I am coming back around to a jkd view of the ma world lately after recently reading about fma, self defense and improvised weapons. Of course mma has shown much of the wisdom of this view. Bruce Lee was clearly a genius. The trouble is, to understand an art’s essence, to absorb what is useful from it, and reject what is useless – how talented do you have to be? It seems easy enough, intellectually, but actual “absorbing” is hard. One can say judo is about kuzushi or taijiquan is about a few “energies” including neutralizing and sticking, but it’s not so easy to “absorb”, at least not if you’re mediocre in natural talent, middle-aged, limited in time for a hobby, and more and more just concerned with health and other good things. I suppose if “talent” is defined as your capacity to absorb, you just have to absorb whatever your capacity is limited to be. I also suppose you can somewhat increase that capacity through foundational exercises (qigong, zhan zhuang, yoga, prasara, core performance, meditation, cardio, weights, etc.), though. All is not lost. Ordinary individuals can make some progress and attain some mastery.

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