October 30, 2014

Innocence

"Sifu, I don’t like to spar with the bigger students in class. How can I ever expect to win?”

I Ching: Hexagram #25: Wu Wang: Innocence (The Unexpected)

We see here The Creative, Heaven over The Arousing, Thunder. Ch'ien over Chen. 

According to The Judgment: Innocence. Supreme success. Perseverance furthers. If someone is not as he should be, he has misfortune, and it does not further him to undertake anything.

Every martial artist brings to the mat only himself. He can leave the mat with more than he came with if he learns something from the experience. He will leave with less if learns nothing.

Man at birth is given from heaven (The Creative) a nature innately good, to guide us in all our movements. One must become devoted to this divine spiritual energy that lies within themselves, to attain such an innocence leading them to do what's right and without any thoughts of reward and personal advantage. This will certainly bring supreme success. 

What this means, is that, the path, the sparring is the important thing here, not the winning or loosing. We train to learn, to better our selves by strengthening and sharpening our bodies and minds. To reach such skill that unifies our very being with the situations we encounter. We need to be impartial. Or we will always be on the loosing end. Constantly grasping for the ungraspable. Be true to who you are, a cat can only ever be a cat. This is what nature has programmed them to be. We must adapt our skills appropriately. As we spar, we learn to better our skills. Simply sparring is not enough. We need to make mental notes, assess our situations, try new things, sharpen what we know and learn how to be do better all the things we know and the things we will learn through our mistakes and experiences.

The Image of this Hexagram is that of the all things attain the natural state of innocence. The kings of old, rich in virtue, and harmony with the time, fostered and nourished all beings.

In Natural style Kung Fu generally teaches both soft and hard methods, no matter the style. So, the smaller opponent must not try to over power the larger opponent. But, use what skills nature has provided them as smaller individuals. Natural agility, and speed must be used in order to adapt. A person who is heavier is usually stronger and slower then our smaller individual. They need to form a partnership, a unity with their opponent. For this to happen properly we need two things, the knowledge and awareness of our natural skills, and the knowledge in application of these skills. Seeing as the smaller individual in most cases cannot over power a larger foe, he must use his speed and agility if applicable, accompanied with deflection and reverse of momentum techniques and skills which is always a nice combination.

When we are training we are training to learn, to understand and to work towards our perfection, not that of others perfection. Only the larger and stronger individual can master his natural skills. Those being weight, power, and strength. Important to realize that there is always a bigger and smaller person.

As long as our intensions remain at a non-personal impartial level, our concerns of winning and loosing will not hinder us. With out this hindrance we can learn and progress at greater speeds, allowing our skills to become natural. At this point, size does not matter. The saying," its quality not quantity that counts". I believe works very well in this case.

As we continue to train our skills and learn new ones, our concerns should not leave our noses, meaning we should only be concerned about being the best that we can be. And not steep down to the egos level, by always worrying about being higher skilled then someone other then ourselves, or in winning or loosing. The martial arts is about learning self-mastery, when we can over come ourselves, we can over come anything. This, I believe should be our goal.