Being Like Water in JKD

Being in water is a unique experience. It’s not a solid or a gas. We aren’t falling through water or walking on it. It wraps around our body’s with buoyancy, but it also lets us go as we sink. It changes around us depending on how we interact with it. If you fight water, you may sink. If you lay there in it, then you may just float for hours. Water responds to us and our decisions. Bruce Lee recognized this when articulating life and martial arts.

     Many words could be attached from so many people about being malleable towards life, but few said it better than Lee. His direct quote was, ”Be like water making its way through cracks. Do not be assertive, but adjust to the object, and you shall find a way around 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.” Water responds to how it is held or cared for. Even if it crashes like the waves, it is still responding to the forces acting upon it. Water is a mighty, powerful force that lives in reaction to the outside world. One of the things about water that doesn’t change is it’s integrity. Live that out.

     In life there are problems, relationships, work, stress, bills, love, families, and so much more. Lee recognized that and tried his best to attach an ideology of striving through and with the change. Stand strong next time a fight, a work dispute, a crying child, or anything else happens. Be like water and respond accordingly and gracefully to whatever comes your way.

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