The Chinese Bow

Discussion in 'Kenpo' started by grissenko, Oct 22, 2003.

  1. RubyMoon

    RubyMoon New Member

    How did it go from "valued knowledge" to "total domination"? With all due respect, your explaination sounds made-up. I don't think we'd be saluting each other, or our teachers, with a gesture that meant "domination." Naturally, everybody is free to believe what they wish, but I suspect the truth is much simpler and more humble.
  2. kempo penguin

    kempo penguin New Member

    i was under the impression that it meant peace over war
  3. mekosho

    mekosho New Member

    Kempo has gone thru various changes, from its early roots in China to being noted as a Japanese art....changes occur in everything in life, and as stories are told, as movies are made, from one person to the next, everyone seems to spice things up a little each time to suit there own needs, maybe thats how the change from "valued knowledge" to "total domination" came about...perhaps, it never meant that in the beginning, but then again, perhaps it enever knows as none of us were around way back when this all came about...
    And as far as not saluting each other with "total domination" obviously you have never been old schooled in kempo...the way it use to be taught...(by the way which is well documented..ask your sensei sometime) where it was put into practice as you learned, wide open, with very little restraint, Professor Chow was one of those teachers...he was hard knocks, so, "Total Domination" is not as far fetched as one might think...but then again, I am merely a student who was not alive way back when to say yay or nay, I just have to go by what I hear...just like the rest of us...again, the total domination statement was how it is VIEWED in some circles and/or dojos, not mine of course, but many.
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2004
  4. RubyMoon

    RubyMoon New Member

    I believe this is much closer to the literal truth. In traditional Chinese kung fu, the fist represents fighting, while the open hand represents peace. The meaning is something along the lines of, "I can fight, but I don't wish to fight you." I've also heard it suggested that the open hand symbolizes intellect, thus meaning, "I meet you with my mind, not my fist". There are countless variations, but most I've heard run along these lines.

    Perhaps in kempo the meaning is different. If so, I apologize as I certainly don't wish to offend.
  5. mekosho

    mekosho New Member

    No offence at all taken RubyMoon, and I imagine all thoeries contain some degree of truth, but what I am wondering is how the closed fist greeting or bow always seems to signify fighting or combat but was possibly used by priest or monks long before they were trained in the art of fighting...which came much later...
    Then again, seems to me that if the closed fist seems to always signify fighting and or combat, then why is the term I used in an earlier text so far fetched?
  6. Matt_Bernius

    Matt_Bernius a student and a teacher

    Keeping in mind that there are many chinese bows (fighting, greeting, buddist, systematic, formal) I'll stick with the left hand covering right fist.

    It gets back to Ying/Yang: coexisting dualities and extremes:


    The Open Hand - Left (Yin) covers the Closed Fist - Right (Yang)*. Suggesting that peace and softness (open palm) will proceed/be backed up by fighting and hardness (closed fist). They are also together because only in having both elements do you have harmony. (And yes, there are also many of the revolutionary aspects mentioned before... the Chinese are crazy about their symoblism).

    A "monks" bow consists only of a single open hand - left, palm perpendicular to the center of the body, fingers pointing to heaven. Sometimes the right hand is held underneat this hand (other times it is at the side or behind the back). This represents that this person is greeting you only with peace. This tradition seems to some how be entwined with the Tamo (Boddidahrma) myth Heather already mentioned.

    Most fighting bows only consist of the Right fist (or the left hand no longer covers the fist and now is in an formalized fighting open hand - like a tiger claw). These express that there is no peace, only fighting.

    Hope this helps.

    - Matt

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