Chinese Martial Arts Training Manuals: A Historical Survey


Secret training manuals, magic swords, and flying kung fu masters—these are staples of Chinese martial arts movies and novels, but only secret manuals have a basis in reality. Chinese martial arts masters of the past did indeed write such works, along with manuals for the general public. This collection introduces Western readers to the rich and diverse tradition of these influential texts, rarely available to the English-speaking reader.

Authors Brian Kennedy and Elizabeth Guo,...

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Secret training manuals, magic swords, and flying kung fu masters—these are staples of Chinese martial arts movies and novels, but only secret manuals have a basis in reality. Chinese martial arts masters of the past did indeed write such works, along with manuals for the general public. This collection introduces Western readers to the rich and diverse tradition of these influential texts, rarely available to the English-speaking reader.

Authors Brian Kennedy and Elizabeth Guo, who coauthor a regular column for Classical Fighting Arts magazine, showcase illustrated manuals from the Ming Dynasty, the Qing Dynasty, and the Republican period. Aimed at fans, students, and practitioners, the book explains the principles, techniques, and forms of each system while also placing them in the wider cultural context of Chinese martial arts. Individual chapters cover the history of the manuals, Taiwanese martial arts, the lives and livelihoods of the masters, the Imperial military exams, the significance of the Shaolin Temple, and more. Featuring a wealth of rare photographs of great masters as well as original drawings depicting the intended forms of each discipline, this book offers a multifaceted portrait of Chinese martial arts and their place in Chinese culture.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This book provides considerable information on Chinese martial arts history, particularly of the Republican era, its personages, and manuals not previously available in English. It also covers topics, including those related to Shaolin Monastery and Taoism, in a down to earth, common sense manner.... Overall, Chinese Martial Arts Training Manuals successfully achieves the author’s purpose, expressed in the epilogue: '[To serve] as an informative and interesting introduction to this rich facet of Chinese martial art culture.'"—Stanley E. Henning, China Review International
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781583941942
  • Publisher: North Atlantic Books
  • Publication date: 1/8/2008
  • Edition description: Revised
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 796,008
  • Product dimensions: 6.04 (w) x 8.94 (h) x 0.97 (d)

Meet the Author

Brian L. Kennedy, an attorney, has practiced Chinese martial arts since 1976 and has recently begun studying Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. His previous books, which appeared in Chinese, include Witness Examination Skills, the official reference for Taiwan’s prosecutors and trial judges, and Legal Ethics.

