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Grue
4/02/2015 9:03pm,
not so long ago i stumbled across chineselongsword.com. This site has several manuals for various chinese weapons that the author claims are translated from much older manuals; '400 years' getting thrown around a few times. If these things are actually what they claim, then i'm rather interested in what they have to say, if they aren't then i suppose i'm out ten bucks. i've been told a couple of times to be wary of snake oil salesmen disguised as martial artists so i was curious if anyone is familiar with this site and knows whether its a load of crap or actually a thing. i'm hoping its a thing.

Mr. Machette
4/03/2015 12:28am,
Everybody knows the "ancient Chinese secret" is M.S.G.

Eudemic
4/03/2015 12:34am,
Translated european MA manuals are older and more trustworthy.

Edit: Also, you can get a lot of them for free.

Guird
4/03/2015 4:48am,
I have no clue how to check the validity of this website. It doesn't seem particularly suspicious to me. I guess if you try out what you see with practice weapons and padding it will give you some idea of whether techniques were ever tested in real warfare.

BackFistMonkey
4/03/2015 5:23am,
Nothing I saw impressed me nor struck me as being anything besides no contact larping and kata...

... but then again CMA weapons work is not my thing at all. I do not know the history nor validity behind the weapons or the techniques. I know it doesn't look right to me ... but I am a cynical ass.

Eudemic
4/03/2015 6:30am,
I have no clue how to check the validity of this website.

The easiest way to do it is to compare its videos with those produced by other weapons-arts schools/orgs which are known to train with aliveness and resistance. It isn't perfect, but (if you don't have the background to make an assesment on your own) it will give you something against which to judge whomever is interpreting the original/historical material for you.


I like edits: That bayonet work in the big-saber video was stupid.

W. Rabbit
4/03/2015 9:46pm,
There is a huge compendium of Chinese military texts going well back beyond the 17th century. These documents are preserved in China and relatively available to the public.

These look like legitimate Shaolin relicography, they are also depicted in Meir Shahar's book.

This is like, someone borrowed some library books, made copies of certain pages, and is selling them online.

http://www.chineselongsword.com/stafftranslation.shtml

Fuzzy
4/04/2015 8:44am,
You guys really need something like Wiktenauer.

W. Rabbit
4/04/2015 12:11pm,
The trouble is these are old manuals written in Chinese, with some pictures. They're catalogs really, so as far as practical information, they're usually slim. They are pictures and descriptions of methods and weapons, not necessarily complete illustrations.

E.g. this IS a pattern for Shaolin Staff that goes back 400+ years. I can't read it, but I have done some of the training. I find it impossible to believe owning this particular book/illustration will give me any additional understanding of the staff method. It's a antique curiosity...a collector's interest if anything.

http://i.imgur.com/mJl7a3T.gif

Eudemic
4/04/2015 12:42pm,
How does that make the Chinese manuals any different from most of the historical European works?

Historical "manuals" are definitely going to require some motivation to work with, but they are still valid sources of information (the only sources if you are trying to be legitimately traditional/historical) and using one as a resource will typically benefit your training in the same way a more modern book might. . . Which mostly means "academically".

W. Rabbit
4/05/2015 1:16am,
How does that make the Chinese manuals any different from most of the historical European works?

Historical "manuals" are definitely going to require some motivation to work with, but they are still valid sources of information (the only sources if you are trying to be legitimately traditional/historical) and using one as a resource will typically benefit your training in the same way a more modern book might. . . Which mostly means "academically".

It's different because of the language. Chinese language is symbolic, so you need the right knowledge to decode the symbols.

European language is descriptive, anybody who can read a Romance or Germanic language can probably understand it with minor translation.

One is obviously a lot harder than others, to decipher.

I can read that Wiki...but not these Chinese symbols.

But thankfully, they are NOT necessary.

Eudemic
4/05/2015 12:46pm,
That would usually be very true, but this is a somewhat special case. . .

The language used in many (most?) of the older European texts was often intentionally written in an obtusely symbolic fashion, with the dual purpose of making the text difficult for "non-students" to understand and easy for people who were actually working with (paying) the school to remember.

Really, though, both traditions books are gonna be hard to follow, and we can both be grateful that so much work has been put into making them useable.

nihao
4/05/2015 5:18pm,
Are old chinese manuals that important? It's not like the way of using the weapons has been lost.

W. Rabbit
4/05/2015 7:00pm,
A lot of Chinese warfare has been cataloged and each generation copied the older generations' catalogs, which is how a lot of older material was preserved. They're important to a museum, maybe, but in a lot of cases the actual martial art that contains the method/weapon is where you'd actually learn it from, in the case of Chinese saber methods or Shaolin staff methods, you could learn these in a dozen different arts.

Basically, these were the notes of generals and their tacticians added to military compendiums over time, while observing various weapons and arts.

They are not necessarily original works by the practitioners of those arts.

Some of these records are 2500+ years old, hence my museum comment. Dusty, interesting, but not from a learning -the-martial art POV.

This is a great primer:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wR7RlwSGj50

Eudemic
4/06/2015 1:23am,
That was a very cool video. Thanks for the introduction, Wrabbit.