Monday Morning Tai Chi Training Tip # 378
Jay and Hummers
Up on the top of the Summer House. Perfect weather – low 70’s, clear blue skies. I put out peanuts, and along came a singular Stellar Jay. It was almost ready to pick one out of the 20 I placed on the rail. He would pick one up, shake it, put it back on the rail and then try another, when two Hummingbirds come flying in and dive bomb the Jay, with their quick, tricky moves. They drove the Jay away. This encounter brought to mind the guiding principles of the martial arts.
The most important element or skill is speed. He who gets to the target first, usually wins. The hummers are so fast. The Jay had no choice but to retreat.
The next most important element is power. The Jay has much more power, but much slower speed, so he couldn’t deliver the power to the two little speed demons.
Lastly is technique. In the bird world, this is especially important. The Jay sweeps and glides mostly. He has a hard time getting out of the way and a hard time changing direction. The Hummers make up for their small size by exquisite use of technique. He can fly in place, fly backward, move straight up and down. I don’t see any limits to what they can do.
I know that the early martial artists made use of their observation skills of mother nature. We can do as much. Don’t forget – “Stop, Look, and Listen.” And get outside for your practice. You never know what will turn you on.