The Thoughts of Chairman Steve

Aphorisms from various sources, with only the occasional snippet from the Tai Chi Classics. (Internal consistency not guaranteed.)

  • A technique is only good if it works when you do it wrong.

  • When you have a bat, everything looks like a kneecap. (Irish trad.)

  • If you cannot articulate a thing - if you can’t take it apart and put it together again - then you don’t really understand it.

  • You don’t have to understand something to use it, but understanding reveals opportunities.

  • The principle is not the thing. (Peter Reist)

  • The simpler the technique, the harder it is to master. (Ono no Jiro )

  • It is about making an effort and repeating the same thing every day. (Ono no Jiro)

  • Ultimate simplicity leads to purity. (Ono no Jiro)

  • (particularly for teachers)There are those who can see, there are those who can see when they are shown, and there are those who can never see. (Leonardo da Vinci)

  • There’s always something else to relax! (Ed Cooper)

  • Relax harder! (Ian Sinclair)

  • The ability to successfully influence a situation is often inverse to the need to control it. The ability to have a successful outcome may depend upon surrendering control.

  • Move by letting go.Don’t force the issue.

  • Release the pressured point. (Sam Masich)

  • Why hit someone only once?

  • Stick, adhere, connect and follow; don’t reach, skew (distort your shape), disconnect or fight. (Tai Chi Classics)

  • Cultivate roundness and flatten out your opponent’s shape. (Chen Pan-ling)

  • Figure out where this is going to end up, and then go there. (“Fast Eddie” Goodman)

  • Every movement has an inner aspect; otherwise it’s just line-dancing.

  • In martial arts forms, good fighting applications are self-hidden from poor practitioners.

  • To understand a problem, start with the feet and work your way up.

  • When you stand on someone’s foot, you’ve stolen half their root.

  • Grab the head and the rest will follow.

  • Definition is necessary for understanding. But remember - every act of definition carries us one step further from the truth. (E.M. Forster)

  • It’s true, if it’s true for you. (Don Schule)

  • You can get to the mountain-top from many different directions. (trad. Tibetan)

  • Move like a cat. (Tai Chi Classics)

  • Be like a good burglar.Go in through the upper story or through the basement.Don’t knock on the front door.

  • Keep up the scare. (Gen. N. Bedford-Forrest)

  • Hit ‘em where they ain’t! (Gen. N. Bedford Forrest)

  • Don’t expect evil from others, but be prepared for it. (Confucius)

  • When your technique goes to shit, your intention goes on. (Song of Sparring - paraphrased)

  • Don’t play the other guy’s game. Change the rules!

  • When in doubt, move!

  • Focus on the opponent.Do not think about yourself or who is watching.

  • You never move in a vacuum; something is always being displaced.

  • Nature abhors a vacuum. (Francois Rabelais)

  • Where does he want to fall?

  • Everything you do should be based on awareness.

  • Know neither yourself nor the opponent, how can you win? Knowing yourself and the opponent too, how can you lose? (Sun Tze)

  • Lacking intention, do not move. (trad. via Sam Masich)

  • Less is more. (Ludwig Mies van der Rohe)

  • Learning comes from inside.

  • Never fixate on either the weapon or the technique. (Takuan Soho, paraphrased)

  • Having a weapon does not necessarily mean you know how to use it.

  • He who hesitates is lost. (Joseph Addison via A.J. Higgins)

  • Remain calm, cool and callous. Destroy them.Don’t feel sorry for them. (Bill Underwood)

  • He travels fastest / farthest who travels alone. (trad. via A.J. Higgins)

  • Why sew sequins on mink?Why mess up a Colt automatic with engraving? (A.J. Higgins)

  • Mistakes are OK…as long as they are big.Nothing looks worse than a shitty, little mistake.

  • Send out the blue; bring back the red. (Tai Chi trad.)

  • In the moment be predator… not prey.

  • We are the things that happen to other people. (Terry Pratchett, paraphrased)

  • Do not sit back and let things happen to you. Instead go out and happen to things! (Leonardo da Vinci)

  • Soft goes home to bed; hard is left for dead. (R. Wiljer)

  • Softness endures. (trad. via Sam Masich)

  • Fight quick and cold. (A.J. Higgins)

  • Don’t bring a knife to a gunfight. (trad.)

  • Never draw your dirk when a blow will do it. (trad. Scots)

  • So where are his brothers? (trad. Irish via Glen Doyle)

  • There are no straight lines in nature. (A.J. Higgins)

  • Make it beautiful and it will work. (Dr. Shen Zaiwen)

  • Beauty is nice, but not necessary.

  • Mastery of one thing can be applied to anything. (Miyamoto Musashi, paraphrased)

  • You will never have a greater or lesser dominion than that over yourself... (Leonardo da Vinci)

  • Every day – a little practice. (Jou Tsung Hwa)

  • Remember – when facing upstream you must row hard to not be swept backwards. (Jou Tsung Hwa)

  • In the old days, with one good technique a man could walk across China.(Eddie Wu)

  • Protect the centreline.

  • You are the centre of the wheel; your opponent is on the rim.

  • When confronted by an irresistible force, turn.

  • If the opponent moves, get there first. (Tai Chi trad.)

  • Watch for the signs. (Jasper Friendly-Bear)

  • The soft overcomes the hard. (Tai Chi Classics)

  • What cannot move is dead.

  • To advance is to live; to retreat is to die. (Tai Chi trad.)

  • There is always tomorrow.

  • Every year, a little bit better.(Jou Tsung Hwa)

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