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Thread: Chinese Martial Arts before the JingWu

  1. #61
    The issue of what Chinese martial arts were like before the Jingwu is a very interesting one and one that have I long pondered both as a historian and as a Chinese martial arts practitioner. I have long wondered what a typical weeks worth of training would have involved for Sun Lu Tang, or for Hung Gar guys in the 1800s or Northern Shaolin guys in the 1700s, or how Chinese wrestlers trained back in the day.

    The answer to those questions is----nobody has any idea. Training may have been very rigorous, very demanding or----it may have been utterly lackadaisical. There are, to my knowledge, no surviving documents before the early 1900s that detail to any degree what training was like. And of course training would vary from school to school or teacher to teacher. So, as much as I would wish to know what a typical training session was like with Lum Sai Wing (a famous Hung Gar teacher) or Sun Lu Tang or teachers from earlier ages—we will never know till the time machine gets invented.

    Now a separate question, which maybe what is being asked, is what was the public perception of Chinese martial arts at the start of the Republican Era (roughly the early 1900s). That question is easier to answer and a large section of my book is devoted to talking about that. In a nutshell Chinese martial arts were held in very low regard, extremely low regard, by the Chinese public. My impression is that Chinese martial artists were seen as garbage. That simple. Sun Lu Tang got famous mostly because he was so odd; he was a Chinese martial artist who could actually read, write, put two sentences together and took regular baths. I don’t say that to be witty, I think it does reflect a historical reality.

    I see the Jingwu (and related organizations) as being the single most important agency in the survival of traditional Chinese martial arts into the 20th and 21st century. Jingwu type organizations made martial arts respectable and brought Chinese martial arts out of the gutter. Now I don’t want to overstate the case, Chinese martial arts would not have disappeared off the face of the earth if the Jingwu had never been formed. But if the Jingwu had not existed I strongly suspect it would have been less likely that the subsequent Guo Shu and Wu Shu government sponsored programs would have come into existence.

    Modern-Traditional Chinese martial arts owes its existence to the Jingwu, Wuxia novels and films, and the hard work of the Shaolin Tourism Board. Just kidding about the last part.
    Take care,
    Brian
    p.s. in addition to my wife and I's book on the Jingwu, another outstanding book on the modern history of Chinese martial arts is Andrew Morris's Marrow of a Nation. Andrew is a good guy, a good scholar and a big supporter of Taiwanese baseball!!

  2. #62
    Quote Originally Posted by David Jamieson View Post
    yeah, and I'm bones, what of it?

    It's the only way I get to remark at the end of the fight with: "He's dead Jim"

    we're star trek fans...

    tai ghak yin is spock and ten tigers is pike and lkfmdc is nurse chapel.

    we larp on friday afternoons.

    Can I play?

    ...i have a red shirt.
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by RD'S Alias - 1A

    I have easily beaten every one I have ever fought.....

  3. #63
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    Last edited by PalmStriker; 06-20-2013 at 08:09 PM.

  4. #64
    Having Brian Kennedy here is a wonderful thing, thanks so much for posting!

    Quote Originally Posted by brianlkennedy View Post
    The issue of what Chinese martial arts were like before the Jingwu is a very interesting one and one that have I long pondered both as a historian and as a Chinese martial arts practitioner. I have long wondered what a typical weeks worth of training would have involved for Sun Lu Tang, or for Hung Gar guys in the 1800s or Northern Shaolin guys in the 1700s, or how Chinese wrestlers trained back in the day.

    The answer to those questions is----nobody has any idea. Training may have been very rigorous, very demanding or----it may have been utterly lackadaisical. There are, to my knowledge, no surviving documents before the early 1900s that detail to any degree what training was like. And of course training would vary from school to school or teacher to teacher. So, as much as I would wish to know what a typical training session was like with Lum Sai Wing (a famous Hung Gar teacher) or Sun Lu Tang or teachers from earlier ages—we will never know till the time machine gets invented.

