Monday, August 15, 2011
Bad Kung Fu Series #3: Mind Over Matter - Higher Martial Arts
Mind Over Matter - Higher Martial Arts by Shi Ming
Well, I have to say I had high hopes for this book.
If you, like me, look for "concept books" over "technical books" this book has the appeal of deep thinking and experimental physiology.
But in the end, it is a continuum of verbose wordiness and partly related ideas. Every page or so there is a clever notion that pops out, but taken as a whole I had to labor through this short book.
Hey, I'm a pretty smart boy. This book wasn't over my head. It's more like a long run-on sentence that seems to present the same concepts in different ways. The translation from Chinese is by Thomas Cleary, who usually provides good text, so I don't necessarily think the re-write went wrong.
Author Shi Ming can be found in YouTube clips demonstrating "empty force" Chi-type techniques on his cadre of willing students, not very convincingly.
Here's a quote from the book to give you an idea where the author is going:
"Martial arts are a total format combining nature, society, and human life, a system with many levels of effective capacity as well as a holistic essence and potential. The purpose of refinement of consciousness through martial arts is to develop the latent abilities of the human body and brain, to cultivate supranormal capacities in the human body and supranormal levels of consciousness."