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Thread: Shaolin Duan

  1. #1
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    Shaolin Duan

    As many of the traditionalists have tended to shy away from ranking systems like belts and stuff... What are peoples thoughts on Shaolin adopting a duan system akin to the one that China itself has adopted?
    practice wu de


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  2. #2
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    Pointless.
    He most honors my style who learns under it to destroy the teacher. -- Walt Whitman

    Quote Originally Posted by David Jamieson View Post
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  3. #3
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    The duan system

    Actually, you'll find that most of the 9 duan masters in China are traditional. As you move down the ranks, you'll find more modern wushu, but on the top they are all traditional. Keep in mind that all the 9 duan people are older, so they are really too old to be doing modern wushu.

    As for the Shaolin Duan system, I think it's really interesting, not so much about what it is but for what is symbolizes. This is the first PRC martial faction to break away from the national standard and set up their own. If you'll read carefully in the 2003 Shaolin Special, you'll notice that many of the high ranking masters are already ranked in the regular Duan system - so why add an additional Shaolin Duan system? Good question. I'm not sure myself. One might think it's because the Abbot wants more control, however, the program is actually coming from another faction - the sport college. I'm not sure the Abbot has as much influence there. Unfortunately, in my research, I had discoverd the info on the Duan and compulsories after I had interviewed the Abbot, so I couldn't ask him about it in depth, privately or publicly. I'm not sure the monks would even participate in this - maybe the warrior monks would, but who knows? My guess is that it's because the schools are all on top of each other. Even if you go to Shaolin, you won't see how clustered they are unless you stay there for a while. There are so many schools, which means so many masters and coaches. They needed some way to sort it all out locally, but probably couldn't wait for the autorization from the national duan system. That's an ardous political process anyway, made more complicated because it is under communist rule.

    I don't think the Shaolin Duan system has actually begun yet. To the best of my knowledge, it's still in proposal stage. I'll be very interested to see if it goes through and how it affects Shaolin.
    Gene Ching
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  4. #4
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    Thanks again Gene...

    I was thinking along the same lines... to kind of rank whos there, 'cause it would take a long time for the national people to get to the coaches etc..
    practice wu de


    Actually I bored everyone to death. Even Buddhist and Taoist monks fell asleep.....SPJ

    Forums are no fun if I can't mess with your head. Or your colon...
    uh-oh, I hope no one quotes me on that....Gene Ching

    I'm not Normal.... RD on his crying my b!tch left me thread

  5. #5
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    I think it ryhmes well with Yuan.
    Kung Fu is good for you.

  6. #6
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    duan yuan

    On the lower levels, I'd agree, but it's the high level that we are interested in. I find all the national 9 duan to be extraordinary - there's only ten of them right now. The 8 duan are pretty interesting too, but there are a lot more. And we don't even want to get into how many 7 duan there are. So the Shaolin 9th duan will be very interesting indeed. As I put forth in the 2000 Shaolin Special, there are many high level ranks - 18 lohan, 18 diamonds, top ten Shaolin whatevers - if they distill this down to a mutual duan system, the masters who emerge on top will be very interesting (and the subjects of my future research).
    Gene Ching
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  7. #7
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    and the subjects of my future research
    Cool, keep us posted.

    Will this include the folk masters?
    practice wu de


    Actually I bored everyone to death. Even Buddhist and Taoist monks fell asleep.....SPJ

    Forums are no fun if I can't mess with your head. Or your colon...
    uh-oh, I hope no one quotes me on that....Gene Ching

    I'm not Normal.... RD on his crying my b!tch left me thread

  8. #8
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    werent there ranks already?
    white for students, black for teacher. yellow for monk and red for like master? correct me if im wrong, i probably am.


    as for incorporating a ranking system in shaolin. god no i hope not.

  9. #9
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    white for students, black for teacher. yellow for monk and red for like master? correct me if im wrong, i probably am.
    You are wrong.
    He most honors my style who learns under it to destroy the teacher. -- Walt Whitman

    Quote Originally Posted by David Jamieson View Post
    As a mod, I don't have to explain myself to you.

  10. #10
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    Originally posted by MasterKiller
    You are wrong.
    wheres the correct me part?

  11. #11
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    Gene might correct me here, but Shaolin Temple has little use for colored sashes. Maybe the schools outside the temple have adopted this practice, but I don' think it occurs inside.
    He most honors my style who learns under it to destroy the teacher. -- Walt Whitman

    Quote Originally Posted by David Jamieson View Post
    As a mod, I don't have to explain myself to you.

  12. #12
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    no ranking sashes in the temple

    But there might be rankings at particular schools. Sometimes you'll see some differentiation in robe colors, mostly with the martial monks and mostly for style. Sometimes disciples (and nuns) will be distinguished by a grey robe and monks by an orange robe but that's not a hard rule. I've seen plenty of students wear orange.

    As for the folk masters, you'll see in the 2003 Shaolin Special, I listed the top ten at Shaolin, most of whom are folk masters. You'll also note that some of them have participated in the national duan ranking system and are ranked. I'm not sure how the Shaolin system will lay over this. That's the whole point of the duan system is that there has never been a standard specific to Shaolin yet that crosses all the schools. When the Shaolin duan system is initiated, certainly the old masters will be grandfathered into the program with senior ranks appropriate to their esteem, so it'll be a nice barometer for continued research.

    Now I doubt I'll chase after all the top ten, just the active ones. The big three schools I find to be the most interesting now - Taguo, Epo and Xiaolong. I've been cultivating relationships with the head masters of these schools and hope to delve more into their theory next time - that's a little hard to get at because it requires more work than just an afternoon interview. I have to see what they have that's really outstanding and get them to show it to me for the mag.

    I've done some work with some of the lesser folks schools which I'll publish soon, as well as the warrior monks schools. But 80 schools is just a bit to much and would make a boring read overall.

    Shaolin Temple is a huge story. And everyone sees a different Shaolin. Take Antonio's ezine story for example. He comes from a totally different perspective than I do, but his research is still quite interesting. My friend Dr. Meir Shahar, who's research I mentioned in the symposium article of the last issue, his take is entirely academic. He keeps telling me I got to write a book. Maybe someday. To be honest, I'm still trying to get the story myself. Shaolin is a huge Chinese box - open one box to find another. You'd expect no less from such a venerated treasure of China.
    Gene Ching
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    Author of Shaolin Trips
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  13. #13
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    man reading that article makes me want to go and train there now.

  14. #14
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    just wait until part two....

    ...that might change your mind.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
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  15. #15
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    lol!

    I like Antonios perspective. It is ...clear.
    Gene, you guys get all the gems that's for sure.

    cheers
    Kung Fu is good for you.

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