International Chinese Traditional Martial Arts Competition Will Stage Traditional Chinese Divine Culture
(Clearwisdom.net) The Asia Pacific Preliminary of the "First International Chinese Traditional Martial Arts Competition" will take place on August 2-3, 2008. It will be held at the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall of the National Taipei University of Technology, located in Taipei, Taiwan. The charter of the competition states that the mission of this martial arts competition is to bring to future generations the essence of traditional Chinese martial arts, to enhance the sharing of martial arts, to promote traditional Chinese divine culture, and to advance martial arts skills and martial virtue (Wu-De) by using the format of competition. This competition will showcase for the world genuine traditional martial arts values. This martial arts extravaganza will be broadcast to the world through its organizer, New Tang Dynasty Television (NTDTV).
To promote this competition, the Judging Committee Chairman, Mr. Youfu Li, arrived in Taiwan to meet with Taiwanese martial arts masters from various schools. The reporter took the opportunity to interview Mr. Li. Mr. Li said that China has traditionally been called the Land of the Divine. Many of the traditional Chinese cultural art forms are deeply rooted in the divinely-imparted Chinese culture; Chinese traditional martial arts is no exception, sharing in this cultural heritage. In terms of Chinese martial arts traditions, they encompass the aspects of cultivating one's morals, perfecting artistic techniques, nurturing one's health, and improving one's physical condition, self-defense and violence prevention, and so on. Practicing martial arts also requires sophisticated skills and demands profound artistic display. Therefore, Chinese martial arts is also a part of the divinely-imparted traditional Chinese culture. It especially emphasizes the "martial virtues" of compassion, loyalty, propriety, wisdom and faith. So it can be said that the Chinese martial arts is the condensation of traditional Chinese values and spirit in the martial arts community.
Do not bully the kind or fear the evil; The object of martial virtue is to prevent and end violence
Mr. Youfu Li emphasized that "martial virtue" is an essential part of one's moral conduct. One with martial virtue: "Believes in karmic retribution, and can distinguish good from evil." The martial artist also understands that good and bad are rewarded accordingly, thus he does not bully the good or fear the evil; instead he eliminates evil, and promotes goodness. Therefore, to maintain martial virtue is to prevent and end conflicts. Mr. Li explained the meaning of the Chinese character "ge" 丿 , meaning weapon), which he used as an example. The stroke "丿" represents the sharp edge of a knife. If this sharp edge is put on top of the Chinese character "zhi" (止, meaning stop), the Chinese character "zheng" (正, meaning righteousness) results, which means that it is not righteous to misuse a sharp weapon. So "martial virtue" also has the meaning of not using weapons (i.e., preventing violence). Mr. Li also said, "So we encourage people to demonstrate their traditional martial arts techniques. As long as these are genuine martial arts skills, we will definitely pay attention to them. Of course, we also need to pay attention to their martial virtues and the traditional moral values. So from the perspective of techniques in this competition, these are the aspects that are relatively important."
"Martial arts also has its internal meanings. That is, in its artistic aspect, it is very similar to traditional Chinese dance, traditional Chinese culture, and other things like traditional Chinese arts, music, or calligraphy - they are all deeply rooted in Chinese history. For example, in the past, it was stressed that one practices martial arts through music. Xiang Zhang [a martial arts master who lived right before the founding of the Han Dynasty (206 BC-220 AD) in China] would wave his sword, and as he played, he sang emotionally. This story contains the meanings of this aspect. Therefore, martial arts has these things included in it."
Referring to the First International Chinese Traditional Martial Arts Competition, Mr. Li emphasized that during the whole process of the competition, the judges will pay great attention to the display of traditional Chinese culture, that is, the divinely-imparted Chinese culture. He said, "We hope to promote martial virtue. We hope that everyone can display a high realm in this aspect. But in reality, we can only advocate it; the genuine martial virtue is reflected in one's self-improvement from the depth of one's heart, one's self-control, one's personal cultivation, as well as how one presents oneself; this is very important."
