KFP 152 – Identity – WellBeing – Spirit

Walking the Path

What Makes SomeOne Who Calls Themselves a Martial Artist any Different Than Someone Who Knows Fighting Techniques?”

How Can We Understand Martial Arts From an Internal Perspective?

Peel back the solutions during this episode.

“The Impact of the Martial Arts Path”,
“If You Choose to Walk it”, is an episode that has been simmering for 18 months.  Based on a 160 page thesis titled :

Martial Mind: Examining the Relationship among Martial Arts Participation, Identity, and Well-Being

Written in 2010, by Micheal Mainland

This episode brings something to every style and every level of Martial Arts Practitioner.  When completed, you will be given the information to implement into your practice or into your school.

Download the 17 page PDF Summary : Martial-Mind-KFP-TW-Smith.pdf (436 downloads)  

I added details to the download, that were not in the podcast, that you may  find useful.

Excellent Book : You may also find interesting:

Fantastic Content

"The candor of TW. Smith on his approach to Gong Fu.. his fearlessness in pronunciation of Chinese words and names. The interviews have depth and are fascinating. I appreciate that Sifu Smith doesn't gloss over the details, is gritty and has the heart/mind to get real pictures of what it is like to study with various Master's and the nature of the transmissions."

Old Tai Chi Guy | Itunes Listener

7 thoughts on “KFP 152 – Identity – WellBeing – Spirit

  1. I very much injoyed this podcast. I have been listening to you for about a year. I can say that this imperticular episode was inspiring.
    Iam 45 years of age with a large family five children to be exact. I have been studying defernt styles of traditional martial arts from the age of 14. With the hecticness of life I have found it personaly difficult to belong to club. So I would say in the last 10 years I have been practicing in seclusion when ever a free moment weather it be during my lunch break or at home when the kids are asleep. I tend to read or wacth videos all of the time a film myself to keep track of my mistake and break Threws. I go to seminars when i can. And listen podcast on my way home from work. I have found progress under these conditions to be challenging. I basicly have to figure things out on my own using my past experiences and knowledge of things I have have read.
    After this episode I am inspired to find a club that might fit my needs. Thank you for your show and sharing so much of your experiences with all of it the martial world.

  2. Hi Sifu Tim Smith, I very much enjoyed this podcast, as I always do, but I feel it necessary to clarify something you said about the Code of Choy Li Fut. The code you mentioned is one code from one of the three main branches of Choy Li Fut, namely the Fut San Hung Sing branch. The Chan Family branch has a very different Code. The third main branch, Buk Sing Choy Li Fut, may have a code of their own, but I have not had cause to look into them enough to find one. This is the full Code you mentioned some of the rules from, as posted by Sifu Frank McCarthy, a Fut San teacher of the Lau Bun lineage, in a Martial Arts discussion forum.

    10 Rules of the Fut San Hung Sing Goon

    1: Seek approval of your Sifu for all things relative to your school/style/branch.
    2: Practice hard daily.
    3: Fight to win.
    4: Sex in moderation (modified from Buddhist philosophy that says avoid altogether.)
    5: Eat healthy.
    6: Develop strength through endurance.
    7: Practice your breathing, (Chi gung/Hay gung.)
    8: Make sounds, (Yik for punches, Wah for tiger claw, Tik for kicks)
    9: Never back down from an enemy, (unless it is to your advantage)
    10: Through practice you cannot be bullied, you will always be self confident.

    He also posted this additional code, which he describes as the American Hung Sing Goon “Club Creed”, so I think it is mainly considered to apply to the Fut San lineage via Lau Bun, the man who set up the first Choy Li Fut school in the USA in San Francisco.

    American Hung Sing Goon’s “Club Creed”

    1: I will honour and obey my Sifu
    2: I will respect my fellow classmates.
    3: I will not intentionally bring dishonour nor negative attention to neither my school nor my Sifu.
    4: I will not bully anyone weaker or misuse my Gung Fu in any way.
    5: I will protect those who cannot defend themselves.
    6: I will train hard.
    7: I will eat healthy.
    8: I will not misuse drugs or alcohol.
    9: I will obey all the laws of the land.
    10: My main purpose of learning Martial Arts is to build a strong mind. body and spirit and to be able to protect myself from harm.

    The Chan Family Branch, also known as the King Mui branch, after the village Chan Heung lived in, has a completely different Code of Conduct. I have found several translations, the following is my preferred translation.

