They Search and They Search By Erle Montaigue Monday, August 25, 1997
This article is I guess, a last ditch effort to try and teach people something about life and that endless search for the perfect apple. We all search, hoping someday to find 'something' great. No matter what our chosen path is in life, whether it is a sweeper of roads or a brain surgeon, we all search. The search is over, however, the moment you are born, it is all there for you to find, if you could only see it!
I have spent the best part of my life searching and teaching others how to search and what to look for, how to see. I have published more information on my chosen 'path' than any other person in history, and yet, very few actually listen and learn from my experiences. They search and they search for that ultimate computer software, the one that will do it all forever. And even if and when they find it, they find some fault in it and they search and they search all over again. The saddest thing of all is that once you have searched the world, found a few people who have 'something' but not quite, you begin trying out anything and anyone for the sake of trying something different or new. Like a computer software addict who has tried all that there is to offer in the newest high tech software. He becomes bored with even this and begins secret raids on software stores, buying all kinds of rubbish software just for the sake of trying something new, maybe that will be better than his last 'ultimate' experience. He doesn't care how much it costs, or how far he has to travel to get it, he is addicted and will do anything for the ultimate software.
It is the same with martial arts students, always 'knowing' that some day they will finally meet that illusive old (must be old) bearded master on some mountain peak in China who will impart the secrets of the Universe, and how to move objects without touching them, of course. It is generally a young person's trait, but sometimes, even older more experienced in life people will also keep searching until they die. And the saddest thing of all is that what they were looking for was under their noses all the time! It's just that they never ever learn how to look, to see without seeing.
Being human, we are enclosed in our little skin shell, we are limited by skin, blood and bone, we are not Gods and will never be. So when we 'search' we always search for things that are tangible, like moving objects without touching them, or levitation, or being impervious to any kinds of attack etc. These are all human things, they are physical and so can never be Godly or within reach of human beings.
The sad irony is that our physical searching causes us to lose sight of what we are looking for, we expect others to be able to give us something, as if to wave a hand or tell us some chant or show us some new qigong etc. But all the time it is WE who have the power over ourselves, and the power to gain something really great from our 'natural' (not super) martial arts.
They Search and They Search
Taijiquan and other internal martial/healing arts ARE miraculous. But we look in the wrong direction to see this. And when, after thirty or forty years of trying to become superman, some resort to trickery to try and prove that something-super natural is happening in Taijiquan. What they do not see, is that Taijiquan IS miraculous as it is. It does not need circus tricks or willing students to throw themselves all around the place making idiots of themselves. But human beings want the spectacular, the super natural; they do not want to do the work to see the real thing. It's like religious people who are continually trying to see God. They close their eyes, look upward in the hope that some human type spirit will hear them and grant their wishes. All they have to do to see God is to open their eyes, look at a blade of grass, a bone, a leaf, fire, electricity, magnetism. It is these and other 'simple' things that are the miraculous, the super natural. And it's the same with Taijiquan. We never see it for what it is because we are too busy searching for the unnatural.
We are only human, but within our puny bodies are such miraculous things that it defies any mind or genius to even think about them. Our electrical (Qi) system is so special, but we never see it, or even think about it because we are looking for the huge things. But it is the little things that are the miraculous. Our Qi holds us together, it causes us to communicate with other animals and plants and with God, it heals our body when it is ill, it heals others when they are ill and it protects us from internal and external physical attack. But because we are human, we cannot use our Qi for supernatural phenomenon like knocking someone down without touching them, or moving objects, or stopping us from being cut by a knife or wounded by a bullet, we ARE human. We are enclosed in skin that is not super natural and will never be, we have bones that will break, internal organs that will die because of trauma, a heart that will stop beating when struck, we are made of physical things.
But, they search and they search. Whenever a new 'master' arrives on the scene, he instantly becomes the one with the knowledge that will transform the student into superman. They all flock to him, paying out huge sums of money only to find that he really does not know anything more than the last one. I have heard so many times that so and so knows the real stuff, but isn't telling anyone. Why! If a so-called master goes to great lengths to use trickery to fool us into believing that he has some supernatural powers, surely, if he actually HAD them, he would be so excited and want to impart that knowledge to everyone. Didn't people like Jesus and Buddha try to teach us everything?
