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  #31  
Old 30-Apr-2011, 03:11 AM
kevinfoster kevinfoster is offline
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I am a student there would be glad to meet and train/talk with you on your arrival
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  #32  
Old 30-Apr-2011, 04:03 AM
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With upmost respect also Sir

Some what true shaolin was built as a moastary at that time there was quite a bit of doaist and confuscious thought in the temple until bodhidarma came form India and brought buddhism to the temple. Then Chan was created which is some what of a taoism and buddhism fusion. Which is one of the treasures os Shaolin

http://home.vtmuseum.org/articles/meng/3treasures.php

May Peace and Honor Remain with you
I wanted to add, this link you posted, discusses Southern Shaolin, and not the most famous and most misunderstood Northern Shaolin in Henan.
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  #33  
Old 30-Apr-2011, 04:06 AM
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Whenever someone gets into a martial art- Especially attaching to one for namesake, glorified influences, fad, or curiosity, their expectations are high.

With these high expectations, the desire for results, or any progress, is so great. But, given that every individual is different, and that some do not develop like others, only time and hard practice will prevail. Unless, the instructor is not qualified or does not have the knowledge.

To get into a martial art for the sake of performing something specific, or special feats because of seeing others do it, or the namesake of it, has some fallacy and illusion.

This is why I have stated that Shaolin gets to the point of namesake. Although someone had stated that Shaolin, per its Buddhist practice, is not separated from its martial art one-it is definitely recognized for martial arts first and foremost. Therefore for its martial art namesake. Therefore, people are lead by namesake/fame instead of the wholeness or full aspect of it.

Everyone that states that they teach or learn "Authentic Shaolin Kung Fu", I find disturbing. Even those that state they teach or learn Shaolin Kung Fu, are curtailing on the name for namesake. Something to be recognized or gained.

Now if this is the case with other systems, per stating that they have a lineage to Shaolin, then for that matter, many other Asian arts, if one is to study the ancient civilization of Asian man, would see that some of theirs had come from other sources like India, for example. (Including Shaolin.) And those others, in the surrounding provinces, can state a lineage to Shaolin.

Authentic Shaolin Kung Fu would be kung fu practiced the same way it was in Shaolin, with the same methods, techniques, etc. What I was trying to say is that if there was "Authentic Shaolin Kung Fu" out there, its still not what many people believe it is. I don’t think Shaolin Kung Fu even older days of Shaolin, is actually what so many people think it is. Given that the term, of its development, was not called Kung Fu.


Authentic Shaolin is like Authentic Christianity. Everyone wants it, need it, uses it, capitalize off it, without truly “following it in authentic form”. (For sure, Christ had over-turned the tables of money in those temples. Where is it written that he wanted to open a temple and collect like those priestans?). Trade marking it (Shaolin) would find the same difficulties such as trade marking Christianity/Jesus Christ.

Many people get the impression that the Shaolin monks are merely Kung Fu practitioners. These same people fail to realize that Shaolin was built for Buddhist priests. The logical question is how can they devote so much time (or all their time) to MA's? What is the connection between MA and their religion? Shouldn’t they be studying, praying or meditating and not fighting?

If Buddhism opposes violence, would it best be thought that monks don’t fight at all its just exercise, they are free from thoughts of violence. Think of something that is just pure joy without inhibitions, doubt or fear. Think of yourself in your most open and relaxed state and you might understand where monks are at when training or begin.

Martial arts were in China and Asia long before Shaolin. Some scholars believe after Shaolin was established, retired generals and criminals sought refuge there, and brought Kung Fu to the monks.

I just have a little strange feeling when I see something worded that is beyond the actual representation. (Like Ultimate Fighting-which has a set of rules and is not truly "ultimate".) So, let it be noted, that I do not intend to bash or discredit any school, or anyone, I think that the term and usage gets way out of proportion.

The Shaolin controversy is evident. Any instructor or school, or any for that matter, should strive to hold true to its own merit than to show a link and usage in the name of Shaolin.

In order to understand Shaolin, one has to understand its very underlying principals, which were not martial art related. I am very skeptic of those claiming instruction and lineage to something so controversial and lack total concrete evidence. There exists no actual documentation or certification from such a temple devoted to the Ch'an study of Buddhism, to state anyone is authentically Shaolin. Does this mean that he does not have skills or the ability to teach? No. I believe he is an instructor whom has skill, but not a Shaolin instructor.

