George Xu and the art of the predator

Internal Martial Arts practitioner, George (Guo Ming) Xu, has been sharing a theory with his students from some years now, and during that time has also been developing a system to complement his explanations of how martial arts work. Lately, he’s been really fine tuning it all. “Getting clearer,” as he puts it.

“Martial art is the art of the predator,” Master Xu says.

It’s not a theory in the most exact definition. In fact, it may not be a theory at all, strictly speaking. But his so-called “predator theory” does a pretty good job of articulating certain aspects that lie at the core of martial arts. The image of a wild predatory hunter inspires people dramatically and Master Xu is leading the way to build a picture for practitioners to employ in their visualizations.

As he says, “martial art, not martial work.” This relates to the efficiency of a tiger in the hunt. The poise and precision, the balance and the power. To get into these “arts” Master Xu tells his students, “Feel what the predator feels. Do what the predator does. See what the predator sees.”

Xu dramatizes the idea of being a predator. I can see myself having more fun enhancing a move with the attitude of a predator. The total aliveness of a tiger radiating from every fiber of its being and acting with such stealth and sophistication as to be practically invincible.

Master George Xu and students
Master George Xu and students, July 2017 Cortez, Colorado. Author is kneeling, center.

Or like Xu describes, “Organic, light, traveling in space, indirect, invisible, potential, space power.” This is the closest translation of his system I have so far: Xin Tian Ling Kong Shen Shi Men. I know, you have to be there to get it. But listen to him long enough, develop your Ting Jing, and it might sink in and start making sense.

Xu contributes a unique concept of the predator to body of knowledge of internal martial arts. It’s not traditional and yet it sort of transcends traditional to evoke a primordial sense of that which we refer to as “martial arts.”

It dawns on me that he is not promoting any fighting system, or approach to one, as superior to others, which is common in martial arts. I think he’s just trying to inspire people to see themselves in a different light and move according to principles that elevate them beyond being merely human to envisioning the potential that awaits us just beyond our awareness. We are capable of achieving more than we are currently aware.