A single lineage can have both Jedi Knights and Sith Lords. A quick way to spot a Sith is the breathing. If you can hear the breathing on the exhale, it is a Sith technique. The internal schools have to be able to separate the breath from the movement or they can not achieve speed. The big confusion happens because Sith are seduced by power.Read More
Strengthness with a Twist: A blog about internal martial arts, theatricality and Daoist ritual emptiness
Watch the Video: A Cultural History of Tai Chi
Buy the Book: Possible Origins, A Cultural History of Chinese Martial Arts, Theater and Religion, By Scott Park Phillips. Amazon Kindle ($9.99), Paperback ($18.95)
Workshop Travel Schedule
Daodejing Online - Next meetings, Sundays, Feb. 18th, Mar. 18th, 8am to 10am (MT) inquires welcome.
Berkeley: March 23rd-25th -- at Soja
Portland Shaolin: April 27-29th
China: Daoist Conference Beijing--June?
New Book, New Deadline: May!!!
Summer in Boulder? Residency Project: Inner Depth
"Shrimp Soldiers and Crab Generals" is one of the Chinese Four-Character Sayings which in this case means: Ineffective, or Numerous Underlings. Shrimp Soldiers and Crab Generals make appearances in numerous Chinese plays, like Journey to the East, which is about the Eight Immortals. But these creatures came to my attention because I have been studying Nezha, who fights shrimps and crabs in Fengshenyanyi (the Canonization of the Gods), which was one of the most popular plays for performance. It was also probably the most important source of the general public's knowledge about Daoism.Read More
I should be telling you about the upcoming Earth Dog Year which starts on February 15th. But what is there to tell? Train your puppy carefully in the first few months, and it should be a smooth and uneventful year. Loyalty pays off big time in an Earth Dog Year. Make new friends and be bold in relying on old ones. Get plenty of exercise, and learn some new tricks. If you do not have a clear plan for the year already established, there is a danger of getting distracted. So discipline is a must--especially for artists and scientists. Balance more responsibility with more play.
I just did my first awesome podcast with the guys from Deeper Down the Rabbit Hole.
I talk about my book, and the latest research I've been doing. The interviewers are into trance and possession from a cross-cultural point of view so we talked about that too. Enjoy!
Let me know if you think this is a good format for 'going deeper' in general.
I just took the Big Five Personality Test on Jordan B. Peterson’s website and the first thing I learned is that my wife is a saint.
I guess I knew that I had some unusual dimensions to my personality, but I did not know I was extreme in 4 out of 5 categories.
What an interesting mirror to gaze into.Read More
This video shows the links to Lotus Hands from North Indian Classical Dance (Kathak), as well as liuhexinyi.
This next video shows the tight connection between history, Chinese opera, film, and martial arts. Wong Fei Hung was real person who is credited with ending opium addiction in South China, among other things, he became a mythic kungfu hero. Numerous films have been made about him. And to top it all off, his wife, his real wife, is doing kungfu in the video below, in an opera costume on a movie set. Hat Tip to Practical Hung Kyun
Here is a superb scholarly description of jindan. It is a preview of an essay by the dearly departed queen of Daoist studies Isabelle Robinet (very thoughtfully translated by Fabrizio Pregadio).
As you can see, internal martial arts are simply the application of jindan to martial skills. I am using different language than Robinet to say the same thing. Basically, once you create the correct order of perception-action then you start reversing things.
Here is a list of some of the things we might think about reversing.Read More
Having studied for so many years with George Xu, he has had an influence on me. He is constantly come up with new lists defining Internal Martial Arts. These lists are sometimes things to practice, sometimes definitional concepts, sometimes just weird.
Anyway, at the moment I have a clear vision of what defines Internal Martial Arts so I am sharing it.Read More
The entire series of Legend of the Condor Heroes by Jin Yong is right here on Youtube for free with English subtitles. I have heard it is good, but I have not watched it yet. If you do, please leave some review comments below.
There is a new translation of it in the works.
The background to this epic collection of Wuxia stories is fascinating. After the Boxer Uprising, there was a massive effort to eliminate martial arts, religion and theater because the way they were mixed together was blamed for China's humiliation at the the hands of foreigners and the main source of the "Sick Man of Asia" concept. But then Jingwu and similar movements in religion and theater figured out they could follow the Western model and separate theater, martial arts, and religion. For martial artists this was a huge struggle. Because what are martial arts without story and morality and aesthetics? They are nothing and not worth giving a second thought. Just get a gun. Anyway, Jin Yong was at the the center of the movement to re-think this problem. He created a whole new set of stories and mythology to go with the Martial Arts. The characters were not entirely new, but the stories were. They got rid of a the more offensive characters from Chinese Opera that were the original source of "the problem." They handle religious issues as fantasy. Which was a big step, because they did not want people believing that Martial Arts would make them bullet proof.
It is also interesting from a Jungian Psychology point of view. It was like the new stories Yin Jong and other wrote, came from the Chinese Collective Unconscious. Such a cool idea when you dig down into it. Enjoy.