Friday, July 17, 2015

A Comparative Study: The Bubishi "The Bible of Karate" Translated by Patrick McCarthy & Yang Zhee Lee's Dim Mak Simplified

This was a interesting study in examining the Bubishi. First, Patrick McCarthy is a Karate Historian and his research into the "Bible of Karate" actually reveals Karate's roots in White Crane Gung-fu and among the wealth of knowledge in the Bubishi is several charts on Dim Mak. I full well plan to do a comparative study of the Bubishi & Count Dante/John Keehan's World's Deadliest Fighting Secrets, as well to see if Keehan has in fact read the Bubishi or had some access to it. I will include some questions directed to Keehan's students and those following his legacy in this matter as well. However, our focus will in fact be on Yang Zhee Lee's work for this article.

I don't need to tell you Yang Zhee Lee is a pseudonym. If fact, he explains this in the Dim Mak Simplified. The person behind the pseudonym doesn't want to tarnish his business or alternative medicine with being a martial artists and writing a book on what he considers a perversion of acupressure and acupuncture.
Now let us get to the bare bones of this examination, this is not found in the comparison of techniques between Chinese Street Fighting and White Crane Gung-fu. Nor, is it in the examination of Karate techniques but in the methodologies and vital points reference by both documents.

Let us begin with Yang Zhee Lee's simplified Dim Mak points...
Here Yang Zhee Lee breaks his target points into two specific types, points for grabbing and points for striking. More so, Yang Zhee Lee describes these vital points fall into three categories of vital points and in further description of individual points notes that some points are in more then one category of martial arts. These three categories are Dim Mak: attacking acupressure and acupuncture points to disrupt chi within the body, Dim H'sueh: which effect blood vessels and, Dim Ching: which effect nerve clusters.

Comparing it to the Bubishi we see may of the same points... though fewer used in Dim Mak Simplified. The Bubishi is of course a detailed study of martial sciences, to include herbal medicines and healing arts.

If you wish to argue that the Bubishi is merely demonstrating Kyusho or Koshijutsu, let show this & explain that even within the Bubishi is a detailed description of the Bubishi's Chinese roots, this is of course expanded for us Westerns with Patrick McCarthy's own historical investigation. And yes, the Kanji of Dim Mak & its alternative Dim Xue both of which stand for vital point manipulation.

Even in the above image you can see a reference to the time table for striking said vital points which is a powerful characteristic of Dim Mak, often separating it from similar Japanese styles. It is important to remember Okinawa is not Japan and benefited from trade and colonization with the Chinese Ming dynasty in Kume village from 1393 to Okinawas Japanese annexation of Okinawa (called the Ryukyu literally "School Boy") in 1873, following McCarthy's research. In fact, Kume was called "Okinawa's Window to Chinese culture" because Chinese immigrants brought Chinese literature, music, poetry, engineering, medicine and more. In fact, no one know who wrote the Bubishi but it appears to be Chinese in origin & a "secret" of Okinawan Karate Masters for centuries.

Those same time tables are discussed by Yang Zhee Lee using a simple set of charts, that a reader would need to reference to find the best time to strike the listed 21 Dim Mak vital points for maximum effect. In fact, the contents page explains much of the information detailed within Dim Mak Simplified.
Section 1: Details basic Gung-fu/Kung-fu beginning with the basic 5-Animal Stances: Crane, Snake, Tiger, Leopard & Dragon and their principles for application. This then addresses basic striking techniques and chin-na grappling.
Section 2: Breaks down the 5 animal short form into individual fighting tactics. Each Short for is expanded by moving from one form to the other.
Section 3: Describes training drills and exercises to build the body and develop physical power and endurance for application of Gung-fu/Kung-fu in self-defense.
Section 4: Details the charts and time tables that can be use maximize the already effective vital points of Dim Mak striking, such as; Chi Principles for understanding what chi is how it functions within the body and the universe, the five element theory of Chinese Alchemy, the Solid/Empty Organ theory of how chi circulates in the body and, finally the 12 hours of the Chinese calendar and times when chi flow is strongest to vital areas.
Section 5: Give a brief overview of Chinese Street Fighting Rules, Ranking and History.
Section 6: Deals with the Author's philosophy toward violence and how kindness is a stronger weapon then aggression. It also explains some practical first aid applications of Dim Mak.
Section 7: Is an about the author and why he chose to use a "pen name."
There is an Appendix A demonstration a 14 step Boxer's Form for additional study.

Clearly Dim Mak Simplified lacks the depth of Bubishi & few works modern or ancient truly compare the Bubishi. However, the vital points between the two works clearly overlap, though there is many more charts found within the Bubishi's texts expanding & overlapping with the 36 vital points mentioned in this article. The Bubishi is catalog of essays, philosophies, and skills ranging from simple fighting techniques to medicine and healing arts. Dim Mak Simplified is a stripped out bare bones explanation of an art without masters where one's status is obtained only by fighting others (Chinese Street Fighting) and simplification of a whole science detailed in Bubishi. Both are worth a look and both reinforce principles in the other.

The Bubishi
Dim Mak Simplified

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