Monday, November 9, 2020


Taiji Mind Body Spirit Connection:

While conducting an outdoor class the other day a student asked me "When does the Spirit become understood"?
For me the Mind and Body connection was a much easier concept to grasp and apply compared to that of the spirit. The mind and body work together well and efficiently with proper Taiji practice.
The Spiritual aspect if it is to be realized at all takes much more effort .
It's like having three kids. The quiet child is often the hardest to know and understand. With all the activity and noise surrounding the other two the quiet one becomes almost invisible.
Sometimes it seems that you have to first deal with the other two and teach them to relax and settle down before you get a chance to spend time with the quiet one. But when you do begin to understand the unique value the quiet one offers to the rest of the family you'll wonder how you ever got along with out them.
I had learn to deal with the first two long before I met the third. My Taiji training has introduced me to the quiet one. Not to play favorites, but getting to know the quiet one has made more of a difference than the other two combined. The mind and body although important will never reach their true potential without the third because that is the missing element that unifies all three (the whole family). For me that is where the highest level of balance, understanding and contentment can be achieved.
I have barely scratched the surface of understanding this special relationship but already feel it's influence on the whole.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Open Style Grappling 2016 Rules

OSG 2016 Rules

Rules may be updated periodically to improve fairness and safety for competitors . Please check with officials and attend Grapplers Meeting before any competitions . 
Next Event: Orlando FL July 10, 2016.

Open Style Grappling

Uniform and protective equipment and other requirements:
  • Contestants must wear a T-shirt or uniform top, Martial arts pants or fight shorts, . No jewelry or watches and nails must be trimmed. All contestants must be bare footed,
Note: Contestant must be free of serious infectious diseases 
Competition area:
  • The competition area consists of one ring which is a square. The square being approximately 15 x 15 feet in size. (May vary venue to venue)
Match Format:
  • A match consists of three 2-minute rounds with a 1 Minute break in between rounds. 
  • The clock will stop when the Center Referee stops the action for infractions, injuries or technical reasons.
  • The round is scored at the end of the 2 minute period
  • The winner of the first two round wins the match
Preparation and Progression of Match:
  • Play is begun with the contestants in a forward stance
  • When play is stopped for any reason, contestants return to the starting position
The contestants can use all the pushing, tripping, grappling, throwing techniques with all body parts except the head, but no punching, kicking, full sweeping, attacking on the head, clawing or striking the throat, eyes, ears or groin.
  • One point is awarded if the throw was completed when the contestant executing the throw remains  in a position of control (Including on the ground).
  • One point is given for maintaining control on the ground
  • One point is awarded if the opponent on the ground is able to get to his feet or gain a dominant position
  • Three points are awarded if an individual falls or is taken down inside or outside the ring while the other remains standing
  • Stepping on the perimeter line constitutes outside the ring.
  • 3 Points are awarded for a perfectly executed throw and the contestant executing the throw remains standing
  • Contestants will be called back to a stand up position due to prolonged inactivity on the ground
  • Contestants can also win the round by submission at any point in any given round.

Round Winner:
  • A round is awarded if a contestant reaches (12) points
  • A round ending with a tie score: contestant that possessed more control over opponent or cleaner technique will be awarded the round
Match Winner:           The first contestant who wins the first two rounds wins the match
Warnings: Illegal Techniques & violations
  • Kicking, striking, kneeing and elbowing
  • Spiking (Pile Driving)
  • Slamming opponent to the ground with excessive force
  • Attacking to the head, neck, throat, ears or groin
  • Attacking or locking the joints with intention to injure
  • Attacking or pushing with head
  • Pulling hair or clothes
  • Using any technique determined to cause injury
  • Receiving coaching during the round
  • Avoiding engagement with opponent.  (Stalling)
  • Any joint lock or choke applied with the intention to injure will be cause for immediate disqualification to the contestant applying the technique
Each warning will result in a point being awarded to the other contestant
3 warnings in a match will result in the loss of the match
Disqualification:      The following will result in immediate disqualification
  • Excessive and dangerous use of force
  • Accumulation of 3 warnings
  • Attacking the eyes
  • Unsportsmanlike conduct by the athlete or coach


Friday, January 2, 2015

New series of short Stories -Child's First Prayer

Child's First Prayer

While living in China I had the privilege of sharing my home with my niece (as well as my two youngest children). One morning she innocently asked me 2 questions that I could not answer. "Does God shower and does he have big feet". I told her that I honestly don't know, but I find that when searching for answers it is best to go directly to the source. She replied "OK how do I do that". At that moment, I understood that she had never said a prayer. I told her it is really quite simple, close your eyes, think about what you would like to say and point your thoughts towards God. If you stay very quiet and relaxed you will hear the answer. She did and told me she got a yes to both. I guess life does not have to be that complicated.

