Technically correct movements – coupled with psychological awareness and conscious expansion. Even if the kicks, punches, blocks, parries, elbow-strikes, knee-strikes, shoulder-barging and precise foot-work of a particular style are precise and exact – the mind-awareness must be ‘non-attached’ and ‘detached’ from the body it inhabits and the environment it - and the body it inhabits, has to traverse and exist within. Being combat effective on one-side – and mentally detached and expansive on the other – is the essence of spiritualised Hakka gongfu. This spiritual reality continuous to exist regardless of what the body is doing – whether sitting in a dark cave – or sat eating at a table! When others are encountered whose minds and bodies are corrupted by greed, hatred and delusion, there is no negative ‘reaction’ but only a continuous sense of boundless loving-kindness, compassion and wisdom which reflects the external and internal world as it really is free of any delusion or misunderstanding.
For the mind to remain expansive and reflective (as explained in the Mahayana Buddhist Surangama Sutra), the cultivated control of the body must be attuned to the frequency of rapid physical deployment, movement and positioning, in times of dramatic martial necessity in the outside world! In other words, when greed, hatred and delusion manifest as brutal violence in the minds and bodies of those in the environment – a fully trained Hakka-warrior must respond in a perfect and unhesitating manner that manifests a radical non-greed, non-hatred and non-delusion through the correct application of martial technique. Of course, this type of martial mastery is not unique to the Hakka Chinese community – but is evident throughout the world and within every culture and contemplative tradition. Indeed, wherever men, women and children have been required to defend themselves (such as the ancient Celtic peoples of the UK and Western Europe under Roman attack) – this type of martial mastery has been the inevitable result.
Although I am very proud to be Anglo-Chinese and to be British and Chinese – I am also very grateful to have been born with the genetics of the ancient ‘Keltos’ people – as the ancient Greeks referred to us! The Keltos became the ‘Celts’ that put up a tremendous military resistance to Roman imperialism, brutality and exploitation! It is recorded that the Greek explorer – Pytheas of Massalia (350-285 BCE) - visited the British Isles (the land of my birth) around 304 BCE, but most of his contemporaries refused to accept that there were any landmasses ‘West’ of what is now ‘France’ - a place the Greeks had already colonised to the South!
What is interesting is that When Julius Ceasar invaded Britain in 55 BCE – the defending Celts were still deploying massed chariots – a fighting method probably a thousand years out of date by then, but suitable for an island people who inhabited an idyllic and isolated landmass 800 miles long, 200 miles wides and teaming with wildlife and cultivated grain crops! I have even read of some Western European Celts still employing the ‘Phalanx’ of massed spears which perhaps they learned from the ancients Greeks at some point in their history a very long time ago! Win, lose or draw, as individuals all we can do is our best by manifesting our highest spiritual, psychological and physical achievements when the time is right! Our bravery now – will inspire future generations to do the same...
It is a peculiar reality that a number of Westerners practice Chinese martial arts to make money – whilst denigrating a) the Chinese people b) Chinese culture and c) the ‘right’ (both ‘moral’ and ‘legal’) of the Chinese people to decide to their own destiny and political system! As someone of Anglo-Chinese extraction (and who lives within the UK Chinese community), I have even witnessed Westerners travel to Mainland China to study at university or at a Gongfu College – only to return to the West with Certificates and Teaching Qualifications after having experienced a fully enjoyable and productive visit – only to continue to hold and express anti-China racist views when in the presence of their fellow Westerners! This also occurs after these individuals have experienced generous reductions in their flight and accommodation costs, reductions in their education fees and benefitting from ‘free’ student travel whilst living in China! Who pays for all this? Certainly not the Western countries from where these people originate – but rather the average Chinese–taxpayer through their hard-earned pay-cheques!