"We know that martial arts contains the aspects of attack, defense, and fight. However, what is the genuine high realm? Take Tai Chi Quan for an example; the principle of Tai Chi Quan is not about the attack, but instead that when others attack you, you have the ability to dissolve their attack. This dissolving indicates the superiority of your higher realm. However much strength the attacker has applied is how hard he will fall; the greater the force he applies, the farther he will fall. In this aspect, the martial arts skill, in itself, directly reflects one's martial virtue - 'I did not beat him, but he made himself fall when he attacked me.' Therefore, martial arts can be divided into different realms. In the lowest realm, it emphasizes the attack. In a higher realm, it emphasizes the defense. In a realm that is even higher, it manifests as neither attack nor defense; instead, one can act fully according to one's intent, as though one were a divine being."
The traditional Chinese martial arts is also a cultivation-related divine culture
During the process from his fulfilling his ambition to learn martial arts when he was very young, to his exhibiting brilliance in the Chinese martial arts community, Mr. Youfu Li came to understand that traditional Chinese martial arts has its origins in traditional Chinese culture. It encompasses many elements of both internal and external cultivation and is very closely related to traditional cultivation practice. Martial arts and cultivation practice are indispensable; they are closely unified with each other. No matter whether it is an external practice or an internal cultivation, martial arts emphasizes that one should modulate one's breathing, calm down one's mind, eliminate all selfish or interfering notions, reach tranquility, and then become enlightened. When one's mind nature is improved, then one's martial arts skills will also naturally improve.
Mr. Youfu Li has realized that in order to improve mankind's morality, people need to follow the genuine nature of the cosmos, Truth-Compassion-Forbearance. He says that Zhuan Falun is the only book that has clearly explained this characteristic of the universe. He also indicated that his many years of martial arts experience has enabled him to clearly differentiate good from evil and maintain a peaceful mind so as to achieve great things; however, what is most significant to him is that his experience has enabled him to recognize that what is contained in Zhuan Falun is the Fa of the universe that can guide cultivators to achieve enlightenment. This book has really told people everything about the true overall situation of mankind's morality, how to cultivate, to what realm one can cultivate, and how human society should develop. He said, "All of (my) questions are answered. There are no more doubts. So I believe that reading Zhuan Falun is better than anything else."
Zhuan Falun can open up wisdom
Mr. Youfu Li said that reading Zhuan Falun has really opened up his wisdom. For example, in the past, when he read the works of Laozi, he needed to find explanations for many of the words or phrases in the book. But after he started to practice Falun Dafa, he said, "Now, as long as I can calm down, when I read one or two sentences, I can clearly know the real meaning without resorting to others' explanations. That is because what we have gained from learning Dafa is supremely high, and when we see lower level things, we are clear on everything and have no doubts."
Mr. Li continued, "I have practiced martial arts for so many years. I have found the greatest benefits and the most meaningful things as I've read this book, Zhuan Falun. Over these years (since I became a practitioner), I feel very fulfilled and I do not worry about anything, as there is nothing else as good as my cultivating in Falun Dafa."
People are anticipating the traditional Chinese martial arts competition
The competition judging committee members hope that all the contestants can fully exhibit their respective martial arts skills as well as their internal cultivation. The committee members will also seek input from the martial arts experts, pioneers, and masters from different schools. They encourage more people to participate in the "International Chinese Traditional Martial Arts Competition," and promote the traditional values and principles of traditional Chinese martial arts. In Taiwan, after learning that the mission of the competition is to carry on traditional Chinese martial arts, promote cultural exchange, and enhance martial arts skills and martial virtue, many martial arts masters have indicated that they will support this effort and have recommended contestants. It is expected that when the time comes, the competition will greatly enhance the exchange of martial arts in the Taiwanese martial arts community.
The Semi-Finals and Finals of the "First International Chinese Traditional Martial Arts Competition" will be held on September 28, 2008, in New York City, USA.