Northern vs Southern arts

Discussion on the three big Chinese internals, Yiquan, Bajiquan, Piguazhang and other similar styles.

Re: Northern vs Southern arts

Postby edededed on Thu Mar 29, 2018 4:54 pm

Most Southern arts do have a Buddhist background, being derived from some sort of Shaolin - but perhaps as an "extraction" from the huge corpus that Shaolin is (e.g. no one person could master/know it all, plus all the religious stuff), maybe they were happy to concentrate on a part.

Wing chun has its own sort of classics and songs - they start like this:
咏春绝技,源于少林;招无虎鹤,法无五行,只谈线位,力与角度,同门技力,四位三度。

The meaning is (my loose translation - feel free to fix if wrong!):
The invincible techniques of Wing Chun,
originate from Shaolin,
the techniques have no tiger or crane,
the methods have no five elements,
we only speak of lines and position,
strength and angles,
in this school's techniques and strengths,
there are 4 positions and 3 spaces.

But anyway, in separating from the original religious roots a bit, it looks like they were able to concentrate more on the strategy and fighting part.
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Re: Northern vs Southern arts

Postby HotSoup on Fri Mar 30, 2018 9:37 am

edededed wrote:Most Southern arts do have a Buddhist background, being derived from some sort of Shaolin - but perhaps as an "extraction" from the huge corpus that Shaolin is (e.g. no one person could master/know it all, plus all the religious stuff), maybe they were happy to concentrate on a part.


To my knowledge there are no proofs of actual existence of Southern Shaolin. It's a myth tracing its history back to the 19th century. The Northern Shaolin did exist, but given the number of people joining the ranks of warrior monks, I doubt it's ever had anything that can be called a "corpus". They were a bunch of people practicing their own stuff (i.e. Northern styles) and occasionally exchanging some knowledge at best. Being the "cradle" of all CMA is another myth invented this time by CPC to attract tourists to the modern Shaolin temple.
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Re: Northern vs Southern arts

Postby edededed on Fri Mar 30, 2018 6:34 pm

At the very least, a majority of southern styles believe that they came from Shaolin.

The "corpus" of Shaolin might be said to be the 72 arts ("gong"), various "ba" skills (like "zhao"), and various sets (e.g. xiaohong, dahong, etc.). Myth or not, I am not sure that the "cradle" theory was invented only in modern times.
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Re: Northern vs Southern arts

Postby Subitai on Fri Mar 30, 2018 7:43 pm

I don't know where you guys are trying to go - direction wise when it comes to the history of Shaolin. Most kung fu schools that I know of, both north and south have some version of:

... Shaolin being at least 1500 yrs old or more
... Bodhidharma traveling to Shaolin from India
... when he got there, upon seeing the monks being weak or frail he sought enlightenment in the cave on the mount (above where the current pagoda forest is) I've been there myself.

(!) One reason or story that Shaolin monks hold only ONE hand (left) up center of chest as they said "Buddha Be Praised" is because a monk was so committed to be a disciple under bodhidarma, that he cut off his right arm. (short story version)

...anyway continuing on, most schools teach that when buddah came down, he taught them the base skills that would become the foundation of the Shaolin schools. I forgot what the originals are...something like: (guessing) Yi jin jing, muscle changing classic and otherstuff like that.

...Suffice to say that there are NOT MANY OTHER ARTS much older than Shaolin in or Around ASIA, but for sure the martial arts of INDIA are older and so is Northern Mongolia Shuai and couple others mabe.

...so for sure MANY Arts do pay homage to the fact that Shaolin is their ancestor.

... it wasn't until 1979 or 80 that a young JET LEI having won his WUSHU titles and then made the Movie " Shaolin Temple". I have been told that it wasn't until after THAT movie that it pretty much had a similar effect on China as to what Star Wars did for the kids here in the USA. Prior to that movie, Shaolin was run down and only had a small group of true indigenous Chan Buddhism Monks. I'm talking about the ones that study the sutras and not just the ones that are only Martial type monks.

