The Dragon Claw technique is a powerful gripping attack that requires great finger strength. This strength is traditionally acquired after ten years of carrying heavy jars by the mouths in each hand. Ripping a telephone book in half is a demonstration of this skill. Using the wrists, twist and snap the spine of the text, breaking it in two. Gripping the pieces, rip the pages apart in a single shredding tear. One with this ability can knock a man out by squeezing his skull; or rupture him by gripping the rectus abdominus, or stomach muscles.
The Five Elements
In order to become a warrior-mystic, the student must fill his body with the chi energy he has collected and cultivated in the Hara. The classics refer to the Hara , or Tan T’ien, as the "Golden Stove" in which the various elements of alchemical magic are blended together into the elixir of immortality. The primary attribute of the warrior is strength; that of the mystic is intelligence. The combination of these two produces the Ninja, who draws upon his occult powers to develop his strategy, and upon his understanding of the way of Nature to choose his tactics.
The Ninja seldom wear armor, since to do so implies the existence of an external threat as well as a willingness to engage in battle. Instead they practice in private, making no show, developing their balance and martial ability concurrently with both mental and physical exercises. In the beginning, many Ninja keep notes, fostering the belief in sacred scrolls and tori-maki. But eventually the mind becomes developed to the extent that memorization is not only possible but preferred. Then too, as understanding becomes greater, less and less structures and thought forms are required; lists and long litanies of creed are relied on much less.
Each finger represents an element and each also represents an organ. The progressive elevation of energy symbolized by the successive finger-knitting positions acts to channel healing, oxygen-enriched blood through the body in accordance with the laws of the five elements. This serves to maintain the health and well being of the Ninja as well as to teach the secrets of the universe.
Each of the fingers is associated with a specific organ of the body by virtue of the network of nerves, blood vessels, acupuncture meridians, and psychic channels. Likewise each organ is representative of one of the five primary elements, earth, water, fire, air, and wood .
You should understand that the symbolism of gestures and the mental direction of energy is far more important than the physical act of connecting various circuits, although the gestures do tend to reinforce the practice and act as significant triggers for physiological and psychological responses. Just as Pavlov’s dogs salivated at the sound of a bell, so too can man program himself for whatever purpose is desired.
The elements are each represented by an exercise or special breathing technique designed either to tone up or sedate a particular type of energy within the body. These are called the Five Elements Exercises. Two require moving, two are static, and the last is a combination of both. The Nei Ching says: "The five elements-wood, fire, earth, air, and water-encompass all the phenomena of Nature. It is a symbolism that applies itself equally to man." just as things may be classified according to their Yin and Yang aspects, they may be further divided into their elemental components. These interact in specific and prescribed manners, the alteration of which is not possible and the study of which may consume a lifetime.
The Nei Ching says further: “Fire creates earth (ash), which creates air (smoke), which creates water (condensation), which creates wood (life), which creates fire (energy). This is the cycle of creation. Wood destroys earth (by covering), fire destroys air (by combustion), earth destroys water (by retention), air destroys wood (by smothering), water destroys fire (by extinguishing). This is the cycle of destruction, the Yin and Yang of Nature, the inevitable law of change.”
Five Element Cultivation
Interlock the fingers, keeping the tips of the thumbs touching; exhale and empty the lungs, tensing the Hara The earth element is related to the spleen. It is the center of the physical and spiritual body. When concentrating on this level, one will experience sensations of taste and feel. Worry injures the spleen, which governs the liver in the circulation of energy; sitting too long is also a strain. Inhale deeply and fully, filling the lungs from bottom to top, as if pouring water into a glass. Imagine the vital energy (prana, chi) of the air being drawn deeply into the body, filling it with energy, Lift the hands with fingers laced up to throat level If you
wish, mentally repeat, "In comes the good air." Turn the hands over and push upward above the head as you exhale. Recite, "Out goes the bad air," removing all impurities and poisons. Hold this position, then lower the hands to the top of the head, thinking, "Enter the healing white light." Exhale, returning the hands to the lap.
Repeat this exercise nine times.
Begin with the hands resting lightly on the knees. Let the hands float upward as if suspended from the wrists, inhaling deeply as before Then exhale, emptying the lungs fully, as the hands lower slowly once again Repeat nine times. This encourages oxygen-saturated blood to be pumped to the kidneys, representing the water element, which heals and stimulates the power of the will. Water is the symbol of love; and fear as well. When utilizing this type of energy, one experiences hearing sensations, sometimes known as the "music of the spheres." This technique maintains and invigorates the anti-specific immune system of the body. Do not overdo it. If one is ill or has allergies, this exercise is of great benefit.
The heart represents the fire element. This is the site of all psychic energy. With fingertips almost touching, raise the arms in a circle. Inhale, imagining the energy entering the right fingers, passing through the heart, and exiting out through the fingers of the left hand as you exhale. Repeat three times. The physiological symbolism here is of the abdominal aorta and the ascending aorta.
