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  1. #1
    patfromlogan's Avatar
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    The Shaolin Creed, Bullshido or real?

    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-...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.
    Last edited by patfromlogan; 12/10/2004 12:55pm at .
    "Preparing mentally, the most important thing is, if you aren't doing it for the love of it, then don't do it." - Benny Urquidez

  2. #2

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    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.

  3. #3

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    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.
    Last edited by MasterKiller; 12/10/2004 1:36pm at .

  4. #4
    Mr. Mantis's Avatar
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    I thought it was: Overthrow the Ching, Restore the Ming!
    “We are surrounded by warships and don’t have time to talk. Please pray for us.” — One Somali Pirate.

  5. #5

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    You thought wrong, sucka.

  6. #6
    WingChun Lawyer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr_Mantis
    I thought it was: Overthrow the Ching, Restore the Ming!
    That would be only wing chun´s creed, I think.
    That civilisation may not sink,
    Its great battle lost,
    Quiet the dog, tether the pony
    To a distant post;
    Our master Caesar is in the tent
    Where the maps are spread,
    His eyes fixed upon nothing,
    A hand under his head.


    - W.B. Yeats

  7. #7
    Jekyll's Avatar
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    Kung Fu wasnt exactly known for its acuracy, are there any sources to sugest that it wasnt just made up by the script writers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Stickx
    It must suck for legit practitioners of tai chi like Cullion to see their art get all watered down into exercise for seniors.
    Those who esteme qi have no strength. ~ Exposition of Insights into the Thirteen Postures Attrib: Wu Yuxiang founder of Wu style tai chi.

  8. #8
    WingChun Lawyer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jekyll
    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.
    That civilisation may not sink,
    Its great battle lost,
    Quiet the dog, tether the pony
    To a distant post;
    Our master Caesar is in the tent
    Where the maps are spread,
    His eyes fixed upon nothing,
    A hand under his head.


    - W.B. Yeats

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by WingChun Lawyer
    That would be only wing chun´s creed, I think.
    So, WingChun was the only school involved in the rebellion against the Ching? Wrong, sucka.

  10. #10
    WingChun Lawyer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MasterKiller
    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 wouldn´t know: but I did read that was the motto of WC, somewhere on wingchunkuen.com (no, I can´t be bothered to search).
    That civilisation may not sink,
    Its great battle lost,
    Quiet the dog, tether the pony
    To a distant post;
    Our master Caesar is in the tent
    Where the maps are spread,
    His eyes fixed upon nothing,
    A hand under his head.


    - W.B. Yeats

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