The Last Knock Out
By Erle Montaigue: 11th July 1998

People still ask me to knock them out just to see what it is like. They want to feel for themselves this tremendous power that one person has over another so that they can be confident in knowing that what they are learning actually works. But it should not be that way because as I get older and hopefully wiser, I realise that those who I used to demonstrate upon, have power over me!

And this is the way it should be in a normal, caring human being. This is the way of Tao, the weak overcoming the strong. I never realised the real meaning of Tao until I worked out one of my recurring nightmares which related back to my last knock out. I have not had that nightmare ever since. I used to wake up in a cold sweat after having dreamt that I had knocked a smaller person out and could not revive him.

My Last Knock Out

The last knock out was when I was in London one year and knocked out this very nice but tough Londoner. We were doing some grappling and I was demonstrating how easy it was to knock someone out with two fingers while in a grappling situation. He recovered OK, but was never the same tough man ever since. He seemed to have lost his liveliness or his will. When I saw him on a couple of occasions afterwards, he seemed like he was afraid, not of me but of everything. I felt ill mentally and physically for years afterwards having done such a thing purely for ego, wanting to show how good I was at controlling someone! He has since recovered some of his former glory due to some pretty hefty sub-consciousness healing put his way over the years but I feel no better having shown such base human tendencies.

Last Knock Out: Long Ago

Once upon a time, students, or rather 'disciples', those who are the chosen few who the teacher takes on to receive all of the system, would never even think to question their teacher as to the effectiveness of what he or she was teaching. It was enough to know by demonstration that the student could not even touch the instructor, let alone strike him. However, people now want more and more proof of the physiology of the human body and ask to be knocked out. I doubt that they would ask these things knowing what pain it causes their instructor to have to do this to them. I am reminded of the old story of Sun Luc-tang (the greatest of all Baguazhang practitioners), who was asked to show his fighting method by fighting this large wrestler in front of many people. Sun refused, even after repeated strikes and pushes by his opponent. He was forever after known as "Sun the coward". This wrestler pursued Sun all over the province trying to provoke him into fighting until one time he physically attacked Sun with heavy blows to the point where Sun knew that if he did not do something he would be seriously hurt. So with one palm, Sun almost killed the wrestler putting him into hospital for weeks. After that, everyone wanted to become Sun's student but Sun turned them all down saying that if he had to almost kill someone to gain respect, then what is it all worth! He retreated to the mountains to train and was never seen again.

There is only one reason only, for someone to knock someone else out in demonstration either in a class situation or one on one and that is for ego. To show that one person has power over another. I know it's a cliché, but I do wish I knew then what I now know.

Last Knock Out: The Warrior

As a warrior gets older, the healer in he or she should take over from the fighter. He should realise that the fighting skills will never leave and can be summoned forth at any time so that the healing skills can be nurtured. And this in brought about by simply healing! It is such a wonderful thing to have the power to help someone in need, a young child who is healed by a simple touch or an old person who is made happy by a touch or a few words or some gesture that may seem small to others but which is huge to that person at that time in their life. All those years spent punishing oneself doing Qigong and Taijiquan, learning how to fight, knowing that you had the jewel in the crown of the martial arts, learning for all the wrong reasons, now take on a totally different and wonderful meaning. You learn that you do not have the power to hurt someone, but rather the power to help others to realise that they too have much power and can learn to put that power to help others rather than to hurt.

Last Knock Out: Now Days

I receive so many e-mail messages and letters from people asking how to fight, how they can become the greatest fighter of all time, what martial art is the best, which martial arts should they take up to defeat a grappler or a puncher or is such and such a system better than some other system. I become tired with these inane questions but also know that these were the same questions that I used to ask! As each new generation of potential supermen arrives at my door for instruction in realising their dream to become the greatest fighter ever, I wonder how I am able to let them know that if they keep studying for long enough, these ideas will diminish with time and knowledge. That one day they will no longer have a need for speed and that their priorities will change. But I cannot tell them; they do not listen! It's like telling a young man that he will think of other things other than sex as he grows older and begins to route his essential energies into the areas that he is meant to be in. It's impossible, sex is the most important area in a young man's life and nothing will convince him that one day his views on this will change, or that his second love, that of becoming superman will also diminish. I know why Sun left for the mountains, I often feel like doing that myself but would never do it as I also know the absolute joy and need that one person has to give and to heal. We all need that returned Qi from those that we help and heal. Just think of it like this.

To heal someone of some imbalance is a great thing and requires much giving of Qi. However, due to the natural laws under which we all live, there must be an equal energy coming back to you, I call this the 'thanks' Qi. There is nothing truer than, "to give is to receive and the take is to be taken from". This is the law of God and the law of nature. If you see someone who needs help, give it if you are able. But also remember this. Often someone will need help from a certain person because that person also needs healing, so they help each other. So my advice is that when you feel like you just cannot stop yourself form healing, then do it as it is real and needs to happen at that particular moment and situation. However, spontaneous healing is also needed. We need to heal like we need to pee! If we do not pee then we die physically, if we do not heel then we die spiritually. So be aware of this need in yourself and perhaps the next time you are in a supermarket and see that old lady looking at prices trying to work out her often non-existent budget, drop a $10.00 note on the floor near her foot, bend down saying "excuse me, I believe you dropped this" and walk off. You will feel one thousand times better than if you were superman or were able to knock ten people out in five seconds! It's not just the physical help that this gesture gives, but also the wonderful healing of making that person happy and having a little faith in human nature in an ever-increasing selfish world.