Through the agency of US anti-intellectualism, many lies are told about China in the West and this is why the average Westerner remains both ‘ignorant’ and ‘racist’. China is a ‘Socialist’ country – which means its form of democracy is much more inclusive, regular and empowering to the average Chinese citizen than its Western counter-part. The Chinese people are working hard to build a Socialist society. Throughout the 20th century, the Chinese people fought against the tyranny of Chinese feudalism, Japanese and Western imperialism – and they did this successfully through the auspices of the Communist Party of China CPC)! Chinese people were killed in their millions by the Chinese Imperial (Qing) Government (from 1644 until its overthrow in 1911), by the corrupt Western-backed ‘Nationalist Government’ (192-1949), the Western imperialists (for hundreds of years until 1949) and the Japanese Imperial Kwantung Army (destroyed by the Soviet Red Army in 1945). It is the CPC that has built a strong China out of these ruins and saved the Chinese people from further pain and suffering at the hands of others!
Through the Chinese ‘Socialist’ education system, it is the CPC which teaches that ALL foreigners should be treated with respect and financially assisted whilst visiting China! It is interesting, therefore, that on a website I help to administer regarding the practice of Chinese Ch’an Buddhism (which is flourishing within ‘Communist’ China) I receive the following communication affixed to the bottom of a blog post I made (this response has no relevance to the topic):
By: Howard Johnson (email@example.com) Commented On: Seated Transforma... Date Commented: 07/03/20 03:26PM
Howard Johnson said:
Some good information in this blog but why the promotion of communism ? You do realise that this murderous ideology is responsible at least 100 million deaths.
Commenter IP: 188.8.131.52
Interestingly, a reader can tell the far-right political affiliation of a Westerner who nevertheless presents himself as an authority upon ‘Xingyi’ and ‘Tongbei’ whilst expressing disinformed rhetoric that only appears upon right-wing websites and within fascistic literature! By way of contrast to this the above nonsense – as no one in Russia or China believe that any ‘mass’ killings occurred that were perpetuated by the CPC – a recent academic report in the US states that since 1945 to now (excluding WWII), the US military has killed or murdered between 20-30 million people around the world in defence of its own capitalist system!
Many of these murders were perpetuated within Asia and involved US capitalist soldiers killing Asians within Communist countries. Furthermore, during the US (capitalist) invasion of the USSR (1918-1921) - the US, UK, Germany and their (capitalist) allies killed hundreds of thousands (perhaps millions) of Russians who were fighting for Socialism! Eventually, the US military was defeated by the Soviet Red Army and was forced to retreat. Another academic report states that when European (capitalists) settled the America – by around 1610 some 60 million indigenous Indians had been cleared from their ancestral lands and murdered! If we add the killings associated with WWI and WWII we do, indeed, approach the figure of ‘100 million’ documented deaths – but all committed by representatives of the capitalist system – and often aimed at ‘Communists’ whilst NOT being committed by Communists! If United Nations (UN) records are checked - the average reader will discover the true extent of far-right, racist lying as contained in Howard Johnson’s supposed ‘factual comment – as absolutely NO official or reliable records exist that ‘prove’ that any massacres ever happened in any Communist country! This is the triumph of ‘fact’ over US ‘anti-intellectualism’!
US Military Murdered 20-30 Million Since 1945
European Colonisation of the Americas Killed 60 Million
WWI Deaths – 21 million (23 million Wounded)
WWII Deaths – 75 million Deaths
Russian Civil War Deaths – 10 million Deaths
Everything that needs to be said can be seen in this photograph. Those who are suitably 'aware' and who have developed genuine self-respect - will treat others with respect and understand the true 'essence' of Hakka Gongfu! We train in old warring arts that would not work on the modern battlefield simply because they are out of date. Great martial skill could be wiped-out in a second even by a stray bullet! We train to uproot greed, hatred and delusion, so that warfare does not arise a) in the mind, and b) in the environment. This means we train to create, establish and maintain genuine peace in the world! Chinese culture evolved out of the requirement to 'fight' on the one hand (in 'self-defence') and develop the personality to the highest psychological, emotional and spiritual level possible. This is why Confucianism and Daoism include warriorhood within spirituality. Technically speaking, Buddha advises that ALL violence be given-up but the reality of the matter is that if certain groups of Buddhist monks and nuns had not 'defended' their temples from external attack - their temples (and very probably 'Buddhism' as a whole) would have been wiped-out in China! This is not to say that violence is 'right' or 'preferred' - but rather an acknowledge that Chinese society (and most societies in the world) need to evolve to a higher level of reality so that violence can nolonger exist or flourish!
