Bubishi’s 48 Illustrations: Translation

Discussion in 'Kung Fu' started by David Nisan, Jan 29, 2017.

  1. David Nisan

    David Nisan Grasshoppa

    On the right: 千斤墮地勝手, One thousand jin[i.e. something very heavy] falling down to the ground, winning-hand[this is probably a mistake and should be: the hand-method of one thousand jin falling to the ground wins].
  3. David Nisan

    David Nisan Grasshoppa

    Hi, forgot to write that this is the translation for illustration no.1
  4. pehokun

    pehokun Grasshoppa

    Thank you very much! The translation for the left?
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2017
  5. David Nisan

    David Nisan Grasshoppa

    sorry, probably too tired!

    On the left: [this part is missing].
  6. pehokun

    pehokun Grasshoppa

    Thank you again. Please rest my friend!
  7. David Nisan

    David Nisan Grasshoppa

    Thanks man!

    Going to sleep!
  8. David Nisan

    David Nisan Grasshoppa

    Illustration no.2

    Right: 黑虎出欄手勝—black tiger leaves the cage[ or: Sneaks out of the fence] hand [-method] wins

    Left: 白猴盜菓手敗—white monkey steals fruits hand[-method] loses

    Black and white, tiger and monkey, are yin-yang pairs.
  9. pehokun

    pehokun Grasshoppa

    Thank you!
  10. David Nisan

    David Nisan Grasshoppa

    Illustration no.3

    (Right):撥水求魚手敗: Stirring-water-looking-for-fish hand loses.

    (Left): 落地交剪勝: Falling to the ground, intersecting scissors [legs] wins.
  11. David Nisan

    David Nisan Grasshoppa

    Illustration no.4

    (Right):將軍抱印手勝: [Army] general embracing-his-stamp hands wins.

    (Left): 孩兒抱蓮手敗: Child embracing-the-lotus hands loses.

    Note: the general’s stamp is implied to be exceptionally big. Thus, he needed both hands to lift it.
  12. pehokun

    pehokun Grasshoppa

    This is great and very informative! Thank you so very much.

    David, Did you get to talk to the White Crane Teacher's you mentioned?
  13. David Nisan

    David Nisan Grasshoppa

    I have now. Just got back. Much to tell. Talk soon.
  14. pehokun

    pehokun Grasshoppa

    Thank you David. I have just arrived home myself after a short family holiday away! I really look forward to what you have to share and am very excited to hear all about it!
  15. David Nisan

    David Nisan Grasshoppa

    Illustration no. 5

    (Right): 連地割蔥手勝:[Grabbing and] cutting-the-onion hands wins

    (Left): 登山伏虎敗:Climbing-the-mountain-and making a tiger surrender [hands? Legs?] loses.

    Note: imagine spring onion growing in the field and someone grabbing (a bundle of) onion in one hand and cutting it with the other.

    I hope you had a nice vacation.

    Liu Changyi has immense power, a power which he calls “thunder power”. His grip alone is overwhelming. He showed me quite a few of their methods and all were very powerful. He is so strong that at the first instant of contact I lost. He could simply break me.

    I was surprised that, even before I asked, he spoke about an attack being a defense and a defense being an attack. He showed both.

    He is a fighter and emphasizes no nonsense self-defense more than any Chinese master I know of. They also have mindset training. For example, they have a teaching called “hunting eyes”.

    When we got to the Bubishi illustrations it was already after 23:00 and he was a little tired. He was not that interested in the instructions (I think) but he understood the techniques very well, and showed me how to apply some of them. Of course this is only his interpretation, but what he did looked pretty similar to the illustrations and, again, was very powerful.

    I am now editing the material and will post the entire article on Liu Changyi when it is ready.

    My interview with Wang Mingzhong was very interesting too. I'll try to write more about it tomorrow.
  16. pehokun

    pehokun Grasshoppa

    Fantastic stuff! I am indebted to you! Thank you so very much.

    I really cannot wait to read your articles with Liu Changyi and Wang Minzhong!
  17. David Nisan

    David Nisan Grasshoppa

    Happy you liked it!

    Wang Mingzhong, as I already mentioned, is the headmaster of the Hanliu School. The Hanliu was originally a secret society devoted to fighting the Manchu (=Qing) invaders and restoring Chinese (=Ming) rule. When they were finally driven out of China they settled on Taiwan, but retained their secret ties with other secret societies, and continued with plans to oust the Manchus. Since China was under foreign rule the Chinese rebels on Taiwan feared that Chinese culture and knowledge would be forever lost. They considred themselves to be the sole guardians of Chinese knowledge and culture and saw it as their duty to preserve and to transmit Ming (=Chinese) era knowledge for future generations. Thus, they called themselves “Hanliu”, whichliterally means “that which the Han (=Chinese) have left [to posterity].”