Now, oh wow, with the popularity and commercialism of martial arts, everyone comes out of the "woodwork" claiming to be a descendant from Shaolin. Archives, records and documentations are fabricated. Obvious-yes to one that "believes". The same as Chi/Ki-God, etc. Denial or truth is painful. Ignorance is bliss. I had even had a Korean instructor whom informed me that the Korean martial arts are not as "ancient" as the Koreans appoint them to be. Again, like my discovery of authentic Shaolin no longer existing, my understanding of Korean martial art history was shattered and painful. As I talk to many Buddhists, including monks, my eyes are continued to be "opened". I have overseas letters, correspondence, and met Buddhist monks and practitioners to understand many things about Buddhism, the foundational soul of Shaolin. A nice Buddhist tale is of the Kalama, any Buddhist/Shaolin monk should know of it. Seek this tale and learn its meaning.
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  #34  
Old 30-Apr-2011, 04:08 AM
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Martial arts, per Shaolin and other problems associated are a controversial subject like trying to convince people that Chi/Ki does or does not exist. In essence to religion, that God does or does not exist. They all are a matter of opinion. Opinions are not totally righteous or wrongful. Opinions are actually individualized beliefs. Despite any given evidence, positive or negative, such beliefs that are strong, individuals will not be swayed away from their beliefs-their opinions.

And speaking of beliefs-opinions; I am writing this to have it understood my posts, opinions, and thoughts about things:

First, when I post about something in a serious manner, I have no intention to troll, belittle, display a sage-like persona, or etc.

My posting at times, may seem to be my opinion, but much of them are about presenting another method to have people think a little. This is by no means an effort to sway them to believe or agree on my opinions or posts.

Over 40+ years ago, I started martial arts stemming not from being bullied, but by an attitude to want to fight and get into many fights in my youth. Before I started martial arts, I read many books from libraries, as the internet was not developed. I had found almost the same tales of martial arts. I had many instructors whom had followed the same tales and myths. I too, was like most who followed the “Shaolin Story”. I had such an instructor whom claimed to have studied at Shaolin. One of my Chinese instructors, now deceased-RIP, had told us that when he was in his youth, he had visited Shaolin. It was discrepant and desolate. Instead, when he was a youth, he and the other kids would cling onto an adult male who taught Wushu. Then I came upon a Chinese shifu, and he told me many things contradictory from that I had read, what I was lead to believe by other martial artists and instructors. He used to simply say: “Don’t take my (his) word for it, find out yourself”. I had asked him how do I do this? His reply was: “Don’t ask how, ask why or what. Ask why or what, each time you discover an answer until there is none of reasonable satisfaction.

He stopped teaching martial arts as he had became a devote Buddhist.

So, this was my pattern:

Why does Shaolin exist?

Upon this, I found where and asked;

Why is it built there?

What is Buddhism? (This became a whole other study)

What is Chen Buddhism?

Who was Bodhidharma?

Why would Buddhist monks desire or want to learn to fight?


Next, I looked upon and started to examine the common tales or myths:

Shaolin monks created Kung Fu by watching animals?

Why?
What were the animals in that region?


Shaolin monks were getting robbed so they had to protect themselves?
Why were they getting robbed?
Do Buddhist monks actually carry things of value?

I also read-found - Shaolin was a sanctuary for rebels against the government regime and tyranny.

Ok - many religions used churches and monasteries as sanctuary. Why would China not go into theirs to get the rebels? Could the rebels disguise themselves as monks? Because they are skilled in fighting, would they protect the actual monks and the sanctuary of the monastery?

Could it be that these rebels, disguise as monks, be thought of as fighting monks by outsiders, therefore the legend of Shaolin Fighting Monks / Shaolin Martial Arts was born?

A prime example of Martial Art myths and legends like Shaolin is Wing Chun. I also used to think that the Chinese Art, Wing Chun, was developed by a woman. Many had and still believe this. Then I came across this site:
http://home.vtmuseum.org/articles/meng/myths.php

The credit of this site is believable because of the sincerity of the association to dispel myth and have the art become better through unbiased research and understanding. They did not cling onto what was the common myth or beliefs. They dared to be bold and step further.

For those who may not be aware, the Shaolin Monks like you see in the movies no longer exist. By this I mean the historical Shaolin Monks, popular in Chinese history, folklore, literature and movies, who practiced Shaolin wushu while staying devote Buddhist monks, living in the Shaolin Temple have disappeared. The temple was practically abandoned during the Cultural Revolution in China. What you find at the temple today is not what was there beforehand. The fact that the people you find in and around the Temple now claiming to represent it are not true monks is well known amongst martial artists in China. Jet Li himself is the best eyewitness; he went to the Temple in 1979 for the filming of Shaolin Temple and didn't find any martial monks. Read his remarks off his own webpage. Furthermore it is a well-known fact that martial arts masters from other parts of China were brought by the government to Shaolin in the 80's to reintroduce martial arts to the area.

Presently around the temple there is a large number of private wushu schools, some of who teach authentic Shaolin Wushu, but many of them also feature contemporary wushu (ie 'competition sport wushu'). Even if the people running these schools were Buddhist monks (which many of them, of course are not), they would not be Shaolin Temple Monks (they would be "Monks who live down the street from the Shaolin Temple"). But then, are Buddhist monks supposed to be running a private martial arts school? Despite this fact, for many of these schools, their student's attire during wushu performances (if not practice) is the robes of Buddhist monks - kind of like dressing up like a Catholic priest during Halloween, somewhat sacrilegious if you ask me.

