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A Little History of the Martial Arts part 3

Welcome to part 3 of our short skim over the history of martial arts we will continue to look at how the arts were inspired by the spiritual practices of their day and still are. In part 2 we took a short look at Zen, However for this part we will start with Taoism, which is the life force of all the Chinese martial arts.

T o the Taoist everything in life has its opposite, which unites in harmony to become the cosmos. The symbol of these two opposing forces flowing into one another in a continuous state of change is the yin and yang, the positive and negative aspect of the known universe. Neither can exist without the other.


These two inseparable forces (seen in the symbol of a black fish with a white eye and white fish with a black eye on a circular diagram) represent the true roots of all Taoist philosophy. But consider this, the same philosophy is found in western mystery traditions and alchemy where the yang is represented as the sun and the yin the moon the two having an influence on the third force or the earth.
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A little History of the Martial Arts – Part 2

At the end of part one, we were starting to look at the three main religions of China and how they had an influence on the eastern martial arts.

China’s indigenous religion of Taoism (pronounced Dow-ism) followed the concept of yielding or non-action. Its aim is to achieve a mind at peace without anger or happiness at its extremes, a mind without worry. Taoism proposes that all things in the universe exist perfectly in a state of harmony; the concept of uniting apparent opposites in a constant flow is the essence of the religion.

Buddhism arrived in China from India (remember this is the home of some of the first religious writings, the Vedic hymns, etc and yoga and tantric practices)

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A Little History of the Martial Arts – Part 1

Welcome to the first of a series of posts – in which we’ll be exploring the history of martial arts from the first historical records dealing with fighting skills through to martial arts today.

The first historical records dealing with codified Unarmed fighting skills are ancient Egyptian in origin and represent a crude type of temple boxing there are hieroglyphics showing royal guards that look like they have their hands wrapped and are engaged in boxing.

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Access to Information


This is the last of my ramblings on how I think martial arts has changed in the past 30 years or as long as I can remember!

I would like to stress these are just opinions and thoughts as I sat thinking how to share some of my thoughts on how to make the blog interesting. I hoped some of the content would allow people reading to engage a little more with how I think and how the people in MAC think, I’ve had some really positive feedback on my thoughts and it seems to have stimulated other people to remember and compare some of their memories too.

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Global Reach Local Awareness

I decided to write this post after a thought about major companies around the world such as Starbucks, McDonald’s and KFC. My thoughts originally centered on the fact that these people have a global presence that is driven at a local level. That kind of got me thinking about how with all the different cultures, languages and local conditions they could for the most part deliver a consistent product and message.

What does that have to do with martial arts, you may ask? Well, back in the day we may have had global presence, Bruce Lee was up there on the screen for us all to see, but he had no personal local presence that we can study with.

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Full-time instructors.

I don’t actually know what my first instructor did for a living, it didn’t seem an appropriate question to ask. I do remember he was a brown belt in Shotokan karate and seemed a very good martial artist.

I do however, remember that he was nearly always late for class and that very often we would be waiting for him to arrive. To this day he still irks me a little bit, I should point out that I don’t hold him personally responsible, it was more a case of he had to do his full-time job, teaching karate was a hobby and had to be treated as such.

One of my main influences, who when I trained with him, was a fifth Dan instructor was a gardener. After training with him for several years and feeling comfortable enough to ask the question, I recall that he did the job so he could finish work early enough to teach five nights a week and Saturday and Sunday.

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