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patfromlogan
12/10/2004 12:52pm,
I have heard this code several times in a couple ways in various martial art schools.

Avoid rather than check.
Check rather than hurt.
Hurt rather than maim.
Maim rather than kill.
For all life is precious, nor can any be replaced;


Like from Queen Mary University Aikido Club:

Learn more ways to preserve, rather than destroy.

* Avoid rather than check;
* check rather than hurt;
* hurt rather than maim;
* maim rather than kill,

for all life is precious nor can any be replaced.

Now I googled his and found that Yoda in Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith 1/04 says:

" Avoid rather than check.
Check rather than hurt.
Hurt rather than maim.
Maim rather than kill. Kill rather than be killed.
For all life is precious, nor can any be replaced."





and to make matters worse, maybe Yoda got it from "Master Kan," on TV's Kung Fu, 1971:

"Learn more ways to preserve rather than destroy.
Avoid rather than check.
Check rather than hurt.
Hurt rather than maim.
Maim rather than kill.
For all life is precious nor can any be replaced."

For further confusion, several sources say that this is from The Tao Te Ching, like "The quotes you see mentioned in my review has been taken from actual movie scripts from the old television series Kung Fu. The proverbs you heard the priests speaking were taken from the Tao Te Ching and translated by script writers so that western listeners could get a better understanding of the proverb. In short, the proverbs teach oneness with nature and all of the universe. Everything we do or experience is interconnected with nature and the universe." from http://www.epinions.com/user-review-2BD5-3956015C-3A502C94-prod5

The only problem with this is that the two translations of the Tao Te Ching that I skimmed have NOTHING at all written about maim rather than kill and so forth. Nada in the old Tao Te Ching mentions anything about it.

Perhaps the closest yet I've found that has a link to actual Asia is from the online Wikipedia, "One is expected to show mercy to one's opponents, as instanced by a poem preserved in some of the T'ai Chi families said to be derived from the Shaolin temple: :"I would rather maim than kill :Hurt than maim :Intimidate than hurt :Avoid than intimidate." Though "some T'ai Chi families" and "said to be" are pretty soft to be a historical source.

Kevin Pense of United Kempo Karate of Burlington, has on his home page what he calls the Shaolin Creed:

SHAOLIN CREED
"LEARN THE WAY TO PRESERVE RATHER THAN DESTROY AVOID RATHER THAN CHECK; CHECK RATHER HURT;HURT RATHER THAN MAIM; MAIM RATHER THAN KILL; FOR ALL LIFE IS PRECIOUS,NOR CAN ANY BE REPLACED"
THIS IS THE WAY OF SHAOLIN!

As far as I can find out, the creed comes down to being attributed to the Shaolin monks, where, who, and when is still unknown. All very nebulous so far.

Jogun
12/10/2004 1:12pm,
As far as the Tao Te Ching is concerned I don't understand how people could believe it would say that. Philosophical taoism has no compunctions about killing when it is appropriate and what a taoist philosophy would have to do with a buddhist art is beyond me.

MasterKiller
12/10/2004 1:32pm,
The concepts of martial virtues come from Confuscian influences, not Taoist.

Buddhists later added:

Build rather than destroy
avoid rather than check
check rather than maim
maim rather than kill
for all life is precious and none can be replaced.

which was adopted by Shaolin as it's credo.

Mr. Mantis
12/10/2004 1:38pm,
I thought it was: Overthrow the Ching, Restore the Ming!

MasterKiller
12/13/2004 10:25am,
You thought wrong, sucka.

WingChun Lawyer
12/13/2004 10:43am,
I thought it was: Overthrow the Ching, Restore the Ming!

That would be only wing chunīs creed, I think.

Jekyll
12/13/2004 10:44am,
Kung Fu wasnt exactly known for its acuracy, are there any sources to sugest that it wasnt just made up by the script writers?

WingChun Lawyer
12/13/2004 11:04am,
Kung Fu wasnt exactly known for its acuracy, are there any sources to sugest that it wasnt just made up by the script writers?

Acccording to the ancient and noble tradition of wing chun, it is said Yip Man created all WC history on the spot when he was interviewed, including the part about the Mings and the Chings. So your theory holds some water.

MasterKiller
12/13/2004 11:05am,
That would be only wing chunīs creed, I think. So, WingChun was the only school involved in the rebellion against the Ching? Wrong, sucka.

WingChun Lawyer
12/13/2004 11:11am,
So, WingChun was the only school involved in the rebellion against the Ching? Wrong, sucka.

According to the official WC history (cough) it was created to fight the Chings, and its motto was that phrase. About other schools involved in the rebellion, I wouldnīt know: but I did read that was the motto of WC, somewhere on wingchunkuen.com (no, I canīt be bothered to search).

MasterKiller
12/13/2004 11:25am,
It was pretty much the motto of every style involved in the rebellion. In fact, the standard Kung Fu salute (left hand open, right fist closed) that pretty much every kung fu school uses was a gang-sign for schools involved in the rebellion.

Wounded Ronin
12/13/2004 12:13pm,
Heh, too bad it didn't work.

Omega Supreme
12/13/2004 2:44pm,
That **** ain't the Shaolin Creed, it's A buddist saying and the closest one you put was this:

"LEARN THE WAY TO PRESERVE RATHER THAN DESTROY AVOID RATHER THAN CHECK; CHECK RATHER HURT;HURT RATHER THAN MAIM; MAIM RATHER THAN KILL;


then it ends right there.....

grumble grumble.

Phrost
12/13/2004 3:28pm,
The greatest Buddhist saying of all time:

"Nothing can shine in your asshole". I forget the source, my ex wife threw it out with the rest of my collection of books on world religions.

Bitch.

Anyway, the gist of it is that context is everything; and if you have a great idea surrounded by bullshit, it'll be considered bullshit as well.

Omega Supreme
12/13/2004 4:31pm,
Our kung-fu classes added the Bruce Lee saying to it.

If you touch me I will hit you, if you hit me I'll make you bleed, If you make me bleed I will break your bones, and if you break my bones I will kill you. Life may be precious but yours is the most important.

NextGuard
12/13/2004 5:51pm,
That **** ain't the Shaolin Creed, it's A buddist saying and the closest one you put was this:

"LEARN THE WAY TO PRESERVE RATHER THAN DESTROY




I thought that was the motto of the the American Dairy Farmer
http://www.dairybusiness.com/northeast/June03/F2%20p30,31,32%20Preserve.pdf