The air element is represented by the lungs and the large intestine. In Hatha Yoga, this finger position is used to press against the acupuncture point that invigorates the large intestine. This exercise does likewise. With hands resting on the lap breathe deeply and silently, in and out through the nose, and imagine that the energy is circulating up the back and down the front of the body. Repeat this exercise seven times. This calms the mind and improves the digestion. It also stimulates the chi, or vital energy of the body. Lying down too much is injurious to this organ. The lungs are the Yin, or empty, side; while the colon is the Yang, or full side.
The liver is the body’s expression of the wood element. Remember, earth and fire are linear; water and air are circular in nature; and wood, or the void as it is sometimes known, symbolizes circular growth about a linear axis, thus uniting the two types of energy. Inhale, lifting the arms out to the sides, with palms down, then up above the head. Now exhale, pulling down an imaginary pillar directly in front of the body’s center line. Stop at throat level, holding without strain one half of the full breath. Look between the hands and
imagine you are holding a ball of energy. After a while, you will feel a tingling in the palms. Later, you may begin to see the energy itself. Repeat this exercise nine times. Wood is related to the planet Jupiter, known even in ancient times and highly regarded in alchemical circles. It is the source of the spirit and the seat of the higher self. This energy may be used for whatever purposes the practitioner desires, for by the time this level is achieved, all thoughts of self and personal gain have been put aside. The liver is related to the eyes; thus, it is often said that those with this power have flashing eyes or can kill with a look. The Tiger style of kung fu, based on the wood element, may lead its students to visual sensations. One must have great strength of will not to fall prey to hallucinations at this level.
The ability to hypnotize others is largely dependent upon their belief that you possess some type of supernatural power. In fact, the Ninja does: he possesses the power to control himself. Stage hypnotism is a performance in which both the performer and the volunteer subconsciously agree to participate. In this way, the member of the audience becomes a part of the show, fulfilling his hidden desire to share the stage. Only those who are natural leaders and have a good self-image come forward. Nor should the reticent be unduly called or encouraged to take part, since they will become too easily embarrassed and self-conscious. Basically, the collusion between the players implies that the hypnotist will not injure or insult his assistants while they are onstage with him. If more than one volunteer is employed, most will go along with the gag, since they have their eyes closed, but can still hear the movements of the others as they comply with the simple directions of the performer. He, of course, acts as the director. By having his "actors" follow his "commands," and by informing the audience what they are witnessing, he allows the imagination of each to do most of the work. For the most part, this is the secret of extra-corporeal mind control. The imagined power of the hypnotist has its dark side, as well. After all, if one spends day after day repeatedly manipulating the will of those who step forward at one’s beck and call, albeit for simple tasks only, one might come to believe in one’s powers, oneself.
Suggestion is the ability to plant a seed in the mind of someone else. If the beholder has an active imagination and sufficient motivation, that seed may grow and flourish. This is the basis for many legends of witch doctors "praying a man to death." Conversely, if the listener has sufficient self-confidence and a strong moral code, such seeds of destruction fall on deaf ears, only to wither and die.
A hypochondriac can be made physically ill by repeatedly asking him if he feels well. The supposedly objective feedback requires his participation, since he must answer the question, either aloud or internally. Eventually his mind will fix on some minor ache and magnify its importance until it consumes all his waking thoughts. The imaginary injury will then begin to manifest itself upon the body. This is sometimes known as psychosomatic, mind-over-body illness. In Catholicism, there is a history of people manifesting spontaneous bleeding from certain parts of the body. This is known as stigmata.
Of course, good seeds may also be planted and watered with sincerity. If, every day, one is told that he or she is looking fit and trim, whether or not it is true, sooner or later it will begin to sink in. The object of the remarks will actually begin to look and feel better in an unconscious effort to live up to the positive feedback. Suggestion is a simple and only partially effective technique. To be truly effective, it requires a long period of repetition. That way, the likelihood that the seed will be discredited or cut down is lessened, and it is more likely for the subject to accept the suggestion on his own volition and act on it independently.
Hypnosis in Combat
In combat, His-men-jitsu ("Way of the Mind Gate"), means the ability to make the enemy do what you want in spite of his own best interests. As previously described, we can make it appear that his self-interest will be served by impression and so on, but it is also possible to manipulate his behavior by means of trickery. The late Bruce Lee often spoke of what he called "motor-setting" the opponent in battle. Advance, making a simple attack, and let the enemy parry it. Do this twice. On the third repetition, advance as before, but attack to a different quarter. The enemy, having been programmed by the simple pattern of strike and parry, will observe the advance cue and begin his block a third time. This time, however, the strike is to a different target. According to the creator of Jeet Kune Do, this tactic works almost every time. A simpler version is the classical feint. The Dragon style is a good example of this: If one makes alternating flying and low-sweeping attacks, the enemy, in defending against one, opens himself to the other.
Another effective tactic is to use psychological ploys, such as making the enemy angry by taunting him, thus encouraging him to attack wildly. Feigning injury or helplessness to draw the enemy into range for a strike may be placed in this category, as well. A third, very effective tactic for the Ninja is target denial. By using his evasive abilities, the Ninja avoids the enemy’s thrusts and strikes. This, of course, frustrates him. General Sun Tze has said, "The art of war is based on deception"; it is also based on reflex and misdirection.