You Have The Power, Use It Martial Arts Article on The Esoteric Of The Internal Martial Arts By Erle Montaigue
Sun Luc-tang, the famous Baguazhang Master once wrote a book called "The Esoteric Of The Martial Arts". The only trouble was that no-one could understand it! Not even Chinese scholars could work out what Sun was trying to say.
The 'internal martial arts' are those that make use of an intrinsic energy called Qi, or internal energy rather than brute physical strength. There are three main 'internal martial arts'. Taijiquan (T'ai chi ch'uan), meaning supreme ultimate fist or boxing, Baguazhang (Pa-Kua Chang), meaning eight diagram palm, and H'sin-I Ch'uan, meaning mind, body boxing.
Martial Arts Article (What Most People Ever Know)
Most people will only ever know about the martial arts presented in the silly martial arts films where a man who looks strangely like a God, kicks his feet high in the air and beats up on all the baddies! This in only film and is not real martial arts. Film directors could not use a real martial artist in those films because it would not be very exciting, no kicking, no fancy techniques, only a finger jab here or a thumb stuck into someone's throat etc. Film martial arts has done more to harm the real martial arts than any other medium, and most only ever show the bad side of the martial arts, not the spiritual side. Or when it is tried to be shown, it just does not work out because those doing the acting have absolutely no idea of what it is they are supposed to be showing! Actors cannot play real martial artists, nor can champion karate men. And those who have found the way, would never allow themselves to be so derided by playing in any type of film, no matter how good the initial intentions.
Martial Arts Article (The Monastery Within)
One does not have to live in a monastery and carry heavy loads of water up and down the mountain for twenty years, and clean the toilets each morning, sitting in a strange position with a monk slapping you on the shoulders with a stick in order to gain the internal power. We all have our own monastery within, and we can go there anytime we like. You do not need a teacher, although it helps in the beginning to have a guide to show you the movements. You are your own teacher in your own monastery, you have all that is needed right there inside of yourself. In fact every human being on this planet has within each cell, every bit of information that has ever been discovered. Getting at it is the hard bit.
Choose what you wish to be, or what it is you want, pay the price, whatever that may be, wait, and it will be yours, this is the law of nature. If you pay for something, you must get it. But be warned, you must firstly know what paying and owing means. This too is the law of nature. Or that of yin & yang.
Martial Arts Article (Beginning to Train)
When one first begins training in one of these internal martial arts, we are only able to make use of purely physical power, that derived from the muscles and sinews. As our training continues over many years, we begin to feel a greater power which we usually put down to physical training. But something else is happening as we become more and more adept at our training. After some years we begin to use a small percentage of what is known as 'internal power', that inexplicable power that comes when we really need it. Some people will show this power, perhaps striking a punching bag and the resulting strike will be very powerful, but this is not real internal power. Internal power cannot be summoned up at any time for show, it comes automatically when needed the most, perhaps in a life threatening situation etc. Internal power cannot be used against inanimate objects, unless there is a great or life threatening need. Internal power can be used against 'energy systems' such as those that flow internally in the human body, in a healing way and in a martial arts way. But, again, only when absolutely necessary. We make use of the 'returning Qi' in order to send Qi (energy) back into the body that is attacking us, and this can only ever be used against a live energy system. Many martial artists make use of tricks to show their prowess in the power stakes by striking at portions of the human body that are vulnerable to any strike from anyone, they simply know where these points are located. A stick will do just as much damage to these points as a punch as there is no internal Qi needed.
Martial Arts Article (Athletes)
Some athletes will experience some small part of this internal power when they strive to jump, or run or swim that extra bit faster or higher or longer and against all odds, they manage to do it. Some extra power seems to come from within to help them, something that many will never again experience. We in the martial arts try to gain and more importantly, control this internal power, to turn it on and off at will when necessary. But it cannot be used to show off or to demonstrate to others, it will only come when it is absolutely necessary. The sub-conscious part of our brain does not know what showing off means, there is no reason to do this! It's a bit like when we have perhaps a lumberjack (of the old physical school) and a body builder. The body builder is doing all kinds of exercise using weights, becomes really bulky but does not have the power of the lumberjack. Why? It's because the subconscious brain has no reason to make the body strong when one pumps iron, there is no reason to do this! But there is a reason to chop wood, so the brain causes the body to become very strong in all the right places. There is absolutely no reason to look like Mr Universe! No natural work would ever cause our body to look like that! When we try to use internal power for show, or in a demonstration, (and let's face it, demonstration is just another way of saying, showing off), the brain does not know why. And although the resulting power is great, it only comes from years of training the body to be physically perfect and aligned, so that physics is the real hero here.
