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

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    Muchas gracias.

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    So, checked out the BBC presentation. Kind of funny. The interesting thing about Taijquan is how completely _small_ its cadre of known masters is. In teacher's book on the classics, I admire his use of the University model of scholarship because it rules out a lot of lore and junk that doesn't really help understanding. Among Taijiquan religionists, Chen Village is considered the birthplace of Taijiquan, even though this is provably false. Greatest likelihood is that the reason the people of Chen Village knew about Taijiquan (where Yang Luchan came from) was because they had learned it from others outside - most specifically likely an adjacent town named Zhaobao. The people of Zhaobao have much better documentation and legitimate records backing their claims. But irrespective of this tempest in a teapot, there is one thing that can be said for certain: No known "great master" ever went to Taiwan. Now this is not to say that it is impossible that Taiwan didn't "grow its own" - the principles of Taijiquan are generic - not "owned" by anyone. But, that said, it is at least very _improbable_ that there would be a "great master" in Taiwan. And a clue in the BBC presentation is when the narrator says, "a master of _all_ martial arts styles..." Puhleeze. It's like (sorry) the Chun Moo Do claims of integrating 8 martial arts with a photo of a guy whose "shen" (the man is looking down with his eyes closed for gawd's sake)... would be anathema to _any_ martial arts style in China, Japan, or anywhere else.

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    Default Way of the Warrior, TJQ

    Gassho!

    I think this thread has run its course in this forum and completely left the area of SK. Maybe further discussion can be split off and put into this more fitting forum (there doesn't seem to be a forum dedicated to CMA, since they're not strictly Budo)?

    Kesshu,
    ______ Jan.
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    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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    Yes, this thread is veering way off topic and from the purview of E-Budo.
    Baiyuentongbei, JL's suggestion is a good one. While this site is specifically about and for Japanese martial arts/Budo, we did create a forum that addresses internal power - particularly in reference to its role in the internal Japanese martial arts, but also allowing for comparisons with and contrasts to the internal methods and uses in martial arts from other cultures. That would be a more appropriate place for your posts relating to Chen-style tai chi, especially if you stay withing the boundaries of discussing the relevance of CIMAs to the origins of internal methods in Japanese internal systems, similarities and/or differences in internal training methodologies, and other such topics that would tie your areas of expertise to the Japanese budo experience.

    Here is a link to the forum and its sub-forums: http://www.e-budo.com/forum/forumdis...ernal-Training
    Cady Goldfield

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    Truthfully, I only found your site while hunting around. I was fascinated to see that the challenge to Master Wang was treated honestly - for the most part. I am not trying to "spread the word" here, although I am somewhat surprised at this turn of events, since martial arts is martial arts. Budo means "martial way." There are actually no borders on that.

    I was not aware that there was any "internal" style in Japan. Even in China there are only three with some conceptual "bleed over" from systems like Tongbeiquan - it is not my concern. I don't think you'll find me darkening your door further. I appreciate the rational treatment received in the group though.

    Some people - even among CMA groups refer to Aikido as an "internal" martial art - untrue by any Chinese standard, and probably not a lot of grounds for further discussion. Good luck all.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Baiyuantongbei View Post
    So, checked out the BBC presentation. Kind of funny. The interesting thing about Taijquan is how completely _small_ its cadre of known masters is. In teacher's book on the classics, I admire his use of the University model of scholarship because it rules out a lot of lore and junk that doesn't really help understanding. Among Taijiquan religionists, Chen Village is considered the birthplace of Taijiquan, even though this is provably false. Greatest likelihood is that the reason the people of Chen Village knew about Taijiquan (where Yang Luchan came from) was because they had learned it from others outside - most specifically likely an adjacent town named Zhaobao. The people of Zhaobao have much better documentation and legitimate records backing their claims. But irrespective of this tempest in a teapot, there is one thing that can be said for certain: No known "great master" ever went to Taiwan. Now this is not to say that it is impossible that Taiwan didn't "grow its own" - the principles of Taijiquan are generic - not "owned" by anyone. But, that said, it is at least very _improbable_ that there would be a "great master" in Taiwan. And a clue in the BBC presentation is when the narrator says, "a master of _all_ martial arts styles..." Puhleeze. It's like (sorry) the Chun Moo Do claims of integrating 8 martial arts with a photo of a guy whose "shen" (the man is looking down with his eyes closed for gawd's sake)... would be anathema to _any_ martial arts style in China, Japan, or anywhere else.
    Hilarious.

