In any internal martial arts (IMA), we’ve all been told stories of masters having the ability to mysteriously uproot an opponent with little to no movement. We’ve even heard stories of qi projection and being able to knock down distant opponents. It’s easy to be a skeptic and consider it all fake until we’ve had the chance to experience such phenomenon.
I must admit, I’ve only truly felt this type of thing maybe once or twice. In a 12 animals of Liu He Ba Fa workshop with Wai Lun Choi, we were learning the applications for the dragon form. He spoke about the sinking energy and how we must use our mind to sink the energy down. In addition, he emphasized the importance of protecting our breathing. If something can affect or impact our breathing, then we are ‘dead’. He was a way with mortal terms 🙂
Anyhoo, as we were working with partners on applying the application, he went around and demonstrated on some folks. I was one of the lucky folks who had the opportunity to attack him. I came in with a punch, then all of a sudden, I was heading towards the ground face first. It felt as if my forward momentum had been interrupted and redirected directly downwards. The crazy thing is I did not FEEL anything.
So, how did he do it? What’s his secret? I don’t really know, but I do know that during the workshop he heavily emphasized the notion of practicing slowly, calmly with full intention of the mind. He emphasized that we should practice at a level 2 on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the most tension. He emphasized zhan zhuang and that we should do it to calm our mind. He emphasized the importance of breathing and noted that if someone can interrupt your breath, they got you.
In a subsequent class, I was working on this application with a partner. To try and make the application work, I was biomechanically trying to coordinate my arms with a sinking. While it did work a bit, I never quite got the same effect. Then I tried something different while maintaining the same physical structure. This time, instead of trying to pull my opponent down, I just thought about my own energy sinking. My opponent punched, immediately after making contact, I thought about my energy sinking down, and the opponent followed. We both looked at each other bright eyed and amazed.
Is this the paradigm shift that ZenMindSword is referring to?
To understand this type of uprooting method, one needs a paradigm shift otherwise it will sound like new age hocus pocus or even plain nonsense to cheat the gullible.
Over the weekend, I watched Superman Returns. In it, Lex Luthor notes, in referencing Kryptonian technology, “that any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic” (as quoted from Arthur C. Clarke’s Three Laws of Prediction). Is it all just a bunch of new age magic?