Zen Stillness, Bruce Lee, and You
When I started the martial arts,
back in 67,
and had my first lessons in freestyle,
I quickly realized one thing:
right side or left side.
Is the guy going to attack right side or left side,
I realized I could,
by turning the body or shifting it,
make him go on one side or the other.
Which enabled me to predict
and allowed me to win most of the time.
But I started thinking,
and I asked myself the question,
is there a way to predict
without turning the body,
without doing anything?
Was there a way to know,
before he moved,
without moving yourself,
which side he was going to go for?
if I could do that,
while I was in kenpo
I made no inroads on that question.
But when I got into the Kang Duk Won
the answer was sitting right there.
The answer was to be still enough.
Kenpo had the moves,
but not the discipline to make this happen,
Kang Duk Won had the discipline.
And the discipline had been honed over hundreds of years.
And I realized that
if you were moving,
looking for an angle,
then you were doing something.
if you were doing something,
then you weren’t looking.
Even if I was only moving 1%,
it meant I was doing something,
and not actually looking.
And I realized this:
You can look out,
or you can look in,
but you can’t do both at the same time.
You have to achieve total stillness,
without and within
before you could actually see anything.
The only way to be able to predict
when and what somebody is going to do
is to look at him.
To be so still
that all motion could register,
you could see the thought behind the motion.
Thought comes first,
so if you could see the thought,
you could see what was coming,
then you could predict.
And I realized something.
The ‘gunfighter’ mode of freestyle
practiced by the Japanese,
was an attempt to get to this state of mind.
of standing and staring,
inching forward with only the slightest of motions,
was an attempt to be still enough
to see the thought before the action.
one of the events of the time,
back in the seventies,
that got in the way of this
was Bruce Lee.
Bruce had a thing about defeating the Japanese.
And he did it by being busy,
not by edging forward slowly
and building an intuition,
but by dancing and flicking,
and making sure that the gunfighter attitude
never had time to get started.
Bruce was quick,
he could see what was happening,
he could predict,
natural superior intelligence
couple with an astounding amount of hard work.
But he beat the Japanese not by playing their game,
but playing his own
and making sure that the Japanese couldn’t play theirs.
he didn’t leave a method whereby intelligence increased,
whereby the ability to be still increased.
the method that did increase stillness within
began to wane.
People looked down on the gunfighter modes
in the traditional martial arts,
and they stopped looking for stillness,
for increased awareness through discipline.
I am not judging the art of Lee,
or the students of Lee,
I am merely observing.
If you disagree,
leave a comment.
I base my arts on the old discipline,
I don’t think one should throw out the ancient methods,
Hard to improve them,
when you live in a fast food society,
where gratification is an ipad away,
where you can google trinkets of information,
instead of earning the stillness
behind the information.
I sent out the second level user and password
in the last newsletter,
if you still have trouble getting past the second level of security,
on any of your orders,
email me at
speaking of that,
I’m looking around for a better webhost.
I’ve tried web.com,
and they were good in the beginning,
but I am spending more time fixing my internet
and less time spreading martial arts,
and my sites are taking too long to load,
and so on.
Got to change all that.
So send me recommendations.
I’ve got a half dozen sites,
wanted to put them on share server,
unless somebody has a better idea.
And thanks in advance.
if you want that old time discipline,
if you want the arts that are designed to increase stillness,
and increase awareness,
then try Temple Karate.
It’s a fantastic method
for increasing stillness,
and getting better at the martial arts.
have a funomenal work out!