Buddhanature in Inner Martial Arts
Oskar: What are these qi gong exercises for? Any spesific yogic purpose I mean? (Comment to this video).
Hi Oskar. I come from a tradition that combines dharma practice
with martial and fine arts. But I realise it is very difficult for me
to answer what would be the purpose of it. Well, there are common
reasons, like learning to unify the body and to move with a unified
body. This alone is a tremendously rewarding learning process and we
can all understand what is the benefit of learning how to use and
carry our bodies well aligned. You don't learn this from only doing
sitting practices, nor you learn it from Western sports. From the
purely physical perspective, Alexander technique is somewhat close to
what is done in (specifically) Chinese "inner martial arts"
but what is done inwardly in Chinese arts, that knowledge is entirely
absent in modern sports and forms of exercise whatever they may be.
The result of this can be seen how (fit) people carry their bodies,
how people jog and so on. There is no inner structure, no inner
composition or understanding how the body could be used in optimal
Regarding the internal aspects of what I am doing on the video, I wriote this few days ago: http://openheartopenheart.blogspot.com/2021/07/doing-nothing-just-stand.html
What you are seeing on the video is atiyoga from one perspective of mind, while simultaneously using dynamic concentration (active mental pushing while doing the pushing movement). Here from the point of view of mind, the basic state and the action of dynamic concentration (in the form of physical and mental pushing) are of same taste, and not two separate things.
Typically active mental pushing, called yi in Chinese, pronounced ee in English (the yi in yiquan, lit. intent), in inner martial arts is practiced just like mindfulness is cultivated by mindfulness practitioners. Mindfulness is always momentary and then you get distracted. Thosewith excellent concentration abilities can remain mindful for as long as they want but this doesn't mean that the basic state would be there as a sort of bedrock. So, to me, merely cultivating active mental pushing (yi) in yiquan momentarily, just like the practice of mindfulness, is incomplete. This is the reason why I spent years in dharma practice stabilising the basic state. Now when it is stabilised, I feel ready and very motivated to give my inner state an external expression, here through this movement. And as you can see there are no “gaps”.
To me, all forms of practice have always been about reality and it's expression and this is also of course how Terayama Sensei taught. But even long before that,when I started judo at 7, I wasn't interested about belt colours or competing. It's been a life long haul and now finally, with unshakable confidence, I can focus on inner martial arts and bodywork.
I don't know what I can accomplish through this but because I took a vow of trying to bring zen arts to Westerners and people of the world, that is what I will do.
- Kim, 4.7.2021