True Martial Arts mastery is in the spirit, in the mind, in the heart. The true Master teacher, the Sensei, the Sifu, analyzes each individual's potential and brings out the best he or she can be.
Simply stated, Chi is the energy that powers life all life, human, plant, animal, everything in our universe that lives. In Asia, Chi has been recognized and understood for millennia. It's the basis for both Martial Arts and traditional Chinese medicine. It's the universal energy field that taps the electromagnetic fields of our earth and our universe. Like radio waves or microwaves, it can't be seen, but must be judged by the results it produces.
Chi is an inner gift that we all possess, that we must cultivate in order to reap its many rewards. The development of one's chi takes patience, persistence, discipline and the repetition of techniques designed to stimulate this power. To develop his chi, a martial arts student must first understand the concept of "go" (which means Hard), and "Ju" (which means Soft), and its application in the execution of martial art techniques. Bruce Lee was a master of chi and because of this, he was able to deliver powerful blows with his hands, feet, and his entire energy system.
A student who is too hard or too soft in his practice is out of balance. The right combination of go and ju is necessary to help facilitate the chi and deliver its power. Proper technique is very important for delivering chi. If a technique is sloppy; the chi cannot be effectively directed toward its target. If the technique exerts too much energy, the chi is wasted, and the student will lack endurance. Styles such as Kyoku Shinkai Karate, for example, are very "hard" or "Go" in their execution of techniques. While this style is a brutal system of Karate, it lacks balance. Too much Go, not enough Ju. While systems like Tai Chi have fantastic healing powers for the body but are too soft and not hard enough. Proper balance of Go and Ju is very important for delivering maximum power or chi.
There have been many martial artists who have executed breaks and seriously injured themselves in the process. The cause of these injuries was misdirected chi. In fact a fighter delivering a strike to a bag or an opponent who injures his/herself was because of misdirected chi.
A well known martial arts instructor once asked my advice regarding his breaking technique. He complained that every time he would execute a break, he would injure himself. I observed his technique and was able to make the necessary corrections. His problem was misdirected Chi. The next time I saw him, he told me that he no longer injured himself during his breaks.
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