People often say that Bruce was way ahead of his time, and he was. People lust for his knowledge of fitness, speed, training, and nutrition. They desire to know how Bruce stayed focused and energetic. However, people were and still are searching under the wrong rocks to find his secrets. Bruce’s mindset was highly evolved and still is difficult for the Western world to comprehend and grasp.
If you have ever listened to the stories of people whom Bruce taught, they all say he was trying to teach them something more extraordinary than martial arts. Almost like he was using martial arts as teaching in disguise. And Bruce was doing just that. He was trying to get people to understand chi. Bruce knew if people could grasp the concept and connect with chi, they could be better than what they structured themselves to be and what they thought they were.
What Bruce was trying to teach was something that could not easily nor simply be written down on paper. But he tried by writing Jeet Kune Do. If you skipped reading the quotes at the beginning of the book, then you missed out on the most powerful and important part. Techniques are useless without training your mind first. He wrote these quotes to help you establish harmony and balance mentally before practicing the martial arts section.
What is Chi?
Bruce was expressing the secret power inside every human being, called chi. Chi was and is new to the modern era and was established from ancient wisdom. Chi is best described as feeling energetic, vibrant, focused, vigorous, etc. Remember the first time you fell in love? Or the first time you kissed a girl or boy? Just try to remember something in your life that happened that produced an incredible feeling. Well, that is what chi feels like. Because no matter what negative situations occur, you still stayed positive and moved forward in life.
Being in a state of harmony makes you see life differently. The state of harmony serves as a guide to enlightenment, unraveling life's secrets.
Bruce was trying to develop your chi because it is your chi that gives you incredible power, energy, strength, speed, the ability to concentrate and think clearly, have laser focus, breathe better, sleep well, perform better, and punch, kick or run faster. It also makes you intuitive, creative, and instinctual. Balance and harmony activate your chi to understand greater depths of knowledge, wisdom, and insight in your life.
Chi is a universal energy, a life force that infinitely flows freely in your body. How you think and feel will block or activate this energy. For example, being negative produces antipathetic reactions, disharmony, ill-will feelings, and stress. Although the mind, body, and spirit are separate, they are interrelated and interconnected to function as one. Any thoughts and feelings of negativity will disrupt and infect the other.
Qualities that Balance Chi
Sincerity, honesty, love, compassion, and passion are the qualities that activate, stimulate, and increase your chi energy. Your chi will thrive if you are passionate, sincere, honest, and love what you do and who you are. These qualities promote positive ways of living that ramify your thinking and feelings and avert thinking negatively. For instance, you see failure as a stepping stone to success rather than failure and inadequacy itself.
Most people take the wrong road in life. For instance, they follow money without passion, sincerity, honesty, and love of their work. From this point of view, negativity and failure will not be seen as a stepping stone but as an anchor that burdens and drags your mind and spirit away from balance into loathing.
“Many people dedicate their lives to actualizing what they should be like, rather than actualizing themselves. This difference between self-actualization and self-image actualization is very important. Most people live only for their image.”
How to Keep Your Chi in Balance
Get deep, restful sleep
Exercise consistently and regularly
Learn to breathe and be mindful of it.
Eat healthy and well habitually
Learn to protect your mental health by avoiding negativity.
Bruce was a living example of highly evolved thinking and creativity because his chi was fully activated. And he wanted people to discover and develop their chi because he knew it held great power. The road to self-discovery requires in-depth knowledge, practice, and thinking. And that requires change and philosophy to unlock wisdom and experience your unconscious inner self. “I feel I have this great creative and spiritual force within me that is greater than faith, greater than ambition, greater than confidence… Whether it is the Godhead or not, I feel this great force, this untapped power, this dynamic something within me.” There are many ways, routines, and practices to restore, connect, and channel your chi. But ultimately, it requires changes, adaptation, and adjustments to your life, beliefs, and thought process. Tapping into your chi requires great changes that are specific and different based on the person. It is not just going and doing tai chi, and poof, you have it. You must unravel the web in which you weaved and tangled to get back to balance. Once there, you can find harmony. Once you find harmony, you will find your path
Baby birds are not born to fly but have the potential and ability to do it. They must practice. Instead, baby birds are shown to fly and are trained by their parents. Once they can fly, they can develop their own way. Much like your chi. Everyone has it, but it takes guidance and practice to develop it. Once you develop it, you will live in a harmonious way-exactly what Bruce Lee was trying to do using martial arts.