Confucian Martial Arts

CuongNhuka

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So, I was sitting bored in my barracks at Leonard Wood on Sunday, I got an inspiration for a book. Details aside, I need a martial art whos founder was heavily influenced by Confucian ideals (such as with Baqua and Taoism, or Shaolin with Buddhism). Any ideas?
 

JadecloudAlchemist

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I don't know how heavily based you mean.

Most arts are influenced by Confucius and added with another philosphy such as Taoism or Buddhism or even Shinto.

The Samurai class was influenced quite alot by Confucius morality and you can see it in the writings.

But I don't know of any one school who taught only Confucius thought with out the mixture of another belief system.
 

Xue Sheng

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Confucian ideals are pretty much ingrained into Chinese culture and you would be hard pressed to find a CMA that did not in some way follow them. For example Filial Piety as compared to the Sifu/Student relationship, senior student/beginner relationship, etc

Edit

Wing Chun is influenced by Confucian ideals
 
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MBuzzy

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Bruce Lee is a pretty obvious choice....he is a system founder and was very into Taoist and Zen teachings...but I'm not exactly sure what you're looking for without more details.
 
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CuongNhuka

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I don't know how heavily based you mean.

Maybe why would be useful.....

Do me a favor and look up "Xia" on wikipedia (it'll reduce how much I have to explain). Don't worry I'll wait.

....

....

OK, so you've read that. Basicly, I'm writing a story about a guy who joins a secret society of Xia. They've been around for quite awhile and were one of those groups that was founded to rid China of the Qing. Now they exist to enforce a loosely defined sort of moral code (and mostly go after major threats to society).
While Xia were not always linked with Confucian thought, the development is related to the development of Confucianism. And the society that this guy joins was based on Confucian thought, and around a specific martial art. As this guy is indoctrinated into the society he gets an introduction to the philosophy of the society, and it's martial art.

So, with that in mind, do you have any ideas?
 

Xue Sheng

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Xia Philisophy

The concept of xi獺 however underwent many transformations through the centuries. By the end of the Qing dynasty it has come to represent an ideal hero who wielded power by force, but could withhold it if necessary, and more importantly, possesses a sense of moral justice.

The Xia were not founded to get rid of the Qing. The idea of Xia go back to the Zhou Dynasty 1122 BC to 256 BC and the Qing Dynasty is not until 1644 AD - 1912 AD


Xia Dynasty

Xia (Sixteen Kingdoms)

Western Xia

Xia Class Type 092 submarine
 
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CuongNhuka

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The Xia were not founded to get rid of the Qing.

-palm to face-

....

I know. I'm taking 'creative license'. It's a group of Xia (that doesn't exist) that got together to get rid of the Qing, but survived the Dynasties fall as an organisation with a loosely defined moral code trying to protect society from those that threaten it. I am completly aware that:
A, There was/is no such society
B, Probably no part of that story is true.
C, Creative licence lets me get away with quite alot.
 

Xue Sheng

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-palm to face-

....

I know. I'm taking 'creative license'. It's a group of Xia (that doesn't exist) that got together to get rid of the Qing, but survived the Dynasties fall as an organisation with a loosely defined moral code trying to protect society from those that threaten it. I am completly aware that:
A, There was/is no such society
B, Probably no part of that story is true.
C, Creative licence lets me get away with quite alot.

True but the xia code of conduct did exist as did those that followed it and the Xia Dynasty did exist but it predates the Xia code of conduct by a bit more than 1000 years. Xia codes appear in the Zhou dynasty.

You are then writing fiction based on a name from Chinese History.

Alrighty Then, have at it
 
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CuongNhuka

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You are then writing fiction based on a name from Chinese History.

Xue, do you know what a MacGuffin is? It's a plot device that, while it may very well be the entire orgin of the story, is given little importance to the story line itself. Think of the Chest from Pirates of the Caribbean, fertility from Childern of Men, or the sword from Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. The group of Xia in the story are a MacGuffin. While they give the character what he needs to finish the story, they are given little mention after the 2nd chapter.
 

Xue Sheng

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Xue, do you know what a MacGuffin is? It's a plot device that, while it may very well be the entire orgin of the story, is given little importance to the story line itself. Think of the Chest from Pirates of the Caribbean, fertility from Childern of Men, or the sword from Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. The group of Xia in the story are a MacGuffin. While they give the character what he needs to finish the story, they are given little mention after the 2nd chapter.

CuongNhuka

Do you know what historical background is that many use to write the aforementioned stories.

