View previous topic | View next topic

Dog Kung Fu- karate

Page 1 of 1

rafar
102969.  Fri Oct 13, 2006 5:54 pm Reply with quote

I presume that pedantry is acceptable in these parts?

Well, I was surprised to hear Mr Fry claiming that Karate meant "Empty Hand", since this strikes me as an even more obscure version of the usual penalty answer. In fact it originally meant "China hand", and was changed when the art was imported into Japan, many maintain because to be regarded as something partially chineese would have harmed its popularity.

Wiki has rather a lot on this etymylogical claim;

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karate#Etymology_of_.22Karate.22_.28What.27s_In_a_Name....29

Debatable I suppose, but surprised to see an opportunity for gratuitous smart-arsing missed :)

(PS, Newbies, QI fans, recently raised a Violet Disregard to Bubba's word whilst in Oxford when pleasantly surprised to find the home of QI!)

 
Quaintly Ignorant
103118.  Sat Oct 14, 2006 12:43 pm Reply with quote

I am a student of kung-fu and Tai Chi Chuan and I will have to point out that the information of that article is heavily tainted by old political arguments. It is unfortunate that this happens but it does and I present you with the other side of the story even though it isn't majorly different.

The generally accepted history of eastern martial arts begins in China when Damo (or Boddhidarma) came from India to the Shaolin temple in the Honan province. He noticed that these monks spent long hours meditating and their bodies were weak which he saw as a interfering in their quest for enlightenment. He taught them meditative movements and breathing exercises, what we might know today as Yoga and then he left. As wars raged the Shaolin temple became a dangerous place and the monks had to develop a way to defend themsleves so they used the Yogic movements and applied them to practicing defense techniques. The power of kung-fu comes from the breath. Kung Fu (or Gung Fu) means "Hard Work" or "Aquired Skill" and is a term used to describe several arts. Wing Chun Chuen means "Beautiful Springtime Fist/Boxing" named after its first student. Tai Chi Chuan means "Grand Ultimate Fist". The word Chuen or Kuen is often appended to the names of the Chinese Martial arts and it means fist or boxing. This is where the Japanes/Okinawan word Karate came from, it is a direct translation of the name of the art with a chuen/kuen added to it. Some students of both Chinese and Japanese arts try to disassociate themselves with the other but at the end of the day martial arts is really only kicking and punching.


"Before I learned Kung-Fu a kick was just a kick and a punch was just a punch. When I'd learned it a kick wasn't just a kick and a punch wasn't just a punch. Now I understand the art a kick is once again just a kick and a punch just a punch." - Bruce Lee

 
rafar
103140.  Sat Oct 14, 2006 3:37 pm Reply with quote

"I am a student of kung-fu and Tai Chi Chuan"

Do you practice Tai CHi as a martial art, if you don't mind e asking?

(Oh, and in reciprocation, I've long since acknowledged my martial arts addiction, and have done 3 styles of karate (about 13 years in total (Goju, Shorin and Wado Ryu), Wing Chun (for about a year), Preying Mantis (2 years), Jiujitsu (2 years) and am now relaxing in the simple world of kickboxing (though I got over the desire to get hit a long time ago and only use it for excercise)

" and I will have to point out that the information of that article is heavily tainted by old political arguments."

I wholly agree with you. Politics has always struck me as the most pointless part of martial arts. Wado and Wing Chun struck me as particularly bad examples while I was doing them. I think it has something to do with associations. Jiujitsu seemed almost completely free of it, but then it has divorced itself from Japan, which I think helped.

"Some students of both Chinese and Japanese arts try to disassociate themselves with the other but at the end of the day martial arts is really only kicking and punching. "

What I've always found amusing about this is that I have noticed that most martial artists beyond about 4 years of practice start to change what they have learnt into something that suits them. Given that people have probably been doing this for as long as martial arts have been around, I find it odd to imagine that the styles that we are teaching today bear much relationship to the styles taught even fifty years ago, let alone a thousand years ago.

Still, everyone gets what they want out of it I suppose.

Regarding the issue of China hand / Empty hand, I suppose that what I was saying was that this little bit of knowledge seemed ripe QI fodder, but they stuck with the most simple layer. If it was a question, I would have expected "Empty hand" to be a Wooo WOoo answer...

 
JumpingJack
103148.  Sat Oct 14, 2006 4:28 pm Reply with quote

rafar

Not only do the Elves not know everything, they acknowledge that they know almost nothing.

Generally forfeits are reserved for stuff that 'everyone' knows.

I doubt this is true of Karate meaning 'Empty Hand', but more importantly it seems it sort of does mean that, even if it originally meant something else. The 'wooo-wooo' questions are sometimes thought to be a little unfair, but I'd have this would really have been pushing it.

Greatly enjoyed all the detail above on Martial Arts in general though for which many thanks.

And thank you too,Quaintly - very QI.

 
Quaintly Ignorant
103162.  Sat Oct 14, 2006 5:06 pm Reply with quote

rafar wrote:
"I am a student of kung-fu and Tai Chi Chuan"

Do you practice Tai CHi as a martial art, if you don't mind e asking?

I don't mind at all. I love the opportunity to spout about kung-fu and especially Tai Chi Chuan. Yes I practice it as a combat art and I'm extremely lucky to have a teacher well respected in Tai Chi Chuan circles. Master Michael Wong of Ho Wan Kung-Fu academy(check out his videos). I make a distinction between Tai Chi as a martial art and the health exercises that are so popular by omitting the chuan from the latter. I also practice Chi Kung which is fantastic for energy levels and general well-being.
rafar wrote:

What I've always found amusing about this is that I have noticed that most martial artists beyond about 4 years of practice start to change what they have learnt into something that suits them. Given that people have probably been doing this for as long as martial arts have been around, I find it odd to imagine that the styles that we are teaching today bear much relationship to the styles taught even fifty years ago, let alone a thousand years ago.

Still, everyone gets what they want out of it I suppose.

Regarding the issue of China hand / Empty hand, I suppose that what I was saying was that this little bit of knowledge seemed ripe QI fodder, but they stuck with the most simple layer. If it was a question, I would have expected "Empty hand" to be a Wooo WOoo answer...


It is addictive isn't it?

I train with the philosophy of Jeet Kune Do(Bruce Lee's philosophy of combat). It's all about taking the techniques that work for you and crafting your own personal style. Most martial arts teach this concept at very high levels after much time and practice(about 4 years, as you say) but with JKD it's done from day one. My little collection of tricks come from:

Chinese Kickboxing (San Shou)
Tai Chi Chuan (Yang, Chen)
Wing Chun Chuen
Shaolin gong fu (Chin na, 5 animals, Iron palm)

I'm looking into JuJitsu currently although Shaolin and Tai Chi Chuan covers most of that stuff already. Perhaps some Escrima......

 

Page 1 of 1

All times are GMT - 5 Hours


Display posts from previous:   

Search Search Forums

Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2002 phpBB Group