What's wrong with the Traditional Chinese Martial Arts

Ein Essay von Zhou Xuan Yun, welches mir das Wort aus dem Mund nimmt.

The traditional Chinese martial arts are wonderful. They are an irreplaceable part of Chinese cultural heritage. Their teachings encapsulate the the wisdom of thousands of years. They create a flexible, strong mind and body. Practicing these arts is a way to give yourself the gift of physical and mental well being.

But, here in the United States, it is rare to drive ten minutes in the city without seeing a yoga studio or a karate dojo. Traditional Chinese martial arts schools are few and far between. If the traditional Chinese martial arts are so wonderful, why aren’t they more widespread?The traditional Chinese martial arts have qualities that stand in the way of their popularity. Here are some of them:

An art form survives only if it is in demand. What was in demand in old China? The things that were necessary for survival. So what did people need to survive back then? They needed to stay healthy and to be able to protect themselves. The traditional Chinese martial arts developed out of those needs. Martial arts caught on, which is why we still have them today. However, skills that were needed across the ocean centuries ago are not essential to survival in modern Western culture. People who may have originally turned to traditional martial arts training now turn to faster, easier methods, like pharmacies, hospitals, fitness centers, or guns.

Traditional martial arts’ are still trying to gain a foothold in the west. This a challenge that most traditional martial arts teachers face. Many teachers only have a few dozen students. On the limited income a small school provides, they can not afford to teach full time. A few supplement their income by filming DVDs or writing books, (requiring business knowledge that most traditionally trained martial artists have not had the opportunity to acquire). Most have a day job that supports their teaching. When the teacher can not devote themselves full time to teaching and their own personal practice, it limits their improvement. This, in turn limits the number of their students they can attract. The cycle continues.

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