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Thread: The nature of power

  1. #1
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    The nature of power

    Did you ever wonder what power means when talking about kung fu?

    If you start reading kung fu books, you will find all kinds of different "powers". I think I always see kung fu guys talking about "fa jing" power. There is spiraling or circular power. I think there are lots of them.

    For me? I don't like those kinds of explanations. I am not chinese and I did not grow up in chinese culture. I do not have the necessary background so that terms like "fa jing" would make any sense to me.

    As a western english speaking person, I wanted someone to talk to me about power in terms I could understand. I learned about energy and power in college, bu those ideas are too complex to teach someone in a kung fu class. You would lose your audience within 10 minutes if you started talking college ideas about power.

    What I wanted was a very simple obvious way that I could tell a 16 year old new kung fu student so they would understand what power is. The answer is as simple as it should be.

    Power can be defined as expansion of something.

    If I am a human being and I expand my arms out from by body, I can push an object away from me. If I expand my leg away from my body, I can kick someone with it or push some object away from me. If someone gets me in a bear hug, I expand my entire body to break the bear hug.

    I think even a child can understand those visual images. This is an adult kung fu forums though, in the Tai Chi section of the forums. The things posted above, will accurate and maybe helpful, are rather simplistic for an adult Tai Chi man to use and learn from.
    ---------------------------------

    When you begin to learn high level kung fu, you will be told that a move is associated with a particular internal organ. A move might be a liver move or a spleen move or a heart move. Alternatively, you will be told that the movement involves an internal organ. This is a subtle difference but it is a difference.

    When my instructors told me about heart moves and liver moves, I was completely lost. To me, the liver was something inside of your body that did blood filtering. If you were an alcholic, your liver would go bad. The idea of kung fu being involved with the liver was a fantastic claim to me.

    If I was a jerk, a rude person, an asshole, I could have said "Ahhh, your stupid teacher. The liver is inside of your body. Kung fu has nothing to do with the liver. I think you have a small dick and no education. I think you had problems with your family. I think you are a kook and should seek psychiatric help".

    But then, if I talked like that, he would rightfully have kicked me out of the class and I would not have learned anything.

    Instead, because I knew my kung fu instructor was smart, and I knew I was smart and could figure out anything he could, I began thinking, observing, and researching. Eventually I hit on an answer that made sense to me.

    When a kung fu man says that a move is a liver move, that move can be visualized as the liver expanding and causing the body to move. If the move is a heart move, the move can be visualized as the heart expanding and causing the body to move.

    This is really a simple idea. I could post a picture I suppose but it is so trivial I do not see the need. If the discussion requires it, I will post a demonstration picture.
    ------------------------

    Kung fu is simple and easy. All that needs to be done is to translate the foreign culture of chinese to western culture. Then use common sense, and the brain that you were given as part of your tool kit for this world to figure out what is going on.

  2. #2
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    That's a damn interesting concept. I've never thought of it that way.

    I had always thought, when a move was being associated with an internal organ, that it was the flow of energy that conected the move with the organ. That's to say, I had always pictured it as, for some metaphysical reason, when you body is held in certain positioins the flow of energy shifts as well and is aligned to pass through that particular organ. I suppose this theory could work in conjuction with your theory, just that I never thought of it that way.

    If an organ is expanding, as well as contracting, durring a certain movement then the organ is having energy pass through it. If this is the case it would be easy to see how qi gong would work and be beneficial for a particular organ. For example, if you hold a particular qi gong position that has been proven to be associated with your heart, then in fact your heart is expanding (differently than what it normaly does to pump blood), and theirfor energy passes through it. If you are to continue holding this position then the energy passing through the heart channel would eventually be able to regulate and ballance itself.

    Just as pullups draw blood into your bicepts, the expansion off your heart would draw your energy into and through your heart channel/vessel.

    It makes more sense than just energy flowing through a particular organ because that what it does when you hold your arms above your head and breath slow. It gives a reason to the why!

    A good theory, if nothing else.
    "Winners turn to losers, losers are forgotten..." - A Tribe Called Quest

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by baiwanxi
    I had always thought, when a move was being associated with an internal organ, that it was the flow of energy that conected the move with the organ. That's to say, I had always pictured it as, for some metaphysical reason, when you body is held in certain positioins the flow of energy shifts as well and is aligned to pass through that particular organ. I suppose this theory could work in conjuction with your theory, just that I never thought of it that way.
    I agree with this. When you talk to people though, the first thing they say is "there is no such thing as energy".