But what about the people that live and train IN the Temple? Well either way, we know they aren't direct, uninterrupted descendents from the historical monks. But still, you can ask the question: Are they true Buddhist monks? By that I mean they have taken the vows of a Buddhist monk (the same Buddhist vows that any monk, Shaolin or not must take and follow). There is a difference between a Buddhist and a Buddhist monk, just like there is a difference between a Catholic and a Catholic Priest, the standards of behavior within the religion are different, Monks and Priest are held too much higher standards of behavior than laymen. The behavior of the "monks" in the news and on these tours would lead you to believe that these people are not living up to those standards (see the update section at the bottom for examples). There very well may be true devote Buddhist Monks out there practicing Shaolin Wushu, but I'm afraid these people are a very small minority.

As Jet Li alluded to, and anyone who has traveled to the temple and surrounding village can attest to, The Shaolin Temple and surrounding areas have been transformed into more of a 'tourist trap' by the Chinese and local governments and the local villagers in the years since the film. Dozens of martial arts schools popped up, some now quite large, with hundreds or thousands of students. Often times the instructors at these schools claim great pedigrees of martial arts knowledge ('Thirty-something generation disciple of Shaolin Kungfu', for example) But here did these people come from? Where were they hiding from 1965 through 1980? Some journalists would lead us to believe that the government forced the monks to break their vows, leave the temple and assimilate into society, although I don't understand how the Red Guard can FORCE someone to get married and have children. Others mention that these monks may have been in hiding in the mountains during the Cultural Revolution, either way they certainly weren't living in the Temple and their sudden appearance in such great numbers lead one to be very suspicious. (Three non-martial monks in 1980 to hundreds within a decade or two).

Lately in America a number of groups claiming to be Shaolin Monks have been touring and performing on TV (programs such as Regis and Kathie Lee, Letterman, MTV, etc). It seems that these groups are most often from the schools outside of the temple, which means you're paying for people who aren't even from the Shaolin Temple, and aren't even monks either. So you're just getting people who have shaved heads and wear robes and perform wushu. But what are they performing? More often then not, it's not even Shaolin quan. It's Contemporary Changquan, Broadsword, etc -- and often times, not even that good, any professional in China would blow them out of the water.

So what are you getting for your money? It's definitely not "Shaolin Monks" it's more like "People wearing robes with bald heads who might live near the Shaolin Temple who aren't even monks who aren't even performing Shaolin wushu." - Clearly these tours are misrepresenting themselves to the unknowing public and making money off of people through deception (which is fraud, last time I checked).


A good perspective from the observation of a non martial artist:

In his book, “China-The 50 Most Memorable Trips”, the author, J.D. Brown, states on pages 486-488:

“Shao Lin is a monument to mass tourism Chinese style. Open daily from 8am-6pm, it’s a commercial maze of souvenir venders inside and outside the temple complex, always crowded. The problem is that even the People’s Republic of China is doing films that glorify fighting monks of Shao Lin, and they’re are filming them right here, on the actual site. This is China’s Universal City Studios of Flying Fists, the spiritual and commercial center of the martial arts."

After several paragraphs, common history, J.D. Brown goes on to state:

“The martial arts, not Zen, are what bring tourists in these days. In the 15th and 16th centuries, the fighting monks of Shao Lin were taking on pesky Japanese pirates off China’s coast. During the 1920’s, when China was in civil turmoil and local warlords held away, the Shao Lin Temple was a haven for runaway soldiers who terrorized the local population.”

“I elbow my way through the late morning crowds to see Thousand Buddha Hall, built in 1588, with its fading fresco of monks. It will make a dandy movie poster. And the single most famous temple floor in China, roped off now and unlighted, where the monks practiced their stomping and leaps so diligently that the heavy stone floor became intended. Even cursory inspection suggests to me that the water table was high or the subsoil unstable under this floor, and that here and there it simply sank. I have a concrete driveway that looks about the same, and it was poured long after the 16th century.”

“To stretch the imagination further, I line up for a peek at the Shadow Stone, removed from Da Mo’s cave. A Chinese traveler described it this way in 1623:”I saw the shadow stone of Da Mo. Less than 3 feet high, it was white with black traces of a vivid standing picture of the foreign patriarch.” What I see is a slab of rock, burned or discolored, with the vaguest outlines of a human figure in meditation.”

“More vibrant, and more in keeping with the holy amusement park atmosphere of modern Shao Lin, is a courtyard surrounded on three side by open-air displays of wooden life-sized monks in dramatic fighting poses. They look like rather old carvings, but they may be merely dusty. Some are armed with swords and poles and locked into fierce combat. These days Shao Lin does a hefty business running a half-dozen major martial arts schools for everyone from schoolchildren in China to visiting kung fu clubs from Japan, America, and Europe.”