Sometimes, internal power is naturally there in a lucky few, such as in Jesus Christ and his other incarnations of Budda or Krishna etc.
Martial Arts Article (Remember This Warning)
Remember this though: If you do strive to become a God, and get there or even close, you will die! You will no longer have a reason for being a human being.
We mere mortals MUST train of course, and this training usually consists of that which we do in any of the three main internal martial arts, but it can be attained through other means. The internal martial arts are only an easier way to attain the internal power. So, when we absolutely need to summon internal power as in the few documented cases where a young person has lifted great weights off their mother or father in order to save their lives etc., it is there automatically. This example is of course at the extreme end of the use of internal power. There is a linear line of need however. This can be anywhere from something very basic like being attacked suddenly by a new student (usually the young and foolish ones!), or to the other end where the life of a loved one, or anyone or oneself is threatened.
As our internal training progresses, we begin to use a higher percentage of internal power and less of physical power. But this power is still only used to do physical work, such as for self defence etc.
There is a much more powerful internal Qi or energy, that is available to everyone, not just the martial artist, and using the information in this book, you will be able to tap into this great resource to enhance your own life and destiny.
Martial Arts Article (Hidden Power)
The internal martial arts is only an easier pathway to discover this hidden power, once discovered, we no longer even need the martial arts for what most of us initially began training, for self defence. Real internal power has nothing to do with hitting things or lifting great weights, or fighting other people and beating them. With real power, we no longer need physical power, although it is still there of course. We are able to defeat would be attackers without lifting a hand. This can mean attackers who would do you harm in any number of ways from the purely physical attack through the verbal slanging attack to the mind attack, or the controlling of energy attack. So we see here that "To Turn The Other Cheek" has a far greater reaching meaning than just the purely physical thing of actually turning the other cheek to a physical attack! It is my belief that Jesus did not mean us to actually turn the other cheek, when for instance, we see someone being beaten up! Or if our own lives are in danger. What he meant was, that we should use the internal power to solve that situation before it begins. Even Jesus let fly in the Temple didn't he. The Taoists look at this as "to do nothing", and Krishna looks at this as to "Think, Fast & Wait", all the same things. We are able to use the internal martial arts, and I stress the internal martial arts, to have a much better understanding of God, Jesus, Krishna, Lao-tze and Budda, and what they taught. As a Christian person, this is my excuse (and I'm sticking to it) for being a martial artist. I have been attacked in the media many times by so called Christian people, simply for being a martial artist. And I have always 'turned the other cheek' which is more than I can say for them. People like Jesus taught us to live and let live, accept all people no matter what they do.
We find out that there is a much bigger picture, one that will enhance our lives and show us why we are here. Some call this the power of God, others call it Universal power, and many a genius has talked about the illusive other 90 percent of the brain that we never use. It is my belief and experience that the 'power' comes from other sources, from around the body but very close to it, and attached to it. In TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine), this is called the 'Shen', or spirit. And this is the power that we are able to tap into, to change our physical circumstances, stop others from attacking us, cause others to do what you wish them to do, just as long as it is positive and good and the resulting wave of energy caused by the use of this power will not cause any stress to others, only positive changes.
Martial Arts Article (Keeping At It)
The poser will not come straight away after a few weeks of interest, you must keep at it. Slowly, you will notice little things changing, it might be something that you wanted to happen, that will happen. At first you will write it off as coincidence, but as more and more of these things happen you will learn to believe in yourself and in the power that you are gaining over your circumstances. The amount of power that you generate will depend upon how you train and what you do in your daily life. And herein lies the difficult bit. Sometimes you will have to change habits that have built up over many years, habits that you do not even know you have. But as you change and learn, God will being to speak to you, or rather you will hear, and you will learn what to do and what not to do.
I will place some of Chapter one also on this site:
Martial Arts Article You Have The Power, Use It
There comes a time when so much information has built up in one's brain that it has to be put out so that others can gain from this information. Information that has come in small pieces of a puzzle in the form of ideas whose time has come, flashes from Heaven and innovation from teaching for so long. This information comes from the heart and mind and soul of the master, and covers pure information and knowledge gained over many years of experience. Sometimes this experience is difficult to transmit to others and when written down onto paper, is often incomprehensible.
