Martial Arts vs. the Gun
Source: Empty Flower
Twenty years ago I decided to go to China to continue my traditional martial arts training. I lived in a smaller city in a rural province and hooked up with a group of Xingyi practioners in their mid 50’s – 80’s who had reps for their abilities.
My teacher brought me over to his teacher’s house one day and we hit it off well and later he invited to come visit him. When I got there he got pretty excited telling me he wanted to teach me, that my teacher didn’t know crap, that he could defeat him instantly and I should study with him. I said I would like to study Xingyi with him. His response was “Xingyi — Bah — I want to teach you real fighting.” That surprised me that the top Xingyi dog in town didn’t equate Xingyi with real fighting.
Unfortunately his wife, who was the head coach for the provincal Wushu program and later invited me to study Tai Chi with her, got word to me she didn’t want me to come over because her husband had a bad heart and got too excited when he was showing me things.
But before he died from a heart attack shortly after, I got together with his father-in–law from Shanghai who was something else. Eighty three yrs. old, ramrod straight and still fighting. We pushed hands and did some Xingyi together. Interesting body development, skinny but hard as a rock. He showed me how when you are in your standing posture you pull in your spine so your back muscles protect it. I don’t think hitting him across his back with a board would have affected him at all.
Funny though, he also asked me why I was wasting my time with this stuff. I mentioned self defense and his response was, “Nonsense, you are an American, you can buy a gun for self defense that is much better than this and use your time to make more money and have a better life.” I asked him why he studied, he said he was uneducated and poor and needed a way to make a living. He trained for years and got a job as a bodyguard for a tax collector.
… Having lived through the Cultural Revolution, when accomplished martial artists like him were stripped, beaten and dragged through the streets naked, he probably knows 1st hand how much more effective a gun would have been than Xingyi when it really matters.
Entry filed under: Inspiring.