Here are some interesting articles:

http://www.alljujitsu.com/kungfu.html

http://www.selfdiscoveryportal.com/cmBodhidharma.htm

http://home.vtmuseum.org/articles/meng/myths.php

Shaolin Kung Fu: The Truth about Kung Fu History

Ignorance, Legend and Taijiquan


http://www.bullshido.net/forums/showthread.php?t=13021&

http://www.spiritualminds.com/articl...articleid=1886

http://www.spiritualminds.com/articl...articleid=1833

http://exn.ca/Stories/2003/06/09/51.asp

Last edited by 47MartialMan; 30-Apr-2011 at 11:10 PM.
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  #35  
Old 30-Apr-2011, 07:37 PM
kevinfoster kevinfoster is offline
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The last two posts were very accurate and beautiful presentations of the outlook and undrerstanding of Shaolin in our society today. The only thing I would add is to one of your question about why the monks would study martial arts. If you look at the criteria of true chan it is spontaneous, practical, and complete. Martial arts was a very effiecent way for the monks to experience chan and experience true reality. Thats my two cents on that informative display of outstanding information. Thank you for your clarity and dedicated research Sir I greatly appreciate all your efforts and experience. I myself could not have stated it any better and I agree with you 100%
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  #36  
Old 30-Apr-2011, 11:01 PM
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Originally Posted by kevinfoster View Post
The last two posts were very accurate and beautiful presentations of the outlook and undrerstanding of Shaolin in our society today. The only thing I would add is to one of your question about why the monks would study martial arts. If you look at the criteria of true chan it is spontaneous, practical, and complete. Martial arts was a very effiecent way for the monks to experience chan and experience true reality. Thats my two cents on that informative display of outstanding information. Thank you for your clarity and dedicated research Sir I greatly appreciate all your efforts and experience. I myself could not have stated it any better and I agree with you 100%
*BOLD* Nice reply but why martial arts and not just exercising, like Yoga to experience Ch'an?

In order to understand Shaolin, one has to understand its very underlying principals, which were not martial art related.

Why does Shaolin exist?
Why is it built there?
Shaolin Gong Fu (Kung Fu) is not an authenticated martial art system. What people are misled by is that Shaolin was built to study the Chen study of Buddhism. It was built in a remote region for that specific purpose.

What is Chen Buddhism?

Who was Bodhidharma?


Why would Buddhist monks desire or want to learn to fight?

The logical question is how can they devote so much time (or all their time) to MA's?

What is the connection between MA and their religion?

Shouldn’t they be studying, praying or meditating and not fighting?

Shaolin monks created Kung Fu by watching animals?
Why?
What were the animals in that region?


Shaolin monks were getting robbed so they had to protect themselves?
Why were they getting robbed?
Do Buddhist monks actually carry things of value?

Buddhist monks consider giving up possessions is the way to Nirvana. And that shaving their heads is a sign of doing so. Shaving the head signifies renunciation and detachment from worldly pleasures. From the Buddhist viewpoint, hair represents impurity. Giving up hair is while most people spend lots of time and money on their hair, Buddhist monks and nuns shave their heads. They are no longer concerned with outward beauty, but with developing their spiritual lives. The shaven head is a reminder that the monks and nuns have renounced the home life and are a part of the Sangha. Also, shaving is good hygiene in a crowded monastery.
It would be logical to assume that such disciplines of no desires of possessions are evident. Therefore, Buddhist monks would not have money in the sense to be robbed. Monks would not partake in a fighting method to prevent from being robbed if they had nothing of value.

Although Buddhist monks or priests seek charitable donations, they would never receive a monetary compensation to teach a fighting method. The major belief is not to capitalize on a situation that becomes violent if not taught to someone already disciplined in the study of Buddhism. In other words, it is against their principles to commercialize themselves just to teach someone how to fight.



Ok - many religions used churches and monasteries as sanctuary.
Why would China not go into theirs to get the rebels?
Could the rebels disguise themselves as monks?
Because they are skilled in fighting, would they protect the actual monks and the sanctuary of the monastery?


Could it be that these rebels, disguise as monks, be thought of as fighting monks by outsiders, therefore the legend of Shaolin Fighting Monks / Shaolin Martial Arts was born?
The monasteries were a haven and sanctuary for rebels of the era. The government thought it to be sacrilegious to openly intrude. It would seem that such fighter monks were the rebels in cognito to protect their hosts, ultimately protecting their haven and themselves.

Good References:

Jean Joseph Marie Amiot
Kung fu is a bad misnomer. It was first mention by a French Ambassador/Jesuit Missionary, Jean Joseph Marie Amiot, (1718-1793), during a visit to China. He had asked what it was the boxers were doing and out of humor one had replied “Gong Fu”. Therefore, the Ambassador/Missionary thought it was a fighting system and noted it in his written journals. Vie de Confucius and Mémoires concernant l'histoire, les sciences et les arts des Chinois (15 volumes, Paris, 1776-1791). A good almost in reference to this is the early 1960’s movie, 55 Days at Peking. Starring Charlton Heston, Ava Gardner and David Niven. And though it doesn’t exactly depict Jean Joseph Marie Amiot, it does have some interesting scenes with the Chinese Boxers, Westerners, and demonstrations at the Imperial Court.

