Foshan Wing Chun Yui Kil signature presented to Wai Po Tang, written by Foshan Wing Chun Kung fu Grandmaster Yui Kil - embodies qualification of self defence, traditional wing chun, kung fu, wu shu, the same related family as yip man, bruce lee, ip chun but not the same as Jackie Chan or Jet LiMartial Art Institute Wing Chun Kung Fu, yin yang emblem represents adaptation of taoist philosophy of universal balance.  It's philosophy of Kung Fu is found in Wai Po Tang  Foshan Wing Chun Kung fu system. Grandmaster Yui Kil - embodies qualification of self defence, traditional wing chun, kung fu, wu shu, the same related family as yip man, bruce lee, ip chun.  Jackie Chan or Jet Li are making the same universal presence worldwide as did bruce lee many years ago.  It appears the circle of oriental culture is in vogue again.Wai Po Tang signature written by Foshan Wing Chun Kung fu Grandmaster Yui Kil - embodies qualification of self defence, traditional wing chun, kung fu, wu shu, the same related family as yip man, bruce lee, ip chun but not the same as Jackie Chan or Jet Li

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Combat Sports in Ancient Societies

Antiquity of combat sports reflects the culture and its ideologies of ancient society. In today's culture, blood sport is becoming much more intolerant. The definition of sport used in this essay has been quoted by Poliakoff (1987:7), " A person physically competes against another in a contest with established regulations and procedures, with the immediate object of succeeding in that contest under criteria for determining victory that are different from those that mark success in everyday life (warfare, of course, being included as part of everyday life in antiquity)."

Boxing is a controversial sport that is considered barbaric, and medical associations attempted to ban it; arguing the high risk of brain damage or potential death. The counter argument is that there are popular sports such as rugby, mountaineering, motor racing and American football that is far more dangerous to health.

Combat sports can be dated back to the to Minoans of Crete some 12,000 years BCE. There were strong themes related to religious rituals, militarism, gender division, body beautiful culture and entertainment. The origin of combat sports is uncertain but there are evidence to suggest links between Ancient Greece and the Far East (India, China).

Ancient Greeks have a long history of documented combat sports such as, wrestling, pankration (a combination of wrestling and boxing), and boxing ,and it was institutionalised by the State. These contests were extremely brutal and very often lead serious injuries or death; but it was an acceptable sport of that era. The Kings of Mesopotamian people, and the pharaohs of Egypt regularly recorded combat sports on the walls of temple and tombs. In Greece and Rome, inscriptions were carved into stones to honour or commemorate death of a heroic combatant.

Arrichion, a Greek athlete died fighting in a pankration match at the Olympics festival (564 BCE) but he was still declared the winner since his opponent submitted before Arrichion fatal collapse. Ancient texts and paintings depicted Arrichion as a victorious hero even though he died. The ancient society's values place the honour, bravery more than life. A boxer of today killed in a boxing match is not looked as the hero but a sad man unfortunately involved in a barbaric sport. Combat sports can be found all over the world, it is only from inscriptions that evidence suggests combat sport is an important aspect of society.

Early Mesopotamians revealed evidence of wrestling in their hymns (Shulgi and the Epic of Gilgamesh), and the Kings appeared in athletic roles signifying the importance of sport in the early Near East. Cunning, boldness, courage, self-reliance and perseverance were considered as the martial virtues by the Greeks and Egyptians. Such traits are the essence of a respected fighter and often displayed in organised competitions. In ancient Egypt, the tomb paintings of Beni Hasan (c.2050-1930 BCE) depict scenes of wrestling on the ground. Egyptian wrestling was remarkably like contemporary wrestling in that points are scored by getting the opponent on its back or shoulder on the floor.

Pankration means 'complete strength or complete victory' and the objective is simply force the opponent to submit or knock out, but no eye gouge or biting was allowed. The nearest modern combat sport of today that is similar to pankration is 'The Ultimate Fighting Champion (UFC).' The UFC made its popularity in the United States of America in 1994 and it has taken the whole combat scene by storm. The competition is based on one to one hand combat with no protective gloves, contestants are allowed to box, kick, and wrestle; and the rules are same as pankration. If boxing is a controversial topic, then UFC has created enormous amount of objection, hence it is banned in most States of America. It is hugely popular entertainment event despite the ban, and movie stars are often seen watching the fights live from the front row. It would be easy to immediately jump into conclusion that America is the place where abnormal phenomena are most likely to happen or accepted as a valid social value.