    Now a separate question, which maybe what is being asked, is what was the public perception of Chinese martial arts at the start of the Republican Era (roughly the early 1900s). That question is easier to answer and a large section of my book is devoted to talking about that. In a nutshell Chinese martial arts were held in very low regard, extremely low regard, by the Chinese public. My impression is that Chinese martial artists were seen as garbage. That simple. Sun Lu Tang got famous mostly because he was so odd; he was a Chinese martial artist who could actually read, write, put two sentences together and took regular baths. I don’t say that to be witty, I think it does reflect a historical reality.

    I see the Jingwu (and related organizations) as being the single most important agency in the survival of traditional Chinese martial arts into the 20th and 21st century. Jingwu type organizations made martial arts respectable and brought Chinese martial arts out of the gutter. Now I don’t want to overstate the case, Chinese martial arts would not have disappeared off the face of the earth if the Jingwu had never been formed. But if the Jingwu had not existed I strongly suspect it would have been less likely that the subsequent Guo Shu and Wu Shu government sponsored programs would have come into existence.

    Modern-Traditional Chinese martial arts owes its existence to the Jingwu, Wuxia novels and films, and the hard work of the Shaolin Tourism Board. Just kidding about the last part.
    Take care,
    Brian
    p.s. in addition to my wife and I's book on the Jingwu, another outstanding book on the modern history of Chinese martial arts is Andrew Morris's Marrow of a Nation. Andrew is a good guy, a good scholar and a big supporter of Taiwanese baseball!!
    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....

  5. #65
    Quote Originally Posted by brianlkennedy View Post

    another outstanding book on the modern history of Chinese martial arts is Andrew Morris's Marrow of a Nation. Andrew is a good guy, a good scholar and a big supporter of Taiwanese baseball!!
    wonderful book that I would strongly recommend to anyone
    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. #66
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by brianlkennedy View Post
    in addition to my wife and I's book on the Jingwu, another outstanding book on the modern history of Chinese martial arts is Andrew Morris's Marrow of a Nation. Andrew is a good guy, a good scholar and a big supporter of Taiwanese baseball!!
    I'm interested but.... I have zero interest in non-martial-arts based sports

    ......except rhythmic gymnastics
    Quote Originally Posted by bawang View Post
    like that old japanese zen monk that grabs white woman student titties to awaken them to zen, i grab titties of kung fu people to awaken them to truth.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sal Canzonieri View Post
    You can discuss discrepancies and so on in people's posts without ripping them apart. So easy to do sitting behind a computer screen anonymously, but in person I'm sure you'd be very different, unless you're a total misanthrope without any friends.

  7. #67
    Quote Originally Posted by Kymus View Post
    I'm interested but.... I have zero interest in non-martial-arts based sports

    ......except rhythmic gymnastics
    the one chapter about guo shu is worth the price of the book alone
    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....

  8. #68
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by lkfmdc View Post
    the one chapter about guo shu is worth the price of the book alone
    I'll check it out then, thanks!
    Quote Originally Posted by bawang View Post
    like that old japanese zen monk that grabs white woman student titties to awaken them to zen, i grab titties of kung fu people to awaken them to truth.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sal Canzonieri View Post
    You can discuss discrepancies and so on in people's posts without ripping them apart. So easy to do sitting behind a computer screen anonymously, but in person I'm sure you'd be very different, unless you're a total misanthrope without any friends.

  9. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by MightyB View Post
    I don't care about the argument, I would like to discuss and learn...

    What were the Chinese martial arts like before the Jing Wu?

    How did they practice when the expectation of the practitioners was that they'd use the skills to fight? - since they were usually practiced by peasants looking for a better job as a guard or bandit, or they were practiced by professional soldiers.

    Do some of those traditional methods survive today?

    What can we learn about combat efficacy by looking at the pre Jing Wu era?
    Hmmmm....guards and bandits.

    How about this, the Master has a big house, the boys live there and help out. Only a select few, picked from the bigger Pai. They train during the day in 'Security techniques' because Kung Fu is a 'forbidden old way'. At night the security company works 'on commission' doing security in places where the police don't go. You keep the contract by taking all challenges and winner takes the job. The people you work for don't have a sense of humour, and expect the job done right.

    Or perhaps you work as a mercenary in Central America back during the Coffee Wars, and you train your crew in hand-to-hand when you're not out in the bush using it, along with machetes and guns. Around the camp, NCO rank if fought for, like a pack of wolves. You want a promotion, you kick the guy's ass. (BTW, David, that was Chan Hak Fu's Son, and it drove him crazy.)

