Possibly Bad Advice

1- Don’t rise to the occasion, sink to their level.
2- Stop living a short distance from your body.
3- If your hand moves, your foot moves.
4- Line up your hearts for hugging, not fighting.
5- Stand in your legs, not on your legs.
6- You have no knees.
7- Winners drip, losers gush.
8- Fix your neck, change your life.
9- Your hands start at your lower back.
Martial Arts teachers all say a lot of things, sometimes about kindness and self-defense or about strangers. Sometimes they have short phrases that come up time and time again in class and out of context make little to no sense. The above nine bits of advice spring from my lips more times than not in class alongside many others and on a whim, I decided to share some of them on social media. Although when I first shared it I thought it would be fun to just leave it be and make people think as I read it again I can see how it may make no sense at all in many cases. So here is a little more about each of these phrases in case they made no sense to you.
1- Don’t rise to the occasion, sink to their level.
Instinctively we as human beings tend to take adrenalin, fear and excitement and tighten our upper bodies due to it. The fight or flight response tends to weaken us and make us rise rather than sink, release and drop downwards for root and power.
2- Stop living a short distance from your body.
Stop concerning yourself with the future or the past, magic powers and fairy tales. Stop looking around and find your body. Training is the integration of the mind into the flesh – The relationship between the Shen (mind or spirit) and the Jing (The body, the tissue) building that relationship is building QI. You can’t just think yourself into being good.
3- If your hand moves, your foot moves.
The entire body must remain connected and if one part moves every part moves. To do otherwise is to forget about connectivity and power through the six harmonies in most cases. Also stationary targets are a lot easier to see and to hit.
4- Line up your hearts for hugging, not fighting.
Lining up heart to heart with your opponent is a good way to make yourself fall prey to predictability and copying their methods, movements and tactics. Removing your heart from theirs creates a space both physically and mentally and allows you physically to change your line of entry and attack radically. Mentally it creates oblique thinking, which goes very much with another thing I say in class often “If you’re not cheating, you’re not trying hard enough”. Never, ever play fair, it is not a sport or a game if they stand still, you should move. If they focus on hands attack their legs, cheat at every turn. Think outside the box! Use every advantage and every oblique strategy you can find, put the sun in his eyes, feign injury….
5- Stand in your legs, not on your legs.
Feel the ground beneath your feet, not your knees! Push the earth with your feet do not push off of your knees for movement. Find the earth and how you relate to it, power that goes down to the earth comes back up and can be used. Power that simply comes up from the thighs is not power at all.
6- You have no knees.
Your knees are not meant to compensate for your crappy structure. They are levers that should only bend over your feet like they are on tracks. However thi sis not how people see or use their knees most of the time. They wobble and twist them to make up for all kinds of other issues in the hips and such. Make them run on rails above the feet and stop thinking about them as a mobile ball joint. Thus, you no longer get to have knees.
7- Winners drip, losers gush.
Don’t think you won’t get hit or bleed. You’re no movie hero and no one remains untouched. There is no glory in fighting it’s ugly, dirty and messy and filled with pain and regret. Some Demons need killing , this is true and so you have to be ready to pay the price each time you pick up your hands.
8- Fix your neck, change your life.
We hold our stress and tension, depression and sorrow in our tissue. We tend to have terrible posture and as such our heads lurch forward and our chest cave in. Fix your neck, stand up straight and tall. Look forward and listen behind you. No matter what letting the spine take the weight of your head will healp to take the weight of the world off of your shoulders. Fix your muscular stress and the memories that caused it will also begin to release. Change your neck, change your life.
9- Your hands start at your lower back.
Dantian the mystical reservoir of post heaven Qi energy resides in the ….. meh. I covered that earlier – “Stop living a short distance from your body.”
The first movement in the muscular chain to raise your hands should be at your low back. By turning the hips first momentum is created and the cascade of muscular contraction can then ascend the body and out to the hands. This causes the whole of the force to be much greater than any one muscle group. Move from your lower back, you are more powerful. Move from your triceps your weak.
BONUS CRAPPY ADVICE:
Get over yourself, don’t believe your own press and just keep moving forward. Masters are not “promoted” they are recognized. Stop looking for a promotion or buying a certificate to feel better about yourself. Do the work, results follow.
My two cents – Mileage may vary.
 
Blah blah blah martial arts, I write BOOKS
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