terça-feira, 4 de junho de 2019

About Kung Fu and Sight

I have heard my Si Fu saying a few times that Kung Fu helps you reassess a certain situation with a different angle, a different point of view. This is partially where the idea of naming this blog "Kung Fu Lens" was born. The other part was due to the fact that I work with vision as an ophthalmologist and as a researcher. In a lot of ways, Ving Tsun changes the way we see the world using a mechanism that is very hard to explain. But more on this later.

Imagine this as an eye looking to the left of the screen. It is such a small structure but with an amazingly complex mechanism.

Although I might be biased, I believe vision is the most important sense that we have. The anatomy of our eye is very rich and refined and the mechanism of "seeing" is very complex. Light enters our eyes throughout the cornea, our first "lens" (and the biggest we have in terms of light refraction). Then, it passes a liquid substance called aqueous humour and, after passing the pupil (the aperture that controls the amount of light that enters our eyes by dilating or contracting), it reaches our second lens - the crystalline lens. This is the lens in which a very common disease in elder people (and sometimes in children) named cataract, develops. After it passes through the crystalline lens, light travels throughout a space filled with a collagenous substance called vitreous humour, and finally hits the retina. The photons of light are then send by the optic nerve in the form of electric impulses to the brain, where this is interpreted and an image is formed. Our brain is so powerful that he receives the image upside down and inverts everything, enabling us to see things as they really are.

But wait, what exactly this has to do with Kung Fu? Well, at least in my interpretation of my Si Fu's teachings, Kung Fu enables us to see everything with a different perspective... with a different lens, if you wish. We are not talking about anything magical or eccentric here, no. I am only implying that Kung Fu supports itself in the richness and complexity of what our eyes became within years of evolution, while allowing us to use this "sense" in the best way we can. Kung Fu is seeing what other people can't see, despite being right in front of them. Kung Fu is using the best interpretation our brain can provide of what is actually going on in a particular circumstance. Kung Fu is what my Si Fu does everyday, when he sees potential that is invisible to eyes with blurry, clouded lens. Kung Fu is being the best we can in whatever scenario life throws at us. Kung fu is living a better life.

I still am very proud of this moment with my Si Fu and Si Mo, in which I accessed the advanced level of Ving Tsun in the same day my Si Fu did his Baai Si years ago.