July 31, 2009
Wow, this has been one looooong day; first a presentation to the Sarawak Permanent Secretary in the Tourism Ministry regarding one of our other non-MA projects and this was followed by a “luncheon” briefing by one of the other directors in the company later in the day.
The 4 letters/numbers that we all wish go away :- H1N1……
Anyway ….. I thought we keep on our Chinese weapons’ journey a little bit more before returning to matters of CMA history.
Double-handed sword or Shuang Shou Dao – a weapon that brings Miao Dao,Pak Kua and Shaolin to mind.
Found a nice clip here exploring this over at Google Video and as I was sorting out my library, some books including this weapon.
And some of the styles connected with this weapon are … unexpected; like Taiji MeiHua TangLang Quan or Tai Chi Plum Blossom Praying “Mantis for instance……..
July 30, 2009
From wikipedia :-
Taiji Plum Blossom Praying Mantis Boxing (Chinese: 太極梅花螳螂拳; pinyin: tàijí méihuā tángláng quán). This style is, historically, a combination of two different lineages of Mantis: Taiji Mantis and Plum Blossom Mantis. This style is widespread in Yantai, Qingdao,Beijing, Dalian, Harbin, etc. What is now called Taiji Plum Blossom traces its lineage to Hao Lianru (郝蓮茹)—a disciple of Liang Xuexiang, his sons Hao Henglu, Hao Hengxin and his grandson Hao Bin. The later three combined both Taiji Mantis and Plum Blossom in the early 20th Century, creating the current style. Hao Lianru’s five sons have since spread the style elsewhere. This style is well-known for its large, two-handed sword, and for being somewhat ‘softer‘ than Seven Star Praying Mantis.
July 30, 2009
Listed as a fundamental Shaolin forms, Xiao Hong Quan or Small/Minor Red Fist is now being closely examined for connection to many ChangQuan or Long Fist from that corresponding period.
Don’t do the form myself but looking at the techniques and postures, I see resemblences to Lohan and Jinkang – the southern versions.
Found this write up about Shaolin :-
Shaolin Wu Shu is a complex art that has evolved over the last 1500 years. It utilizes all aspects of martial practice: punching, kicking, striking, throwing, grappling, weaponry, point striking and qi cultivation. Unlike many reports Shaolin is not just a kicking style from the north, as is commonly misunderstood. It contains both Wai Gong (External skill) and Nei Gong (Internal skill) in its methodology, which is another common misunderstanding that labels Shaolin Kung Fu as only an external style of Kung Fu. Shaolin Kung Fu cultivates Qi, Jing and Shen and promotes the development of the muscle, bones and skin. Shaolin practice is also a pathway to Chan (Zen). Shaolin Kung Fu consists of Ji Ben Gong (Basics), routines, application analysis, selected combinations, sparring, conditioning, Qi Gong, and meditation (Chan (Zen) practice as well). Shaolin can be described as fast, agile, unpredictable and effective. With its blend of Chan (Zen) Buddhist philosophies Shaolin Kung Fu is unique in its execution. When practicing Shaolin Kung Fu you must keep in mind the following:
Have no stance but every stance
Exist like the wind and be unpredictable
In defense be like the virgin in attack be fierce like the tiger
The outside is fierce the inside is calm
Make noise in the east and attack from the west
Show up and hit down
Be as hard as iron yet soft as silk
Be heavy like iron and light as a leaf
Shaolin Kung Fu is most famous for its animal styles and imitation styles. The most famous of the Shaolin techniques is the five animals. The Snake, Dragon, Crane, Tiger and Leopard make up this system. Each animal displays a certain characteristic throughout the forms.
The Dragon develops spirit, the Tiger develops the bones and tendons, the Snake develops internal energy, the Crane develops the essence and the Leopard develops strength. Although these are well known Shaolin Temple has such animal styles as Praying Mantis, Eagle Claw, Duck fist, Toad, Monkey, Dog and also Scorpion to name a few. Shaolin Kung Fu’s imitation styles are quite elaborate, the most well known being Drunken boxing. It is a style of kung fu depicted in many movies by famous stars but the true Shaolin Drunken style consists of fist, sword and staff. It is difficult and very deadly in its usage. It utilizes many Qin Na techniques and takedowns. It is a style that is for more advanced students.
FUNDAMENTAL SHAOLIN FORMS:
- • Xiao Lohan Quan
- • Xiao Hong Quan
- • Da Hong Quan
- • Chang hu xingyi men Quan
- • Xiao Pao Quan
- • Da Pao Quan
- • Wu Xing Ba Fa
- • QiXing Quan
- • Ba Bu Lian Huan Quan
- • Lian Hua Quan
- • TaiZu Chang Quan
- • XiaoTong bi Quan
- • DaTong Bi Quan
- • Zhao Yang Quan
- • Da Lohan Quan
- • Lohan Shi Ba Shou
July 29, 2009
I still get asked, every now and then, about what exactly that I do here in Kuching Sarawak ……
Apart from looking after my 4 trying cats and 1 dog, hey if you don’t own any cats, you’ll probably never fully understand what a headache they could be……
Then they are those who think I spend my days idling in the sun and breeze and picking coconuts for food.
Wrong, wrong and wrong again!
I am actually up to my chin with work; both involving meticulous planning and arduous rounds of meeting with folks from various walks of life here.
