Tang Dynasty soldiers
We’ve been building up to this episode of the Heretics podcast for a while, but we’ve finally got there. Here it is, the history of Xingyi, part 1.
Damon heads back to the Tang Dynasty to dig into the historical conditions that gave rise to the Song Dynasty and influenced the eventual creation of Xingyi, specifically the An Lushan Rebellion (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/An_Lushan_Rebellion) and its disastrous consequences (some scholars have estimated that we lost a 6th of the world’s population! Although that figure remains controversial) and the subsequent rise of the Wen and Li traditions in the new Song Dynasty, and how this was going to influence the mother of a certain young commoner who hadn’t even been born yet, but whose name would come to be known throughout all of China – Yue Fei.
This is probably starting a lot further back than most people would imagine a history of Xingyi would begin, but we’re not in a rush – we’re going to do it right, placing everything in its historical context. Lots of detail and lots of depth.
I’ll update this post with each new episode.
Here’s the picture by Fan Kuan ‘Travelers amongst mountains and streams’ which gets a mention often:
Just a quick heads-up. If you want to be notified when a new episode of the Heretics podcast is out I’ve created a Facebook page that you can follow. I think it will act as the ‘Homepage’ for the podcast until we get a website sorted.
So far we’ve managed a new episode every week since we started. The next one will be on… Xingyi.
A new Heretics podcast episode is up that covers martial arts – specifically Mongolian Wrestling – which I thought you might like.
We cover Mongolian wrestling, culture, writing, language, rivalry with the Chinese, wrestling techniques, Sumo, the three ‘manly’ arts (which are also practiced by women) and female wrestlers.
“Mongolian Wrestling is one of the three warrior arts of the Naadam that originated from Genghis Khan and the Mongol Empire. In this episode we explore the history, techniques and links with Shamanism of this surprisingly extensive and complex art which has produced both Sumo grand champions and Judo gold medalists.”
Here are some videos that go with the episode:
Mongolian Wrestling highlights:
Asashoryu, the famous Mongolian Sumo wrestler we mention:
Mongolia’s first gold medal in Judo at the Olympics from Naidangiin Tüvshinbayar, Beijing 2008:
D. Sumiya has won a gold medal in the 2017 World Judo Championships in Budapest, Hungary, becoming the first Mongolian female gold medalist at world judo championships:
Let’s explore the Mongolian national wrestling with Stephen Pera:
In the last episode of the Heretics podcast for 2019 from Damon and I, we look at the deeds of Qin Shi Huangdi, the man who created China.
“Qin Shi Huangdi’s name, Qin (Chin), is the origin of the word China, and with good reason – he was the man who unified the states that collectively formed China. A vicious madman, his dynasty lasted for only about 15 years, but set the tone and structure of China’s civilisation for more than two thousand years.”
Topics covered also include Taoism, Confucianism, Chinese Legalism and military tactics.
Morihei Ueshiba, founder of Aikido
Just remembered I didn’t post about the last Heretics podcast we did. This one was about the history of Aikido. I thought it would be quite a light-hearted one, but as Damon explains, it turns out the history of Aikido, and its parent art Daito Ryo, is largely unknown to the average martial artists (i.e. me) and also pretty dark and nasty. Very nasty.
War crimes, extreme nationalism, invasion, torture, ethnic cleansing, crimes against humanity and so on.
So, if you’d like to have your illusions about “the way of harmonious spirit” shattered, then listen on, otherwise, as they say, ignorance is bliss.
The final part of our podcast series on Jiu Jitsu and Kempo is live. In this episode we spend a long time trying not to talk about Aikido, then agree to talk about it more next time. Apart from that, we follow the developments in Japan through to modern times, with particular attention paid to the history of the yakuza.
The latest episode of the Heretics podcast is out!
In part 4 we examine the time period between 1960 and 1980 in Japan, and discuss topics such as martial arts marketing and the different ways in which the Japanese created and promoted a wide range of new martial arts.
Here are a few links to videos of the things we talk about this time:
Gracie vs. Kimura – October 23, 1951 (Maracanã Stadium – Rio de Janeiro, Brasil)
Gracies vs bullies on beach:
Rikidozan vs Masahiko Kimura (1954 – Part 2/2)
PRIDE 25: Kazushi Sakuraba vs Antonio “Elvis” Schembri
Muhammed Ali vs Antonio Inoki Boxer vs MMA Fighter 1976
Mas Oyama vs “bull”:
TV show about Iwama and Aikido, Ibaraki Prefecture (茨城県, Ibaraki-ken) Japan featuring the late Morihiro Saito Sensei.
A quick shout out to this new podcast from Ruadhán MacFadden. Inspired by a mapping project he created on various historical and cultural aspects of grappling arts. The map contains 74 different folk wrestling styles and shows their location in the world.
The podcast focusses on all the different styles, starting with Irish Collar and Elbow. Enjoy!
And part 3 of our History of Jiujitsu and Kempo is out! This time we have Bartitsu, the truth about Ninjas, the British connection, the controversial origins of the BJJ belt system and the birth of pro wrestling in Japan.
I know. I had you at “the truth about Ninjas”.
Listen to “#3 The Origins of Jiu Jitsu and Kempo (part 3)” on Spreaker.