The reason for this is that the author is trying to put down into physical form, things that aren't physical, those ideas and experience that only are learnt from experience and which are held in the brain in the form of feelings. To express these 'feelings' physically, communicating them to others so that they will gain from them is a daunting task. And I now know how Sun Luc-tang must have felt when trying to write his work on his own 'feelings'. It's exactly like when a Traditional Chinese artist creates a beautiful painting. He or she will not create that work while physically looking at the subject. They will gaze for some hours even months a few hours at a time and take in what they see. Then when it is time, they will go away and paint that scene from the mind. In this way, the 'feelings' and emotions that they have experience while viewing the subject are put down onto paper, an abstract view of a physical thing is created. This work of art is then rolled up and put away, it is not framed and shown at a gallery for sale.
Years later, the artist will unroll the painting and all of the emotions and joy and sorrow, feelings he or she was feeling at that time will come back through the painting. Often, the master will have fleeting moments of brilliance, of innovation when he finally works out some way of transmitting the essence of what he is trying to teach to a student. WHAT he is teaching is like the paper on which the painting is drawn. The 'feelings', expression, experience of this are put away into his sub-conscious mind to grow. Then some years maybe, later, he will be teaching that same physical movement to another special student, and the 'painting' will unroll disclosing all of that experience that was locked away in that special part of his brain. And he will again be able to show that special person the same things in physical form. This is what I have to try to transmit to the student and more importantly, to try and put down onto paper for future generations.
Martial Arts Article (Years of Ideas)
This book is the culmination of years of ideas, flashes and experience, put together like a Chinese painting in the hope that others who are 'ready to receive' will take that painting, look at it, and have all of that information and knowledge flow from the pages directly into the mind. I will begin by giving my own ideas on how to teach a teacher how to teach. In this way, I am unrolling much of my own 'stored' experience that has come from teaching. I do not mean that I will be teaching the physical movements of form etc., as these are the very basics that can be taught by almost anyone with any small intelligence. I mean the INTERNAL part of one's training. Training that goes way beyond the martial arts, even way beyond the healing arts, it goes into the reason for being, and why we are alive, our communication with God and relationship to God, it goes into life itself, and the relationship of life to D'ao. "Communication" is life. It is the very foundation upon which life is based. Without communication, there can be no life. It is the way that the very cells we are made of communicate, the way the trees and birds communicate, the way the sun and moon communicate with the earth.
Much of this book will be to do with real communication which in many instances will require no physical communication such as speech or body movement. We firstly learn to communicate with each other at this level, then we automatically communicate with God, even though our physical brain may have no idea of this. Teaching: The most difficult part of one's Taijiquan training from a teaching point of view is how to teach someone the "internal" part of Taijiquan.
The internal area cannot be seen, it can only be experienced and felt by the teacher. So how does one transmit this information when there is really no physical way of showing it? The physical movements can be taught by showing and correcting. Over a period of time, the movements of the student become more circular and with repeated corrections, the student will begin to resemble someone who is practicing Taijiquan and not just a series of movements. But the "internal" part must also be "taught" if the student is to rise to any level of expertise. Someone can do the physical movements for years, but if he does not understand what is expected from these movements, then he or she will forever be searching and waiting for something to happen. Often, a "teacher" of Taijiquan will be quite versed in the physical movements of the form and could have that special knock of transmitting these movements to students.
Martial Arts Article (Wanting Something More)
But there will come a time when these students will want something more than just physical movements and sadly, many teachers aren't capable of giving this knowledge because they simply have not experienced this level themselves, and/or are not capable of teaching this level. In order for the teacher to transmit the "internal" levels of Taijiquan, he or she must have experienced this level. He must be able to express in some tangible way, the feelings that he or she will feel while practicing all by himself, without the gaze of students or a video camera etc. Seemingly simple things like the most basic concepts of "Yin and Yang", when one tries to transmit this concept become an almost insurmountable task.
A feeling that one has of "Yin and Yang" while practicing, must now be put into a language that the advanced student will know and recognise. Feelings that seem to have no words good enough to express, must now be expressed vocally and physically. Usually, it is a combination of both of these that will get the "feelings" across. Often, a teacher well versed in language and communication skills will even find difficulty in transmitting some concepts and experiences that come from within. In these cases, often the only way to express such inner experiences is by physical movement, or by physically manipulating the student's body so that they will also feel what you are feeling. This is where the "Internal Learning Qi" movements from Taijiquan come in.
When a concept or some "internal work" is unable to be taught in words or metaphors, the teacher must know two "secret" areas of Taijiquan. These are, "Internal Learning Qi" movements that come directly from the way we perform certain movements from the form, and from the ten "keys". Often, a teacher will simply "do" Taijiquan in front of an advanced student. The student will only think that teacher is showing him how it is done. But there is a much deeper meaning for this showing. The teacher will perform only a set of movements that contain one or more of the "Internal Learning Qi" sets. He will not say anything, only do it, sometimes a number of times. In these instances, the advanced student who is ready to receive the "internal" will feel something completely different to what he or she normally feels when the teacher performs these movements. He may have seen the teacher perform the movements many times before, but now it is different.
