When studying the biomechanics of internal Kung Fu we are confronted with a myriad of systems. Bones, ligaments, tendons, facia, circulatory, nervous and our various senses to name a few.
Each, of course, plays a critical role in creating the unified force that is the basis for the internal arts.
At times we can be so caught up in the complexities and interrelations of these systems that we loose sight of the unity of them…miss the forest because of all the damn trees.
In my personal practice I have particularly struggled with this dilemma. I tend toward the analytical side of things, constantly analysing and judging, picking apart while trying to force what I think I know onto my practice.
Take Jam Jong for example. I tended to be over the top conceptual. Do this with the feet, that with the head, push, pull, pluck, twist lift and force my body to do all the things I just know are right and that will magically result in internal strength. I can’t count the number of times my Teacher called me “silly boy”.
Then one day it was like a switch was thrown. Perhaps out of utterly exhausting my conceptual mind into making all these things happen my awareness shifted to feeling rather than thinking. It was so strange, like waking up by having cold water thrown on you. Suddenly I felt what was going on, experienced being that whole rather than manipulating the individual parts.
Interestingly, by consciously shifting to being in the practice of Jam Jong all those bits pieces that I struggled with began to rapidly make sense. They became like adjustments to a recipe, not things in and of themselves but changes that brought out a different flavour in the whole dish.
Realising that I could choose where to place my awareness was a breakthrough for me. Conceptually its vital to grasp and analyse my teachers lessons, insights from other practitioners, the classics and discoveries of modern science. But its in the feeling state, in the experience where the real learning happens, where know thyself becomes the sagest advice.
These days I strive to keep the question open? What is unity of the structure, the energy and the intent? What is unity with gravity, space and my (so called) opponent? What or where is the “I” within unity? What is Unity?