Tibetan internal art of Boabom

Discussion in 'Internal Martial Arts' started by dark-angle, Jul 19, 2005.

  1. dark-angle

    dark-angle New Member

  2. slipthejab

    slipthejab Hark, a vagrant! Supporter

    It looks like total nonsense.

    I'd be interested to find out if there are any Tibetan teachers.

    Certainly not in Tibet.

    It appears to be more westerners with overly romantic notions about Tibet.


    This look like someone with an interest in Tibet and an attempt to combine their interest in MA's with that.

    I suspect the hard information and lineage issues associated with something like this are complete fantasy.
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2005
  3. slipthejab

    slipthejab Hark, a vagrant! Supporter

    hmmm... get a load of these :eek:

    You'll find that Tibetans are a very pragmatic people... they wouldn't waste time pulling lame looking poses in frigid lakes! :D

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jul 19, 2005
  4. slipthejab

    slipthejab Hark, a vagrant! Supporter

    This is silly, silly, silly... looking more McDojo by the minute! :eek:

    Attached Files:

  5. dark-angle

    dark-angle New Member

    It would be interesting to know if there are any Tibetan teachers at this school, I would like to know if the main teacher is tibetan???

    I do know however that Tibetan Martial arts do exist but they are very rare in the west.
  6. slipthejab

    slipthejab Hark, a vagrant! Supporter

    Most of what you hear about Tibetan MA's is complete rubbish.

    Rare in the west? Christ they're rare in Tibet or in India (Darjeeling etc.) or Sichuan province of China... all areas where they have massive Tibetan populations.

    I live with a Tibetan and many of our friends are Tibetan people or from Mustang or regions in and around Tibet proper or from India in town where they have a large number of Tibetan refuges... not one I've ever asked has heard of it. Not one.

    There is some supposed relationship with a Lama (Lama Pai?) who developed a form of Kung Fu or something... but from what I remember reading the link was tenuous at best.

    Everyone loves to jump on the Tibetan name for it's mystical appeal and it's selling power. Same McDojo malarky... different, more exotic name.

    If you have any information Tibetan MA's that you feel is credible I'd love to see it.
  7. dark-angle

    dark-angle New Member

    Have you read the book “Esoteric warriors”? One of the guys they talk about practices a Tibetan Martial Art. He lives in London. I think the art he practises is called “Lung ta” which he says is a Bon martial art.

    I also spoke to a martial artist that had seen Tibetan Martial arts whilst traveling through Bhutan.
  8. slipthejab

    slipthejab Hark, a vagrant! Supporter

    I'll have a look and see if I can find a copy of the book.

    Yes the Bhutanese have some very similar customs with Tibetans.. it might be possible there is some sort of connection there. Hadn't thought of that.
  9. onyomi

    onyomi 差不多先生

    Tibetan CMA

    From what I've read, almost everything that goes by the name of Tibetan martial arts is actually a type of Chinese martial art in disguise. Just as we in the west are susceptible to the mystic aura of Tibet, so too were, the Chinese. Therefore, I've read that styles like Tibetan White Crane, Lama-pai, Tibetan Snake Boxing, etc. are all just Chinese martial arts, usually from areas like Sichuan that are somewhat closer to Tibet, trying to play off the impression among the Chinese that Tibetans have extroardinary, mystical powers. Since the Tibetans are virtually all strictly pacifist Buddhists, it would seem highly unlikely that their culture would place much emphasis on combat arts. I think the philosophy of the Lamas would be more along the lines of "it would be better to let your assailant kill you than to fight back and hurt him."
  10. dark-angle

    dark-angle New Member

    Yes he told me that he had visited Tibet and seen nothing of interest with regards to Martial Arts, his explanation was that when the Chinese took over Tibet many people fled to nearby Bhutan and that is what also happened to Tibetan Martial arts.

    As far as I understand Tibetan Martial arts come from pre Buddhist Tibet, at the time when Bon and Animalism were the religions practised in Tibet.

    I don’t think its correct to say that Buddhists would not invent or practise Martial Arts, lets not forget that Shaolin Monks are Buddhists
  11. onyomi

    onyomi 差不多先生

    Shaolin Monks

    Shaolin developed such complex systems of fighting because generals and other warriors on the losing sides of China's many wars would escape to Shaolin and shave their heads in order to avoid persecution. There they had plenty of time to practice and compare, as well as having access to the Shaolin's excellent system of qigong that no doubt helped bring their fighting skills to a higher level.
  12. middleway

    middleway Valued Member

    my teacher wrote Esoteric Warriors!! ha ha ha

    He says that the Tibetan systems that he encountered while there were extremely effective, working with Psychology and were very internal.