I gave you some in my last post that could fall under the defined of a MacGuffin

Your Welcome
 
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CuongNhuka

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-palm to face again-

Xue, you don't seem to be getting me. I'm writing a fiction story. it's not real. It's not even a historical fiction. It's a freakin super hero story. OK, there's more depth to it then that, but you the idea. I'm using the Xia as a plot tool, and because my story is so very fictional, it is quite alright if I take some creative license. I don't think too many people would offended. It'd sorta be like Ninjas getting offended for Batman.

Now, to get to the orginal topic, are there any martial arts whos founders were heavily influenced by Confucianism (while I can take creative license, I normally perfer not to)
 

jks9199

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Let me toss an observation in here...

There are several suggestions up thread. Perhaps if you inquire as to maybe a different group that might fit your bill without bending history too much, you might find yourself steered to an answer.

For example, I recall reading history about how many out-of-favor military types would end up taking shelter in various monasteries in China... Perhaps something along those lines would fit a little better?
 
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CuongNhuka

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Let me toss an observation in here...

There are several suggestions up thread. Perhaps if you inquire as to maybe a different group that might fit your bill without bending history too much, you might find yourself steered to an answer.

For example, I recall reading history about how many out-of-favor military types would end up taking shelter in various monasteries in China... Perhaps something along those lines would fit a little better?

I actually found a differnit story behind this group that makes more sense. So, I don't need a martial art made by a Confucian. But, I would like more info on Xia.
 

Xue Sheng

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Xue, do you know what a MacGuffin is? It's a plot device that, while it may very well be the entire orgin of the story, is given little importance to the story line itself. Think of the Chest from Pirates of the Caribbean, fertility from Childern of Men, or the sword from Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. The group of Xia in the story are a MacGuffin. While they give the character what he needs to finish the story, they are given little mention after the 2nd chapter.

CuongNhuka

Let me put it to you this way, I do get you, it is a fiction story and I am throwing out possible historic links that you may be able to use to write your fiction story in order to give you more to use and or make it a bit more believable since you are in fact the one that originally brought xia into it in a rather condescending manor after originally asking about "martial art who’s founder was heavily influenced by Confucian ideal" which is not necessarily xia and have not mentioned or attempted to discuss any part of Martial arts with Confucian ideals since. If you want to write a fiction story based on names from the past why bother coming to MT to ask questions and the get condescending and argumentative when you don't like the answers

You are not getting me I was actually, agaist my gut feeling, trying to be helpful to you and your story

I don’t know your story I don’t know how important Xia is to your story I most certainly have no idea of what goes on in this fiction by chapter. If you want actual helpful answers maybe you should give more detail and not ask questions about things that appear to be of little importance to your fiction. Just because you have some clear or vague idea of what you want this story to be does not mean that anyone else will since it is not available to the public.

Now feel free to unleash your usual tirade

Good luck to you I'm done with you and this post
 

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So, I was sitting bored in my barracks at Leonard Wood on Sunday, I got an inspiration for a book. Details aside, I need a martial art whos founder was heavily influenced by Confucian ideals (such as with Baqua and Taoism, or Shaolin with Buddhism). Any ideas?
I read an interesting, referenced article about Neo-Confucianism in the Japanese sword arts which suggested that Zen has very little to do with swordsmanship but new-confucianism does! It really fit in with my experiences and I was so intrigued that I decided to read about Confucianism (Confucianism-A Very Short Introduction宇o start with). I have been blow away by what I read and finally found the basis of my own personal values and moral reasonings! I know not from where I acquired them (I live in England, was brought up in a Christian environment to Hindu parents and Budo from an early age) or to this extent by somehow I have. Im moving on to learn about new-Confucianism next.

Im now convinced that Japanese Budo is essentially Confucian in its philosophical foundations and that Zen has latterly been piggy-backed onto this structure (perhaps to distance Japanese martial arts from their deep Chinese influences for geopolitical/cultural reasons). I should say that Zen and Confucius ideas are not mutually exclusive by any means!
 

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I read an interesting, referenced article about Neo-Confucianism in the Japanese sword arts which suggested that Zen has very little to do with swordsmanship but new-confucianism does! It really fit in with my experiences and I was so intrigued that I decided to read about Confucianism (Confucianism-A Very Short Introduction宇o start with). I have been blow away by what I read and finally found the basis of my own personal values and moral reasonings! I know not from where I acquired them (I live in England, was brought up in a Christian environment to Hindu parents and Budo from an early age) or to this extent by somehow I have. Im moving on to learn about new-Confucianism next.