Stan Henning
Classical Fighting Arts 12 (#35), 'The imaginary world of Buddhism and East Asian martial arts', pp. 37–41. As he points out, and documents in excruciating detail, 'the myth surrounding Boddhidharma and Shaolin martial arts first appeared... between 1904 and 1907', in a popular novel by Liu Tieyun called Travels of Laocan. It has no historical basis whatever, and actually shows up in Japan no earlier than the 1920s, as Henning notes, 'in time to be pressed, along with Zen Buddhism, into the service of the rising tide of nationalism and militarism during the 1930s'. In other words, the documentary record in support of the origins of anything in the Shaolin Temple are nil. Yet uncritical swallowers of pious baloney like this—probably some of whom believe that Sherlock Holmes and Carmen Sandiego are real people—retail such stories as though they actually knew what they were talking about. Look at how difficult it is for people in the KMAs to get reliable information about exactly who was teaching/practicing precisely what even sixty years ago in Korea... and now extrapolate back a couple of millennia, and it's clear exactly how much ******** is going to accumulate along the way.
• The Imaginary World of Buddhism & East Asian Martial Arts by Stanley Henning
“The time to lay bare misperceptions of the relationship between East Asian martial arts and Buddhism is long overdue as we wander into the 21st century, still apparently blind to the fiction in East Asian martial arts history. To begin with, the competitive Judo, Karate, Taekwondo, and “Kung Fu” that we are familiar with are martial sports, not martial arts in the strictest sense. And, while they all have their antecedents in Chinese martial arts, what we have been familiar with to date has been effectively shrouded in myth to the point where some even otherwise seemingly scholarly practitioners unquestioningly recite chapter and verse of the Bodhidharma story, of the origins of Chinese boxing, and its relationship to Chan (Zen) Buddhism. " - Stanley Henning

Brian Kennedy and Elizabeth Guo
Chinese Martial Arts Training Manuals-A Historical Survey, A Caveat about Chinese Martial Arts History. “History is more or less bunk according to Henry Ford’s oaf-cited comment. Certainly when reading any history of Chinese Martial Arts history is a mixture of fact, editing, exaggeration, hype, spin, and luck. I say luck in the sense that some martial artists are lucky enough to go down in history, while others who are equally skilled escape history’s notice. Fact is the part of the mixture usually present in the smallest proportion, while exaggeration, hype, and spins, are ingredients in larger doses. Most proported histories of Chinese martial art systems do not have “the Truth” as their goal, be it in absolute truth in the metaphysical sense or even historical truth. Rather the goal of most martial art systems’ histories is to give the system prestige - what the Chinese refer to as “face”. Some hope to impress the general public or prove that the system is combat-effective, while others simply aim to inspire students of the system. Still, others are concerning only with relating some interesting “folk tales”. Truth rarely factors into the equation. The British have their King Arthur; the Americans have their Davy Crocket. Exaggerations of myths and legends have become the norm.


Tang/Tung Hao;
Shaolin Wudang Research - The attribution of Shaolin Kung Fu to Bodhidharma has been discredited by many martial arts historians, first by Tang Hao on the grounds that the Yì Jīn Jīng is a forgery.. The oldest available copy was published in 1827 and the composition of the text itself has been dated to 1624. Huiguang and Sengchou were expert in the martial arts before they became two of the very first Shaolin monks—years before the arrival of Bodhidharma. Sengchou's skill with the tin staff is even documented in the Chinese Buddhist canon. The discovery of arms caches in the monasteries of Chang'an during government raids in 446 AD suggests that Chinese practiced martial arts prior to the establishment of the Shaolin Monastery in 497. Monks came from the ranks of the population among whom the martial arts were widely practiced prior to the introduction of Buddhism. There are indications that Huiguang, Sengchou and even Huike, Bodhidarma's immediate successor as Patriarch of Chán Buddhism, may have been military men before retiring to the monastic life. Moreover, Chinese monasteries, not unlike those of Europe, in many ways were effectively large landed estates, that is, sources of considerable wealth which required protection that had to be supplied by the monasteries' own manpower. In addition, the Spring and Autumn Annals of Wu and Yue, the Bibliographies in the Book of the Han Dynasty and the Records of the Grand Historian all document the existence of martial arts in China before Bodhidharma. The martial arts Shuāi Jiāo and Sun Bin Quan, to name two, predate the establishment of the Shaolin Monastery by centuries.