The external method of withdrawing blood flow away from the surface of the body involves either bathing in very cold water – or rubbing ice all over the body. The cold closes the capillaries and diverts blood flow away from the surface skin area as if the outside environment were very cold and the body had to defend itself against the possibility of ‘freezing’. Blood flow (as ‘heat’) is diverted away from the surface area and into the inner organs to keep the much more important inner organs functionally healthily. For fighting that could risk the possibility of the surface body becoming bruised or cut – with drawing the blood supply away from the surface skin is an important attribute. Within the Ch’an Dao Style we do not make use of the this ‘external’ version of closing the surface capillaries using ‘ice’ or ‘cold water’, indeed, we do not any external substance. We practice a Hakka Gongfu (internal) meditational method which ‘withdraws’ blood supply from the capillaries as a matter of cultivated ‘will-power’. Just as the mind conceives the requirement for the outer blood flow to be diverted toward the inner organs – the body makes the adjustments. As sparring of this kind traditionally occurs between 10 am-12 pm – the Hakka Gongfu practitioner often finds the blood flow habitually ‘withdrawing’ in the morning so that, for instance, it would be difficult for a doctor or a nurse to take a sample of the blood from the arms or hands – as the capillaries are ‘closed’ at the surface where the needle penetrates. Blood flow returns to the surface of the skin as the body heads into the afternoon – unless a sparring match or honour match is set to happen. This prevents extensive bruising and cuts that might lose a lot of blood. Following the meditation usually means that the capillaries will close regularly every morning and open in the afternoon. Very advanced Masters of the Hakka Gongfu martial arts have been said to stop the extensive bleeding often associated with terrible wounds such as having hands or feet partly or fully chopped-off! Although unconscious this ability has saved their lives.
Arthur's Note: The US website 'Bullshido' is obviously designed by White American youths who are exhibiting the usual racist disregard for Asian culture that is common throughout that country. The authors of this site think that by racially misrepresenting the ancient and legitimate Japanese martial concept of 'Bushodo' (武士道 - Wu Shi Dao in Chinese pronunciation) - they are a) being 'funny' and b) making a 'point' about 'illegitimate' martial arts schools and instructors, etc. The problem is that they are using modes of Eurocentric racism to misrepresent Asian martial arts ('Bullshido' in place of 'Bushido') whilst simultaneously claiming to 'expose' non-authentic martial arts groupings and other such initiatives not only in the West - but also within Asia! The other of the below email obviously has an axe to grind with me - but preferred to be an internet keyboard warrior - rather than present themselves in-front me in person. None of my students are this ignorant, nor indeed this cowardly! Think for yourselves and make your own mind up! ACW (10.10.2021)
亚瑟的笔记：美国网站“Bullshido”显然是由美国白人青年设计的，他们表现出对整个国家普遍存在的对亚洲文化的种族主义无视。该网站的作者认为，通过种族地歪曲日本古老而合法的“武士道”（武士道 - 中文发音为武士道）的武术概念 - 他们是 a) '有趣' 和 b) 提出关于'的'观点'非法的'武术学校和教练等。问题是他们正在使用以欧洲为中心的种族主义模式来歪曲亚洲武术（'Bullshido'代替'Bushido'），同时声称'暴露'非正宗的武术团体和其他此类举措，不仅在西方 - 而且在亚洲！下面的另一封电子邮件显然有一把斧头要和我一起磨——但更喜欢成为一名互联网键盘侠——而不是亲自出现在我面前。我的学生没有一个这么无知，更没有这么胆小！自己想想，让自己的想法！ 釋大道
Thank you for your interesting 'anti-intellectual' email.
