Master Class

We’ll carry on with our meditations on free will shortly, but for tonight — it’s been a very busy weekend, with no time for writing — we have, for those of you with an interest in such things, some videos of the great Southern Praying Mantis master Gin Foon Mark, taken during his recent visit to Rome. (I’ve mentioned Master Mark before, here and here; he was the sifu of my first kung fu master, William Chung.) The videos are here, and if you’d like to see some other footage of the great man in action, there are quite a few on YouTube – including this one, which looks like it dates back to the 1970’s.

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  1. JO says

    do you remember one of my posts in which I told you that I was reading,”How to develop chi power”? This book was written by William Cheung-is this your referenced man in above article? My wing chun instructor recommended the book. I now have all of this time on my hands and will be going back to classes starting in 3 weeks. I had started them years ago, then kids and life got in the way.

    Posted May 12, 2008 at 9:28 am | Permalink
  2. Malcolm says

    Hi Jeanie,

    No, that’s a different person; Sifu Cheung is a renowned wing-chun master. My own former sifu, Master William Chung is a teacher, primarily, of Hung Gar, but was also a disciple of Gin Foon Mark’s.

    There is chi power aplenty in any of these systems.

    Posted May 12, 2008 at 9:50 am | Permalink
  3. the one eyed man says

    Perhaps you heard that the worst earthquake in 58 years hit China today, with thousands dead. This recalls Adam Smith’s moral parable in the Theory of Moral Sentiments.

    Smith starts by asking: if an earthquake hit China and killed thousands of people, what would most people do? Most people would give it some thought, perhaps think about the capriciousness and fragility of life, and then move on.

    Smith then asks what someone would do if he were told that his little toe would be cut off the next morning. His straw man would doubtless be up all night sweating, upset, and alarmed at losing his toe.

    Why the disparity between thousands of deaths and losing a toe? It’s obvious: the toe is yours, and the thousands of dead are unknown people on the other side of the world.

    Smith then asks the money question: if you were to choose between losing a toe and thousands of dead people from an earthquake, which would you choose? Equally obvious: according to Smith, nearly everyone would choose to lose the toe. Why is this? Because people uniquely possess the attribute of moral responsibility, and nobody would choose the moral culpability of thousands of dead for the sake of his toe.

    Admittedly this is somewhat tangential to kung fu – hey, China is in the story line – but I didn’t want to wait another 58 years to remark on the profundity of Smith’s Chinese earthquake parable.

    Posted May 12, 2008 at 5:21 pm | Permalink
  4. Malcolm says

    Tangential indeed, Pete! I guess someone, somewhere is rather guiltily stroking his intact toe as we speak.

    Posted May 12, 2008 at 5:58 pm | Permalink