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#179080 - 08/17/05 12:28 PM 5 Element Theory Basics
Gavin Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/11/05
Posts: 2267
Loc: Southend, Essex, UK
With my Shiatsu course coming up I've had to really start nailing down the basics of my TCM theory. As its relevant to the PP's, I thought I'd do a quick guide to the 5 Element Theory. Hope this is of interest:

I'm presuming that by reading this forum, you have a basic understanding of the Meridians of the body. If not, in a nutshell according to Tradional Chinese Medicine (TCM) theory the body is covered by 20 meridians (12 Main Meridians and 8 Extra Ordinary Meridians) or energy pathways that carry Ki/Qi energy around the body.

The 5 Element Theory
====================

Each of the 12 main meridians are associated with one of five elements; Water, Wood, Fire, Earth and Metal. In TCM the Five Element theory is used as a framework to describe the relationships between each of the main meridians of the body, and provide a basis from which to diagnose and administer an appropriate treatment.

The main Meridians of the body can be broke down as such:

Fire
====
Small Intestine
Heart
Pericardium (aka Heart Constrictor or Heart Govenor)
Tripe Warmer (aka Triple Burner or Triple Heater)

Earth
=====
Stomach
Spleen

Metal
=====
Lungs
Large Intestine

Water
=====
Kidney
Bladder

Wood
====
Gall Bladder
Liver

With the 5 Element theory there are a number of cycles which describe the energetic relationships of each of the 5 elements. From a Martial perspective we only need look at two of them; The Cycle of Creation and The Cycle of Destruction.

The Cycle of Creation
=====================

The Cycle of Creation is a nourishing cycle, whereby the Mother meridian nourishes the child. In other words each elements feeds the next one in the cycle and this can be summarized as follows:

Water creates Wood (by nourishing growth)
Wood creates Fire (the wood is burned to make fire)
Fire creates Earth (when it extinguishes it leaves ash, ash becomes earth)
Earth creates Metal (metal is formed in the earth)
Metal creates Water (solid metal melts to form liquid)

For example if we enhance the energy to the Earth, Metal will also become enhanced (metal is formed in the earth). Likewise if we enhance Wood, Fire will also be enhanced (the wood is burned to make fire).

The Cycle of Destruction
========================

The Cycle of Destruction is a control cycle in which one element exerts control over its next but one element in the in the Cycle of Creation. In TCM this is seen as a Grandparent-Grandchild cycle, whereby the Grandparent element exerts control over its Grandchild element, providing control over the behaviour of its Grandchild element. This cycle can be summarized as follows:

Water controls Fire (by extinguishing it)
Fire controls Metal (by melting it)
Metal controls Wood (by cutting it)
Wood controls Earth (by covering it)
Earth controls Water (by damming it)

For example if you enhance the energy to Metal, you will retard the energy to Wood (metal cuts wood). If you enhace the energy to Fire, you will retard the energy to Metal (fire melts metal).


I hope that was of interest, I've had my head buried in books for months and this is the basis of both begining to understand TCM theory and the science behind PP striking.

I've taken most of it from my notes from loads of TCM and Martial books. For those interested in learning how this information applies to PP striking, I'd thoroughly recomend taking a look at The DSI's website has some execellent books and a forum packed full of information!

Gav


Edited by Gavin (08/17/05 12:34 PM)
_________________________
Gavin King
www.SHIKON.COM
Follow me on twitter @taichigav

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#179081 - 08/19/05 06:32 AM Re: 5 Element Theory Basics [Re: Gavin]
SANCHIN31 Offline
Former Moderator

Registered: 12/26/04
Posts: 3783
Loc: Arkansas, U.S.
Gavin,

I focus more on the techniques rather than the theories of why they work behind them. I don't doubt it,but for me it's just not worth the study.
_________________________
Skinny,Bald,and Handsome! Fightingarts Warrior of the year

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#179082 - 08/19/05 06:47 AM Re: 5 Element Theory Basics [Re: SANCHIN31]
Gavin Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/11/05
Posts: 2267
Loc: Southend, Essex, UK
For me unfortunately I've got to learn it, in fact I've got 3 years solid of it of my Shiatsu course.

From a Martial perspective though, I'm a bit of geek. I like to know whats going on behind the scenes. I'm very interested in finding out whether the PP's can honestly be fully utilized in a true combat sense.

