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Dispelling Ignorance and Untruths - A Case Study of Baguamonk1's Posts

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  • Dispelling Ignorance and Untruths - A Case Study of Baguamonk1's Posts

    Greetings avid forum members.

    Having followed some of the lively discussions here on our wonderful forum, I am inspired to create this thread on “Dispelling Ignorance and Untruths.” In particular I will be examining and commenting on posts made by forum member Baguamonk1. Please note that it is my desire to help continue the spread of quality information on this forum that I post, and not to personally attack Baguamonk1 or any other member.

    A Case Study of Baguamonk1’s Posts

    Like Ronan and others, I too am bored by Baguamonk1’s posts. Sometimes you have to read his sentences two or three times before you can guess at their meanings. The following is an example (original post here):

    Originally posted by Baguamonk1
    Relying on stylistic boundries as if it were seperate religions
    Nevertheless, his posts give us two important benefits. One, it enables us to train mental clarity. Two, it provide material for us to dispel ignorance and untruths. My brothers, especially Ronan and Anthony, have helped to dispel ignorance and untruths in other threads. I start this thread to dispel ignorance and untruths in Baguamonk1’s posts. Others are welcome to join in. Of course, Baguamonk1 is invited to give his views.

    I chose the following post at random. It is reproduced below in full for your convenience. Baguamonk1 posted the following on the 20th September 2006 in the “Can a Disciple Surpass his Sifu?” thread:

    Originally posted by Baguamonk1
    Bruce Lee's understand of WC, in my opinion, was not incomplete...How many of us meditate, and work out, train (he trained 3x a day, with a strict hard regimen), write, theorize, discover, etc. as much as he did? I think we would be lucky to do as he did in the final years of his life in just one lifetime!! Just consistently training the same BASICS over and over, and stopping to intectually contemplate every once in a while, will give amazing results in whatever yo uare doing.

    Just because he didn't stay and learn from some old master for 40 years, doesn't mean he did not have a grasp of his art. In fact, his fighting prowness or reputation could not have succeeded without the "grasp" of CMA in general.Again, when I first started getting heavily into Shaolin (or CMA in general) I thought it was the answer to most questions, I was amazed at how "deep" and awesome it all was. I thought Bruce was wrong, not because of my own analyzations necessarily, but because of my teachers opinions on martial arts. As I read more of his essays, books, interviews etc. I realized that I misinterpreted what he was saying, and what ALOT of other people were saying. He never criticized tradtional martial artists for being "traditional" he criticized them for specific ridiculous attitudes. Which grew out of the times of modern china and its culture.

    Such as (his word) ornamentation of "Techniques" and forms (like old wushu). Relying on stylistic boundries as if it were seperate religions. Hard Chi gong tricks (Not methods). In fact I too am ashamed by this, I used to think hard chi gong tricks were incredible, evidence of near-supernatural power. It is sad to know that most of it are simply "physics" tricks.Of course real martial artists don't use hard chi gong for "tricks." Wasting time when near supernatural abilities when learning how to defend yourself in the most direct way is more efficient. And as for spiritual cultivation, he was a HUGE advocator of this in the martial arts. Especially on the core elements of taoism, which in my opinion is a way of expressing "personal freedom." Wether its in spirit, mind, or body.To know that CMA is riddled with just as much mysticism, and lack of knowledge of kung fu in general by the chinese population as with western. You have no idea how many modern chinese men/women I've met (even some who practiced taichi/kung fu) said "I don't believe in Chi." Mostly because they are just as fed up with the esoteric, old school mystical way of describing these things (which make these methods seem supernatural) as many other people are.

    Also as per Chuck Liddel argument, I wasn't trying to say that UFC or MMA was the end-all-be-all to fighting. Because its not. He isn't a warrior who "lives by the sword" and no I could not imagine him swinging a halbred...But I couldn't imagine any of us doing the same thing..actually "living by the sword." I dont think any of us do, we just don't live in that kind of time period. Even if we did live in a war-time period, it would be with guns and other detached methods of killing/fighting.