Kids make the greatest teachers.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Kung Fu's Effectiveness Questioned

Kung Fu's Effectiveness Questioned ?

Keep in mind, I am a devoted (but open minded) Taiji Player with a life long connection to martial arts and the past 25 yrs to Taiji (almost exclusively) .
Some basic reasons why Kung Fu is considered less effective than some of the Martial Arts presently in the spot light today such as MMA. 

All arts have their weaknesses and strengths. Arts must evolve with the environment and the time, failure to do so may make a once effective style less than that.

 Often some current Kung Fu stylists refuse to see this point. Kung Fu has always been a fighting art and some lines remain true to their original purpose and continue to adapt. Others do not and have lost much of what was reality based and is needed to survive in today's world. Other aspects of true Kung Fu have been lost or at least diluted due to the fact of extreme and difficult training methods are not welcome by many in today’s want it fast and want it easy society.  Many arts have had offshoots leaning towards the sport side like judo and jiu jitsu (the skills displayed in the sport versions still represent martial techniques in much more controlled arena).

Traditional kung fu has also seen such a split. Modern Wushu possibly the most recognized child of Traditional Kung Fu is taking much of the attention with its flash and acrobatics (unfortunately it is also less martial which equals less practical). Other off shoots like Sanda and the Open Style Grappling do provide a venue for more reality based competitions, but presently lack the popularity of MMA.   When you think of big names in MMA, those individuals certainly possess martial skills. Most main streamers think of Kung Fu's big names and they relate to movie stars such as Jackie Chan, Jel Li and others not known for combat.  I am a tremendous fan of both and they display an extraordinary level of skill, just not focused on martial.

Arts come in many flavors and the popular flavor today happens to be MMA. Closer looks at Kung Fu practiced the way it was intended show no signs of weakness, but few practice it that way and even fewer display their hard earned skills. Popular flavors come and go but chocolate and vanilla will always be around. Kung Fu and its Japanese sibling Karate are more like the chocolate and vanilla whereas MMA has not earned its place on the permanent menu yet, but it may and that is a good thing (I also believe it should). It creates a venue where even with its rules it does represent an element of realism. Time will tell. This brief explanation has excluded mentioning many other traditional martial art categories. This does not indicate their lack of effectiveness,  I just do not have room to include them. Lastly, for those who say that Kung Fu is to deadly to be in the ring. If it is a complete art, it should at least be effective in any environment.



Saturday, September 27, 2014

Taiji Silk Reeling Exercise ( Chansigong )

Taiji Silk Reeling Exercise ( Chansigong )

Is It The Ultimate Basic Exercise For All Martial Artists As Well As Chen Taiji’s Best Kept Secret?





Chen Style Taiji has a unique method of teaching basics to beginners by using a drill known as silk reeling. The drill named for its resemblance to the smooth, circular and spiraling movements of the silk worm larva wrapping itself up in to its cocoon as well as the equally smooth method often associated with an individual unraveling the cocoon for the extraction of the silk thread (used in the production of silk). However the continued practice of this basic drill evolves into a much more sophisticated exercise. It evolves into a means for uncovering deeper and more refined layers of understanding pertaining to advanced body movement and breath control. Even the most accomplished practitioner will benefit from this silk reeling.  



Over the past 45 years or so I have spent  more than a substantial amount of time dedicating myself to a few specific arts (a decade plus for most and over two decades with Taiji ). I have also invested shorter, but equally intense durations in a multitude of other arts searching for additional points of view and bare essentials. I am a firm believer in building from the ground up and never under estimate the value of what I first learn at the early stages of training (and how I can build on that solid platform).  I have applied this philosophy in other pieces of my personal wellness program such as meditation, nutrition, strength and endurance training as well as life itself.  As much as I do love the traditions associated with martial arts, I have made that a secondary aspect of my practice. I have tried not to become blinded by those traditions at the cost of practicality. I do remain aware of the fact that they do hold their place and are essential in fully understanding any particular martial discipline regarding where the art came from, how and why it evolved the way in which it did.  Two important things to remember: All martial arts evolve over time and for good reasons. One being the need to adapt to new environments secondly no two individuals are exactly the same.  Once the practitioner comprehends these points through diligent practice they too can evolve as a martial artist. Harmoniously blending principles together when possible (even if from different arts) to attain a higher level of proficiency has been done throughout martial art history and continues to do so. 

