“Either for Annoyance or Defense”

Jason Couch has an amusing blog post at Martial History Magazine that gives 19th century accounts by Englishmen of their (generally patronizing) impressions of Chinese martial arts.

Here’s one passage from 1843:

“I was once threatened with a practical proof of this art near what is called the barrier, at Macou, because a companion of mine had given some offence to the keepers of the wall, by taking advantage of a dismantled part to get a peep at the other side. One of them, as champion of the rest, came up and made a vigorous display of the various body positions into which he could throw his body, either for annoyance or defence. At every important shift, he uttered a thundering vociferation, to give greater effect to what he was doing, and ever and anon his companions shouted as they stood gazing from the wall, while the writer remained quietly waiting to see at what part of these evolutions it might be necessary to interpose as a matter of self-defence; but as this interposition did not appear to be called for, I retired, after giving this soldier and athlete ample time to try his hand at something more than show if he chose.”

See the complete post at:

http://martialhistory.com/2009/11/chinese-martial-arts-in-19th-century-china/

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~ by nolashaolin on December 1, 2009.

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