I Do Not Hit

Yesterday, the independent movie theatre across the street was playing Bruce Lee’s Enter the Dragon. Of course I had to watch it. One of my favourite scenes was near the beginning of the movie, when he’s talking with his Martial Arts Teacher.

Teacher: What is the highest technique you hope to achive? Bruce Lee: To have no technique. Teacher: Very good, what are your thoughts when facing an opponent? Bruce Lee: There is no opponent. Teacher: Then why is that? Bruce Lee: Because the word I, does not exist. Teacher: So, continue. Bruce Lee: A good fight, should be, like a small play, but played seriously. A good martial artist, does not become tense, but ready. Not thinking yet, not dreaming . Ready for whatever may come. When the opponent expand I contract, when he contracts I expand. When there is an opportunity, I do not hit, it hits all by itself.

No technique, there is no opponent, I” does not exist, I do not hit, it hits all by itself. This scene poetically describes Bruce Lee’s philosophy of Be Like Water” or the japanese term, Mushin, or no mind. When a martial artist has no mind, they are free from thoughts of anger, fear, and ego during combat. This is when a martial artist is their most dangerous.

February 7, 2023

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