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Thread: Denying Shorinji Kempo's Chinese heritage...

  1. #46
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    Default Re: Gratitud

    I said what I said. If someone wishes to contact me privately, they are welcome to test their MMA skills on a particular individual (age 64 or so). It might be said to be a "cop out" that this individual currently resides in Beijing, but that just happens to be where he lives. If you believe that the world of televised whore-house martial arts, replete with scary tattoos and (obviously) hormone-juiced rage supplicants is "the best" martial arts has to offer - so be it. Let me know how that goes for you. Otherwise, I guarantee there is much better. It is not so easy to find and indeed, its adherents are not so desperate nor so interested in the public spectacle that the Gracies spawned with UFC ...cum PRIDE whatever. Indeed, I hope that I have "cleared that up" for you.

    Quote Originally Posted by JL. View Post
    Thanks for clearing that up! It's probably also the reason 11 out of 10 MMA champions these days come from TJQ. As far as I know, the only other real contender to the title of ultimate martial art these days is the noble art of Ameri-do-te – best of all, worst of none.
    Sorry if this comes over as condescending, but that post really sounded like it came from a 12yo forum troll.

    JL

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    Couldn't be clearer.

    JL
    Jan Lipsius
    少林寺拳法
    Shorinjikempo
    Humboldt University Berlin Branch

    "An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind." Gandhi

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    Quote Originally Posted by JL. View Post
    Thanks for clearing that up! It's probably also the reason 11 out of 10 MMA champions these days come from TJQ. As far as I know, the only other real contender to the title of ultimate martial art these days is the noble art of Ameri-do-te – best of all, worst of none.
    Sorry if this comes over as condescending, but that post really sounded like it came from a 12yo forum troll.

    JL
    Mr. Lipsius, Thank you for reminding us of the highest of arts of Ameri-do-te. My coffee covered keyboard thanks you! Brilliant reference!
    Stephen Baker

    "Never cruel nor cowardly, never give up, never give in." Doctor Who

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  5. #49
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    Well, if it is comforting to think this way, that's fine. The article from the Japanese magazine said otherwise, but ok. Further, Wang specifically scolded his "challenger" that he could not understand the essence of martial art without understanding Taijiquan. Master Wang was correct.

    In any case, read his bio. There would have been nothing Sensei could have thrown at Wang Peisheng that could have remotely impressed him. He had spent by then 60 years of his life fielding challenges - real ones - from every system and style all over China and even people from Europe who came to test themselves. These were not matches held in fictional locations or made up in Hollywood. They challenges came quite naturally to him and were witnessed not only by his own students but by people outside of his own system. Wang Peisheng was honored as a master throughout the martial arts community of Beijing. You will find no one to refute it - unless now that he's dead - some brave souls will emerge. He took challenges in to his seventies - the result was always the same and he would (rather humbly in my estimation) have accredited any of his skills not to any particular attribute other than Taijiquan as a method and a system. As for where the "abuse" began - you cannot possibly look to the Chinese. It was not the Chinese who made the preposterous claim that Shaolin had vanished from their country - re-emerging as Shorinji Kempo in Japan. Virtually every aspect of Japanese life came at some point from elsewhere - principally China - so what? Time for some humility I think, and not on the part of the Chinese.

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    Nice to see the old thread again. My, we did have some good chats back then.

    It's amusing to see the recent posts by Baiyuantongbei (Peter S. Capell) are the first to come close to the confrontational and defensive "outrage" expressed by the Creator of the thread. The Shorinji Kenshi was horrified that anyone could doubt the authenticity of So Doshin's claims... everyone else said "take it all with a pinch of salt" ... Then a CMA enthusiast arrives to revive the antique dead thread in order to heap praise upon his "ancestral predecessor" Master Wang.... the world has come fullcircle, again.-
    David Noble
    Shorinji Kempo (1983 - 1988)
    I'll think of a proper sig when I get a minute...

    For now, I'm just waiting for the smack of the Bo against a hard wooden floor....

