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Lee on “What is Martial Art” : RTD 018

Posted in Discussion Question, Martial Arts, Philosophy with tags , , , , , , , , , , on January 15, 2013 by Combative Corner

Freddie Lee FMKRTD 018: Martial Art is the balanced integration of the body, mind, & spirit & its expression of it. Martial Art is the integration of Yin/Yang. Martial is Yang, Art is Yin. The balance is Martial Art. The imbalance is not Martial Art but rather a corrupted version of it. A balance is like walking on tight rope, it is easy to become unbalanced in which to fall. Those who are balanced correctly are representing harmony between the two forces of Yin/Yang. Yin/Yang goes by the philosophy of Tao. Martial Arts is the Tao. True Martial Arts must integrate the Physical, Mental, and Spiritual. Any lack of, is not Martial Art. Any and all combat sport is not Martial Art, it lacks the spiritual. Football, basketball, golf, tennis, etc. are not Martial Arts, it lacks the scientific development of combat, it lacks the spiritual understanding, and it lacks the complete physical development that is relevant to self-defense, sports is not Martial Arts.

Dancing is not Martial Arts, but it retains the creative/artistic qualities of Martial Arts. Michael Jackson was not a Martial Artist, but he clearly was an Artist. Mike Tyson was a Boxer, not a Martial Artist, he would more closely resemble a street fighter than a Martial Artist. Although Mohammed Ali was a professional Boxer, his inner spirit, his expression of compassion, his inner character in standing up against the Vietnam War, his gracefulness in the ring, made him resemble more of a Martial Artist rather than a street fighter. A Martial Artist does not fight for money, a Martial Artist will not hurt others for profit, a Martial Artist will find another way to make a living. A Martial Artist will not train others to become bullies, a Martial Artist will train others to become good, loving, and compassionate people within.

Martial Arts is not purely just self-defense. A soldier is not a Martial Artist, a Police Officer is not a Martial Artist. They are both in lack of the spiritual development, and they are clearly in lack of the artistic and creative aspects of what makes an Artist. They may possess or have knowledge on the most efficient way to kill, but they are not Martial Artists. In Martial Art, there is an aspect of creativity and self-expression that cannot be found in self-defense tactics alone. Self-Defense tactics is more scientific, it is not artistic. There is clearly a difference between self-defense and Martial Arts.

Martial Art requires an understanding of the Eastern way of living and being. Martial Art derives from the East, not from the West. In order for a Westerner to truly understand Martial Art, he must surrender his Ego and learn the ways of the East in which to create a balance between East and West. The Westerner is representing Yang, the East is representing Yin, the westerner who refuses to learn the ways of the East, cannot be a Martial Artist. He can be a soldier, he can be a fighter, he can be capable of defending himself in combat, but he is not a Martial Artist. The West teaches violence and effective ways of killing, the East teaches peace, love, and compassion, learning both ways creates the balance, creates the harmony.

Belt JiuJitsu Jiu-Jitsu GJJ White JTBBThe proud wearing of traditional uniforms that represent the culture of the East is important in Martial Arts. This shows the appreciation of the history, culture, and ways of the East. Uniforms play a significant role in society. We know who a Police Officer is when we see his uniform. The mailman has his uniform, the UPS driver has his uniform. The sales clerk has his uniform. The uniforms that you choose to wear will represent your understanding and appreciation of the Martial Arts. If you choose to wear no uniform, the Martial spirit is still within you but the public will not be able to identify you as a Martial Artist unless they already know what it means to be a Martial Artist. Combat Sport Fighters, Street Fighters, and thugs have their own uniforms that represent their ways. Martial Artist’s have uniforms that set themselves apart.

If it is not the uniform, it is also the way you move and the way you physically express yourself as a Martial Artist. A Martial Artist knows how to move like a dancer, most Fighters do not. A Martial Artist is graceful with his movements, most Fighters are not. A Martial Artist is peaceful with his expression, fighters are not, they are destructive. A Martial Artist will demonstrate his talents and abilities without having to hurt others, a Fighter will hurt another for a price. A Martial Artist has a good heart within and will not abuse his powers. A fighter is an immature child who is irresponsible with the powers that he possesses.