Im now convinced that Japanese Budo is essentially Confucian in its philosophical foundations and that Zen has latterly been piggy-backed onto this structure (perhaps to distance Japanese martial arts from their deep Chinese influences for geopolitical/cultural reasons). I should say that Zen and Confucius ideas are not mutually exclusive by any means!
Zen has been around in Japan for a long, long time (about 1500 years, including it's Chan ancestry). But it was the samurai class centuries later that popularized it as a philosophy for warrior classes to follow (sword and other). I think it was something the average warrior would come across as part of religious study. And Musashi is the best example. And of course the Kamikaze are a great counterexample of how Zen was later on employed for suicide attacks. In both cases, the absence of the fear of death is the whole point.

Consider that Musashi studied Buddhism most of his life, but only began training zazen in his 30's, after he was already a notable duelist. And it wouldn't be until nearly his death his years later that he'd write the notes and texts that we associate with Japanese sword Zen.

But in the Chan tradition, weapon work and Chan go hand in hand. Many old Chinese weapons, and a lot of terms used in teaching them, are covered in Chan Buddhist symbolism.
 
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Gyakuto

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Zen has been around in Japan for a long, long time (about 1500 years, including it's Chan ancestry). But it was the samurai class centuries later that popularized it as a philosophy for warrior classes to follow (sword and other). I think it was something the average warrior would come across as part of religious study. And Musashi is the best example. And of course the Kamikaze are a great counterexample of how Zen was later on employed for suicide attacks.

Consider that Musashi studied Buddhism most of his life, but only began training zazen in his 30's, after he was already a notable duelist. And it wouldn't be until nearly his years later that he'd write the notes and texts that we associate with Japanese sword Zen.

But in the Chan tradition, weapon work and Chan go hand in hand. Many old Chinese weapons, and a lot of terms used in teaching them, are covered in Chan Buddhist symbolism.
I sincerely suggest you read Traditions by Dave Lowry chapters 21 and 22. From the beginning of chapter 21-

1. The samurai were never, in any large numbers at all, enthusiastic practitioners of Zen.

2. The connection of Zen and Japanese budo is not ancient; it is, in fact, not much older than the Hoola-Hoop.


He then goes on to qualify these statements. Do have a look夷ts fascinating and dispels the myth of Zen samurai!
 

isshinryuronin

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a martial art whos founder was heavily influenced by Confucian ideals
I would call Confucianism more of a system of social behavior than a philosophy of life, especially one that influenced martial arts. It fit in with China's family and government values, stressing respect for authority and parents. It was a pragmatic way to regulate behavior amongst the educated class in particular and influenced their legal system as well, I believe (helpful for political stability). I think it placed little emphasis on the spiritual and cosmological aspects of life, instead concentrating on human interaction.

Taoism and Buddhism influenced MA much more, with the Zen aspect coming in later for Japanese arts as has been previously noted (there were the fearsome Buddhist warrior monks, but they were a small group). Confucianism may have had some impact on the Samurai class in general as the Chinese classics were studied and valued by them. But this doesn't mean it influenced the warrior mindset or fighting technique to any degree at all.
 

Gyakuto

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But isnt a system that is used to steer ones life for maximum harmony a philosophy?

I also think youre being too literal. The dojo sensei is the substitute father ehom one respects , the ryu ha could be seen the authority or government etc etc.

I would suggest that no philosophy/religion influenced fighting technique other than absolute utility. What Im getting at is that the organisation of dojo/ryuha, being treated as another family with ones sensei as a nonbiological father, the rituals of saho being Confucian rituals etc is modelled on the ideas of Confucius. Do have a look at The Sword in Japanese Martial Traditions, chapter 1, Swordsmanship and Neo-Confucianism The Tengus Art. by Jonathan Seckler B.A.
 

isshinryuronin

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I should say that Zen and Confucius ideas are not mutually exclusive by any means!
I agree with you here. Japanese culture has no problem having two or three belief systems side by side, utilizing whatever aspect of them that fits the situation. I had a Shinto wedding there, which is common, but funerals are usually done in Buddhist fashion. Even Christianity existed alongside these other belief systems.
the organisation of dojo/ryuha, being treated as another family with ones sensei as a nonbiological father, the rituals of saho being Confucian rituals etc is modelled on the ideas of Confucius.
I think this is stretching things too far. The same argument can be said of a high school football team being the "family" and the coach being the "father." Teams have their own unique little rituals as well. I doubt if any member of a high school football team (including coaches) has a good idea of who Confucius even was, excepting maybe knowing the "Golden Rule" ascribed to him. So, I think this argument falls short, IMO.

While I stated that Confucianism penetrated Japanese culture, in varying degrees depending on class, that does not mean it had any influence on its martial art technical aspects. Perhaps it did encourage a "dojo behavior," but that could also be a case of parallel evolution as in my football example.

Some in MA self-defense do, however, follow a variation of the Golden Rule - "Do unto others before they do unto you," :D but that's as close to Confucious as they get.
 
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