“The sensitivity to movement in the external world, which includes your opponent, can only ever be a reflection of the quality of stillness in your internal world…..”
Master Sun Li
“To live is a constant process of relating, so please cease all that mental chattering, come on out of that protective shell of isolation…”
Bruce Lee, from Letting Go
“The first intent of a Martial Artist needs to be harmonisation not domination”
This quote is about the first act of a martial artist in any conflict situation. Rather than thinking or feeling that we wish to dominate and defeat the opponent a more intelligent attitude is to harmonise or “feel” your opponent in order to find out as much as you can about them before attack commences (rather like an army would send out scouts) and reflex action takes over. This state of openness can be applied to any situation in life that causes you anxiety or fear. It may sound simple but it is deceptively difficult to achieve when there is adrenaline in the system.
Hearing, sense of smell, sense of touch. Truly I hesitate to make these differences because I am afraid they are arbitrary.
Jacques Lusseryan was blind from a young age and developed a deep “insight” into life without sight. He joined the French resistance in WW2 and was used to interview prospective recruits because of his uncanny ability to hear whether someone was lying or not. This quote is describing what has become known as synesthesia which is the phenomenon of one sense developing to a high degree in order to compensate for another weaker or missing one. This is of interest to any one who has practiced the Wing Chun art of Chi Sao (sticking hands) as this practice develops the sense of touch to replace the sense of sight. This is what allows for blindfolded sparring and can be developed to a level where physical touch triggers the internal sight (minds eye) to “see” the exact movements your opponent is making.
So a military force has no constant formation, water has no constant shape, the ability to gain victory by adapting and changing according to the opponent is called genius.
Sun Tzu (from The Art of War).
In this quote Sun Tzu emphasises the importance of adaptation in conflict. Like so many of his writings it has a very real application to our daily lives and our approach to problem solving. Don’t get to hung up up on the word “genius” here it is really meant as an indicator of a higher or more developed intelligence at work in the individual.
It’s better to avoid than run, better to run than de-escalate, better to de-escalate than fight, better to fight than die.
Sgt Rory Miller
There is a saying that all martial artist should be familiar with which is: It is better to be judged by 12 than carried by six. Whenever physical violence commences the likely hood of one of these two options is likely to ensue. Either we are put on trial for physically hurting someone or we are killed in the conflict. This quote from Sgt Miller is another perspective on this truth.
“If you want the truth to stand clear before you, never be for or against. The struggle between “for” or “against” is the mind’s worst disease”.
This simple direct quote is about ridding yourself of preconceived notions so that you can “be” in front of a situation and open fully to it’s manifestations in the present moment.