Was Being “Formless” Really Bruce Lee’s Idea? And What Does It Really Mean?

This post builds on last weeks post, How To Train For Reality In Your Martial Art.

Bruce Lee famously said:

“You must be shapeless, formless, like water.  When you pour water in a cup, it becomes the cup.  When you pour water in a bottle, it becomes the bottle.  When you pour water in a teapot, it becomes the teapot.  Water can drip and it can crash.  Become like water my friend”.

Bruce Lee
Bruce Lee

This is often quoted by those who follow his teachings as a criticism of traditional Oriental martial arts who from their perspective, place too much emphasis on the form of techniques (precise body mechanics & structures) with little to no emphasis on how to apply those movements under pressure.  It is argued that the fluid and chaotic nature of real fighting does not lend itself to trying to perform techniques with such correctness and precision, we need to be much more free flowing.  Read more

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Bruce Lee – Martial Arts Genius; But Were All His Ideas New?

Bruce Lee was an exceptionally accomplished and talented martial artist.  He was also very influential in popularising martial arts in the West, as well as making people already training in martial arts question what they were doing.  I have a huge respect for Bruce, but in all honesty, I can’t go along with the almost God like reverence that some people hold him in.  Bruce LeeHe is often quoted in a way that suggests his word should be the final word on all things martial arts.  But there are many very senior and knowledgeable masters out there who know just as much, yet have a different approach.  There is always more than one route.  Also, many of the things that Bruce Lee taught was common philosophy in the East, but he was just the first Asian master to open up that philosophy to the West (or at least, the first who had a media following to reach the wider public). Read more

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Ideas For Training At Home (Part 7): Mokuso (Meditation) In Martial Arts

It’s often said that the most important thing in self defence is the mind. Mokuso (meditation) is often skirted over in martial arts training, seen as just something to clear the mind before training and calm you down again after training.

But meditation is a method of developing the mind which has martial applications as well as being for self development and health. It allows better connection between the conscious and sub conscious minds, enabling better instincts and intuition to develop. This can carry into all areas of you life, but having a improved intuition has obvious applications for self defence. Read more

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Martial Arts And The Power Of Taking Responsibility

I don’t often have guest writers on BunkaiJutsu.  However, I’ve had a request from a freelance writer Katlyn Warner to publish her article on taking responsibility and how it is particularly significant to martial artists, especially children.  It covers a number of self development aspects of martial arts training I thought so I thought I’d share it. Read more

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Violence Never Solves Anything . . . . Really?

How many times have you heard well-meaning people say something like, “violence never solves anything”.

The idea that violence never solves anything has been has been around for a while in world of ever growing political correctness.  As a society, it’s a laudable goal to try and eradicate violence so that nobody has to be unnecessarily hurt and it is something that we should all work towards.  We’ll never achieve it of course as violence is part of the human condition and we are all capable of it given the right circumstances! Read more

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