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Eight Immortals
02-07-2001, 07:39 PM
I was just browsing around the book store and found this old book called: The SPRING and AUTUMN
of Chinese Martial Arts: 5000 Years
by Kang Gewu, Professor, Chinese Wushu Research Institute.
Has anyone read it or can tell me if it is indeed accurate?
Thanx

1

wujidude
02-08-2001, 06:48 PM
It's probably as accurate as you're going to find in English. Kang Ge Wu provided most of the scholarship and research for Dan Miller's old Pa Kua Chang Journal articles on the origins of baguazhang. Miller reported that, for his master's degree thesis on the origins and development of baguazhang, Kang travelled all over China conducting more than 400 interviews with old masters and known students of old masters, and compiled hundreds of historical documents relating to baguazhang . . . including the post-1911 manuscript of a Qing Dynasty imperial scholar, also a bagua student of Yin Fu, who spoke of how Dong Hai Chuan originally referred to his art as "zhuan zhang" or "rotating/turning palm," and only in his very old age (after he left the Imperial palace) did Dong make allusions to the 8 Trigrams of the Yi Jing in connection with his art.

Someone who puts this level of effort and attention to detail into his historical research certainly meets the standards of quality Western historians. Kang Ge Wu studied baguazhang with Sha Guozhen (spelling?), perhaps Jong Rongqiao's leading student. He has long held one or more official historian positions with Beijing martial arts groups.

As for the book itself, it's basically just a skimming survey of significant dates and people in 5000 years of Chinese martial arts. As a historical work, it lacks substantiation for many of the names and dates . . . but I assume Kang has his sources noted somewhere. The book will not provide information on the techniques and practice of different Chinese martial arts. It does provide some interesting connections between people significant in the development of the martial arts.

To the extent you can put together any specific lineage information in a particular art, Kang's statements won't always square with history put forth within that lineage itself. Still, I like the book.

Eight Immortals
02-08-2001, 07:02 PM
Thanx for the info dude ;)
I like reading the history behing kung fu and Kang Ge Wu is a reliable source so I guess I'll buy it.
Wuji, with all the research that Professor Kang Ge Wu did was he able to find out for sure from whom Dong learned this form of circle walking. This intrigues me because its still uncertain whether Dong Hai Chuan is the sole originator of Pakua Chang. It could very well be much more older Art than people realize.