Ancient Training Manuscripts from the Shaolin Temple Translated to English

MarkBarlow

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Let me get this straight...
You people are telling me that the Shaolin monks weren't able to avoid the suppression by the imperial rulers, the Japanese occupation and the oppression of the Chinese Communist Party and they're not selling their hard won secrets like tupperware to anyone with a valid credit card? Thanks for disillusioning me. Oh well, I've always got Tae Kwon Do and it's 2000 year history to fall back on.:uhyeah:
 

exile

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I gotta say, I think FC's point here is incredibly well taken, and deserves to be repeated:

well, just for the sake of argument, let us suspend our disbelief for just a moment (I know, it's tough, but just bear with me for a moment).

What if these are legitimate documents? To the vast majority of people, they would be worthless anyway. Martial arts training manuals have existed in China for a long time. In the early days they included drawings and short descriptions, and as technology developed they included photos. But you aren't going to learn any "secrets" from them. They were sort of cliff notes for something you already know and train. You cannot learn from them if you haven't already trained the material. They were not that "in-depth". They were rough outlines of the material, and nothing more.

You can go to Borders right now, go to the martial arts section, and there are at least a couple of reprints of old manuals on the shelves that you could pick up today. Sun Lu Tang's manual on Xing-I is in reprint. In fact, there is a book about Chinese training manuals. But unless you train in Xing-I, Sun Lu Tang's book won't do you much good, other than as an interesting historical document. You won't learn any secrets from it. And even if you do train Xing-i, you are much better off learning from your instructor, than from Sun's book.

So even if these are legitimate documents, they don't mean much today. They might be interesting for the sake of history, but I for one won't pay that kind of money for them. For that, I'm better off without them. If they were offered for a reasonable price like a legitimate book, and I didn't feel Chuck Mattera was just looking for a quick way to get wealthy off a pre-pubescent shaolin fantasy and the general public's ignorance of the topic, I might consider them. But not at this price, and not with this kind of marketing. It's a shame.

This point is incredibly important, and maybe a comparison will help. Suppose you saw an ad in a medical journal by some publishing outfit that was offering MDs a ten volume set of translations of previously unknown documents on surgery by the great Greek physician Galen, at a cost of $200/volume, on the grounds that these volumes will enormously enhance the scope and efficiency of modern surgeons' prowess in the operating theatre. That's right: people whose skills include detailed interpretation of internal injuries on the basis of CAT scans, MRIs and positron emission tomography, and techniques ranging from laser-based operations to microsurgery, with years, or decades of honing their techs on both the living and the dead, are going to get a material boost in their skills by reading the works of a guy who lived two thousand years ago and based a good deal of his thinking on how the human body worked by extrapolating from the anatomy of pigsand never actually dissected a cadaver to see the structure of the human body. Don't get me wrong: Galen's empirical approach to medicine was way, way ahead of its time. But who would you rather have doing that open-heart surgery on you: Galen, or the senior cardiac resident at the Cleveland Clinic, even if the latter had never seen a single page of Galen's newly discovered mss.?? What FC is saying, if I'm not mistaken, is that the case of any secret hush-hush newly discovered, newly translated Shaolin training manual is going to be completely paralleleven if it weren't, in addition, newly written (the jury is still very much out on that...:D )

FC's post adds yet another layer to the evidence base that can be amassed about the pervasiveness of mystification in the MAs (Confusion-of-Venerability-with-Utility Department). And this is, as I say, making the very generous assumption that the documents in question are legitimate. Right now, folks, your only piece of evidence is a photo of some guy in Asian garb handing a box to Charles Mattera. That's it.

You know if they are going to try to scam people they could have at least made the site not scream scam. What a joke ....the big red letters are so convincing...who could possibly look at this site and buy into this. What's next... video Shaolin Monk certification. "Send us a video of yourself and after review we will certify you monkness!"

The more i here this the guy from Kenpo getting a original set of training manuals from the abbot sounds like crap. Let's get back tot he sales pitch though yes you can have these great books that look like they were made for some great Shaolin Masters of Old for only 199.95 but you are alread way to late for tat price why don't you just send me 500 usd dallors an you will get the first volume an second volume an we will even throw in a leaflet about the third volume, act quickly cause supplies are limited. Que the porn music now! shhkasshhka wahwah
:whip1: :popcorn: :lol: :drinkbeer

Let me get this straight...
You people are telling me that the Shaolin monks weren't able to avoid the suppression by the imperial rulers, the Japanese occupation and the oppression of the Chinese Communist Party and they're not selling their hard won secrets like tupperware to anyone with a valid credit card? Thanks for disillusioning me. Oh well, I've always got Tae Kwon Do and it's 2000 year history to fall back on.:uhyeah:

Man, people are being harsh LOL...

