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Thread: Story behind the warrior pose

  1. #1

    Story behind the warrior pose

    Hi all,

    Trying to increase my knowledge of things Shaolin. I remember Gene mentioning that the warrior pose (http://www.martialartsmart.net/45001.html - one on the right) had special significance and was a signature pose for Shaolin.

    Anyone remember/know what the significance is?

  2. #2
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    'Warrior's pose' honors Jinnaluo

    You'll find a discussion of Jinnaluo in Meat, Wine, and Fighting Monks: Did Shaolin Monks breach Buddhist Dietary Regulations? by Dr. Meir Shahar. Note that in the images, Jinnaluo is depicted with one arm raised characteristically grasping a staff. Many Shaolin forms end in a posture that echoes this. All the traditional Songshan forms do it. Most of the BSL forms do it too. However, it's not strictly a Shaolin pose. If you look at Busted! Kungfu Masters Reveal Their Favorite Military Police Attacks By John Brown and Martha Burr in our 2001 January/February issue, you'll see Sifu Tony Chen doing the same move under the name 'Wu Song strikes the Tiger' out of the O-Mei system.
    Gene Ching
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  3. #3
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    Smile Vajrapani ...

    Vajra (thunderbolt) is the weapon of the King of the "lesser" Gods - Indra, which is also the guardian of the Budhism.

    In Hinduism, Shiva the Destroyer has 2 sons - one of them is Skanda who's actually an image of Alexander the Great who used the lance which is an epiphany of Vajra. Skanda is the Hindu version of Narayana. BTW, Narayana is also known as Weito. There is a grass root Daoist version of Narayana (I should say Skanda) which is Nuo Jia the Third Prince. Weito together with the 4 Heavenly Kings (Si Da Tian Wang) makes up the guardian force of Chinese Buddhism.

    So in the posture with the hand that holds above the head represents holding a lance/Vajra and ready to throw it.

    Just a thought

    Mantis108
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    妙着。


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  4. #4
    So is there a significance to the O-mei version?

    I ask because I noticed the position in a version of Cha Fist #1 I saw from an O-mei based school taught by a Shaolin trained instructor.

    The follow-up question will be, is there suppose to be martial intent to the position or is purely honorific?

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    There are plenty of cool apps for both the horse and single-leg poses.

    In the single-leg version, my fav is to visualize myself grabbing someone by the hair and pulling his face into a knee strike, but maybe I'm just mean.

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    i kinda pictured it being used as one hand blocks down as other hand is almost like a hook but uses the pointer finger knuckle as a strike to the temple with the back of the hand facingtowards you.
    A BJJ player and notorious pimp, Da Big Deezy, in the Crenshaw district tried to "raise up" and "slap a ho" ..... I impaled him with my retractible naginata. I wish there were more groundfighters in the world. They make my arsenal that much more deadly. - john takeshi

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  7. #7
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    A true practitioner can find applications to everything

    Here's an old thread that asks a similar question. We taught applications of the BSL version back at Lam Kwoon. If you ask me about the one-legged version now, I'd play it as a knee strike, mostly because I'm generally amused by hidden knee strikes in single-leg moves. Whether or not that is the original intention of the move, I can't say, but I think I could pull it out of it with a small tweak to the dynamics of it.

    For me, it's not so much about what our ancestors put into it, although unquestionably, they put in a lot of good stuff. It's more about what we can pull out of it. As long as it works, it's valid.
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    Quote Originally Posted by gwa sow View Post
    i kinda pictured it being used as one hand blocks down as other hand is almost like a hook but uses the pointer finger knuckle as a strike to the temple with the back of the hand facingtowards you.
    That's probably the most literal interpretation of the move and usually the first one to learn.

    Gene, I remember one of the group classes you led - probably 4 or 5 years ago now - in which we drilled a couple apps you chose for the hero's pose. I don't remember them all, but there was one in which the right arm blocked a right punch to the inside, swept it down and out, to follow with a left chop to the throat pushing down into a knee strike to the back... I remember hitting Jason a little hard in the kidney with that one.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gene Ching
    For me, it's not so much about what our ancestors put into it, although unquestionably, they put in a lot of good stuff. It's more about what we can pull out of it. As long as it works, it's valid.
    Trying to guess at the purpose can be fun, but the deeper you dig, the more the style becomes your own expression, IMHO. Like literature, no one understands everything the same way. One thing's for certain, though: if the applications are any indication, our BSL predecessors were mean.

