Why do we salute anyway? What meaning is there in all these movements? What's the purpose? Are they practical?
After having seen a certain martial art demo have you heard someone say or have you said this before?
"That will never work... in the 'cage'/ on the 'street'/ in UFC/ against a boxer or mixed martial artist!"
If you have I'd say you're/they're probably right. The problem with that statement is the UFC or 'the cage' isn't the be all end all testing ground for martial arts. When it comes to martial effectiveness I'd say there's a lot of truth to pressure testing technique. Moreso I'd also say 'the cage' or the UFC is one of if not the best place to pressure test your technique in a 1 on 1 all inclusive environment.
The more broad problem with that statement is that 'martial effectiveness' isn't the only goal in 'traditional' techniques, styles, exercises, or forms.
The focus when looking at martial arts, especially traditional ones, should be on asking "Does the art build a certain skill, attribute or does it have some other cultural or social relevance?" Various martial arts focus on different aspects of these. Boxing, JiuJitsu, and Mui Thai even fall into these categories. In particular we're looking at skills such as musculoskeletal health, cardiovascular and other forms of fitness, whole body coordination, efficient strength, posture, and rehabilitation of injuries and many more. After seeking the reasoning we then have to ask ourselves is this something we desire from our practice?
It all boils down to critical thinking. In this post we'll offer some references and knowledge to find reasons behind traditional practices and my personal reasons for continued practice of traditional martial arts. After reading this I hope you can make a more well informed opinion instead of scoffing at every demonstration you come by. =)
HAPPY WORLD TAI CHI AND CHI KUNG DAY APRIL 29TH 2017!!!
Martial training brings us all closer together. World Tai Chi and Chi Kung Day, if you don't already know, is a day we get together and train with our 'extended family' all around the world! Being a part of the Tai Chi + Chi Kung community and especially having this unity is a really powerful thing.
This brings to light one of the biggest conflicts I have as an instructor... The clash of business and the traditional familial mindset. These outlooks are what we're going to explore today.
How is Tai Ji a spiritual practice?
Simply put Tai Ji’s spiritual practice is purely a Taoist practice. Tao meaning Way, and Taoists focus on the way of everything and no-thing. Let’s start with some quotes from Taoism that will help us frame our conversation today.
To quote the Tao Te Ching “The way that can be spoken is not the eternal way”
Spirituality is the same in this sense… I cannot tell you Tai Ji will give you a roadmap to spirituality. Rather, I can say with certainty that it will give you a way to search physically within yourself to find your own answers, and that it will help you become very intimate with all that makes up this shell you call your ‘self’
The following are direct quotes from Chuang Tzu. Keeping these in mind will help bring clarification for the rest of the post…
A poem to inquire
"Flexibility is the key to stability!"
Daniel R. Hyde