Here at the frontier, the leaves fall like rain. Although my neighbors are all barbarians, and you, you are a thousand miles away, there are still two cups at my table.

Ten thousand flowers in spring, the moon in autumn, a cool breeze in summer, snow in winter. If your mind isn't clouded by unnecessary things, this is the best season of your life.

~ Wu-men ~

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Martial Arts Training Prohibitions

Along the way, I've been admonished that we shouldn't practice in the wind or if it's raining, or a dozen other things. When I've asked why, the best answer I ever got was "Chinese medicine reasons."

Franklin Fick of the Spirit Dragon Institute has a series of articles enumerating the training prohibitions and most importantly, explaining the reasoning behind them. You can find the series of blog articles if you click here.

Please pay a visit. Enjoy.


walt said...

The reason-ing behind the various prohibitions is worth considering. But I also think 'discernment' in such things is crucial. For instance, if I did not practice when it's stormy, rainy, or windy, I'd only be at it about 40% of the time. The Pacific Ocean is relentless in its influence hereabouts.

Also, this influences me: my Tai Chi teacher had us in the park every day, even when it was raining. He was old school, and way-into Chinese medicine; nothing Western about him, except his address. So I'm guessing his lineage placed practice above and beyond conditions.

But as I said, your friend's articles are interesting. Thanks!

Rick Matz said...

If we understand the reasoning behind the training prohibitions, then we can make informed decisions for ourselves instead of blindly following someone else's rules.

Paul said...

Agree, many unanswerable queries in the East oftentimes boil down to Chinese medical reasons which again boil down to some ancient writings or "folk belief" (rather than what is being taught in the Chinese medical department of a local [HK] University), which essentially means: back to square one! My attitude is to give it the benefit of doubt and if one's psychology bends towards it, follow its advice, if not, just forget about it rather than holding onto them as golden rules.

For those who are interested in the subject, there is a saying in folk Chinese medicine: "Eating ginger frequently will increase male vitality". No harm trying, besides ginger tastes good....:):)

The Strongest Karate said...

I'm one of those "Western" guys he's talking about, but I've got a pretty open mind. Still, he does not serve his position well. Here is my take:

"The open pores can allow the dampness to invade the body". - Unless "dampness" means something different to the Chinese then that's just bunk. The body does not absorb moisture in the way his is describing or else I, in Florida, would never need to drink.

"But it is not just dust, it could be mold and many other things that get kicked up into the air by the falling rain." - Dry air has more dust than moist air because dust motes are lighter when not encumbered by water. He is upside down on this one.

"Some practices require calm and quite, like meditation or Qigong." - So, what is all that meditation-under-a-waterfall stuff about? Isn't that meant to strengthen one's concentration?

I'm not denouncing all of Eastern medicine with this; I think there is much we can learn from it. Just saying that some of his examples don't support his claims.

Rick Matz said...

I think in this case "dampness" probably DOES mean something a little different than we are used to.

In the Five Elements, when speaking of the "Five Major Organs" (Heart, Lungs, etc), the Chinese Medicine definition isn't the specific "organ" as we think of it, but the function. So we are talking about the circulatory system, the respiratory system, etc.

The word that got picked for translation years ago, and that stuck, isn't necessarily the one that gets the idea across most effectively (or accurately). I will let my bilingual friends opine on this.

At any rate, Chinese medicine has served the people of Asia pretty well for thousands of years, and I can't believe that it has done so just by coincidence.

Stll, we can't blindly accept things either; but we can also be aware of our own bias.

Compass Strategist said...

@ Walt, there is a time and place for training in the rain. Some knows. Others do not know. Those who do not know why, will find out sooner or later.

@ Karate man,
I have spent time, knowing a few good TCM professionals. I understand why they do keep secrets.

The one's who are quite good, do not advertise. Not do they do PBS shows or work for drug companies. ... They do pass on their secrets to their trusted students of the next generation.

Most relevant TCM professionals could give you a lecture on why certain aspects of TCM work. What benefits is it for them to give a non-paying non-believer their time? Esp. when it taken a lifetime to collect a great sum of information.
... They rarely explain why it works.

/// There are still secrets that the participants of the internet have disclose to the public yet.

Compass Strategist said...

One more note, not all TCM doctors are super great. Some of them are hacks, who know a few tricks here and there. Those who are great, rarely advertise. They do keep their secrets hidden from the public.

In Home Computer Tutor Honolulu Hawaii J. Richard Kirkham B.Sc. said...

Then I hope you never get into a self-defense situation under any of the circumstances in which you've never trained

Rick Matz said...

Thanks for paying a visit.

Compass Strategist said...

@J. Richard Kirkham B.Sc.
In any venture, preparation precedes performance.