The Yin Yang is a symbol which represents the concept of duality forming a whole, and describes how apparently opposite or contrary forces are actually complementary. Understanding this symbol is how we gain power, speed and technique, but this is a topic many martial arts groups neglect – to their detriment. Spending time understanding this concept will develop your learning and effectiveness greatly over those students that do not.
The symbol is set in a circle – this represents continuity and shows itself in a number of ways:
The process of learning is never-ending – even senior instructors and masters still practice the basic movement and patterns.
Defense flows – each movement should merge smoothly with the one before.
Defense is continuous – the defender becomes the attacker and the attacker then tries to prevent the counters.
The Yin Yang symbol also has an ‘eye’ of the opposite colour in each half. This shows that nothing is simply ‘black or white’. There are instances, for example, where a mixture of techniques is better than one in isolation. For example, a hard strike to the abdomen can distract an opponent for long enough to apply a soft technique to control the opponent.
Throughout this training we will see that everything has a balance. The majority of times you find a technique does not work for you, it will be because you are missing a complementary or balance part of the technique. The more you understand the concepts of the Yin Yang, the easier things will be to learn.