I love these posts... they're very reassuring to me; clearly, a lot of people are having exactly the right instinctive reaction to this hype: :lool:
 

Tez3

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Even if they were genuine they wouldn't do me much good I'm afraid. I am useless at learning anything from books or videos. I need to be shown ( again and again) then practice again and again before I can get stuff into my head. Once I know the kata or movement I'm okay I can fine tune kata's from books and videos but I'd never be able to avail myself of the mystic and expensive knowledge offered here!

I don't know any Catholic nuns but I know Jewish mums are bad enough, imagine a Jewish nun! Perhaps an Italian/Irish Jewish mother who converts to Catholicism and becomes a nun?
 

Xue Sheng

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well, just for the sake of argument, let us suspend our disbelief for just a moment (I know, it's tough, but just bear with me for a moment).

What if these are legitimate documents? To the vast majority of people, they would be worthless anyway. Martial arts training manuals have existed in China for a long time. In the early days they included drawings and short descriptions, and as technology developed they included photos. But you aren't going to learn any "secrets" from them. They were sort of cliff notes for something you already know and train. You cannot learn from them if you haven't already trained the material. They were not that "in-depth". They were rough outlines of the material, and nothing more.

You can go to Borders right now, go to the martial arts section, and there are at least a couple of reprints of old manuals on the shelves that you could pick up today. Sun Lu Tang's manual on Xing-I is in reprint. In fact, there is a book about Chinese training manuals. But unless you train in Xing-I, Sun Lu Tang's book won't do you much good, other than as an interesting historical document. You won't learn any secrets from it. And even if you do train Xing-i, you are much better off learning from your instructor, than from Sun's book.

So even if these are legitimate documents, they don't mean much today. They might be interesting for the sake of history, but I for one won't pay that kind of money for them. For that, I'm better off without them. If they were offered for a reasonable price like a legitimate book, and I didn't feel Chuck Mattera was just looking for a quick way to get wealthy off a pre-pubescent shaolin fantasy and the general public's ignorance of the topic, I might consider them. But not at this price, and not with this kind of marketing. It's a shame.

This is a good point and I am glad it was posted. It actually is very good that someone took this view.

However I still hold to the fact that this ahs been talked about absolutely nowhere else that I would consider a reputable source so I am highly skeptical of teh validity of this translation.
 

clfsean

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Bollocks on the books. Shaolin Temple near Dengfeng isn't much more than Shaolin Disneyworld... complete with the abbott riding around in his bullet proof "abbott-mobile" Benz.

Manuscripts, books, pics, drawings, videos, etc... are fine if you already know the material & are brushing up or correcting something. As stated before & now again... YOU CAN'T LEARN FROM THEM!!!

I can post up the script of one of my CLF sets. Unless you already know the set or are at the very least familar with CLF's terminology as compared to anything else, you will be clueless.

Books are reference material for people already learned in the particular topic. You can't learn straight from a book without some kind of instructions to boot otherwise there will be errors and omissions due to translating from word to action with no reference. Trust me... I've seen people learn from books & then teach what was learned from books... just bloody awful, but if people don't know better, then they're learning real stuff.
 

exile

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Bollocks on the books. Shaolin Temple near Dengfeng isn't much more than Shaolin Disneyworld... complete with the abbott riding around in his bullet proof "abbott-mobile" Benz.

Manuscripts, books, pics, drawings, videos, etc... are fine if you already know the material & are brushing up or correcting something. As stated before & now again... YOU CAN'T LEARN FROM THEM!!!

I can post up the script of one of my CLF sets. Unless you already know the set or are at the very least familar with CLF's terminology as compared to anything else, you will be clueless.

Books are reference material for people already learned in the particular topic. You can't learn straight from a book without some kind of instructions to boot otherwise there will be errors and omissions due to translating from word to action with no reference. Trust me... I've seen people learn from books & then teach what was learned from books... just bloody awful, but if people don't know better, then they're learning real stuff.

Hear, hear!

In part, this was FC's point, and yes, the whole `Shaolin' thing in China is highly questionable, from what I've read in various previous threads on MT. Mostly this whole sorry business gives me a somewhat... different view of Charles Mattera than I previously had...
 

Jade Tigress

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Mod Note

Thread moved to The Library.

Pamela Piszczek
MT Super Moderator
 

brianlkennedy

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Uh, I am new here and do not want to get off on the wrong foot...but I presume nobody is taking this seriously or is planning on parting with a single dime for these "ten thousand year old Shaolin training manuals".

That guy, his story, and the whole "package" is a textbook example of martial arts fraud. If I get some time later today I will open a thread back in the Chinese martial arts area on "Why you should keep your wallet closed and in your back pocket whenever a Shaolin monk-or his authorized American agent-wants to sell you something".

