PRINCIPLES OF LIVING FORCE
Force must be created before power can exist. As well as guiding martial arts training, these principles also prove useful in guiding efforts to make our actions and our lives more effective.
CENTER – All forces exist as equal and opposite pairs, either moving away, toward or around the system center. When our center of energy coincides with our center of mass we have the best foundation from which to generate maximum force and to receive outside forces with the least upset to our equilibrium. A strong sense of center gives us a base for maintaining, and regaining, stability in stances, in movements and in our lives. Since all forces occur as equal and opposite pairs, every force we create has an opposing reaction force. By creating appropriate counter forces, reaction forces can be cancelled. Doing this allows the intended motion to be more effective by enabling our center to remain relaxed and in balance, ready to respond to the next needed action. Similarly, in our lives all our actions will create reactions. When these reactions are not helpful to the overall purpose, creating counter actions can help reduce the negative effects of these reactions and help us maintain overall equilibrium.
INTEGRATED BREATHING – It is quite possible when under stress to not breathe enough, or to breathe too much. Having to consciously control breathing, however usually means some attention is being diverted from more important matters. With appropriate training the body and mind can learn to unconsciously work together to automatically determine and produce the amount and frequency of the breathing needed for their mutual benefit. Properly integrated breathing releases tension, unifies and stabilizes the body, and focuses physical and mental energy.
FOCUS – Undirected force usually is not very effective in achieving a particular purpose, and often results in undesirable side effects and wasted energy. The more purposely we can focus our intentions, the more efficient and effective our forces of action, thought and spirit will be – from a wide focus for maximum awareness through various degrees all the way to a tight focus for maximum impact.
CONTROL OF MASS – Mass can be as solid as a diamond, as fluid as flowing water, or any degree in between. Having bodies with multiple parts connected by joints gives us the ability to make ourselves one rigid difficult-to-move mass or, by relaxing our joints, to be more flexible like a whip. For example, acceleration is most efficiently achieved by sequenced stages, while impact is most effective as a unified mass. For maximum effectiveness in our movements and in our lives it is important to know how and when to become any degree of connectedness from rock to water.
ACCELERATION – Acceleration is the unique factor that must be present with mass in order for a force to exist. If a mass is at rest, or even moving at a constant speed, by definition (f=ma), there is no force since there is no acceleration. In order for anything to move, change direction, or change speed, acceleration must be present. The manner, timing, and focus of our acceleration determine the amount and effectiveness of our force.