The most revered and sacred creature of Chinese mythology is the dragon. Dragons have also played a prominent role in many ancient cultures around the world. The dragon may have had a factual base in nature (dinosaurs, snakes, amphibians, reptiles) but eventually it became mythological in order to explain important ideas. Myths were traditionally a way to explain abstract concepts (transmigration of the soul; origin of universe, etc…) using concrete concepts (things observed in nature) in order to explain some layer or facet of reality that wasn’t directly or easily observable.
In reference to Sifu Roosevelt Gainey’s conceptualization of “dragon” in Body Energetics (Tai chi Kung; mind/body function), we ask” What is the true meaning of “dragon” and the “dragon body”? Secondly, we ask the question “Which particular style can defeat the dragon body in martial combat?” Lastly, we ask “How can one be an unparalleled fighter?” Not just in the ring, in the street, at home, or in the office, but wherever one may be and whatever circumstances may arise. We understand that life is not just physical confrontations but mostly mental and emotional “battles of power” that we go through in order to learn life’s lessons and gain strength.
For the practitioner of Body Energetics, the above mentioned questions cannot be answered by reading books nor from watching kung fu instructional DVDs or having verbal discourses and debates with alleged masters. It is answered by self-actualization that comes from doing the required work! The required works are the required exercises as taught by Sifu Roosevelt Gainey. These exercises allow you to not only get stronger or more flexible but, more importantly, access the knowledge and wisdom that are inherent within the body. The whole body is used as the ultimate tool of investigation into the mysteries of how the mind/body functions.
For Body Energetics, the term “dragon” is metaphorical and it symbolizes the unrestricted natural movement of mind, spirit, and body. Some cultures have a negative concept of the dragon (Judeo-Christian, Near East, European, etc...) but this is not the symbolism that we are adhering to in our school of thought. The dragon we are describing is the natural, wise, benevolent, free spirited, creative, unlimited, and energetic self. You must know that the concept of the dragon or reptile has been changed throughout history and depending on the time and place of your social and environmental conditioning you will get a different understanding of what a dragon is.
In order to attain true knowledge you must destroy all prejudices and pre-conceived notions that have been programmed into you from birth. You should be an unbiased witness to the world around you so you can make an accurate assessment of what things actually are instead of what you assume them to be. This is the secret to true knowledge, wisdom, understanding, and spiritual power. Eventually we must return to our original nature (oneness with the All) with fully developed conscious awareness gained while living. The dragon body isn’t just the dragon body, it is the dragon mind.
The person with a fixed technique and a set pattern of thinking will not easily (if at all) defeat the person who has acquired the dragon body. The person who has to have a particular plan of action will have the most difficult time against the person who responds instantaneously in any direction with full body power. A person thinking about how invincible their style is according to martial arts historical documentation is not the one who triumphs in battle. Only a person who knows how the mind and body functions and who can apply function can be victorious.
The dragon bodied practitioner responds to any combat technique with instantaneous fluid motion. The body is trained so that there is no impeding of life force throughout the body because the body is filled with life force everywhere at once equally. The muscles, bones, tendons, fascia, nervous system are all developed to the highest degree so the whole body can move how it wants to when it wants to. There is no worrying about what to do. Just intend and “thy will be done”. You will move like a dragon soaring through the clouds, bending, twisting, folding, and unfolding as if you had no bones but instead a body of liquid steel. Any part of your body you touch your opponent with will feel like bone to them and soft tissue to you. This is the essence of effortless power and spontaneous, creative martial ability. This is what martial arts used to be until it was corrupted by those who wanted to keep secrets and those who were caught up in “worshipping” particular styles, patterns, or techniques. With the dragon body any movement can be a technique and everyone has their own individualized style determined by their own unique way of moving.