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

  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kraik View Post
    I made the avatar myself using GIMP, how can that be breaking copyright?
    Because it is the design, not the object, that is copyrighted.
    Steve Malton
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Malton View Post
    Because it is the design, not the object, that is copyrighted.
    Well I changed it anyway.
    少林寺拳法

    1996-2006

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    Default Ho, Karate

    Gassho!
    Quote Originally Posted by Ewok View Post
    Kenpo defines it as a martial art, as much as I hate it "the way of the fist" is the literal translation, the meaning being that IS a physical activity.
    Quote Originally Posted by Kraik View Post
    And as for the translation of Shorinji Kempo, there are quite a few ways you can translate it including "Shaolin Temple Fist Way", "The Way of the Shaolin Temple Fist", and in turn "Shaolin Temple Fist Way" can be simplified to "Shaolin Boxing".
    As said before po/ho doesn't mean "way", but "pattern" or "law". The latter being the 'official' translation in the SK context. This has been a topic for kowa(!) at several seminars I attended, among them by the most bestest dressed man in SK alive.


    Quote Originally Posted by Kraik View Post
    I also think it's silly to say that Shorinji Kempo resembles Karate, because I know from experience that it doesn't. I've practiced both and there is a real difference in stance and punching among other things.
    I pretty much agree, though I wouldn't use the word "silly", of course. I've only practised Shotokan myself among the many styles of Karate, but witnessed/watched a couple of others as well. The differences to SK, especially in the outward appearance, are very striking, IMHO. In fact over here this is seen as the most obvious prove that SK stands out strongly from the various other Japanese martial arts.
    And regarding the info from the other thread I think it's hardly sensible to say it doesn't 'look like a Chinese martial art' for the simple reason that those are so numerous and varying there basically is no typical look for them.
    That being said I want to stress that I agree with apparently everyone else that SK is clearly (nowadays) a Japanese martial art.

    Kesshu,
    ______ Jan.
    Jan Lipsius
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kraik View Post
    And as for the translation of Shorinji Kempo, there are quite a few ways you can translate it including "Shaolin Temple Fist Way", "The Way of the Shaolin Temple Fist", and in turn "Shaolin Temple Fist Way" can be simplified to "Shaolin Boxing".
    But none of them would be true

    Take it as someone who (sometimes) gets paid to translate - Shorinji Kempo in English is Shorinji Kempo

    Quote Originally Posted by Kraik View Post
    Well I changed it anyway.
    Oh my, I can't see this turning out well....

    What you might want to remember is that if you intend to represent Shorinji Kempo you should at least try and abide by the guidelines set out by hombu.
    Leon Appleby (Tokyo Ouji)
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    SK Blog at http://www.leonjp.com

  5. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ewok View Post
    Take it as someone who (sometimes) gets paid to translate - Shorinji Kempo in English is Shorinji Kempo
    .
    That should be "Take it from somone...", surely!


    Everyone's a critic!!
    David Noble
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    For now, I'm just waiting for the smack of the Bo against a hard wooden floor....

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    I value Ellis's input highly (look him up, you'll see why), but he has thrown up an anecdote that will tease many readers. As far as I can recall, I've never heard of Yamasaki Sensei taking on all-comers in Beijing. It sounds like a great story and one I would have thought would be part of the standard list of tales to be told around the camp-fire by proud Kenshi ready to heap praise on their art. The fact that it is relatively unknown says quite a lot about the shy and retiring Yamasaki Sensei and the rest of Hombu. It would be good to get an eye-witness account to help reduce the "story" becoming a "legend".
    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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    Quote Originally Posted by Ewok View Post
    Oh my, I can't see this turning out well....
    No what I meant is that I changed the avatar to something completely different.