(!) I was at Shaolin in 98' just before the government had impressed it's own Government appointed Abbot. Also, Starting from Beijing it was still 7 hours train ride and then a few hours on a bus to get to Dengfeng (the town at the base of Shaolin)
- It wasn't until a few years after that, they actually built a highway with an on - ramp to get there SHEESH! I.e., the implication that the government is using Shaolin to make money. No doubt the local officials there are!

But the point is, for over 1500yrs Shaolin has influenced many other arts throughout Asia and I'm not certain about a PR campaign to call it the cradle...but for sure, many people consider Shaolin the Grandfather of their style.
Last edited by Subitai on Fri Mar 30, 2018 7:45 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Northern vs Southern arts

Postby wayne hansen on Fri Mar 30, 2018 8:54 pm

I think you are missing the point
They were saying the southern temple is disputed not that both north and south don't come from Shaolin
I think the southern temple only discovered after they realised how much money they were making from the northern one
Now there are franchises all over the world just like kfc
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Re: Northern vs Southern arts

Postby Bao on Sat Mar 31, 2018 1:45 am

I don’t know why people still believe in the Shaolin myth. There is still not one single proof pointing to that Bodhidharma had anything to do with Chinese martial arts or the so called Shaolin arts. Instead, everything points towards that both of the Yijinjing and the Baduajin are 19th century inventions. And obviously, there has never been any Southern Shaolin temple.

Subitai wrote: ... it wasn't until 1979 or 80 that a young JET LEI having won his WUSHU titles and then made the Movie " Shaolin Temple". I have been told that it wasn't until after THAT movie that it pretty much had a similar effect on China as to what Star Wars did for the kids here in the USA. Prior to that movie, Shaolin was run down and only had a small group of true indigenous Chan Buddhism Monks.


Jet Li had not have very much to do with it. There was a lot of Kung Fu movies portraying the Shaolin Si, before and after this one. He was merely one part of a bigger movement. The cultural revolution ended 1976. In the end of the seventies and the beginning of 80s, there was a massive campaign to restore Chinese culture again, to find it’s cultural identity and also to spread it to the west. In the beginning of the eighties, they did many things as re-publishing a lot of Chinese Classic litterature and build up the film industry.
Last edited by Bao on Sat Mar 31, 2018 2:38 pm, edited 6 times in total.
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Re: Northern vs Southern arts

Postby GrahamB on Sat Mar 31, 2018 2:08 am

Hi

I don't really know (or care that much) if a Southern Shaolin temple existed or not. If you live long enough you realise most things are fake to some extent - lol. However, that doesn't always negate their usefulness or value.

For example, what we call "Yoga" in Europe and America was actually 1920s European gymnastics exported to India, washed through an Indian cultural filter and sent back to us. I'm pretty sure it's fake in that sense, but it seems to fulfill a need.

But anyway, I was interested in this quote by Bao:

"Instead, everything points towards that both of the Yijinjing and the Baduajin are 18th century inventions. And obviously, there has never been any Southern Shaolin temple."

What do you mean by that? Do you mean the name "Baduanjin", or the exercises themselves? There's certainly evidence that exercises like them are very old in China.

For example:

The Daoyintu; a painting on silk depicting the practice of Tao yin; unearthed in 1973 in Hunan Province, China, from the 168 BC Western Han burial site of Mawangdui, Tomb Number 3.

Image

A reconstruction of which looks like this:

Image
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Re: Northern vs Southern arts

Postby zhenwu on Sat Mar 31, 2018 3:50 am

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Re: Northern vs Southern arts

Postby Bao on Sat Mar 31, 2018 7:17 am

@graham: I meant both of the exercises and the names. Dao Yin and Neidan are very old. Probably there was these kind of exercises and similar daoist origin that was practiced in the Shaolin as well . There is no trace of any Indian origin in Shaolin arts. Bodhidharma was a monk that was originally famous for not more than sitting in a cave all of the days staring at a wall. The Shaolin myth was heavily marketed by the Japanese in a period of a very strong, racist anti-chinese movement.
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Re: Northern vs Southern arts

Postby HotSoup on Sat Mar 31, 2018 7:58 am

Bao wrote:The Shaolin myth was heavily marketed by the Japanese in a period of a very strong, racist anti-chinese movement.