    1. The practitioners of Choy Lee Fut train and practice for the purpose of developing a strong and healthy foundation for their bodies. Therefore the practitioner should keep practicing and never forsake its way.

    2. With the high level of skill obtained in kung fu (martial art), a kind, gentle, good and patient heart must also be developed – this is similar to the Buddhist teachings, also one must never use his ( or hers) skill to commit injustice or injury to others, but only for the purpose of defending oneself. By commiting injustice and injury to others one goes against the rules and regulations of society and the government.

    3. Respect and obey all other previous and older Choy Lee Fut practitioners as they are your seniors, this reflects on your politeness and good heart.

    4. All fellow classmates are brothers and sisters in Choy Lee Fut and belong to the same generation. Act towards each other in kind , gentle , faithful and reliable way, respecting each other through trust , friendship and honesty. Do not bully the weaker brother or sister in anyway.

    5. Brothers in Choy Lee Fut are not allowed to fight with each other. To distinguish a Choy Lee Fut practitioner, the action of the tiger claw is used.

    6. Choy Lee Fut practitioners shouldn’t drink alcohol in excess and shouldn’t eat meat in excess since this can make person disorientated and as a result mind and spirit are becoming unclear, accidents may happen which could damage practitioners body.

    7. Choy Lee Fut Students are not allowed to teach other people outside the school as it may attract trouble to them, and others. The exception is if you deem a person to be of pure and gentle heart, then you may teach that person and pass your knowledge on.

    8. Never misuse your skill on others believing you are better than they are, as this only causes trouble. Do not fight/bully others to show that you are better than they are.

    9. When using kung fu you have learnt , you are to think how to remain humble and not be proud of your success: not placing yourself in front of others. If you misuse your knowledge to gain money, then you are within Choy Lee Fut family a betrayer of our founder’s wishes and bringing down the group’s name.

    10. If you can not abide by these rules then you may leave or if you break them and dispute the rules, the Master may expel you from the school.

    In the podcast you talked of Codes in Martial Arts directing the practice and philosophy of the Martial Artist. The differences in the two codes reflect the different intentions of Chan Heung, who started the Chan Family Branch and his student, Jeong Yim, also known as Cheung Hung Sing, who started the Fut San Branch. When Chan Heung was taught by Choy Fook, a Shaolin Abbott, he was careful to instil Buddhist philosophy into Chan Heung, and charged Chan Heung with protecting, preserving and carrying on the legacy of the Shaolin philosophical teachings, and his Code of Conduct reflects that. Jeong Yim however, was more concerned with revolutionary activities, and having learned from first Chan Heung, then the Green Grass Monk, he created his own forms, which are different from the Chan Family forms created by Chan Heung, and concentrated more on fighting techniques for training rather than forms. This means that there are not that many Fut San forms, but revolutionary fighters could learn quickly to fight well. The Chan family lineage has many more forms because Chan Heung was more interested in perfecting his style and passing on his philosophy than revolution. The other main branch, Buk Sing, started by a third generation Chan Family student, also concentrates more on practising individual fighting techniques than forms.

    1. Hi Martha,

      Thank you very much for taking the time to share your thoughts. Yes, I am aware of a ‘selection’ of translated codes from the variety of Choy Li Fut Branches. The emphasis for the podcast was to point out that ‘codes and guidelines’ have long been part of a Traditional Martial Arts Journey, and so I selected a few to illustrate the point. However, your points are wonderful, and your ‘preferred translation’ is excellent.


  3. These codes are still valid today, but with modernization, like your piece on Sun Lu Tang changing the goal of martial arts in the Republic Era, we need to update all the codes to not only to oneself, personal ethics, and to the school and masters, but also to the environment. How? I don’t know the wording. I remember even the Pope had a new series of the Seven Deadly Sins that was geared toward modern times. https://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=88085760
    Perhaps we should have one of our own? I’ve been thinking about this for a while and I repeatedly listen to your podcasts, so I respect your thoughts and conclusions. A new way to walk the path for martial artists.

    1. That is very intriguing Johnathan. So, a modern day Bubishi, or WuBeiZhi. I can Iain and Troy Price involved too..

  4. Just wish to say your article is as surprising. The clarity is simply spectacular and that i could think you’re a professional in this subject.

Leave a Reply