“Not for the civilized mind” – The Primal Instincts of Life and Death

January 26, 2023 by VAHVA Fitness

Talking about the dark side of Qigong and how to cultivate the primal instincts of the savage mind. 

If you live in the West, life has gotten very easy and comfortable for the vast majority of the population. As a result, we have gotten soft. 

We remember it clearly when we first time arrived in Taiwan in 2018. We had just spent 1 year in Melbourne, Australia and we had gotten soft. 

In the city of Tainan, the grandmaster Jiang Yu Shan almost immediately re-introduced us to the ancient and original concept of masculinity. 

After 1 week in Tainan, we were covered in bruises, we had gone through intense workouts and learned many devastating techniques and principles of combat.

In the West, most people have almost entirely forgotten the hard side of life. Even in the developed Asian countries it's long gone. We've personally only seen it exist in the remote parts of Russia or Kazakhstan where people are still incredibly tough.

Moreover, around 100-150 years ago martial arts started to shift towards something "softer" more than ever before.  And not just martial arts – everything has been modernized and the society has become more organized and civilized. 

Every generation we've lost a grandfather who used to live a tougher life than we do. In the last 200 years we've lost a large part of our true primal nature and a certain level of touch with reality itself.

In Japan, during the years of Meiji Restoration (1866), real martial arts were either forbidden or forced to change into "softer" and safer forms called "Gendai Budō" martial arts. 

Kenjutsu became Kendo.

Jujutsu became Judo.

Aikijutsu became Aikido.

New, less brutal, martial arts were born.

The original, the more practical and dangerous martial arts suddenly became more "family friendly" ways of training with a lower risk of injuries and less potential danger to the society.

Similar period happened in China but almost 100 years later thanks to the Chinese Cultural Revolution driven by Mao Zedong. It was just way worse for Chinese martial arts this time.

Wushu became Mao Zedong's favourite martial art and the only acceptable form of Chinese Kung Fu. As a result, a lot of legitimate masters fled to neighbouring countries such as Hong Kong, Taiwan and Malaysia.

This is why GM Jiang Yu Shan was able to find real authentic Chinese Qigong and Kung Fu in Taiwan. In fact, out of all countries it seems Taiwan and Malaysia have the most well preserved forms of Chinese Kung Fu today.

Even Ip Man, the notorious master of Wing Chun, fled persecution to Hong Kong back in 1945.

End of Wing Chun – Time to Fulfil Bruce Lee's Prophecy?

"Not for the civilized mind" – The Primal Instincts of Life and Death

During the full podcast which you can find here, we discussed whether Wing Chun works as a martial art or not. 

We received lots of good-hearted messages from Wing Chun practitioners asking us to check "this style of Wing Chun" or "this master". Most agreed that how a lot of people do Wing Chun, is not effective.

It's not a good look for the martial art when Chinese masters or grandmasters with decades of experience in the art barely look competitive in the presence of a medium level MMA fighter.

But this is the thing...

In the podcast, I said that we should never be married to a style and we should just focus on becoming a better martial artist.

Over 50 years ago, Bruce Lee said: "I don't believe in styles anymore.". He was the most prominent student of Wing Chun ever.

We agree that Wing Chun has lots of great elements, techniques and principles that can make you a better fighter. The forms are fantastic for rooting, mobility and building the body frame.

But why defend the style when it has massive holes in it? Even the grandmaster Jiang Yu Shan has publicly criticised Wing Chun on many occasions. 

It's not just Wing Chun - every Chinese style has holes in them that need to be filled with something else. If you look at the grandmaster Jiang Yu Shan's system, it's not 100% Monkey Kung Fu (not even close).

Hou Quan Men – Monkey Fist Door is what he is known for but in addition to this, his system consist of Xinyi Ba, Tai Chi, Hanuman Boxing, Sanda, Catch wrestling and even... Wing Chun.

He knows a lot about most if not all Chinese martial arts. Basically, he is teaching ancient Chinese Mixed Martial Arts.

The whole course Internal & External Kung Fu is a mix of different Chinese and Asian styles taught by the grandmaster.

Even Miyamoto Musashi in his Book of Five Rings told not to get overfamiliar with one weapon or method of strategy. Over 500 years ago Miyamoto Musashi saw exactly the same problems in the art of war and combat as we have today in the world of martial arts.

Moreover, the Musashi's book dedicates an entire section to other schools of "strategy" as well because he understood that you must be well-versed in all forms of strategy to be a complete swordsman.

You are an individual. Everyone is different and everyone should find the elements of martial arts that best suit your body type and personality.

Let's fulfil the prophecy of Bruce Lee in Chinese martial arts as well.


samuli jyrkinen

About the author 

Samuli Jyrkinen

Samuli is the ninja behind the scenes (photography, videography, websites, program platforms and more). He has been training religiously for over a decade and has a firm grasp of physical and mental fitness. You will find our story here.

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