I consider personal demonstrations of skill for an Internal Style martial artist to include, but not necessarily be limited to, the ability to monitor and control their own internal mental and physical environment…i.e. personal biorhythms, intrinsic energy cycles, internal organ functions, normal thought patterns and emotional patterns, etc., in order to attain and maintain a state of perpetual good health in body, mind and spirit.
Additionally, I would consider the ability to personally maintain a healthy body weight, an excellent state of overall physical fitness, and the ability to apply the Form Postures to self-defense as a soft style internal kung-fu art. In the end, whatever is expressed outwardly….our personal demonstration…is a reflection of what we think and feel inwardly.
What good is it to be a peerless fighter as a martial artist if lack of attention to some of these other training agenda priorities results in dying too young….or perhaps worse….living too long in a state of disability and poor health as an elderly person?
I think this is a great quote and really gets to the point I was trying to get at when I spoke about the role of character in martial arts. Is this too much to ask? To me, it’s the epitome of a martial artists. I may be naive, but I sort of expect a martial arts master to be of calm mind and character and to treat his/her body well. I think Sifu Stier hit it on the head with:
In the end, whatever is expressed outwardly … our personal demonstration, is a reflection of what we think and feel inwardly.
To me, this really sums up the idea of finding taiji in everyday life.