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    It's okay to revive old threads, express strong opinions and stir the pot a little, long as folks remain civil in their discourse.
    Cady Goldfield

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    Default Re: Gratitude

    So, "ancestral" is pretty strong. Master Wang only died in 2004 (as opposed to say 1804 . Although you may think I am here just to plug a book, I do think that most of you - from virtually any style - would enjoy reading my teacher's book on the Classics. We are pressing to get it pressed (Zhang Yun has already published several about 3 books and many articles, but this one is going to be a great one). You can say, "full circle" but I really respected the original author's perspective - nearly all of it quite accurate. Most of traditional martial arts in China is never again to be what it was -- even up to the 1950s, because nobody today really wants to spend their time on the (often) exceedingly boring details of their basics. It's just a fact. Taijiquan is in perhaps a worse position than any other in that the name (and name only) is so widespread, while the knowledge as to what it is as a martial art is virtually forgotten. We now have many practitioners claiming to do Taijiquan while completely forgetting its central tenets:

    - Use 4 ounces to manipulate 1000 pounds (this is _not_ to be taken literally)
    - To employ force _borrow_ force
    - Lure the opponent into emptiness

    You may have heard these statements made in other systems, but these are taken directly from the Classics of Taijiquan, as is the statement "be like water." Very few systems that bloviate the statement "be like water" actually have even the remotest substance, practice, or method that actually answers the question: "What the hell does that mean? ... be like water." Meanwhile, the Classics of Taijiquan, and the original practices of Taijiquan make abundantly clear exactly what "to be like water" means, and how that knowledge is to be employed on a practical level. That fact that it requires hours and hours of practice combined with years of doing so under an accomplished master has proven to be the rate-limiting step - almost assuredly the end of the era within which there will be anyone capable of demonstrating the real meaning of Taijiquan (versus the easy-to-find warmed-over external practices that are abundant now on the web - typically entitled "combat Taiji" or whatever - even some that looks like bad boxing). Probably all over in 30 year.

    Wang Peisheng was "great" because he was a braggart or a blowhard. He demonstrated his skill over and over again in front of witnesses. Other systems around him _had_ to acknowledge his excellence, and he only ever acknowledged the excellence of Taijiquan. His most famous statement was: "Do whatever you want." With these words he greeted his challengers. Given the amount of BS and backstabbing among martial arts schools in China, it is an interesting feat that you will not easily find those to put Master Wang down (in Beijing) from any system, because all of the very best knew exactly who he was. It is still true today. Unfortunately, now the most popular martial art in China is Tae Kwon Do -- nothing like a black belt in 2 years to boost your confidence I suppose.


    Quote Originally Posted by Tripitaka of AA View Post
    Nice to see the old thread again. My, we did have some good chats back then.

    It's amusing to see the recent posts by Baiyuantongbei (Peter S. Capell) are the first to come close to the confrontational and defensive "outrage" expressed by the Creator of the thread. The Shorinji Kenshi was horrified that anyone could doubt the authenticity of So Doshin's claims... everyone else said "take it all with a pinch of salt" ... Then a CMA enthusiast arrives to revive the antique dead thread in order to heap praise upon his "ancestral predecessor" Master Wang.... the world has come fullcircle, again.-

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  12. #53
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    Thank you for the response Peter. I bet you're right, we would all probably enjoy reading about Master Wang. I think one of the problems that was illustrated in the early parts of this thread is that of the enthusiastic student who is willing to stand up and repeat the tales about a senior, but who is not necessarily equipped to verify the authenticity to those who would question them. The book you describe sounds as though it may be close enough to the source material to make for a fascinating read, without being overly obscured by the smoke from the campfire. Modern detailed research is showing the problems with some of the oral history and this can be quite disheartening. Many a willing student has signed up to a myth and is then disappointed to discover the truth is less appealing. Personally I feel willing to recognise and applaud great achievements, but get annoyed when they are presented as something more... "magical" than they really are. I guess it is hard not to drift into romantic embellishment when trying to explain the extraordinary to those who have not experienced it.

