CHINESE MARTIAL ARTS AND SPIRITUAL CULTIVATION

Due to his ignorance and arrogance, Bauamonk1 accuses Chinese martial arts to be riddled with mysticism, not knowing that Buddhist and Taoist philosophies have greatly enriched and benefited Chinese martial arts. Sifu Rama Roberto, a former economic adviser to the President of a big country, and his wife Adelaida, a former movie star and director-general of UNESCO for Children for Latin American Countries, for example, renounced worldly affairs to cultivate the Tao on the Blue Mountain . The picture above shows Sifu Rama practicing Taijiquan watched over by the Buddhist Bodhisattva of Great Compassion, Guan Yin Bodh Satt.


The following discussion is reproduced from the thread Dispelling Ignorance and Untruths: A Case Study of Baguamonk's Posts started in the Shaolin Wahnam Discussion Forum on 25th September 2006.


Chi is an essential concept and reality in Chinese life and philosophy. Every typical Chinese knows that without chi, there is no life. Many Chinese words came directly from “chi” (“qi”), like “fa-bi-qi”, “hou-yun-qi” and “jia-qi”, which means “temperamental”, “good luck” and “work harder” respectively. Chi forms the core in many of the Chinese sciences and arts, like medicine, painting, calligraphy, and feng shui.
Sifu Jordan Francis



Jordan Francis

Sifu Jordan Francis
Instructor, Shaolin Wahnam England
5th October 2006

Chinese Martial Arts at a Cross-Road

There is much material that Baguamonk1 has posted that can be used to comment on for the purpose of this thread. Here I present the concluding post.

Originally Posted by Baguamonk1

when learning how to defend yourself in the most direct way is more efficient

This statement is untrue. In many situations defending yourself in an indirect way may be more efficient.

Baguamonk1’s writing is unclear. He may also meant leaning how to defend in the most direct way is more efficient than acquiring supernatural abilities. This too was untrue. If you had supernatural powers, you could defend yourself more efficiently by using your supernatural abilities than by defending in the most direct way.


Originally Posted by Baguamonk1

And as for spiritual cultivation, he was a HUGE advocator of this in the martial arts. Especially on the core elements of taoism, which in my opinion is a way of expressing "personal freedom.

Baguamonk1 lacks understanding of what spiritual cultivation means. He used the term “spiritual cultivation” because it was perhaps trendy to do so.

Spiritual cultivation means cultivation of the spirit. Bruce Lee did not cultivate the spirit. His whole art and training were solely focused on cultivating the body using mechanical means, using parameters like how fast one could kick and how much muscular power was packed in it. Baguamonk1’s statement that Bruce Lee was a huge advocator of spiritual cultivation in martial arts was untrue.

Bruce Lee knew little about Taoism in relation to martial arts. Had he known more, he would have known yin-yang harmony, the importance of chi, and the use of herbs. Instead, Bruce Lee solely focused on combat and neglected his health, which indicated lacking an understanding of yin-yang harmony. He employed mechanical means excessively, indicating his lacking an understanding of chi. He used Western drugs despites its danger, indicating his lacking an understanding of herbal medicine.

While personal freedom is valued, as it is also valued in other great religions, it is not a signature aspiration of Taoist cultivation. At the lowest level, Taoist cultivation aims for longevity. At the intermediate level, Taoist cultivation aims at becoming an immortal. At the highest level, Taoist cultivation aims to return to the Great Void. Bruce Lee did not pay much attention to any of these aims.

Baguamonk1 was ignorant of all these. He merely relates Bruce Lee to Taoist cultivation out of fashion. He might have related Bruce Lee to Buddhism, Christianity, Islam or any religion, and make the same mistakes in his untrue statements.


Originally Posted by Baguamonk1

Wether its in spirit, mind, or body.To know that CMA is riddled with just as much mysticism, and lack of knowledge of kung fu in general by the chinese population as with western.

As usual, Baguamonk1 demonstrated his ignorance and arrogance, and insulted both the Chinese and the Western population.

Just because he was ignorant of Chinese martial art, he presumed that the Chinese population and the Western population were also ignorant. Due to his ignorance, he formed a mistaken conclusion that Chinese martial art was riddled with mysticism, which of course was untrue. To Baguamonk1, chi, internal force and using kung fu for combat were myths, which again was untrue. And Baguamonk1 was so egoistic that just because he did not know, the Chinese population and the Western population also did not know!


Originally Posted by Baguamonk1

You have no idea how many modern chinese men/women I've met (even some who practiced taichi/kung fu) said "I don't believe in Chi." Mostly because they are just as fed up with the esoteric, old school mystical way of describing these things (which make these methods seem supernatural) as many other people are.

