One important aspect of practicing martial arts is the philosophy behind it. Long-time martial arts practitioner Nadiya previously shared how the life energy called chi helps her “generate new ideas, overcome difficulties, and find positive ways of communication and teaching.” But as she explained, the subtle nature of this chi, combined with the distractions and stresses of everyday life, make it difficult for people to feel the flow of this energy. This, according to Nadiya, is where kung fu training comes in handy as it aids people in balancing, concentrating, and harnessing their chi so they can make full use of it.
One of the most famous proponents of martial arts philosophy was Bruce Lee. Lee believed in the power of chi and how it could be interwoven into martial arts training.
Here now are 5 philosophies that you can apply to your kung fu training.
Be Like Water
It was in 1971 in an episode of Longstreet when Lee famously spoke his famous “be like water” metaphor, which is perfect for kung fu practitioners. Lee got his inspiration from another master, Lao Tzu. But why water? Being like water allows you to be flexible and accepting of whatever life throws at you. It also helps you move freely and naturally, thus allowing your chi to flow effortlessly throughout your body.
VIDEO: Bruce Lee – Be Water Quote
You Hold the Key
Lee often sought advice from other philosophers to improve his martial art training. The philosopher Jiddu Krishnamurti from India is where Lee learnt the “hold the key” way of thinking. Krishnamurti wrote “In oneself lies the world and if you know how to look and learn, the door is there and the key is in your hand”. This simply means that you are in control of how you view life, and that you are in charge of what to do with it. If you view life in a positive light, it will be easier to you to harness your life energy through kung fu and use it to accomplish whatever you set your mind to.
There Is Something Within
Within you is what Lee calls a “great force,” an “untapped power,” a “dynamic something within me.” Kung fu and positive thinking can help you unleash this inner potential. The Master, when needed, was able to unleash that inner force, and that ability was part of the legend of Lee, who remains almost mythical even now.
Through his philosophies and way of living, Lee was able to continuously elevate himself. This led him to becoming a global icon, whose presence is still strong today. In his ancestral home in Foshan, China there is an entire park dedicated to the icon, where visitors can learn about Lee’s life. In popular culture, Lee has come to represent quality. The online slot game Bruce Lee by Slingo embraces the principles of Lee through the different images of him from his famous films. Evidently the dedication and philosophies of Lee not only made him a fighting machine, but also a charismatic, hard-to-forget icon.
Have Faith in Yourself
There are many different philosophies associated with Bruce Lee, but the one thread that links them all is that Lee wants you to believe in yourself always. You can achieve your aspirations if you believe. Having this unwavering faith in yourself will give you the right mindset to train even harder, knowing that harnessing your chi will help you channel this self-belief into life energy.
In Lee’s lean years, he wrote “Walk on!” at the back of one of his business cards as a reminder to just keep moving forward. This was after a difficult period in his life when he was struggling to support his family and had seriously injured his back. This mindset is crucial not only to your kung fu training, but to your life as well. Whatever happens, just keep pushing forward, just as Lee did.