orig posted : October 28th, 2007
While reading the Tao Te Ching by Lao Tsu, I realised that many of the principles can be used
in Kung Fu training. I’m not a Taoist, not even close. So this is only an interpretation by yours
The soft overcomes the hard.
The slow overcomes the fast.
Let your workings remain
Just show people the results.
As in all martial arts, let soft movements overcome hard attacts.
Practice slowly to overcome fast attacs with precision.
Let what you do be unknown and not understood and the result will be evenmore overpowering.
The opponent will know the result without knowing or understanding what happened.
When there is no desire,
All things are at peace
The desire to fight, is mostly all needed to break peace.
Therefore the Master concerns himself
with the depths and not the surface
with the fruit and not the flower.
He has no will of his own.
He dwells in reality,
and lets all illusions go.
The sience of fighting is not in attacking the surface, but the pressure points vital for movement
and life. This must not happen happend through thinking but by natural actions and reactions.
Without attacking what he thinks will work, but what he knows will let him survive.
Thus it is said:
The path into the light seems dark,
the path forward seems to go
the direct path seems long,
true power seems weak,
true purity seems tarnished,
true steadfastness seems changeable,
true clarity seems obscure,
the greatest are seems
the greatest love seems indifferent,
the greatest wisdom seems childish.
When starting any martail art form, one feels like going back before any basics. Your cup is emptied.
A punch seems weak, the stances seems shaky and numbing. It seems like a long hard road. Like a child
learning to walk or learning to write.
Ordinary men hate solitude.
But the Master makes use of it,
embracing his aloneness, realizing
he is one with the whole universe.
Meditate on that what you know and that you don’t understand. Meditate in your own way, the way
that works best for you-alone.
There is no greater illusion than fear,
no greater wrong than preparing to defend yourself,
no greater misfortune than having an enemy.
Whoever can see through all fear
will always be safe.
Look for that which creates fear in your opponent and build on it. Use this illusion to put your opponent
in a constant state of defence.
True mastery can be gained
by letting things go their own way.
It can’t be gained by
All movements require joints and muscles to work in harmony. Neutralise an opponent by simply
interfering in his movements and let the movement complete in such a way that it leaves the opponent
at a disadvantage.
The Master gives himself up
to whatever the moment brings.
He knows that he is going to die,
and her has nothing left to hold on to:
no illusions in his mind,
no resistances in his body.
He doesn’t think about his actions;
they flow from the core of his being.
He holds nothing back from life;
therefore he is ready for death,
as a man is ready for sleep
after a good day’s work.
“Forget” all things external from a fight. Give yourself over to the fight. Let that be all that flows from you.
Close your mouth,
block off your senses,
blunt your sharpness,
untie your knots,
soften your glare,
settle your dust.
This is the primal identity.
All actions in a fight must be relaxed but with a certain purpose. Let go and let reaction take over your actions.
Act without doing;
work without effort.
Think of the small as large
and the few as many.
Confront the difficult
while it is still easy;
accomplish the great task
by a series of small acts.
Go for the small targets that will have the largest impact on the whole body. Do this while the opponent
is still not protecting it and before he realises your intentions.
What is rooted is easy to nourish.
Let your stance be the source of your energy.
The generals have a saying:
”Rather than make the first move
it is better to wait and see.
Rather than advance an inch
it is better to retreat a yard.”
This is called
going forward without advancing,
pushing back without using weapons.
There is no greater misfortune
than underestimating your enemy.
Underestimating your enemy
means thinking that he is evil.
Thus you destroy your three treasures
and become an enemy yourself.
When two great forces oppose each other,
the victory will go
to the one that knows how to yield.