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The Tao of Kung Fu #14 - " Cowardice is wisdom of weakness."

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Uploaded on May 17, 2008

This clip is from the episode called 'The Stone'. The scene opens with Master Po and Grasshopper in friendly combat. However, young Caine is angry, unfocused and is easily defeated by the blind Shaolin master.

Like young Caine, many of us go through life grumpy and anxious. All too often our minds are reliving failures of the past or worrying over an unknowable future. In this frame of mind we become rigid and out of harmony with our surroundings. Skilfulness can only be achieved through flexibility, spontaneity and being fully present in the "eternal now".

Master Po discovers Grasshopper is concerned that he is a coward. In the context of the yin-yang, Master Po explains: "What is cowardice, but the body's wisdom of its weakness. What is bravery, but the body's wisdom of its strength. The coward and the hero march together within every man. So to call one man a coward and another brave merely serves to indicate the possibilities of achieving the opposite."

This clip was taken from the 1970's TV series 'Kung Fu' (Created by Ed Spielman, Herman Miller and Jerry Thorpe). It is essentially an American Western set in the latter half of the 1800's, with an Eastern hero who has neither a gun or a horse. The story follows the adventures of Kwai Chang Caine (David Carradine); a nature loving Shaolin priest who had recently fled China. He speaks softly but is no pushover. He lives humbly yet knows great contentment.

Each episode also takes the viewer back to Caine's childhood in the Shaolin temple. It is here under the instruction of the wonderfully charismatic Master Po (Keye Luke) and the stern yet loving Master Kan (Philip Ahn), young Caine (Radames Pera) learns the harmoniously balanced ways of Tao.

The teachings of the Shaolin was meticulously researched for the Kung Fu series. This makes Kung Fu one of the most authentic interpretations of Philosophical Taoism available in popular culture.

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