I'm a firm believer in using individual points in actual combat, but want to really try and see whether the deeper aspects (such as Metal cuts wood, etc) is really truely workable. I've been looking over the Torite Jutsu's 50 core techniques which each utilize various laws from the 5 Element theory which is currently flying way over my head. Alot of great MA's (and a few not so great) are now researching this field so I feel there must be some weight in it.

With the knowledge that I'll gain through my study of shiatsu and my other experiences hopefully I'll be able to contribute one day. But before I can do that, I've got to learn the theories behind it. Obviously technique and actual ability are paramount, but the geek in me and the part of me that wants to contribute to the fighting arts requires me to learn the theory side too!
_________________________
Gavin King
www.SHIKON.COM
Follow me on twitter @taichigav

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#179083 - 08/19/05 09:15 AM Re: 5 Element Theory Basics [Re: Gavin]
shoshinkan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/10/05
Posts: 2662
Loc: UK
appriciate the post Gavin,

As you know i am slowly looking at these kind of things and the information you have posted is very usefull to me.
_________________________
Jim Neeter

www.shoshinkanuk.blogspot.com

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#179084 - 08/19/05 10:11 AM Re: 5 Element Theory Basics [Re: shoshinkan]
Gavin Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/11/05
Posts: 2267
Loc: Southend, Essex, UK
Sho, no worries mate. I've got some more indepth theory notes that I'm going to try get typed up over the next week or so. I'll email you them when it's ready. Hopefully once we've had a play around with some Bunkai together we could post some of our findings from our newbies perspective!
_________________________
Gavin King
www.SHIKON.COM
Follow me on twitter @taichigav

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#179085 - 08/19/05 07:09 PM Re: 5 Element Theory Basics [Re: Gavin]
shoshinkan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/10/05
Posts: 2662
Loc: UK
no worries, should be fun. Just dont expect me to understand the theory...........
_________________________
Jim Neeter

www.shoshinkanuk.blogspot.com

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#179086 - 08/22/05 05:20 PM Re: 5 Element Theory Basics [Re: Gavin]
cks_cropper Offline
Member

Registered: 03/04/05
Posts: 63
Gavin, would you mind if I had a read over the notes you are typing up? I am also interested in more than just technique. Ive only started martial arts about 6 months ago and im loving all the information around about it all. Spend over 100 on books already!!

thanx
CKS

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#179087 - 08/23/05 06:32 AM Re: 5 Element Theory Basics [Re: cks_cropper]
Gavin Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/11/05
Posts: 2267
Loc: Southend, Essex, UK
Hiya CKS, I don't want to sound patronising or disrespectful but after six months training you really shouldn't be concerning yourself with PP's. As interesting a topic as PP's are and how effective they can be, they are simply the icing on the cake, but their not the cake. It's really easy to get carried away with PP's and see them as something more than they are. All they are is extremely advance points of attack that require an extremely high level of expertise to attack. I've been training for over 18 years now and am only just starting to feel remotely comfortable with even begining to start learning to attack them properly.

The notes that I've got won't really help you that much (they don't really mean much to me! ). Shoshinkan is going to actually be training with me after his grading (this week isn't mate? Good Luck!!!!!!) and has tons of practical experience. Combined with our mutual studies of Shiatsu he is a bit closer to be able to understand my ramblings. Once we've got some basic stuff together I'm sure we'll post it up here, but until then I think any notes would hinder rather than help you.

Hope that didn't come across disrespectfully, but I'm sure the more experienced guys here will back me up on this point.

Gav
_________________________
Gavin King
www.SHIKON.COM
Follow me on twitter @taichigav

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#179088 - 08/23/05 07:44 PM Re: 5 Element Theory Basics [Re: Gavin]
cks_cropper Offline
Member

Registered: 03/04/05
Posts: 63
Ok fair point. Not a problem. Most likely the books I am about to read will also go way over my head but eventually I will understand more. At the moment I just keep reading things that are opening up new topics about everything so ill see what I can come accross myself.

thanx
CKS

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#179089 - 08/24/05 05:02 AM Re: 5 Element Theory Basics [Re: cks_cropper]
Gavin Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/11/05
Posts: 2267
Loc: Southend, Essex, UK
I agree mate. I thinking of starting a PP of the week post. Where by we can discuss a point, how to strike it, situations where it could work etc. I think that would probably be of more benefit to people than explaining the 5 element stuff. Anyone up for it?
_________________________
Gavin King
www.SHIKON.COM
Follow me on twitter @taichigav

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