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Thursday, May 5, 2011

Wang XangZhai on the Essence of True Martial Art

Central Pivot of the Way of Fist
By Wang XiangZhai

As for jumping over walls and roofs, it is all fantasies from novels, you can only smile when you hear about it. As for those stories about crushing big rocks and resisting cuts of a saber, those are the worst absurd inventions. There is no point in discussing something like this.

There are people who don't possess abilities and their knowledge is shallow too. But they are quite sincere and honest. They master what teacher passes them, they have some achievements, they develop some specific skills. Although those skills are partial, many people don't listen to explanation of their basis, they only watch the effects and because their knowledge is shallow, they see it as something magic. They don't understand that this is a mistake. This comes from lack of knowledge, lack of thinking, lack of experience in some field. Even if sometimes they understand some bits, they are not able to understand it thoroughly and to reject their usual views. Each time when they encounter something difficult to understand, they see it as something supernatural. And if someone is practicing long time and achieves real understanding, it will become something familiar, easy to understand, and there is no need to seek for using supernatural concepts. It's the same in any field. Why should it be any different in martial art?

There is no limit for development of science. There is some knowledge and some skills. What kind of level of skill could be regarded as true skill, true knowledge? I'm not able to tell. But if someone knows about something and can do it, if he can do something and he understands he is doing this, it can be seen as a beginning of unity of knowledge and practice. If you don't understand something well, you will not be able to achieve the level of really deep skill. If you cannot do something in practice, it cannot be said that you have real knowledge about it. Knowledge and practice cannot be separated. It is the same in any science.

Martial art people of present time boast that they know so many forms and techniques. Even those who don't have much idea about martial art laugh at them. What a pitiful situation! Isn't it forms and artificial techniques which caused the fall of martial art? Unfortunately after several hundred years this way of practice has become habit. It is difficult to change this situation now. The wave is moving. And most absurd concepts, like theory of four manifestations and five elements, nine palaces and eight trigrams, mythical scriptures on turtle shell were absorbed. In result students don't understand the essence, stupefied by the rubbish which they hear, they follow illusions. How the true art would not be destroyed? 

Lately there are many people who speak about Buddhism, talk about spirits and demons, tell lies about cultivating Tao and how to meet immortals. This is extremely absurd and harmful. How dare they presently, in the era of science flourishing, popularize such wild, false heories and publish them in magazines? How is it possible that those plain idiots can commit such shameful deeds? What Buddha, if he knows about it, can think about this category of people, who popularize false views? There are many ways of earning living. Why must they use the weak points of society, deceiving themselves and others? When I'm talking about it, I'm so sad, sighing over the world and people. 

It can be said that the essence of martial art is as wonderful as principles of nature. It can be said that it is as deep as mysteries of heaven and earth. Practicing without understanding the principles, you will never reach the essence. Even if you practice according to the principles, you can learn for your whole life and you will never use up the opportunity of further development. Why keep secrets then? 

I don't call myself a a master. What is important is appreciating the spirit, the feelings, and not concentrating on names and titles. I'm teaching real stuff. Although I don't call myself a master, those who benefit from my teaching are treating me as a master. The empty title disappeared, but the essence remained. Has anything been lost?