Fighting Skill

So little of my actual life and practice is about fighting; it is absurd to write about it.  Yet, I teach the art of fighting so how can I avoid the absurdity?

The art of fighting is a beautiful thing.  It is art and it is endlessly intriguing.  One of the things I love about it is the absolute necessity of simplicity.  Complexity in fighting is out of the question.  The simplest movement, the plainest idea, the shortest summary--these are all trump cards.

Recently George Xu summarized the highest level of fighting with four words!

Unmovable, Unstoppable, Unreachable, and Unliftable.


It occurred to me later that these four words could be considered translations of the four primary powers in Taijiquan, peng, ji, lu, and an.

Unmovable is peng,

Unstoppable is ji,

Unreachable is lu,

and Unliftable is an.

I hesitate to say any more about it but how can I resist making fun of "the Unreachable martial artist."  Unreachable means that regardless of whether the situation is wrestling or sparring, the opponent always finds themselves over extended.  Unreachable is not just great yielding, it is the ability to get out of the way--by just a hair every time.

After having thought about these four words for a few weeks they now seem self-explanatory to me.  I could talk about why and how a punch is unstoppable.  Or put another way, why a punch can not be cleared out of the way.  But suddenly we are into details better felt than talked about.

Give these four simple words some time to soak in.  Simplicity is a trump card.


Here are some links to articles I've written about peng, ji, lu, an:


The Language of Exorcism,

Daoist Shoes, and More,