Martial Arts Article (The Difference)
The difference is that the "essence" of Taiji is being taken in. The student will feel something but not know what it is or how to express it, he or she will ask other students who may have witnessed this special occasion, but they will only have seen the same movements that they have seen many times before, as they are not yet ready to "receive". The only difference that the student will now notice, is that when they practice their Taijiquan form again, it will be different, and will continue to grow and become different from then onwards. Things that they only read about, and knew about intellectually, now come to life, and they will actually experience internally, what they already knew at the intellectual level. This is "true teaching" on the part of the teacher. A communication level that goes beyond physical expression. This is communicating at the highest level, or the level of "Qi".
Think about what you say to people in your everyday life. How many of those words or concepts are really necessary? The questions you ask daily, or the answers you force onto other people around you, how much of this did you already know, or how much did your recipient already know about? Once you understand that we all communicate at a much higher level than speech, it will amaze you how much you can actually get away without saying. This is especially prominent when two people are with each other each day for many hours, as in the case of a man and wife or parents and children, a family. There is a continual mixing of thought and ideas between people. This can even get to the stage in a very close family for instance, where each or a number of members of the family will instinctively know what they other will need or is about to express verbally.
Martial Arts Article (Communication Level)
This higher level of communication is the same when a teacher has students who have been around for some time and who have been learning from him continually at a personal level. Often, the teacher will say nothing as the level of Qi communication is high enough to transmit the internal essence of Taijiquan. The advanced communication skills of the teacher allow he or she to not have to actually "teach" while in class. He might hold a class and simply "do". This "doing" will be enough alone to transmit the internal Taijiquan for that particular day. Others, who might have come for the lesson and who perhaps are not at a sufficiently high level themselves, will think that the class is in some way inferior to other more "teaching" classes.
These students usually end up asking for more and more physical movement, as they just aren't capable of getting what they want internally, so they try to make up for it physically. Sad part is, that these students will go away from a weekend workshop for instance with a whole lot of physical information that will only last a short time. They have only heated up a small, thin piece of wire that will heat up quickly, but will also dissipate that heat quickly. Others who are able to communicate at the higher level and who are ready to do this, will slowly heat up a much larger piece of wire taking much more heat that will last much longer until they come back for more "heat". Whereas those who teak in too much too soon, will lose their "heat" very quickly and have nothing to work with for along period until their next lesson.
A story I like to tell that will perhaps make the above a little clearer is as follows. A famous Indian Guru was visiting a small town where he had a large following. He had been to this town several times before and had a number of devotees there. He was due to hold a seminar on the "inner meaning of life". This seminar was very well attended. After waiting for several hours the those attending saw the Guru walk out onto the stage with a paper bag. He sat down and placed the paper bag over his head. Most people shuffled around in their seats and after a number of hours, most left the hall demanding their money back. Only two people remained in the hall. Their faces were serene and glowing. The Guru removed the paper bag from his head, smiled at them and left. So little given, and so little learnt by most of the students attending.
Martial Arts Article (Who Remained)
These were those who expected the Guru to give much in the way of verbal teaching, something that they could take away and show others what they had learnt. The two who remained however, were at a level where they took in slowly a great amount of internal learning and kept it. They now had the meaning of life. It's exactly the same with Taijiquan. Many advanced students will come to me with questions, begin to ask their question and stop, then smile and walk away. The answer was within themselves. All they needed from me was confirmation, which came in the form of nothing physical, just "Qi", an internal communication that is understood far better by those who are ready to receive than those who aren't. Those who aren't, should not begin a teaching career, unless all they wish to do is to perhaps teach a little physical exercise.
It takes perhaps five years or more just to get the physical movements of Taijiquan to a level where one is able to at least show someone else those movements and not show them incorrectly. Some of that five years will have to be spent doing personal tuition with the master. This happens when a good student who wishes to pursue a teaching career has expressed a wish to being teaching on their own and who has displayed at least some of the characteristics of a good teacher. Here, I do not mean the student who is allowed to teach in a controlled class situation under supervision. This must happen with all students who stick with a Taijiquan teacher for at least three years. It is a way to giving that little kick along, that confidence to teach. This will show the student where he or she is going wrong and what little they really know. I mean the student who is chosen by the teacher to become a teacher.