Thank you also, for drawing my attention to this issue – as I was unaware of its existence. If you are referring by stating ‘finally been exposed’ - to an unknown event that seemingly happened ‘nine-years ago’ with zero impact upon my life - then you probably have a point! I have to say that the alleged ‘Complainee’ seems very unsure of themselves and not quite believing in their allotted task. I also have to say that as complaints go – this is very unconvincing and dare I say ‘cowardly’ as the ‘Complainee’ hides their true name behind the anonymity of the internet. The timing is also a little off, as Sutton Council closed all the affordable training halls in the area around 2010 – and I stopped the single Sunday morning (public) training class around September, 2011. This post was made on May 2nd, 2012 – some eight months after public classes ended – and was made by someone who joined the White American (racist) site ‘Bullshido’ who made only two-posts before never posting again. It is always better to check facts, dates and known history before placing all your eggs in one basket – as you may end-up with egg on your face...
Hahaha! I see you have finally been ‘exposed’ on Bulshitdo! It’s about time! Enjoy the infamy – loser!
F’ck China and f’ck you!
The Silent Majority!
Dedicated to Sensei Alan Bound of the Southern Karate-Do Wado Ryu Dojo - Redhill Scout Hut (1983-1984) - Opposite Redhill Train Station!
Wado Ryu (和道流 - He Dao Liu) is probably the most ‘spiritual’ of te styles of Karate-do that spread from the island of Okinawa to Japan – and took-on a distinctly ‘Japanese’ genuine spirit that defied the right-wing politics of the 1930s and 1940s. Indeed, the Founder of Wado Ryu - Hironori Otsuka (1892-1982) - chose characters from the older Chinese script to describe the purpose, objective and direction of the style of martial arts self-cultivation that evolved out of his experience in training. ‘He Dao Liu’ is expressed in the Japanese language as ‘Wa Do Ryu’ - or ‘Harmonious Way School’ As I have written elsewhere about ‘道’ (dao4) I shall focus primarily upon the ideogram ‘和’ (he2).
Etymology of Dao (ICBI) Article: https://icbi.weebly.com/etymology-of-the-ideogram-lsquodaorsquo.html
The character ‘和’ (he2) is comprised of the left-hand particle ‘禾’‘(he2) represents a growing plant-stalk, or a rice plant that is developing is a steady and perfect manner. As a distinct ideogram it can also be used to represent the concept of ‘cereal’ and ‘grain’. This ideogram is ancient and is found etched upon Shang Dynasty Bone Oracle inscriptions. The grow of the stalk and leaves emerge out of the ground in a timely manner and are healthy, strong and yet flexible and able to absorb all the often-dangerous changes evident in the external environment. It stretches from the ground and extends upward toward the divine sky! It extends from darkness into the light! The right-hand particle is ‘口’ (kou3) which represents an open-mouth. More specifically, this ideogram represents the anatomy of the inner mouth and dates back to the Shang Dynasty Oracle inscriptions. When the mouth is used to convey clear and concise instructions – its inner structure is clear for all to see. When instructions are ‘wise’ and in accordance with the conditions of the external environment – then ‘inner’ and ‘outer’ align and ‘balance’ is attained and preserved. When combined in the character ‘和’ (he2) - the concept of out and out ‘harmony’ is achieved where the inner world and outer environment are unified through purification and education! Profound harmony is a matter of ‘seeing’ what needs to be done – and then enacting this strategy precisely.