    I've never understood the seemingly compulsive need on the part of Wu stylists to denigrate others. Not limited to other branches of Taijiquan; they seemingly save their choicest comments for any 'other' branch of Wu.

    FYI - the teacher featured on the BBC show was Hong Yixiang, very well regarded, primarily for his expertise in Baguazhang and Xingyiquan. I believe Ellis Amdur met and perhaps trained with him for a time - he also produced some undoubtedly competent fighters, Su Dong Chen, Luo De Xiu and Hsu Hong Chi among them.

    Re. Taiji in Taiwan - you seem to have very little actual knowledge of anyone outside your lineage Peter, perhaps you should consider being a bit more circumspect with your absolutist statements. Regardless of your personal assessment, several very well known teachers of Taijiquan have been found in Taiwan. Perhaps you meant to say "no known 'great master' (of Wu style) ever went to Taiwan"?

    Also the notion that the only 'internal' styles in China are the 'big three' is kind of... well... caveat emptor I suppose

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    Quote Originally Posted by Baiyuantongbei View Post
    Truthfully, I only found your site while hunting around. I was fascinated to see that the challenge to Master Wang was treated honestly - for the most part. I am not trying to "spread the word" here, although I am somewhat surprised at this turn of events, since martial arts is martial arts. Budo means "martial way." There are actually no borders on that.

    I was not aware that there was any "internal" style in Japan. Even in China there are only three with some conceptual "bleed over" from systems like Tongbeiquan - it is not my concern. I don't think you'll find me darkening your door further. I appreciate the rational treatment received in the group though.

    Some people - even among CMA groups refer to Aikido as an "internal" martial art - untrue by any Chinese standard, and probably not a lot of grounds for further discussion. Good luck all.
    ... so there are no borders on the "martial way" but there is on ownership of what is considered 'internal' ... Sir please pay a visit with Dan Harden or Sam Chin.

    Regards,
    Ryan

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    The statement was actually objective. There really aren't any _known_ great masters who went to Taiwan. There is actually only a single verifiable lineage from Yang Luchan. His sons Yang Banhou was actually the most talented. His other sons Shao Hou was less so with no challenges made with him apparently choosing to stay home and teach the form. Banhou was famous for being rather mean. Yang Cheng Fu - while _very_ famous, actually only started learning (and not from his father) when he was 23. He had no interest prior. The many weighed about 300 pounds and went to southern China where virtually all the people were small. He cannot be said to be a "great master" when compared with his father although his student religionists will forever say otherwise.

    Meanwhile Taiwan - "highly regarded" or not, no known "great master" ever went there. As I said, it is _possible_ that someone could be a pretty good practitioner, and especially in the ignorant eyes of the BBC might be elevated to greatness due to the mystical fantasy thinking of those who don't know much... but it doesn't change the fact. Those "great masters" acquired their reputations by direct challenges and fighting - not puffery and made up histories - sorry if this is disappointing to you.

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    The purpose of E-Budo is to discuss Japanese martial arts and culture (see the slogan under the E-Budo.com logo ), but practitioners of all arts and systems, regardless of provenance, are welcome to participate here. We ask only that the subject matter stay as much on-topic as possible. However, the site is not rigid and discussions of "off-topica" are permitted in the appropriate forums, such as the Member's Lounge. Also, because internal methods are a universal concept, we allow for discussions of Chinese and other internal martial arts in our Internal Power/Aiki forums.

    I suggest you take a look at the internal power/aiki forums, as you may find it relevant to your interests, as well as show you some examples of how internal methods are used in some Japanese systems. You might also learn something new about the origins of aikido, and that its founder was well-grounded in internal methods - despite what you may see in some lineages of contemporary aikido now.

    By the way, there are also videos of Chen stylist Liu Chengde, who lived in Japan for 10 years and taught aiki internal skills to a couple of the students of one of Japan's most highly reputed internal martial artists.

    And, to repeat what Ryan said, if you believe that internal methodology is limited to a narrow and small handful of Chinese systems, look into I Liq Chuan (Sam F.S. Chin) and the work currently being offered by Dan Harden, two name just two of the people who are openly teaching.