    How do you explain something to another person, when the refuse to accept words needed for the explanation? You have to go somewhere they feel comfortable.

    Even the most reluctant listener would have a hard time denying that an organ could expand or contract. And anyone can visualize what expansion and contraction looks like.

    If you say "the organ expanded and pushed the arm or leg to look the way it does", people are more likely to accept that statement because they are familiar with it. If you say "Moving the arm or leg into a specific position allows the flow of energy from that organ into the arm and leg".......you usually get ridicule or disbelief.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Happeh
    Even the most reluctant listener would have a hard time denying that an organ could expand or contract. And anyone can visualize what expansion and contraction looks like.
    Well, just for the record, the heart actively contracts and passively expands. The liver usually only expands during disease states, such as fluid overload, right heart failure, chemical toxicity, neoplastic disorders and various types of infections. It only "contracts" again, during disease states, such as cirrhosis. The act of contraction or expansion takes quite a while; if one were to associate movement of extremities with expansion and contraction of the liver, well, movement would be pretty damn slow.
    Experienced Community organizer. Yeah, let's choose him to run the free world. It will be historic. What could possibly go wrong...

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  5. #5
    There are also many other organs which do expand, but due to various reasons. It is very interesting to analize energy channeling through organs. And it is vital to "visualize" the energy movements through the body to understand taijiquan or martial arts principles.
    No one can deny the existance of energy. If you really explain yourself, in the most simple of terms, anyone can understand. They'd probably not believe you, but in time, they might end up believing you.
    This is similar to religion and religious beliefs: repeat, repeat, repeat the concepts, and some might end up believing...
    No Chumbas, por favor!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by shimanqi
    No one can deny the existance of energy. ...
    Hello. I think you have not read around these forums too much. The people who post for the majority seem to disbelieve in energy.

    And they claim to be kung fu men.

  7. #7
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    physical movement of the organs have nothig to do with fighting, the production of explosive power, or anything of that sort. thats all im saying.


    muscles and tendons on the other hand, do...

    baiwanxi and shimanqi, you guys need to stop encouraging happeh's theories which lack ogic, common sense, empirical data intelligence and thought, i know that you're just trying to be nice and there's nothing wrong with that, but sometimes you just have to be honest.

    happeh, if you really want to learn chinese martial arts and traditional chinese medicine, they have schools for that kind of stuff all over the place now.

    honestly, what kind of theories do yo wish to contribute to thousands of years of scientific medical research? and on top of that, not even knowing the basics of which you are contributing to?

    p.s. baiwanxi, if you want to know how the organs are involved in traditional chinese mdicine, why dont you get a book on the subject eh?
    "Life is a run. In attack we run, in defense we run. When you can no longer run, time to die" - Shichiroji "Seven samurai"

  8. #8
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    You are wrong Master Splinter. There is so much evidence out there that the internal organs are involved in kung fu. There are entire arts based on the interactions between specific movements of the body, and their effects on the internal organs.

    Maybe I can make even you understand with an extremely simple example.

    We take a half gallon milk carton, because it is an easy to visualize simple shape. The human body is a complex shape so it causes confusion to try to visualize it.

    We then take a meatball or anything you can think of that is spherical and put it in the milk carton. Then we fill the milk cartoon up with water.

    What will happen if you squeeze the rectangular milk carton, while simultaneously preventing the water from escaping from the carton? You do know some science don't you?

    The pressure inside of the milk carton will increase, as the volume contained within the milk carton shrinks. That means the meatball or whatever spherical object was put inside of the milk carton, will be put under more pressure.

    What do you think would happen with a human body then? The heart, the liver, the spleen etc, are like the meatball inside of the milk carton. The human body is the milk carton.

    If you move the human body, the physical volume enclosed by the torso will be compressed in different ways, putting pressure on those organs. It is all simple physics master splinter. If you would stop hating me and think, you would see how easy this all is.
    -------------

    I shouldn't say this because it will confuse you, but the example above is.....only one way to visualize how the internal organs are affected by kung fu. There are actual physical connections between the body and the internal organs. There is not only a fluid pressure connection like the one described above.

  9. #9
    It's a shame Happeh wasn't here to help us understand these concepts.

    I miss that baby avatar of his...
    Experienced Community organizer. Yeah, let's choose him to run the free world. It will be historic. What could possibly go wrong...

    "You're just a jaded cynical mother****er...." Jeffpeg

    (more comments in my User Profile)
    russbo.com



  10. #10
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    yes, and happeh loved us no matter what...with all our flaws, and, well, everything. a man of great wisdom and compassion...yes, he was.

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