Tuesday, March 30, 2010

A Trip To Wudang Mountain



Lets take a short trip to Wudang Mountain, a legendary sacred Taoist retreat:

Here's an Ariel view:

And one with snow for contrast:

Wudang is known as one of the birthplaces of the "Internal" Martial Arts:

(From "Bagua, Hidden Knowledge In The Taoist Internal Martial Art; by John Bracy and Liu Xing-Han)
"Noted Sinologist John Blofeld describes his meetings with Taoist holy sages and recluses in the mountains of China before the communist takeover of the mainland. Below is an account of Taoists in mock battle he observed one evening while a guest at a Taoist hermitage:
"The climax of the evening was a combat between two pairs of recluses armed with swords. Dark robes billowing in the wind, sleeves flapping like phoenix-wings, they ran and leapt, cut and thrust with such agility that their weapons darting in the moonlight produced spurts of liquid fire. The clash of steel on steel and the flurry of sparks proclaimed that the great swords were no toys; it seemed impossible that the contestants would emerge unwounded from an encounter fierce enough for me to expect to see heads and limbs sundered from their bodies. The blows were no feints, but dealt in earnest in the sure knowledge that the opposing adepts had the speed and skill to protect themselves by parrying or swift avoidance. The combat had the aspect of frenzied ritual in which the contestants were determined to die beneath one another's swords. By the time it ended, I was sweating with anxiety and could scarcely believe my eyes when the four recluses walked towards the Abbot smiling and unscathed."

And here's a short video of a trip up the mountain:


Yes, some day Ol' Dojo Rat might just have to hop on a tramp steamer and sail to China, rent a donkey and ride up to Wudang.
I'm not too sure about that cable-car...

6 comments:

Sensei Strange said...

Two years back a whole ton of the taoist monks from wu dang came over. I took a calligraphy session with them, and it was a basic course on spell casting. They are very magic minded.

I also spent a day doing martial arts with the male monks. They looked cool and were very flexible, but I can say without any hesitation that they would not have been able to stand up to me. Most were younger guys though around 20-25 so I did not see any the older guys play. The style they were doing did not seem very internal - it was more like a long fist style. Then again, like I said it was the younger guys.

Sensei Strange said...

Here was a bit of background on their visit. (towards the bottom of the page)

http://www.wudangtao.com/ustemple/

Zacky Chan said...

Just get on the plane! Ah, there are many ways up the mountain, but once you get to the top, isn't it all the same? I don't know about that one, but I enjoyed the tour and hope to hear your firsthand stories one day. Maybe you should check out "Road to Heaven: Encounters with Chinese Hermits" by Bill Porter who lives in PT for more stories on Taoist temples.

Zacky Chan said...

This question is for Sensei Strange concerning the comment posted: Though the young monks looked cool and flexible and were from the esteemed wudang, what about their technique seemed weak? What could be overcome by Aikido or Judo techniques you practice?

Dojo Rat said...

Strange;

Great website, thanks. I was thinking about what you said about the 20-year-old Wudang guys also.
I have no doubt a monsterous Beer-drinking Texas Aikidoka like you would have little trouble with young calligraphers. Their website says it takes 20 years to become proficent in their Tai Chi...

Donna said...

This is a wonderful place with the perfect mixture of architecture and nature, a perfect blending of buildings and mountains that nurtures your dreams and feelings. This is a worth visiting place you must not miss at all. Know more about Wudang Mountains