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    hitting Jason a little hard in the kidney

    aaaahh, Ravenshaw, those were the days, weren't they?

    Sadly, I don't remember all those apps now anymore either. I have a similar move that I do every once in a while in a xingyi broadsword set - it's quite like the conclusion of the BSL broadsword set with the dao cradled in the left elbow - but that's not my favorite xingyi broadsword set so I only do it when forced (or when I think I might be forced to do it soon). The core dynamic of the movement appears in a lot of styles. It may be expressed quite differently, the the essence is the same.
    Gene Ching
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  10. #10
    thanks for all your replies.

    Currently, I'm an outsider looking in. It's great to sit on the shoulders of all you giants.

    Also, how did it get into the O-mei version? Is it just coincidence?

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    Quote Originally Posted by GeneChing View Post
    I have a similar move that I do every once in a while in a xingyi broadsword set - it's quite like the conclusion of the BSL broadsword set with the dao cradled in the left elbow - but that's not my favorite xingyi broadsword set so I only do it when forced (or when I think I might be forced to do it soon). The core dynamic of the movement appears in a lot of styles. It may be expressed quite differently, the the essence is the same.
    I wish I worked more on my xing yi... Anyway, I never gave that move in the Pek Kwar Darn Do form much thought since I figured it was just there as a signature move. Any moves that make applicative sense out of that move seem to be a bit of a stretch (although I guess our basic low block + hook punch app would make sense when you're carrying the weapon cradled like that). Any other thoughts on how that move makes sense with the sword?

    I've also applied our horse version of the pose (in 4 & 6) as a throw. Right inside block against right punch (I might throw a kick in here) > sweep the arm down and out > left hammer fist > grab the waist with right arm and hip throw. This is an application of the whole "striking the tiger" tech, which includes the high and low blocks. Not sure how classical it is, but it's worked.

    The Lai Hung school does the horse version somewhat differently. I'm not sure about their single leg version, as I'm only familiar with his #6 The upper hand is closer to the forehead than WL's and it makes a pulling motion instead of a punching motion. I'm not sure about that one... high block and pull into an elbow to the body? I'll get back to you guys on that one...

    HSF,
    If only I were as "giant" in BSL as I am in height. My BSL stature is probably about 3'2"... somewhere thereabouts. Whoops! Look at the time... time to go train.

  12. #12
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    Give every move much thought...

    Warrior's pose with a sword cradled can easily be interpreted. First, you must assume that you're starting from a position where you haven't drawn the sword. Then you can play it like the 'literal' interpretation we've discussed above. Of you can look at it like a break grab, as if some one was trying to restrain you from drawing your sword. Actually, if you think about it from such a starting position, all of the applications still work.

    As for it being in both O-Mei and BSL (and xingyi), you could debate origins until you're blue in the face, but that's really hard to prove. You could also argue parallel development, but on the whole, I see more common threads in CMA then parallel, which implies some sort of cross-fertilization. Otherwise, if it were some kind of universal, you'd expect to see more parallel development across styles from other cultures. Perhaps if you traced it back to one of the early texts, like Qi Jiguang, you'd have a decent argument for common origin. That's just a bit to trivial for me to want to pursue at this time.
    Gene Ching
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    Late Reply

    Quote Originally Posted by GeneChing View Post
    All the traditional Songshan forms do it. Most of the BSL forms do it too. However, it's not strictly a Shaolin pose. If you look at Busted! Kungfu Masters Reveal Their Favorite Military Police Attacks By John Brown and Martha Burr in our 2001 January/February issue, you'll see Sifu Tony Chen doing the same move under the name 'Wu Song strikes the Tiger' out of the O-Mei system.

    I still haven't learn the terminology (poems) to my northern shaolin sets but I do know the name of the move Gene poses in above....

    we simply call it "Da Fu Sai" or "Strike Tiger Pose" which is essentially the same name as Sifu Tony Chen except with "Wu Song" taken out. I believe Wu Song is a character from the Water Margin stories...famous for killing a tiger, revening his brother...stuff like that.

    One question though...

    does the move have anything to do with actually hitting a tiger or is it just a fancy poetic name? (i.e. with historical/fantasy like references?)

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    Quote Originally Posted by iron_silk View Post
    does the move have anything to do with actually hitting a tiger or is it just a fancy poetic name? (i.e. with historical/fantasy like references?)
    Actually fighting a tiger?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ravenshaw View Post
    Actually fighting a tiger?
    Hey you never know!

    If "Wu Song" can cook, so can I!

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