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What is spontaneity?

Spontaneity is the ability to act without thinking. It is the raw immediacy of action. To be spontaneous, conscious thought must cease and you must simply do.
Both the mind and the body must be loose and flexible. Internal martial arts teach a person to move instantly in response to what is happening.


You must let go of fear. Planning may be necessary in many circumstances but it can also be a hindrance.
When a person prepares for an activity they encounter a minute tensing of the muscles and a tightening of the joints.
The subtle act of preparation actually reduces your ability to move and slows the body considerably.


In our approach we seek to remove this moment of getting-ready and simply move. This requires awareness and composure.
By slowing-down the body and calming the mind you become capable of instant action. In combat, this is essential.


When the delay of preparation is removed, you will feel the freedom of uninhibited movement. Both mind and body will act in a flowing harmonious manner.
Taoism advocates finding accord, moving unconsciously with what is happening. Many of the partner exercises are specifically designed to develop this ability.
The freedom of spontaneity allows you to act on instinct and impulse.

The past

People are chained to their past. Rather than using memory appropriately, they are haunted by comparisons with what has happened previously or dreams of what may come.
Let go and drift with what is happening. You live in the present moment, so action must occur in the here and now.

When the hands are clapped, the sound issues without hesitation. When flint is struck with steel, the spark comes out at once.

(Alan Watts) 

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Page created 2 March 1995
Last updated 04 May 2023