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I can put out a candle with a martial arts technique at about two feet now. This article is about the techniques I use. I’m hoping other people out there will want to share their methods, and we can all experience improvement at this little trick.
Now, just to be clear, it is a trick, but it does have benefits of good value. Mental concentration improves, and you learn different things about how the body can be utilized. The body and the mind, to be truthful, are tools that we have barely begun to understand.
First things first, there is a very cheap shot way of putting out a candle. If you flick the finger in front of the flame, the flick is enough to disrupt the oxygen and make the flame die. Try it, just hold the hand a few inches back of the candle, then flick the finger as if you are merely snapping the fingers, as if you are flicking off water, and do it on the flame.
Next, I worked on the fist stopping in front of the candle. While there is mental focus involved, this is still a simple rob the flame of oxygen trick. You are robbing oxygen, but it takes mental control of the body to make it work just right.
You have to stop the body precisely, exactly, and with no shake or shiver. This leads one to the conclusion that it is not muscle, but control of muscle, that is important. All those hours of standing in a horse stance in front of a candle do have their physical benefit, but it is the mental benefit that is most real.
When I put out a candle at two feet I use the Brush Knee tai chi posture, and I work on shifting weight, turning hips, and using all parts of the body to do so. The most important thing, the thing that showed me gradual and increasing success, was to take all the energy out of the body when doing the technique. I did this thing with karate technique, and I learned to use less physical effort and to increase my mental focus, I did it tai chi style, and my success depends on removing all energy from the body and moving the body from outside.
It takes me a while, but as I remove energy and effort from my body, concentrate on not using muscle, but relaxing the space of my body of effort, I tend to get a little back of my body. I’m not out of my body, I’m not a floating, disembodied mentality drifting through the universe, just a little removed, comfortably removed, seeing my body from a viewpoint a little behind where my eyes are. The patience and mental resources are quite pitched at this point, because I am trying to move a body without reference to muscle, but with just the lightest touch of intention.
I still encounter problems with the method I am using. In spite of the mental sharpness I am building, it doesn’t feel efficient. Also, there seems to be a limit to the effective distance I am able to put out a candle at, and I can’t get beyond about three feet. But at least I am experiencing limited success, and time and patience and resolved efforts will give me more.
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