My first Tai Chi Notebook pod - Daniel Mroz

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

My first Tai Chi Notebook pod - Daniel Mroz

Postby GrahamB on Sat Jul 31, 2021 12:58 am

Hello friends!

After battling hard through various technical challenges I've finally managed to create a Tai Chi Notebook podcast with humans on (previous episodes have been a robot voice reading my blogs). I'm pleased to have my good friend Daniel Mroz on board for my first real episode.

You can find it on all the usual places you find podcasts - search for The Tai Chi Notebook on Apple podcasts, Spotify, etc.. or here's a link:

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/episode/6tuptU ... c1bb1b468f
Apple: https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/t ... 0530576920
Web: https://anchor.fm/graham47/episodes/Ep- ... /a-a68h1lv

Hope you like it.
G


The Tai Chi Notebook Podcast
“Ep 1: Daniel Mroz on defining Chinese martial arts”.

What is the relationship between Chinese martial arts and Chinese theatre, religion, mime, serious leisure activities and military tactics? How do all these factors intermingle and produce the arts we have today? In this wide ranging discussion between Graham Barlow of the Tai Chi Notebook Podcast and Daniel Mroz, Professor of Theatre at the University of Ottawa we tackle all these subjects and more. As well as being a professor of theatre, Daniel is also a Choy Li Fut and Taijiquan practitioner and has spoken at the Martial Arts Studies conference and contributes articles to various journals including the Martial Arts Studies journal.

Podcast Notes

1)
Daniel Mroz quote in full:
By ‘Chinese martial arts’, I refer to folkways that began to assume their present forms from the mid 19th to the early 20th centuries, at the end of the Imperial, and the beginning of the Republican periods of Chinese history. These arts train credible fighting abilities through exacting physical conditioning; through partnered, combative drills and games; and through the practice of prearranged movement patterns called tàolù  套路 (Mroz, 2017 & 2020). For millennia, up end of the Imperial period in 1912, China explicitly understood itself as a religious state (Lagerwey 2010). Communities across China not only used their martial arts to defend themselves, they performed them as theatrical acts of religious self-consecration, communal blessing, and entertainment in an annual calendar of sacred festivals (Ward, 1978; Sutton, 2003; Boretz, 2010; Amos, 2021). Modernization, and secularization at the end of the Imperial period removed the original context of these practices. The Chinese martial arts were transformed over the course of the 20th century by both their worldwide spread, and by their ideological appropriation by the Chinese Republic of 1912, and the Communist state that succeeded it in 1949 (Morris, 2004). Their religious heritage forgotten in many social, and cultural contexts within greater China, and internationally, the arts we practice today combine a legacy of pragmatic combat skill, religious enaction, participatory recreation, competitive athleticism, and performed entertainment.

2)
THE STRENUOUS LIFE PODCAST WITH STEPHAN KESTING
334 - Ten Guru Warning Signs with Dr Dr Chris Kavanagh
https://kesting.libsyn.com/334-ten-guru ... s-kavanagh

3)
Peter Johnsson
http://www.peterjohnsson.com/higher-und ... reckoning/

Peter Johnsson - long video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J6N3x_4 ... 3gQGXHpgSG

Peter Johnsson - short video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FiSoLMx3v0I
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Re: My first Tai Chi Notebook pod - Daniel Mroz

Postby GrahamB on Sat Jul 31, 2021 8:38 am

4) Cung Le Sao Choy
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FRQkV0DWjlE

5) Daniel Mroz
Tàolù – The Mastery of Space: https://mas.cardiffuniversitypress.org/ ... 3/mas.111/
Academic page: https://dmroz.academia.edu

6) China: A Religious State, John Lagerwey https://books.google.co.uk/books/about/ ... edir_esc=y
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Re: My first Tai Chi Notebook pod - Daniel Mroz

Postby Tom on Sat Jul 31, 2021 11:27 am

Good first guest to start off with, Graham. I like Mroz’s definition of Chinese martial arts except the limitation of the time period, as the basic elements he describes can be extended back in time well before the 19th centuryfor cerain arts and practices. Nevertheless, for study and discussion purposes I appreciate his definition. Great reference notes, too.

A substantial first effort. Thanks!
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Re: My first Tai Chi Notebook pod - Daniel Mroz

Postby GrahamB on Sat Jul 31, 2021 11:44 am

Thanks Tom.

Sure the elements he's talking about can be extended back as far as religion can be extended back - hundred, thousands(?) of years.

I think the point is that a "martial art" (a thing we would identify today as a martial art) wasn't separated enough from all that to be considered a separate entity before relatively recently. 1836 was the first example (The first Choy Li Fit school opens) - and everything else we know today as a "martial art" comes after that but obviously builds on things that are much older.

(Benjamin Judkins Wing Chun history book is a great source of information for this).
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Re: My first Tai Chi Notebook pod - Daniel Mroz

Postby Bao on Sat Jul 31, 2021 2:35 pm

GrahamB wrote:

I think the point is that a "martial art" (a thing we would identify today as a martial art) wasn't separated enough from all that to be considered a separate entity before relatively recently.


