Masculine Does Not Negate Feminine
It seems that there is a fundamental belief that when we enhance male energy we are diminishing female energy.
This is not only false, it is also the opposite of the truth.
Strength is a masculine energy. Its feminine counterpart is not weakness. Depending on context it could be support. It could be harmony.
We say things like "masculine and feminine energies are out of balance". Implying that they are in opposition. They are not.
When the masculine energy is enhanced it allows the feminine energy to be enhanced. And vice versa. The two build together.
The opposite of strength is weakness. The opposite of masculine energy is non-masculine.
Masculine energy is attractive and useful in males. As it is in females.
Feminine energy is attractive and useful in females. As it is in males.
Somehow this idea that masculine negates feminine snuck its way into our society without anyone noticing. When I speak of masculine energy I can see it on the faces of students and in their responses. The thinking is wrong.
In Shou' Shu' this is obvious. Strong stances drive relaxed weapons. Yang drives yin. Yin turns to yang at impact. As yang is exhausted it changes to yin. Yin regroups and supports. Yang explodes and reinforces. Yin allows the energy flow. Yang delivers it. Neither is effective without the other.
Carry this logic out a little further and one sees that the same mistake is made in asking if an art is a hard style or soft style. The question makes no sense. But that's a subject for another post.
The true goal (in martial arts) is not to enhance one and denigrate the other. The goal is to enhance both and build the skill of integrating them.
It can be said that the true skill of a martial artist is in how well their masculine and feminine energies combine.
There is a parallel in society.
I suspect that all the uproar between feminism and, well whatever the opposite of feminism is, might be just a misunderstanding. But I really can't say. I have a hard time wrapping my head around that ideology.
I like to watch this interplay in pack animals. I have a female Siberian Husky. She has very strong predatory instincts. Shifu Miller has a male German Shepard and female German Shepard. I often observe them out it in the mountains.
When the pack percieves a threat the male runs straight towards it. The females run to the sides and generally conceal themselves. They are not avoiding the fight, they are flanking the threat. If the beast were to actually emerge from the forest I suspect it would be the females to take it down. It's a beautiful display of masculine and feminine energy working naturally and efficiently
(Well then there's also zip, but he's small and wiry dog, not sure where he fits in)
If we watch closely we can see the beauty of the interplay between masculine and feminine. It is everywhere. Each enhancing the other. Each existing because of the other.
The assumption that these energies conflict rather than support one another is deep rooted in our language and our culture. If our language expressed the truth and beauty of their interplay and the power that comes of it, it might be a different world.