Martial Artist’s are found in all walks of life doing good for society. You will find Martial Artist’s that make a living as actors, fire fighters, Police Officers, soldiers, teachers, personal trainers, fitness instructors, nutritionalists, professors, doctors, dentists, service clerks, security guards, etc. You will find Martial Artists who take on professions that are contributing something positive to society. You will not find Martial Artists in Combat Sports, you will find fighters, boxers, wrestlers, bullies, and athletes, but not Martial Artists. It is not easy for talented Martial Artists to reach fame, as there are less and less professions available in the entertainment businesses that require the unique skills and talents of Martial Artists.

The invention of computer graphics and the use of stunt doubles has nearly eliminated the need for movie producers to hire Martial Artists for action roles. Martial Artist’s are left with occupations that are typically low-paying and do not provide the opportunities to reach worldwide fame. A Martial Artist in the real world is like the very talented and inspiring teacher that is known locally but not worldwide. Fighters are known worldwide and get paid much money because they are willing to hurt and destroy others for profit, similar to how a drug dealer can make much more money compared to a Police Officer or how a “porn star” or stripper can make significantly more money than a school teacher.

Martial Artists are becoming more extinct in the real world, just as many of these beautiful wildlife animals are becoming extinct because the human population has taken over the world and have used up all available resources. The humans move in, the wildlife disappears. Fighters are moving in & Martial Artists are disappearing, that is the reality of the situation. No more is the public idolizing Martial Artists like Bruce Lee & Jet Li. The public is now idolizing Fighters. Those who see and observe what is occurring can make a change for the better in which to represent the Martial Arts the way it is meant to be represented.

Sifu Freddie Lee

Founder & Owner
Tao of Freddie’s Modern Kung Fu

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Sifu Lee on Teaching Kungfu

Posted in Kungfu, Martial Arts, Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , on February 15, 2012 by Sifu Freddie Lee

The great thing about being a Kung Fu teacher is that it is about being a teacher of life, it is not just about teaching someone how to defend themselves physically. It goes much deeper than that. So being a chiropractor, teacher, or a translator is all relevant to Kung Fu & Martial Arts. A chiropractor will know how to heal the body from pain, this is extremely important in the Martial Arts. When you share your knowledge in Kung Fu & Martial Arts to others, that is teaching. When you study the Eastern cultures and way of life and share it with others in the West, you are being a translator.

We are not meant to be cogs in a machine who are designed to do one repetitive task over and over again. We are meant to be creative and artistic with many loves in life. That is why you have so many interests in career choices that you find it difficult to choose one. The beauty of Kung Fu & Martial Arts is that you do not have to choose one. As you practice… as you turn it into a way of life, you are simply living, enjoying, and teaching about life – you are not just limited to serving one specialized function.

A Martial Artist may make less money than a Chiropractor, but that depends on how successful you are. As a Martial Artist you can reach out to many people in different ways. The schooling required in order to become a Chiropractor I would imagine would be extremely expensive, if you put that into consideration, they do not make as much money as you would believe them to make. Whereas being a Martial Artist would not nearly cost you as much in schooling, so you can potentially live a comfortable lifestyle in that field.

Being a Martial Arts teacher is not just a dream that many seem to fail at, but rather it is not a common practice here in the West. They do not have a wide variety of schools that prepare you to be a full time Martial Arts instructor. They do not have the curriculum established. You cannot go to grade school, jr. high, high school, and college all for the preparation to be a Martial Arts teacher. It is just recognized as a hobby, not something that is seen to be a serious occupational goal to achieve, like a doctor, professor, electrician, etc.

They do not have the schools available because people here in the West still do not know what Martial Arts really is. All they really know about is sport, they know nothing about Martial Art. They cannot teach what they do not know. That is the primary reason many find it hard to achieve their goals in the Martial Arts.  They do not have the proper guidance. Those who are successful end up having to self-guide themselves. To develop themselves to be real Martial Artists.

Being a quality Martial Arts teacher is not a high paying job. If you are most concerned about money, then this is not the field for you. A big part of the spirituality in the Martial Arts is the balance between giving and taking. The more you make, the more you give. The goal is not to maximize profits in which to exploit others. You do not cheat people out of their money – you are fair in how you conduct business. Your success can grow through time, and you may eventually be profitable, but that is not the primary goal.

If you truly love Martial Arts, there is no other job that is more perfect than being a Martial Arts teacher. Real life is what you make it. Teaching Martial Arts is not just about giving kids self-confidence, it is about helping human beings grow to their potential.

