Yang Zhu: Foundation of Martial Arts

The documented birth of martial arts was based
on the effortless mind of the craftsman. The ancient martial artist focused on trying
to cultivate an effortless mind, where being in the zone is one’s ordinary state of mind
all the time. The first traces of spiritually oriented martial
arts, and their focus on health, longevity, and physical immortality, can be attributed
to the philosophy of Yang Zhu who lived from 440–360 BCE. He is credited with “the discovery of the
body.” His philosophy is known as Yangism. But there is speculation that the oldest forms
of martial arts in China go back to the Xia dynasty more than four thousand years ago,
but there is not much evidence to support this claim, and it is suspected that these
forms of martial arts were only combat-oriented. Nevertheless, the foundation of spiritually
oriented Asian martial arts in its original form lay in trying to cultivate an effortless
mind all the time. This is still the primary focus of spiritually
oriented martial arts today. So, according to the foundations of martial
arts, being in the zone is a state of consciousness we can be in constantly.

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