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Thread: American Art, Chinese Salutation Poem??

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    Default American Art, Chinese Salutation Poem??

    We train in an American Art, so why is the "Warrior and Scholar" poem associated with the Formal Salutation in American Kenpo??

    I understand respect for our roots, however if you recite this poem during a Formal Salutation, something doesn't seem right ("to pull our country together") who's country??

    I've seen a few different variations, but here is what my daughter's school handed out on paper:
    "We the warrior and the scholar, come together to go forth and fight back to back, to pull our country together. I have no weapons but I hide my secrets and pray forgiveness if I have to use my skills."

    Everything has meaning in Kenpo, but shouldn't everything have "personal" meaning to each of us??

    The history and evolution of Kenpo is very interesting to me, so any responses would be greatly appreciated.
    What have I learned from this???

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    Default Re: American Art, Chinese Salutation Poem??

    It's an American art, but with Chinese roots/influence. Mr. Parker acknowledged this with a few nods to Chinese stuff here and there.

    Chris

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    Default Re: American Art, Chinese Salutation Poem??

    Thank you for the reply,
    I guess it's a good thing that we acknowledge our roots/past.
    What have I learned from this???

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    Default Re: American Art, Chinese Salutation Poem??

    We do not say the poem while doing our salutation to forms; however, if someone is having a terrible time learning the salutation, we may teach it to help them remember.
    Just because you do something one way, does not mean that everyone else does it that way, or that it is even the correct way.

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    Default Re: American Art, Chinese Salutation Poem??

    I see what you are saying...but really, the whole issue of "Country" isn't addressed. Just like religion isn't addressed per-say. "Pulling the country together" sounds like a nice sentiment, but does our practice of Kenpo really address it? I don't think so, but that's me. Politics is a good thing to leave out of everything you can, except politics. Also: even amongst the MOST politically minded or patriotic... the idea that we should "Pull together" is a little too high minded... as many believe that it's the competition of ideas and the contrast between opposing views/vantage points that makes our country work and keeps certain checks and balances in place. We can all find a commonality as citizens of the same nation... I really wish we would, but to try to be alike?? Like I said: good sentiment, but not really all that practical or needful.

    I'm all for patriotism!! If an instructor feels strongly about it.... then by all means, they Should try to include such a phrase to represent their philosophy! OR maybe a "Pledge of Allegence" to Old Glory on the wall would be better?? It's up to personal tastes. Wearing a US (or whatever country the school may be in) flag on the Gi is a good touch if that's the way you wana go.

    Also: if patriotism is a virtue that you hold dear (as I do) then mabye it could be said that this is addressed in the Kenpo Creed:
    should I be forced to defend myself
    my PRINCIPLES or my honor...

    ...a matter of right or wrong....
    etc.

    Maybe it could be seen as "in there", and just needing to be talked about and brought forth later as further explanation of those lines.

    Just thoughts..
    I like the way you think Sloth!!

    Not to mention that cute avatar. It reminds me to "Hang in there".

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    Lightbulb Re: American Art, Chinese Salutation Poem??

    Quote Originally Posted by chris armstrong
    It's an American art, but with Chinese roots/influence. Mr. Parker acknowledged this with a few nods to Chinese stuff here and there.
    Very true

    This is the version of the story behind the formal salute as was taught to me (at my old school) when I was a White Belt:

    The Warrior & the Scholar came to China - a land in turmoil
    (the turmoil is symbolized by the twist stance)
    Fighting side by side & back to back (while your hands are out, then as you pull them towards you) they pulled the country together
    I come to you with only Karate - "empty hands" (as you form a triangle with your hands away from & above your head)
    I conceal my art from the outside world (salute)
    I pray for forgiveness should I be forced to use it (prayer position)


    At my school the story is also usually told to help students learn the salutation, they are not required to recite it out loud.
    The truly educated never graduate.
    "To understand the heart & mind of a person, look not at what they have already achieved, but what they aspire to do." -Kahlil Gibran

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    Smile Re: American Art, Chinese Salutation Poem??

    I have never heard of the China version of the salutation. I learned, and have been doing it this way- The Warrior and the Scholar(make a fist with your right hand, and open your left hand as you step into a twist with the left foot ), Come together to go forth in battle(meet your right fist with your left hand, your left hand covers the right fist as you step with your right foot into a cat stance) Fighting back to back to pull our country together( your right and left hands come together, palms facing away from each other, take two steps back and bring your arms to your sides) I have no weopons( as your hands go just above your head and form a triangle, you step out with right leg) But I conceal my knowledge(as your hands form a salute at about chest level, your feet remain as is) And I pray forgiveness should I be forced to use my knowledge( bring your arms down to stomach level and form a prayer sign with your hands, then close out).

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    Default Re: American Art, Chinese Salutation Poem??

    Huh. I had always envisioned "the country" or "our country" as symbolic of the personal struggles that are created by conflict...and not in reference to a specific nation.

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    Default Re: American Art, Chinese Salutation Poem??

    Interesting.
    Our version is a little different..

    "We the Warriors and Scholars of China go forth into battle, fighting side to side and back to back, bringing our country back together."

    I agree that everything we do should have personal meaning to each person.

    I guess if we break it down this is how I interpret it..

