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 …..