Battle for the Soul of Kung Fu

Xue Sheng

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Battle for the Soul of Kung Fu
By Peter Gwin

Many times the master had told Hu about awakening from dreams in which his martial arts ancestors, long-dead monks from the Shaolin Temple, visited him. They came bearing wisdom collected over centuries from generations of men whose feet had grooved the flagstones in the temple's training hall, whose bones were interred in the Pagoda Forest just outside the temple walls. These were the monks who had committed their lives to perfecting kung fu styles with names like Plum Flower Fist and Mandarin Duck Palm, each a symphony of physical movements, adding variation upon variation that pushed human muscles and bones to their limits. Some would say beyond their limits. Perhaps, Hu thought, these ancestors now were gathering by his master's side.
 

K-man

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We did see the Kung Fu show in Bejing a few years back and it was sensational. The next time a troupe visited Melbourne I could hardly wait to see them again, but they weren't even close to the quality of the Bejing performers.

Interesting to read the comment on high kicks;

"There are no high kicks or acrobatics," he says. Such moves create vulnerable openings. "Shaolin kung fu is designed for combat, not to entertain audiences."

Karate ... same, same.

... and,

The master's most advanced disciples recognized special irony in the fact that the old man's lungs would ultimately betray him. He would have approved of this turn of life's wheel, a final lesson in humility for the man who had instructed that breathing was elemental to harnessing one's chi, or life force. It was the first thing he'd taught them: breathe in through the navel, out through the nose. Steady, controlled, in harmony with your heartbeat and the rhythms of your other organs. Learning to breathe properly, he told them, was the initial step on the arduous path to tapping the wellspring of the chi's power and, in doing so, unlocking one of the universe's hidden doors.

Most martial artists, rushing by, wouldn't understand the importance of those words. :asian:
 

clfsean

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Nice article.

Glad to see Dejian's teacher's name. Never knew that, but I knew he was a folk master like Liang.
 

ggg214

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De jian is great. first time i watched his video, I was shocked by his doing CMA on the cliff.
when shaolin temple is more and more like a business, he shows us a totally different kind of shao lin kungfu, the real one, not one closed to a dance.
 

clfsean

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De jian is great. first time i watched his video, I was shocked by his doing CMA on the cliff.
when shaolin temple is more and more like a business, he shows us a totally different kind of shao lin kungfu, the real one, not one closed to a dance.

Yeop... I saw more "kung fu" in the parks & people's private practice than I did at Shaolin. Chen Village was pretty much "kung fu" too, but the new commercial school had just been completed outside the village lines proper so I imagine that's changed now as well.
 
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Xue Sheng

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Yeop... I saw more "kung fu" in the parks & people's private practice than I did at Shaolin. Chen Village was pretty much "kung fu" too, but the new commercial school had just been completed outside the village lines proper so I imagine that's changed now as well.

20th generation appears to be pushing Sanshou...what's that tell you
 

Phenix_Rider

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I just picked up that issue of National Geographic on a flight home. Cool stuff.
 
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Xue Sheng

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That I didn't come across many 20's when I was there... :whip1:

that is because they were not out trying to make money off us westerners waaaaay back then :D

I am just going be what I see in video and here about seminars that the 20th generation has out there.
 
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