Two applications of internal power

The shock/explosion force shown here by Levy.

And the internal reinforced strength taught here by Jin Young.

It’s not easy coming up with descriptions, neither traditional nor modern, since to describe something is to render it no longer that “something”. Or to put it in a Western fashion, 4 blind men touching an elephant will always focus their reality on what they can personally feel, the small parts, rather than the whole: seeing a forest vs seeing a single tree. Human language enables us to think, imagine, and focus on specific things, but at the same time it also narrows our perception of the universe to human levels. One reason why in obtaining enlightenment, it was often necessary to go live in a cave, on a mountain, or to fast (force the body to metabolism liquid pure energy fat, to improve body/mind functions).

The laws, realm, of physics is broader than the human conception however. For humans to begin to grasp the great beyond, something extra is needed. It’s why internal arts focus so strongly on improving the mind, and less so on making the body strong. Almost any other martial arts utilizes the external philosophy of strength, speed, and size. In a sense, they are attempting to replicate military KISS principles, but without the KISS. (Keep it Simple) Do as the instructor does, copy his movements precisely, and that kind of military like soldier training is what most people spend their time practicing. Military instructions are very simple, however. They don’t expect you, as an incompetent new guy in boot camp to be able to do much of anything. So when they tell you to grab that line and jump down, that’s all they expect. They don’t expect you to do an acrobatic flip in mid air 3 times as you do it. What would be the point of that? The point in martial arts is often times getting people to do what the masters did (in passing down the lineage), but without the actual mental creativity the masters had (just do as you are told isn’t enough).

For something as niche and unique as martial arts in human history, even there you will find the great divide between individual freedom/expression and centralized control. Whether people choose one or the other, or attempt mixing it, is really a personal philosophical preference. A military that controls its people with absolute obedience to orders works because the officers are fighting along with their subordinates. However, what makes anyone think their instructors or masters are going to be by their side telling them how to fight and survive in life and death conflicts? How is that going to work, even. Therein lies the question of why an “artist” needs to be told how to draw if he thinks he has already graduated from the dojo. Civilian operations are not like military operations. One does not go around in a fellowship or “raid party” killing people or defending people, not unless you are involved in something non-civilian to begin with. Thus what is the point of being able to perfectly mimic and follow the instructions of your martial arts instructor? That means nothing for your own personal art or style, nor your ability to make decisions when alone.

And yet… without people obeying authority and such orders, even if they are irrational, learning would never take place. Not everyone is born or made to be capable of figuring things out for themselves. The vast majority of humans just want to live normal lives, even if that means being told when to eat and when to sleep. Cause they obviously can’t figure it out for themselves.

The duty of any martial artist is to figure out what he is going to use his power for: good or evil. Then to train to get it done. And in the process, decide how much of humanity, if any, he wants to associate with in life. I wrote “wants” but it is more like “need”. If someone who is self sufficient doesn’t need to associate with humans, he can just live on a mountain by himself and only come down every once in a blue moon. For those training themselves to grasp concepts beyond the average human conception, this is actually the preferred method of navigating human social limitations. But in the modern world, we don’t do things like that any more. No, we have something better.

The Internet. That which allows for social rules and control unfathomed by previous systems, but also allows for maximum freedom of movement and thought unimagined by previous systems.

Explore posts in the same categories: Traditional Martial Arts

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