Martial arts are not about cloning forms from master to student. Success is based on the proper transmission of principles and how they apply to each individual.

Keep in mind my most comfortable shoes will never fit anyone else exactly the way they fit me and some people won’t even be able to get their feet inside to see what they feel like. It would be useless to spend time trying to make them fit if they were either too small or too large. That does not mean every movement or technique the individual learns in conjunction with a specific martial art should be avoided at the first sign of a challenge.  But do remember, for many reasons not every aspect of every art is one-hundred percent suitable for everyone and must sometimes be modified to suit the individual’s needs. The needs for modifications may be based on many factors. To name a few such as environment, age, previous injuries and realistically speaking genetics related to size and strength as well as skeletal structure, muscles, tendons and ligament insertion regarding the skeletal system etc…. That being said many martial art principles do remain universal, but the applications of those principles may require some adjustments.


What does this have to do with the title of this article and “Silk Reeling”?  Simply put, silk reeling is by far the most basic yet important training method I have ever engaged in. It is applicable to every martial art I have ever practiced as well as any movement your body performs (or breath you take) under both ordinary and extraordinary circumstances. It also possesses equal significance associated to an individual’s health and longevity.  I have already mentioned the importance of basics, but one must realize that even previously reliable basics may become counterproductive or even corrosive to our body and our health if not adjusted properly to conditions such as aging, injuries etc…. What was correct and natural for me yesterday, may not be correct and natural for me tomorrow or today for that matter. From the highly athletic to the extreme elderly silk reeling requires but a minor modification if any and can be done in a standing or seated position.   If any exercise can stand (or sit) the test of time both through the history of a martial art and the history of an individual’s life, Silk Reeling is it.


What is silk reeling?

It is Chen Taji’s method of tempering the body for the most efficient and productive movement possible. This exercise ordinarily follows standing pole  (zhang zhaung) practice.  Based on Yin and Yang it uses spiraling and circular body motion, related to ligament, tendons, muscle, skeletal structure as well as all joints of the body (in a simultaneous or sequential fashion). Proper alignment and center awareness with minimal amount of tension throughout the body and mind are essential.

Secondly but equally important is the breath coordinated with all movement as related to the Traditional Chinese Medicine theory of Jingluo (qi circulating  throughout the body ).  

Thirdly it prepares the student on movements easily transferable to the Taiji forms. Forms which consist of both slow and fast as well as empty hand, weapons and two man push hands practice. All the above which lead to self defense applications and free style fighting such as Sanda.


However silk reeling can also be practiced as a standalone exercise for any martial artist (not only Taiji players) or individual of any age and any condition seeking to improve overall health.  Therein lies the beauty and uniqueness of silk reeling.    


The end results from the martial perspective is the development of an extreme sensitivity in reading an opponent as well as a keen sense of awareness as to where the bodies boundaries are.  Additional skills learnt from silk reeling, defensively allows the Taiji player to lead the opponent in to being off centered and in the wrong place while you remain centered in right place. That set of circumstances lends to allowing the Taiji player to capitalize on the opponent’s weaknesses before they can readjust and regain their center of balance and consider defending. In other words the trained opponent is temporarily unable to use their honed skills and becomes vulnerable while the Taiji player possesses the superior position to counterattack.  These counters are a versatile arsenal of strikes with a variety of body parts,  joint-locks, sweeps, take-downs as well as submissions  (all of which are based on the mechanics of silk reeling) to control the attacker.


From the health perspective the body’s immune system is enhanced as well as improved balance, coordination, neurological strength from brain to muscle and physical strength. Perhaps most importance is its ability to relieve stress. Silk reeling utilizes the theory of qi circulation mentioned above. It creates an internal flow of qi and helps promotes overall health.  All above being prerequisites for maintaining quality of life for any ages. 


The silk reeling routine uses a variety of single and two arm circular motions. These circles engage use of the entire body and all of its joints likened to the moving parts of a well designed Swiss watch. Any movement is a sum of all of the body’s parts without the over extending of any. Arm circle combinations cover almost every imaginable combination of clockwise and counter clockwise circles. They are also done

from a variety of positions such as horse, bow and empty stances.  If the practitioner places an overabundance of attention to either Yin or Yang an imbalance will occur.



