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Becoming Left Handed

I was talking to George Xu the other day and he compared the process of changing from being an external martial artist to being and internal martial artist to the process of changing from being right handed to being left handed.  To accomplish that, you would have give up writing and feeding yourself with your right hand and learn those actions with your left hand.  Simple enough, I suppose, if you're a hermit in the mountains with a years supply of edible mushrooms.

However, if you are going to keep your life going you'd have to accomplish it in steps, gradually going back and forth between left handed and right handed actions.  I imagine it would take a lot of confidence and determination.6a00e55404668688330115724cc09b970b-pi

Of course we aren't trying to change from right to left, we are trying to change from so called "external" to so called "internal."  Add to the problem that there are few people who can model it well, and even fewer that can clearly explain the task-at-hand.

But my point here is that learning internal arts has a real similarity to trying to do stuff with your non-dominant hand.  You have to turn off the well established how to messages, and replace them with clumsy awkward undeveloped ways of moving.  And you have to do this consistently, in an experimental feedback loop, over an extended period of time.

Reader Comments (1)

As I understand it, to be an internal martial artist one of the things we must do is to learn to habitually move in a specific way; call it internal strength, internal discipline, whole body movement, etc.

Not unlike learning to be other-handed.

December 5, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRick Matz

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