Tibetan internal art of Boabom

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

  1. Dillon

    Dillon Valued Member

    That's what you get for practicing zen (or son, as it were).
  2. MadMonk108

    MadMonk108 JKD/Kali Instructor

    Meh...it's like the old man says, "What is kimchi until you've tasted it?"
  3. wonk

    wonk Valued Member

    Wasn't there a book on the market, about a woman taekwondo stylist, who went on an extended journey through Tibet looking for some kind of warrior art?

    Been goin' through amazon.com trying to find the title... no luck so far.

    I recall seeing the book on the shelves... never read it.... I always wondered if she found anything out there....

    Oh wait a minute... here it is....

    Among Warriors: A Woman Martial Artist in Tibet


    I guess guerilla warfare must count for something....

    Late addition: I did come across this webpage on Tibetan Marital Arts...

    I have no idea how valid any of this is,...

    I recall seeing a demonstration of lama kung fu ages ago. I recall a large man stomping around and waving his arms in large swings, that reminded me of basic shaolin forms. He also performed the sword bending routine where an assistant jabbed him at sword point and he walked into the sword, bending it.

    That's all I've ever seen of it.
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2006
  4. Conn

    Conn Valued Member

    Hi, the guy you speak of is Chris Chappell, a freind of mine. I met him while studying Lung Ta (Wind Horse) . It is a style very closely related to Bagua. Lots of circle walking, forms, Kum Nya (Tibetan Yoga/Chi Gung) Meditations and shamanistic practices. Our circle walking was done around a four flanged cerimonial dagger called a purboo (phonetic spelling, forgive please). Some pretty interesting training methods invoking mind states before "partner work". Mudras (hand positions/palms) also linked with qualities which were then applied to combat.
  5. Conn

    Conn Valued Member

    Sorry guys , alittle behind. I was responding to slipjabs mention of esoteric worriors.
  6. slipthejab

    slipthejab Hark, a vagrant! Supporter

    Having just spent several weeks visiting the Tibetan side of my family in an area that is also heavily populated by Tibetans in India (Darjeeling, Sikkim, Siliguri, Kalempong)... I'd be curious what the Tibetan script spelling of the this 'Kum Nya' or 'Kahm-Na' actually is.

    I've gone over it with several Tibetans and they can't quite match it up to anything that makes sense in proper Tibetan. I'm wondering if it's not a transliteration from the Khamkay dialect of Tibetan - the Khampa people's language who are the traditional warrrior caste in Tibet. Who are primarily of the Nyingma sect of Tibetan Buddhism.

    You wouldn't by chance happen to have any Tibetan script spelling this out would you? :confused:

    Or perhaps a rough etymology of the Tibetan word? :confused:


    Ok after some quick searching and some bad translating in my best Tibetan I've gotten closer. It seems what most people consider as Kum Nya or Kahm Na is a form of Yoga that is based in the Nyingma sect of Tibetan Buddhism.

    Here are some interesting links. Though note - this is exactly the sort of thing that westerners love to jump on and instill with all sorts of hope for their martial fantasies. I'd be very curious if there were any direct links between this Kum Nya and any form of martial arts. I mean something credible - other than hearsay or anecdotal. It'd also be interesting to know if there is evidence of anything more substantial than ritualistic ceremony in regards to this art.

    Anyhow - food for thought:




    Last edited: Oct 14, 2006
  7. Conn

    Conn Valued Member

    Any evidence? I can't think of any! I could show you some forms, applications, and training exercises, but apart from that............

    As for the links with the Ku-m Nya (forgive spelling again) there were a few extremely challanging postures held for up to half an hour or more, that helped greatly in adding strength to form and technique.

    Sorry I can't provide more proof for you.
  8. slipthejab

    slipthejab Hark, a vagrant! Supporter

    No worries.
    I know that many things relating to Tibetan MA's are either very hard to find or non-existant. So it's understandable. My curiosity is piqued however simply because of having such close contact with the Tibetan community.

    Given that the Khampa's were the warrior caste I am surprised to find there is very little written on them and their training methods if any.

    On another note... decidedly more modern their are entirely Tibetan regiments in the Indian army today.
  9. Thelistmaker

    Thelistmaker bats!


    I know this is basically gung fu but I was surprised this guy called his gym the gompa. I was also very surprised he was teaching a Daoist version of tumo.

    I showed it to my dad and he had this to say:

    Any marital art teacher who says Buddha taught martial arts, has no deep knowledge of true meaning of Buddhism. On Tumo, this is greatly misunderstood and its true purpose has been corrupted. Tumo is not to develop heat to keep warm, as many suppose. It is part of the Tantric practices which develop the spiritual realizations of the practitioner, by generating internal heat at the level of the naval chakra.

