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June 2005 - Editor's Notebook
Every teacher and every student has to learn how to deal with ethical behavior. In Chinese martial arts it is referred to as Wu De, martial virtue. It helps to create the culture of the martial arts.
Of course, initially, everyone is on his or her best behavior. But obstacles always arise and choices are made. In the martial arts, where anger can be an art form of its own, it is not uncommon for fights, insults and betrayals to occur.
When choices take into consideration other people's interests, then good choices can be made. But very often choices are guided only by one's self-interest and then problems can multiply. Self-centered activity may produce good short-term results at best but that kind of behavior is always self-limiting.
Cheng Jincai's article on martial arts ethics discusses some of the important ethical factors along with examples from within the tradition of Chen style and Chinese martial arts.
Born in 1953, Cheng as a child learned the basics of the Chen style from his older brother while they were growing up in Wen County, Henan Province. The Chen village is located in Wen County.
At seventeen, he became a student of Chen Tu Yuan, a master of Chen style small frame. The next year he was recommended to further improve his skills with Wang Xian and the 18th generation master Chen Mao Shen.
From these two teachers, he learned the first and second routines of the Old Form, including weapons. From 1973, he also studied the first and second routines of the New Form with 18th generation master Chen Zhaokui.
He has been teaching in Houston, TX, since he came to the U.S., over 10 years ago. His school is the International Chen Style Tai Chi Development Center. He is also president of the USA Chen Tai Chi Federation.
Another installment in the series introducing Wudang Dan Pai martial arts presents Qian Timing's discussion of training methods for sword fighting. His description of the lineage gives insight into the development of martial arts in China and the difficulties that had to be surmounted. The training methods he discusses are useful for any system, especially the neigong methods.
Qian also tells about the birth of Wudang Dueling Sword and tells about Ting Jin fundamental exercises. He also writes about sword sparring tactics and modern-day uses for sword fighting.
Qian says: "To me, the art of sword is very pure and very noble. The search for understanding of the sword mirrors the search for truth in the universe and the search for truth within one's own heart.
When practicing, you must try very hard to find the meaning behind every movement. There is never a time when practicing sword that one moves without a purpose. You must strive to find that purpose in each movement, each step and each breath that you take."
Qian, who is 76, is president of the International Wudang Internal Martial Arts Association and the 12th generation lineage holder of Wudang Dan Pai. In 2002 he moved to Seattle.
The translator and editor of the article was Dr. Mei-hui Lu, 13th generation indoor disciple of Qian. The article was written in English by Chang Wu Na, 13th generation indoor disciple of Qian.
Kevin Zhenkang Sun writes some of the details of the Dong Yue style T'ai Chi Ch'uan developed by Profs. Men Huifeng and his wife, Kan Guixiang.
Sun teaches internal and external Chinese martial arts at the University of Delaware and is the owner of the Shaolin Martial Monks School and the Sun Taijiquan School in the Newark and Wilmington, DE, area.
Started as a short form to herald the new millennium, Dong Yue is being developed more completely as told in the article. Prof. Men has contributed to many of the current new T'ai Chi forms used in competitions. Prof. Kan Guixiang, his wife, has, of course, worked closely with him.
Profs. Men and Kan visited Kevin Sun in the spring and made selective trips around the U.S. to teach.
Jake Burroughs, who writes about the Horse form of Shanxi Xingyi, has studied the martial and healing arts for over 14 years. He is the head instructor at Three Harmonies Chinese Martial Arts Center in Albuquerque, NM. He teaches Northern Praying Mantis, Shanxi Xingyi, Sun Taiji, as well as qigong and healing methods.
Nicola Briggs, who writes about her use of T'ai Chi with AIDS and Substance Abuse patients in New York, offers classes in English, Spanish and French throughout the New York area.
She has extensive formalized training and experience teaching T'ai Chi to individuals living with reduced mobility and chronic illness. Her work in hospitals, psychiatric institutions and rehabilitation centers focuses on how T'ai Chi can be used to address a host of cognitive and behavioral issues, as well as pain management.
She is certified to teach traditional and modified forms of Yang Style Tai Chi, meditation and qigong exercises by Domingo Colon of The Tai Chi School of Westchester, Bronxville, NY.
For many people, T'ai Chi Ch'uan works as a physical activity that is good for fitness, health, recreation and self-defense.
Her Yue Wong would not disagree with people who do it emphasizing the physical. But in this issue, in an article from the now sold-out issue of June 1992, he expresses the idea that it is the use of the mind while practicing T'ai Chi that makes it special.
He doesn't just mean the intellectual mind, but the mind inextricably woven into the fabric of one's practice.
Fei Wang of Canberra, Australia, writes about the interaction of Yin and Yang in the movements of T'ai Chi Ch'uan and gives examples of how they occur in some movements.
Wang, in addition to practicing T'ai Chi Ch'uan and qigong, is a practitioner of Traditional Chinese Medicine. He is also an acupuncturist and herbalist.
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