Proper Timing, The Ultimate Entity
Volume 8 Issue 1
confidence. The ability to radiate that "I am in control" wherever I'm at. A "known" martial artist is one who appears to be cautiously "avoided" at most gatherings and/or meetings. Not that they want to be but because they are somewhat misunderstood and are more difficult to be approached "safely". This isn't acquired by only "movement" but by the radiance of "being in control" of which only the true martial arts can develop.
"Style" or "System"
The terms "style" and "system" are sometimes intermixed and thought of as being the same or similar, but that isn't factually correct.
A style is a form that is distinctive and identifiable as an artistic expression with characteristics particular to the artist.
A system is a combination of intricately related elements organized into a complex whole that produces results far greater than the mathematical sum of its individual parts.
A style could also be a system, but most are not. They reflect some of the attributes of a system, but are not complete.
"Complete System definition:
A complete system is one that at all times adheres to a consistent philosophy yielding practical combat applications, practical training methodologies, and a complete science with principles, concepts, strategies, and tactics that do not allow the outcome of an engagement to be determined by luck. Every aspect of a complete system must be consistent with every other part.
A system's philosophy is the glue that holds the system together. Most martial arts studied today lack an internal philosophy that ties together the training and application. They are best classified as styles rather than systems.
"Kung Fu" means "Ability"
"Ability" is what "Kung Fu" means, i.e. the general ability which can be used to describe any skill. In martial arts, "Ability" refers to the composite strength, speed, endurance, agility, coordination, and technical skill. There are "Twelve Descriptions" which characterize the desired qualities of "Ability:"
1. In motion, move like a thundering wave.
2. When still, be like a mountain.
3. Rising up, be like a monkey.
4. Land swiftly and lightly like a bird.
5. Be steady like a rooster on one leg.
6. One's stance is as firm as a pine tree, yet expresses motion.
7. Spin swiftly and circularly like a wheel.
8. Bend and flex like a bow.
9. Move gracefully like a leaf in the wind.
10. Sink like a heavy piece of metal.
11. Prey like a watchful, gliding eagle.
12. Accelerate like a gusty wind.
These are worth discussing and that's what we are going to do in future classes as situations arise. The first one deals with "general movement" of which this Hoodoo has spent a great deal of time with already. A stagnant pool doesn't move anything. It just stagnates more and eventually evaporates into nothing, whereas a thundering wave moves and controls everything it touches.
Another Year Has Passed
2004 has been a year of "confusion" and stagnation as far as I'm concerned. Why did that happen and why didn't that happen, instead. It appears that I got a little older and didn't seem to accomplish much. Things just seemed to go along and a bit downhill at that. Well, 2004 is gone and 2005 is staring us in the face. The martial arts in general have been a bit stagnant and just maybe this year will acquire the "booster shot", that they need, to rejuvenate.
You can have the best technique and the best strategical knowledge, but if your timing isn't right, your movement will just be just that, "movement"! Movement without "drive" lacks depth and movement without "heart" lacks effectiveness.
If you have been in the arts for any time at all and have had the chance to witness kata at "tournaments", it doesn't take long to find out what style or system depends only on movement. The kata(s) lack life and are "dead". The postures are tall and lack depth. The movements are shallow and "lazy". If strategical knowledge is lacking, the kata(s) "interior" appears "hollow", without purpose and only "movement" exists. Styles and systems with only movement are time wasters, as far as effective martial arts are concerned. You don't need martial arts to "sweat" a little or build a little more strength and endurance. You can get that at any "gym" or by shoveling snow. The martial arts are special in what they are intended to develop with in themselves and the individuals who participate. The martial arts are to develop spirit along with humility and self-