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#1
Old 01-09-2003, 01:33 PM
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Your Kung-Fu is weak, grasshopper!

1) Exactly where are the Shaolin monastic discipline temple movement originate? Where could I find some good books on it? What language[s] are spoken in the areas they are concentrated in?

2) Could someone give me a decent translation of these oddball phrases in Mandarin and Cantonese? I was sondering if something I found in a book was accurate or made up? Appropriate references to a credible instant translation site would be more than acceptable.

Blue Dragon Palm (Sound like Lunar:EB to anyone? )
Graceful Dream
#2
Old 01-09-2003, 02:48 PM
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Warning: very abridged story to follow.

The Shaolin monks kung-fu origins (so the story goes) lie in an Indian monk named Bodhidharma, or in chinese, Tamo. He traveled from India and came upon a Buddhist temple in a newly planted forest, hence the name Shaolin in Mandarin, Sil Lum in Cantonese, which means "young forest" it was in the Hebei province on Songshan mountain. All the monks did was transcribe texts and meditate all day, which made for a bunch of sickly, scrawny monks. He developed and taught them a series of moving exercises based on the yoga he knew and the animal icons that the monks knew (as well as maybe some of the Hindu martial art Kalarippayat). It's difficult to say when, but eventually that system of movement exercise, combined with existing Chinese martial arts became a martial art distinct to the Shaolin.

Supposedly the art has been supressed in China by the various conquering nations, and finally by the Communists, that it's actually easier to find a legitimate Shaolin practicioner in The United States now than it is in China.
#3
Old 01-09-2003, 03:08 PM
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Wow. Cool Story.

Anyone have some sort of translation into Mandarin?
#4
Old 01-10-2003, 12:12 AM
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Translations to mandarin could be literal. There is a whole martial art pulp fiction genre in China that probably began with Outlaws of the Marsh (Shui Hu Zhuan) aka All Men Are Brothers, which was originally an oral tradition. Down to the current age, when Jin Yong (Louis Cha) wrote his epics in the 1950's, and spawned millions of copy cats. Some of his works have been translated into English, including the first 2 or 3 volumes of the 5 volume Deer and the Cauldron (Lu Ding Ji).

Young Grasshopper (assuming that is not a politically incorrect term these days), I would suggest you get at least one of the Louis Cha books for all the moves described. I think Louis uses Wu Dang monks instead of Shaolin, but they are somewhat the same.

As far as finding a legitimate Shaolin practicioner, I know that at huge industry has sprung up around Songshan Mountain. Who knows how "authentic" they would be, ditto for those in the US. For authenticity sake, legend has it that these arts were never to be shared outside of the monkhood, and those found wanting usually died in the final examination. Again, legend has it that one guy was seriously injured, but managed to survive and then shared his knowledge outside of the brotherhood. YMMV.

Ed Parker, founder of the modern American Kenpo Karate, wrote a book on the history of Kung-fu IIRC. It's been at least 25 years since I've read it, and not sure if it's available or even how well researched it was.
#5
Old 01-10-2003, 02:38 AM
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If you're looking to study, and want something that's pretty, look for a Wu Shu or Wing Chun school.

Something a little more combat oriented is Choy Li Fut.


Both are great.
#6
Old 01-10-2003, 03:13 AM
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/slight hijack

hoy li fut is a great martial art,

i took it for 3 years and got rather good at it.

Choy Li Fut (like most "modern" martial arts) is comprised of more than one technique

the Choy northern fist style
the Li southern kicking style
and the Buhdda grass palm (fut)

Wu Shu is very far from the original styles of martial arts (as is wing chun, although wu shu is more flashy and less practical)

If you are interested in the older styles of martial arts look to Gong Chi and Tai Chi those were the building blocks that most of martial arts (chinese and a bit of japanese) was built off of (including all of the "fist" and "animal" styles)

essentially what pravnik missed in his story was that the 2 biggest reasons behind the buhhda teaching the shaolin monks the martial arts was to

1) lengthen the lives of the wiser monks so that they could finish transcribing all of their knowledge before they died

and

2) to help combat various temple theives and bandits

Tai Chi was more for the health aspect and Chi Gong (or Gong Chi, i forget ^_^) was the more combatave aspect. Both of course revolving around chi, or inner strength/spirit

If you have any questions about martial arts feel free to pm. I love the martial arts and still practice various styles to this day.

-x out
#7
Old 01-10-2003, 03:58 AM
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Chi Gong. There's a school out here, or at least there was, that had Chi Gung on their sign. I was intrigued, but decided to go with Kuk Sool Won instead.

Does anyone know of a comprehensive history of Bu Do Sool? (Buddhist Martial Arts)
#8
Old 01-10-2003, 04:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by China Guy
when Jin Yong (Louis Cha) wrote his epics in the 1950's, and spawned millions of copy cats. Some of his works have been translated into English, including the first 2 or 3 volumes of the 5 volume Deer and the Cauldron (Lu Ding Ji).
Actually, Cha worked at Xinwanpo (New Evening Post), a Hong Kong pro-Chinese paper, with another writer named Liang Yushan at the time, and they both wrote martial arts stories for the paper.

