Standing and martial arts
Almost all martial arts start from a standing position, and in modern MMA all fights start from the standing positon, the only time that a fight in MMA is started or should I say restarted is if there are two fighters on the canvas that are not making enough effort to advance their position, the early days of modern MMA saw ground fighter dominate the combat arena like never before, there was a quote from Rorion Gracie who was one of the early co founders of UFC so his words were listened to by a great many competitors and in these words he said “90% of fights end on the ground.”
That may be true, but I’ve got news for you – 100% of fights start standing up. The late Carlson Gracie said: “Punch a black belt in the face, he becomes a brown belt. Punch him again, purple…”
Bth Carlson Gracie and Rorion Gracie were both right in what they had to say because what Rorion said about 90% of fights ending on the ground could mean a great deal of things, you could be taken to the ground and submitted you couild fall to the ground by accident you could be knocked out and end up on the ground and Carlson Gracie is also correct in saying that being hit changes everything, another very famous fighter called Mike Tyson agreed and once said:
No one is invincible, so all any of us can do is improve our chances by improving ourselves and meditation has been known throughout the martial arts world to help give us focus and calmness and clarity whilst under pressure, the problem with sitting meditation is that it is usually done in calm quiet peaceful undisturbed environments, so how can you train yourself to be calm under pressure?
Standing and martial arts
A man called Wan Xiang Zhai had studied martial arts from various masters from mostly China but but he also had a good grasp of the dynamics that were involved in several martial arts, after many years of study and contemplation he realized that it was not the art that was important in combat it was the person, and he knew that if you could develop the person then more of what the person had in mind to do could be done, he set out to find the common denominator of all martial arts, he like Rorion Gracie, Carlson Gracie and Mike Tyson realized that under different circumstances there would be different outcomes in combat, the Gracies had their first realization of this when their family member, Royce Gracie challenged Kazuki Sakuraba from Japan to no time limit few rules fight which ended in a bad but educational way for Royce Gracie.
The Gracie family had huge confidence in both Royce Gracie and in Gracies version of Brazillian Jujitsu, the previous challenges to the dominance of the Gracies wa almost always met with defeat to the Gracie family. So what happened, well Royce and the Gracie family did what they usually do and try to get the fight to where they feel most comfortable on the ground but Sakuraba was equal to what Royce could do on the ground an in the stand up Sakuraba was better prepared so he made the fight take place where he wanted it to, this proves what Wang Xiang Zhai was trying to get accross, no matter how many techniques or strategies you have, someone else can still beat you, what he was getting at was that having more moves was not the way forward so he reversed all that and stripped the martial arts down to the bone.
Wang Xiang Zhai
Wang Ziang Zhai is not saying that he has the best martial art, what he is saying is that you should train your intent and your body at the same time, he is saying that your mind must be in what you do and that for martial artists to advance they must get to know themselves, their intent and their feeling of body and mind in harmony, it is how martial arts became martial arts and that is on reason that there are so many because each master from ancient times that had success in combat belied that their way was the best because it worked for them or it worked for their master.
Standing in meditation
So what does standing meditation bring to the table, well as mentioned earlier meditation has beeb in martial arts from as far back as ancient India and possibly further back than that, but what we have mostly come to accept is that it was first talked about and practiced in the Shaolin temple of Dengfeng County, Henan Province, China Bodhidharma met the Chinese warrior monks and found that they had week bodies and week minds so he taught them how to meditate.
This script is said to have been written by Bodhidharma
A special transmission outside the scriptures
Not founded upon words and letters;
By pointing directly to [one’s] mind
It lets one see into [one’s own true] nature and [thus] attain Buddhahood
He is trying to tell us that a strong mind is just as important as a strong body and that many answers are within us we just have to spend time looking and feeling, and this is where standing still comes in, most of us have heard the term moving meditation mentioned by Tai Chi artists, and jave you also noticed that most of the Tai Chi that is seen is done slowly, so if moving slowly helps us to focus whilst on our feet then imagine how much more focus can be gained by not moving a single muscle, the aim of calming the mind is the same but it differs in that when you stand in one position for a period of time you are training your body and your mind at the sdame time to it’s maximum, when you first satnd you will notice many things.
1 You may sweat more than you could imagine because you will be a great deal of pressure
2 Your thoughts will come to yuo with a vengence as you realize how much of your mind has been shut off
3 After a while you will find your mind mot wandering quite so much
4. You will notice and feel the rhythm of all of your body, the blood pumping and you will not each and every muscle in your body as it contracts and releases even though you have not moved from the spot.
A good position to start off with is just standing still with your hands by your side legs about shoulder width apart eyes looking forwards and just stay still for about one minute, see image below and for more detail click here
All internal martial arts began this way and all the moves that are seen of internal martial arts are supposed to be the manifestaiton of the mind from standing medtiation, it is hard to take in at first because we have been told that we need a master to explain each and every martial arts technique but as illustrated earlier by the fight that Royce Gracie and what Mike Tyson said about being hit shows that no martial art or martial artist should be set in stone the word art as given by Wikipedea says:
Artist is a descriptive term applied to a person who engages in an activity deemed to be an art. An artist also may be defined unofficially as “a person who expresses him- or herself through a medium”