FAQs

These FAQs are evolving as people ask questions about Kung Fu Mediation. Check back often.

What is Kung Fu Mediation? Since we engage many of the same cognitive systems in everyday conflict and negotiations as we would in a physical conflict, the thinking of a thousand years of martial arts masters can teach us how to successfully navigate them.

Are you going to post photos or videos so we can see more of what you mean by these styles? Yes. I’ve been focusing on getting the whole process up and running, but there are going to be some good visuals posted. Soon, I hope.

Come on. This sounds like kid stuff!  True, since the purveyors of kids’ entertainment have realized that even children make a connection to Kung Fu concepts. The Kung Fu Panda movie has some real martial arts and ideas, but the one I think does the best job is the original Avatar TV series. If children can pick this stuff up at a cartoon level, I hope adults can take it even further.

Can you teach me some real Kung Fu online like this? Let’s see! Kung Fu is more than just knowing how to wave your hands around.

Why mediation? One of the roles of the mediator is to help people negotiate for themselves. If he can translate between Snake and Crane, he can approach the conflict in a fresh way that might bridge the gap. Learning how to do that kind of translation can help everyone.

Does this Kung Fu Mediation stuff work in court or arbitration, too? Yes, in a few ways. It can affect interactions between principals and their own counsel, between counsel, between experts and between everyone and the judge or arbitrator. It ties into cognitive biases, strategies and how to explain things in a manner others will understand and find persuasive. It affects the way all participants carry themselves and can enhance or damage their credibility. I’ll tell you more about it in a future post.

When I see people doing martial arts forms, even Tai Chi, they sometimes say things are “hidden.” Does that carry over to Kung Fu Mediation, too? There are theories of teaching martial arts that suggest hiding secrets within form practiced, to be revealed only when the student has reached a certain level of achievement and maturity. This urge must be a reflection of something in human nature, since it is not so far off from the approach of the Kabbalists and other mystics to the Bible. In Kung Fu Mediation, it means the good negotiator has layers of understanding, whether rational, emotional or strategic. Also, don’t always show all your cards at once!

Are you posting secret Kung Fu stuff? The martial arts theories that I’m extrapolating from are not as commonly known or understood as they should be, but even if I knew anything hidden too deeply this would not the right place to share it.

Do you teach Kung Fu Mediation in person? I’m working on it. Maybe later this year I can do a trial run in the Boston area.

What animal are you? We’re all a little bit of everything. No one animal is a perfect physical fit for me – Tiger and Dragon require a bigger build, Leopard requires the ability to hold the back more like a tree trunk whipping in the wind, Snake requires a front-to-back flexibility (like a cobra striking) that is difficult past one’s teenage years, Crane requires gracefulness. After years of practice, I find the body controls of Tiger and Dragon are easiest but the Leopard the most difficult to get right. In terms of personality, an awful lot of people who make it through law school or in the business world are Snakes (no surprise!), but I’m less direct than the Leopard, find the Snake can be limiting and think the Tiger and Crane can be counterproductive for me unless blended together. That leaves the Dragon by default, but I do not pretend to have a true understanding of the Dragon. Ask me again after another 5-10 years of training.

How can I tell what animal I am? People have asked me to come up with a Shaolin animal personality quiz. Keep checking back. In the meantime, consider the descriptions. Remember that outside the five animal theory, there are other animals like the monkey, mantis, hawk and even imaginary ones. Ever met a unicorn?

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