Saturday, December 18, 2010

Bamboo and Mercury - training with a sabre

One of the characteristics of the bamboo is straight outside and hollow inside. Ancient Chinese scholars used it to signify the upright character of a respectable gentleman.

Internal Martial Art requires a practitioner to utilise his internal force like "mercury in a bamboo pipe", to facilitate non-dissipation of power during force transmission process. In an ideal situation, the force as transmitted should like mercury flowing freely within a bamboo pipe.

In the classic article "The General Principle of Consecutive Taiji Sabre Techniques", Master Wang Yu Yau (1615-1684) disclosed the secret of using a heavy sabre to develop the free float of energy. Wang criticizes the mistakes of those people who use physical strength to maneuver a saber of light weight. In reality, such a practitioner gathers his strength first before moving the sabre. The end result is unsatisfactory as his strength has been locked up in his bones - the movement turns out to be slow and the weight of the sabre will not assist.

Making use of the weight of a heavy sabre and maneuver the same with a relaxed body, a practitioner's internal energy flows towards and inside the saber - like the flowing of mercury inside a bamboo pipe.

The weight of the heavy sabre leads the body, assisting a practitioner to develop the connection of power channels within the body.

Unlike training with a sword (with "gate of life" opened most of the time), sabre movements lay importance on the closing of the "gate of life".

Trainings with heavy tools should be performed with care - do not go for it if your body is not fit enough to master the tools.