    We the Warriors and Scholars = Put equal emphasis on developing physical and mental skills. Do not be Single minded, but well rounded and complete.

    of China go forth into battle = I look at this as simply paying respect to the roots of our origins. China.. by learning the art we are taking something that was originally given to us by the Chinese(Obviously we have other roots as well)

    fighting side to side and back to back = working with those around us to accomplish our goals, be it family, friends, associates, neighbors, teachers, students, etc.etc.etc. and be it a trash free nrighborhood, or a terrorist free planet, this can be any task large or small that requires more then one person to accomplish.

    bringing our country back together = Country I look at as a Metaphor, it can mean anything, our personal lives, our house, our neighborhood, our business, our Country... anything..
    anyways thats my slant....take it or leave it.

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    Default Re: American Art, Chinese Salutation Poem??

    Is this something Ed Parker promoted? it seems like a godo exmaple of "cultural baggage" that he would have eliminated. Sorry for the naieve question...
    -David C
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    Default Re: American Art, Chinese Salutation Poem??

    Here's the version I learned, and my take on it:

    We, the warriors and the scholars come together and go forth. Back to back, we bring our nation together as one......
    Represents that kenpo is not only a physical art, but a mental one as well. The "warrior" represents the physical aspect, and the "scholar" the mental. That equal focus should be given to both if one is to master kenpo.
    "..bring our nation together as one.." to me this furthers this point that kenpo is 50% mental, 50% physical. That in order to be truely "united" both aspects must work in tandem.

    ....I have no weapons, but carry a treasure in my pocket and pray forgiveness if forced to reveal it.
    To me, this represents the "honor" of the system. We do not train bullys and braggarts but rather teach self-defense and only use it when necessary. As such, when given no other option, we will do what is necessary to preserve life and limb but regret having to harm another living being in order to do so.

    My 0.02
    "It is sobering to reflect that one of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating the very phrases which our founding fathers used in the struggle for independence." – Charles A. Beard

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    Default Re: American Art, Chinese Salutation Poem??

    The version I learned:
    The scholar and the warrior come forth to do battle.
    Back to back, they pull together the world of martial arts with love.
    If we have to use our weapons, we pray for forgiveness.

    Where many do a triangle with their hands, we do an "up side down heart." It coincides with "...world of martial arts with love."

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    Default Re: American Art, Chinese Salutation Poem??

    the opening version i learned from a friend

    here is the warrior ready to go, here is the scholar..
    warrior says "lets kick some ass",
    scholar stops warrior and says "wait a second, i dont want to go to jail for murder."


    :-p
    Brian Sheets
    VKKSI Kenpo 1st Black

    Only a warrior chooses pacifism; others are condemned to it." ~ Unknown
    "Don't hit at all if it is honorably possible to avoid hitting, but never hit soft." Theodore Roosevelt



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    Default Re: American Art, Chinese Salutation Poem??

    Remember that part of the art originated in China... China means 'Our Land'

    China is a country where 'patriotism' as you call it, is respected and honored as a mindset(or at least it use to be). In todays US corporate culture everyone has to ask a question:
    "How does my job contribute to the mission statement of my company?"

    In China, an individuals social responsibility is to ask themselves:
    "How does my life contribute to the overall well being of OUR country?"
    An individual who pursues the martial arts is making the country stronger by propegating the wisdom and knowledge of centuries of teachings. Passing the knowledge from one generation to the next is how you build a strong country.

    THIS is why the reference to uniting the country is included in the poem.

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    Default Re: American Art, Chinese Salutation Poem??

    Quote Originally Posted by Kumite View Post
    Remember that part of the art originated in China... China means 'Our Land'

    China is a country where 'patriotism' as you call it, is respected and honored as a mindset(or at least it use to be). In todays US corporate culture everyone has to ask a question:
    "How does my job contribute to the mission statement of my company?"

    In China, an individuals social responsibility is to ask themselves:
    "How does my life contribute to the overall well being of OUR country?"
    An individual who pursues the martial arts is making the country stronger by propegating the wisdom and knowledge of centuries of teachings. Passing the knowledge from one generation to the next is how you build a strong country.

    THIS is why the reference to uniting the country is included in the poem.
    While I agree with your statement in part, there is a small issue with the translation of China. China means "Middle Kingdom," and in Mandarin the phrase used to identify Chinese citizens means "People of the Middle Kingdom." Again, not to cast stones (I make plenty of mistakes myself), but mentioned in the interest of clarity.

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    Default Re: American Art, Chinese Salutation Poem??

    Quote Originally Posted by Brother John View Post
    the idea that we should "Pull together" is a little too high minded... as many believe that it's the competition of ideas and the contrast between opposing views/vantage points that makes our country work and keeps certain checks and balances in place. We can all find a commonality as citizens of the same nation... I really wish we would, but to try to be alike?? Like I said: good sentiment, but not really all that practical or needful.
    I had never thought of the "Pull Together" line as being so much day-to-day, but those times when our country (because I'm from the USA, I relate it to that...I believe each should relate it to their own circumstances), but moreso those times when a country really NEEDS to pull together. Think WWII after Pearl Harbor, 9/11...I hate to mention those events as I think sometimes they tend to be overused sometimes as examples, but that's what I think of when I think of a (our) country "pulling together". Perhaps those times when children have gone missing, and entire communities, states and multiple states are pulled together in a unified effort to find them. That's what I've always thought of anyway.

    Sean

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    Default Re: American Art, Chinese Salutation Poem??

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidCC View Post
    Is this something Ed Parker promoted?
    Yes.
    The above is just my opinion.

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    Default Re: American Art, Chinese Salutation Poem??

    To "pull our country together" to me was always placed in the historical time period when he was creating the art. It was in the 60's and 70's when our country was very torn between the fight for civil rights and the vietnam war.

    I just assumed this was what SGM Parker may have been referring to.
    "For he is God's servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God's servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer."

    Romans 13:4

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