As regards ‘流’ (liu2) - this is comprised of the upper particle of ‘氵’ (shui3) which is a contracted version of ‘水.’ - this indicates ‘water’, ‘flow’ and ‘dispersal’. The right-hand particle is ‘𠫓’ (tu) which is an upside-down baby (as if waiting to born within the womb) - which is more usually found the other way up as ‘子’ (zi3). I can find no other pinyin designation for 𠫓’ other than ‘tu’ (with no accompanying number – such is its unusual nature). As the baby is upside-down – its head is pointing downward and there is ammoniac fluid (as the waters ‘break’ in preparation for birth into the outside world) with ‘hair’ being evident (which is a common phenomenon with children born to Chinese parents). The lower particle is comprised of ‘川’ (chuan1) - which represents a fast, strong and flowing river. This river is broad and carries objects far and wide! When taken together the character 流’ (liu2) refers to the successful beginning of life (perhaps a baby born into water) - and a river which on the material plain joins one geographical location to another as it flows from one place to another. On the historical plain – this type of ‘vehicle’ represents a ‘flow’ that joins one point in time to another. On the metaphysical level – this is the river of conscious expansion and physical longevity! In this case, ‘Wado Ryu’ Karate-Do is a boat that takes a specific direct on the river of life!
For years I taught class of gongfu in a private and public capacity. The ‘private’ aspect involved my family’s Ch’an Dao School which involved a rented hall and two-hours of gongfu training on a Sunday morning. Initially, this only involved members of the British Born Chinese community in Sutton who were related to us (the Sai Kung Chan Clan), or who were associated through business, warfare or any other historical means. Just being ethnically ‘Chinese’ was not enough to train in our gongfu hall as we are of ‘Hakka’ Chinese ethnicity. This is the old way and very different to how many Westerners mistakenly view traditional Chinese culture. In this context, Chinese people of clans considered ‘enemies’ were termed ‘foreigners’ and excluded from consideration. However, although this was the reality, Master Chan Tin Sang (1924-1993) was of the opinion that we had to find a way of ‘evolving’ beyond this feudalistic attitude.
As more and more Westerners started enquiring about training, when I was promoted to the Head of the Ch’an Dao School, I decided to open our doors to a class of people we did not know and were not related to. This also included other Chinese people we did not know regardless of their surnames. Around this time (the late 1990s), I also started being approached by Mainland Chinese people living in the UK, who explained to me about how ‘New’ China was thoroughly ‘modern’ and how this attitude of openness and inclusiveness was being used in China to teach all foreign visitors about the beauty of Chinese culture and what it has to offer to the contemporary world! As this change in attitude dove-tailed with what Master Chan Tin Sang had in mind, I decided to transform our family style of Hakka gongfu and ‘revolutionise’ the way in which we managed our martial arts lineage!
Although I was brought-up in the old way, I never felt comfortable with its exclusiveness and ethnic clannishness. Although I was accepted as someone of mixed ethnicity – this acceptance only extended to my immediate Hakka clan and Chinese people who knew me. When outside of this group, I was subject to this ‘exclusive’ attitude and marked as a ‘foreigner’ who was not welcome within the inner workings of the Chinese community. When this happened – I would scurry back into my cultural safety zone knowing I had just experienced something very unsavoury! After 1949, Mainland China thoroughly rejected this feudal attitude and embraced ‘Internationalism’ which is designed to open-up the beauty of Chinese culture for anyone who would like to benefit from it! Since the early 2000s, I have defriended many Mainland Chinese people (living and working in the UK and in China via the internet), and have even started various academic projects and translation initiatives. Indeed, our family gongfu has evolved because of these experiences from an insular, feudal entity to a local practice premised upon universal principles!
(Translated by Adrian Chan-Wyles PhD)
Persisting in three-hours of Hard Qigong (硬氣功 - Ying Qi Gong) exercise every day, 95-year-old Tang Lixian is still very healthy. On the morning of the 11th, when a thief attempted to rob what he thought was a defenceless old man on the 115 Bus – the thief was beaten off his feet by this 95-year-old man! Yesterday, when reporters from the Chongqing Morning News met the old man - Tang Lixian - the kind-hearted man was a little worried that he might have really hurt the thief!