    Very very few in the west know of or study them though.

    kindest Regards
  13. slipthejab

    slipthejab Hark, a vagrant! Supporter

    originally poste by onyomi

    I would have to agree with you on this. In addition areas like Sichuan have always had rather large Tibetan populations. This is true even to the present day.

    Not neccessarily true. Even the Buddhist Tibetans still have what is essentially a warrior class or caste... The Khampa's. While not every Khampa is a warrior they were generally speaking much more agressive and given to combat than their fellow Tibetans from central Tibet. They come from the area of Tibet near China known as Qing Hai and Kham.

    Let's not forget the Tibetans did not manage to survive for centuries on a trade route by chanting and prostrating themselves. They are an incredibley tough people and although they are predominately Bhuddist it doesn't mean they're pushovers.

    Many of the Khampa's were supported by the US via the CIA in issurgencies against Communist China. The US administration at the time even went so far as to fly them to the US where they were trained in guerilla warfare by the army and armed and dropped back into Tibet. They fought skirmishes and ambushed Chinese troops on a fairly regular basis until the situation became something of an embarrassment or a political liability for the US administration. And then as they often do... the US pulled the plug on the CIA funding this covert operation and many of the Khampa's were killed or starved. Much of this information has only recently become available under the Freedom of Information act in the US.
    This is the image that the west likes to believe in.. it fits neatly into our minds filing system for things exotic. Unfortunately it's not true. Tibetans like any other are able to become violent, drunk, obnoxious and disorderly. Spend some time in a Nepalese disco in Khatmandu and there is good chance you can see Tibetans fighting with local Nepalese. When I was in Nepal there were several high profile (for Nepal) stabbing cases involving fights amongst Nepalese and Tibetans.

    Consider the region - Tibetans in many ways are not that much different than Nepalese or people from Mustang or even many Chinese from up near that region. Most people would be hard pressed to point out the difference between someone who came from a Gurkha family and someone who came from a Tibetan family. There are many many Tibetans born in Nepal so I wouldn't be surprised if a few of them ended up in the Gurkha Rifles regiments of the British Army. They're a people that are generally as tough as nails... generally friendly and good natured... but so are most Mustangi's or Magars or Chetri's... and they are the majority of doormen here in Hong Kong and you wouldn't want to have to scrap with those boys believe me.

    While I don't really know that at this point there is any credible evidence of a Tibetan martial arts system - I don't think we can just lump them under pacifist label.
  14. onyomi

    onyomi 差不多先生

    Notice I said the LAMAS, not "the average Tibetan people" would uphold this philosophy in regards to self defense. Lama means "superior one" and is a title reserved for only the most highly revered spiritual leaders, like the Dalai Lama. These are the people who would sooner be killed than harm another. Therefore it seems likely that a fighting art called "Lama-pai" would not be of actual Tibetan origin, but rather a Chinese art playing upon the mystical aura that surrounded the Tibetan Lamas.
  15. slipthejab

    slipthejab Hark, a vagrant! Supporter

    Not really. Actually... not at all.

    Lama is a title given to many thousands (if not hundreds of thousands) of monks besides the Dalai Lama. Not only in Tibet but also in Mongolia and parts of China. Lama is generally transliterated as simply... priest.

    If one wants to get academic about it... there are many different levels of being a lama... or even a monk... such as many of the younger or novice monks would be known as dr'apa and hence the reason why you have the Dalai or Grand Lama... and why you have the Panchen or 'Great Scholar' Lama.

    Many western people often make the understandable mistake of thinking that Dalai is the first name of the Dalai Lama.. it's not of course - he has a normal name like any other Tibetan... Tenzin Gyatso.

    I am really curious... How did you arrive at your definition of 'lama'?!?

    According to my understanding of the lineage of Lama Pai... he was actually a Chinese Buddhist priest or... Lama... hence... Lama Pai. He made his way to Tibet - which is hardly surpising as different dynasty's in China had been Buddhist - including the Qing Dynasty. And there has always been much trade and blurring of borders between the two countries. I don't believe there is much other oral history and storytelling handing these lineage''s down to us in the modern day. Many of the myths of the different styles origins are similar and fairly anecdotal at best.

    I believe the style that is most commonly known as a Tibetan MA is Tibetan White Crane Kung Fu... as to how much the Tibetan actually means in the name.... I dunno... I think it's only there for the sales-niche marketing.
  16. onyomi

    onyomi 差不多先生

    From the Encyclopedia Britannica:

    Tibetan Bla-ma (“superior one”) in Tibetan Buddhism, a spiritual leader. Originally used to translate “guru” (Sanskrit: “venerable one”) and thus applicable only to heads of monasteries or great teachers, the term is now extended out of courtesy to any respected monk or priest. The common Western usage of “lamaism” and “lamasery” are, in fact, incorrect terms of reference for Tibetan Buddhism.
  17. slipthejab

    slipthejab Hark, a vagrant! Supporter

    Out of curiosity... what is the date of the Encyclopedia?!

