THE WISDOM OF KUNG FU by Michael Minick


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Kung Fu is a generic name for a number of diverse Chinese systems of mind-body development. Each includes martial arts, gymnastics, deep breathing, meditation, medicine and diet, all geared toward activating chi (inner energy), eventually endowing the devout practitioner with mysterious powers. Minick explicates nine of the schools, some of which may be familiar (Tai Chi Chuan, Pa-Kua) others not (Hung Gar, Choy Li Fut). History, customs, training, health practices may seem exotic and rigid to a Westerner (if you accept tea from a master, he may challenge you to about -- you should be serving him). Part II consists of extensive quotes from the sages -- Confucius, Lao Tzu, and others -- on mysticism, the superior man, moral teachings, government, combat, human nature and practical advice. They range from stuffy bromides (""The braggart is seldom loyal, the glib talker seldom honest"") to tantalizing meditation seeds (""Our bodies are the creations of our minds""). A quick -- but adequate -- survey for those wishing to get a glimpse of what lies beyond the picture tube.

Pub Date: Aug. 27th, 1974
Publisher: Morrow