Share The Benefits
The Creative Relationship makes up one part of the Martial Art System.
It can be observed that a creative relationship exists between certain pairs of the Five Martial Elements. This means that time & effort spent on improving one element will indirectly have a beneficial, positive, enhancing, thus creative effect on another element.
I say observed because I have seen this process take place, many times, with everyone i’ve taught. A student may be working on one thing, and suddenly they have a moment of clarity about something else which may seem unrelated. They are not unrelated – this is the creative relationship at work, and it’s always there. Put effort into improving one thing, and other things will benefit too.
Because all the five martial elements are ultimately connected, the creative effect cycles through the entire system, one element developing the next. In five-element theory this cascading influence is known as the Creation Cycle.
The diagram below shows the correct order in which the creative relationship takes effect:
Understanding The Creative Relationship
To help you visualise this process, I will give an example for each of the five creative connections. There are many possibilities, so please understand that while my examples are accurate, they are not the only ones that exist.
- Strategy creates Theory
- Theory creates Technical
- Technical creates Practical
- Practical creates Physical
- Physical creates Strategy
Please note that there is no correct starting point for this process – you can begin anywhere within the five martial elements. My list begins with strategy simply because that is the starting point I have chosen for the system.
1. Strategy creates Theory
When you seek different ways to solve problems, you gain a range of options to choose from. To make effective choices you must learn to analyse and understand the pros and cons of each option. This process – finding different options – leads to asking questions about each option, which automatically leads to an improvement in your knowledge and understanding.
2. Theory creates Technical
Coming up with an idea, a reason, or a theory is great, but the next step is usually to work out how the idea can be implemented. In martial arts our ideas are all to do with preventing an opponent overcoming us, and there are usually many ways to implement each idea.
For instance; Why should I defend a punch to my face? Well obviously because it will cause me pain, injury, and negatively affect my life. Right – so now HOW can I defend said punch? Should I block it? Deflect it? Avoid it? Strike it? This process – exploring how best to implement and refine an idea – automatically leads to an improvement in your technical ability. It is the way all human tools and techniques are initially created, and subsequently perfected.
3. Technical creates Practical
Prototyping new tools, techniques or potential applications is essential, but not the end of the process. Whatever you’ve created must now be thoroughly tested to see if it works as intended. Perhaps further refinements are needed?
All testing needs to be thorough. Does your movement perform correctly as expected when used in isolation? Does it still work in combination with other movements? Does it integrate with all your existing tools, strategies and theories? Does your movement only work under certain conditions, or in particular situations? Does your movement have a detrimental effect on anything else? This process – testing things – automatically leads to an improvement in your practical ability, because each test gains you valuable experience as to when and where things should be done.
4. Practical creates Physical
The more you actually DO something, the better you get at it, and the more familiar it will become. Gradually you become able to perform actions faster, for longer, with better control, and with less danger of mistakes. Consider someone who carries bricks up a ladder each day – their job requires them to repeatedly move heavy weights up an unstable structure, but as a side-effect of this work they will have greater strength and better balance than someone who sits at a computer all day.
In martial arts we use our bodies and our brains, and they both adapt to the demands placed upon them. This process – drilling your movements hundreds of times – will make you a very practical fighter, but as a side-effect it will also greatly improve your speed, strength and overall physical condition.
5. Physical creates Strategy
The simple fact is that if you are more able, then more options are open to you. Someone who is in great physical condition, who is strong, fast and in full control of their body is able to do things that would be impossible for a slower, weaker, less coordinated person. This is why my training programme starts with the simple, easy options. The act of learning, practicing and mastering simple things creates the physical and mental ability to handle the more demanding options.
In addition, discovering your physical limits (no matter how high or low) leads different people to solve problems in different ways. This process – understanding your own physical abilities – automatically leads to an improvement in your decision making.
|The Martial Art System
|Five Martial Elements
|The Creative Relationship (you are here)
|The Control Relationship
|The Creation Cycle
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|The Control Cycle
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