    Oh, and welcome to E-Budo and thanks for contributing to this thread. It sounds like you may have a lot more to offer and I look forward to reading it.
    David Noble
    Shorinji Kempo (1983 - 1988)
    I'll think of a proper sig when I get a minute...

    For now, I'm just waiting for the smack of the Bo against a hard wooden floor....

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  14. #54
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    Thank you for this gracious reply. I am happy that you have taken my writing in the spirit in which it is offered. I am getting old now, and have crossed some territory with MA. It's funny that when I write about having 34 years experience behind me now it can appear as a boast - but the astute observer should actually ask, "then why aren't you a great master?" Indeed I am not. The past 15 years with Zhang Yun have only further humbled me. I am guilty myself of being "the overly enthusiastic martial arts student." The end of the era of Taijiquan is frustrating to me. In our group, we have only a couple of people left who can take the challenges and demonstrate what it is. The master in Beijing has now only a few students, but with prodigious backgrounds: 2 national San Da champions (number 1 that is), and an American former MMA fighter. Each is now a disciple, meaning that they kowtow'ed to him. The interesting part is that these guys would _never_ kowtow to any man unless he had proven himself. So here is a guy, middle 60's who easily bested these young men at their peak of performance. You will find few martial arts that offer a way _upward_ in skill with old age. Mostly, you will see decline after 40. I find that remarkable. I should think nearly anyone would be interested. Just to be clear, previously I posted my teacher's eulogy to Master Wang - it is extensive - a lengthy story, but worth the reading: http://www.ycgf.org/WPS_Eulogy/WPS_Eulogy.html

    The book that I mentioned is a thorough-going analysis of the known history of Taijiquan and the Taijiquan Classics. One of the distinguishing factors that raises this book over many others of its kind is my teacher's adherence to the rules of University-level scholarship. It helps that he was a computer science professor before coming to the US. He knows what good scholarship entails, makes clear offerings of opinion over documented fact (like grave markers for example and documentation that is verifiable to a particular era). To any serious martial artist, the book will be useful and interesting with reflection on one's personal practice.
    I hope to see it out this year.

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    Peter, with each post I am coming to recognise that you speak from a level of experience that I could only dream of. In my response to your first post I made assumptions about your background without making any effort to find out the truth. Thank you for making us aware. I must apologise if my words appeared impertinent.. ignorance is my middle name. Again, I hope to see more of your posts in the future.
    A question for you. Are you familiar with the BBC Documentary program "The Way of The Warrior" which was first broadcast around 1983. One of the episodes featured Taijiquan as a fighting art and it was definitely an eye-opener for many of us. I was wondering if Master Wang was featured. Do you know this program? Shorinji Kempo was featured in the opening episode and many of the readers on this particular forum will have seen it (it can be found on YouTube occasionally)... but they may not have tracked down the episode on Taijiquan.
    David Noble
    Shorinji Kempo (1983 - 1988)
    I'll think of a proper sig when I get a minute...

    For now, I'm just waiting for the smack of the Bo against a hard wooden floor....

  17. #56
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    Gee, thanks (blush). Comments much appreciated with gratitude to the great Fusili..

    No I missed "The Way of the Warrior" but will hunt it down and check it out. If no one minds, I may provide comments on what they're calling "Taijiquan." The reason is not to be catty or nasty, but to be clear. Taijiquan has as one of its central tenets the use of the opponent's force. With Taijiquan, this is an axiom that is used in every aspect of performance. In other words, if one is _not_ using the opponent's force to destabilize his attack, then one can feel that they have to that degree failed to follow the Taiji* principle. It's not an idea to make yourself feel bad, it is an idea to encourage practitioners to focus on _feel_ as the guide to success and failure of their fights or sub-fight-level interactions -it's really quite "non partisan" if you get my meaning. Basically, just a way of analyzing touch. Taijiquan views itself as "high-level" because instead of isolating one technique or another... like a computer might do... you know, "use technique 202 against, attack 307..." that kind of reasoning. Taijiquan is said to have "no techniques" (occasionally this gets mistranslated to "no skills"). The idea is simple and very un-mystical. You develop the ability to feel incoming force with your sensitivity and use that information to destabilize your opponent. A person whose root is disturbed or destroyed cannot fight you. Developing that feel is the number one priority it real Taijiquan training. Most people will resonate with the idea of using feeling (proprioception) because those of us who have challenged ourselves at one point or another have had the sphincter-clutching experience of actually facing an opponent that we know to be better than we are. Master Wang used to say that if you can keep fifty percent of your ability when you face your opponents, you will beat everyone. Besides raw fear and performance anxiety, there is added to this negative formula the fear of the unknown - "what the hell is he going to do?!!" The answer from Taijiquan is to understand the conflict in the dry terms of feeling and force. It's ideas are generic to all martial arts and useful to everyone.

