Many of the forms we use with training in martial arts follow a concept of the elements:  Earth, Water, Fire, Wind or Void.  This month, our focus is on Water (‘Sui’).

When doing the ‘water’ forms, we are meant to be mindful of this element, of its flowing and continual movement, its power and ability to adapt to changing circumstances.

Our movement reflects this concept, the power and the persistence of water, its different forms:  the powerful surge of waves pulling back, then crashing forward, carrying everything before it, or the flow of a small stream which adapts to the objects within or being carried on it.  If the water’s path changes, it is able to flow around an obstruction, and sometimes move or reshape it.

The beauty of this training is that it is not separate to our everyday life and being mindful of an element such as water can be applied elsewhere:  flowing around any barriers, persisting until the task is done, maintaining one’s cool in difficult situations.  That’s not to say it is always a comfortable process, and often keeping one of the elements in mind when dealing with issues can be a very interesting learning process.