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Thread: RIP Robert W. Smith

  1. #16
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    Yes, "Northwind" is my internet alias used for years that has lots to do with my main style, as well as other lil cool things - it just works. Wanna know my name? Ask me


    http://www.pathsatlanta.org

  2. #17
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    The year that I gradulated from high school (1965), the nuclear physics and neuclear engineering departments were formed in Taiwan Qing Hua University. His mission in Taiwan was to colllect evidence about Taiwan government intended to develop WMD. Taiwan governmant knew exactly his intention and had arranged many spies next to him while he was in Taiwan.

  3. #18
    Taiwan did develop some kind of nuclear device but was "confiscated" by CIA.

    at the same time, there were also US made nuclear bombs stationed in Taiwan.

    in 1958, there was the kin men artillery campaign starting at august 23rd and ended on octorber 5 or 10th.

    ---

    U-2 spy planes were flown to collect china nuclear projects info from taiwan.

    ---

  4. #19
    RWS was the exact opposite of a mouth boxer. He was supreme proof of the efficiency and power of internal martial art training methods.

  5. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by mattador View Post
    rws was the exact opposite of a mouth boxer. He was supreme proof of the efficiency and power of internal martial art training methods.

    beeeeeeeeeeeppppppppppp
    Chan Tai San Book at https://www.createspace.com/4891253

    Quote Originally Posted by taai gihk yahn View Post
    well, like LKFMDC - he's a genuine Kung Fu Hero™
    Quote Originally Posted by Taixuquan99 View Post
    As much as I get annoyed when it gets derailed by the array of strange angry people that hover around him like moths, his good posts are some of my favorites.
    Quote Originally Posted by Kellen Bassette View Post
    I think he goes into a cave to meditate and recharge his chi...and bite the heads off of bats, of course....

  6. #21
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    I re-read Secrets of Shaolin Temple Boxing last night

    I've brought my old copy of Chinese Boxing to work today. I'm sorry that I never got the chance to meet Robert Smith in person.
    Shifu Justin Meehan remembers Robert W. Smith
    Violet Li
    Tai Chi Examiner
    July 5, 2011

    On July 2, Barbara Davis, editor of Taijiquan Journal and Taijiquan Journal Blog, published sad news regarding the passing away of Robert W. Smith. I called up Shifu Justin Meehan of St. Louis, who was one of the early adopters and promoters of Tai Chi in this country, to talk about his memory of Robert Smith.

    Mr. Smith was born in Richard, Iowa in 1926, and grew up in an orphanage in Illinois. After his second high school year, he left school and enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps. Upon completion of his military service in 1946 he began to work for a railroad company and completed his high school certificate. He got an undergraduate degree from the University of Illinois and a graduate degree in Far Eastern Studies from the University of Washington.

    His interest for martial arts started early. He entered a Chicago Judo club in 1947 and met Donn Draeger, one of the foremost Western martial artists of the twentieth century. They co-authored Asian Fighting Arts, which is like an encyclopedia of Asian martial arts, according to Justin. Mr. Smith's involvement with Judo lasted thirty years. He was credited for popularizing Judo in the U.S. through teaching, hosting tournaments and writing A Complete Guide to Judo – It’s Story And Practice.

    As fate had it, Mr. Smith was hired by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and sent to Taiwan in 1959 until 1962. During this assignment, Mr. Smith met, interviewed and filmed scores of top Chinese martial artists. It also brought him the opportunity to meet the legendary Tai Chi Grandmaster Cheng Man-Ch’ing. After he witnessed Grandmaster Cheng’s “four ounces of power” to deflect “thousands pounds of incoming force,” he was convinced the power of Tai Chi or “the Supreme Ultimate Exercise”. With Robert’s sincerity, Grandmaster accepted him as his first western student. He started to teach and promote Cheng Man-Ch’ing’s 37 Form after he returned to the United States.

    Shifu Justin thinks that Robert Smith really helped popularizing Tai Chi in the U.S. “What he did was fantastic,” commented Shifu Meehan. In addition to teaching Tai Chi, Robert Smith wrote many books, articles and book reviews on Tai Chi and other internal martial arts. “He set a tone for everybody by elevating Tai Chi from simply a martial art to the art of self-cultivation embodied in ancient Chinese philosophy.” He thinks that every serious martial artist and premium writer all should read Robert’s writings.

    Meehan calls Robert the greatest student of Tai Chi, because Robert was very humble and never drew any attention to himself regardless of his great contribution to the arts. Robert wrote about Tai Chi and other martial artists with respect. He was a great Tai Chi practitioner of great enthusiasm, which attracted good persons to work with him. People in the Tai Chi community like to talk about his friendship with another Cheng Man-Ch’ing disciple, Grandmaster Ben Lo.

    Meehan also calls Robert a great Tai Chi teacher. In the 70’s and 80’s, American martial arts practitioners regarded Mr. Smith like an astronaut, who went to Moon (Taiwan) and brought back the treasure of Tai Chi to share. In 1980, Shifu Meehan invited Mr. and Mrs. Smith to St. Louis to host a Tai Chi workshop. Shifu Meehan recalled that Robert had a good sense of humor. Even though his military training sometimes made him formal, he joked a lot and sometimes kicked students’ butts in a non-harmful way, just like his fiction novel “Secret Fighting Arts of the World” under a pen name John F. Gilbey. Alan Ludmer of St. Louis, who attended Robert’s workshops, remembered that Robert showed them the black and white movies that he filmed in Taiwan, which were eye-opening since no one at that time had seen a book or a photo of these Chinese masters before. “Robert shared the Tai Chi insight with us that no one had heard of if before. He corrected our movements, and pointed us at the right direction,” added Alan. Upon requests of students, Mr. Smith returned to St. Louis a few times later. Meehan said that highly intelligent people enjoyed learning from him tremendously because Robert Smith knew everything.