A sad offshoot of those who would trick us into believing that they possess some supernatural powers is the fact that as people 'get onto' these people, they will perhaps miss out on those who DO have something special to teach and give it up altogether! Some people are able to do for instance 'yin' push hands very well, and indeed spend their whole lives perfecting this area. And this is a valid part of one's training. However, it is not the whole part and should only ever be learnt as being part of the whole. You must also remember that when people are 'searching', they WILL see and feel what they want to see and feel because they are so desperate to find something special. So when some master performs yin push hands on them, it feels as if it was some 'empty force' with no power behind the push. Yin push hands works exactly like this. If you are able to make your body sink into the ground, so that your whole body is able to relax (sung), then you will be more yin than your opponent. You are then able to use your whole body and not just your arms for instance to attack. So it seems as if you are not using any force because beginners will only look for the force from the arms. They do not feel the power of the whole body. This is not too difficult given that most beginners are very yang to begin with. So, when an expert finds your centre and then uses yin force to attack you, it feels like he has not used any force because you are so yang. But he has used force of course; it's just that you do not register it as force. And because he has been able to find your centre and then attack across that centre, he is literally using your own imbalances to attack you. He then only has to issue very little actual force to cause you to feel like he has pushed you several feet away. When all the while it was your own body that attacked you! People are impressed with this kind of yin force, but it is impossible to teach to a beginner. And it is my belief that if I cannot teach it, then I should not do it. That is called ego. Once one knows about yin force, it is very easy to push people all over the place till the cows come home, but what good is it, just doing it to them if you are unable to show them how to do it? You must have students for many years until they are at a standard where they are able to appreciate yin attacks.
They Search and They Search
Yin force is a force that is quite difficult to find and even more difficult to execute. Many martial artists of the hard variety find it relatively easy to discover how to do the physical movements of fa-jing, or explosive energy. But they are only getting half of fa-jing, as they are unable to join it with 'yin power'. Once you are able to join fa-jing with yin power, you have the most devastating attacks known! So, although someone may be able to perform the physical movements of fa-jing, they do not know fa-jing. It's a bit like saying that you are able to drive a motor car by sitting in the driver's seat, but you haven't got the engine turned on! Dim-mak at a higher level than purely physically striking the points that are purely physiological points, requires the use of 'advanced soft fa-jing' or 'yin force'. Until you have yin force, you will never know how to use any of the internal martial arts for self-defence. I have had some critics in the karate circles in the USA in particular by people who say that they have tried my methods and cannot get them to work. When I see what they are doing, I understand why! Some of them are unable to move, let alone execute complicated techniques that require yin force.
I have no problem with yin push hands, as it is a valid learning tool, it is the following that I do have a problem with.
The latest fad is that of the so-called 'empty force'. You will see these tricksters at seminars with their students running at them; they stop about three feet from the master and bounce some 20 feet away or fall in a heap on the floor. The master is trying to have us believe that he has some kind of super natural power. Now just think for one second, use your logical and intelligent minds. These people are 'thrown' backwards up to 30 feet! Some are lifted off the floor. Think of what force would be necessary to cause a large man to be thrown some 30 feet away, or to be lifted off the ground. When someone is shot at close range with a shotgun, he does not go backwards as far! So the force necessary to throw someone that distance, would be so great that that person would die instantly! In modern times we have access to video cameras that have slo-mo facilities and it can plainly be seen that all, bar none, when they are 'thrown' away because of this ' empty force' all use their own legs to do so. And not one 'master' will ever do it to a member of the public, unless he is a plant! These people make a mockery of something that was once great. Something did not need tricks, because Taijiquan was once known as the greatest fighting and healing system to come from China. But because they simply do not know about the higher aspects of the art, they resort to tricks. When I see someone who is ill, either mentally or physically, or who is perhaps totally withdrawn, unsure of him or her self, not knowing where they are headed in life completely out of balance, floundering. Then after having trained in the higher aspects of Taijiquan completely change all of their negative traits to positive ones, to me, this is miraculous!
It's interesting to note that not one of the 'new maters' teachers were able to do supernatural feats such as their students are now able to do. Yang Sau-chung for instance, the son of Yang Cheng-fu, did not perform any supernatural feats, neither did Cheng Man-ching. Both however, did some things that looked supernatural but were really only natural, making use of perfect body alignment and timing etc., and the ability to listen with their hands to every minute movement of energy of their opponent. But Cheng or any of the Yang family never knocked people down from a distance, nor did they 'control' the Qi or their opponent from a distance so that the attacker went into a trance unable to move! Students would see their teachers doing what seemed to be supernatural. They tried to emulate this but could not because they simply had not been training for long enough, so they resorted to tricks. They had to have bigger and better tricks than even their teachers.
Many say to me that the Qi disruption is supernatural. It isn't, it is purely physical involving magnetism and electricity, (Qi) and cannot be done from a distance of more than one centre metre away. It is not supernatural; it involves a physical ability that anyone can learn. It is not the ability of the practitioner that is miraculous but rather the phenomenon that causes Qi disruption. And God has given that.
They Search and They Search
The human body is the most naturally miraculous thing that you will ever come across, and it's you, YOU are miraculous, you do not need these so-called masters fooling you into believing that if you follow only their system, that you will become superman. You are already superman or woman. But, they will continue searching and searching as every generation before them has done. Don't you think that everyone, who has ever thought, has thought of the same things, and tried to find the same things? Why is it that we think that WE will be the first one? Sadly, most people look at Taijiquan for all the wrong reasons, and in doing so, miss out on the greatest experience that life will have to offer, that of knowing who and what you are and more importantly, where you are going and what you need to do. Taijiquan can give you this and more. Just stop thinking!