    少林寺拳法

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    Quote Originally Posted by JL. View Post
    Gassho!
    As said before po/ho doesn't mean "way", but "pattern" or "law". The latter being the 'official' translation in the SK context. This has been a topic for kowa(!) at several seminars I attended, among them by the most bestest dressed man in SK alive.
    I assume that you don't mean Steve Williams
    Indar Picton-Howell
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    Quote Originally Posted by JL. View Post
    I pretty much agree, though I wouldn't use the word "silly", of course. I've only practised Shotokan myself among the many styles of Karate, but witnessed/watched a couple of others as well. The differences to SK, especially in the outward appearance, are very striking, IMHO. In fact over here this is seen as the most obvious prove that SK stands out strongly from the various other Japanese martial arts.
    I used to train in Lau Gar Kung Fu, and from my (limited) perspective, Shorinji Kempo feels closer to this Chinese style than to the Japanese styles that I've observed.

    http://www.laugar-kungfu.com/index.asp
    Indar Picton-Howell
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tripitaka of AA View Post
    I value Ellis's input highly (look him up, you'll see why), but he has thrown up an anecdote that will tease many readers. As far as I can recall, I've never heard of Yamasaki Sensei taking on all-comers in Beijing. It sounds like a great story and one I would have thought would be part of the standard list of tales to be told around the camp-fire by proud Kenshi ready to heap praise on their art. The fact that it is relatively unknown says quite a lot about the shy and retiring Yamasaki Sensei and the rest of Hombu. It would be good to get an eye-witness account to help reduce the "story" becoming a "legend".
    Maybe the reason it is never spoken about is that it never happened or it was another Yamazaki from a different style .
    Robert Gassin
    Melbourne ShorinjiKempo Branch
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    "Never fight an idiot. He'll bring you down to his level and then beat you with experience"

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    I know Yamasaki sensei has done a number of trips to China, and apparently just recently went public with his method of doing Shorinji Kempo. I don't know much more regarding this, but he has been working on softer ways of doing the techniques for a long time.
    Cheers
    Colin Linz

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    Doshin So does say that Chinese martial arts had died off in his book "What Is Shorinji Kempo", and I'm happy enough to believe this is what he thought. After all the period in time was quite chaotic and the arts had been banned for some time. I would imagine that coming across people readily willing to admit involvement in the arts would be difficult.

    I'm also happy enough with his statements regarding his training in China. I will readily admit that the Japanese arts have also played a part of Shorinji Kempo's development. As for aesthetics, it seems reasonable that during Doshin So's restructuring of his knowledge and the formation of Shorinji Kempo that the techniques would take on more of his native aesthetics.

    In the end Shorinji Kempo is what it is, and the measure of Doshin So can clearly be seen in the qualities of those students that studied under him.
    Cheers
    Colin Linz

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    I know I read something on what Ellis wrote about, so rather than working, I went and found it.

    http://www.ycgf.org/WPS_Eulogy/WPS_Eulogy.html

    Relevent text from the above link:
    From very ancient times Chinese culture has heavily influenced Japanese society, this included martial arts. One Japanese martial arts group that has particularly close ties to China today is the Nippon Shorinji Kempo group, or Japanese Shaolin Martial Arts Association. Within Japan, although the total numbers of kendo, judo, and karate practitioners are larger, they are splintered among many styles, so Shorinji Kempo is actually the single largest martial arts organization. At that time in China, not just Shaolin style, but martial arts in general, was going through one of its low periods.

    Seeing this, and comparing to their own popularity in Japan, there was the sentiment among Shorinji Kempo members that they were now the standard bearers of Chinese martial arts. When they made their 8th trip to China during the 1982 National Martial Arts Championships, they demonstrated their techniques, and afterwards, as they have done in previous times, challenged the Chinese to a real fight. The last time they did that, when there was no response, they said: “Today physically the Shaolin Temple may still be in China, but the real Shaolin martial art is only in Japan.”

    This made Chinese government officials very angry and ashamed. The government desperately needed a Chinese master to defeat the Japanese. In this case, failure is not an option, either you don’t answer the challenge, or you win. There is no other way. But thanks to the policies in recent decades, there was no one in the younger generation who could meet the challenge, and most of the older generation masters were either too old or unwilling to do it.

    The Japanese delegation were at their prime. Their realistic embu (fighting demonstration) were a marked contrast to the modern Wu Shu performances. It looked hard. It looked real. It was extremely intimidating. But this time, the Japanese found their calls answered. Earlier, Mao Behou, an official in charge of the martial arts affairs, knowing Master Wang’s ability, had asked him if he would be willing to accept the challenge. Master Wang said simply: “I can do it.”

