Title : The Ancient Training of Quan by Mr Sun ZhongHua
We can only through history documents, legends, novels, understand the ancient martial art masters, their will, their skills, hero acts, how they made them supernatural and captivate our fantasy. The geeat masters that existed at the end of Ching Dynasty, as they were a bit closer to our era, were less mysterious and more “human”. “Big Sword Wan Wu”, Chen ChangXin, Yang LuChan, AiShi, Guo TunXiang, Yan JingCheng, Huo YuanJia, Chen FaKe, Wang ZhiPing… like bright stars, each deserved our admiration.
Looking at the present martial art world, it is a sorry sight. One has to painfully ask, only a gap of a few generations, our country’s (China) glorious martial art circle has degenerated until such!
The problem in martial art skill transmission has been discussed in my blog “Seeking Realistic and Pragmatic TaiJi”. Itbis too late to be sad, anguish or weep over this. If we have the “DNA for Martial Art”, what can we do? Why don’t we make effort to seek a teacher who has the real ancient skill, use the ancient method of learning quan.
The teacher who has the real transmission would have the ancient fighting method. Moreover, the learning method would also be ancient one.
What does the quan of ancient practitioner looked like? Let me first tell you this story, a few days ago, one of my junior TaiJi brother, Liu WenQi, from FuZhou came to DaQingShan. He saw the photos of GM Hong JunSheng’s yilu form displayed infront of the Han Palace Restaurant, he said to me “(Hong)’s quan form is very good, very simple!”. On the second day, he repeated that again. Many people would feel that this comment is disrecpectfull, actually, this is a compliment from a expert. Clearly and sharply, WenQi discovered GM Hong’s form is different in quality from the popular fancifull forms.
1) Ancient masters’ quan is simple and practical. In rhe cold weapon era, practice martial art is for use, then, there is no point-accessing competition. The place to use martial art has life and death risk. Thus those who were famous had real skill(gongfu). Fancifull form for performance is developed later, not related with real gongfu (skill). Real gongfu is for application, has to be simple. We train quan has to be practical, do not seek visual effects. I said said many years before “A deceitful heart has a evil hand”.
2) Ancient masters’ quan is not reviewed easily. Saying “When you hit, do not review your method, if you review your method, it wont work”. Only those with high level skill would understand. “Quan hit those who do not know” Today, training with performance has become a bad habbit. The purpose is for performance, for the judge to see.
3) Ancient quan method must be transmitted along the lineage.
The importance and method of selecting a teacher has been discussed in “Seeking Realistic and Pragmatic TaiJi” blog. We shall now discuss the method of training.
1) Copy the teacher’s form. Mimic is the ideal method. You need a model to practice caligraphy. A child learning to speak need to copy someone. There is many examples. You need to observe carefully in order to copy exactly. Ancient saying “Observer approach mastery, copy to seek the same”. You have to be detail in observation and experience, copying the movement must be exact. Good mimic is not enough, repetitive training, be very familiar, “from familiarity comes understanding of enery”, not familiar and you don’t. Previous blog mentioned “Train quan ten thousand times, skill will present itself” and how TaiJi DNA can come to your body. Why do we always discuss this, those who have experience in repetitive training will understand, it is very boring to keep training the same form over and over again, it is very hard trial on a body, a huge challenge on a person’s perserverance.
2) Do not change the ancient method. We should not think too highly of ourself. After training a few years, thinking we can change ancient masters’ form; and because we cannot learn the move and start to change the form to fit. If we think that we can change the ancient method, it means we have not acquired the skill. If we have actually acquired the skill, then we would not want to change; and knowing we cannot change, once changed it is not what it is. If DNA is changed, is it still the same? Ancient people trained the form right, present peole do not observe and train correctly think that it is just slow movements. Understanding is progressively. Same as practicing Zen, initially when you see a mountain as a mountain, river as river; later a mountain no longer is a mountain, a river no longer is a river; now a mountain as a mountain and river as a river.
3) Do not desire new and forget the old. Ancient people training martial art, demands “An art for life, seeking deeper knowledge”. If we have a career, we can teeat our quan as a hobby, do not put down. This moment practice quan, next moment “搓麻” (game), another, moment yoga, result is grasping only the surface. Ancient people were more pragmatic, invested in hard work and more committed. Learn from them!
4) Indifferent to fame. Once you are involved in fame and fortune, it will not work. When a person is engrossed in fame and fortune, the skill will not be acomplished. Once entangled by fame, it will take away a lot of time and effort, lost of concentration, reduced ability to understand, complacency sets in, can you still be successful? No! In this aspect, there were many warnings before.
In these days and age, more people wanted quick success, instant gratification, those that succeed are few. If we are practical, persevere, use the ancient method, we will succeed after a few years.
Original article at http://blog.sina.com.cn/s/blog_95a3d69f010153vf.html
Translated by Michael Koh
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