    I'd say their definition is either out of date or hasn't taken into account the evolution and etymology of the word.

    The translation of the Sanskrit word 'guru' doesn't neccessarily equate with 'superior one'. I have a feeling the Dalai Lama himself would find that title quite funny.

    I looked it up online at: http://www.britannica.com/dictionary

    and got the following:

    Main Entry: la·ma
    Pronunciation: 'lä-m&
    Function: noun
    Etymology: Tibetan blama
    : a Lamaist monk

    - seems to make a bit more sense and since I live with a Tibetan.. actually two.. they both feel that somehow the word 'Dalai Lama' or even the word 'Lama' as coming to mean 'Superior One' was definitely not correct or at best a distortion of the translation from the original Sanskrit root.

    Whatever the case may be I find inconsistencies in the way Sanskrit and Tibetan words are translated and used interesting but unfortunately not surpising.
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2005
  18. Silatyogi

    Silatyogi Valued Member

    that website that someone suggested with the "Tibetan" Martial arts looks like a crock of BS.....

    I have studied Bonpo with real Bon Po Ngapa and Lama who told me yes martial arts do exist in tibet and they are from Bon. He said it looked like wrestling and Tai chi. Another Monk I spoke to told me that the only lamasaries that still teach martial arts are the Kagyu monks. THey are taught a type Wrestling for self defense and health.

    I had the privilage of training with another Lama who actually braught the Dalai Lama last year to Miami Fl and he said to me that the arts he was trained in when he was young was a type of wrestling for self defense and health. And that there are monks trained as body gaurds for the DALAI LAMA that are trained ine a type of wrestling and pressure points.

    I showed some of the lamas a bit of Silat and they said its similar. It doesn't look like LAMA PAI nor TKD nor some type of KUNG FU.

    I showed the bon po lama a bit of djurus he said that those are gestues or mudras found in some of their excercises. He couldve just been blowing smoke up my ass. But in anycase he did say they do martial art in his family lineage that looks like a tai chi.

    Everybody wants to glamourize the idea that martial arts came from some secret monestary....although it may have been enhanced that way, and Tibet does have "Secret" martial arts those monks who do know wont share because of VOWS. Buddhist Lamas take some serious vows in order to not water down what they know. The truth is Tibet used to be a fighting nation. And The Bon po shamans roamed ancinet Zhung Zhung (Shambalah) which many believe to be China now. If you look at some of teh Bon practices its very similar to Taoist arts. The problem is good luck finding aBon master that will teach his familys martial arts!!

    ANother Gelug monk told me that their 6 yoga of naropa training was similar to martial conditioning. This I agree with I have studied Bon PoTsa Lung Trul Khor and its the most intense Yoga I have ever trained.


    Last edited: Jul 20, 2005
  19. onyomi

    onyomi 差不多先生

    As the definition I found in the online encyclopedia says, the word "lama" has apparently evolved to become a term of respect for all Tibetan monks, a fact of which I had not been aware. Nonetheless, every dictionary I have checked lists "lama" as deriving from the Tibetan word, "blama," meaning superior/great/enligthtened one. But even if lama is a title given to all Tibetan monks, that would still refer to a relatively small number of religious devotees, as opposed to Tibetan populace.

    Regardless, I didn't mean to make overgeneralizations about Tibetans. I think we're in agreement that the majority, if not all martial arts marketed as Tibetan in origin are actually Chinese in origin or at least heavily influenced by Chinese martial arts. I didn't mean to say that the Tibetans would never develop systems of fighting (obviously all people have a basic need to defend themselves), just that all those I've ever seen clearly bear all the hallmarks of Chinese martial arts and that it doesn't seem to me that Tibetan culture would be likely to place as much respect and emphasis on martial arts as Chinese culture does.
  20. slipthejab

    slipthejab Hark, a vagrant! Supporter

    Fascinating post Silatyogi. Very Interesting.

    I've always supsected that if there was a MA that could be attributed as being Tibetan it would either have to be something base on horseback archery/spear work etc...or... wrestling.

    When you studied with Bon Po Ngapa and Lama's was this in Tibet or in the US? Do you know if the Ngapa and/or the Lama were originally from Kham?

    How did you arrive at a situation where they agreed to train with you? I am assuming that the Bon Po generally excludes training in whatever their martial art is.

    What did the Ngapa and the Lama call the martial art that you likened to wrestling/tai chi?

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