What is "all that"? ...???
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Re: My first Tai Chi Notebook pod - Daniel Mroz

Postby GrahamB on Sat Jul 31, 2021 2:38 pm

"all that" would be the stuff covered in my podcast ;D ;D ;D
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Re: My first Tai Chi Notebook pod - Daniel Mroz

Postby Bao on Sat Jul 31, 2021 2:54 pm

GrahamB wrote:"all that" would be the stuff covered in my podcast ;D ;D ;D


Then you've got the history all upside down. "All that" is connected with the area your friend associate with his own definition. Martial arts practice with forms and exercises are documented well before Martial Arts became a part of the Opera tradition and was taught publically with large groups and in open schools.
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Re: My first Tai Chi Notebook pod - Daniel Mroz

Postby Michael Babin on Sat Jul 31, 2021 2:56 pm

Not an aspect of taiji and bagua training I have ever been interested in or done much research into but I liked this podcast. Daniel and I live in the same city and we have trained together many times in the past few years. He's a great training partner and I have also seen him teach several times and his considerable experience as a university prof shows shines through in that kind of milieu.

I had never thought of mime in the way he described towards the end of the podcast and it made me regret the contempt I had felt for a mime workshop I did more than 30 years ago that was part of a Chinese martial arts training camp I attended at that time. Of course, many of the other participants were interested in competing in solo performance competitions and the idea of "putting more expression" into their efforts held more appeal for them.

You're never too old to learn...

Thanks to Graham and Daniel for this entertaining and informative contribution to thinking about the arts that intrigue most of us. "Serious entertainment" is a good description for those, like me, who are recreational martial artists for the long-term.
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Re: My first Tai Chi Notebook pod - Daniel Mroz

Postby GrahamB on Sat Jul 31, 2021 4:01 pm

Thanks Michael - Daniel mentioned that he'd trained with you. Hope you're surviving the heat waves in Canada!

"Serious leisure" is a definite thing - it even has a website :) https://www.seriousleisure.net/
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Re: My first Tai Chi Notebook pod - Daniel Mroz

Postby GrahamB on Sun Aug 01, 2021 12:00 am

Bao,

Sure there are records of "boxing arts" going back further but the quote from Daniel clearly says

"By ‘Chinese martial arts’, I refer to folkways that began to assume their present forms from the mid 19th to the early 20th centuries, at the end of the Imperial, and the beginning of the Republican periods of Chinese history."

Bao wrote:
Martial arts practice with forms and exercises are documented well before Martial Arts became a part of the Opera tradition and was taught publically with large groups and in open schools.



Where are all these martial arts schools before 1836 then? I'd be interested if you could cite some credible references. Thanks.
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Re: My first Tai Chi Notebook pod - Daniel Mroz

Postby Bao on Sun Aug 01, 2021 2:34 am

I meant the opposite to how you understand the text. Should have inserted and before it was taught.. to make it more clear.

...Don't know if I should blame my crappy English or that I had way too much soju last night. ...or maybe I just thought you'd have enough logic to understand what was meant. Silly me. -shrug-
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Re: My first Tai Chi Notebook pod - Daniel Mroz

Postby GrahamB on Sun Aug 01, 2021 2:42 am

Oh, I see what you mean. Got it.

"fighting" really took off in the opera tradition during the Yuan dynasty (the Mongols liked watching a good scrap), and this was hundreds of years before martial arts were taught in public schools.

We just did a Heretics episode all about that actually, if you're interested:
https://www.spreaker.com/user/9404101/x ... tnut-mirro
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Re: My first Tai Chi Notebook pod - Daniel Mroz

Postby Bao on Sun Aug 01, 2021 3:11 am

The Yuan dynasty began from the early 13th century. The terms "quan" and "quanfa" as boxing system and boxing method, as boxing method, as well as names of exercises and martial arts theories are prevalent and well document way before this area.

The earlier chinese opera tradition was just comical scenes that came to incorporate music and singing. Martial arts and acrobatics didn't become a part of plays until the later Ming dynasty.
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Re: My first Tai Chi Notebook pod - Daniel Mroz

Postby GrahamB on Sun Aug 01, 2021 3:44 am

Bao,

I'm pretty confident the warlike nomad-civilization that now occupied China liked to watch martial things in its plays. Some of these plays still survive, and contain fighting. It's documented. You can see one being recreated here:

https://disco.teak.fi/asia/the-yuan-dynasty-1279-1369/

It ends with a cool-looking martial routine performed with a glaive followed by men with swords rushing the stage.

The play "The water chestnut mirror" that Damon reads out in our podcast linked above also has a fight scene.

Just two random examples.
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Re: My first Tai Chi Notebook pod - Daniel Mroz

Postby GrahamB on Sun Aug 01, 2021 3:55 am

Bao wrote:The Yuan dynasty began from the early 13th century. The terms "quan" and "quanfa" as boxing system and boxing method, as boxing method, as well as names of exercises and martial arts theories are prevalent and well document way before this area.




I've no idea when the earliest reference to "Quan" is. However I fail to see the relevance of this to the discussion. Have you actually listened to the podcast in the OP?

Nobody is saying boxing arts aren't really old or that people weren't doing them way back.
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