    By meditating on inner heat (Tumo), this causes the red and white drops (biddhi-chittas) to melt. These are the essence of red blood from the mother and the essence of while sperm from the father, which combine at our conception. This produces an inner bliss and it is this blissful mind which is then focussed on meditating on emptiness. However, this worldly bliss is limited and momentary and does not last. For the accomplished mediators, they are able to produce this bliss through mediation and it last a long time and one way is by Tumo meditation.
    So, the purpose of Tumo is not for any worldly benefit, but to allow the mediator to generate grate bliss and then use this mind to mediation on for example emptiness. When mediators are able to enter and dissolve their minds into the central channel, the mind becomes very subtle and free from distractions of conceptual thought. Because of this, the mind can easily know or can understand its object, so even subtle topics which are normally difficult to know, like emptiness can quick be understood.

    Lama SongKapa, who was an emanation of Manjushri (the Buddha of wisdom), was the founder of our tradition of Buddhism (the Gelugpa sect). This is often referred to as the pure tradition, since lama songkapa emanated to correct the corruption of Buddha's teaching which had sprung up after the Buddha passed away. So, his teaching can be relied upon as authentic. Many corrupt teaching have sprung up in the west, such as not-understanding the true function of Tumo and using tantric practices for worldly sexual please and so forth.

    Martial arts have their place in a worldly way and can of course be beneficial, just as eating food and studying other disciplines. However, this is different from a true spiritual path which emphasises inner realisations which lead to liberation. You should study the Vajra Yogini generation and completion stage practices as it explains these things and will give you a better understanding. Martial arts and spiritual development may seem to have certain similarities, but they are different in nature and function. It is only true spiritual paths that can lead to liberation. Martial arts forms cannot release one from Samsara and are therefore not a true spiritual path from this pint of view.
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2006
  10. nwbreneman

    nwbreneman New Member

    Back to the topic

    I completely understand why you would say this, but I disagree, both because of personal experience and from rationality. Certainly there are many "McDojos" in existence and it is important to identify these, but, as far as I have seen, Boabom is most definitely not a McDojo. If you had done a little more digging, even on the internet, you would have seen that, beyond this superficial level, the Mmulargan school does not tout the supposed Tibetan link, or any master, or lineage. In fact, it deemphasizes such things. I have not met a teacher who is Tibetan, but I have met those who are Chilean, Spanish, and American, and there are many more I have not met. The Boabom school does not claim any tie to any nationality, creed, or religion, nor is it competitive. It is also non-hierarchical.

    There are possibly outrageous claims. For instance, the website says that it is over ten thousand years old. This is outrageous because it is an extremely long time for an art to remain in existence, and because there is no proof offered. My belief is that this was either a poor attempt at advertising (which is understandable - a new school with the intent of sharing its art needs such things), or an honest blunder. (Certainly the www.bostonboabom.com website is more professionally designed and does not make any such claims). The internet is finally full of positive reviews of the art. It is new in the US (by about two years I believe), and many of these reviews have been given by professional athletes, doctors, psychologists, dedicated martial artists (internal, external, both), etc., as well as the "average joe".

    This is just a string of thoughts that I could continue to further support Boabom. However, it is not my intention to defend it any time it is bashed. I merely want to point out that it is usually not in a person's best interest to so easily dismiss something and then, having never experienced anything about it beyond a website, ridicule it, generalize it, and poke fun at pictures detailing postures they have no personal experience with. (Your assertions that it is filled with westerners with romantic MA ideas is already fallacious, as it is clear, even from that website, that the school has branches internationally. Etc.) Clearly we cannot know everything. To pretend that we do will inevitably limit us in some way. This isn't to say we shouldn't be careful, or critical - just that we should be patient in our observations.

    Anyway, I'm not trying to point fingers, or be harsh, etc., I'm simply trying to give good, humble advice.
  11. Darkstorm

    Darkstorm Valued Member

    Yo lady (thought you were a guy at first),

    you (and your dad) certainly seem to know your stuff.

    Does your dad know anything about dream yoga? Just asking, I do not have a specific question in mind at the moment, but sure would like to have someone to ask should that happen :)
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2006
  12. CKava

    CKava Just one more thing... Supporter

    I think slip's observations are fair enough... the fact is that any martial art claiming to be based on secret teachings from Tibet is majoritively going to appeal to a certain type of person namely those who have a fascination with exotic places (namely anywhere in Asia) and secret/ancient teachings. That's not necessarily a good or bad thing its simply true.

    Also to say it has no ties to any nationality is a bit silly... I mean if so why even bother mentioning the Tibetan connection? Clearly it is being marketed as a Tibetan art even if it is suggested that its original origins are now lost in the sands of time.