Quote:
Originally posted by China Guy
I think Louis uses Wu Dang monks instead of Shaolin, but they are somewhat the same.
In fact, none of the main characters in his novels are either Shaolin or Wutang monks, but these two groups are always present, if only in the background.
#9
Old 01-10-2003, 04:26 AM
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I forgot to mention that Wutang is Taoist instead of Buddhist, so they aren't quite the same thing.
#10
Old 01-10-2003, 07:36 AM
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Thank you, but doesn't anyone here speak Mandarin?

Pweese translate! I'm wondering if some "translations" in the book are fake or real. Bad fiction, hehehe.

Blue Dragon Palm
Graceful Dream
#11
Old 01-10-2003, 09:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Tristan
If you're looking to study, and want something that's pretty, look for a Wu Shu or Wing Chun school.

Something a little more combat oriented is Choy Li Fut.


Both are great.
It's off-topic here, but your comment about Wing Chun is not just opinion, but flat out wrong. Quite the contrary, Wing Chun is very combat oriented and most aficionados of grand sweeping forms would not consider Wing Chun to be pretty. The Wing Chun forms are short and the techniques are compact and predominantly linear, which does not lead to a dramatic form. This is certainly not the place for a "mine is better than yours" arguement, which would have to be applied to practicioners rather than styles anyway, but to say Wing Chun is less practical than Choy Li Fut shows only ignorance of the art.
#12
Old 01-10-2003, 10:09 AM
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I'll back up micco on this. I had the misfortune of sitting through someone demonstrating some basic Wing Chun "kata" (this is, obviously, not what the Chinese call it). Picture someone doing a martial arts version of the hand jive for about 10 solid minutes, with no music. Zzzz....

It struck me as a very effective close range fighting style, and pretty much the antithesis of pretty. FWIW.
#13
Old 01-10-2003, 11:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by smiling bandit
Pweese translate! I'm wondering if some "translations" in the book are fake or real. Bad fiction, hehehe.

Blue Dragon Palm
Graceful Dream
Of what do you desire a translation, my lord?
#14
Old 01-10-2003, 11:51 AM
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Yeah, I'm confused too. Do you want to know how those phrases are pronounced in Mandarin, or do you want to know what the concepts refer to in English?
#15
Old 01-10-2003, 11:55 AM
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Those two phrases:

"Blue Dragon Palm"

and

"Graceful Dream"

I think Dragon is Ryong, which the author got correct, but I think another word is wrong...

But hey, I never studied Chinese. Any Chinese language. I'm just good at picking up words. Its an American trait.

If anyone knows a good insta-translation site for Mandarin, I'd be happy to use it. I couldn't find one, though I could've sworn I saw one once.
#16
Old 01-10-2003, 02:52 PM
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It is awfully hard to accurately translate English translations of Chinese back to Chinese and be accurate - the two main problems are 1) many synonyms, esp. archaic ones, and 2) Chinese often uses four-word phrases that, by the words themselves, have no real meaning, but as a whole comprise a story or cliche.

That being said, I am not familitar with those phrases, so here's my best guess for Mandarin: blue dragon palm would be something like "lan long zhang" or "qing long shou." (zhang sounds like jahng, and qing sounds like ching)

Graceful dream would be something like "xiu meng." (Pronounced kind of like 'shoe mung'.)

For more info on chinese, check out zhongwen.com
#17
Old 01-10-2003, 04:19 PM
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Ravenman, that's pretty good. Welcome to the boards. Sure we will cross paths.
#18
Old 01-13-2003, 07:24 AM
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What do you know? He actually got it right, it appears. Man, and I was so hoping to see the author screw up.
#19
Old 01-13-2003, 11:24 AM
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Quote:
Chi Gong. There's a school out here, or at least there was, that had Chi Gung on their sign. I was intrigued, but decided to go with Kuk Sool Won instead.
Kuk Sool Won is Korean, IIRC. Chi Gong is more of a Taoist health cult, not a martial art specifically.

Regards,
Shodan
#20
Old 01-13-2003, 12:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Shodan
Kuk Sool Won is Korean, IIRC. Chi Gong is more of a Taoist health cult, not a martial art specifically.
Just to clarify, Chi Gong is not a cult in the usual use of that word. Perhaps you're thinking about Falong Gong?

Chi Gong is a Chinese practice of meditation and physical training which is often associated with martial arts but is not specifically a martial art itself. It does include many aspects such as iron-palm training which can supplement martial arts and is often taught in conjunction with various kung fu styles. In any case, it is just a collection of techniques and training practices (no different than a martial art in that respect) and there is no group or leadership which would give it any cult-like attributes.
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