Wai-Po Tang, vol.1,
n.1 (1995), webpublish 2001.
Inspiration Master Kong Qiu 'Confucius and Master Lao Zi's ideologies
embedded in the Martial Art Institute's symbol
Martial Art Institute's logo resembles the commonly used figure
of 'ying-yang', some of it's philosophical approaches are adaptations
of the Chinese ancient philosophers as well as sciences. This essay
explores the roots of some well-known philosophers' antecedents.
Kong Qui (551-479 BCE) was the founder of Confucianism in China.
He made an enormous impact as a great teacher of philosophy throughout
the Far Eastern countries. His name was latinised in the late 16th
century by Jesuit missionaries to 'Confucius'. As a child Confucius
was fond of learning and like his contemporaries, he studied the
ancient Six Arts: ceremonies, music, chariot driving, archery, writing
and arithmetic. In Confucius' time, the sons of aristocracy participated
in a school's curriculum that encompassed the typical 'Six Arts'.
developed an interest in ceremonies and music and hoped to serve
as an official in the Court of the Duke of Lu (north-eastern
state of China). His ambition was to restore the values and rites
of the early Zhou Dynasty (c.1027-256BCE). However, Confucius was
eventually appointed Minister of Justice of Lu, but soon after he
was unhappy with this appointment.
497 BCE, he left his post as the Minister of Justice and
embarked on a journey that lasted thirteen years. This took him
to several principalities. He tried valiantly to convince the leaders
of states to accept his philosophies, but his efforts were largely
frustrated. In time, he returned to his native Lu where he abandoned
his political ambitions and devoted himself entirely to teaching.
opened a school in his hometown and named it 'Ru' (moralists
or scholars) where he taught philosophy. His philosophical, ethical
and religious ideas underlie a universal system of morality, which
has survived the test of time. He claimed to be only a transmitter
of tradition, not an innovator but nevertheless he originated many
of the core ideas that have sustained Chinese civilization for more
than 2000 years.
First Emperor of China 'Qin Shi Huang' suppressed the Confucians
during their fifteen years of reign but taken over by the Han Dynasty.
It was the Han that elevated Confucianism above all other schools
making it the state cult. During the Han Dynasty, Confucianism became
established as the basis of Chinese education, a position it held
until the beginning of the 20th century. Confucianism was again
very successful during the Tang and Song dynasties (7th-13th centuries
CE) revived by a man called 'Zhu Xi (1130-1200). It was accepted
by the state as the orthodox doctrine throughout the long lasting
Ming and Qing dynasties (14th-20th centuries).
the establishment of the Republic of China in 1912, there
was a brief attempt to have Confucianism written into the constitution
as a state ideology. This proved to be unacceptable by the young
intellectuals who protested vigorously claiming it is an obstacle
to political and economic modernization. The Communist movement
was even more opposed to Confucianism and regarded it as an enemy
of progress. In recent years, however, the Chinese government has
become more tolerant, mainly because of Confucianism's close
links with family system and its emphasis on social order and
discipline. Today, although most of the institutions of feudal and
imperial China have been swept away, the teachings of Confucius
continue to exert an influence on the hearts and minds of the modern
philosophers around the world.
the era of Confucius there were other famous historical figures
that greatly influenced the Chinese civilisation. These influences
were embedded in the core structure of Kung Fu and the founders
of martial arts systems. Such historical figures were Lao Zi
(6th or 5th Century BCE) and Siddartha Gautama (late 6th century
and early 5th century) or known as the 'Enlightened One'.
Wai-Po Tang (present) of the Martial Art Institute (MAI) has
adopted some of these ancient cultures, and believe it is an enlighten
way of make sense of martial life and martial theories. Hence, the
symbol of Ying and Yang of the MAI is a direct inspiration of the
ancient Chinese philosopher Lao Zi or known as 'Old Master'.
Chinese cosmology two forces operate throughout the universe:
Ying and yang. Yang encompasses the quality of brightness, hardness
and masculinity, while yin represents darkness, softness and femininity.
Confucianism is seen as a yang philosophy, because it believes in
actively interfering in and guiding society toward its social and
political goals. Daoism (founded by Lao Zi) on the other
hand, yin in spirit: passive, meek and content to leave things as
they are. Its power comes directly from nature and it can be understood
by following the ways of the natural world.
"To learn without thinking is fatal but
to think without learning is just as bad."
Zi's classic book 'Dao De Jing'
"Do nothing, and there is nothing that
will not be done"