Yesterday afternoon, Mr. Tang, who lives in Yubei, was watching TV at home. If he hadn't mentioned it himself, it would be hard to imagine that he was 95-years old just by his appearance. He has a childlike face, which is full of energy, he sits with his chest straight, and when he stands up he is like a mighty green pine. Facing the reporter, Mr. Tang was a little worried. He was concerned about whether he had injured the thief. "You were punishing evil - promoting good - and not purposely fighting." Said his smiling 71-year-old disciple - Tang Yongxian (唐永先).
When Tang Yongxian was 63 years old, he began to practice martial arts with Mr. Tang Lixian. Master Tang explained at the time that true Chinese martial arts are designed for health development and self-defence and that offensive action is strictly forbidden! This is the high moral standard that the Tang Clan has always uphold over hundreds of years of martial self-cultivation. All disciples of Tang-family martial arts ‘swear’ to uphold this moral precept! Once we explained that the young man he tackled is fit, strong and unhurt by the action he took to ‘limit’ the criminal’s violent outburst – Master Tang then agreed to grant us an interview.
This is what Master Tang experienced on the day in question. After 10 am on the 11th, Master Tang took the 115 Bus from Xiangshui Road Station to Caiyuanba. After getting on the Bus, there were a lot of people and the seats were already full of old people. So, Master Tang stood near the front of the Bus holding the rail. On the right side of Master Tang there is a young man standing with his back to him. He stood very close to Master Tang and he would not break the inappropriate bodily contact. "About a minute later, I felt that someone was pulling my wallet." Suddenly, as the Bus bumped along the road, the young man placed his hand in Master Tang’s pocket and attempted to extract his wallet. Although these movements were well practiced and very carefully carried-out – Master Tang’s years of sensitivity-training in the martial arts enabled him to understand exactly what was happening as events unfolded!
At the exact moment the young man ‘lifted’ Master Tang’s wallet from his trouser-pocket – Master Tang landed a punch enthused with immense internal energy that took the strength out of the young man’s legs – causing him to crumple to the floor with a look of surprise on his face! In the right-hand of the young man was Master Tang’s wallet clear for all to see! The punch had landed on the young man’s right shoulder-blade as he was trying to run away. This is why Master Tang decided to take the energy out of the young thief's legs! Afterwards, there was a sense of high-energy and profound shock throughout the interior of the Bus!
As the young man began to struggle on the ground, Master Tang dropped into Horse Stance and ‘pinned’ the thief to the floor whilst everyone in the Bus became aware of what was going on! Master Tang had single-handled protected the public good by tackling a notorious thief who had caused untold suffering to the masses! Master Tang held the thief in a painful submission hold until the Bus reached Nanping Station – when both alighted – with Master Tang retaining control. The people gathered around and saw that the thief was in tears and obviously ‘sorry’ for what he had done. Many begged Master Tang not to take him to the Police Station – but to tell him off and give him a chance to ‘reform’. Although Master Tang was robbed in a similar manner twenty-years previously – he decided to give the young man a severe warning and talking to before letting him go.
Although some people thought the young man might have suffered broken bones – Master Tang explained that he emitted just enough strength in his punch to inhibit the young man’s internal energy flow in a temporary manner – and never had a thought of doing any permanent damage. Master Tang stated that everyone can make a mistake and equally everyone can reform if they are helped by others! Obviously, if this young man does not reform after being granting a reprieve, then we shall take him to the Police Station and then he will suffer the consequences of his selfish actions – explained Master Tang – who has tackled a number of thieves in the past. When he was eighty-years old, he came to the aid of a woman who was being attacked by a robber – again knocking the thief to the ground with a single punch! He explained that robbing is wrong and that the general public must defend themselves whilst retaining their virtue and dignity in the process. Do not lower yourself to the status of the thief but remain aloof, kind and considerate.
