Philosophy in kung fu?

Discussion in 'Kung Fu' started by mewtwo55555, Oct 29, 2014.

  1. mewtwo55555

    mewtwo55555 Valued Member

    So I am wondering your guys thoughts on reading Chinese philosophical texts in kung fu classes? Do you think the Tao Te Ching or Art of War is relevant in kung fu classes today? As I have practiced more and more kung fu and such the idea of going "Bruce Lee" on a mugger has become non-realistic. Also the idea of Chi and such has become non-realistic to me. I mainly do kung fu for exercise and self discipline. What do you guys think is philosophical reading still a good thing in the "non-traditional" kung fu schools?
  2. Dan Bian

    Dan Bian Neither Dan, nor Brian

    I don't think you need to read Tao Te Ching, or Art of War to practice kungfu at all.

    I'm wondering what you mean by "going Bruce Lee on a mugger"?
  3. mewtwo55555

    mewtwo55555 Valued Member

    by "going Bruce Lee on a mugger" I mean punching and kicking him 15 times before he knows what hit him and grabbing the gun away from him as he falls to the ground unconscious and his friends run away while I call the police and get the key to the city. Lol that kind of non realistic thing that is in all the martial arts movies and such.
  4. philosoraptor

    philosoraptor carnivore in a top hat Supporter

    Socrates certainly improved my grappling (not really).
  5. The Iron Fist

    The Iron Fist Banned Banned

    In my opinion those books are all worth reading or citing whether you do it in a kung fu class or not, but it should not be more than a few minutes per class at most. This is more like "inspirational" material for training...not training. I think few martial arts instructors will do a good job of interpreting or appreciating the contents anyway, so read them on your own if the subjects interest you. Don't rely on your instructor to guide you through these texts, explore them on your own for your own benefit.

    IF so PLEASE don't stop with those "superficial" texts, brother. Those are the "pop" titles. Few can read those books and really understand what's being said in them without the right experiences..even assuming the translations are good.

    There are many, many (many) other things to read that will allow great insight into the philosophies of ancient warriors AND ancient peacemakers of China and other nations. Read the simple philosophy of Chuang Tzu, and get further insight into Lao Tzu. Some of the funniest light hearted stuff I've ever read were his musings alongside his strict Confucian fiends. Gandhi wrote some amazing stuff on the subject of war and suffering.

    You could read the Book of Five Rings to better understand the Art of War, and learn some basic truths about knowing yourself, your enemy, and where your mind should be during combat.
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2014
  6. cloudz

    cloudz Valued Member

    For me, you shouldn't have to think of it as mandatory. But with most people I think you are curious about it and your interest is peaked. Check them out in your own time if you feel like it. For me personally it was a positive experience all told. I'm not a fan of teachers forcing it down peoples throat whether they like it or not.

    Last edited: Oct 30, 2014

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