Shhh…. It’s a secret!

By Master Eric Sbarge

Deadly poison hand techniques… Tantric shortcuts to enlightenment… Herbal formulas that guarantee longevity…

Go online and, for a price, you’ll be let in on all kinds of secrets.

The truth is, much of this kind of knowledge once really was secret, revealed only to a select few lucky individuals. In traditional Asian cultures, these “inner door” teachings were kept secret out of custom and for practical reasons. An obvious example of a practical reason would be to maintain a combat advantage over your opponent by not letting him learn your most advanced fighting techniques and methods.

In days of old, only the most trusted disciples would be taught these secrets. But today, many if not most of these secrets really are out in the open. Most honest and knowledgeable teachers now willingly share everything they know with most if not all of their serious students, and not just the select few.

Why are these secrets now publicly available? Two reasons.

First, the practical utility of much of this knowledge has diminished. Who cares if you can paralyze a man with dim mak poison-hand techniques when that same man can effortlessly shoot you dead with his concealed-carry-permit handgun? How many people want shortcuts to enlightenment when most people in the developed world are moving away from traditional religions and their esoteric practices? And as for health and longevity, Viagra and a cabinet full of other pharmaceuticals apparently suit busy people better than the use of herbs or other more natural health aids.

Second, teachers are willing to share once-secret practices simply because they realize that most people won’t make the time or effort needed to actually implement the secrets anyway. Having a chart of dim mak techniques is one thing, but memorizing meridians and then spending countless hours, weeks and months of daily practice until your dim mak is passable is quite another. Just because a Himalayan master shows you special meditative techniques for self-awakening doesn’t mean you’ll actually make the time to sit down every day and meditate on them. And most people can’t remember to take one vitamin pill a day, never mind concocting complex herbal recipes.

My students know that I repeatedly say there is only one real secret to success in the arts I teach: Practice. Specifically, practice of basics. You will get the benefits and results you are after if you practice the fundamentals of your art consistently and patiently. Stop searching for some esoteric secret technique passed down by the Wudang gods, and practice what’s right in front of you. While it doesn’t sound sexy or exciting, the fact remains that the highest levels of skill really do come from practicing your basics and fundamentals over and over, and over and over, and over and over.

If you are the rare bird who actually does practice consistently and long enough to master the basics, then you will be ready for the esoteric secrets. And when you’re ready, I’ll give you the URLs to go find them.

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