This question is marked "community wiki".

[Sorry for the messy title, couldn't come up with anything better...]

This question is rooted primarily in martial arts, but it relates to all physical movements. My personal exposure to it has been in fighting, and so that is what I use for simile, but it is still just as valid if you are to compare it to simple acts such as walking, running, or jumping.

A mentor of mine once explained to me that there were two ways to move your body. The first was to 'push' with your muscles, the second was to 'pull' with your soul.

It was explained that if you relax your muscles and move your 'spiritual body', your physical body will follow quickly, precisely, and smoothly. He explained the concept like using your body as a puppet instead of a suit of armor that is bulky and slow.

I've practiced both 'types' of moving, but it is much harder for me to 'pull' rather than 'push'. My mentor said that the 'pulling' motions should always be used when trying to intercept or redirect an opponent's momentum, and the 'pushing' motions should ONLY be used when one has the intention of crushing your target.

Is the 'pulling' concept really "leading with your soul"? Or is it just manipulating your muscles in a different way? Or is it both? Or I suppose neither?

Is there a benefit to being able to do both? Another mentor of mine refers to all 'spirituality' in martial arts as being gibberish, and the reason that the old / classical styles are obsolete and now everybody trains in MMA. I respect both mentors greatly for different reasons, but I really don't know what to think about their disagreement on this subject.

asked 20 Dec '11, 22:38

Snow's gravatar image


Think about any sport you've ever watched, and reflect on how the masters of that sport play. They all have several things in common:

  1. They know their mental game, and play it well.
  2. They understand the physical forces of that game, and how to shape, manipulate and leverage those forces.
  3. Most importantly, they understand how their mental game relates to their physical game.

Now, think about a simple instance in your life when you performed extraordinarily well. Maybe you hit a baseball farther than ever before. Maybe you turned in the best musical performance of your life.

What did that feel like? Did it take great effort, or was it effortless? How was your mental state at that moment? Were you thinking about anything at all?


answered 21 Dec '11, 00:36

Vesuvius's gravatar image


While reading your questions a giant smile appeared on my face.. A lightbulb turned on in my head. ^_^ I was thinking about exactly what I was doing and what I was trying to accomplish, and nothing else. Thank you very much! That's an extremely enlightening answer.

(21 Dec '11, 00:39) Snow

well to answer your question yes you need both side pull when one is pushing and push when one is pulling. this way you are the master of the dance. has for the difference between your 2 master one see it has martial art a way of life. and the other see it only has a physical competition. but guess who knows more? is it the one that train is body and mind once in a while for a competition or the one that is always training him self with every breath that he takes has away of life(martial art)? has for the spiritual side in martial art yes it exist how other wise you could catch a punch when you do not know it is throw at you? how could you know someone is going to attack you when it is only taking form in their mind? how could you see someone coming at you in slow motion? experience and enjoy.


answered 21 Dec '11, 01:46

white%20tiger's gravatar image

white tiger

I do enjoy when martial arts are referenced as dances, because I feel that is the best method of explaining them in their 'truest' form. =) I do appreciate your response.

I do still respect the words of my more 'physical' mentor, because regarding sport combat he is extremely talented, I just believe there is more to the picture than what he sees. Thanks for sharing. =)

(21 Dec '11, 03:22) Snow

you never have answer my question if you know the path to heaven?

(21 Dec '11, 03:49) white tiger

That is true I did not. Nor did I answer your question of "have you seen the eye of god". You've put up with my issues, I suppose that I owe you an answer.--So: No, I do not know the path to heaven. I have not seen the eye of god, nor the eye of satan. There have been times where I have felt like all three were being presented to me in one form or another, sometimes objects, sometimes opportunities to do evil things in life, sometimes in dreams, sometimes just an emotional feeling of one or another. Every time I've "seen" one of these things approaching me, I've ran, because I'm concerned [...

(21 Dec '11, 05:01) Snow

...] that the "impending doom" I reference in my other question is my direct exposure to any of these things we are discussing. And so, because of the feeling of this impending doom, I have intentionally averted my gaze (so to speak) whenever one of these was brought to my attention.

(21 Dec '11, 05:02) Snow

well leo you have fear of doom. and eventually you will die. why fear death? it will come when it is the time for it to come. so basicaly you stop your self of achiving your potential because of a fear. leo do you fear the day and the night? do you fear the light or the darkness? do you fear life and death? you see they are all part of the whole.

(21 Dec '11, 21:19) white tiger

i will take the example of fire. some people fear fire. fire can warm you up or can burn you it is all in the way you use it. so understand it for what it is and use it for what it should be use properly with respect and you will not get burn.

(21 Dec '11, 21:23) white tiger

@WT: Absolutely. My fear is of Doom, not of Death. Similarly I do not fear night or day, nor light or darkness, I do however fear those that at times hide in the darkness, and even more-so I fear those that hide in the light. I do not fear life and death. I try as much as I can to live by my own philosophy, "Believe you will live forever but live each day like it is your last." I appreciate the life I have been given, and treat it as a gift, a gift I try to use as a tool to share light with others. I do not believe that "Doom" is a part of the cycle that is "Life and Death".

(23 Dec '11, 19:38) Snow

Regarding Fire: Yes, absolutely. That is exactly a lesson that would come out of my mouth, nearly verbatim. Fire is a tool, like any tool it has the potential to be used properly and the potential to be used improperly. As with all tools of any nature, be they hammers, guns, or anywhere in between, I have the utmost respect for their potential and am always careful when attempting to aim that potential for myself. This respect is what leads me to be excessively cautious when handling firearms particularly, because I have zero intention of allowing myself to inadvertently end another life.

(23 Dec '11, 19:41) Snow

Unfortunately this "respect" for potential dangers can at times become excessively influential in me, and changes from "respect" into "fear" or even "paranoia", especially as it pertains to high risk situations that I do not personally have a hand in controlling. For example, when driving in a car I am comfortable with I will regularly drive considerably faster than the law suggests, to the point of being called reckless and dangerous. In a car with someone I trust they can drive even more recklessly than I do (quite a feat, I assure you) and be completely fine... [..

(23 Dec '11, 19:43) Snow

..] But if I am in a car with someone I don't trust they can be driving well under the speed limit and I will still literally be jumping out of my seat every time they do something I perceive as being dangerous. The reason I explain this is to explain the following: I do not fear life for sure, I love life. I dislike the idea of losing my life, but I do not fear it. I don't even fear the idea of not knowing when my own death will arrive, because I know that once it is over I wont be in a position to complain any further. What does however is this 'doom', because I hate things I can't explain!

(23 Dec '11, 19:45) Snow

well leo stop hating and start to learn and experience. that duality does not serve you.

(23 Dec '11, 21:13) white tiger

did i condemn you leo? so why should you fear doom? know your self and know other stay in the truth and the harmony be the light that you should be. experience and enjoy.

(23 Dec '11, 22:22) white tiger
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Asked: 20 Dec '11, 22:38

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Last updated: 21 Dec '11, 01:46

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