Beauty & Function in Chinese Martial Arts
When we create beauty, We aspire towards recreating a flavour of something that exists beyond the relative, buried deep like a fleeting memory of a time long ago that we can’t quite remember but know is significant. Beauty, in whatever form it is presented, inspires us, captivates us and humbles us.
Modern life is trying hard to disconnect us from beauty. I look at modern architecture, and I am uninspired, I look at modern art, and I am unmoved, I listen to modern music, and I am untouched.
Kung Fu, to me, is about the pursuit of beauty through finding harmony between form and function. Kung Fu that is all function is lifeless and brutal, and Kung Fu that is all form, is empty and useless.
The Chinese weapons are the best example of the pursuit of form and function. When done correctly they require a level of balance, finesse and control that looks like the weapon is an extension of the body. Wielding weapons with skill cannot be faked; an unskilled practitioner gives themselves away very quickly. A master has attained harmony between form and function, and it is mesmerising to watch them move.
How do we achieve this level of beauty in all that we do? – it’s easy, by repeating our practice over and over again, for years and decades, chiseling away at the mundane and unrefined until what is left is beauty and mastery.
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