The media coverage has been increasing to such massive magnitude that it has taken over the European martial arts scene. The UK high street shops HMV, Virgins and other retail outlets have a selection of these hybrid total fighting sports. From the video tapes of the UFC, it has numerous codes that signifies the ancient world of pankration; they fight bare-foot and bare-fist in an octagon shaped arena that is surrounded with a wire fence. The fights often end up on the ground and it is the domain of the grapplers who usually choke out the opponents thus winning the contest. It would appear that as much as combat sport is condemned it is still a spectacle and it can draw a massive audience world-wide.

The conventions of modern martial art or sport were fiercely challenged by total fight events like the UFC. Most of the UFC fights were won by contestants wrestling on the ground before choking the opponent out and striking to knock out. Traditionists would argue that it damages the integrity of martial arts by fighting with poor undisciplined techniques and the thuggery image it portrayed to the public. Contemporaries would counter argue that UFC takes the educated trained eye to see the practical techniques of ground wrestling; it is deployed systematically to beat an opponent and challenge the truth of fighting theories.

Ground wrestling was an integral part of Geek wrestling, however, the Greeks considered upright wrestling as the purest form and aesthetically pleasing. Ancient Egyptian artefacts indicated a very comprehensive compilation of four hundred wrestling tactics and there were very similar techniques found in Japan's judo or ju-jitsu sport. Japan's martial sport can be traced back to its origin in China. The murals in the Shoalin temple, China suggests that an Indian Buddhist monk 'Bodhidharma'(6th Century CE) created a set pattern of fighting techniques. It may be possible that around 2,500 BCE, when the Mesopotamian traded with the people of Harappa Culture, the early civilisation of early northern India thereby, taught combat techniques to the Indians.

If the legend of the Indian monk Bodhidharma is true and he did visit the Sonsang Shaolin Monastery in China in 520 CE, then China's national sport 'Wu Shu'(Kung Fu) owes its popularity to Bodhidharma. The Shaolin temple was built in 495 CE, however, after the fall of the Ming dynasty in the seventeenth century, the Shaolin temple became a centre for revolutionary activities against the Manchu Emperor of the Ching dynasty. It was during this era that combat sports developed to ensure the monks are physically in good shape for battle.

The Chinese society viewed violence with a just cause 'virtuous' and they respected Kung Fu teachers like they were gods; violence sports was never taught without the influential philosophies of Buddhism, Taoism or Confucianism. Murals, novels and films often depict the hero as one who is highly skilled in combat and also a scholar as well. Although competition of combat sport took place regularly, it was with the aim to compare and contrast fighting styles. The emphasis was not so much to celebrate the outstanding individual champion but to learn new techniques to improve their defence against the army.

However, the Chinese emperor would often hold tournaments during festive seasons and invite contestants to compete in unarmed or armed combat. The rules were very similar to that of the Greek's pankration, gladiators or the Egyptian's sticking fighting (mid 4th Century BCE) whereby death was often inevitable. These tournaments 'Bay Mo' were used by the State to recruit talents into the armed forces; as a mean to enhance the army's combat skills in order to control society. From warfare to very well controlled combat sport, the essence of the fighter is still the same; entering into a consented high risk contact sport for recognition and identified as a success.

If combat sport is so unacceptable on the basis of inhumanity, then how is it that boxing, wrestling, kickboxing and martial arts are found in almost every small town in the world. The problems lie with the rationale of engaging in consented combat sport for entertainment and money. Though, it is not a major participating sport but it is certainly a major spectator sport which might explain the big financial rewards for the champion.

The notion of blood sport is reported in the media often unacceptable acts in our present culture, and it has raised awareness to influence changes to our social attitudes and values. Although, modern combat sport does not have to go into the ancient extremes, it is worth taking on board what the fighters represented in ancient history. The traits of Cunning, boldness, courage, self-reliance and perseverance are still the fighters secret quest of post-modern era.

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