I live modestly and I am able to make a living by teaching. It’s not easy, but neither is becoming a Chiropractor or whatever profession that requires an enormous amount of time for study and money for schooling. It may be better to work and teach on the side until you build enough of a student base in order to go full-time with it.

Yes, it is definitely a good job and yes, it is very realistic – much more realistic than you may think.

Without my notice, I had been training in Kung Fu since birth and all these years of training had led me up to this point, where all that I know and all that I have experienced is completely relevant to being in the position that I am in. I never planned to be a Martial Arts teacher, it just happened on its own. Sometimes in life you don’t plan for things. They just happen. I believe the key is to put your heart into what you love. If you do that, you should be fine.

Freddie Lee

[via FMK’s Facebook Page]

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Sifu Lee on The Internet

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on February 12, 2012 by Sifu Freddie Lee

The true desire I have within since I started practicing Martial Arts is to express myself as an Artist on a large scale. Without that opportunity, I would feel something within me would be in lack. Yes I would continue to practice while being hidden, but I would always feel something would be missing. I know Bruce had this drive & that is what pushed him towards Hollywood. For me, I have the Internet & social media, but I see that those in power are attempting to take away this Internet & our ability to communicate. The result would hinder much creativity in this world. I would then have to concentrate my energies on a local level but doing so I would not be enabled at all to connect with people who are miles away. It brings me great joy to see how I can connect with others in other states & countries through modern technology. I believe this to be nearly every Artist’s dream. To me it’s not even about making money, if anything, as a starving Artist you will always be spending money in order to share what you have grown to love so much, in my case it is Kung Fu & Martial Arts.

The simple label of “Tao” brings together so many people of like understanding. It was the Tao that liberated my mind from conformity. I believe I am here to complete what Bruce was unable to complete for the Martial Arts community. Yes it is an enormous task but I am willing to dedicate my entire life into completing this task. If those in power wish to take away the internet, it will be much more difficult to reach out to others on a mass scale as Bruce was able to do, as Hollywood would hardly ever knock at my door. But I see that publishing a few books will do, it may be so that some individuals may accidently discover my writings & possibly become transformed as what I have experienced with the Tao. In a library filled with thousands of books & movies, there will be the few that you will find that will guide you towards the way. But always remember that anything of great value is never something that is easily obtained. Continue on your journey towards the way, I will continue on mine, by doing so, our spirits will forever be connected.

Sifu Freddie Lee

[via FMK’s Facebook Thoughts]

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Sifu Freddie’s Message To Shannon Lee

Posted in Fighters, Philosophy, ULTIMATE FIGHTING with tags , , , , , , , , , , on January 15, 2012 by Sifu Freddie Lee

Bruce Lee’s daughter Shannon Lee said,

“My dad would have really enjoyed UFC, I think he was very into real combat, his art is all about being a complete fighter and being able to handle yourself in any situation you find yourself in. This (the UFC) is really the closest you can get to it.”

Ms. Shannon Lee I completely disagree with you.  You may be Bruce’s daughter by blood but that does not mean you know anything about true Martial Arts.  The spirit of the Martial Arts is not passed on by blood, but the understanding comes from within and it’s an individual experience. Yes, Bruce was into studying real combat but UFC is not real.  His art is not about being a complete fighter, his art is about being a complete HUMAN BEING.  And yes, he teaches to be able to handle yourself in any situation you find yourself in by learning “The art of fighting without fighting” (as he stated in his film, Enter the Dragon).  Bruce Lee’s movies, his writings (and interviews) speak for him.  Sorry Ms. Shannon Lee, you don’t have to speak for him… And UFC is NOT the closest that you can get to real fighting.  Real fighting only occurs in real life – away from the cameras.  In real life, real fighting occurs spontaneously, not in controlled environments designed for entertainment for profit.  Real fighting many times will involve real death and real jail time.

Bruce’s movies portray something much more real than UFC will ever portray.

Sifu Freddie Lee

Freddie’s Modern Kungfu

[Thoughts via FMK’s Facebook. 1//10/12]

“To me, ultimately, martial arts mean honestly expressing yourself… Now it’s easy for me to put on a show and be cocky and be flooded with a cocky feeling… but to honestly express oneself – not lying to oneself.  And to express myself honestly; that, my friend, is very hard to do.” 