These kind of scams are interesting to me both as a Chinese martial arts historian and as a former Deputy District Attorney; crime and martial arts meet.

take care,
Brian
 

kidswarrior

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Hear, hear!

In part, this was FC's point, and yes, the whole `Shaolin' thing in China is highly questionable, from what I've read in various previous threads on MT. Mostly this whole sorry business gives me a somewhat... different view of Charles Mattera than I previously had...

With care not to drift into character assassination or defamation, I'll just say this is a large part of why I left his and his partner's organization years ago when this trend was just beginning.
 

exile

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With care not to drift into character assassination or defamation, I'll just say this is a large part of why I left his and his partner's organization years ago when this trend was just beginning.

... hmm, sounds like there's a real story there. Sigh... there are too many such stories in the MAs, sounds like....
 

kidswarrior

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... hmm, sounds like there's a real story there. Sigh... there are too many such stories in the MAs, sounds like....

This is why I sometimes sound cynical about promotions only being valid when from your organization, certification from 'your' instructor or head of org. as being the only legitimate way to test, etc., etc. What if your org. was peddling: some of these questionable materials and you were expected to buy them at a certain rank level; promos by the monks (for a hefty testing fee); trips to China to meet the venerable abbot and monks (for only $5k plus) etc? Yeah, there's a story Ex, and maybe someday.... But for now, it's good to know you and others here get it. :)

By the way, this is one reason I don't charge the teens I teach. Seen too much abuse when money comes into the picture. Note that I'm not saying it's wrong to make an honest dollar teaching, and there are many, many fine teachers who are doing so, many right here on MT. Teachers of all stripes are almost always underpaid by 50-70%, IMHO. Just that my experience made me loathe to involve currency, and am able to operate that way--for now, anyway.
 

exile

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This is why I sometimes sound cynical about promotions only being valid when from your organization, certification from 'your' instructor or head of org. as being the only legitimate way to test, etc., etc. What if your org. was peddling: some of these questionable materials and you were expected to buy them at a certain rank level; promos by the monks (for a hefty testing fee); trips to China to meet the venerable abbot and monks (for only $5k plus) etc? Yeah, there's a story Ex, and maybe someday.... But for now, it's good to know you and others here get it. :)

I hears ya, KDWRR. Something like this was what I was imagining. I have to say, it's so far from my own personal experience that... well, it's just hard to imagine, for real. But I've come to accept that my experience of the MAs involves probably very much a (lucky) minority perspective. I can easily picture all of the abuses you're talking about, and then some...

By the way, this is one reason I don't charge the teens I teach. Seen too much abuse when money comes into the picture. Note that I'm not saying it's wrong to make an honest dollar teaching, and there are many, many fine teachers who are doing so, many right here on MT. Teachers of all stripes are almost always underpaid by 50-70%, IMHO. Just that my experience made me loathe to involve currency, and am able to operate that way--for now, anyway.

I agree 100% here, Markas I've said elsewhere, I wish my instructor could make his living primarily by teaching, and I'd gladly pay him fair market price for his outstanding instruction. But he won't have it. Teaching TKD is for him a labor of love, completely. My way `around' this is my annual ritual thank-you giftusually something fairly substantial, like Marc Tedeschi's Taekwondothat I'm pretty sure he wouldn't buy for himself; but it's just a gesture, compared with the effort he puts in. The problem isas is so often the casethe high rollers are suspect, and the really outstanding ones often work in the shadows, so to speak. Perverse old world...
 

kidswarrior

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I agree 100% here, Markas I've said elsewhere, I wish my instructor could make his living primarily by teaching, and I'd gladly pay him fair market price for his outstanding instruction. But he won't have it. Teaching TKD is for him a labor of love, completely. My way `around' this is my annual ritual thank-you giftusually something fairly substantial, like Marc Tedeschi's Taekwondothat I'm pretty sure he wouldn't buy for himself; but it's just a gesture, compared with the effort he puts in. The problem isas is so often the casethe high rollers are suspect, and the really outstanding ones often work in the shadows, so to speak. Perverse old world...

So very, very well said, Brother. And I know your teacher values your devotion and commitment far more than any dollars and cents he might make. I'd bet a dollar to a donut that he receives far more from teaching you than you from him.
 

BudoTiger

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I have seen the book and it is more training and healing METHODS than anything else. reads kid of like a physiology book in describing how the body works and things to that nature. exercises the monks use to get certain results. ways they would train in past times. things to that effect.

like all chains, whether they be MA fast food retail what ever, they have their pros and cons. like kidswarrior i had to leave for certain reasons and dont speak ill of them. just don't agree with everything some of the instructors do.

they are good at what they do or they wouldn't be as successful as they are with almost 40 years in business and close to 200 schools nation wide. just not for everyone i guess.
 
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