Yin and Yang within the System

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Yin and Yang within the System

Postby JOHN THURSTON » Mon Apr 26, 1999 4:18 am

I have certainly seen some material on the Forums this week that represent disparate views. This attempted analysis in note intended to vilify ANY of the various points of view on any subject.

In our system and community (meaning the Uechi Community) there are different views on many subjects.

Perhaps the most clear cut would be the opinions expressed regarding sparring, aggressiveness, tournament fighting vis a vis kata, bunkai, defensive (vs. offensive ) mindset.

The system is an eastern one and an analysis of it and its community might help us, in theory, to understand what is actually going on.

Reference is made to "T'ai Chi Classics" by Waysun Liao, only for definitions of Yin and Yang and not to push T'ai Chi;

"one reaches the ultimate level or develops in tht direction by means of the ladder of balaced balanced powers and their natural motions-"Yin", the negative power (yielding) and "Yang", the positive power (action)."

We should perhaps see the aggresiveness inherent in an art meant to teach us to win
confrontations as the "Yang" component of our family and the "no first strike" and always block first" and relatively quiet study of Kata as manifestations of the "Yin".

The point simple being that these forces exists in us, in OUR family and/or the system and it is not necessarily, therefore, a matter of right and wrong, polarization by characterization, but rather of realization that a. both elements are necessary parts of the "family" b. both elements are a necessary part of the world c. that the "tension" between the two manifestations is part of the deal and d. that they require each other to some extent.

To allow dominance of one over the other would be dangerous. Evil occurs in this way of looking at things only when one acheives predominance over the other, creating an imbalance.


There is limited parallel in the "light" vs. "dark" themes prevalent in Christian, Jewish and Zorastrian lore, in that neither the Yin nor the Yang is evil, or good. Imbalance creates evil results. Neither is "balance through frozen thought good, in that it may be implied that "stasis" contains both evil and good elements, plus stagnation.


I hope this thinking is valid and helpful.

JOHN T.


JOHN T

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Yin and Yang within the System

Postby Bill Glasheen » Mon Apr 26, 1999 10:03 pm

Absolutely

Now if I could only remember my classics....there was a similar discussion by - I believe - a Greek philosopher. It was one discussing why there was ugliness and evil in the world. Without it, there would be no beauty and good. So it seems that eastern thinkers weren't the only ones pondering the issue.

The thought comes to my mind sometimes when I hear folks talk with terrible seriousness about how all our karate is useless because we no longer practice and think like warriors. Yea, maybe so. And maybe some of those that don't - don't care.

And the thought often comes to my mind when engaged in a discussion here on the forum. The "yang" side always wants a comeback. But often there is little learned when stuck in yang. And sometimes the best results come when, God forbid, you say absolutely nothing at all.

Yes, God does forbid!!!

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Yin and Yang within the System

Postby JOHN THURSTON » Mon Apr 26, 1999 11:28 pm

Bill:

It struck at this particular reading in the "Classics" that one interpretation could hold
that neither human side was evil/dark, nor is, of course, any portion of ourr on line community, but that Yin is not "good" nor Yang "evil" but simply forces that when out of balance, can produce evil results. I know I am repeating myself.

Let's suppose I'm in with the "Yin" crowd (sorry)in my personality, theoretically I should understand that Yang is not evil, or ugly, the most negative thing I would be able to say would be "yes there is that component to the art and I understand it's necessity" but do not agree with its manifestations sometimes.

Well, that's the theory anyway.

John

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Yin and Yang within the System

Postby JohnC » Tue Apr 27, 1999 7:20 am

John:

As I recall, the goal is to maintain a harmony of both yin and yang. To have both equally. Thus, a complete martialist will groom both, harness soft and hard. Of course, your yin can also be yang and your yang can be yin ...

However, it seems most martial artists tend to have a pronounced side of either yin or yang.


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Yin and Yang within the System

Postby Chris Long » Tue Apr 27, 1999 8:36 am

Howdy Folks -

Along with my many cross-training thoughts, I firmly believe in balance. Isn't it true that most of us find ourselves running from one end of the see-saw to the other as our training progresses? All is in the balance - which is my favorite thing about our half-hard, half-soft style. Sure, some nights I want nothing more than a brutal Sanchin check and some rock-n-roll sparring. But other nights I desparately need (and value - eee gads) a "soft" check and some sticky hands.

Ain't life great that we have so much to play with and so much to learn!!??!

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Yin and Yang within the System

Postby JOHN THURSTON » Tue Apr 27, 1999 4:11 pm

Chris and John C.:

For sure every martial artist has his own balance.

I admit, as I admitted freely on the post regarding the sparring seminar, that I lean towards the "Yin" as I get older. I am 53.

Nevertheless, the balance must be sought for or we do a disservice to the style and the arts and our students (if any).

The point made with respect to ignoring the "Yang" aspects was that "reality" is more reflected in sparring and fighting skills.

This cannot be ignored regardless of how older I get.

"yin" may be represented in viewing the system as a vehicle for self control and improvement. (the "Kata" lean)

Of course, there is a great deal more to it.


JOHNT



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Yin and Yang within the System

Postby Allen M. » Wed Apr 28, 1999 4:06 am

Hello John.

I've often heard that in Uechi-ryu we often over-emphasize the tiger and under-emphasize the crane.

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Yin and Yang within the System

Postby JOHN THURSTON » Wed Apr 28, 1999 1:40 pm

Allen:

If the Crane represents manifestations of Yin and the Tiger manifestations of Yang, then I understand what you are saying.

As an aside, the Crane is also a powerful predator and the film of a Large African White Crane dismembering a Flamingo with beak and wing did leave a certain impact on me.

Since the animals chosen to show elements of focus in the style also contain Yin and Yang elements constantly in flux, then this can become a real circular discussion real fast.

But I certainly understand the point you are trying to make.

The Tiger, it should be noted, probably only kills when it needs to, defends what it needs to. Is this not a reflection of Yin?

Just a question.

JOHN T

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Yin and Yang within the System

Postby Allen M. » Wed Apr 28, 1999 7:23 pm

There is balance and harmony in nature. We have so much to learn from the animals.

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Yin and Yang within the System

Postby JOHN THURSTON » Wed Apr 28, 1999 8:10 pm

Allen:

Yes, we have a lot to learn from animals. Here's a simple sounding question for you, are we still animals?

Do we continue to evolve?

If so, into what, by what means, and how long does it take to make a change?

JOHN T

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Yin and Yang within the System

Postby Allen M. » Wed Apr 28, 1999 10:17 pm

Sure we are animals, John. We are evolving. By what means? You're asking me the same questions I had in parochial 2l2mentary school. Getting too close to religion for me.

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Yin and Yang within the System

Postby JOHN THURSTON » Wed Apr 28, 1999 10:56 pm

Allen:

OK. No problem there. Not easy questions. Closer to Leakey and Teilhard De Chardin than the Baltimore Catecism. Sorry.

JOHN T

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