Carrying body and soul and embracing the one, can you avoid separation?
We have this body, this vessel that is mortal, that carries an eternal piece. A piece of the Tao or God or the Universe. Many are not fully aware of the other side. By that I mean the spiritual aspect of their body. If you exercise, train with weights, Kettlebells specifically, and Hardstyle to be even more specific, then you understand the moments of euphoria when you hit a PR. But wasn't it more about the journey? Aren't you stronger for it and I don't mean just the body.
Whether you like it or not there's a whole other side. The white to the black and it is eternal. Eventually you will connect with it. The question is, will you do it now or later? By connecting to and maintaining that connection, you can harness the strength to lift yourself out of the deepest and darkest of holes.
Can you let your body become as supple as a newborn child's?
Tension. It helps generate force. Tension is the beginning of strength. But what about the opposite? The Yang? There must be time to relax. To shake out the tension. Release it and regain the suppleness of the child. And through that practice, can we also reconnect to the childlike joy and peace that exists when Santa Claus is coming to town?
The RKC (Russian Kettlebell Challenge) system in also known as Hardstyle. Meaning the practice of Hardstyle Kettlebell training has one basic thread throughout the practice and that is compression. Hardstyle Kettlebell training will teach you how to create strength and force through the focus of energy and generation of tension. There's nothing "supple" about Hardstyle Kettlebell Training.
Or is there? What is the Yang to the Yin of tension? The Tao says "supple." The RKC says relaxation. In the RKC there are "grinds" and there are "ballistics." When you grind out a repetition, there is lots of tension and when you're working your ballistics, like swings and snatches, you get to waver between tension and relaxation.
Club Swinging Essentials, you'll read a note from the U.S. Army Manual of Physical Training circa 1914. Re: Club Swinging, it says:
"The effect of these exercises, when performed with light clubs, is chiefly a neural one, hence they are primary factors in the development of grace, coordination and rhythm. As they tend to supple the muscles and articulations of the shoulders and to the upper and fore arms and wrist, they are indicated in case where there is a tendency toward what is ordinarily known as muscle bound."
Notice the word supple? Another method of creating supple is in Qi Gong. More specifically, John DuCane's Recharge. Either way, it's about balance. And speaking of balance,
In the opening and shutting of heaven's gate, can you play the feminine part?
Think of the feminine. Women tend to be more supple then men. The woman is the creator of life. The creative spirit is uniquely feminine. Can one in their strength be strong enough to allow the creative to flow into them and then out to share heaven with the world? By helping others regain that suppleness of children coupled with the firmness and tension of adulthood we can reconnect to that which we grew out of. Can we grow back into suppleness? Tension is one of the tool. One must understand both to be the master.
We can now start to see the challenge Lao-Tzu is putting forth.
Can you love your people and govern your domain without self-importance?
Whether you're an RKC, a coach, an educator, or none of the above, you are still a teacher. You teach others by your example. How you carry yourself. Your actions. Your deeds. You teach others how you want to be treated. Make it all about you and that is all you will have. Make it all about them and you will know love.
Giving birth and nourishing; having, yet not possessing; working, yet not taking credit; leading without controlling or dominating.
One who heed this power brings the Tao to this very earth. This is the primal virtue.
This is the way of heaven. A primal virtue. Primal, to me means something that comes from deep down. A part of our very fabric of being. And virtue has always stood for something good that may require some work. Patience is a virtue, they say. Patience requires a decision and some effort. So to have a virtue, moral excellence, as Webster puts it, that reaches deep down into the fabric of your being, that is something worth training for.
How can you apply this into your training?