When artists paint pictures of what they see from within, you see all the details and beauty of what they are trying to display, and every time you look at it, you see something you didn't see before. If a martial artist in motion is captured on film or video, you can see the same thing. This is the raw purity of expression, and it is something that martial arts should support and promote, rather than stifle it within the limits of a rigid system.

Therefore, my wushudo curriculum allows each individual a way to find their inner purity by tapping into those attributes that shape and enhance all techniques. For example, when you're able to use such things as fluidity, grace, power, speed, and balance in harmony with your body movements, they will personalize your punches, kicks, blocks, flips, katas, and self-defense techniques. This helps you function beyond the boundaries of styles, methods, systems, and organizations and gives you freedom of self-expression.

Combat Negative Tendencies

By itself, wushudo doesn't make you great. Rather, you are successful only when you learn to make the principles of wushudo work for you through self-expression and continuous harmony with all situations. With total commitment to the universal principles, you can begin to demonstrate the effectiveness of this system.

There are several negative situations that will test this commitment, however. The world is full of people who are suppressed by racism, government, schools, jobs, family, friends, or other things. Any negative force that holds people back creates a selfish, aggressive attitude and makes people want to fight with others, intoxicate themselves with chemicals, or die.

To combat these harmful tendencies, your goal, according to the way of wushudo, is to flow in harmony with everything in the universe, and to accomplish this you must find some way to become balanced physically, mentally, and spiritually. Balanced human beings can bring about a balanced society. Many people have forgotten that they were born to live in the world and, instead, let the world live in them.

Said another way, they succumb to worldly values instead of universal principles. Making more money, buying a bigger house, or accumulating earthly possessions simply doesn't make people happy. Remember, happiness is an inside job. You have the strength to make your environment better by doing the Universal Creator's will to the best of your ability.

One way to accomplish this is to focus on changing your shortcomings rather than pointing a finger at others, judging them, or trying to direct and control them. For example, you must choose to fight only for the cause of righteousness. This is the true meaning of self-defense. There is nothing you can offer that is more precious than good character. Therefore, if you choose to fight because you are a mere brawler, a selfish and aggressive person, or a vainglorious bully, you deserve the highest expression of disapproval because this displays bad character.

Primary Focus of Wushudo

The primary focus of wushudo is developing the self. Our training focuses on controlling ego and diminishing selfish, aggressive, brawling attitudes, among other character defects, by staying in top physical condition and practicing basic punches, kicks, stances, footwork, grappling, throwing, tumbling, strength training, cardiovascular exercises, equipment drills, and kata and weapons routines. When you practice these techniques a thousand or more times, one of these character defects is bound to surface, and when you push through it, you show growth.

For instance, when performing a kata, you should be able to express the bounties of joy, happiness, and self-confidence in all movements, demonstrating your inner peace. Therefore, the most important aspect of training and fighting, whether it is full contact, freestyle, point sparring, or any other type, is to stay humble and have a calm mind. In this state you will properly place your techniques; you will be in control of yourself in the fight and stand a better chance of winning.

This is the Way of Wushudo—the individual self-expression of flowing in harmony with the universe, unrestricted and free to unite as one with natural, universal laws. My instincts cry out against being bound to a particular style, system, concept, or method, and my life experiences have taught me that truth is outside of any fixed pattern, because styles, systems, and methods are only partial truth. You'll only have 180 degrees of knowledge instead of the full 360 degrees—the full cycle of life. There again, if you get hung up on the cycle, you'll lose personal expression, the way that got you there.

It's about the ability to use all ways and be bound by none. Whether it be a tool from the urban jungle, Bruce Lee's system of jeet kune do, muay Thai, Brazilian jujitsu, Chinese gongfu, Korean taekwondo, Japanese karate, boxing, or wrestling, I borrow from many sources to enhance my ability and the wushudo curriculum. Things that we have added will always be incomplete because of our policy to remain open to new knowledge, yet complete because we strive to perfect whatever is at hand and naturally flow to the next stage. This is what I have been doing all my life, and it was my ability to do this that helped me live through the situations I've been confronted with. When I was in jail, I realized I was adapting to my situation and not reacting by harming myself, as I had said I would do if I were incarcerated. This was when I started to understand what wushudo is about.

The above excerpt is from The Complete Martial Artist: Developing the Mind, Body, and Spirit of a Champion—Self-Mastery Empowering Youths by Willie “The Bam” Johnson, Pub Date September 2019, by YMAA Publication Center, ISBN: 978-1-59439-653-3.