Elizabeth Nai-Jia Guo is a professional translator living in Taiwan. She is a practitioner of qi gong and hatha yoga. She has translated a wide range of books into Chinese including titles on church architecture, the history of science, and criminal law. Guo and Kennedy co-author a regular column for Classical Fighting Arts magazine.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xii
Preface xiii
Part I Background
1 Introduction: Sources for Chinese Martial Arts Training Manuals 3
Romanization and Chinese names 4
2 The Chinese Martial Arts: An Overview 7
Chinese Martial Arts Systems 7
Martial Arts Culture: Old and New 14
The Goals of Chinese Martial Arts 16
How Chinese Martial Arts Are Practiced 17
The Weird and the Wonderful 26
3 A Caveat about Chinese Martial Arts History 34
4 Chinese Martial Arts Historians 38
Tang Hao 38
Xu Zhen 60
Matsuda Ryuchi 61
Chou Chi Chun 62
Ma Ming Da 63
Kang Ge Wu 64
5 Westerners Researching Chinese Martial Arts History 65
6 Shaolin Temple, Wudang Mountain, and Other Storied Places 69
Stories, Storybooks, and Public Images 74
7 Chinese Martial Arts Classification Schemes: Internal and External, Northern and Southern, Shaolin and Wudang 78
Internal versus External 78
Northern versus Southern 80
Shaolin versus Wudang 83
Religion, Morality, and Martial Arts 84
8 Imperial Military Examinations 88
Government Appointments 92
9 Professor Kang Ge Wu's Top Twelve Chinese Martial Arts Classics 94
10 The History of Chinese Martial Arts Training Manuals 96
Legendary Period 96
Early Woodblock Period 99
Hand Copies Period 101
Republican Period 102
Modern Period 113
11 Authorship, Various Editions, Content of Training Manuals, and the Audience 115
The Problem of Authorship 115
Different Editions 118
Content of the Manuals 119
Training Manuals as Fine Art 120
The Audience 121
12 Liu Kang Yi: Keeping the Traditions Alive (or at least in print) 123
13 Boxing Manuals in Translation: Problems and Perils 128
Good Chinese Essay = Bad English Essay 128
The Perfect Team 130
Overly Great Expectations 131
14 How Did Chinese Martial Artists Make a Living? 133
15 Taiwan Martial Arts History 148
Taiwan's Importance 148
The Qing Dynasty 149
Koxinga, Ming Soldiers, and Fraternal Organizations 150
Martial Arts of Qing-Era Taiwan 152
Militias and Martial Arts 155
The Sung Chiang Battle Array 159
The Japanese Era in Taiwan 161
The Righteous Thief 163
Politics and Martial Arts 166
Important Modern Figures 168
Part II The Books
A Note on Sources 175
General Qi Ji Guang (1528-1587) 176
New Book on Effective Military Techniques
Sun Lu Tang (1861-1933) 182
The Study of Xingyi Boxing
The Study of Bagua Boxing
The Study of Taiji Boxing
The True Essence of Boxing
The Study of Bagua Sword
Jiang Rong Qiao (1891-1974) 188
Xingyi Mother Fists
Mizongquan and numerous others
Xie Dien, Gao Zhi Jen, Chiang Xin Shan (editors) 198
Xingyi Training Materials
Shaolin monk Xuan Ji (original author) Zhang Ming E and Zhang Kong Zhao (editors and compilers), Cao Huan Dou (editor, author, illustrator) 204
Fist Classic; Fist Method
Wu Shu (1611-1695) 209
Record of Arms
Chang Nai Zhou (1728-1783) 212
The Book of Chang Style Martial Techniques
Chen Zi Ming (died 1951) 214
Chen Family Taijiquan Passed Through Generations
Zhu Xia Tian 218
Quan Sheng (Boxing Book)
Huang Yuan Xiou (editor) Li Jing Lin (teacher who provided source material) 222
The Main Points of Wudang Sword
Wan Lai Sheng (1903-1995) 226
The Common Basis of Martial Arts
Huang Bo Nien (1880-1954) 232
Xingyi Fist and Weapons Instruction
Dragon Body Bagua
Huang Wen Shu 237
The Essence of Yang Style Taijiquan
Miscellaneous Talks on Martial Arts
Jin Ing Zhong (1904-?) 239
Shaolin 72 Arts Practice Method
Xu Yu Xin 246
Fist Methods Study Textbook
Tong Zhong Yi (1878-1963) 248
Chinese Wrestling
Li Cun Yi (1847-1921) Dong Xiu Sheng (1882-1939) 254
Yue Fei's Intent Boxing
Yin Yu Zhang (1890-1950) 257
A Brief Book of Baguazhang
Slashing Saber Practice
Huang Bao Ting 261
Shun Hand Boxing
Yang Kui Yuan 264
Complete Book of Guoshu
Sun Xi Kun (1883-1952) 270
The Real Teaching of Bagua Quan
Ren Zhi Cheng Gao Zhi Kai 273
Study of Yin-Yang Eight Coiling Palms
Lam Sai Wing (1861-1942) 275
Taming the Tiger Fist
Tiger and Crane Fist
Iron Thread Form
Chen Wei Ming 277
Taiji Sword
Taijiquan Questions and Answers
Shanghai City Police Training Center 282
Rope Techniques for Arrest
Tang Ji Ren (editor, compiler) 285
Tang Family External Big Hong Fist
Jin Yi Ming 288
The Basics of Boxing
Li Xian Wu 291
Xu Yi Qian 293
Chuan Na Quan
Yan De Hua 296
Wall-Breaking Shaolin (also known as Bagua Palm Methods)
Liu Jin Sheng Zhao Jiang 298
Chin Na Methods
Wang Xian Bin 301
A Detailed Explanation of Intent Qi Gong
Chen Ting Rui (translator and commentator) 304
Western Boxing
Epilogue 306
Glossary 307
Index 311
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