    Also my criticisms towards CMA challenges and fights are ONLY directed to the last century, when CMA and chinese culture in general was falling apart due to the various economic and political circumstances
    When I looked deeper into this post, I was appalled. Everything – I repeat, everything – Baguamonk1 wrote in this post showed ignorance or untruth.

    I am appalled not because of Baguamonk1’s ignorance, though I hope he would benefit from this thread if he is open-minded enough to study it. I also do not believe that Baguamonk1 chose to lie. His untrue statements, I believe, were unintentional. They were due to his ignorance.

    But I am appalled that Baguamonk1 wrote as if he were an authority, and some forum members may unwittingly accept his ignorance and untrue statements as wisdom! This could cause much harm.

    Now let us have fun as well as benefit and make some boring material interesting by pointing out its ignorant and untrue statements so that you would be more careful of what Baguamonk1 writes.

    Please continue at the post below.

  • #2
    Continuing the fun

    This post follows on from above

    Originally posted by Baguamonk1
    Bruce Lee's understand of WC, in my opinion, was not incomplete...
    He later qualified his statement in another post as follows:

    Originally posted by Baguamonk1
    I don't mean "complete" but certainly not totally "incomplete." I think he had the basics down, and that is all that matters to me. For other people, it might matter that he didn't learn all the sets etc
    As Subclock has pointed out, stances are basic in Wing Chun as well as any other style of kung fu, whereas Bruce Lee did away with stances and bounced about.

    Kicks are basically low in Wing Chun, whereas Bruce Lee’s kicks were high.

    Anyone seeing a performance of Wing Chun and of Bruce Lee’s Jeet Kune Do in combat or solo practice can readily see that they are basically different.

    Baguamonk1’s comment that other people might think Bruce Lee’s training in Wing Chun was incomplete because he did not learn all the sets, also reveals Baguamonk1’s ignorance, as well as his mistaken belief that other people might not realize that sets were not all important in kung fu training.

    Baguamonk1 said:

    Originally posted by Baguamonk1
    How many of us meditate, and work out, train (he trained 3x a day, with a strict hard regimen), write, theorize, discover, etc. as much as he did? I think we would be lucky to do as he did in the final years of his life in just one lifetime!!
    Baguamonk1 was of the opinion that if one trained like Bruce Lee did, he would be a complete martial artist. Baguamonk1 was ignorant that if one did so but trained wrongly, he would have harmful effects.

    Baguamonk1 thought one would be lucky to train like Bruce Lee did. This could be very dangerous for those who mistake Baguamonk1’s untrue statements as useful advice. In fact Bruce Lee was unlucky. Had he been lucky and understood kung fu philosophy, he would not have over trained and die young. Baguamonk1, you wouldn’t want to die young, would you?

    Baguamonk1 said:

    Originally posted by Baguamonk1
    Just consistently training the same BASICS over and over, and stopping to intectually contemplate every once in a while, will give amazing results in whatever yo uare doing
    Again this shows Baguamonk1’s ignorance. If you follow his advice, you would waste a lot of time – if you were lucky. Much worse, you could harm yourself seriously.

    Baguamonk1 does not understand what is meant by basics. He thinks what Bruce Lee did, like pushing himself to the extreme with mechanical means and taking drugs to enhance performance, are the basics. Many other people think that going over and over kung fu sets or free sparring are the basics. As a result they become “amazing” in set demonstration to please spectators or routinely hurting themselves and their partners in sparring.


    Baguamonk1 said:

    Originally posted by Baguamonk1
    Just because he didn't stay and learn from some old master for 40 years, doesn't mean he did not have a grasp of his art.
    This untrue statement again shows Baguamonk1’s ignorance and shallow reasoning. In fact, today many kung fu and wushu practitioners today may have stayed and learnt from some old masters for many years, yet do not have a grasp of their arts. On the other hand, some practitioners may have a grasp of their arts after learning from genuine masters for a relatively short time.

    Baguamonk1 said:

    Originally posted by Baguamonk1
    In fact, his fighting prowness or reputation could not have succeeded without the "grasp" of CMA in general
    This statement is untrue. Bruce Lee had little or no “grasp” of Chinese martial art. For example, he did not know that the first consideration is good health, combat comes later. He did not know that overtraining is dangerous, and that taking chemicals is unhealthy.

