Rou 柔 in Daodejing

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

Rou 柔 in Daodejing

Postby Yeung on Wed Nov 21, 2018 7:31 am

The character rou柔 appears 11 times in 7 Chapters of Daodejing (Tao Te Ching): 10, 36, 43, 52, 55, 76, and 78. These chapters provided some very interesting questions and observations which are relevant to Internal Martial Arts and Daoyin (guided stretching dated back to 300 BC).

The character rou柔 is composed of the characters of mao矛 and mu木. The character mao means lance, pick, shaft, or spear; and mu means wood. Rou can be interpreted as flexible like the type of pliable wood that is use for making spear. Flexibility denoted a range of conditions from very soft to very stiff; and the translations of relaxed, softness, and gentleness that denoted a certain condition are not correct.

I am working through the above chapters of Daodejing, any comment or example of rou in the context of internal martial arts is very much appreciated.
Yeung
Huajing
 
Posts: 482
Joined: Sun Jun 05, 2016 10:07 am

Re: Rou 柔 in Daodejing

Postby D_Glenn on Wed Nov 21, 2018 7:57 am

Maodun (paradox) might have something to do with it. Spear (supple) vs Shield (hard). The flexible spear wouldn’t get stuck in the sheild but could bend and transform around the curve of the shield and stab into places not protected or into the soldier next to him, sort of borrowing the force.

Do you want examples from Internal Martial arts texts or from interpretations of the dao?
Last edited by D_Glenn on Wed Nov 21, 2018 7:57 am, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
D_Glenn
Great Old One
 
Posts: 4759
Joined: Fri May 16, 2008 4:04 pm

Re: Rou 柔 in Daodejing

Postby Yeung on Mon Nov 26, 2018 3:02 am

Thank you for your example for Chapter 36 of Daodejing: flexible and weak can overcome stiff and strong. Actually it is possible that the skill of borrowing force was developed before the Waring State period (475-221 BC). I think you just illustrated that it is possible to use examples from martial arts to interpret Daodejing.
Yeung
Huajing
 
Posts: 482
Joined: Sun Jun 05, 2016 10:07 am

Re: Rou 柔 in Daodejing

Postby chenyaolong on Fri Dec 07, 2018 7:02 am

Maodun is from the Hanfeizi, which I think is a couple of centuries later than the Dao De Jing.

Found this on the origin of the character:
《说文解字》柔:从夏,从女,裙裾飘飞,极女之美。
汉代文字学家许慎《说文解字》称,. 柔,“木曲直也”。凡木可直可曲者就称作“柔”。后. 来引申之,以形容“阴类”事物的特质。杜光庭在. 解读《道德经》时反复说“柔”,这实际上是强调. 谦卑修身的重要性。
chenyaolong
Huajing
 
Posts: 452
Joined: Sat Jul 14, 2012 7:42 pm
Location: Shanghai, China

Re: Rou 柔 in Daodejing

Postby Yeung on Tue Dec 11, 2018 4:50 am

I am trying to differentiate flexible from soft in the Chinese context with illustrations from pictograms or ideograms. Ruan 軟 is a compound of Che車 (car or moving) and Qian 欠 (lack of), and is translated as soft, flexible, pliable, weak; while Rou 柔 is translated as flexible, gentle, mild, soft, soften, supple, and yielding. May be the difference between Rou is something has resistance, and Ruan is something has no resistance. The examples given by Laozi were baby, water, tree, etc.
Yeung
Huajing
 
Posts: 482
Joined: Sun Jun 05, 2016 10:07 am


Return to Xingyiquan - Baguazhang - Taijiquan

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest