Mr. Ghostexorcist - no need to reprimand him, as everything he stated was wrong and I will kindly show him why he is in fact, WRONG.
So what IS the "height" of Chinese culture. Martial arts are definitely part of it. I take it you've never been to China, or at least trained under a Chinese (from China) martial artist, where martial demos take the place of rodeos, basketball, etc., here in the States. Yes, Chinese martial arts were developed out of necessity and were very effective when they were necessary, which isn't necessarily true in the present era of nuclear and projectile weapons. I'm not sure how you became so confused, as the traditional Chinese virtue is the scholar/warrior, not one or the other. And the "fantastical" movies and books are part of the Chinese tradition. You shouldn't try to apply your own cultural values to the Chinese. Please note that this is a "Chinese forum", not a "What I imagine is Chinese" forum. And rather than criticize me for criticizing you, go to Chinatown and immerse yourself in Chinese culture.
Before I slowly deconstruct your post point by point, let me kindly point out the fact that you should look at another's profile before making condescending comments.
First, I was born in Shenyang, Liaoning, and emigrated to the United States when I was around ten years old. I am Han Chinese and I am *very* well acquainted with my own culture, thank you very much.
Second, my major in university IS East Asian History, specifically Chinese history (and Japanese history as well). I'm not going to get into the senseless ego-laden argument of who knows more about what, but I'm very comfortable and confident of what I personally know regarding Chinese culture and history, from pre-history to modern times. I have studied and written exhaustive research papers on Chinese cultural and historical development all the way up to the modernization of the present-day realities. But hey, this is not a place I am promoting myself. I don't have any hard credentials, I'm not a professor, but I'll still kindly point out to where you are wrong.
I take it you've never been to China, or at least trained under a Chinese (from China) martial artist, where martial demos take the place of rodeos, basketball, etc., here in the States.
Again, I was born in China. The MAJORITY of martial arts currently being taught in the mainland now is modern Wushu, and barring that, northern systems are more prevalent. Traditional systems and teachers do still exist and do teach, but it is quite rarer to find. Second, my shifu (teacher) was a Hong Kong born full-blooded Chinese that emigrated to North America for his university studies in his 20's. I am *VERY* familiar with martial art demonstrations. In fact this is where the Beishaolin (northern shaolin) influence came about in my own system, our Zhu Shi and the famous Beishaolin master, Gu Ruzhang, became acquainted AFTER Gu Ruzhang came into Guangzhou from the North (this even was known as "Five Tigers descending the Mountain, as master Gu came with four other masters). He held a large (or maybe someone else held it, my memory fades) demonstration festival and afterwards greeted my Zhu Shi, Tan San, and they became friends and later exchanged students to learn each other's respective systems. I've been to and witnessed many Chinese martial art demonstrations in parks, in city halls, in convention centers, in competitions..... to the point where I am quite bored of them (forms competitions are boring to me, after all).
Yes, Chinese martial arts were developed out of necessity and were very effective when they were necessary, which isn't necessarily true in the present era of nuclear and projectile weapons.
Nobody made the claim that Chinese martial arts are more effective than nuclear and projectile weapons. Are ANY martial arts necessary then? We are discussing the original ESSENCE of Chinese martial arts, NOT whether they are more or less deadly than firearms and explosives.
I'm not sure how you became so confused, as the traditional Chinese virtue is the scholar/warrior, not one or the other.
This is COMPLETELY UNTRUE and shows how much of a limited knowledge you have regarding historical Chinese realities or traditional Chinese culture. I don't care if you are Chinese or a Westerner, because if you think this, if someone "taught" you this then both you and them are naive and ignorant.
Historically speaking ever since the development of Confucianism (even before that really) there has been ZERO development in the ways of what you label a "warrior-scholar." Confucian scholars largely condemned violence and due to the development of Confucianism, the Imperial Examination and the huge emphasis placed upon learning and education the NATURE of the soldier, military arts or martial arts (e.g. violence) was EXTREMELY looked down upon in ancient China. Having your son join the military ranks was akin to admitting he failed in terms of education and was/is incapable of passing the imperial examination. Of course there are far more intricate problems involved such as nepotism/wealth/socio-cultural status BUT these are extraneous things and doesn't undermine the fact that being a "warrior" is something that is looked upon with DISDAIN because it is the ANTITHESIS of being a "scholar" in the eyes of the Chinese scholar-official class.
I would also like to highlight the fact that the concept of the "warrior-scholar" is a very specifically a JAPANESE tradition that arose out of the Edo-period (or Bakufu) Japan, ESPECIALLY toward the middle and late Tokugawa periods where the Samurai order and the Daimyo lords (they are distinct bodies as well, as Samurai =/= Daimyo) were given more and more ADMINISTRATIVE and BUREAUCRATIC duties because with the reduction of clan/border wars and the centralization of Japan as well as the development of Neo-Confucianism in Japan with the heavy influence of Chinese culture, philosophy and literature lead to the development/evolution of the Samurai order as FUNCTIONALLY SIMILAR to the CHINESE SCHOLAR OFFICIAL order. Men such as Hayashi Razan (Neo-Confucian scholar) made it his life's goal to assist Tokugawa Ieyasu, a man of war, to become a man of peace as well, and to crown his military success with achievement of an enduring social order based on Confucian ethical ideals.
The development of the Samurai as WARRIOR-SCHOLARS was out of NECESSITY and the based on the REALITIES OF JAPAN. Such realities were never existent in ANY of the Chinese dynasties and that includes war-torn periods such as pre-Qin, Spring & Autumn, or the Three Kingdoms.
To those interested I can expand on the historical reasons for Japan's development of the warrior social order, but since this is not a Japanese history discussion I will leave it at this. But I must ask Mr. "Attal," the one who had the audacity to flame me for no good reason this question. Did you confuse Japanese history with Chinese history? Because you are essentially making the claim that the warrior-scholar amalgamation was a Chinese creation when it is blatantly not, and when the notion of the "warrior" was never even PRESENT in Chinese history.
You shouldn't try to apply your own cultural values to the Chinese. Please note that this is a "Chinese forum", not a "What I imagine is Chinese" forum. And rather than criticize me for criticizing you, go to Chinatown and immerse yourself in Chinese culture.
Yes, because I am 100% white, right?
In fact, what does ethnicity even have anything to do with historical knowledge? Most of my professors in East Asian history are white, and they know FAR more than the average Chinese person on the street. In fact most of the Chinese professors here teach economics.
As far as going to Chinatown, well, that only represents a tiny segment of Chinese culture, and even then it mostly represents the realities of OVERSEAS CHINESE CULTURE, primarily from a Cantonese/Southern-based origin and is not very indicative of Northern Chinese culture.
I think YOU need to go pick up a book or enroll in a class dedicated to the study of Chinese history FAR more than I need to go "immerse myself" in my local Chinatown.
Edited by X `, 13 July 2011 - 06:37 PM.