Liu Wai Sang

Empty Boxing

Kong Quan: Meditative Martial Arts

Empty Boxing – Kong Quan is an integrated part of Wholistic Boxing Way – Quan Quan Dao. The two major sources which had and have continuously provided its developments are the Heart Sutra (Buddhist scripture) and Wing Chun (Buddhist Martial Arts).

To practice Buddhist philosophy is to practise compassion. As Empy Boxing – Kong Quan has a close connection with Buddhism, the centre of its practice is to strengthen the basic potentials of the mind and body to liberate as much as possible common human sufferings.

The Heart Sutra is very short yet important and can be considered as a condense summary of all Buddhist scriptures. It provides the most essential teaching of Buddha; how to liberate common human suffering through the attainment of extraordinary perception and experience of the state of Enlightened Emptiness. However it is often very difficult to describe such a state clearly. It seems the physical reality of Emptiness – Kong is easy for the mind to grasp but not for the body to feel.

Air is called Kong Qi – Empty Energy in China. Hence, the low density of the molecules that make up air, can conveniently be used as a natural existing medium, which is in fact quite empty, for the mind and body to have a real feel of such. With devoting practice of mind and body towards the empty feel of air – Kong Qi, it helps a practitioner to relatively grip the basic approach to begin to enter the Buddhist state of Enlightened Emptiness.

It is often a common practice for many Buddhist monks to empty out their busy thoughts during meditation through the focus of their breathing softly around the tips of their noses, and at the same time, concentrating on the relaxation of every part of their bodies.

The practice of the basic meditative works (Gong) of Empty Boxing – Kong Quan, takes a similar approach. In fact, air – Kong Qi (Empty Energy) not only is an essential medium to use as partner to practice with but, owing to its light gentle and generous nature, it is also a very real although underappreciated teacher to learn from. This means that during basic meditative works of Kong Quan, it is worthwhile to breathe in and out with much appreciation of the light gentle and generous nature of air. With such an appreciative attitude it is easier to slowly empty out the negative energy of the mind and body which usually carries stressful, unpleasant emotional related and at times painful cues by slowly transforming it into a more positive energy which can carry more compassionate cues instead.

Beside the basic meditative works of Empty Boxing – Kong Quan there are many other static exercise. These include Sitting Emptiness – Zu Kong, Holding Emptiness – Wo Kong, Standing Emptiness – Zhen Kong, Carrying Emptiness – Dan Kong, Positioning Emptiness – Zhi Kong.

There are many dynamic exercises to empty out stressful energy and to convert it into more peaceful ones. One of this is Wing Chung Jeong (Palm), the other is a very important and realistic one called Sticky Hands – Chi Sau. Chi Sau is an exercise with a partner. The aim of this exercise is to try continuously convert the possible incoming aggressive energy into a more positive and peaceful one.