What is the difference between a Black Belt and a ‘real’ Black Belt?
Interesting question, eh?
To explain this let me make a statement, and then explain how that statement works.
The statement is that a real black belt does less to create more.
Now, back in China, there were people who could do less to make more. They learned this over millennium, and it became a part of their cultural teachings in many of the martial arts.
The art trailed to Okinawa, and the concept tried to hang on. In some respects it did, in others it didn’t.
Then the Japanese (among others, they weren’t alone in this, just more efficient) came along and they said, ‘We want power!’ So they made the work outs brutal, putting force above intelligence, or awareness, and they succeeded in deep sixing the already dying concept of ‘doing less to create more.’
And, they are not the only ones who did this. Americans are guilty of going along with this, not just as students, but as ‘power seekers’ on their own.
Now, power is fine, for a beginner. But when you train in the martial arts you progress to a point where you get tired – that’s as good a way of putting it as any – of working so durned hard.
Part of this realization may come from finally seeing through the blinders of power to the fact that a little bit wisely and judiciously applied accomplishes just as much, and more, than a lot blindly applied.
But you finally realize the truth, that it is not how much power you can create, but how smartly you focus your awareness to create and apply that power. Thus, the more you become empty, before and after the focus, relaxing to do the technique, the less power you actually have to summon up.
You do less, and create larger effects. You punch lightly, and it hurts more. You relax and throw more efficiently.
You are not building muscles now, but rather awareness; you are learning to focus, to use, awareness as a power. Call it chi, if you wish.
This concept had millennium to take root and develop in China, and teachers would teach it from the get go (before the Great Cultural Revolution). Now people only attain it rarely, and not if they stick to the power seeking commercial schools that have come to reign.
Here’s the interesting thing: you measure force, the power of a beginner, with physics. But you cannot measure chi with physics.
For you cannot measure awareness, especially when used in this manner.
Now, the hallmark of the real black belt is not how much power he has, but how light and liquid he is; how empty he is; how measured and sure he is of his position in space. How aware he is.
Learn to do more by using less (force, impact, energy, whatever) and you will be a real Black Belt.
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A god example of physics and real martial arts is my Pan Gai Noon book, available in paper or kindle on Amazon.