    He also did not know that stances are crucial, that every movement in Chinese martial art has martial application, and that there is no need to incorporate any techniques from outside because Chinese martial arts are already complete. Yet, without a “grasp” of Chinese martial art in general, Bruce Lee had succeeded remarkably in his fighting prowess or reputation.


    Further dispelling of ignorance and untruths will follow.

    Comment


    • #3
      Oh jesus, I don't deserve this kind of thread

      No seriously, I don't deserve it I'm sorry if I have offended or disillusioned anyone, keep up the training!

      Oh and when Bruce practiced and embraced WC he did low kicks too. He only began to train high kicks after he left his stylistic boundries behind and started to get his hands on everything.

      I am a horrible ignorant person. Let the truth be shown! Different perspective= bad, selfish, ignorant. Pretty much everything you have "quoted" as means to attack me, I have already gone into depth as to why I said it and what I mean. Its not worth retyping everything again. It is easy to pick bits and chunks here and there to get your points across.

      Also I don't think he meant anything of what you just said above. Bruce said exactly what you said in one of his first books (about gong fu). That is a complete system, that every CMA had an answer to everythign it needed. That is true. His criticisms were based on people who acted like they had the answer, but could not prove it. Or rather the amount of hypocrisy and lack of concrete application in alot of these arts. He was hot-headed, and often disrespectful, that Is what I did not like about him. You cannot deny he contributed a great deal, read his essays, his quotes, good stuff. I don't know why you think he was "anti-" cma, he promoted a great deal of it....I even said that his understanding of other gong fu styles was not accurate because of his limited experience in wing chung!

      Also I did not mean to say that Chi did not exist, I was saying that alot of people, including CMA practicioners are getting tired of the connotation these words, and old philosophies bring. I wasn't talking about myself, nor was I discrediting it.

      I love the "spin" that has been placed on everything, Its like here is the quote______________"Now let me tell you WHAT he meant and under what context....YOU SEE!!!! Its ignorant and just...WRONG!!"

      Bruce trained the basics over and over...His usage of drugs and chemicals and exactly at what time, and when, what period of his life, is sort of unknown. Just because he did this, does not mean he did not train basics over and over. In and after his Wing Chung days he trained. When he started to form JKD, is when things probably started getting out of control. You can't say "he did drugs" and relate that to his WHOLE life of training/application. You can't say "Because so and so did a drug at this period of his life..lets discount ALL of his life and possibilities"

      It is true that Chuck Liddel does not live by the sword or swing a Halbred around, but I would love to see anyone show me proof that they do.
      Last edited by Baguamonk1; 26th September 2006, 03:02 AM.

      Comment


      • #4
        Firstly, thank you Baguamonk1 for joining this thread to share your views.

        Originally posted by Baguamonk1 View Post
        Oh jesus, I don't deserve this kind of thread

        No seriously, I don't deserve it I'm sorry if I have offended or disillusioned anyone, keep up the training!
        This thread is not just for you, so no need to worry about it. However you may potentially gain the most benefit here, who knows.

        Originally posted by Baguamonk1
        Oh and when Bruce practiced and embraced WC he did low kicks too. He only began to train high kicks after he left his stylistic boundries behind and started to get his hands on everything.
        Bruce Lee left his "stylistic boundries" to seek and practise in a way that was detrimental to his health. He was a good fighter due to his skill and not because of throwing away stances or weight lifting.

        If Bruce Lee really did have a complete understanding of Wing Chun and Chinese martial arts in general, he would not had trained the way he did.

        Originally posted by Baguamonk1
        I am a horrible ignorant person. Let the truth be shown! Different perspective= bad, selfish, ignorant. Pretty much everything you have "quoted" as means to attack me, I have already gone into depth as to why I said it and what I mean. Its not worth retyping everything again. It is easy to pick bits and chunks here and there to get your points across.
        This is not an attack. Your posts are simply full of untruths and as mentioned already the Shaolin Wahnam forum is dedicated in spreading quality information.