(Bruce Lee, “The Lost Interview.  Aired in 1971)

Should We Condition Ourselves To Take A Hit?

Posted in External Arts, Self-Defense, Teaching Topic, Training with tags , , , , , , , , , on December 27, 2011 by Sifu Freddie Lee

Recently I read a post on Tim Larkin’s blog entitled, Conditioning to Take a Hit, and it gave me some things to think about.  Ironically, contributing author Freddie Lee was just finishing a YouTube video on fitness/conditioning/sparring with his FMK Todai.  I would suggest everyone read the original article first, followed by myself and Freddie’s input on the subject.  The world is full of varying opinions, but before you engage in any conditioning program, we at the Combative Corner hope that you are doing it for the right reasons and in the appropriate manner.

Coach Michael Joyce

There are two sides to conditioning; the obvious physical side, but also the understated psychological one.  Naturally, as we grow, the more we experience the more acquainted we become with pain.  Many of us martial art fanatics have images of Shaolin monks hardening their bodies to resist virtually anything; including direct strikes to the throat or groin.  Obviously from a health and injury prevention standpoint, this sort of training is ill-advised.  This is just my personal opinion.

As citizens of this modern world, it is not necessary to condition ourselves as a sports combative athlete would.  However, if you’re a person who has experienced very little in the realm of pain, it might be a good idea to “harden” your body-mind to withstand (at the very least) a moderate amount of striking (like what is pictured above).  The body can be “trained” to withstand a great deal, but it is the mind that must be “hardened” as well.  This conditioning can (in my opinion) best be trained through proper training drills, whereby the mind is not focused on quantity or of boring repetition, but of situation-like “give-and-take” between you and your partner.  Proper state-of-mind in self-defense helps in the production of courage.  Courage, along with the grit of “I can give as good (or better) as I get” will help to produce the positive results you wish to see in the fight.  Physical conditioning (as in “proper fitness & health”) should serve as your basis.  It should go without saying that the fitter you are, the more capable your body is to performing well under the extreme demands of a fight.  However, it should be understood and understood firmly that “Conditioning” involves a holistic approach and should be a skill-set that is slowly built upon.

Comment below if you have any questions or need any clarification

Sifu Freddie Lee

The main form of conditioning should be in overall fitness training, that is the healthiest. As far as conditioning in taking hits, forearm development through repetitive contact during normal training is required for men & women. The arms will be blocked & parried in self-defense situations & a Martial Artist must be able to withstand this natural contact. Fact is, men & women will need to harden their forearms to take damage so that their center line or vital areas of their bodies do not take the damage instead. Shoes will protect the feet so men & women don’t have to worry about developing shin strength like some competition fighters, this is optional, but I do not see it as too healthy if done with too much force as you are breaking down the bone & I wonder about the long term effects. Forearm hardening development I see as healthy as you are simply hardening the muscles, & the women I have trained have shown that they are more than capable of withstanding a decent amount of force while developing this part of the body.

As far as the center line is concerned, purposefully striking the vital areas of the body such as the face, throat, neck, sternum, groin area, etc. is not healthy & not advised even for the experienced Martial Artist. The abs can take hits in a healthy way as long as it is done progressively & periodically. Ab hardening in the form of somebody delivering slight force to the abs with a palm strike or exercise ball can serve to help the practitioner develop proper breathing methods to withstand real strikes. Proper breathing techniques will prevent the individual from getting their wind knocked out of them. So I would say, for serious Martial Artists, ab hardening is necessary, but it has to be done in a safe way. Never at full force, progressively from soft to hard, & to be done periodically. Once the proper breathing is developed, then simple ab exercises are more than sufficient & that type of contact training is no longer as necessary.

If men or women cannot withstand a decent amount of force to their forearms & abs, they cannot realistically expect to survive deadly confrontations of self-defense. Replace those forearms & abs with the vital areas of the body, & you will see there is no way they will be able to withstand these serious attacks. Of course we do not want to break noses, give black eyes, have broken teeth, broken ribs, broken knee caps, & things like that, that is obviously unhealthy training. But it shall be expected, your forearms & abs should be developed. The palms need to be developed in order to deliver an attack that will be sufficient to stop an attacker. Fist development can be optional as they can always use the palms. Fist development can be unhealthy if done improperly. Elbows & knees are naturally very strong, so not much concentration needs to be focused there aside from proper technique.