 (Below 19th Gen Grand Master Zhu Tiancai demonstrating single arm silk reeling)


                         Above - Hand/wrist rotating away from center                      

   Above -  Hand/wrist rotating towards center


The hand/wrist rotating outward is referred to as a Ni circle.

The hand/wrist rotating inward towards center is referred to as a Shun circle

Two other important characteristics of the hand/wrist are a rising wrist and sinking wrist. These four movements are combined and form the visible circular path.

Keep in mind that these movements come from a proper rooted, but relaxed position. By pushing off the ground which drives the turning of the waist and rotation of the dantain transfering the energy upward through the upper body, shoulder, elbow and hand. The process continues (without stopping) reversing the energy flow back to the dantian and repeats itself in a circular, spiraling, relaxed fashion (repetitiously).  



(Above 19th Gen Grand Master Zhu Tiancai with author demonstrating                         
  various two arm silk reeling combinations)



 For those interested in primarily the health aspect they need not practice the countless adaptations of these circles.

 For martial artists in the advanced stages the circle can become small in nature. (Sometimes invisible, but still present.)  They should be performed at different speeds while still keeping the body properly aligned and always maintaining a good awareness of one’s center without over extending in any direction. The transitions related to the stances offer training in foot-work that will later become essential for the martial artist in a free style environment. The Taiji martial artist will learn how to defend every angle from any angle. The circles will vary in size training the practitioner in both defense and offense against all attack styles from strikes, grappling and joint-locks.  Circles although resembling blocks from other styles are designed more for deflection and leading an opponent in to a sense of disarray regarding their balance  as opposed to meeting the direct impact of a strike head on.  Silk reeling eventually graduates in to a two man drill (known as push-hands) where timing and position as well as reading an opponent are practiced.  As in many arts timing and position are key, but perhaps Taiji takes them to an even more articulate level. This training enhances those principles.

 The Taiji practitioners gains experience in relaxing the body’s unused muscle, ligaments and tendons and conservative use of those needed to maintain balance or engage in any specific tasks or movements. This creates quite the challenge for an opponent to employ joint-locks, strikes and throws successfully. It is this same relaxed body that allows the Taiji player to release an extraordinary amount of power in any directions when striking out at an opponent. Strikes are usually short and non-telegraphic in nature but none the less quite explosive. As another means of defense the smaller circles are equally effective at both reversal of joint locks when attempted by the opponent as well as joint locking the opponent for submission or inflicting more intense damage to their joints.   More detailed explanations of Taiji principles are explained in my Demystifying Taiji articles. If you dismiss Taiji training as a strictly senior citizen activity you ought to reinvestigate this art at a traditional training facility.

Having the ability to move your body is not unique. Having the skill to move your body and perform at peak efficiency the way in which it was intended is.  

And that is a product of Silk Reeling.




19th Generation Chen Family Grand Master Zhu Tiancai’s




1   Sink (relax the kua)

2   Shift  (substantial and insubstantial )

3   Rotation (turning of the waist)

4   Coordinate Upper Body Movement

5   Coordinate Breath



If you are interested in learning more about silk reeling and how it can enhance your own martial skills or add better health to your life regardless of your condition contact me.

Steve Contes



Web Site:


About the author/Steve Contes: A practicing martial artist for over 45 years (presently a full-time Chen Taijiquan  Instructor) and researcher of philosophy and health from around the world, old and new. He also promotes seminars both here in the states as well as in Chen Jiagou (Chen Village) Henan, China with some of the world’s leading authorities on Chen Taijiquan.  Training tours throughout China are also available.


Friday, November 29, 2013

They don't make em like they used to

They don't make em like they used to  

 written by Steve Contes

Can we attain the extraordinary skills that legends are made of?

Huang Fei Hung - Museum, Foshan, China         Chen Fake - Chen Jiagou, China

Yip Man aka Ip Man  Wing Chun (Ving Tsun) Master  - Photo below taken at     Yip Man Museum in Foshan China



Where are all the great Masters of yesteryears? The heroes in which we draw are inspirations from. The heroes that have influenced filmmakers from Hollywood to Hong Kong. Heroes that have been portrayed by modern day kung fu stars such Bruce Lee, Jet Li, Jackie Chan, Donnie Yen and so on goes the prestigious list.

 With all the advancement and greater understanding with in the sciences of training, technology, kinesiology and nutrition you’d think we could produce super-human Martial Artists.

