The IDMA Report

Monday, January 18, 2010 @ 11:03 EST
Yin and Yang
By: ACL


Yin and yang are two powerful opposing but complementary forces and said to be found in all matter and processes, in the universe. As early as the 4th century BC, the Chinese philosophers wrote about yin and yang; Yin being associated with dark, moist, soft, passive, receptive, earthy, and female while yang is associated with everything bright, dry, active, hard, aggressive, heavenly, and male.

The Taijitu, a circle divided into a half white and a half black shape, symbolizes the yin and yang forces. The shapes are not semicircles because, although a constant struggle for balance is ongoing, absolute balance between yin and yang does not exist.
The black dot on the white shape and the white dot on the black shape signify that yin cannot exist without yang nor can yang exist with yin.

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Yin and Yang
A Martial Art's New Year's Resolution
Controlling the Fight

The outer circle of the Taijitu represents everything there is to experience and is always influenced by the opposing yin and yang forces.

The forces of yin and yang are found in many arts. For example, in traditional Chinese medicine, diagnostics and treatments are conducted using the philosophical structure of yin and yang.

In Feng Shui (an ancient Chinese skill), practitioners balance the forces of yin and yang by distinct placement and arrangement of matter in the land or surroundings, to achieve harmony within the environment.

Tai Chi (an art used for self defense, health and relaxation) teaches the combining of yin and yang, to create harmony in and out of the body.

Yin and yang are also applied to the classical Greek, Tibetan, Hinduism, Japanese, Chinese, and Paganism elements.

Martial arts apply these elements linked with yin and yang forces to their fighting styles. In Wing Chun, one of the five elements (Wu Xing) water, is yin and is the most difficult element to learn. Yin makes water soft. If one’s body is soft, the punches of the opponent will not hurt because the softness gives way, causing less of an impact.

The highest level of fighting is the martial artist’s adeptness of using the five elements in combination with yin and yang forces. At any given time, the martial artist can, without thought, change into each element, feel each element, and know immediately what element conquers another element.Attaining this level of fighting where one has mastered the elements with the yin and yang forces makes one a challenging opponent.

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