White Crane Poems of the Fist

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White Crane Poems of the Fist

Postby Shen Zhao Pai » Mon May 02, 2005 8:02 pm

Does the YMAA style of White Crane include poems for its various levels?

Many White Crane styles adhere to this practice.

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Postby Walter Wong » Tue May 03, 2005 7:59 am

If there is any poetry to accompany the White Crane style we do, I haven't learned any of it yet. Mostly I'm still just focused on the movements/patterns mechanically.

I know the poetry exists with our Chin Na's and Yang Tai Chi. And I know of one poetry for one movement in our Long Fist form, Gong Li Chuan which I think was Rings Around The Moon or something of that nature. I could never remember the exact wording.

Typically any poetry that is actually recited in YMAA is used with our Chin Na and Yang Tai Chi.
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Postby Shen Zhao Pai » Tue May 03, 2005 8:09 pm

Walter,

Thanks for your reply. In Dr. yang Jwing-Ming's book on Shaolin White Crane there are a number of "Fist Secrets" translated which could possibly exist as White Crane poetry.

This is an interesting aspect of White Crane training.
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Postby Mathdebator » Tue May 03, 2005 9:35 pm

I think that this is a tendency in a lot of Chinese arts. With regards to the styles that I have trained, it seems as though those "eight key words" that invariably get introduced somewhere, come from poetry or song. I've been told, too, that they also served as some form of a mnemonic device, so that people would remember basic stylistic tenets much more easily.
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Postby Walter Wong » Wed May 04, 2005 8:14 am

Oh, thanks. I forgot the poetry is in the White Crane book.

Poetry is prominent in Chinese Martial Arts for good reasons and I speculate:

Poetry was spoken during the form coordinating the poetry with each move as it was executed. This for one, would keep them from holding their breath during a form. If you look at alot of beginners doing Kung Fu, you'll notice alot of them hold their breath. If poetry is taught along with the movements, then by speaking them during forms, you have no choice but to inhale and exhale throughout the form. Another is each poetry described the movement that's executed so to help the student remember the movement as the poetry describes something that looks like the executed move. Also the poetry spoken in Chinese has a nice sound to it. It helps keep a rhythm like a song.
The same poetry spoken in English doesn't sound as pleasant as when spoken in Chinese so it could affect the way it feels to do the movement. Perhaps that is one reason poetry isn't heavily stressed in some schools and possibly that some Chinese masters's English isn't that good so giving the poetry a rough or direct translation. And you know direct translation from any language changes the whole tone and makes it sound awkward at times.

That is my speculation. I'll have to ask Master Yang the real reason for poetry in Chinese Martial Arts.
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Postby Shen Zhao Pai » Fri May 06, 2005 2:46 am

Thanks for your viewpoint Walter,

Indeed "He Quan, Quan Jue" or Poems of Crane-Fist is an important and often overlooked aspect of White Crane training.

Some of the main poems revolve around the 8 essential principles (Ba Tse) :

* Tuen = Swallowing
* Too = Spitting
* Foo - Floating
* Chuen = Sinking
* Pou = Pouncing
* Ti - Lifting
* Shuai = Throwing
* Tang = Springing

There is also the Power and Five Rules (Jing Li, Wu Tse Li) and the Five Elements Theory (Wu Hsing).
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