Posted by thanquyen, no comments
Before Thanksgiving, and due to the weather changing, we had a small class and I taught a different style of teaching, training form sparring, to lead to the better practice of free sparring, although we have no intention to kill anybody. Our martial art is simply a vehicle, like the Yin/Yang, no good and no bad. Just like a knife sitting on the table, you can use it to chop vegetables and feed your family, or you can use it to kill somebody who breaks into your home. The similar purpose of using our form is as a vehicle or as a tool—it can help you be handy for multiple purposes/challenges of life, and along with that it builds our confidence and fortifies/conditions your body for health and longevity. But, disciplinary action of the martial art is a requirement to train the skill. In the old days, I realized that not many people have too much patience, and maybe it’s too much modern technology, many people want things quickly and without discipline or time investment toward the pursuit. This is my teaching experience and I just wanted to share, almost the end of the year and after many years of living in America, and having so much experience teaching all of my life, I realize that the art was taught the same, but peoples’ learning progress are different. That being said, I cannot tell whether it is the change of the society, or the world turning too quickly and people having no patience. Everybody wants to get the black belt degree within a year or two, but for me, I do not believe in the commercialization of our system for any kind of business model. For me, the way I teach discipline is how to use self discipline. It’s not about the way that you push a person into discipline, but you have to be self motivated. I live my life the same way, and it is the same with meditation. You perform meditation because you love to do it, not because somebody pushes you into it. You don’t study the martial art for a degree to put on the wall, but you study it for the actual gain of yourself rather than a superficial degree. As a result, I teach my students from my heart, and put what they learn on a piece of paper degree.
Just like I teach both the mundane Kung Fu and the mystic Martial Art. The ancient Chinese believe that if the Earth has a social order, then Heaven must have one also—whether you believe this or not, it’s a different religious discussion, but we’re talking about martial art. My background, I come from the Vietnamese-Chinese White Crane Kung Fu and the Spirit System of Kung Fu from the Buddhist and Taoist background. I was trained in abstraction of body language, and by this I mean the vocabulary of the body’s tools which we apply into animal forms when training individually (also called Kata in Japanese/Kenpo culture).
Working the form, some people may become bored and realize that the form is not practical for real-world application. You have t consider that each Kata or Form have different techniques (the Shu in WuShu). This video clip I am showing you is one of those Shu (術), or techniques, called the Knee and Elbow, including the dynamic explosion of the body which leads to the finishing of any opponent. I don’t believe in having enemies in my life, but between life and death, this is how I use the Kung Fu. I compare this to having a sharp razor, you don’t pull it out to play around, because when you do pull it out, there’s bleeding. By watching Kung Fu forms, you may not think it’s very practical, but you have to consider that you may be watching an expert sport race man driving down the road but appearing to be any other car.
Don’t look down on Chinese/Vietnamese Kung Fu when they are training individually and slowly in their own pace. This action is comparable to sharpening a knife for using it in combat later. For example, our body language is like an entire dictionary of body language in martial art. This knowledge has been passed down from ancient times through religious institutions, family names, and any other means of transportation. Our body language is like a whole dictionary of body language, but in your lifetime, you may not use all of the vocabulary in the dictionary, and the same rule applies to the form. You learn more body movement from Kung Fu than you would actually use, but the point is to build your vocabulary to respond to any situation.
Our hands are like a Swiss army knife, any strike or movement we make can be a chop, a fist, a snake, a claw. The underlying point is that one movement can be made up of many different vocabularies. Each movement is like a word in a language, and you can think of a whole form, or Kata, as a paragraph. The vocabulary in the dictionary itself is nothing but harmless words, and the same as Kung Fu body movement. The body movement is harmless, but if you think about words in the dictionary, you may use a harmless word to insult somebody. The same goes for Kung Fu, the body movement is innately harmless but can certainly be used to kill. The Kung Fu vocabulary is so rich that you have to distill which type of movement or vocabulary is correct for your specific style of movement.