Baguamonk1 was utterly ignorant of Chinese culture. Chi is an essential concept and reality in Chinese life and philosophy . Every typical Chinese knows that without chi, there is no life. Many Chinese words came directly from “chi” (“qi”), like “fa-bi-qi”, “hou-yun-qi” and “jia-qi”, which means “temperamental”, “good luck” and “work harder” respectively. Chi forms the core in many of the Chinese sciences and arts, like medicine, painting, calligraphy, and feng shui.

All members of Shaolin Wahnam not only believe in chi, they have direct experience of it, and have derived great benefits from its cultivation. Many of our members have tried to help Baguamonk1, but he just would not listen and dogmatically regard our explanation as “the esoteric, old school mystical way of describing these things”.

Originally Posted by Baguamonk1

Also as per Chuck Liddel argument, I wasn't trying to say that UFC or MMA was the end-all-be-all to fighting. Because its not. He isn't a warrior who "lives by the sword" and no I could not imagine him swinging a halbred...But I couldn't imagine any of us doing the same thing..actually "living by the sword." I dont think any of us do, we just don't live in that kind of time period. Even if we did live in a war-time period, it would be with guns and other detached methods of killing/fighting.

Baguamonk1 is untrue to himself! Despite practicing three internal martial arts, he does not believe that chi and internal force exist, and that Chinese martial arts cannot be effectively used for combat.

As Sifu Anthony has indicated in another thread, Baguamonk1 implies that punches in Chinese martial arts are for show, real punches and other attacks can only come from non-Chinese martial arts, like UFC and MMA. We really wonder

His statements above also show that he has completely missed the meaning and good intentions of those who have wanted to help him . “Living by the sword” and “swinging halberd” were mentioned to help him realize that Chinese martial artists used their arts for actual fighting and not for show. But due to his lack of mental clarity or blind egoism, Baguamonk has missed, or chose to miss, the intended meaning.

Originally Posted by Baguamonk1

Also my criticisms towards CMA challenges and fights are ONLY directed to the last century, when CMA and chinese culture in general was falling apart due to the various economic and political circumstances.

Baguamonk1 was ignorant of great kung fu masters who lived in the last century, like Wong Fei Hoong, Hou Yun Jia and Wang Zi Ping, who had internal force and used kung fu techniques for combat. He implied that these kung fu masters only talked about chi and internal force, and when it came to real fighting they
could not withstand attacks from exponents of UFC and MMA, or even from him using UFC or MMA.

These statements of Baguamonk1 were of course utterly untrue, but if they were mistaken by unsuspecting readers as authoritative, they might cause more damage to Chinese martial arts than the economic and political circumstances that Baguamonk1 alleged. Hence, we have a duty to dispel such ignorance and untruths, and disseminate quality information in their stead.

Yet, Baguamonk1’s action is laudable, but only to a point. He set out to enjoy the benefits of Chinese martial arts and find out the validity of chi and kung fu combat effectiveness, but like most people he was grossly disappointed to a point he concluded (mistakenly) that Chinese martial arts are a joke, and chi and kung fu combat effectiveness are non-existent.

Now he has the opportunity to come across many people who have testified from their own direct experience that Chinese martial arts are not a joke and that chi and kung fu combat effectiveness are real. He has the rare opportunity to find out, not in three years but in a few days or even a day, by humbly learning from certified Shaolin Wahnam instructors (with their no chi no fee policy) or from Sifu Wong himself. But Baguamonk1, unfortunately, has become dogmatic and would not listen. He, and many other people like him, are at a cross road. It is their choice.

__________________
Jordan Francis
Shaolin Wahnam Bristol / Bournemouth
http://wahnam.blog.com/


A crucial concept in Taoist philosophy is yin-yang harmony, manifested here, for example, by Dr Damian Kissey and his lovely wife Dr Roseline Kissey of Shaolin Wahnam Sabah, Malaysia. They are well-versed in Western science as well as Eastern wisdom, successful in public as well as in private lives, and practice martial art as well as spiritual cultivation.


Baguamonk1
USA
7th Octoberr 2006

Some of the stuff is just wrong or still being misquoted.

If you have read, or seen any of Bruce's material, you would know that he had some understanding of Chinese philosophical aspects and how they tie into the martial arts. You would also know that he did in fact emphasize spiritual cultivation , and there is even pictures of him practicing some basic ZZ postures. And that his bad habits began towards the end of his life. In fact he was one of the first to publicize, and promote the philosophy behind the arts, and how they tie into real life. Well definitely not the first, but perhaps one of the more recent and popular advocates.

I did not mean to say you don't need stances to defeat a lesser skilled opponent, I meant that it does not have to be picture perfect . I already clarified even more on the same thread (and even on this one)..so I don't see another reason for it

As I said, I am not going to respond in this thread anymore . It is a useless thread to me, but to you guys it is well worth it. I hope it has brought you insight, and allows the integrity of the Wahnam ideals to remain intact.

