Friday, 3 October 2008

Some thoughts on Kung Fu, by Kim Henderickx

Dear all,

I would like to tell you some thoughts, that helped me understand a little more about kung fu and life on itself. 

First of all, to me,  kung fu is more an artform that helps you understand basic principles of life and how to do the things you do in harmony with your environment. The consequence of this, is that you can read this statement backwards: your kung fu will reflect the way you are during the interaction with yourself and with the outside world, your kung fu will reflect your personality.

From this, the second point flows: the easiest way to stand in life or practice kung fu is the one in harmony. Harmony means balance, balance between hard and soft, taking control and letting go, keeping your boundaries without pushing away or falling in… yin and yang. 

Now, as everybody knows, this state of harmony isn’t so easy to archieve: everybody has issues, difficulties with certain things, events… why? Wouldn’t life be easier without having to defend yourself, watch out for certain situations? Would we have to fight if the world was in harmony? Would you have to learn kung fu if you knew exactly how to keep your balance at all time? 

In my opinion, all the things that bring you out of balance, can be retraced to fear. Eventhough blunt anger can do weird stuff too, this can also be brought back to some basic fear. This fear is translated into our system as something we know to be a lack of self confidence , that in itself will give birth to fear of losing control, fear of  making mistakes, …

A person who will for example fear losing control, will not be able to be led by his partner when practicing pushing hands. Losing control means first of all being able to trust yourself and your partner. It also requires an empty mind to be able to feel the otherone’s energy and intentions, instead of trying to figher it out with reasoning and stochastics! If there’s one thing I learnt the hard way, is to stop thinking once in a while, and believe me, a whole new world opens! If you stop thinking while doing kung fu (with or without partner), you will feel the energy or Chi, as it can be called. If practicing alone, you will feel butterflies all over your body, you will be able to play with it as if it where pizza dough between your hands and much more. If you practice with a partner, try to blend in with the otherone’s energy and you will feel the energy moving between you as waves going back and forth. Follow these waves, take responsibility for it, without overpowering your partner’s energy by going against it or forcing it, or shrinking away and being led as a puppet. Eventhough you’re not thinking at that moment, it will require an awful lot of concentration!

The second thing about losing control is losing control for yourself and the general outside world (representing the way you are for yourself) reflecting in grounding. This might seem a weird statement, but look at people who are too hard on themselves, who don’t love themselves (which in turn will give a lack of self confidence), who don’t love being in the world: shoulders at earlevel, skinny, thight stomac, thight ass, high breath… you know the picture! If you relax yourself, think that it’s all ok, give yourself over to the moment, lose control (but keeping it all in balance of course)… your breath will go down, as will your shoulders, your neck will elongate because you know you deserve your space, your muscles will relax and you will sink into the ground. 

It seems like I’ve written a whole lot, but the general thought is: have confidence in yourself and your partner (whatever that may be), relax, think less feel more, remember you are always loved unconditionally and your kung fu will flow more easily, as will your life! 

The magic trick !!! (and if that doesn’t help, try something else :-D)

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