not do more than what is required of you.

To be efficient and effective, it is extremely necessary to understand all the basic movements, the foundation of your martial art discipline. Example; Stances, footwork, parries/blocks and strikes etc. It takes no skill at all to hurt another being, but to defend without injuring the opponent is to be truly efficient in movement. In doing so, we preserve movement, being in harmony with the order of things in our situations. The masterful fighter does not squander energy in anger. He acts quickly, but never without thinking and never without compassion. 

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