Benny Meng and Alfredo Delbrocco
(Although writing about Wing Chun, Shaolin information revealed)
The Secret History of Wing Chun: The Truth Revealed – http://home.vtmuseum.org/articles/me...threvealed.php
Preface: Although the world itself has not gotten smaller, life in the Information Technology Age (via the media of email and Internet) has made contact and communication with people around the globe easier. Consequently, it is now harder for information and research to be constrained or concealed, or for only one perspective to be put forward. Most importantly, it means that certain myths will not be perpetuated. After almost 400 years, mounting evidence is pointing to the truth of Wing Chun's creation and evolution. The question is: is the kung fu world ready for it? There is no doubt that the information about to be disclosed will ruffle feathers to say the least. This is mainly because many Wing Chun instructors throughout the world are naively, and through no fault of their own, imparting a romanticized, fantastical history of the Wing Chun system. They are telling and retelling a story that is little more than a fairytale. A view of the traditional legends with an eye on history reads as an even more fascinating point of view. And no less deserving of the term `legendary'.
As near as history can testify, Wing Chun was developed around 400 years ago in a time of civil unrest. Between 1644 to 1911, the Manchurians ruled China, where 10% of the population (the Manchus) ruled over 90% of the population (the Hons). To maintain control over the Hons, the Manchus ruled with an iron fist. Aggression and oppression were the cornerstones of the Dynasty and the Hons were banned from using weapons or training in the martial arts. Thus, in order to overthrow their oppressors, rebel activity was instigated by martial arts masters in hiding. Rebel activity developed rapidly in the Buddhist monasteries, which were largely left alone by the Manchus out of respect for the Buddhist culture and religion. These Shaolin/Siu Lam sanctuaries were ideal places for renegades to conceal themselves - they simply shaved their heads and donned the monastic robes of the disciples of the temple. During the day, the rebels would earn their keep by doing chores around the temple. At night, they would gather to formulate their plans to overthrow the Manchus. There are some that maintain that Shaolin/Siu Lam sanctuaries possessed no political leanings. They further emphasize that the Buddhist teachings of these monasteries would have prevented their support for rebels and secret societies. Such a position is emotional at best with no grounding in historical fact. Religious leaders throughout history, in both the Western as well as the Eastern world, have influenced politics and government since the beginning of time. Churches have forever harbored political victims sought by authorities believed to be oppressive. In the case China, serious precedent for such behavior on the part of the monasteries had already been set 400 years earlier.

Last edited by 47MartialMan; 30-Apr-2011 at 11:22 PM.
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Old 01-May-2011, 05:31 AM
kevinfoster kevinfoster is offline
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Thank you for your kind words sir. In my understanding Martial Arts was choosen to experience chan for the reality of the here and now. The moment is all that matters while a punch is comming in that moment direct awareness is needed. If you are not aware of the here and now you will surely be to soon and if not soon than late either way your experience has a direct cause and effect. You are early and telegraph your intentions and give the attacker the opportunity to change or are too late and are hit by the punch. So martial arts, more than say yoga was the most practical way to experience the reality of here and now by bypassing the illusive thought barrier by forcing the illusive mind with no way to turn but the way which is; understand chan, the reality of the here and now or suffer the consequence by suffering. In my opinion it seems like a practical, spontaneous and complete method of training you will learn at an accelerated pace to say the least. Thank you for the great references I will research them as time permits Sir. Please take care.
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Old 01-May-2011, 06:15 PM
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Thank you for your kind words sir. In my understanding Martial Arts was choosen to experience chan for the reality of the here and now. The moment is all that matters while a punch is comming in that moment direct awareness is needed. If you are not aware of the here and now you will surely be to soon and if not soon than late either way your experience has a direct cause and effect. You are early and telegraph your intentions and give the attacker the opportunity to change or are too late and are hit by the punch. So martial arts, more than say yoga was the most practical way to experience the reality of here and now by bypassing the illusive thought barrier by forcing the illusive mind with no way to turn but the way which is; understand chan, the reality of the here and now or suffer the consequence by suffering. In my opinion it seems like a practical, spontaneous and complete method of training you will learn at an accelerated pace to say the least. Thank you for the great references I will research them as time permits Sir. Please take care.
I understand what you are saying, but martial arts study by a Ch'an practitioner isn't for this. Yoga has many ancient qualities.

In other words, martial arts was never a portion of its study. Nor do Ch'an/Ch'en practitoners need it to help their study They do not need martial arts to study their practice.

Now, there is the reciprocal. Martial artists, of any type, can used Ch'an/Ch'en/Zen as part of their martial study.

In due respect, therefore, I think you maybe be a tad confused

The research of Buddhism can be vast. Research in Theravada, Mahayana, and Pureland.

For the Ch'an/CH'en study, known as the Gateless Gate, is part or categorized with Mahayana.

It took me years to research, study, and find people who know the types of Buddhism as I had to dislodge from the Shaolin-Martial Art way of thinking.

Fortunately, I came across a Buddhist Nun and a University Professor of Eastern Religion and Buddhism, who, with exchange for martial art instruction, taught me more about their field. (I can PM their names to you for reference)
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....... for what its worth is to keep it real, martial arts are not always about fighting at all, even when your sparring. Sometimes its just about fitness and learning some technique. .

Last edited by 47MartialMan; 01-May-2011 at 06:18 PM.
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Old 02-May-2011, 05:13 AM
kevinfoster kevinfoster is offline
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Can you better explain the difference between a Ch'an/ ch'en/ Zen Practitioner using Martial Arts to better understand Ch'an and a Martial Artist using Ch'an to better understand their Martial study? Are they not both doing study and research into Ch'an? Please if you do not mind to enlighten me with better understanding of this.
p.s. when I spoke of yoga it was not to offend or discredit the practice I also have studied a few different forms myself and have great respect therefore.