Master Tang started practicing ‘Hard Qigong’ when aged 71-years-old. As early as 2007, the Chongqing Morning News reported on Tang Lixian’s street exercises. At that time, he would forcibly strike his head with an iron rod. "I decided to practice ‘Hard Qigong’ qi to strengthen my body." In 1978, Master Tang retired from working at the Chongqing Bus Plant. At that time, he suffered from rheumatism. Over the next ten years, his emphysema also became more and more serious, and he had to cough and spit up many times a day. In 1991, the 71-year-old Master decided to change. He visited a local park and participated in a ‘Hard Qigong’ training class. As he was very talented in this style, he was promoted to a more ‘enhanced’ training at a different training hall. Despite many difficulties and set-backs – Master Tang did not give-up and his determination eventually won-through. After ten-years of training and testing – Old Man Tang was eventually recognised as a ‘Master’ in his own right! Just prior to this time, all of Master Tang’s ailments and injuries eventually cleared-up and all disease left his body!
Due to his success the 71-year-old Tang Yongxian has followed Tang Lixian to learn martial arts for eight-years. During these eight-years, his emphysema and bone hyperplasia have been miraculously healed. Interestingly, ‘71’ is also the age Tang Lixian also started to learn ‘Hard Qigong.’ Master Tang can stand for long periods of time in a low Horse Stance and his body can withstand forceful (and repeated) blows to any area. Although 95-years-old, Master Tang can also produce tremendous internal power! Sometimes, his neighbours look on amazed when Master Tang is training outside – but everyone is impressed with his martial arts mastery! In over twenty-years of training – no one has been able to ‘hurt’ or ‘knock-down’ Master Tang who has become something of a cultural treasure! Indeed, when much younger martial artists attempt to strike Master Tang in the abdomen or chest, etc, they invariably damage their own hand or foot! In the meantime, on the odd occasion Master Tang is still able to attract a large crowd when he decides to practice in a public space! (Reporter Wang Zihan [王梓涵], intern Zhang Jia [張嘉])
Chinese Source Article:
Combative interaction can occur in a myriad of ways. It can be psychological, emotional and/or physical. Intense combat can involve all three realms of existence. This is a serious situation where the ‘immediacy’ of the threat generates the inherent danger! Relaxation, awareness and superior positioning is the way to meet these challenges in the physical world. How this unfolds is dependent entirely upon an individual’s experience and the style they have been practicing for decades. Spiritual maturity is defined as the ease with which a person occupies their mind and body, and their ability to predict aggression and quickly counter ‘shock’. This is how the Master makes what is hard for most people appear to be ‘easy’. In other words, this is unhindered ability of an individual to come to terms with ‘change’ (易 - Yi4). In other words, a traditional Chinese martial artist, regardless of style or lineage, should make a point of studying the ‘Classic of Change’ (易經 - Yi Jing). This study should be ongoing, deep and profound. Furthermore, it should be free of all profit-seeking and worldly limitations. No one can ‘tell’ you how to understand this text and you must take responsibility for your own understanding of it.
What does ‘易’ (yi4) mean? The upper particle is ‘日‘ (ri4) is the Moon that lights up the Earth through its reflection of the Sun! This probably refers to a light in the darkness or a cultivated light which dispels darkness (the exact definition of the Sanskrit term ‘Guru’). The bottom particle is ‘勿’ (wu4) which composed of the left sub-particle of ‘刀’ (dao1) or ‘blade’ and the right sub-particle of ‘𠚣’ (dao1) or ‘dripping blood’. When placed together, these two sub-particles generate ‘勿’ (wu4) which literally depicts ‘blood dripping from a blade’. As a distinct character, this ideogram appears on the Shang Oracle Bones (c. 1766 to 1122 BCE) and was used as a ‘warning’ ‘not to do something’, ‘not to carry-out a specific action’, or to ‘stop doing what has already been done’. The emphasis is from ‘movement’ to ‘stillness’. Within modern (everyday) Chinese language use, ‘勿’ (wu4) is used to refer to the word and concept that denotes ‘no’ as opposed to ‘yes’.