        Comment


        • #5
          Hi Jordan,

          I just wanted to pop in and say I really appreciate you starting this thread.

          Baguamonk1,

          I think Jordan Sisook was very clear that the thread wasn't an attack against you at all. I appreciate him clarifying the information you present in the forum. I believe it is important that Wahnam leadership show us younger members what information the organization agrees with, and what isn't.

          You're welcome to post your opinions in the Wahnam forum, it is not just reserved for Wahnam students (and it could be.) This way we all learn from each other. I don't think there's any need to write in such a defensive tone, but perhaps that is just a stylistic difference. Jordan is being quite calm, clear, rational and compassionate. I will note that I am encouraged by your participation and attempt at having a discussion.

          Regards,
          Dr. Akemi Borjas de Korahais, DOM
          Doctor of Oriental Medicine
          PainlessAcupuncture.com

          Comment


          • #6
            Sorry, Sifu Jordan and everybody,

            I know nobody means any disrespect, but as for myself, I can totally understand Baguamonk's reaction to this thread. Clarifying the official Wahnam stance on things is important but couldn't it be done a bit more delicately? I think, calling someone ignorant is a bit insulting, and it looks like that is one of the things this thread, and even its title, is doing.
            I don't think its neccessary to insult somebody just because they're wrong, just because you disagree with them.

            I just want to make it clear that I know no offence was intended, I just wanted to point out why, perhaps, offence was taken.

            Mark

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Mark B View Post
              I think, calling someone ignorant is a bit insulting, and it looks like that is one of the things this thread, and even its title, is doing.
              Hmm. This may be a cultural thing. I'm not sure that I see how calling someone ignorant is an insult. Here's the definition:
              ig·no·rant
              adj.
              1. Lacking education or knowledge.
              2. Showing or arising from a lack of education or knowledge: an ignorant mistake.
              3. Unaware or uninformed.
              So how is that an insult? Clearly, Jordan feels that Baguamonk is unaware, uninformed, and lacking knowledge in certain areas. I agree with Jordan. Some of Baguamonk's statements on here have raised my eyebrows higher than I knew they could go. In short, I feel that his posts often reveal his ignorance about certain things.

              For example, much of the stuff that Baguamonk says about Shaolinquan is simply not true. It reveals an extremely shallow understanding of Shaolinquan. From his posts, it seems that Baguamonk has never been exposed to the internal dimension of Shaolinquan. Thus, it seems fair to say that he is ignorant of many aspects of Shaolinquan.

              Mark, we like to call a spade a spade. I'm not sure there's a better word for "ignorance" here. If you've got one, please suggest it.
              Last edited by Antonius; 27th September 2006, 04:29 AM.
              Sifu Anthony Korahais
              www.FlowingZen.com
              (Click here to learn more about me.)

              Comment


              • #8
                The above post is something I have talked about to.

                I am NOT talking about you guys when I speak of Shaolinquan, and I even mentioned that at the highest levels they are practically the same! There are LOTS of shaolin schools that don't emphasize the internal practice, and even then the internal practice is different from those of Taoist based arts.They both lead to the same places! Nowdays there is so much Co-mingling of arts, and methods that it honestly does not matter, I just try to illustrate the differences that are common in various forms and schools of CMA/IMA. Wether you know it or not, not every shaolinquan/taijiquan practicioner out there practices Wahnam.

                Also I don't think what Bruce did was detrimental, until the chemicals and whatever other unnatural method he practiced. I'm sure he started practicing external chi gong, incorrectly as well. Mostly because I have seen some teachers go nuts from it, including "Traditional" teachers. It is a matter of balance clearly. That does not mean everything can be is discredited, all I was trying to say is he had some good views. Wether his knowledge of CMA was totally and utterly complete is unknown, and obviously he didn't. He was too young when he died! Who knows what would of happened had he had more time. I have even said some of the things he talked about was incomplete, and then it is used to further say I am "ignorant."

