Theory by Bruce Lee

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On 11/25/2019 at 11:28 PM, Boundlesscostfairy said:

I have heard once the Great Master having said..:


Absorb what is useful


Neglect or discard what is not..


Is this the true heart of Daosim in a nutshell?


If you agree do you have any thoughts to add...? Like the ideas or concepts, structures that you find useful..on your quest to Find or continue the path of the Tao?


If you disagree that this is at the heart of Daoism..then what do you think is a simple truth that you think is universally true for a Daoist?


I have adopted this instruction - absorb what is useful and discard what is not.

I find it valid from the perspective of my Daoist training, martial arts training, as well as my Bön Buddhist training.

Lineage holders from each of these disciplines have taught me this way and it has served me well.


On the other hand, I wouldn't say this is the "true heart of Daoism in a nutshell.'

For me, it is simply a useful instruction in how to learn and how best to apply ourselves to spiritual and martial training.

Nevertheless, I can see how others might hold to this as a fundamental principle.


Two things I would offer that, for me, are a fundamental truth or heart of practice are emptiness and openness. In Daoist praxis this is wu wei which I like to define as non-interference; in Buddhism it is emptiness or sunyata, the recognition of the basis. A corollary is openness or clarity, meaning to maintain direct connection;  Daoist practitioners might refer to this as ting, listening. I have found both of these experiential principles to be equally fundamental and relevant to Daoist cultivation, martial arts (internal arts in particular), and Buddhism.


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So the real philosophy is person to person based..


Or is it any category at all.. based on what you think of..?


The Chesed of category is in your relation to the thing it self.. or otherwise existence and your presence in it..

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On 28/12/2019 at 8:30 PM, Starjumper said:


I see what you mean now, at first I thought if it as being a question of:  'did he add the Taoist philosophy to his self defense for his own development?'  The answer to that is no (because it was already there).  However if the question is:  'did he add the Taoist philosophy to his self defense for educating the pubic?'   Then the answer is certainly yes.  


Concerning being open and 'allowing' and 'accepting' the thing you need to know is that the martial art he learned from Mr. Yueng has what is called ten thousand techniques.  It is where you test every conceivable variation of every conceivable method of every conceivable self defense scenario, to see what works best for you.  This type of learning is embedded in the system, so it was always there, nothing to add  


This is far and away the opposite of most martial arts, which are very limited in both techniques and scope.



The arts have internal aspects and external aspects.  I consider Wing Chun to be an internal martial art.  Maybe that's because I was exposed to the 'secret' methods of Red Boat Wing Chun, which is much more internal that the other styles of Wing Chun, and it was also considered to be the most effective.  I don't know what type of Wing Chun Ip Man was practicing, so I can't say how much the internal was accentuated in Bruce's training.  Often it is good to start youngsters with more external methods.


Yueng Chuan, which is what Mr. Yueng's martial art is now called, is just about the most internal of the arts, it is definitely more internal that tai chi or bagua, and it is founded on the ways of moving practiced in Tien Shan Chi Kung, which is one of the most internal of types of chi kung ... way more internal than many types of chi kung.  The most internal of the arts embody Taoist philosophy to the greatest extent.  ... In case anyone wonders how that applies ...


Anyway, Mr. Yueng told Bruce to go check out some other teachers of different types of martial arts in order to see what was out there and how he could learn to deal with it.  These were like little side attractions, and was while Bruce was still under the guidance of Mr. Yueng.


Mr. Yueng was a rather short and slender fellow, and he couldn't knock people out, but he had no need to, he could paralyze an attacker as soon as they moved if he wished.  He did say that westerm style boxing was the only way of fighting that would cause him some concern, because it was so effective.  He had a good plan to beat it though.  Bruce on the other hand, was bigger and stronger, and although he could also kill or maim someone in one second, like Mr. Yueng, he was fascinated with the idea of knocking people out so he worked on that.  Knocking people out is considered the 'ethical' way to end a fight in the West, and that's another reason he liked it.


Concerning internal vs. external, here's an example of how it can change in one system.  Although Bruce learned one of the most extensive and internal systems of self defense, which is what he based JKD on, what he taught as JKD looks very external.



In the Kung Fu TV series which Bruce engineered it shows the older blind master.  This was an attempt to present Mr. Yueng's ways and abilities to the West.  Mr. Yueng had the same type of knowing and 'seeing' things even with his eyes closed (Jedi stuff) and the kind of practical wisdom that the master portrays in the show.  They look and act really different though, Mr. Yueng sparkled with energy and radiated a joy which was contagious.  More fun that a barrel full of monkeys.





Thanks for the details, that's more how I understand it.


FYI, when I learned Wing Chun, I would say I had an 80/20 split external/internal. Teacher and lineage specific: my former teacher doesn't like the idea of qi or anything particularly esoteric. That's a big reason why I train taiji exclusively now. But he did acknowledge the power of traditional training and would encourage slow, 30-min plus forms and meditative practices.


I'm still in touch with him, and we meet every now and then to share knowledge. He's becoming a bit more awake to this qi stuff now. It seems that the bullshit bregade got to him first and turned him off to it all, initially.

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