There has been a fun discussion on Facebook after someone posted video of a charlatan in a Chinese park bouncing some poor acolyte around using empty force. Dan then posted on his blog http://www.taichichuan.co.uk/blog.html an account of the famous Water Incident when a certain renowned purveyor of kong jin, Dr Shen Hongxun, was made to look rather foolish.
I first heard about mt force in a book on karate I read as a young teenager (what is now, bizarrely, called a ‘young adult’). In it an old master was said to be able to project his Qi by shouting “KAI!!!” and could use this to knock birds out of trees. I was both fascinated by the idea of being able to cultivate such a power yet disappointed at its weakness. Now if it could lift a spaceship out of a swamp… but this was a long, long time ago before Star Wars was a twinkle in George’s eye and I guess most kids dream of having super powers.
That, of course, is what brought me to martial arts. I quickly found that at Judo a good little’un could beat a big’un but a good big’un was more of a problem and I was a little’un! The answer, of course, is to train harder and longer than the big b******s and so to have gongfu – skill acquired through hard training. By the way the term can apply to any skill not just the martial arts.