                You know I can quote, and deconstruct posts to claim someone is ignorant too. But then I would be disrespectful, and clearly it doesn't matter if you belong to Wahnam or are a teacher, it is TOTALLY okay to disrespect those who are not. And that's ok, I already said I understand where you are coming from. "Case study," "Not attacking," why not just get off the high horse and say what you are trying to say?

                "You are ignorant, your posts have no value, we have the true ultimate gospel of CMA so don't listen to him! Oh and by the way we aren't attacking you or criticizing you...just look at the evidence of our previous posts...clearly we don't berate or insult you every chance we get.."

                Oh hey, look I can put my own input on what you guys say, and make it look bad too!

                Just kidding guys There is no "wrong" view. In my opinion, I was never attacking you guys, or anything I have said disagrees with basic Shaolin Wahnam principles. Just because I explain things differently, it does not make me ignorant. But I guess using the words "Chi" and "internal force" to describe everything isn't. Even though I never said I never believed in "Chi" or "internal force."

                Comment


                • #9
                  Hi Baguamonk,

                  Here's a simplified version - the issue is that you talk as if you are skilled and knowledable. Personally, I don't believe that you have yet learned that you are not as smart as you think you are. Stating your opinion of Bruce Lee is not going to change my view.

                  Until you learn this lesson - and I'm not saying that you will learn it here - you're a liability on this Forum.

                  I'm going to give the complete opposite of my usual advice - close your mouth and open your eyes.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Mark, we like to call a spade a spade. I'm not sure there's a better word for "ignorance" here. If you've got one, please suggest it.
                    Uninformed, unaware, inexperienced

                    Im just throwing out a few because, while I know what you meant by it, ignorant does have a negative connotation - regardless of the dictionary meaning. If I call someone ignorant they might (quite rightly) think Im calling them uneducated or of low intelligence. The whole meaning would change however if I said 'You are ignorant of the great depths of Shaolin' for example that way you are saying that they dont know about a certain topic.

                    Just trying to keep the communication lines smooth and flowing....
                    from the ♥

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Yes, it may be a cultural thing. Intellectually, what has been written in the first two posts in this thread is correct, but emotionally, I feel similar with Mark B.

                      The definition of 'ignorrant' is correct, and I also agree to call a spade a spade. Nevertheless there is still an uneasy feeling (for me at least), about the word 'ignorant', when applied to someone. It feels allright when it is used to express myself, for instance when acknowledging a mistake.

                      Yet, at this moment I am not able to find a better way of expressing 'ignorant'.

                      Perhaps we can find a way to substitute a reference to the relevant quoted posts, without refering directly to the user name 'Baguamonk1', and without sacrificing clarity. Like what Sifu did in substituting the user name 'Challenger' in the thread of 'Yielding', when putting the discussion in his website.

                      Maybe I am too soft, as this maxim always stays in my mind:

                      'Speak softly and lovingly, even with those who are
                      hostile towards you.'


                      Joko
                      开心 好运气
                      kai xin... .......hao yunqi... - Sifu's speech, April 2005
                      open heart... good chi flow... good luck ...
                      ------------------------------------------------------------
                      Have we not opened up thy heart ...? (The Reading, 94:1)
                      ------------------------------------------------------------
                      Be joyful, ..and share your joy with others -(Anand Krishna)

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by joko View Post
                        Perhaps we can find a way to substitute a reference to the relevant quoted posts, without refering directly to the user name 'Baguamonk1'
                        I understand your concerns Joko, but I place the development of Shaolin Wahnam students above a guest's disruptive actions.

                        On this Forum, while Baguamonk is still posting, I would expect any solution to be simple, direct and effective. If someone reads his words and experiences any confusion, they can easily find this thread. Brand new students read prior threads, so we have an obligation to make sure that the Forum is a safe and accurate source of information.

                        Incidently, I am saying that Baguamonk has a limited martial education. So Anthony's Sihing's use of 'ignorant' is accurate. It's not an insult. If I wanted to attack Baguamonk on the Forum, I would do so in an effective fashion. But I don't. And I'm not.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Darryl View Post
                          I'm going to give the complete opposite of my usual advice - close your mouth and open your eyes.
                          And the same applies to everyone else. I find it odd that when a different opinion arises, it is attacked immediately, discredited, and called ignorant.Not just by me, but by other's are not members of Wahnam. More suspect than talking like I supposedly "know it all" which to me is a compliment because I do not see it like this. Again, I am no master, I am no expert, I am simply sharing an opinion. Or that the only way to view things is your way.