    Quote Originally Posted by Baiyuantongbei View Post
    Truthfully, I only found your site while hunting around. I was fascinated to see that the challenge to Master Wang was treated honestly - for the most part. I am not trying to "spread the word" here, although I am somewhat surprised at this turn of events, since martial arts is martial arts. Budo means "martial way." There are actually no borders on that.

    I was not aware that there was any "internal" style in Japan. Even in China there are only three with some conceptual "bleed over" from systems like Tongbeiquan - it is not my concern. I don't think you'll find me darkening your door further. I appreciate the rational treatment received in the group though.

    Some people - even among CMA groups refer to Aikido as an "internal" martial art - untrue by any Chinese standard, and probably not a lot of grounds for further discussion. Good luck all.
    Last edited by Cady Goldfield; 6th February 2015 at 23:40.
    Cady Goldfield

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    Quote Originally Posted by Baiyuantongbei View Post
    The statement was actually objective. There really aren't any _known_ great masters who went to Taiwan. There is actually only a single verifiable lineage from Yang Luchan. His sons Yang Banhou was actually the most talented. His other sons Shao Hou was less so with no challenges made with him apparently choosing to stay home and teach the form. Banhou was famous for being rather mean. Yang Cheng Fu - while _very_ famous, actually only started learning (and not from his father) when he was 23. He had no interest prior. The many weighed about 300 pounds and went to southern China where virtually all the people were small. He cannot be said to be a "great master" when compared with his father although his student religionists will forever say otherwise.

    Meanwhile Taiwan - "highly regarded" or not, no known "great master" ever went there. As I said, it is _possible_ that someone could be a pretty good practitioner, and especially in the ignorant eyes of the BBC might be elevated to greatness due to the mystical fantasy thinking of those who don't know much... but it doesn't change the fact. Those "great masters" acquired their reputations by direct challenges and fighting - not puffery and made up histories - sorry if this is disappointing to you.
    I'm not disappointed, I train and study internals with two great teachers who've used their art for real. But not 'real' like these "masters":
    This is the Gatekeeper of the Wu style in a real fight with a White Crane Master.... when I first saw this I didn't read the info.. I thought I was watching an episode of the Three Stooges... then I thought... these guys need to learn some martial arts...


    Regarding internals training.. I read your article on the 'S' principle. It'd be interesting to hear more in the other forum on internals. Specifically what is the action of the kwa and spine?

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    regarding Doshin So and the Chinese connection... some interesting tidbits.

    A friend of mine who has studied ICMAs for a long time has Chinese teachers, some in Taiwan. He told me a story he heard from some friends in Taiwan that Doshin So once visited there and the Chinese martial artists were impressed with his 'iron shirt' abilities.

    It's not surprising the respect given to Master Wang as it seems by all historical accounts that Doshin So strongly supported Shaolin Temple. Regarding the 'match' with Yamazaki (sp?)... it was wrist grabs, so hardly a real match but probably a great exchange of methods.

    I've met other Internal martial artists who have noted that of external styles Shorinji Kempo does emphasize a higher degree of softness in relation to other Japanese empty hand striking arts.

    Further on the Chinese connection, IMO Shorinji Kempo adapted other Japanese styles as well, Doshin So's goal was to create a culture that would help the Japanese people, not be a purist in terms of martial style affiliation. i particularly like the pictures of the boxing ring in the Tokuhon that were used to keep the Americans from shutting them down during the occupation. I would not be surprised if they hadn't had some Western boxing teachers in to keep up appearances.
    Last edited by ryama23; 6th February 2015 at 21:24.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tripitaka of AA View Post
    Persecution over hundreds of years. Mao's Cultural Revolution was just the latest in a long line of official policies that sought to remove the influence/power of the Temple. Modern attempts to make the Temple qualify as a World Heritage site have featured some fairly heavy-handed government policies that remind us why China is so famous for "re-writing history" as well as making it. Cleaning up the slums of Beijing in time for the olympics had a similar pattern - "Everybody out! Why? Because we say so!".

    From the articles, it would seem that Chinese martial artists were thoroughly pissed off that So Doshin would claim to be the last surviving example of authentic Shaolin-style training. Easy to understand that. The fact he was Japanese must have made that particularly hard to swallow. Finally, when the government realised how lucrative the "Shaolin" name could be, they start to support the people that they spent decades trying to wipe out.. a common pattern in China, apparently.