Comment below if you have any questions or need any clarification

Article by: Michael Joyce & Freddie Lee

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Sifu Lee on Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Posted in Discussion Question, Fighters, Martial Arts, Philosophy with tags , , , , , , , , , , on November 1, 2011 by Sifu Freddie Lee

Mayweather (related article) is a great undefeated Boxer with over 40 wins in a row! That is amazing. If Bruce was a Boxer, he would box like Mayweather & Ali, if I was a Boxer I would Box like that too, utilizing grace, speed, talent & skill.  To dance around the opponent, not fight in anger & brute force.  But still, even though Mayweather is a great Boxer who is undefeated he does not inspire me, that’s all he is, just a Boxer, nothing more. Bruce & Ali were not just Fighters. They took their talents outside of their craft & inspired change.

Δ

I am not inspired by Fighters or Artists who only fight for the money & nothing more. You see Ali & John Lennon stood up against the War; they inspired people to do the right thing against authority. Bruce stood up against racial discrimination; he inspired people to do the right thing against authority. Now these Fighters nowadays, they stand for nothing, all they want to do is make money from Fighting. Someone can win 100 fights in a row & it still will not impress me if he does not seek to make this world a better place.

Freddie Lee

“Thoughts via FMK Facebook

Δ

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WHAT HAPPENED? FLOYD MAYWEATHER vs. VICTOR ORTIZ

Boredom with Exercise : Sifu Lee

Posted in Health, Training with tags , , , , , , , , , on August 30, 2011 by Sifu Freddie Lee

In order to achieve elite physical potential, one must liberate oneself from the feeling of boredom while exercising.  The foundational exercises to maintain a healthy state of physicality are simple and if an individual cannot be satisfied with this simplicity then there can never be enough “new” exercises to alleviate this persons feeling of boredom.  In order to be a great basketball player, a person cannot get “bored” of shooting.  The person would literally have to shoot thousands shots before achieving his true potential.  In order to become a great boxer, a person cannot get “bored” of punching.  The person would have to punch thousands of times in order to become great.  With exercising and physical fitness, it is the same concept.

If a person who is unfit wishes to become healthy and fit, the person cannot be bored of exercising.  If this person becomes bored, this person will eventually lose his interest to exercise and never become fit and healthy until he has learned to free himself from this inner feeling of boredom.  No personal trainer in this world can ever come up with enough varieties of exercise to satisfy a clients feeling of boredom.  Any and all exercises are simply variations from the foundational exercises that are required to achieve elite physical potential.

For example the foundational exercise to maintain cardio endurance is running, any other cardio exercise that heightens the heart rate is just a variation to the foundation.  No matter if it is biking, swimming, using the elliptical, using a stationary bike, jumping rope, doing jumping jacks, etc.  In order to achieve elite physical potential, one cannot become dependent on variations due to simply being bored of the foundation.  Many times a person will use excuses to not exercise because he does not have access to certain training equipment that he has become dependent on.  A swimmer may not exercise because the swimming pool has closed for the day.  A biker may not exercise because his bike had a flat tire.  An individual who frequents the gym may become dependent on an elliptical machine and will only exercise when she has access to an elliptical.  All these are examples of different forms of dependency that provide excuses for individuals to not exercise.  If one is satisfied with the foundation, which is running, then one always maintains cardio fitness no matter the location or circumstances.  One can run indoors, one can run outdoors, and one can run in place.  One is not dependent on other variations of cardio fitness; one is satisfied with the foundation.  This foundation will allow an individual to maintain cardio fitness for the entirety of one’s life.

In order to achieve elite cardio fitness, a runner must take thousands of steps.  In order to develop muscular strength in the chest and arms, an individual must practice thousands of pushups.  Being bored of certain exercises simply is not an adequate excuse to stop exercising, one simply needs to liberate oneself from any feeling of boredom and learn to appreciate and find joy in practicing the foundational exercises necessary to maintain physical fitness.  The truth to exercising and staying fit is that it is simple.  Others just wish to make you think that it is complicated so that they can somehow turn it into a profession in order to make profits.  What the majority of the population really lacks is not how to stay fit and healthy but rather the lack is in the motivation and discipline in which to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Sifu Freddie Lee

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FreddiesModernKungfu.Com

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