“Spirit In Training”
Conscious, instinctual and intuitive are three phases of training martialist go thru. In the beginning one must adjust every detail with conscious thought. After sometime and repetition in training, movement and action becomes instinctual. After further time of instinctual training one learns to intuit the opponent’s intent and motion. Intuitive training is in the realm of the spirit and does not come easy.
In learning conscious movement, one must first establish a posture based on the principle of centering which refers not only to establishing (and moving) an individual center of gravity in the body but refers to social center and cosmic center as man stands (centered) between Heaven and earth. Training the center physically is the basis all martial movement. The Center where one meets and is met by his fellowman is the social center. With further refinement the martial center reaches the center point of maximum integration, balance and harmony of man with his fellowman, with the natural order on earth and the universe at large. This is the realm of spiritual centering.
By martial posturing we seek to “stand up as a man” in the center of the universe, perfectly balancing the physical, functional, mental, spiritual, and moral components of being human. So it is by martial posturing we seek the essential Center of existence – the Center where the many become one. The spirit of unity not diversity.
Thru martial centering we seek to harmonize the body with the spirit centered between Heaven and earth in spiritual unity with all fellow creatures and nature. The result is harmony, peace and fulfillment with self, others and reality as a whole.) This is the point where one contains no harmful spiritual intent toward any living creature.
In “sparring” one must develop this “no-mind” of instinctual and intuitive response not being lead by the filter of his five senses. However, if one’s Center of balanced integration and development is not inclusive of his fellow man, but reflects only his own physically integrated center, then by exclusion he will be continually at war with his fellow creatures. And by the same law of reciprocal exclusion, he may become the victim of the very disharmony he has felt or inflicted upon others. That’s to say, Others will intuit your spirit and act accordingly, just as an animal instinctively knows if you are afraid of it.
So “sparring” must begin, proceed and end in the center. One must develop his own center (physically, socially and spiritually), learn to move and remain centered (thru martial posturing) and then attach his center (in sparring) to the opponents center.
There can be no “sparring” without contacting the opponent. In contacting there are two choices: seek to stay separated from the opponent or seek to remain in contact. We can say one must either intercept or stick with the opponents attack. Intercepting broken energy is like throwing a brick into a plate glass window. It breaks the window. Sticking energy is like throwing a brick into a large velvet curtain. It absorbs the brick. Force against force or borrowing force.
Anyone (even without martial training) can use force against force. And so a higher level is learning to borrow force (intuitively). This comes only thru repeated exercise. Ching, chi or shen are three treasures in one reality, just as are body, mind and spirit. In truth, there can be no separation of spirit from body. When you exercise the body you exercise the spirit. The development you achieve depends on the point of your departure and the road you take.
Copyright, Roger D. Hagood 1997