Saturday, October 29, 2005

Little Kung-fu Girl

A little girl on the National Geographic channel inspired me today. I happened to switch the TV on this afternoon (I don't really watch TV except for Discovery, National Geographic, for cricket matches, or for the news) and the show 'About Asia' was on. They featured a kung-fu school in China where the best martial arts masters came from. I've always been fascinated by the Chinese art of war because it is more like dance and it is actually more peaceful than our modern 'beating up methods'. There are many kinds of kung-fu and weapons include swords and sticks but they said that the most deadliest weapon was the human fingers.

The program showed how students from all over China come to study kung-fu at the that school. Some students receieve more attention as the masters believe they have a special potential to become great kung-fu masters. One such student was a little 10-year old girl. In addition to 6 hours of kung-fu everyday, students had to do chores, meditate daily, and also get lessons in history, english, geography, and calligraphy. This little girl seemed to make big life decisions for her age.

She openly confessed to hating doing the chores, especially washing clothes outside in the harsh winter but she did it with committment that was required as part of her training. Wow.. how many of us adults would willingly undergo living in silent isolation, no TV/phone/computer/music, and dedicate life to learning and perfecting one's inner and outer discipline.

I am so moved by the extraordinary story of this young one. She had been abandoned as a baby by her natural parents. Although loved by her adoptive mother, she was repeatedly physically abused by her adoptive father. At the age of 6, her mother sent her to the kung-fu school for her to get away from being beaten. As she spoke to the interviewer in her girly Chinese language, she cried when she spoke about her father.. saying things like "I wanted to kill him everytime he hit me". Although life at the school was not a walk in the park, she felt more empowered than ever now that she knew how to protect herself. Learning kung-fu also gave her the discipline and patience needed to help deal with her anger. It was funny when she'd say that meditation never worked and that she'd always think of her mother when she was supposed to think of nothing.

But like the founder of Taoism said, everyone has to find their own path to enlightenment. So at 10 years old, this little girl missed her mom too much and decided to go back home. Kung-fu monks are supposed to live in isolation all their life, they are not expected to raise families, and they must be celibate. I guess this 'little dragon' girl's path was to be there for her mom for the moment.

The show also talked to monks who had renounced their families, given up any contact with the outside world, a 103 year old woman who was as dexterous as ever, and even one guy who thought he could become immortal like a Tao God if he perfected his kung-fu art.

The idea is for each of us to find our own way. We need to find our purpose. People who have found purpose are more evolved. I truly believe that the next evolutionary principle in the human race is on the spiritual level. The ability to find peace in a turbulent world, and to be free of negativity, jealousy, egoism, and money-mindedness will give us a greater chance to be selected by nature to survive.


Blogger nijaz said...

not exactly pertinent to the topic, but the brazilian martial art capoeira, is completely of the danceform without any contact.

The aim is to outwit your opponent doing dance-like manouevres while drumbeats play in da background.

Surprisingly, it's been taught in dubai.

Sunday, 06 November, 2005  
Blogger Mubeena Mohd said...

Nijaz, Yes I know about capoera.. and it is one of my favorite artforms as well.

Why are you surprised that it is being taught in Dubai? I think that's great and I am not that surprised.

..and don't worry about being pertinent to the "topic". Randomness has more connections sometimes.. thanks for your comment and please visit again.

Wednesday, 09 November, 2005  
Blogger nijaz said...

My surprise has a reason

Many years back (>10) when the teenage mutant ninja turtles had grabbed my attention and black-clad stealthy moving figures in movies had fuelled my obsession, I had called up every martial art training centre in Dubai to see if they taught ninja, only to my utter disappointment.

Hence capoera a lesser known art, being in Dubai surprises me.

When I am grappling with the basics of philosophy (The Story of Philosophy by Will Durrant has become my text book)I find your site very inviting and without doubt you shall find my comments and questions popping up more often. :)

Monday, 14 November, 2005  

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