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Summer 2009



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In this issue
 
Reconstructing China’s Indigenous Physical Culture
Ma Mingda
indigenousChina has been a multi-ethnic country since antiquity, and the joint creative efforts of diverse ethnic groups helped create the Chinese civilization, giving rise to an indigenous physical culture. The indigenous physical tradition in China is a rich, multi-layered cultural system that has evolved through its long history, and is a veritable mine containing a wealth of cultural treasures. In ancient times, as a result of repeated conflicts and cultural intercourse among diverse ethnic groups, China’s indigenous physical culture was subjected to a concatenation of reconstruction and re-creation.
 
Shaolin Kung Fu-a Cultural Treasure for Humanity
Shi Yongxin
shaolinShaolin kung fu was created at the Shaolin Temple, Mount Songshan, in China. For generations, the techniques and knowledge of Shaolin kung fu were handed down and preserved by guardian warrior-monks known as the Sangha. Today, Shaolin kung fu is recognized as an invaluable and unique cultural heritage not only in China but for the whole of humanity.
 
Bajiquan (Eight Cardinal Boxing) and Liuhe daqiang (Six Harmony Spear)
Ma Mingda
mafengtuThe ‘Bajiquan’ referred to above is an integrated concept, which represents both a martial arts style (liupai) and a school (menpai), and should not be understood to stand for a form of boxing alone. Just like Taijiquan, we should not understand ‘Baji’ as merely designating a form of empty-handed martial arts: when we say ‘Taiji’ or ‘Baji’, we commonly refer to the entire system of martial arts subsumed under that name, which beside boxing techniques also include other weapon forms and practices such as ‘Taijiqiang’ (Taiji spear) and ‘Taijijian’ (Taiji double-edged sword).
 
Preamble on the Origin and Development of Hung Kuen
Lam Chun Fai
hong_quanHung Kuen is one of the most important and representative martial arts styles from southern China. Many theories and hypotheses surround the origin of Hung Kuen but most deal with legends and have little factual basis. From my father I have heard many anecdotes about Hung Kuen’s early history, particularly apropos the life and times of Lam Sai Wing, but being of pragmatic rather than theoretical disposition and not having made any in-depth investigation, I can only offer my own interpretations and personal understanding.
 
China’s Duanbing Movement
Ma Lianzhen
duanbingJian (double-edged sword) was one of the most important weapons in ancient China and enjoyed a golden age of over a thousand years from the Western Zhou Dynasty to the end of the Han period. During this period, jian was venerated, served to symbolize a person’s social position and dignity, and, possessing a ritualistic attribute comparable to jade, was instrumental in “honing a gentleman’s morality”.
 
Taijiquan: Symbol of Traditional Chinese Martial Arts Culture
Stanley E. Henning
taijiquanI studied Taijiquan and Xingyiquan in Taiwan between 1970-72, and during that time I became deeply interested in Chinese martial arts history, culture, and theory; and especially where Taijiquan fits into this complex and fascinating study. Taijiquan was treated as somehow different from other martial arts; often hailed as the crowning example of an “Internal” martial art. But what does this really mean? I quickly discovered that understanding this was no easy task as no reliable text on Chinese martial arts history was available in English at the time; making it hard to place Taijiquan in its proper perspective.
 
The Archery Tradition of China’s Boreal Hunters
Zhao Shiqing
archeryThe Orochen are one of the smallest ethnic groups in China with a population of just over 8,000. On the eve of Communist Liberation in 1949, Orochen bands ranged over a vast land covering the entire Great and Small Khingan Mountains, stretching from the edge of Hulun Buir plains to the Russian fort of Khabarovsk along a west-east axis. Their hunting grounds were bounded by the river Amur in the north, beyond which lay the taiga of the Russian Far East and Siberia, with a contracting border to the south, as the boreal forest steadily retreated before the northward progression of agrarian settlements.
 
Boxing Manual and Key Principles of Boxing Methods
Luo Zhengcheng
boxingIntroduction to the Boxing Manual and Key Principles of Methods. The present edition was issued by Tan Yin Lu in Shanghai during the twenty-fifth year of the Republic (1936), and was reprinted from an original copy published in the twenty-sixth year of the Guangxu period (1900). The Tan Yin Lu series were edited by Luo Zhengchang, a well known scholar and book collector of the near-modern period. He was a native from Shanglu, Zhejiang province, and the younger brother of Luo Zhengyu, who was an outstanding scholar in the study of inscribed steles of the Jin period.

 
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