Some days its fun to just talk about myself rather than try to push my agendas. So today I thought I’d tell you something about me that you likely don’t know. Although you know I am a physicist and systems engineer you don’t know that I am a martial artist. I’ve been one for more than 40 years.
In the last fifteen years I’ve concentrated on internal martial arts; tai ji, ba qua and xing yi. These all are martial arts and each of them have different energies and feels to them. There is an old saying that tai ji makes you healthy, ba qua makes you strong and xing yi makes you aggressive. Lately I am doing a lot more ba qua each day.
Ba Qua is an art tied very heavily to the I Ching, the book of Changes. Sometimes it is called the Eight Fold Way. Ba Qua has what are called palm changes that let you change direction quickly and without effort (after lots of training). The palm changes each have different energies associated with them and different trigrams with each change. They are Heaven, Earth, Wind, Thunder, Fire, Water, Mountain and Lake. When training with what is called the I Ching Palm changes you learn to put the energies associated with each trigram into yourself. Once you feel it in the palm change you can sit in meditation and put in into yourself without moving. If you lose that energy you get up and do that palm change again until you feel the energy again.
Once you master the trigrams you move on to the hexagrams where you combine two energies such as Wind over Lake simultaneously. These hexagrams correspond to specific hexagrams in the I Ching that talks about behavior and prediction. The art is fascinating as it combines superior fighting skill, great health benefits and a full Taoist meditation practice in the complete art. At the end of the 1800’s the premier bodyguards of the Chinese emperor were Ba Qua practitioners along with Yang style Tai Ji adepts.
Sometimes in the fighting practice I get slightly damaged such as a knee twinge or a twisted forearm. When that happens I truncate my Ba Qua practice for two or three days and concentrate on Tai Ji for its healing abilities. It always works.
Why am I telling you all this and what does it have to do with clarity. Well, nothing. I thought I’d share a personal bit with you. Although when I have a tough decision to make I may do an hour of Ba Qua circle walking to clear the mechanism and let the energy help me decide. Besides these arts keep me very active, healthy and happy.
Love and the Tao to all of you.