Discussion in 'Chinese Martial Arts - General' started by Xue Sheng, Dec 8, 2008.
Frankly the whole thing is a bit silly to me but I thought some might be interested in this.
What I found interesting in that article was that Dan rankings were introduced by Honinbo Dosaku to weiqi because the previous method of ranking was vague...
Maybe the point is that the issue of skill->rank is inherently vague and any list of criteria too finely detailed is a false accuracy.
Anyway, I thought "qing" would mean "green", as in "fresh", not outright "blue". But I don't know much Chinese outside of vernacular Cantonese.
So here are two person forms that are part of this Duan Wei system under Yang Tai Chi. There are six of them shown. Interesting.
The Duan system also applies to Sanda.
The Duan system on mainland applies to all things Wushu.... at least to those who want to participate in it that is....
This Chinese Wushu Association has little to do with Traditional Chinese Martial arts, I assume?
Edit: To clarify, this association deals with modern sportive wushu, and not TCMA, right?
It has something to do with traditional Chinese martial arts if they decide to follow it but usually no, and I am not a big fan it it either. The biggest thing I see from TCMA is they occasionally award a long time TCMA guy a rank to help the Chinese Wushu Association with its credibility
Thanks Xue Sheng for bringing it to our attention. So I did a google search for english versions of these documents they have created. Nada.
Why? seems to me if they want american wushu players to be in on this stuff, they would have at least some materials available in english. Not sure I get that.
Hey man, try this link: http://news.at0086.com/Chinese-martial-arts/General-Introduction-of-Chinese-Wushu-Duan-System.html
And yes, it's debatable how much the Wushu Association want overseas students participating in their system. From the little I've read on the internet, it seems as though on the one hand they want the international recognition and the cash, but on the other hand they're guarding the higher ranks and keeping them for Chinese nationals. This is conjecture on my part, by the way, but I assume that their is a mixture of opinions within the Wushu Association.
I have no real problem with Wushu as such (live and let live, all that) but like a lot of kung fu men I do have reservations about the distinctly non-martial flavour it has. That being said, I don't particularly dislike the idea of a duan system - I practised for almost 20 years without one before I ended up adopting one. Nothing changed - well, students were slightly clearer where their skill level in relation to one another lay. That's about it.
Also, the Wiki article fails to mention that Duan rankings existed in China (just not widespread or standardised) prior to the Wushu Association's system being created in the 90's. For one, the Shaolin temple has a ranking system based around coloured and black sashes, I believe? Not sure how often it's used.
And it is likely not far off the truth, westerners are not always taken seriously beyond the money they bring to the table in CMA in China
Wushu us actually the correct word for Chinese martial arts, Kung fu was a misunderstanding on the part of those that started using the word outside of China. Kung Fu means hard work and you need Kung Fu to be good at Wushu. Now what I call Modern or Sport Wushu, that is where you get into the purely performance stuff. And I have nothing against it either, other than some of the real unsafe practices that are currently going on in Chinese Wushu that has been injuring its practitioners, other than that is is most certainly a high level of athleticism and it also includes Sports Sanda so there is some actual fighting there too.
Yeah, go to any park in any major city in China and likely the majority of the people there don't much care about the duan system. Heck I doubt many of those that carry around the high level Duan ranks that they were awarded for years of TCMA much care either.
So ying is Eagle, hu is tiger, and long is Dragon?
I know the yi, er, san, si, wu, liu, qi, ba, jiu, are counting.
I can count to 10 verbally in chinese, or more specifically mandarin.
Why is it silly?
The Yang family has a similar system, except it replaces "Blue" with "Copper".
I can't say I'm a big fan of ranking systems. Although, I can definitely understand the desire to control who officially represents an art.
Yeah... like it did here with the "Soke Councils" & related pap?? It's a way of of the PRC bringing the biggest MA money makers in line. The bigger the school/style that jumps in line, the more the gov't knows what's going on with the student body (foreign) & will be able to start "charging" for their duanwei stuff.
I'm a big fan of... "Oh you got that?? Ok, here's this..." training. That's how my last sifu was & my current sifu was until he opened a public school. My last sifu wasn't concerned with lots of people, so his way worked for us. My current teacher is going big, people want to see rewards, not just get something new when they've progressed to the point of something new.
So... right there with you on the general premise.
Even beyond the financial concerns, I can understand the Yang family wanting to be able to exert some type of control over who can legitimately say they're Yang style. There are a lot of people "teaching" Yang style who really don't know anything outside of the form and maybe some basic tui shou.
My Sigung used to tell my Sifu that tai Chi would never die because too few people practiced, but too many people would surely drag it down. There's truth in this.
There are also a lot of people teaching legitimate Yang style that the Yang family don't like or want to acknowledge. (It's my understanding that the family doesn't even acknowledge or teach the Sanshou two man set). That's one of the problems with "legitimizing". Who decides what's legitimate isn't always the sole or best decider. My sifu also has an extensive background in Aikido and one his main teacher's was a student of O Sensei, but because of politics that teacher isn't even acknowledge by the main organization anymore.
Exactly so. The politics of it are the most frustrating part. People that have more skill are expected to hide their skill level in order to save face for people who are higher generation.
As far as the sanshou set goes, I'm not exactly sure whether that's accurate or not. I just don't know. My Sigung taught it to my Sifu, who in turn taught it to me, but neither of them liked it. There was something to learn from it, but they felt it also taught bad habits. So if the family doesn't involve itself with the form, it would be difficult to say exactly why.
... and as long as some of us westerners expect fast results for little work, or think of TCMA skill as "magic", this situation will not change.
Forgive the rant ... it was not aimed at members of this forum.
I'm sure there are some people who read this forum, member or no, needed to be reminded of that. Good on ya...
If that was all there was to it, I'd fully agree. It's not that simple though. I've dealt with racism from quite a few Chinese. I was fortunate enough to have a Sifu that refused to bow down to people telling him who he should be allowed to teach, but he was approached by multiple people who tried to convince him not to seriously teach me. They were fine with me paying dues and learning the form, but were against him formally accepting me as his student and training me intensely. When he became ill, he asked me to take over teaching the class. However, after he passed, they made it abundantly clear that I wasn't so welcome; even going so far as to deny that I was his disciple.
This isn't to say that all Chinese are racist. The majority of people appreciated my contribution to the class and acknowledged my position as his student, but it's pointless to pretend that the fault lies fully on one side. I understand where the racism comes from and I won't say that it's entirely undeserved, but overcoming it is going to take effort on both sides.
I imagine, in china, chinese restaurants and chinese martial art schools have a lot of competition with each other, as there are probably a lot of them.
So they may be real sensitive about how something looks.
If chinese customers go in to a chinese restaurant in china, and see the owner is not chinese, they are probably going to wonder why, and there will be talk and questions. The same with a TCMA school.
If I went into chinese martial art school in china, and the head instructor was not chinese, I would have pause.
It wouldn't matter in america, but if I went all the way to china to get martial art training, I want it from 黑曜石风 not John Wesley. [Made up names]
As I see it, Traditional chinese martial arts are magic.
But magic is probably the hardest thing in life for people to utilize.
I mean, how many people even can concieve of chi, let alone can use it.123
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