    It is therefore, very satisfying to see how well the relationship between Hombu and Chinese Martial Arts groups has flourished over the years. Most of the animosity and background to the story has been dealt with. People on both sides have come to appreciate the finest aspects of mutual respect and co-operation (even if we are still talking about the time when they were enemies). Hombu invite CMA groups to perform at Taikai, Shorinji Kempo demo teams appear in Beijing. The Shaolin Temple has been "re-discovered" and is now revered by all. The Temple is being restored (although visitors have commented that the character has been changed by official involvement - think "Disneyland Songshan") and in a typical So Doshin way, it took a bit of blunt speaking to trigger change. His involvement has been acknowledged in the earlier articles, somewhat grudgingly as you would expect. I don't think Shorinji Kempo could ever claim to have been "responsible" for the rejuvenation of the Shaolin Temple, but seriously, the annoying presence of Shorinji Kempo (and the spectacular Headquarters, and the huge membership) probably played a significant role in the background story. Classic example of Shorinji Kempo philosophy in action .
    Yes, from the pictures of Shaolin Temple in the Tokuhon from Doshin So's last visit it appears that Shaolin Temple was nothing more than a hollow shell of a building. It looked pretty run down... as commercial as Shaolin and Wushu are today, at least it has been preserved with much credit to Doshin So.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Baiyuantongbei View Post
    Some people - even among CMA groups refer to Aikido as an "internal" martial art - untrue by any Chinese standard, and probably not a lot of grounds for further discussion. Good luck all.
    True regarding how most people train Aikido, but not true from some martial artists with Daito Ryu based training - again go see Dan Harden. This thread should move to the internals section, but basically your 'S' principle is awareness of yin/yang at the point of contact, understanding the use of yin muscles and yang muscles and spiraling Intent to have simultaneous push/pull, i.e. 6 direction energy. The disruption to the opponent with strike or push is by putting two vectors into the opponent by moving the point of contact with directly pushing that point, but creating a see-sawing spiral around the point. The wave action of the spine to hit with (I can't do that, I suck at that).... regarding your article you can see it in Zhang, his right arm has put his opponents' point of contact force at tangents from his center while his left arm is directly targeted into his opponents upper center. His opponents front foot is lifting, so from looking at the still photo Zhang could add a slight bit of horizontal rotation and easily create the off balance.... IMO, I'm a novice though.

    Again, my opinion and not that of any of my teachers. Shorinji Kempo juho is adapted from Hakko Ryu, which is an off shoot of Daito Ryu. I've cross trained in Daito Ryu and have seen nearly identical techniques.. The internal methods can easily be studied in the SK Juho. Actually I've used the SK method of Kagite Shuho to teach people to 'find' their center in order to begin foundational internal training.

    In relation to CMA Internals, yes the CMA training looks to emphasize more on the principles that endless number of techniques can arise from. Wrist grab passive joint lock technique training is the same in my opinion. No one 'attacks' with a wrist grab, but it is useful to explore the principles of balance/unbalance and internal principles with resistive force - that is to say the Shorinji Kempo way. Most Aikido everyone just jumps for you so I don't really understand the haptic feedback that is useful there.

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    Gassho!

    Quote Originally Posted by ryama23 View Post
    i particularly like the pictures of the boxing ring in the Tokuhon that were used to keep the Americans from shutting them down during the occupation. I would not be surprised if they hadn't had some Western boxing teachers in to keep up appearances.
    There is no such picture in my issue of the Tokuhon (normal WSKO version). Is this a special version or another book maybe (like the Kyohan)?

    Kesshu,
    ______ Jan.
    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
    Gassho!

    There is no such picture in my issue of the Tokuhon (normal WSKO version). Is this a special version or another book maybe (like the Kyohan)?

    Kesshu,
    ______ Jan.
    hmmm.... I thought the picture was in the all Japanese two book set, is that the Kyohan? Definitely not in the Western Tokuhon. But now that I think about it I think I saw the picture on a wall or somewhere at Honbu or out at the old dojo in the town walk. It was talking about how Doshin So kept the US Forces from shutting them down by saying they were practicing boxing and there was a picture of kenshi training in a makeshift ring...

    now I have to do some searching.. I'll post it if I find it.

    Gassho
    Ryan

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