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Posts Tagged ‘Chi’

Lethal Weapon

Tuesday, January 12th, 2010

The first action you must take after achieving your black belt is to register your hands as lethal weapons. It’s you civic duty to inform society how dangerous you are.

I remember the day I did. It was a horribly miserable August afternoon. Bleeding, bruised, and covered in dirt, from already enduring a twelve hour test, I was standing in the middle of a field with ten Eagle Claw masters circled around me. At once, all ten warriors attacked me for the final phase of my black belt exam.

Moving with the grace of a ballet dancer, my hands and feet shot out like exploding grenades. I moved faster than the wind. Within seconds, my opponents were eating grass and begging their master not to make them attack again. I stared at the master, showed him my mantis claw. He ran away, leaving his injured students behind. My Sifu was so impressed with my ability he told me to go immediately to the police station and register my hands.

Arriving at police headquarters, I informed them of my lethalness. Out of nowhere, this huge cop grabs me and tries to throw me down.

How silly of him.

Careful not to injure the officer, I made sure he landed on top of his desk instead of the floor when I flipped him using the secret tiger leaps from mountain and kills pregnant antelope technique. The entire department gasped in awe as the big man sailed over my shoulder. The officer who attacked me rolled off his desk and offered a handshake. Said he did that as a test to everyone who comes in to register their hands. I nodded, smiled, adjusted my new black belt, and shook his hand.

From there, officers led me down a dark narrow hallway. They blindfolded me, pushed me into a room that smelled of gunpowder and burnt rubber and locked the door. I could hear water dripping somewhere. Though completely blind, I sensed others in the room. I drew a deep breath and centered my chi as I prepared to use the blind monk escapes the cave and attacks one-legged merchant in village technique. I quickly exhaled. I was now one with the room.

For the next seven hours, I went through a series of grueling tests that involved handcuffs, shotguns, tennis balls, ninja stars, smoke bombs, Taser guns, and a live goat.

At the conclusion, the chief of police said he was sure glad I was one of the good guys, but being that he’d never seen anyone as amazing as me, I needed to register my hands and feet. I agreed. Just registering my hands wasn’t being totally honest. With my killer kicks, I actually equaled two lethal weapons.

I filled out the proper forms, swore in before the judge of my lethalness, took the oath only to use kung fu when in danger, and was issued the official Lethal Weapon card. (Only Mel Gibson and I carry multiple lethal weapon cards). The police even gave me a small badge that I must wear whenever I’m in public that informs people that I’m a hands-registered black belt.

Of course, the story above is false-well; some parts of it-but you’d be surprised how many times I’ve been asked if a person must register their hands once they become a black belt.

The answer is an absolute NO. Registering your hands is an urban legend, a Hollywood myth. There is no such registry and research has failed to reveal any statutory, regulatory, or other requirements that boxers or martial artists must register their hands.

I did read, however, of several court cases where jurors considered a defendant’s MA or boxing experience when deciding the outcome of their case. In 1988, (Wyo. 1988) the Wyoming Supreme Court convicted a man of aggravated assault for punching someone in the head. The defendant’s training in boxing supported the jury’s findings on his mental state. I also discovered a website where you can pay $34.95 to register your hands with this company. I wish I’d thought of that marketing idea.

Bottom Line: As martial artists, the courts hold us to a higher standard than regular civilians, as we should be. Discipline and control is the cornerstone of martial arts. Just use common sense. If you are at the grocery store and a guy bumps into you, don’t break his leg. However if someone is in your home to kill, steal, or destroy, then all bets are off.      You unleash on them.

That goes for terrorists attacking you on a plane. I have no problem using the kung fu master completely decimates the lunatic screaming “death to infidels” technique.

The Real McChi

Wednesday, December 17th, 2008

One of the most misunderstood aspects of Kung Fu is the power of Chi. The simple explanation is that Chi is our inner energy. In some circles, Chi is given an almost mythical representation that is far from the truth. We have all seen the movies where they use “Chi Magic” or somehow move something with their Chi.

Some people do not believe that Chi even exists, but it most certainly does, just not like it is portrayed in the movies. The idea of Chi has been around for thousands of years, and is just recently being explored and accepted in modern western medicine. Our entire body is connected to our brain through nerves; from our inner organs to our muscles to our skin. With a simple thought we can move our hand–but how? Our brain sends a small electrical signal to our muscles causing them to contract or relax (extend). When something touches our arm another electrical pulse is sent to the brain, where it registers the location, duration, and intensity of the touch. The human body is one big electrical machine. The electrical impulse that controls our body is our Chi–our inner energy. It cannot extend outside of the body, nor does it diminish with use. It is our own little electricity grid to power everything in our body.

Yes, Chi can be controlled. It takes years of practice to be able to simply feel your Chi. To be able to move it and control it is normally a lifelong journey, but it is most certainly possible. One of the main purposes for Chi control in Kung Fu is power. On a normal day-to-day basis, even while working out, we utilize only a small part of our muscles’ potential power. It can be seen/heard of from the many miraculous stories of life and death situations where someone did some seemingly impossible feat of strength. In these instances, our brain can release our entire muscle strength for the purpose of preserving life. It is our basic Fight or Flight response. Now imagine if you could call upon some of that at will?

Power is just one of the many uses of Chi. At TKFF, the use of Chi in Seven Star Preying Mantis Kung Fu is integral with techniques and applications. Over time you will learn to feel and eventually manipulate your Chi. It is a long and arduous path that is well worth the time.