Nutrition alone has made us bigger, faster and stronger than before. Just watch the Olympics and see how all other areas of athleticism continue to advance and ask yourself, why not Kung Fu or other traditional martial arts. As a matter of fact why does it appear that the newer generations of Masters are lacking some of the legendary skills now only spoken about. Could it be that they are just that, legends that may have been born out of mere remnants of the truth, but have grown larger than life over time and strayed away from accurate assessments of martial skills.

Perhaps it is also perception and the desire of each individual to believe that their teachers are the best around and their teacher’s teachers were the stuff of legends. Will our perception of our own teachers become embellished regarding the legitimate skills they possess?   

Has our life so full of conveniences and so called advantages turned against us, making us softer and weaker (physically, mentally, and spiritually)?

Have we lost contact with the spiritual and mental side of training?

Are we not in need of some of the martial skills that were once necessary for our personal survival?

How does discipline fit in to the formula and why is it often lacking?


I will examine this issue from these different angles.

Perhaps the answer to our topic lies in a combination of our Perception, Lifestyle, Necessity, the potentially missing aspect of our Spirituality and conceivably the most neglected ingredient discipline. 


Here is but a brief look at perception. To cover the subject in depth would provide enough material to fill volumes


With the utmost respect I refer to the explanation below.

Perception as explained by Dr. Francis Colavita  (Emeritus Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Pittsburgh, where he taught for more than 40 years) extracted from The Great Courses Web Site : Click Here for site

Though the physical world we occupy may be identical, the reality we experience—the perceptions created when our brains combine the input from our senses with past encounters with those same inputs—is very different. And this is true not only from one person to another, but within the same individual, as well. For our various sensory systems can be altered over time, their acuity changing in response to aging or injury, life experiences, evolving personalities, and other factors.

Through my professional experience as a private detective I have had the opportunity to investigate hundreds of cases which have included taking statements from witnesses that witnessed the same incident. It is more often than not that statements differ from slightly to totally.  I have also gone back and updated statements from original witnesses (after a year to sometimes even five or ten) that are quite different from what they thought and definitively stated when their memory was fresher. From one of my earlier careers as a  bouncer in my hometown I had witnessed this same phenomenon.  It has affected stories about altercations (personally involving me) at the clubs that I worked.  (Certainly stories that in reality I could never live up to) So we can consider the valid point expressed above as a possible answer to not intentionally exaggerating or explaining what someone may have seen or even more indirectly heard. We can also consider the fact that our memories and perception of events in our own life change over time.  Sit down with a sibling or old friend and discuss in detail an event that you both shared, you will likely have many differences.

Even events that two or more people observe at the same time may appear to be quite different from each other and more importantly so than the reality and surrounding facts of the event itself. Ask two sports fans watching the same game that favor opposing teams to describe a possible foul or penalty during the game or if there were any reasons why their team won or lost. (Keep in mind they both just witnessed the same event on the same screen and then cautiously step back.) You may have just fueled a great debate or worse. What we actually see, hear, smell, taste, or touch and remember have many influences often leading to many inaccuracies. People also blur the boundaries of what is subjective and what is objective. That is why most people believe they have the cutest kid, know the best mechanic, and have the smartest friends or the dumbest, and that no other mom can cook like their own.  What student of the Martial Arts has not at least mildly inflated stories or experiences related to what they have witnessed regarding their teachers or training?

This is certainly a contributing factor to the topic of trying to discover why I believe they don’t make them like they used to.  However this does not alter the fact that I personally believe that some great masters did indeed exist and a smaller subset even possessed extraordinary skills.                    


It would be hard to argue that the conveniences we experience today and perhaps take for granted were not part of the lifestyle of our grandparents nor are they part of the lives of many living under third world or less modern conditions. Unfortunately we have also picked up many negative elements related to such conveniences including stress and often an overall decline in personal health from this so called “good life”.  
I believe a challenging lifestyle with less stress can be conducive to a strong body and mind. I have personally witnessed this phenomenon living and working in a small city in China for three years. I observed many people and their daily routines (minus some of the so called advantages of modern living) enjoying success in most of their endeavors large or small.

This also included their martial skills.  A very basic example: It stands to reason that an individual who walks at least few miles to and from work daily (often carrying the needed tools) regardless of sub zero or extremely hot temperatures will not only be physically healthier but develop a more disciplined mind to complete what needs to be done. A few more examples would be the person who rides their bicycle to work under the same conditions but even a greater distance. Or the laborers commonly observed on road or construction crews using simple tools to accomplish great physical feats from digging to moving heavy objects. (Tasks that one would think should never be attempted without the assistance of modern machinery.)

