How do we evolve through our practice and our life? As time goes on so does our understanding of Kung Fu/Tai Chi and our life. It is as ‘Ghandi’ once said – “If you ever find two of my teachings that are contradictory to each other, please take the later one, for I have grown further in my understanding.”
There is another old principle of practice that states – “the eyes must see all sides.” What does this mean and is it truly possible to see ‘all’ sides?
Of course in a simple term we can interpret this to having the ability to see attacks from all different angles. As well as being able to use our complete eye sight when engaged in sparring along with a higher level of consciousness. We have all heard the great stories of the old masters being attacked out of nowhere and being able to create a defense as if they knew it was coming all along. Is this what the old master meant by “the eyes must see all sides?” Investigating deeper we can see that it doesn’t only mean to see attacks from different angles but to see the possibility of all defenses. Most students limit their understanding of techniques to the one defense that makes the most sense, but do other possibilities exits? Imagine having the ability to see the intent of the attacker before he even starts his attack. Maybe this is why in Longfist there's a saying; "when someone attacks, hit them first." The longer we train the more we understand that we are only scratching the surface of possibilities and an entire realm exits that we never knew or could even see before.
This phrase “the eyes must see all sides” reminds us to keep our eye on the bigger picture. A constant reminder to see where we want to go and not get stuck in where we are for it is only a stepping stone (or in some cases a road block) to where we want to be. The main reason for the practice of Kung Fu and Tai Chi is to learn and grow through the practice. Evolve as better, stronger and healthier people. Kung Fu and Tai Chi practice should help us move to the next level in our life physically, mentally and spiritually as we all evolve through our practice.