Many people, when they think of kung fu, think of exercises that border on supernatural. While some of this has to do with the way kung fu has been branded in the western world, other things come from people’s misunderstandings of the principles exercised (making those who accomplish them look supernatural, when, in fact, they are only maximizing their natural state). Here’s an example: Energy.
Take, for example, the above quote. Some of you reading this will see that and think it’s a bunch of hocus pocus. Well, that’s a bit natural to think given the lack of any real, practical explanation. So, let’s talk about energy. How do I get more energy? Really!
Some will tell you it comes with eating differently, or exercising, or changing your job, or something like that. Now, how many times in your life have you tried something like that and felt no difference in your energy level? You see: The issue with making generic changes is they don’t focus on the real principle with the power to re-charge you. What’s that? Purpose.
Try, instead of changing because you’re desperate or “have to”, finding a purpose that speaks to your heart and soul; then, begin to take real steps to live that purpose. If that’s a change in job, make the new job one that fulfills your sense of purpose. If it’s exercise or learning martial arts or self-defense or kung-fu, make sure you go about it in a way that fulfills your purpose. If it’s a change in location (e.g., where you live), make sure you seek a place that speaks to your sense of purpose before committing.
Then, enjoy the increased energy.
Now, there are other aspects to increased energy than meditation and storing up energy. (Believe it or not, that’s what some people think leads to increased energy.) If you’re not spending energy on purpose, you won’t increase energy for use. You see: Purposefully exercising your energy leads to a greater resource of energy.
But, this does come with a catch: You have to use that energy wisely, or the fire you have (that charge you feel while living your purpose) can consume you, leaving you too run-down to keep living as you’re called to live.
Real kung fu (i.e., way of life) seeks this; that is, the real kung fu practitioner seeks this for him or her self. This is what makes each practitioner’s kung fu different than anyone else’s, and what, in my opinion, makes kung fu beautiful to experience (or painful to fight against). You see: How we live our purpose and use our energy in the process is not just about what we do with ourselves; it has everything to do with that and how that self relates to the environment around us (e.g., atmosphere, animals, plants, people, light, sound, etc.).
Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to make this sound like it’s to replace your faith. It’s not. All we’re doing is taking ourselves, as created, and finding and listening and living according to that calling that is unique to the life we’ve been given. And, yes, self-defense is a part of that. But that’s the subject of another article (e.g., What is Self-Defense? Really!).
If you’re interested in kung fu or increasing your energy, come by the kwoon (school), and let’s talk about your goals, your interests, and other things of interest; then, let’s explore how kung fu can help you achieve your full potential. After all, we’re trying to master kung fu, not be mastered by it. It should be a tool for you, not a weight to be bound to.