A Question for David S Nisan

Discussion in 'Kung Fu' started by pehokun, Jan 24, 2017.

  1. pehokun

    pehokun Grasshoppa

    David,

    I have really enjoyed our conversation regarding the Chinese General Tian Bubishi and have learned and had conformed a great deal. Thank you!

    I'd like to ask you for your translation and take on these three images of the "Fighting Applications" especially from the point of view of Fa over quan:

    [​IMG]

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  3. David Nisan

    David Nisan Grasshoppa

    Hey Man,

    Good seeing you again!

    As for translation:


    On the right: the hand picking grass and branches loses (弄草枝手敗).


    On the left: the drunken Arhat(=Luohan) wins(醉羅漢勝).

    As for fa and quan, I don't quite understand your meaning. Maybe you could explain a little more?
     
  4. pehokun

    pehokun Grasshoppa

    Thank you. What I was meaning to reference in the above two man depiction is you stated elsewhere on this forum, that these were actually koujue 口訣:


    It is this I am referencing. What would be the koujue 口訣 for this depiction (The first image shown) and why do we have the writing "Win" & Lose?"

    [​IMG]
     
  5. pehokun

    pehokun Grasshoppa

    What about the translation and koujue 口訣 of these depictions?

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  6. pehokun

    pehokun Grasshoppa

    Hi David,

    You have not replied? Have I somehow over-stepped the mark or offended in some way?
     
  7. David Nisan

    David Nisan Grasshoppa

    Hi Man

    I apologize for not answering. Mainly busy, work, two kids, a rabbit, and the neighbor's dog! Today is the Chinese New Year so I am extra busy(house chores and stuff). Please give me some more time.

    On the other hand, it would be better if you won't upload the entire illustration but just its number. I have the Koujues here so I can write them in Chinese and translate them.

    You ask good and interesting questions. I'll answer you soon.

    Happy Chinese New Year!

    David
     
  8. pehokun

    pehokun Grasshoppa

    Thank you. Life is something we can't control and keeps us all very busy!

    To be honest, I would be interested in your take on all of the Koujues! If you don't wish to post them here and your thoughts on reach one then you can email me directly at: [email protected]

    The concept that each Koujue has a distinctive meaning at the level of mindset is fascinating to me and it is this I would like to know more about as well. I'd be very appreciative for your translations both written in Chinese and English of each of the Koujue but also your feelings about each ones mindset that it evokes!
     
  9. David Nisan

    David Nisan Grasshoppa

    P.S.
    we can translate all the 48 koujues, systematically, one after the other, so you'll have all of them.

    I hope this helps.

    David
     
  10. David Nisan

    David Nisan Grasshoppa

    Ok, just so your response. I'll translate all the 48 koujues. No problem. I'll do my best with the mindset too!

    David
     
  11. pehokun

    pehokun Grasshoppa

    Sir, thank you, thank you, thank you! I will await your reply!
     
  12. David Nisan

    David Nisan Grasshoppa

    My pleasure!

    As for “winning” and “loosing”, the illustrations depicts training drills in which one person “attacks” and the other “defends”. Of course, a defense can be an attack and attack can be a defense. Therefore one of the combatants “wins” while the other “loses”, only that it is hard to tell (from observing the illustrations alone) who won and who lost.

    Take for example illustration No.16 above (On the right: the hand picking grass and branches loses (弄草枝手敗). On the left: the drunken Arhat(=Luohan) wins(醉羅漢勝)); It would seem like the person on the right attacks and wins, but (according to the writing) it is exactly the opposite. Thus, “win” and “lose” were added for clarity’s sake.

    As for mindset, only those who received direct transmission, i.e. those who saw the master’s movement, felt his power, and heard his explanations, could tell you what was the mindset those instructions were meant to generate.

    But there might be some way to “decipher” those instructions. The best way, I think, is to ask masters of White Crane or Luohan Fist to interpret those koujues. Now, I don’t know any Luohan Fist masters but I do know some White Crane ones. As it happens, I am going to meet two of them during the Chinese New Year holiday and I’ll ask for their opinion. I won’ have the time to go through all the 48 illustrations but I’ll do my best.



    Please feel free to ask any questions you have.


    I’ll begin translating the koujues, from illustration No.1, tomorrow. And I’ll post the Chinese and the translation here.


    Happy Year of the Rooster


    David
     
  13. pehokun

    pehokun Grasshoppa

    Hello David,

    Once again thank you very much. Your explanations are great and make a great deal of sense to me.

    I have long held the idea that White Crane does not contain "techniques" as such but rather movement principles.

    Thank you also for the explanation of the "Win & Lose" aspect.

    Your explanation of the so-called "48 Fighting Techniques" is completely different to that of McCarthy etc who basically and it now seems wrongly explains them as simple fighting techniques from several "Kata". For Example "the hand picking grass and branches" is translated by McCarthy as "Single Ji Hand"???

    The explanation that they embody a sense of mindset in application has far-reaching consequences and opens each illustration up to even more depth and meaning then simply "A versus B" with this or that "technique"

    It would be great that if sometime in the future, Lu Kangyi and yourself could produce a English translation of the General Tian Wubeizhi! Now that would be ground-breaking!