    Nowadays, we see so many masters and grandmasters around. Some address themselves in that manner. But for Robert W. Smith, he never wanted the title. With all his accomplishments in Asian martial arts and Tai Chi, we should all respect him as a master.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
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  7. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeneChing View Post
    I've brought my old copy of Chinese Boxing to work today. I'm sorry that I never got the chance to meet Robert Smith in person.
    I've been slowly reading from the library for the last two weeks having read Martial Musings two years ago, i looked on wiki three days ago to find a list of all of his articles and noticed he passed two days prior...****...anyway it's a good read his three year trip to Taiwan as a young man it's odd to think he just died in his 90's

    He talks about DOG boxing vs Judo guys in the book and how they would ride their takedowns...doesn't add anything about DOG boxing he just randomly throws it out...was it some street wrestling tactics used by thugs orsomething back in the day? I only ever see wushu info's.

  8. #23
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    Blessings and condolences.
    To the mind that is still, the whole universe surrenders.
    -Patanjali Samadhi


    "Not engaging in ignorance is wisdom."
    ~ Bodhi


    Never miss a good chance to shut up

  9. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by diego View Post
    I've been slowly reading from the library for the last two weeks having read Martial Musings two years ago, i looked on wiki three days ago to find a list of all of his articles and noticed he passed two days prior...****...anyway it's a good read his three year trip to Taiwan as a young man it's odd to think he just died in his 90's

    He talks about DOG boxing vs Judo guys in the book and how they would ride their takedowns...doesn't add anything about DOG boxing he just randomly throws it out...was it some street wrestling tactics used by thugs orsomething back in the day? I only ever see wushu info's.
    I have read that book and I found it very interesting and of course one's TCMA background will help one understand some of the methodologies and even to read between the lines regarding things that even Robert may have missed or misunderstood.

    One of the things that stayed in my mind as regards the book "Chinese Boxing" is how many Chinese masters have a low opinion of Karate training. I have experienced such opinions from kung fu masters in person and it took me years to understand their wisdom in seeing karate as little more than "Shaolin training for kids". I agree with them eventhough I do have a "soft spot" for Traditional Karate which I regard as a potent self defense system(s) if trained properly.

    PS. Condolences to Robert's family and friends.

  10. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hardwork108 View Post
    One of the things that stayed in my mind as regards the book "Chinese Boxing" is how many Chinese masters have a low opinion of Karate training.
    With Robert Smith's Judo background, he didn't show much respect to Chinese wrestling either. His article about Chinese wrestling in that book was not fair IMO.
    Last edited by YouKnowWho; 07-08-2011 at 01:42 AM.

  11. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by YouKnowWho View Post
    With Robert Smith's Judo background, he didn't show much respect to Chinese wrestling either. His article about Chinese wrestling in that book was not fair IMO.
    in a thread of this type, it is best I think if we avoid discussing this
    Chan Tai San Book at https://www.createspace.com/4891253

    Quote Originally Posted by taai gihk yahn View Post
    well, like LKFMDC - he's a genuine Kung Fu Hero™
    Quote Originally Posted by Taixuquan99 View Post
    As much as I get annoyed when it gets derailed by the array of strange angry people that hover around him like moths, his good posts are some of my favorites.
    Quote Originally Posted by Kellen Bassette View Post
    I think he goes into a cave to meditate and recharge his chi...and bite the heads off of bats, of course....

  12. #27
    I first bought Asian Fighting Arts back in the days of the "Kung Fu Craze" of the mid 1970s. When I was a junior in high school (1975) I got permission from my history teacher to do a special studies project on the history of Chinese martial arts and the one book I used was......Asian Fighting Arts. I would have never guessed back then that Mr. Smith's work would inspire me to go on, decades later, to Taiwan and to my own research on Chinese martial arts.

    As a historian I see Mr. Smith as one of the two most influential english language writers on Chinese martial arts of that era (i.e. the 1970s and 80s). His books started so many people on their Chinese martial arts careers. I know it was true in my case and I know I read his early books over and over again.

    Having said that I do have very "mixed" feelings about his books, but it is uncivil to speak poorly of the recently departed. So let me end with a note of respect----thanks and respect to Mr. Smith for getting me, and so many other, started on Chinese martial arts.

    take care,
    Brian

  13. #28
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    We ALL have inherited biasis, all of us.
    Robert was human and no different.
    He wasn't perfect and wasn't always correct, but no one is.
    He books were informative and opinionated, you didn't have to agree with all of it to admire his dedication to TCMA and IMA in particular.
    Psalms 144:1
    Praise be my Lord my Rock,
    He trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle !

  14. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by YouKnowWho View Post
    With Robert Smith's Judo background, he didn't show much respect to Chinese wrestling either. His article about Chinese wrestling in that book was not fair IMO.

    I believe that Robert got exposed to too many methodologies/systems, that is, overload of information at the same time, so he may have made unfair conclusions. It is understandable on one level, because it takes many years of serious study to study some of the arts he was exposed too, so to draw conclusions as regards the supposed superiority of judo over Chinese wrestling, would have been hasty and unfair.

    Of course, IMHO, Robert quoting the opinions of genuine kung fu masters' opinions and experiences with Japanese Karate, does reflect an accurate schools of thought as regards the short comings of the "Empty Hand" styles in comparison to the TCMAs.
    Last edited by Hardwork108; 07-10-2011 at 12:37 AM.

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