Thursday, June 3, 2010
William's Historical Study Of Chinese Martial Arts
Fellow Dojo Rat William filmed this video on a training visit to Tim Cartmell's "Shen Wu" school in California. As you can see, Tim includes a huge amount of grappling in his training, but his foundation is in Chinese internal martial arts. You can spot William in the private training session with Tim, William is in the black t-shirt.
William and I trained together in Seattle when Tim came up for training sessions with Jake Burroughs, and as you can imagine, there was lots of throwing.
William has been writing in to Dojo Rat as "Tianshanwarrior", and has put together a thorough history of Chinese martial arts. Take a look at William's past articles at his Chinese Martial Arts site, LINKED HERE.
And here's a few paragraphs he posted in the comment section of one of our last discussions:
There is however a good starting point for the transformation of martial arts to a more holistic approach during the transition between the Ming and Qing dynasties that both Shahar and Ma Mingda agree on. The internal classification is, as Tim Cartmell points out, fairly new, starting with the publication of the Epitaph of Wang Zhengnan at the start of the Qing, as was revealed by Hening and Wyle. To say that there is such thing as internal or external only goes against the theory of Ying and Yang. There are examples of the application of both in military texts like the Jianjing written by Ming general Yu Dayou or the tale of the Lady of Yue, were the hard and soft complement each other.
During the republican period martial skills were emphasized in order to prepare against the Japanese; after the opening of the Central National Arts Academy, Zhongyang Guoshu Guan, two national examinations were organized. The examinations, according to professor Ma “placed an equal demand on set-performance and combat training and emphasized the integral relationship between the two, stressing that one should, (Xian Zi Wu, Hou Bi Shi, 先自舞 後比試); first dance on his own, then engage in competitive matches, which included both empty-hand and armed martial arts”. No theatre or religion were never part of the curriculum (unless we want to include the fact that pupils of the academy had to attend a morning Christian service). Several practitioners of the “internal” art of Xingyi Quan placed in the finals of the examinations. Martial arts, specially the so called “internal” martial arts had been hijacked by those who are too afraid to test their skills for real, and instead prefer to live in fairy land. Just my two cents."
And William and his wife are involved in other writing projects:
"I have been researching quiet about CMA, and have more material including primary sources. My wife and I recently published a survey book in Spanish on CMA history based on English and Chinese material scatter everywhere. We have been also blessed with the frienship of scholars like Stanley Henning, Meir Shahar, Andrew D. Morris, Dennis Rovere, Ma Lianzhen and his father, Brian Kennedy and Elizabeth Guo who have helped us a lot. We are working on publishing a few articles and a book on the Central National Arts Academy in English.
CMA is a very interesting topic that requires thorough research from many sources."
Good luck with your projects William,
And it's always good to touch bases with a training partner that has thrown me to the mat a few dozen times!