    How is saying...
    "Boabom is an ancient Tibetan Art designed to develop Vitality and Internal Energy"
    "The Boston School of Boabom is a community of teachers specializing in the Arts of Boabom, an ancient system of relaxation, meditation, breathing, and defense originating in pre-Buddhist Tibet."
    "The roots of the Arts of Boabom are lost in time, though we can identify their origins in ancient Bod" (Bod being the Tibetan name for Tibet!)
    not touting a Tibetan connection?

    I can see from the website that they then go on to emphasise how it is a universal practice with no origin but if that is really so whats with all the quotes above? You can't have it both ways i.e. claim your art is from Tibet and then claim it has no origin... it's one or the other. It sounds like the teachers want to promote a Tibetan connection but not have to produce anything to prove that such a link exists.

    Does it have any schools in non-Western countries? It doesn't seem like it exists in any non-Western country so I wouldn't be so quick to call his assertion falacious. On top of that the entire art seems to be based primarily around the teachings of one Benjamin Kelly which raises doubts about the authenticity of its claim to being a secret Tibetan art.
  13. nwbreneman

    nwbreneman New Member

    These are all fair assumptions, but it feels like parts of my post were ignored in your reply. I did not deny that the Tibetan link was used perhaps as advertising - in fact, I think it likely. I also feel, though, that it is used to give the school some credibility. Not every advertisement of their's mentions the supposed link, and inevitably, people are going to ask, "from where does it come?" "Don't worry about it", or "We don't know", seems to be a worse answer than "Tibet, but this is not emphasized". Still, I agree that this could have been presented more tactfully. But maybe tact was not their main concern. And they do not claim it has no origin, merely that the origin is unimportant. I have seen this stated in their books and in discussions with instructors.

    There are schools in non-Western countries. For instance, I believe the first public school was in Chile (an earlier poster mentioned that he had studied there.) Also, you are right in that it doesn't mention the other countries anymore - this was on a previous version of the website. However, there is a correspondence for "Latin America and Spain".

    It's also not based around Benjamin Kelley, though I can see where one would get this impression. (Ben is the director of the Boston school.) The school was founded, and the published books written, by "Asanaro", whom I met at a Seamm-Jasani seminar in Boston last year. He is Chilean.

    I actually agree with most of these impressions, because I once shared them. Still, I stress patience in our search and criticism. There is much more to Boabom than the website, and I feel it is worth our effort to investigate these things more thoroughly. While it being fraudulent is the easy answer, it is also possible (and I believe true) that this is a young website from when the school was also young. I would encourage people to talk more to students and teachers with all/any of their questions. That, I feel, is a much worthier judgment of a school than their website. Experiencing the art is even better. I suppose this was my point.
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2006
  14. slipthejab

    slipthejab Hark, a vagrant! Supporter

    I'll respond more in depth when I have a moment... but immediately I'd have to ask these people teaching this have what sort of credible sources to cite for it's transmission from Tibet?

    I don't think one has to experience something directly in order to research it. I think a good amount of conjecture and criticism that is valid and thought provoking comes from people who've never actually done participated in that which they're discussing.. war, murder and rape are all that could be considered that way. I don't know that martial arts is all that much different. Surely there are any number of people on about martial arts who've never had a proper punch up in their life.
  15. nwbreneman

    nwbreneman New Member

    As far as I know, there is no credible link to Tibet. Again, this is not the validation - the validation is in experiencing the movements and evaluating them for yourself, deciding whether or not the supposed link to Tibet matters.

    Certainly things like war, murder, rape, do not have to be experienced directly to judge, but these things all have prominent research done on them. They are topics with much more depth much more widely available. It is a different scenario. (Even in this case, one can discuss war all they want, but they will probably never come close to grasping what it's truly like without being involved in one.) The website you judged so quickly did not have that much information available on it. If it had an in-depth analysis of its art, complete with many instructions for its movements, then you could decide whatever you wanted. Unfortunately, only students , teachers, books, experiencing it yourself, etc., can offer the kind of evidence you need for judging it. This was my point.

    I'm currently trying to find a transfer college/universities. I've evaluated (and dismissed) quite a few just from statistics offered from different sources. These statistics come from credible sources, including the college itself. I usually visit the college's website directly to find the most up-to-date information... if they do not have it, I then search more to find somewhere that does. I don't assume they aren't credible or that it isn't a good fit or they're too cheap to have a good website or photographs, etc.

    I've also dismissed a few colleges/universities that have outstanding statistics. These I have researched more, experienced, etc., and then dismissed.

    The Boabom websites do not provide enough information to judge that quickly. Perhaps the information they do offer will make us think this or that, but there still isn't enough (in my opinion, at least) to do so thoroughly.

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