What is Kung Fu?

The human body has more than 600 distinct muscles. Each of these muscles contract in a complex and precise series of timing and power to allow man to walk, talk, run, move their fingers and their eyes.
It would be too inefficient for the conscience mind to move all these muscles individually that results in the fluid set of movements that humans do every single moment of their lives. So evolution has given us a secondary processor included in our natural hardware that takes care of it for us.
This piece of hardware is programmable.
Through conscience repetition of movement, we can slowly rewire the programming of this independent processor to control our movements in a different way. It takes time, but not as much time as one would think. It takes up to a day of an hour or two of repetitive motion for our body to be “used” to the new movement. It’s always a work in progress because of the complexity of our muscle systems to get just the most efficient set of muscles to fire at the perfect time to get that motion to be precise, sharp, and fluid.
The human basal ganglia, or the reptilian brain, is composed of billions of neurons that are networked in a complex series of patterns that control our “fight or flight” action, our instincts. This is the part of your brain that swats at or dodges anything harmful or unknown that is flying towards you, like a fist. It is also the part of  your brain that also freezes, locks up the body and mind.
The basal ganglia is the piece of software that runs the hardware that controls the network of muscles.
This piece of software can be edited by you.
Through mental repetition and focused awareness you can reprogram the basal ganglia to change your instinctual behavioral patterns. For example, when someone gets over a phobia, they are reprogramming their reptilian brain to behave differently in the same situations. Seeing a fist flying towards you might make you freeze. By reprogramming the basal ganglia, you can change your behavior to dodge or redirect the fist so that you don’t get hurt.
Reprogramming the basal ganglia only takes a moment. If you’ve ever programmed before, when you come upon a compiler error, you know that you might be missing a semi-colon somewhere, or your parenthesis were mis-matched. When you find the location where you forgot to put a semi-colon, fixing that problem takes a moment. But finding that spot might take you a really long time.
Martial Arts Kung Fu is the process of reprogramming your basal ganglia and rewiring your muscle movements.
The rewiring of your muscle movements to develop a specific motion is the development of “Jing.”
The reprogramming of your instinctual behavior to develop the actions that you wish to take in a specific situation is the development of “Ting.”
Jing is described as power. A football fullback, an exploding volcano, a bulldozer, these are visuals of Jing.
Ting is described as grace. A ballerina dancer, the flow of water, the cogs and wheels of a clock, these are visuals of Ting.
“Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.” Muhammad Ali was practicing Kung Fu.
A Kung Fu practitioner is constantly trying to combine Jing and Ting to get the perfect offensive strike, like training to be a fullback ballerina dancer.
Movement that is fluid, precise, instinct driven to get the perfect position to drive the muscles in a concentrated series of contractions and releases that compounds energy into one focused area. That is Kung Fu.


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