Medicine and War

The greatest advances in medicine happen during times of war. Doctors get a lot of practice because there are ample people suffering from injuries, illnesses, pestilence, mental problems, and of course lack of nutrition. In European culture there is a custom of creating a moral separation between doctors and military personnel. There is an imaginary wall, a temporary truce where the Red Cross comes in and soldiers take a break from fighting. In China, where the word for great fighting skill literally means meritorious action --there is no such separation. Thus it was common for doctors to have extensive training in martial arts. A pharmacy would often have a gongfu school in the same building or near by. The same Self-pleasuringperson treating patients often taught fighting skills on the side. "Pharmacy businesses in China customarily promote(d) martial arts to advertise medicines and tonics."(P.11, Marnix Wells, Scholar Boxer.)

The concept of "Self-defense" does not exist in China. One can say, ziwei, literally self-defense or self-guarding, but nobody does because it is a homonym for self-pleasuring (also: ziwei). The morality of fighting in China is simply different than it is in America or Europe. (More to come on the morality of fighting in the coming weeks.)