Saturday, February 19, 2011
The Martial Effectiveness of Wuji
To depict the ultimate principles of the universal laws of no truth and no untruth state, the mind should be observed with awareness.
To adapt to the vicissitude of time and to no present and no unpresent state, its force should be harmonized with awareness.
The Art of I Liq Chuan
Much attention is given to the concept of Wuji as a component of Qigong and meditation and the practice of Taiji. Wuji may be one of the most important, yet least considered aspect of Neija. Beyond the spiritual and health benefits, Wuji has important martial implications. The above noted quote, from the art of I Liq Chuan, summarizes the ideal martial state. We need to be balanced and aware, to observe the mind with awareness and to harmonize force with this same awareness. This describes the power and function of the state of Wuji. In Zhan Zhuang, which we also call Wuji meditation, we reside in primordial stillness, a state of balance preceding the birth of Taiji. Of course, with movement Yin and Yang are birthed into existence and we are put into a position of seeking balance. But we needn't seek very far, because the previous state of Wuji is a state of balance. To take it further, we need remember that movement is born of stillness, but there is always a little stillness in movement and movement in stillness, a little Yin in Yang, and a little Yang in Yin. Therein are the martial benefits of Wuji; finding Yin and or Yang when we need it, and always seeking balance.
The postural alignments and techniques of Zhan Zhuang, the Fifteen Basic Exercises of I Liq Chuan, or the basic principles and practices of Qigong and Silk Reeling should stay with us as we transition into Form practice, Push Hands, Chi Sau, Trapping, or other two person drills, and as we further transition into free sparring or grappling, and of course actual self defense. The point is that we want a state of balance. Wuji practices give us a feel for balance that we can take into interpersonal interactions. If we should find ourselves off balance, we adjust back to the feel of Wuji. Thus, these foundational practices have deep roots and broad applications.
Experimental embodied exercises can and do support the concept of power in structure. The process of tilting the pelvis forward and filling the mingmen are empowering. It is similar to the latent energy in a drawn bow. In this posture we operate from a position of power. Our movements are more efficient, as our bodies are unified. At the same time we are loading the bow, to be released through the issuance of fa jin.
Additionally, there is much to be gained martially from mindfulness. Wuji Qigong is a form of meditation, and we experience the myriad benefits of meditation in these practices. Among these is getting beyond conditioning and the habits of mind. This plays exceptionally well in martial situations, as conditioning and mental habits are counterproductive to martial effectiveness. Instead the martial artist should strive to be aware and present in the moment to deal with what happens as it happens. Push hands and other sensitivity drills emphasize listening as potent martial skill. To effectively 'listen' to our training partners we must be aware, present, and balanced, both internally and externally. We strive to know our attacker, to feel our own latent energy, and to be aware enough to utilize it when needed. In a nutshell, effective action in motion is premised and developed by effective awareness in stillness.
As we put it all together we find no separation between movement and stillness. It's all the same, as evidenced by awareness. This is the true state of Wuji.
Posted by R at 5:58 AM