    First one I just made up because it sounded plausible.
    Guangzhou Pak Mei Kung Fu School, Sydney Australia,
    Sifu Leung, Yuk Seng
    Established 1989, Glebe Australia

  10. #70
    I Like Shang Wu better than Jin Wu

    Jin Wu means essence or extract of martial

    or mastering martial

    cultivating spirits and character from physical exercises

    Shang Wu

    Like or favor martial

    or emphasizing martial

    all the good attributes of martial

    ---

  11. #71
    Question:

    After the fall of the Ching Dynasty, the military were without a source of employment.

    Also the foreign powers in China were apprehensive over another boxer uprising. Reports of "Boxer" activity were reported in the North China Herald. Even the 10th anniversary book on the Ching Wu was reported in the same newspaper. What that book served to do was assign names to faces of masters who taught there. And I believe it was used as an execution list by the Japanese during their invasion of Shanghai. Chan Tzi Ching of Eagle Claw managed to get out of Shanghai (his photo was in the book). Luckily, Wang Zi Ping was in Nanjing. And I believe some masters fought. I believe many masters died because of that book; and, when I hold it in my hands, I am overwhelmed with sadness.


    mickey

  12. #72
    Quote Originally Posted by mickey View Post
    when I hold it in my hands, I am overwhelmed with sadness.
    do not be cry. you can continue their spirit and legacy by doing forms badly, being weak, and not fighting.
    Last edited by bawang; 06-23-2013 at 06:32 PM.

    25th generation inner door disciple of Chen Style Practical Wombat Method
    Officially certified by Ethiopian Orthodox patriarch Abune Mathias
    grandmaster instructor of Wombat Combat™®LLC Practical Wombat Method. international academy retreat

  13. #73
    Greetings bawang,

    Weight training was apparently done there. There are a few photos in the book that showcased the body aesthetic, with leopard skins worn, much in the way Western strongmen did at the time. The cover of the book features the artwork of a man pushing the nation, Atlas like, above his head.

    When you see the Praying Mantis style, a style that found its way to Ching Wu, still maintaining its fighting component by those whose lineage benefitted by their Association with Ching Wu, it can be honestly said that fighting was still practiced there. It may not have been as heavily emphasized. As a result of the Japanese invasion and the many that perished it is difficult to say that ALL of those guys were soft. And if they were, there would be no need to intelligence them.

    I would dare say that if there were no Ching Wu, there would be no Mao to talk about.

    mickey

  14. #74
    hi mickey, its good to appreciate the history of kung fu. but American kung fu has a habit of glorifying what they learned into godlike proportions. jingwu was a famous gym but was also flawed.


    jingwu wanted to revive kung fu, but none of the famous popular styles were invited. it was a chance for business minded martial artists to promote themselves.

    jingwu wanted to standardize kung fu out of ignorance, but kung fu has been standardized for hundreds of years. instead jingwu helped create the system of modern wushu we see today.
    Last edited by bawang; 06-23-2013 at 08:55 PM.

    25th generation inner door disciple of Chen Style Practical Wombat Method
    Officially certified by Ethiopian Orthodox patriarch Abune Mathias
    grandmaster instructor of Wombat Combat™®LLC Practical Wombat Method. international academy retreat

  15. #75
    Mickey:

    Alot of the top military officials and their troops had already transfered loyalty over to the Republic. So alot of them still maintained their positions/jobs and just changed their uniforms and loyalty. This is why for the most part an easy coup. (something the USA didn't seem to think was valuable in Iraq and so the country fell in to.....)

    Boxing and Weight Lifting did exist as part of the western physical education along with basketball and Gymnastics. My sifu gave me a book/manual of the Shanghai Chin Wu's Gymnastics/Acrobatics program. I'll have to find it and post the head teacher's name and picture.

    Bawang

    Please site your sources as I've been to quite a few Chin Wu locations especially Shanghai and there were many other teacher's involved of various styles (southern and northern) who taught under their banner. Documents and photos of these individuals are archived.

    Many teachers were invited from the get go but only around 7 accepted the invitation but as the world spread some others accepted especially when they had expanded to open up other locations.

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