Last edited by kevinfoster; 02-May-2011 at 05:16 AM.
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Old 03-May-2011, 12:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevinfoster View Post
Can you better explain the difference between a Ch'an/ ch'en/ Zen Practitioner using Martial Arts to better understand Ch'an and a Martial Artist using Ch'an to better understand their Martial study? Are they not both doing study and research into Ch'an? Please if you do not mind to enlighten me with better understanding of this.
p.s. when I spoke of yoga it was not to offend or discredit the practice I also have studied a few different forms myself and have great respect therefore.
The martial arts are not there to understand Ch'an/Che'n/Zen in a fashion to help one on the road to Buddhist Enlightenment*. (*This is what pure Ch'an/Che'n/Zen in most cases, look to do)

Martial arts/artists use it to help clear their mind from distractions. People other than martial artists use Ch'an/Che'n/Zen in the same fashion; therefore, it is not about integrating it with martial arts, rather than to help one from any walk of life develop the same goal.

Pure Ch'an/Che'n was meditation without exercise. The main emphasis was in the meditation, or the mind only. The earlier Ch'an/Che'n practitioners forgot that the body needed to exercise in order for Ch'an/Che'n to develop. For what is the mind without a proper functioning body?

This is where the actual purpose of "Bodhi man" came in. He gave them exercises to maintain the body. These weren’t really martial art methods.

However, that said, it became a useful addition to martial arts. In relation to mindfulness or awareness, used to be thought of only as distractions, or even of random thoughts. It does not completely mean that one should think, "I am doing this” or “I am doing that”. The moment you think, you become self-conscious to an idea and live in the idea rather than purely live in the action.

It is like a speaker addressing an audience. The speaker doesn’t think they are addressing an audience. Instead, he goes through his interpretations of the subject often paraphrasing or even straying off whatever he has written in preparation.

This mindfulness or awareness with regard to our activities was taught by Buddha, and practice via meditation, to live in the present moment or the present action without actually thinking about it.

Thus, for a martial artist, it could render distraction such as fear and even mild pain. (Have you ever cut yourself and actually did not feel it until you seen it? Imagine being able to do this in random upon the battle field.)

To conclude, Ch'an/Che'n was to aid in the martial arts, HOWEVER, it did not need the martial arts to aid it. What it did need, however, was exercise for the body.

A Ch'an/Che'n practitioner does NOT need martial arts, they need to exercise. (And don’t think that "martial arts is exercise", it is, but most Ch'an/Ch’an practitioners do not exercise via martial arts. Most exercise with some form of yoga or other)

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A Layman’s Guide to Buddhism-
What The Buddha Taught - Walpola Rahula

The Essence of Zen - Ven Sangharakshita

Fundamentals of Buddhist Philosophy - Junjiro Takakasu

The Eastern Buddhist- W.J. Tanabe


OTHER AUTHORS:

Edward Conze
G Tucci
Reginald Horace Blyth
Seizen Yanagida
P. Yampolsky


OTHER WORKS;

Sukhavati Sutra
Hsieh Mai Lun
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bodyshot View Post

....... for what its worth is to keep it real, martial arts are not always about fighting at all, even when your sparring. Sometimes its just about fitness and learning some technique. .

Last edited by 47MartialMan; 03-May-2011 at 03:38 AM.
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Old 03-May-2011, 03:29 AM
kevinfoster kevinfoster is offline
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Thank you for your thoughts kind sir.
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Old 04-May-2011, 12:19 PM
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If qi gong was a martial art that is - which it isn't.

But yes - you could describe walking down the street as a qigong if you wanted to.

However the tai ji walking exercises for example are far from being the martial art. in the same way boxing can be good exercise, taiji can be good qi gong. But that's not what it *is*

Good martial art obviously incorperates good exercise, physiology and all the rest. So rather than taiji is qigong, it incorparates it in its training system both as exercises and qigong elements in the form practices.

Don't pay attention to redkite - she is always consistently getting this wrong, and repeating the same misinformation. Tai chi chuan and qigong are not one and the same thing. Maybe if all you did was form without any shen fa (body method) even, however some people do still practice it as a martial art firstly and formostly..

Some people may well know this, but for the benefit of those that don't, there you go.
So, in Qigong there are traditionally 5 areas of study one of which is martial qigong. So yes Tai Chi is Qigong. Albeit a specialised form of it.
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Old 05-May-2011, 08:50 AM
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tai chi chuan isn't qigong, because qigong is not tai chi chuan!!

Tai chi incorperates qigong principles in it's forms, and has qigongs as supplementary exercises in some of it's various martial systems.

The solo form does not equal tai chi chuan, and this is the problem. So many people today identify tcc with a solo form and little else if anything. Tai chi chuan is a martial system with components such as san shou, push hands, neigong, weapons and forms.

