Brian L. Kennedy

The Dao Bums
  • Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

About Brian L. Kennedy

  • Rank
    Dao Bum
  1. Bruce Frantzis Bagua Mastery Program

    As Mal pointed out, and as I discussed in my book on the Jingwu Association; well known and respected Chinese martial arts teachers of the late Qing and Republican Period agreed that people could and should learn Chinese martial arts out of books. The idea that martial arts, including bagua, is so "deep and mysterious" that its practice can not be captured in a book is very much a modern western idea. Chinese and Taiwanese are quite up front about the idea that one can learn martial arts (or qigong for that matter) right out of a book. That view was shared by such bagua teachers as Sun Lu Tang,Jiang Rong Qiao, Hwang Bo Nien and others. How skilled one will become depends on a number of factors; one's basic intelligence, how diligent one is in practice, how honestly one reflects on one's progress and one's prior experience with martial arts. Of course a teacher (and good fellow students) helps a lot. But in the end, as Shiek Kin famously put it, "you become your own teacher". On a personal note, I have always really enjoyed bagua and find that it really helps my judo practice. This is me having some fun with my bagua practice back in Taiwan take care, Brian
  2. Jingwu Martial Arts Association

    Trunk, Thanks much for posting the link. I appreciate that. take care, Brian
  3. Jingwu Martial Arts Association

  4. Jingwu Martial Arts Association

    Good Morning Mal, Yeah I was surprised too. Before doing this book I really did not know that much about the cultural history of the Republican Era. But it turns out that alot of what we have for modern Chinese martial arts and in a broader sense what we have for Chinese exercise programs (including all the qigongs)were developed in the Republican Era. It is kind of an interesting irony, most of the time when people start talking about Chinese martial arts or Chinese qigong they start yacking about how it is a 1,000 years old or was developed in the Sung Dynasty or whatever---but most of the development, that we have any historical proof for, took place in far more recent times. take care, Brian
  5. Jingwu Martial Arts Association

    Thanks much for the kind words on the Jingwu book. The Republican Era marked a very interesting time for both Chinese martial arts and for many of the related qigong type practices. In both instances Chinese teachers sought to mix western scientific ideas with Chinese martial arts and qigong. The Jingwu is an interesting example in that they sought to preserve traditional practices but also put them on a modern footing. take care, Brian
  6. Jingwu Martial Arts Association

    Yes, it is too bad. The lives and thoughts of Chinese martial arts teachers were never well recorded. They often were not the kind of guys who left behind diaries or autobiographies. There is also cultural reasons why little accurate information is known about them. About the only Republican Era Chinese martial arts teachers we know much about were Sun Lu Tang and Jiang Rong Qiao. And before that, with maybe one or two exceptions, we know nothing about the actual lives or personal thoughts of any Chinese martial arts teachers. That is one of the reasons I did the book, I wanted to get what information we have out for people to enjoy. One of the things I really liked about the early history of the Jingwu is that there are lots of great photos that have not been seen in the west before. take care, Brian
  7. Taoist Five Thunder Palms

    Hi Robert, I responded to your private message, its great to meet you. As to qigong methods, a friend and I were standing in San Min Bookstore in Taipei about a week back. And he and I were talking about the hundreds of different qigong programs. For example at San Min Bookstore, there are three large bookstore bookcases filled with martial arts books. And right alongside is another solidly packed three bookcases with qigong books, some from here in Taiwan, some from China. Of course to show you what really interest the Taiwanese, right next to the qigong shelves is 6 (six!) very large sets of shelves dedicated to...............a million forms of fortune telling! take care, Brian
  8. Got any "Dragon Gate" pictures?

    Dragon's Gate is the name of a Daoist sect and the name of a place. If you want to see a picture of the place I typed in (in Chinese) dragons gate and here is a typical China tourism page on it. Look where it says Lung Men (i.e. the top picture) Take care, Brian
  9. Daoist Qilin creature article

    In the new issue of Kung Fu Tai Chi magazine my wife and I did a piece on various Daoist creatures and gods that are connected with martial arts. One of the creatures we talked about was the defender of righteousness; the Qilin. Here is one of the photos I took over at Dragon Mountain Temple of a Qilin. This picture was one that was used in the article. During the Ming dynasty the Qilin became identified with the real life giraffe. Ming explorer Zheng He brought a set of giraffes back from East Africa to Beijing and these novel creatures were called Qilin. The mythical Qilin are usually depicted with fire all over its body. This is said to reflect their power and their abundant qi energy. The fire often appears as a ring of fire which surrounds their heads. And if you are a Japanese beer fan, you have seen the Qilin on every can of Kirin brand beer you ever drank. Kirin is the Japanese word for Qilin. Respect and thanks to Gene Ching for running the pieces my wife and I do on the wider Daoist cultural aspects of Chinese martial arts. And we hope folks find the pieces of interest. Take care, Brian
  10. Basic circles of pakua

    If people are seriously interested in the psychology of martial arts then what they need to do is turn to modern research in neurology and sports psychology and stop playing around with half baked Taoist nonsense. Daoism does some things very well and some things very poorly. Daoist psychology is pre-modern and wrong about 99.99% of the time. Look more towards things like this: Now of course if one enjoys studying Daoist psychology for whatever reason that is fine. But it is not a good source for modern martial arts mental training. Take care, Brian
  11. Basic circles of pakua

    Yes, as far as I am aware every human being who has walked this earth has been right about some things and wrong about others. In a similar vein every author who has ever written is right about some things and wrong about others and yes, I still appreciate his work. take care, Brian
  12. Basic circles of pakua

    For anybody who ever wondered what Cheng style pakua would look like in a real fight between skilled Cheng style pakua practitioners, have a look at this Youtube video. You will note it has nothing to do with nice old Chinese guys playing around. It would look like the tieups and throws demonstrated here in various high level competitions. Cheng style pakua is basically standup grappling and throws. Warning it has a heavy metal/death metal soundtrack, so if that is not you taste be sure to turn the volume down. I realize the mystery is part of pakuas appeal and if you like pakua because you think it is going to give you some mystery power that is fine (as long as you stay off the mat) but as a historian I am simply saying that is not original pakua. And as a side note, anyone who thinks that any Asian martial art is more subtle, sophisticated or otherwise better than western martial arts is simply showing their ignorance and has not trained in any western martial art. Western boxing and western wrestling are on par with anything from the Mysterious East. Take care, Brian Oh, I should have mentioned, although all the clips show good pakua wrestling, in particular at 1:10 into the clip there is a guy who really shows quick "kou pu" and "bai pu" (that is the two basic pakua steps, inward step and outward) and can really spin. For folks not familiar with pakua, its strong suit, what it does more than anything else is work on spinning. Okay enough on that, take care, Brian
  13. Form Intent Boxing Linked form mini-article

    Thanks folks, yeah I will try and add a bit more covering the next few moves, but it will be sometime after the New Year holiday. take care, Brian
  14. Are the ethics really being practiced?

    In traditional Chinese Daoism, including modern day versions here in Taiwan, charging money (oftentimes lots of money) is the norm. There is no idea that Daoist teachings or training or Daoist services (i.e. exorcisms, purity rites or membership initiation fees into the various lineages) is "on the house". You pay, and you pay a lot. The idea that Daoism is free or should be free, is an idea generated by people who saw one too many Kwai Chang Caine Kung Fu t.v. shows. take care, Brian