The Art of Water

When interviewed about his style of fighting and how he prepared for fights, Bruce Lee would say the following:

Be like water making its way through cracks. Do not be assertive, but adjust to the object, and you shall find a way round or through it. If nothing within you stays rigid, outward things will disclose themselves.

Empty your mind, be formless. Shapeless, like water. If you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle and it becomes the bottle. You put it in a teapot it becomes the teapot. Now, water can flow or it can crash. Be water my friend.



3 thoughts on “The Art of Water

  1. Hm…… I really like this, even if relating to a fight, life can be a fight sometime, really neat……. thanks for sharing..

  2. In T’ai Chi this week we did a lot of pushing hands. This involved taking a solid, fairly low stance (one foot forward), and then allowing the hips and legs to take everything as you are pushed around by a partner (you are also pushing them around). It was a very gentle start to what is effectively the main competitive element of the art.
    It’s definitely about flowing and bending. It’s interesting to see the limits of how far you can flow in any direction, absorbing the pressure into changes in the hips or legs. It’s definitely like being water.
    Wonderful fun, and a great learning experience.

    I’ll just add a particularly wet passage from the Tao Te Ching (from the translation of Stephen Mitchell):

    ‘The ancient Masters were profound and subtle.
    Their wisdom was unfathomable.
    There is no way to describe it;
    all we can describe is their appearance.

    They were careful
    as someone crossing an iced-over stream.
    Alert as a warrior in enemy territory.
    Courteous as a guest.
    Fluid as melting ice.
    Shapable as a block of wood.
    Receptive as a valley.
    Clear as a glass of water.

    Do you have the patience to wait
    till your mud settles and the water is clear?
    Can you remain unmoving
    till the right action arises by itself?

    The Master does not seek fulfilment.
    Not seeking, not expecting,
    she is present, and can welcome all things.’

    The middle two stanzas are the most interesting here…
    Water is important.
    Thanks for your thoughts. (Apologies if mine ramble off topic..that’s just what I do).

  3. Phantomias says:

    thanks for the poetry and you are more than welcome to “ramble” anywhere on this blog should you have some more thoughts…

    P.s.: I will integrate this little poem in my course material!!

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