|Strong mental attitude (2)|
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A strong mental attitude is fundamental:
But then, I'd rather be a
killer than a victim.
Steel isn't strong, boy. Flesh is stronger.
What is steel compared to the hand that wields it?
Look at the strength of your body, the desire in your heart.
(Conan the Barbarian)
I'm strong enough to tear apart rhinoceros hide and drag nine oxen by the tail
- yet I still lament my weakness.
(King Hsuan of Chou)
You've grown stronger here than I ever could have imagined.
The only way to know how strong is to keep testing your limits.
(Man of Steel)
Do not do anything useless.
Too early in the morning? Get up and train. Cold and wet outside? Go train. Weary of the whole journey and longing for a moment to stop and rest? Train.
Continue on in the spirit of perseverance.
Men argues. Nature acts.
To bear that which you think you cannot bear is really to bear.
But if you cannot find
Friend or master to go with you,
Travel on alone –
Like a king who has given away his kingdom,
Like an elephant in the forest.
Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of the men of old;
seek what they sought.
He did each single thing as if he did nothing else.
If I concentrate while he divides,
I can use my entire strength to attack a fraction of his.
If the mountain of Tai should collapse right in front of me,
my face would undergo no change of countenance.
Demand much of yourself and expect little of others.
Thus you will be spared much vexation.
Why is the root of wisdom so deep?
Because it must be planted in our lives.
The road to the precious capital
is not for the inattentive.
(Loy Ching Yuen)
I don't stop when I'm tired.
I only stop when I'm done.
Injuring no one
Who can discredit me?
Do you think that I’d climb down from an elephant
To ride on the haunch of an ass?
(Songs of Mirabai)
In serving, serve.
In fighting, kill.
The samurai must maintain his faith in his beliefs, even as the social or political climate shifts and alters. He must be patient, must act in a manner that may at times seem irrational or illogical, must resist the temptations of instant gratification, and must work towards fulfilling what may seem to be an impossible idea.
As a result, the samurai is often something of an outsider, a rebellious figure because he refuses to conform to the habits of the day.
If you can't do it, you don't know it.
My aim is only to move forward.
I do not promise you ease. I do not promise you comfort.
But I do promise you these hardships: weariness and suffering.
And with them, I promise you victory.
You must concentrate upon and consecrate yourself wholly to each day, as though a fire were raging in your hair.
One should note that right from its creation, Yang taijiquan has always been combat-oriented. The set should be practiced with its martial applications in mind. These applications may be taught through the set, individual movement explanations, tui shou (push hands), san shou (fixed-step sparring) and san da (free sparring).
Let your practice be short and intense, focussing your attention one one single action, where body and brain meet at the same point at the same time.
Nothing can substitute for serious practice. Practice seriously, correctly and patiently. Use your brain, not just your body. Don't hide weaknesses in your training. Don't lie to yourself. If you cheat, you only cheat yourself.
Meaningless, restrained routines cripple the mind.
When asked how he overcame his opponents, Hadrat Ali explained,
"I never met any man who did not help me against himself."
We read the world wrong and say that it deceives us.
Olives taste bitter at first,
So the matter of practice:
Hard work discovering the true way.
(Loy Ching Yuen)
Every pattern of movement has its nature, meaning and purpose, and must be researched and studied before it can be really understood.
One of my friends studied judo for years and years. She was waiting for a chance to use it, but for a long time nobody tried to attack her. Then one day somebody grabbed her in a parking lot - and she slugged him with her purse! And then she thought, "Oh! What happened to my judo?"
She must have been practicing judo as if it were an isolated thing. We should always practice to let the immediacy of the moment come through. Then you always have a sense of what you are doing now.
(Chungliang Al Huang)
The old that is strong does not wither.
When fighting an opponent who feints, stay calm, don't respond.
If your opponent is in range it doesn't matter whether the attack is a feint or not, just step in and attack.
(Lau Kim Hong)
The word seriousness is elaborated on by the saying "One aim with no distractions".
The wise speak when they have something to say, fools speak when they have to say something.
We take refuge in pride because we are afraid to tell the truth to ourselves.
Students of the Tao must appreciate one thing:
Every day, mindful practice.
When the mind is disciplined
then the Way can work for us.
Otherwise, all we do is talk of Tao;
everything is just words;
and the world will know us as its
one great fool.
(Loy Ching Yuen)
It is absurd to think you are going to get anywhere by giving only an hour a week to your practice or that you can regularly skip classes. Martial arts is not like a bridge club, where you drop in when you have nothing better to do. Martial arts will always make greater demands on your time than would most hobbies or avocations.
There is no teacher but the enemy.
Only he will tell you where you are weak,
where he is strong.
That which does not kill you makes you stronger.
Fundamentally the marksman aims at himself.
Whatever stands in the Way becomes the Way.
The prayer of the monk is not perfect until he no longer recognises himself or the fact that he is praying.
21 May 1995
Last updated 20 December 2020