Sunday, 26 January 2014

Are you defeated?

In a lot of martial arts contests seasoned contestants accept the ability to inflict physical harm as a given and do not focus on this to attain victory. It is because they know that to gain that advantage, to create that opening and to ultimately gain control over the fight it is necessary to inflict some real psychological trauma.

Fortunately a lot of fighters in this day and age are not "without a death spot" as the Tao Te Ching puts it. This means they can be unsettled and beaten.

A strong spirit, however, which is not unsettled by any material setback, physical pain or even disease keeps a fighter standing. As long as this warrior's spirit is alive the fighter shall keep on fighting to the very end.

We have certainly faced many obstacles on our way and shall meet many more in the days to come. Whether our will to keep going will bring success I cannot honestly say, but I have no doubt that giving up is a certain defeat.

Awareness of self

Meditation and mental training forms part of any good martial art's syllabus.

With meditation also comes related exercises like Qigong.

It is important to note that visualisation exercises and qigong are meant for the dojo alone and can be fatal to the practicioner if he takes this into the street. This is because the outside environment requires us to be aware thereof and pre-occupation with one's own internal workings is sure to leave you open to surprises.

Awareness of self causes resistance within us and delays our responses. Only when awareness of self has been eliminated can the fighter truly utilise his training.

Friday, 17 January 2014

My visit to the Southern Shaolin Temple

A long time dream of mine to visit China became reality after this last Christmas of 2013. On New Year's Eve I was treated to a visit to this historical Temple- Nan Shaolin!

I was disappointed not finding any monks there, but still enjoyed being able to get the feel of real monkey poles and the wing chun dummy. 

I really hope that kung fu will stay alive and well in China- as well as the rest of the world.