    Thank you for your offer of translating the 48 Illustrations for me as your translations are somewhat different to others such as Alexander's and McCarthy's. I am very grateful to you for offering this.

    If I am not over-stepping the mark here could I also ask for your translations of the "Six Ji Hands" as well? Given the important they play in the White Crane Fist style.

    What do you translate the term "Six Ji Hands" as meaning? Particularly the term "Ji" in the context of the Text?

    Lastly, You mentioned two White Crane Master that you will be meeting with? Could I ask you their names?

    Again, thank you so much for your valuable insights and information. It means a great deal to me!
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2017
  14. David Nisan

    David Nisan Grasshoppa

    Hi Pehokun


    Thank you for your kind words. I appreciate it!


    You raise many important questions and I will address them in the following days.


    Today I’ll answer the easiest one: I am going tom meet Liu Changyi 劉長益of Feeding Crane Fist and Wang Mingzhong王明中 of the Hanliu School. Both live in the south of Taiwan (Liu in Gaoxiong and Wang in Jiayi) so I’ll be heading south soon.


    Liu Changyi is now the martial arts instructor of the Taiwanese navy seals and we are going to talk about adapting Crane Fist for military use; Wang Mingzhong is now the headmaster of the Hanliu School, an organization which functioned for centuries as an anti-Manchu secret society, and which is considred to teach exquisite gongfu. They have a huge system, including both external/hard and internal/soft elements. Wang Mingzhong is going to feature in my forthcoming The Jingying Temple.


    Since I am not doing White Crane (I am a Baguazhang guy) I rather consult the opinion of Crane Fist masters. I think that their interpretation of the 48 illustrations’ instructions would be closer to the original.

    Here is Liu Changyi:




    Here is Wang Mingzhong demonstrating White Crane Fist


    I am starting a new thread called: Bubishi’s 48 Illustrations: Translation, where I am going to post the translation of all 48 illustrations, systematically.

    keep asking questions!

    David
     
  15. pehokun

    pehokun Grasshoppa

    Thank you very much.

    I am aware of the Crane Teachers you mentioned.

    Can you tell me more about your The Jingying Temple?

    If I am not over-stepping the mark here could I also ask for your translations of the "Six Ji Hands" as well? Given the important they play in the White Crane Fist style.

    What do you translate the term "Six Ji Hands" as meaning? Particularly the term "Ji" in the context of the Text?

    Your explanation of the so-called "48 Fighting Techniques" is completely different to that of McCarthy etc who basically and it now seems wrongly explains them as simple fighting techniques from several "Kata". For Example "the hand picking grass and branches" is translated by McCarthy as "Single Ji Hand"??? Your thoughts on this?
     
  16. David Nisan

    David Nisan Grasshoppa

    Mindset: Chinese SEE their characters while Westerners simply READ them. The instructions on the illustrations do not evoke images (which are static) but scenes (someone/ something is doing something; the carrying out of some action). If you train in the East you get this all the time. I am not sure what happens to these “scenes” in the West.

    Chinese dragons, for example, rise up vertically and spiraling. When yu move like that, upwards and turning/spiraling, you actually throw somebody. So the image of the rising dragon helps perform that throw. And, of course, there are many other examples.


    Movements vs. Techniques: the Chinese use both “movement” and technique”. However, in Chinese 技巧/”technique” is more akin to “skill” than to the English “technique. Thus, for Chinese技巧 is much more than a “movement”.


    For the Chinese the main thing is understanding the principles and laws of the system, not merely learn (what is called in English) “techniques”, or “movements”. With the understanding of principles and laws, skill naturally arises.


    And, speaking of movements. A form is made of (defined) movements and (less defined) transitions. Understanding how to transform from one position to the next, without reducing your energy to zero (like in figure skating), that is (almost) skill. It is possible that the 48 illustrations show training in sequence-cycle, and not simply 48 (English) techniques. Techniques end, or finish. But in the 48 illustrations it might be more like pair-skating, where people move in sequence and in a cycle (i.e. never reaching zero energy and have to restart from zero), never reaching an end (energetically speaking).


    Six Ji-Hands: it does not make sense in mandarin Chinese. It is the writing down in characters of a concept spoken in the Minnan-dialect (a dialect has no written form. The authors of the Bubishi were transliterating their Fujianese teacher’s vernacular/dialect into a written form. Since the dialect has no official written for they had to choose the “right” character). “Ji” might mean “limb”, “skill”, and/or “secret/illusive”. Six Ji-Hands conveys the feeling of fast and illusive hand-methods.


    Why people translate it differently? As “single”? Maybe they consulted some Japanese commentaries of the Bubishi. Maybe they meant to say that with such an iron hand a single blow is enough. I don’t know. But I see it in the plural, as a rapid-fire kind of attack, not hard but “soft”.


    Transiting Six Ji-Hands? I’ll do my best, but after we finish translating the illustrations.


    How did I do?


    David
     

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