When combined, and taking all this data into consideration, ‘易’ (yi4) seems to imply a situation where once there was difficulty (勿 - Wu) - but this difficult situation is transformed into its opposite by the presence of ‘日‘ (ri4) - which is the Moon that lights-up the entire landscape through its glow! What was previously ‘hard’ is now made ‘easy’ by a ‘change’ of circumstance. When beneficial ‘change’ is experienced, it is generally the case that actions that were once ‘blocked’ or ‘hindered’ now become ‘open’ and ‘free-flowing’. This explanation demonstrates how the ideogram ‘易’ (yi4) can simultaneously mean both ‘easy’ and ‘change’. However, another version of this ideogram is ‘蜴’ (yi4). It is related and exists within the same series as ‘易 (yi4)’. The difference is that this version - ‘蜴’ (yi4) - has the extra left-hand particle of ‘虫’ (chong2) which refers to a dangerous, venomous snake, or a similar type of animal or insect.
When expressed as ‘蜴’ (yi4) - this ideogram takes on the meaning of a ‘lizard’ which can adapt its outer skin to ‘blend-in’ with the ever-changing environment (I.e., a ‘chameleon’). This type of lizard knows how to ‘not stand out’ and how to ‘achieve things’ in an ‘effortless’ and ‘unassuming’ manner. As the external temperature changes – so does the pigmentation arrangement of the Lizard’s skin. As a means of temperature control – the lizard also manages to remain ‘unseen’ as an evolutionary by-product. An advanced practitioner of martial arts can adapt to the physical environment in a manner that preserves his or her life, and which removes greed, hatred and delusion from the mind (and body) of the opponent. When this type of change is mastered in every position, a practitioner literally seems to perceptually ‘disappear’ as they no longer react in a dualistic manner. There is no one to chase and no one to hit...
This ability is the product of a lifetime of a) suffering, and b) the transcendence of suffering. In other words, it is a product of experiencing ordinary life on the one-hand – and practicing (in my case) the Ch’an method of ‘stilling’ the inner mind. Stilling the inner mind is not the same as ‘stilling’ the outer environment. Stilling the outer environment is nothing less than wilfully ‘stilling’ the perception of the outer environment. Stilling the outer environment is a manifestation of the Dharmakaya (which is already there) but which is usually obscured by the ordinary mind and its habit of turning everything into a ‘subject-object’ dichotomy (duality). Within martial arts practice, this sudden manifestation of wisdom, compassion and loving kindness immediately takes away any option an opponent might have who insists upon using greed, hatred and delusion as the prime motivators of martial movement. Just as time appears to ‘stand still’ – the concept of ‘space’ seems to contract and becomes restrictive in the mind of the opponent. Within ordinary life outside of martial practice – the manifestation of this being reduces and disarms potentially o actively violent situations so the peace permeates the minute fabric of time and space. Those who are caught in this manifestation (which is very similar to ‘darshan’ found within Indian spirituality), lifts ordinary beings to new levels of inspire being, and quite often changes personalities and situations for the better! Advanced meditators within Buddhism are capable of manifesting this spiritual reality that has inherent within it the ability to alter the base frequency through which matter is resonating. This is an extension of the physical body (and brain) of the advanced practitioner whose mind is filtering (and protecting) this ability out into the environment through correct position and exact timing. The onus is on healing through wholeness, completeness and objectiveless love and profound understanding. As a function of the highest human spirituality, as an experience the recipient experiences a dissolving of greed, hatred and delusion – and all the conditioning premised upon the personal history experienced through this process. As ‘time’ is altered (slowed for the Master – speeded-up for the opponent) – the martial artist can move wherever is safest – whilst the opponent remains bewildered and unable to think clearly. This state of being can be manifest into any situation within life, as there is no preference or limit on human learning and human healing.
Shifu Adrian Chan-Wyles (b. 1967) - Lineage (Generational) Inheritor of the Ch'an Dao Hakka Gongfu System.