Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Essential Knowledge for the Practice of Martial Arts circa 1750

Craig (ARCtraining) posted the bellow except from a 18th Century martial arts manual from China.  Some pretty good training tips here, for (as Craig says) movement explorers as well as martial artists.  Craig's comments are in bold (as is the title).  Enjoy: 
 " Essential Knowledge for the Practice of Marital arts
by Dai Long Bang, 1750

Solo and Partner Practice - For those practicing martial arts, eighty percent of the time is spent in solo practice, twenty percent of the time is spent with others. Therefore, it is said, "The time strengthening the body is long, the time defeating opponents is short." [this can apply to us too with movement, we have plenty of partner drills, this is a great split between partner and solo drills]

Daily Practice - One must practice every day, barring illness, without break.

Humility - One must not show off or bully others.

Quality vs Quantity - One who practices too great a variety will become panicked and distraught , if one does not train the body with a realistic foundation, in combat there will be no mature technique to fall back on, one will have neither a well trained body nor a solid technique. [this will apply for movement too, mature technique is essential for more dangerous situations]

Perseverance - There are those who have no perseverance, who study a little and think they know it all, they are quite satisfied with themselves and rarely practice, they think they are a great success, until they have to use the art and find themselves useless.

Before practice - The stomach should be neither too full or too empty, the mind should not be preoccupied with other affairs, do not practice when angry. When hungry one has no energy, too full and the stomach will be injured. Extraneous thoughts harm the brain. Anger harms the spirit.

During practice - Do not fool around. Do not spit. Do not be disrespectful. If one is not serious in practice the spirit is dispersed, spitting inflames the throat, disrespect weakens the practice.

After practice - Do not eat or drink, do not relieve yourself, do not lay down. Food and drink will not digest well, elimination causes qi to scatter, laying down causes the qi to rise causing discomfort.

The Three Harms - Those who practice martial arts must avoid the three harms.
1 - Inappropriate use of strength
2 - Forcing of breath
3 - Sticking out the chest and pulling up the belly

If one uses strength inappropriately, the qi will not flow smoothly, the meridians will be obstructed and the body will become bogged down. If one forces the breath, one will become stiff and easy to break, with the chest full of air the lungs will be squeezed and will suffer harm. If one sticks out the chest and sucks in the belly, the qi will move the wrong direction and will rise, it will not return to the dan tian. [this talks about proper relaxation during movement, i.e. dont be so stiff and tense during any movement]

Seeking Instruction - In order to study martial arts, one must be diligent in two areas. First, one must be willing to travel great distances in order to study with those of higher ability and sincerely request instruction. One must also be diligent in speech, humbling the self and asking for guidance. [Both Simon and I have traveled quite a way to learn what we know, and have also spent quite a sum of money. Definitely worth it, much more so than saving to buy a new car or something equally as boring. As a side note, maybe next year I will attend Ido Portal's Movement X event whereever it is if peeps are interested in going as a small group]

Force and Self-satisfaction - In practicing the martial arts there are two things which must be avoided, the first is reliance upon force, the second is self-satisfaction.

Start Practice Slowly - After a period of practicing slowly, it is good to use more force and speed in order to increase the internal power for practical purposes. [again this is a great way to practice movement methods too - slow is smooth, smooth is fast]

Sequence of practice - At the beginning of practice stand in San Ti, afterwards practice forms. [San Ti is a form of standing meditation. This is similar to us doing our spinal awareness, or body loading awareness drills prior to practicing the actual movements. Standing meditation is great too, and I might start introducing it to some classes]

Stages of Training - After beginning formal practice, one must follow the rules of training, if so, in three years the basic training will be complete. In the intermediate stages of training, practice single forms repeatedly, use the form to express the intent. After a long period of practice one will be able to change spontaneously with the circumstances. After six years one will complete this level of training. In advanced stages of training, both the internal and external gong fu will be completed, your body will become as hard as steel, your gong fu will be of a high level." 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Constructive comments only please.