I am not implying that individuals here in the States are not capable of the same, but what I am stating is that here it is a rarity while in China it is considered ordinary. 

I personally used my bike (while living in China for three years) as my main mode of transportation which included riding my two children one in the back and one seated in front of me to and from school daily. A second round trip was made daily with my niece on the back seat to a different school several miles from our home. This had to be done on a Mon-Fri schedule, rain, snow or shine, freezing or extremely hot. Prior to this daily ritual which started about 7:00am was my own daily trip to the park for a 90 min Taiji/exercise workout and my stop on the way back home to pick up fresh milk for our family breakfast. Of course each day I also transported myself to work and did the food shopping with the help of my wife and her bicycle.  (Two bikes were needed to carry back the groceries daily because we only had a very small refrigerator)

 Bike for Transportation is not limited to times of favorable weather.



 triple baskets carry more groceries
What was born of these new found necessities was a healthier/stronger body with a more disciplined approach to the chores at hand fueled by freshly picked vegetables and fruits and a better appreciation of everything we ate or drank.  This is but a fraction of what others did and still must do daily.  For me personally, I grew to prefer this method of living to any other I have experienced before or since. Consider the levels of both physical and mental challenges to the people of this particular small city and you can understand why they might excel in all their other endeavors such as Kung Fu or for that matter anything else. Back this scenario up another hundred years and consider the discipline needed to face the extreme challenges daily just to put food on the table and you can begin to consider lifestyle as a major player in the life of a Kung Fu master. 


Necessity / Survival

Now let’s dig a little deeper to another aspect of lifestyle that is part of our primordial instinct, survival. Kung Fu was born of necessity in order to protect oneself, family or a skill needed for occupations dealing with protecting others and their belongings. Many Masters were employed as bodyguards and escorts in an era where their lives were on the line or challenged on a regular basis. Others were great military men or royal guards for emperors and their families. It was also realized by these individuals that while death was always near their skills were the only armor keeping them alive.  Kung Fu was not practiced as a method for an individual to get in to shape on par with today’s other activities such as jogging or swimming, tennis or racquet ball. Classes were not scheduled two to three times a week as an after work / after school activity. Kung Fu was a necessity of life and the closer they came to perfection the increased chances for survival. Life was often dedicated to training. You can’t find much more incentive for developing Mastery of your Martial Art than that.

I will mildly compare and contrast the life of a professional fighter. During their career they are dedicated to perfecting the physical and mental skills of their craft. No other priority in life can dominate if he or she is to achieve that goal. However the most important factor removed from the equation is they are not fighting for their lives nor are they defending their families or any other individuals. 

Secondly I will relate the above to the modern elite soldier. Although the soldier trains their skills to survive as did many of the Martial arts Legends before him,  they rely on modern technology and advanced weapon systems as opposed to focusing on hand to hand combat,  wielding swords or other hand held (self-powered) weapons.



Perhaps the deepest desire was beyond the physical attributes attained by the ordinary Martial Artist. It may well be the never ending search for spiritual enlightenment. For many Masters the physical paths followed were only a prelude to the environment necessary to begin the journey to true Spiritual Enlightenment. This being the most difficult objective of all was far beyond just the extraordinary physical skills some had already come to possess be it from training, lifestyle, necessity or a combination of. However when spiritual enlightenment was achieved the elements of clarity and sensitivity were also realized. This may be why the Master appears to know his opponents’ attacks before they are launched or physically visible enhancing the ability to defend and counter. Another key element to the consummate master is the removal of fear. Now enlightened and no longer living in trepidation of death the Martial artist was transformed in to true master. His physical skills were elevated to an extremely high level; perhaps the stuff legends are made of and his exploits will continue to echo through the generations.



Of course none of the above mentioned needed to reach mastery as a Martial Artist could be attained without extreme discipline. The greater the degree of personal discipline is directly related to the degree of personal proficiency in anything we aspire to do or be. Could Masters today reach the same level of skills as those that came before them? I answer with an emphatic YES! Will they or for that matter will you?  That I cannot answer, only you know if you will. 


Hopefully better understanding of the above can lead us to some of the extraordinary skills we as martial artists only dream about.
Please send me your comments or opinions regarding this article.