Practicing martial arts the WuWei way

To the followers of Tao, the concepts of WuWei might mean ‘non-doing’ or ‘not-acting’. On a cursory look, it might appear as an invitation to relax or worse, fall into laziness or apathy. To lag behind. However, in the practice of Budo WuWei 無為is paired with Shisen 自然 or naturalness. It combines into a state of natural effort with no wasted or grandiose movements.

In the practice of martial arts, WuWei encourages practitioners to move without any conscious effort. In other words, let your body move as it wishes. This can be achieved by focusing on your breath, allowing your body to move with ease and grace, and releasing any tension or strain in the body. The goal is to let go of all preconceived notions or ideas, and simply, ‘be in the moment’.

When it comes to training, having the right partner is essential. Your partner should push you to work harder and better, while also being aware of your limits and respecting your safety. An old Japanese proverb states that “Keizoku wa chikara nari”, which can be translated to “Continuance is power”. This proverb emphasizes the importance of persistence and dedication to successful training, rather than just intensity. The ideal training partner is one who could continuously challenge you in a safe environment. They should be able to recognize your progress and encourage you to keep going. This is the kind of partner who can help you maximize your training potential.

Life can be tumultuous; we can be torn between our work and personal lives, struggling to make ends meet, and sometimes feel lost amidst it all. But there is always a way to find peace in the chaos. Wu Wei, an ancient Chinese philosophy, encourages us to let go and to find harmony in life without feeling overwhelmed. To “Simply Preserve” is the key to achieving success.

It is important to take the time to appreciate all that life has to offer. Even when you are injured, just returning from a hiatus, or aging gracefully, it is important to remain patient and understand that progress takes time. And if you just need reassurance, remember that success is always within reach if you take the proper steps.

By embracing Wu Wei, you can maintain a sense of balance and harmony in your life. Whether it be in your career, personal life, or physical health, it will help you to maintain a sense of control and make the right decisions. It will also help you to have gratitude for all the positive things in your life, and to remain hopeful and driven towards the future.

It is easy to forget the importance of taking time and finding balance in life.