                          I have only gotten defensive because I think it has gotten ridiculous.

                          I have not seen an example of "speak lovingly when people are hostile towards you" from neither me nor anyone else. I am not even hostile towards anyone to begin with, I form an opinion, and the hostility from someone else begins. Darryl, I know you are not attacking, you have been kind in your words. But I cannot say the same for everyone else, and while they might claim they are not "attacking," and as you say, with efficiency, I think they are. The most effective way of "attacking" someone while maintaining your own integrity so that those who read it don't put it off as rude, is the way it has been done on this forum.

                          I will take your advice and desist. If you think that I am truly disrupting the intergirty of the Wahnam teachings, then so be it. I do not want this to happen, nor do I endorse it. Everything that has been brought up in this topic is not worth discussing agian, because somewhere in the post that was not quoted, there is the answer.

                          I am ignorant because Bruce only trained high kicks? Oh yeah what about that time when he trained Wing Chung basics, before he even decided to learn and form different opinions?
                          I am ignorant because Bruce didn't train basics over and over? Oh yeah what about the time when he practiced Wing Chung, as a beginner, and even after he left Hong Kong, before he ever became the Bruce Lee we know today, over and over? Lets discredit everything because of things he did way in the future that do no happen to agree with your morals...
                          I am ignorant because I don't believe stances work? When have I ever said that??I said it doesn't have to be a picture perfect stance, if you want it to be, then so be it.
                          ETC. I can go on, but there is no need.

                          Cheers everyone. Good discussions.
                          Last edited by Baguamonk1; 27th September 2006, 09:00 AM.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Dear Baguamonk,

                            I'm very glad to read that you don't feel I'm attacking you. I don't know if you have continued with that thought, but I'm actually trying to help you.

                            You can openly and sincerely believe what you write, but that doesn't make it true. If you persist in writing misleading statements, an instructor will step in to correct you. Which is what has happenned.

                            Originally posted by Baguamonk1 View Post
                            I will take your advice and desist. If you think that I am truly disrupting the intergirty of the Wahnam teachings, then so be it. I do not want this to happen, nor do I endorse it
                            This isn't what I meant, so I'll clarify.

                            You're not disrupting the integrity of the teachings. Without insult, you couldn't. What you are doing is repeating things that are not neccessarily true. No one's saying it's your fault, which is where 'ignorant' comes in.

                            I don't want you to desist. I would love it if you continued, but in a way that allowed you to get the best from this discussion. When I said 'close your mouth and open your eyes', I mean't to encourage you to read what was written without automatically writing a reply.

                            I don't agree with a lot of what you have written on this Forum and I'm not saying that you have to agree with me. But we, the Shaolin Wahnam Instructors, can't encourage our students to visit the Forum unless we are sure that it is in their interests. You are very active here, but you don't actually have the skill of many of our newest students. Unfortunately, your style of writing may cause them to think that this is not the case. When they read your opinions, they may doubt their own ability and experiences. This is as tragic as it is unacceptable.

                            I was about to step in and correct you. So was Anthony Sihing. Jordan Sidai acted first. He also took the time to compile several of your posts to illustrate his points. Instead of taking offence, I hope you continue to read his thread and participate. After closing your mouth .

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I thought I'd include an example

                              Originally posted by Baguamonk1 View Post
                              Oh jesus, I don't deserve this kind of thread
                              If you thought it was a thread attempting to discredit you, then I can see what you mean. Since I thought Jordan was actually helping you and since I believe you to be sincere yet ill-informed, I would say that you did deserve it. I'd also say that anyone who was confused by any of your posts deserved the clarification.

                              Jordan has already taken time and effort. I hope that my clarification helps as well. Ultimately, it's your choice whether to work with us or against us. I know what I'm hoping for

                              Comment

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