My Strength Uprooted Mountains

The Great Wall

Today I’m going to share with you another classic idiom
from Chinese history.

In Chinese it’s said ‘Yi Shen, Shi Dan’ which is used to
describe a fearless man.

Yesterday I was relating some strategic thinking principles
with a client of mine. I reiterated to her the principle of
never over estimating your own strength and power. And
she had wondered what I meant. I told her not to get
too caught up in the names of the people involved just
to focus on the moral of the story. I see it happen everyday;
folks always seem to get bogged down in the minutia and
don’t see the big picture.

But the basic idea of what I told her was to never think
yourself beyond defeat unless victory is firmly in your grasp.
To make the point a little more clearly I told her the story
Xiang Yu.

You see, Xiang Yu was the King of Chu (232-202 B.C.).

He was a brilliant and very complicated character known for his
meteoric rise from a man with ‘no inch of territory’ to a great
conqueror, and his rivalry with and defeat by Liu Bang,
founder of the Han dynasty in 206 BC.In fact, if you are
interested in his amazing story, I would like to tell you a little
about his death. If you’d like to see a beautiful movie about
this story done by the Chinese opera I suggest you see the
movie Farewell My Concubine starring Leslie Cheung,
Zhang Fengyi and Gong Li.

It is incredible.

Well, by the end of 203 B. C. many of the lesser kings and
barons had deserted Xiang Yu. One night, surrounded by
Liu Bang’s forces and low on supplies, he was sitting in his
tent with his favorite concubine Lady Yu. When suddenly he
heard the sound of songs from his hometown being sung
by the enemy. This was a tactic Liu Bang used to let his
enemies know their defeat was imminent. Liu Bang would
have his troops sing the songs of the hometown of the
soon to be defeated enemy.

Xiang Yu thought ‘Can it be true that Han has conquered
Chu, that they have so many men of Chu with them?’ he asked.
With this, another phrase entered the Chinese language:

‘Chu songs on four sides,’ meaning to be besieged from all sides.

Overwhelmed with sadness, Xiang Yu sat late into the night
drinking with the lady Yu and singing a melancholy song
with his own words:

My strength uprooted mountains,
My spirit overstepped the world;
But the times are against me,
And my horse can gallop no more.
When he can gallop on more
What can I do?
And what is to become of Lady Yu?

He sang it over and over again till tears ran down his
captures’ cheeks. Then he rushed out of the tent and with
the 800 men left with him dashed through the lines till
he reached the Wujiang River. Heaven was against him,
he said: it was of no use to cross the river. Among his attackers
he met an old friend. He offered him his head, on which
there was a high price, and cut him his head.

The Chinese traditional opera Xiang Yu the Conqueror Bids
Farewell to his Concubine is based on this incident. There is
no record of what happened to Lady Yu. One legend has it that
after him, she sang a song which echoed the line about Chu songs
and killed herself.

Well, what a moving story – even if it happened 2200 years ago!

The point of this is to never think you cannot be overpowered.
This is why I teach my clients many mental tactics and fighting
skills that will ALWAYS give them upper hand.I teach them,
through action NOT simply words, to never rely on things
that disappear with time. And critical things that disappear
with time is your size and strength.That’s why I teach to never
rely on size and strength. It’s always about proper application
of theory and principle. In the 21st century, high speed,
combat training is primarily about training smart NOT hard.
Being hard makes you weak!

Begin your journey to being a Scholar Warrior with
The Warrior’s Way Fitness
Six Lightening Fast Ways To Save Your Life.

These are so much more than just about functional fitness
or martial arts.Don’t just drift through life accepting
whatever happens to you.Make your life better and
better everyday.

Get started to-day!

Lead the way–
Matt Shannon

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