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)