Martial Arts and Wellness
Martial arts and the warrior spirit
Martial arts in it's many forms and functions have been a path to growth and empowerment since time immemorial. At its most basic and primordial expression, martial arts present a set of techniques and movements that serve as exercise and self defense. But underneath, within, and above, there is a world of mental and spiritual constructs that can lead to self awareness and power. People choose to study and train for a host of reasons, but a common thread that I have found is a desire for improvement and refinement of the self. Facing the inner opponent of judgment, fear, and defeat to uncover one's true nature is the spirit of Martial Arts and one of the true missions of the Warrior.
Kung fu as an outlook for life
Surprising to some perhaps, Kung Fu (or Gong Fu) doesn't specifically translate to martial arts and there are many misconceptions about the philosophy. Kung Fu is a Chinese term that simply means the acquiring of skill through discipline, time, and effort. That's right, no punching and kicking involved! - Yet. Kung Fu is a way of applying one's self to any task, to follow through with consistency and attention, and to aim for mastery. In this sense of the word, Kung Fu can be applied to anything! From painting, to dancing, to arithmetic, to (here it is) punching and kicking, Kung Fu is a way of life. It is about refining skills, cultivating talent, and tapping into inherent power to channel it throughout our lives.
T'ai Chi Ch'uan (Taiji Quan) is a Chinese martial art style and internal practice that is rooted in ancient Taoist philosophy. The practice of T'ai Chi can be manifested physically against an opponent or utilized as a longevity enhancing practice,but T'ai Chi is fundamentally a philosophy and set of principles that can be applied to all kinds of things in life. T'ai Chi philosophy suggests that the dynamic interplay between seemingly opposite forces (Yin/Yang, cold/hot, dark/light) is the foundation for all of the phases of nature and creation, and that It is this interlocking balance that makes everything possible. The health benefits of this time tested practice have been known by many for centuries, and are now being scientifically confirmed across the board. With chronic stress being a root problem of numerous health concerns, adding this practice can be a wonderful addition to a wellness based lifestyle. T'ai Chi can bring balance, strength, focus, and peace to a practitioners life.