Qi gong is in there, but to say taiji is qigong is misleading.. it must be qualified properly. If all you do is taiji form like a qi gong and that is the only way you can or have been taught to practice your taiji, then sure all you are doing is qigong with the exterior of martial postures. There is however a depth in the martial practice of tai chi chuan that is so much more than this, and so much more pertinent to what tcc is. It's first and foremost a martial system, not qigong. It's not all slow exercise!

qigong is simply qigong, it doesn't need martial postures to be qigong. We can say other martial forms are qigong too because the qigong principles are so common in Chinese arts - hsingi, bagua etc. Where does that actually get us, and what does it mean? Once you know certain qigong principles they can be transfered to any movement.

So yes, whilst I'd agree that taiji form is a form of qigong on a cetain level, it's also a lot more than that - physically and mentally. And as well tcc as a martial system - which it most absolutely is, is so much more than a slow form, it's not even funny.

This is why, this attitude of taichi is qigong is really ultimately kind of silly and limiting. If you go to learn an authentic lineage system of tcc, you absolutely will not only be getting qi gong out of it, if you only learn qigong then it's just not tcc.

So many people now, don't really know or understand the difference it's very sad and quite a shameful situation.

Both qi gong and tcc are great practices, neither are done any justice by being conflated as one and the same things. People really should be better informed and think harder about it, before they go round talking unsubstantiated nonsense about it.

If you're only doing a mildly exercising long slow form focusing on the qigong elements - then you just simply ARE NOT DOING tai chi chuan. In exactly the same way someone doing boxercise is not learning or doing boxing. Tai chi chuan is boxing, NOT qigong!

The goals are different. Martial qigong, may be an area of both qigong and CMA, however you can't really say that such qigongs are martially specific to any style, neither are any synonymous with a style and neither are any specific styles synonymous with specific qigongs. These are used as supplementary or auxillary exercises in many cma systems. This is no basis whatsoever to support the incredibly weak claim that tai chi is qigong. The correct wording would be taichi has qigong.

TCC is a martial system like all the others. martial qigong are simply exercises found in such systems - notice the difference there ?

Tai chi form movement or static posture has as part of its principles some of the same principles as qigong does - deliberately. It probably shares many principles with loads of other disciplines too, completely by virtue of efficiency and efficacy and the sharing of some similar aims. Although not necessarily having to share the same ultimate goal.
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Last edited by cloudz; 05-May-2011 at 09:20 AM.
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Old 25-Jul-2011, 09:25 PM
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ANGELSGYMSINGH ANGELSGYMSINGH is offline
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Somewhat Agreeing with Cloudz

George, You have alot of good points. It is good to see your thoughts epressed again. Thanks again for threference material and the vids of your work. I learned alot form watching them. You are kinda a beast to workout with. You make me want to train very hard dude....

Of course there is a harmony to the two disciplines as you have kinda hinted to in your post. I think there is a distinction between the two disciplines; however, there is also common ground. A mature IMA System would find the two disciplines integral to a curriculum directed towards training adepts in the health and harm extremes of Internal Boxing. They both support each other when a person is working hard to build proprioception through Hard or Static posture. Stirring the Great Cauldron and Five Element Circulation techniques would serve one well in this type of standing meditation. Metta Meditation and pre-natal hand-washing would also be a good internal exercise to perform in Staic posture Qigong. Then when the elixer is ready a Silkreeling pattern performed between postures during transition would help small cosmic circulation if ones Kung Fu form has been subconsciously internalized and their seat sessions performing this exercise has been practiced a long time. All of these internal skill exercises performed in static posture and or dynamic silkreeling posture tend to put the goal of the practice in the health benefit schema.

However, the martial aspects of IMA require that we gain the power from aquiring states of mind and body that reflects stillness, motion and treasure. Wuji, Taijitu and the Three treasures of Jing, Qi and Shen gives us the superior health, strength, speed and clarity of perception to become peerless boxers. It is possible that this is the rudimentary difference in the neijia and waijia methods. If I bring this knowledge to my long form (108 steps), which i call the meditation form, I begin to understand the essence of the Four Elemental Phases or what we mostly call the concept of Greater and Lesser Yin and Yang. The stillness and motion extremes of my Qigong practice, because I mixed silkreeling transitions with static Martial postures manifests awareness of essence, refinment of energy and the concentration of spirit.

When I perform the Long Form I find that I have vitality to such an accumulation that containing motion in stillness or slow movement is like lidding up a simmering or boiling pot depending upon my breathing at the time. When I change breathing patterns through mental intention I explode or shake with energy. The Taiji aspect of the long form is supported by the qigong aspects of gathering lifeforce. Now the understanding of greater and lesser Yang makes sense: The exhaustion of strength or speed is weakness or slowness. The opposite is now also true and the linear discharge of circular accumulation concerning vitality is not only a practiced concept of form but an example of internal skill demonsrtrated through external martial prowess.

I know you all know the alchemy sequences that I am discussing and I am sorry if I the tone sounds erudite but I had no other way to explain my understanding. Here is a small example of what I am talking about:


[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rNeP6P6bcYo"]‪Hu Shui Quan Qigong Taolu: The Foundational Form‬‏ - YouTube[/ame]
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Old 08-Apr-2012, 11:04 PM
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