Form of No Form
Shaolin Abbott: I see your talents have gone beyond the mere physical level. Your skills are now at the point of spiritual insight. What is the highest technique you hope to achieve ?
Lee: To have no technique.
Running and martial arts are both the practice of repeating simple movements. A martial artist must practice basic technique over and over again until it becomes second nature. Take a movement and do it a million times and it becomes instinctual. The same can be done in running. Broken down into its simplest, running is a series of repeated one legged stands.
Often while running, athletes spend much of their time self-monitoring their gait. There are many aspects to focus on. A couple of the most important are an upright body position with a slight forward lean as well as a quick cadence landing under your general center of mass. Focus on and find a running form that works well for your speed and body type.
Bruce Lee said that he does not fear the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks one time, but the man that has practiced one kick 10,000 times. Running is the practice of your form with every single step. During a 60 minute run, you practice your running form 10,000 times! For a time it may be necessary to learn or relearn what your body already knows how to do. How to Run Real. Once your body starts taking over, your mind can take a step back. You no longer have to think about your gait. Your running has now returned to its instinctual roots.
Lee: A good fight should be like a small play, but played seriously. A good martial artist does not become tense, but ready. Not thinking, yet not dreaming. Ready for whatever may come. When the opponent expands, I contract. When he contracts, I expand. And when there is an opportunity, I do not hit. It hits all by itself.
Just as Bruce Lee reached a spiritual level of martial arts, athletes can reach a level of instinctual running. If they do not think about or focus on form, is there form, or has that simply become how you run? You are no longer thinking about doing something, or trying to make your feet perform a specific movement. Your body is now simply reacting to falling forward.
Now you are Running Real!
Parsons: What’s your style?
Lee: My style? You can call it the art of fighting without fighting.