    The reason I request permission to speak is because right now there are many groups who are seeking to justify the "fighting veracity" of Taijiquan without having the least idea what that really means, and then you end up with none of the real benefits of the essence of Taijiquan's internal principles with potentially useful fighting skills, but not really Taijiquan at all. There really is one of these that exemplifies some very nice training in boxing, but it isn't Taijiquan despite it's being labeled as such. It is also important to note the "going to China" provides no guide to the truth at this time. Yes, it is unlikely that a westerner will have a clue, but no, just because one is a member of the Chinese ethnos does that guarantee they have the slightest idea what Taijiquan is or has been historically.

    *In Taijiquan, the "Taiji" - or the symbol expressing the principle (two "fish" intertwined in a circle with two "eyes") is differentiated from the martial art that uses the principle. "Taiji" is not the same as "Taijiquan" therefore. The distinction can be useful because the principle via the symbol shows that there is no such thing as "pure hardness" or "pure softness" for example. The all black "fish" for example, has a white "eye." The all white fish has a black eye. This means that in all things, all forces, all thoughts, all dualities, there is a blend. The training of Taijiquan seeks to teach by sensitivity and feel how to keep defense within attack and attack within defense ALL THE TIME and never separated. The distinction is made "lianyi" (sp?) - the separation of these two as is shown in most purely external martial arts, let's say western boxing, where the opponent's strike and withdraw, or strike strike strike... all of these methods are defined in Taijiquan as "lianyi" where attack and defense are separate activities. In well-developed Taijiquan ability, attack and defense are seamlessly combined.

    Again, comments about my experience are appreciated. I can only say I have tried hard. Realize, Master Wang commented to some of his devoted disciples that they were in essence "dabblers" - despite their practicing 3-5 hours every day. I have managed about 2 per day over the course of my years training with (in the past before arthritic knees and the arrival of my daughter late in life) 10 hours on any given weekend - practicing. Again, this may sound like a boast, but it isn't - if I were more talented I could have gone much farther. It is our hope that possibly excited young people will take an interest in this art and prolong its future.

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    The model of the elder practitioner gaining in skill and power, rather than diminishing, is typical in the internal martial arts.
    Cady Goldfield

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    There are some interesting training methods being used theses days that stem from Yamasaki sensei's past experiences over the years, he was initially calling his training method BBC, but I believe it is now being called Seichusen Soho (正中線操法). It is still Shorinji Kempo, this concept is just a different way of practicing and learning the techniques. It produces a very soft technique with no reliance on power.
    Cheers
    Colin Linz

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    And common _only_ to the internal arts. Sadly, due to our varying genetic quotients of health, reflexes and body conditions limit capabilities unless there is another way other than increasing speed and intensity.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tripitaka of AA View Post
    (...)with the BBC Documentary program "The Way of The Warrior" which was first broadcast around 1983. One of the episodes featured Taijiquan as a fighting art and it was definitely an eye-opener for many of us. I was wondering if Master Wang was featured. Do you know this program? Shorinji Kempo was featured in the opening episode and many of the readers on this particular forum will have seen it (it can be found on YouTube occasionally)... but they may not have tracked down the episode on Taijiquan.
    Hey, I can help with this! I found all the videos of "The Way of the Warrior" here
    Fernando Fernández de Bobadilla
    WSKO Almería Branch - SPAIN

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