    The event took place in a regular meeting room. There were more than ten Japanese masters in attendance. Master Wang was accompanied by Ma Jinlong, his student and now head of the Li Style Taiji Quan group. First a translator introduced each master. He then told the Japanese masters that Master Wang is a Taiji master. The Japanese masters looked at each other in disappointment because they wanted to meet someone who could really fight, and in their minds Taiji was for the old and the weak. “We hear
    about Taiji,” the leader of the delegation said, “in Japan, many people practice it, and it is just for health.” Then there was awkward silence, for a while nobody said a word, it looked like they didn’t even want to talk any more. This made Master Wang unhappy, but he kept his composure. He said: “From what this gentleman just said, we know he does not understand Taiji Quan. If someone does not understand Taiji Quan, he does not really understand martial art. Yes, Taiji is good for health, but it’s also for fighting.
    Furthermore, it actually represents the highest level principle for fighting.” Then Master Wang explained some Taiji principles. Standing up from his chair, he continued smoothly, “I can say means I can do. I know your guys do not believe I can fight. So please choose the best fighter from your group, and use his best skill to fight with me. We will test this right now.” On the Japanese side, Yamazaki sensei, headquarter co-chief instructor, stood up, and the fight began.

    First he grabbed Master Wang’s wrist with one hand, attempted to twist it, and chop the outside of the arm right above the elbow with the other hand. His movements were so fast that many in the room did not even realize the fight had already begun. But Master Wang was calm and poised, upon initial contact he unbalanced Yamazaki with just one subtle movement, and then, in a continuous, fluid motion, twisted and chopped Yamazaki’s arm. Yamazaki hit the ground with both his head and his knees. Master Wang did not let go, he continued to control Yamazaki and kept him down. At this point just about everyone saw what happened, but they couldn’t understand what was
    going on.

    Master Wang just smiled and said this was simple. He let Yamazaki up. Yamazaki tried it again, and was defeated the same way again. After that Master Wang threw Yamazaki 6 more times. One time Yamazaki’s flew uncontrollably toward the corner of an end table, and Ma Jinlong pushed him out of harm’s way. Another time he was thrown clear out of the room. As it should be with high level Taiji Quan skill, the Master Wang’s movements were extremely subtle, sometimes it looked like he was just waving his hands or only moving a finger or two.

    The Japanese delegation was in shock. They didn’t understand what just transpired, but their attitude changed immediately. “This is our 8th trip to China. And this time we learned the most.” After they went back to Japan, they wrote an article about this fight and Master Wang's life that was published in a Japanese martial arts magazine. The article opened with the line “Those slender fingers, they inspire such fear!” Also they listed Master Wang as one of the ten greatest Chinese martial artists.

    Dunno if that adds to the confusion or not. I tend to agree Shorinji Kenpo can stand on it's own merits, not what someone posts on an internet forum.

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    Neil,

    Thanks for this very interesting post and for the link. I must say however that I find some of claims a bit difficult to accept, for the following reasons:

    Firstly, by 1982, kung fu was well known internationally, mainly due to Bruce Lee's impact in the late 60's and 70's.

    Secondly, I visited Shorinji Kempo headquarters in 1985. I was most impressed by their library, which included the best of the best MA books covering a very wide range of MAs from Japan, Korea, China etc. So , I would be very surprised if the leaders of SK were not aware of the fighting roots of taiji, pa'kua, Hsing'i etc.

    Thirdly, 'The Way of the Warrior' was filmed in 1982, the makers of this show had no trouble finding proficient chinese martial artists (admitedly mainly outside of mainland china)

    Finally, sorry for being a cynic but people being thrown across the room or better still thrown out of the room, makes me raise my eyebrows.
    Last edited by Rob Gassin; 4th December 2009 at 03:46.
    Robert Gassin
    Melbourne ShorinjiKempo Branch
    Australia

    "Never fight an idiot. He'll bring you down to his level and then beat you with experience"

  15. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Gassin View Post
    Finally, sorry for being a cynic but people being thrown across the room or better still thrown out of the room, makes me raise my eyebrows.
    I just assumed they waxed their floors a little too much
    Leon Appleby (Tokyo Ouji)
    半ばは自己の幸せを、半ばは他人の幸せを
    SK Blog at http://www.leonjp.com

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