The Method’s BS Detector is Testing Strength.
Before I met Master Fung I did a lot of things. Grappling, sparring, waza, bench press, kata, squats, waza, push ups, waza, meditation, kata, full contact, kata, wooden dummy, heavy bag, etc., etc.
None of it made any %$#ing difference when I used all of it, everything I had on my Sifu, Master Fung.
It was useless. It was demoralizing. It was embarrassing.
The reality of a man twice my age, half my weight, tossing me around casually, without effort, while chuckling was shocking, a revelation, an enlightenment.
My BS was thoroughly detected by my Sifu’s application of testing strength on me.
I did not realize it the time, but the method is designed to detect and identify such BS.
You think your strong, you thing your big, you think you have skill…lets have a go.
That is testing strength at its essence. It seeks out the charlatans, the posers, the wannabes and says ‘you try’.
The method of testing strength is so simple in can be creatively applied in countless ways:
- Establish a given condition
- Apply the method to the condition
- Evaluate the results
Here are some examples:
- Test ‘Rooting’
- Have your training partner try and push you out of your stance.
- Use the method to received his or her strength and transmit it into the ground
- If your partner is unable to push you back, even with strong force, then you are rooting. If you are pushed back you are missing something in your training.
- Test ‘Six Surfaces’
- Have your partner try and grab you in a bear hug.
- Before he or she clamps down establish your frame and root.
- If your partner cannot complete the hold and take control of your mass you have the ‘Six Surfaces’. If not, go back and reevaluate.
- Test ‘Uprooting’
- Have your partner take a strong stance and give you their shoulder to push on.
- Establish your frame and use the method sever their root and push them back.
- If you can push them back with very little force you have the ability to uproot. If you cannot push them back or it takes excessive physical strength the go back and reevaluate.
As you can see, each of these are cooperative practices. Your training partner is applying the given condition and you are testing your ability to use the method to get the desired result. Your training partner does not even have to be a person! A yoga ball, punching bag, waxwood pole, wooden dummy, locks, staff or even a wall can be used to test and verify that you are achieving the results intended from practicing the method.
In this age of the Internet I find it amusing that so many people, many with extensive martial arts backgrounds label testing strength demonstrations as fake, impossible, useless, shameful….in other words BS.
Perhaps if they suspended judgement for a moment they could ask themselves, “Given that condition could I achieve that result?”.