    The Hanliu then is not only a martial arts school, but a secret society which transmits various traditional disciplines or fields of knowledge. They are part of the (more global) Heaven and Earth Society, they have some relationship with White Lotus sects, teach secret handshakes, and secret, nighttime rituals. Maybe it’s hard to believe but the Heaven and Earth Society still exists, not only in Taiwan, but throughout the Chinese world and members of different branches still recognize one another and maintain ties.

    Hanliu martial arts include lion dance (which is the basic level of training, but which, as Wang Mingzhong showed me, is very martial and through which many secret martial teachings are transmitted. That their lion dance is so rich is not without a reason; in former times, because of the fear of Manchu reprisals—Manchu soldiers were constantly on the alert—martial training had to be done in secret. Camouflaging martial training as lion dance was one way to do so), Mother Fist forms, basic hard forms, midlevel half-hard and half-soft, and then White Crane Fist. They also practice many weapons, some are obviously battlefield weapons (spears, halberds and long-swords, which seem to have been really transmitted by Ming soldiers; in some forms, one gets very close to the enemy, and then kneels, “plants” the weapon on the ground, and have the enemy cut himself) and some are weapons for “civil” use like knives and sai etc. in addition, they also transmit battlefield strategy; they teach different battle formations and how to transform from one formation to another. Wang has even been teaching it in a local university.

    The Hanliu system is very much alive. Everything works. Wang is small in stature but very strong. He understands body structure, applications and the generation of power very well. His weapons skill and knowledge are impressive too. We did some fencing sparring, for example, Wang with the long sword (which is like a very long samurai sword) and I with the regular katana. He deflected my attacks and cut me multiple times very easily. We also did staff fighting, and he was very good with the weapon too. He is highly skilled in spearmanship too.

    In The General Tian Wubeizhi we explain how important ancestor worship was for traditional martial artists. In the Hanliu School, not surprisingly, ancestor worship is still very important. Interestingly, however, their worship ritual is in fact a gongfu-qi gong set, which also includes some of the schools secrets. So if you worship your ancestors twice a day you perform this set twice a day. That is, even worship is training, and this integration of the martial with the political-religious is a smart way to encourage and maintain daily practice of all members.

    This is real gongfu, at home, with simple cloths—with real ability there is no need for anything fancy:

    The long sword (filmed by Wang’s daughter):

    The lion dance:

    On the Hanliu as a secret society (with an explanation of their secret handshakes):

  18. pehokun

    pehokun Grasshoppa

    Wow David, Thank you so very much! I am really discovering a great deal about White Crane Fist and the General Tian Text.

    I cannot wait to read more!
  19. pehokun

    pehokun Grasshoppa

    Hi David, How are you? Haven't seen a post from you in a while so I'm guessing you are fairly busy?
  20. David Nisan

    David Nisan Grasshoppa

    You are right. My apologies!

    Illustration no.6

    (Right): 單刀破竹手敗 short-hilted broadsword chopping-the-bamboo hands loses.

    (Left): 雙爐並火勝 fire of two [combined] furnaces hands wins.

    Illustration no. 7

    (Right): 小鬼拔闖手勝 little goblin ba-chuang hands wins.

    (Left): 羅漢開門敗 Arhat opening-the-gate loses.

    Note: ba-chuang means “drawing one’s sword in the service of justice”, “fearlessly, defending the small and weak”, or “one’s sense of duty, [or one’s honor] makes him obliged to defend the weak and seek justice”.

    I think ba-chuang carries all the above meanings. It shows the chivalrous-romantic side of the Bubishi’s authors.

    I am also learning!

    Liu Changyi and Wang Mingxiong live 120 kilometers apart, but in Chinese terms they are practically neighbors. And both teach Crane Fist. Yet they have different personalities, different thinking, their systems are different and their system’s philosophies-theories are different. It is still Chinese gongfu, and still Crane Fist, that is--still similar, yet so very different. Each system is a different universe, a universe waiting to be discovered.

    From this I learn, again, how broad the world of gongfu is. I am constantly amazed by its diversity and depth.

  21. David Nisan

    David Nisan Grasshoppa

    Illustration no. 8

    (Right):【probably 龍戲水手敗: A-pair-of-dragons-playing-in-the-water hands’ [method] loses.

    (Left):獨夆金獅手勝: A-single-resisting-golden-lion hands’ [method] wins.

    Note: the first character on the right is missing. however, it seems to be the character, which the author uses in other cases , when a technique using two hands at once is used(see for example illustrations 9 and 10).

    獨夆, “single-resisting”, is probably meant to be contrasted with “pair”(thus we have 2 dragons vs. 1 lion). Also, 獨夆 is probably a play on words, because獨夆 is not a readily meaningful combination, while 獨峰means “one-hump [camel]”.

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