Monkey Doesn't Want To Go To School

Rebecca Yaker Rebecca Yaker

Of all the martial arts principles in the world, Monkey Doesn't Want to go to School is the one I most easily identify with.

It also expresses how I've been feeling about sitting in front of the computer and goes a little way towards explaining why I haven't been posting a lot lately, despite a list of awesome blog ideas in my notebook.

When you try to get a monkey to go to school you can, for instance, grab him by the wrist and start pulling him up and in the direction of the door.  Monkey thinks this is funny.  Monkey melts his muscles and gives you his weight.  Every ounce.  His relaxed arm naturally integrates with the large muscles on his back, making it easy for him to unbalance you.  He lengthens his spine and his tailbone down and away, as he sits into the crease at the top of his leg (his kua).  He yawns....

Essentially, the same thing happens if he is in the tree when you are trying to get him to go to school.  Monkey lets you grab his lower leg, while he flops his elbows and chin over a branch.  When you pull his relaxed leg you help him integrate it with the big muscles on his back, and you find yourself trying to pull the whole tree.

It is a basic principle of all internal martial arts that you want to create a Monkey Doesn't Want To Go To School situation.  Human being's biggest problem is that they use their arms, hand and fingers too much (OK, some of us perhaps use our mouths too much also).  But it is this over reliance on the intelligence of our arms which causes a catastrophic collapse of whole body power.  In order to effectively use all of one's weight, momentum, and large muscle groups, the arms have to become as stupid as the rest of our body.  This is why we cultivate the principle of monkey doesn't want to go to school.