And I laugh at above post, saying that I "concluded" that I thought Chinese Martial Arts was a joke as a whole..Oh wow, no wonder I don't take this thread seriously. Has the reputation, and condition of these arts severely been comprimised?? Yes. I never SAID all, but there is a vast majority of BS out there , and anyone who can't see that is dellusional. And if you don't think the cultural revolution had anything to do with this, well then that is your opinion

How many times do I have to clarify that I never said that I don't believe in Chi or internal force. ...That is just ridiculous. I tried to explain some things in different ways, and when clarification was needed, I for the most part did (although I lost track of some topics). Just because I think "internal force" is a lame excuse to not hurt the poor, "brutes" of MMA competitions, does not mean I do not believe in it.

My post about the Chinese Men and Women who do not believe in "Chi" was there to show just how the condition exists in some places, including China itself. The cultural revolution, and alot of changes in China has alot of people practicing Taiji, and other methods of internal arts for health. Clearly there are MANY exceptions, I was just trying to illustrate the condition of some of the modern chinese, and practicioners. Some people of the newer generations, if not educated or cultured by their siblings or family, often grow up without the knowledge or actual experience of the past generations, and the heritage they left behind. Some of the "modern" thinkers, think differently, and often times discard the old traditions and philosophies without even trying to decode or understand them. Just because they are Chinese, it does not mean that they practice kung fu, taiji, or even have a basic understanding of the taoist/buddhists philosphies and how it applies to martial arts. Or perhaps they do, but they don't believe in it. Just like there are skeptics and Aethiests here in the states when it comes to religion.

The state of kung fu itself is different. As many of you have said, there are lots of wushu monks out there, and alot of BS. How shaolin is practiced now (even the image), is seemingly different form how it used to be practiced. You guys train it more authentically than the Wushu crap that is out there, it is not that wushu is crap, but rather that people mistake Wushu for the traditional methods. Anything that does not have perfectly bent arms, ridiculously and dangerously low stances, fast flashy movements, is often misjudged as inferior to the newer flashier stuff. And there ARE some people out there who learn this stuff and think its the same as it was before the cultural revolution! Like those documentaries out there on the Shaolin temple and just how deadly and effective they are, but we all know they are government-placed monks and they practice wushu. Complete with breaking bricks over the edge of a stair..and only hitting the middle (usiing the stair for leverage) and chi gong tricks...Again, I wasn't saying that it was all "physics tricks" but that what these charlatans did, for the most part, do use them. Those who have the real skill, and real gong fu, do not need "tricks" they have the real deal.


Jordan Francis Sifu Jordan Francis
Instructor, Shaolin Wahnam England
8th October 2006

Invaluable Lessons from our Forum

My previous post concludes a series of explanations to dispel ignorance and untruths revealed in a chosen post by Baguamonk1 quoted at the beginning of this thread. In another thread, having been revealed the untruths of his statements, Baguamonk1 said he would not post further, except posting his agreement. Hence, I thought my previous post could also be the concluding post of this thread.

Nevertheless, Baguamonk1 posted a long reply to my previous post, which he is welcome to do. This long reply from Baguamonk1 shows more ignorance and untruths. Hence, I feel duty bound to dispel such ignorance and untruths again.

The comforting part is that initially I found Baguamonk1's posts boring because not only they contained abundance of ignorance and untruths, but also they were unclear and often needed to be read a few times before their meaning became apparent. But now they start to provide much fun as well as benefit in training for mental clarity .

I would like to mention again I have nothing personal against Baguamonk1. Indeed I was glad he apologized for being rude previously, though like Sifu Andrew in another thread I would be gladder had he not negated it in his next comment. I also compliment Baguamonk1 for writing in shorter paragraphs instead of one whole chunk, his posts are now easier to understand.

Nevertheless, saying all these good things about Baguamonk1 does not mean I would not dispel the ignorance and untruths still found in his post. As a Shaolin Wahnam instructor it is my duty to dispel ignorance and untruths, and ensure quality information in our forum. This process also helps our students in training of mental clarity.

Indeed, Baguamonk1 would be the one to benefit the most if he exploits this opportunity. Already he has gained two significant benefits. His heart is more open now, as indicated by his readiness to apologize for being rude, and his posts are easier to read, indicating that he has improved in presentation of his material. If he follows the discussion explaining why his posts are full of ignorance and untruths, he will also benefit from having better mental clarity.

It is these qualities - having an open heart, being able to present yourself coherently, and having mental clarity - that is much more important than holding opinions whether Bruce Lee was a traditional Chinese martial artist. This forum provides opportunities to develop these desirable qualities.


The dispelling of ignorance and untruths will follow.

__________________
Jordan Francis
Shaolin Wahnam Bristol / Bournemouth
http://wahnam.blog.com/

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