Bao, what was in it for Japanese?
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Re: Northern vs Southern arts

Postby Bao on Sat Mar 31, 2018 9:05 am

Prestige of course. They regard Karate as a national art and they wanted it to have Indian origin instead of Chinese.
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Re: Northern vs Southern arts

Postby GrahamB on Sat Mar 31, 2018 9:47 am

I've never heard that before.. seems unlikely they'd want an Indian origin either. Much more likely a nationalistic Japanese movement would go for Japanese origin.

Either way, the baduanjin and yijinjing are more modern versions of exercises that have existed for thousands of years, not "18th century inventions".
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Re: Northern vs Southern arts

Postby Bao on Sat Mar 31, 2018 12:10 pm

The first time ever Yijinjing was mentioned in any written text and also linked to Bodhidharma was in a preface to a book published 1875. The legend says that the book Yijinjing was handed to his successor Hui Neng, but this version was lost. Well, there were four generations between Bodhidharma and Hui Neng, so the legend was probably created by someone who didn’t know history too well. But according to the 1875 preface, fortunately, the sacred text Yijinjing was also found at the Patriarch’s burial monument. The odd thing is that there are tons of Buddhist scriptures, from the time of all of the patriarchs, including Hui Neng and from Bodhidharma’s historically real successor. No text what so ever mention the Yijinjing or any exercise handed down from Bodhidharma. The first time ever a manual of the Yijinjing was published was in the beginning of the 20th century.

the baduanjin and yijinjing are more modern versions of exercises that have existed for thousands of years, not "18th century inventions".


They are not “modern versions” of older sets. There are no sets they are based upon. They are inventions based upon Shaolin movements and practice.

GrahamB wrote:I've never heard that before.. seems unlikely they'd want an Indian origin either. Much more likely a nationalistic Japanese movement would go for Japanese origin.


From the beginning of Karate history, it has been acknowledged that Karate was brought from China to Okinawa. That part of history is not easily changed. But every Japanese scholar dealing with Buddhism and/or Martial arts claim the only source as evidence and state the legend as a truth, intentionally disregarding all of the discrepancies and contradictions concerning their only source to their claims.
Last edited by Bao on Sat Mar 31, 2018 12:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Northern vs Southern arts

Postby Trick on Sat Mar 31, 2018 12:12 pm

Bao wrote:Prestige of course. They regard Karate as a national art and they wanted it to have Indian origin instead of Chinese.

??Ok,many (karate)schools refere to the "usual"bodhidharma story, but are you saying that story did not exist in China before the Japanese occupation?...Yes the story goes that when Karate was introduced on the main JP islands by some Okinawans they toned down the Chinese origin some, but still it's history was easily traced to CN..The teacher on Okinawa that I learned from proudly put on a Chinese-style jacket when it was picture time since his ancestors where from China...But Karate might have more influences since Okinawa was a trade hub, some historians mentions Thailand, the Philippines and Korea....From that perspective then Karate is indeed a true East Asian MMA 8-) ......And to make it more complicated, I read somewhere that in some Japanese tradition Bodhidharma is belived to have been a Persian..
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Re: Northern vs Southern arts

Postby Bao on Sat Mar 31, 2018 12:34 pm

Trick wrote:
Bao wrote:Prestige of course. They regard Karate as a national art and they wanted it to have Indian origin instead of Chinese.

??Ok,many (karate)schools refere to the "usual"bodhidharma story, but are you saying that story did not exist in China before the Japanese occupation?....


No, I mentioned above the first time there is anything written about the Yijinjing and Bodhidharma, in the preface of a Chinese text dating 1875. It’s a thin book named “Weisheng Yijinjing”. The Japanese scholars all love this book because it gives them a reason to trace Karate beyond China.
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