Take the one that my concentration is currently trained on; a book recording the various conventions that the Chinese brought with them when they moved here from China a couple of hundreds year ago.
A microcosmic view of Chinese lifestyles and practices and how these are preserved, throughout the years, in the face of changes and adjustments to fit into the new environment.
It’s often said that Chinese will be Chinese everywhere and this book want to put that statement under study, so to speak……
Well, you know me, my “thang” is TCMA, TCM and clan associations but this book wants to cast a bigger net.
To do that, we have to collaborate with historians and scholars of other Chinese disciplines in order to piece together a consummate picture.
So, it’s like what I said, work, work and work.
Posting a few mock-up pages from our work-in-progress book and a page from a earlier book published about the Chinese in Borneo; I am combing thru many such works for references.
And this is a page from one of the reference books that I am using :-
July 29, 2009
Now, a Hong Quan (Hung Gar) school from my hometown, Singapore.
I think I saw some members from this school performed at the beginning of this year in a TCMA event ……
July 28, 2009
Here’s another one of those styles that you hear so little of – except maybe for the clips that “Sifuwu” got uploaded on youtube.
“Sifuwu” goes by “Shaolin Master” over at KFO forum – one of the very few who really know his pi and kwa ……
Meihuazhuang – an offshoot of Kun Lun Pai and, believe it or not, described as “internal” ; over a thousand years old and according to the few books I collected, influenced by Daoist philosophy.
Linking a couple of Sifuwu’s clips and a couple of scans from one of my MeihuaZhuang books.
July 27, 2009
A popular topic in many forums; internal vs external and is “internal” arts even good for combat.
My sentiments on this?
Well, rehashing many things I said before here and in forums elsewhere:-
- Fighting Arts that stood the test of time, battlefields and other life/limbs threatening historical scenarios must have merits regardless of classifications.
- By fighting arts, I am talking “FIGHTING” arts and not some sporting ring events. This might be alien to some but many fighting arts, until very recently in this part of the world, is a mean of survival. I really don’t want to keep talking about this. If you are not raise in such an environment and have no inkling or experience in this aspect, no amount of reading about it will make you appreciate.
- The person who taught you, internal or external arts notwithstanding, got actual know-how to tap from, as far as “fighting” is concerned? Put it another way, would you want to learn swimming from someone with only text book knowledge?
So that’s my take, if you even doubt the efficacy of what you are learning, it could only mean:-
- You’re learning from the wrong person.
- You’re not getting the “real” goods.
Back to internal arts and combat, I remember when I first met Sifu Wayne Welch, a longtime Pak Kua/Kuntao Silat teacher; he showed me some videos of a Taiwanese internal style teacher, Su Dong Chen, teaching classes and seminars.
Sifu Su, a student of GM Hung Yi Hsiang, was teaching his Hsing Yi/Pak Kua and Tai Chi in Japan and Wayne was very impressed with his applications of internal arts in combat situations.
I got a bunch of videos from Wayne and was going to convert some of them into digital format to share……
Anyway, found some youtube clips that someone else posted and if you have not seen Sifu Su in action, I think you’ll like what you are about to see.
July 27, 2009
Aha, here’s a topic that’s certainly going to rustle some feathers ….. Some might even go “red” in the face reading this ….
Well, here goes:
“All martial arts under the sky originated in Shaolin”.
Or my personal favorite:-
“10,000 cherries blossom on 1 tree”
“10,000 methods started in Shaolin”
And almost all the Masters and elders I work with in SE Asia subscribe to this.
So why are there those who are challenging this? Especially some western based authors and CMA historians; maybe they know something that martial art families in Asia don’t.
Or could it be a different Shaolin that we are talking about here, located somewhere in the Mojave deserts or Swiss Alps?
Must be or else how could they have miss historical relics everywhere in Shaolin from as early as the Tang Dynasty substantiating how Shaolin Warrior Monks came to the aid of Tang Tai Zhong?
Or that another Tang emperor maintained a private “army” of 500 Shaolin Warrior Monks.
Shaolin Warrior Monks fighting pirates in the Ming Dynasty is equally well-documented.
Folks, it’s for good reason that Shaolin Temple is also widely known among the Chinese as “Defender of the Nation”.
That legacy has lasted until very recent times with lay disciples taking up arms against foreign invading forces.
And before anyone of you write them off, REMEMBER, they are many descendents of these fighters who are proudly keeping that tradition alive even today, if not in China then, all over SE Asia.
Or to quote one of the monks in the clips:-
“For thousands of year, the Shaolin Fire has never stopped burning!”
And it’s not about to be by those who don’t know what they’re talking about …..
July 25, 2009
Now that Emei has been thrust into the limelight, by some school of thoughts, that it might have something to do with Wing Chun, I was thinking some of you might like more info about Emei related Kung Fu.
Got here a Sichuan style, Huang Lin or Yellow Forest, which is classified as an Emei style.
When I first came across this, I got really excited; I thought this might be connected to “Huang San” or “Wong San” in Cantonese.
Wong San Pai is one of the styles that Sijo Lee Kwon of Singapore/Malaysia Chow Gar (Zhou Jia) studied.
I have hardly any info regarding Wong San …..
But Wong San and Huang Lin or Wong Lum (in Cantonese) apparently bears no relationship.
Arrrrgghh, the search continues ……
click on thumbnails for full views.