The above is a video on Bili Bili designed for Goju Ryu practitioners in China (or Chinese language speakers around the world). Essentially, Chinese language subtitles have been affixed - with Okinawan-Japanese concepts (cultural interpretations) translated into Chinese philosophical terms. This was uploaded on September 7th, 2022 - but I have not encountered it before. The direction of breathing is explained (stating there are two methods) - with 'kime' (決め) emphasised. This is written as '决定' (Jue Ding) in the Chinese language.
决 (決) = jue2 (ki) - certainty, dredge and kill
定 (め) = ding4 (me) - steady, fix and stabilise
Interestingly, within Buddhist philosophy the Chinese ideogram '覺' is also catalogued (within modern Pinyin) as 'jue2' - and is related in structure to '决' (jue2) which is used above in 'kime'. This means the ideograms share a common root and depicts a related meaning. Whereas '决' (jue2) suggests a mind-enforced control over the body - '覺' (jue2) refers to the achievement of 'enlightenment' through the mind 'waking-up' - a state achieved only through following the utmost disciplined paths of bodily control. Perhaps the two variants of these ideograms are related. I would suggest this is the case on the grounds that '定' (ding4) - the second ideogram used within 'kime' - is also used to translate the Sanskrit term 'Samadhi' - which refers to a method of 'fixing' the awareness of the mind in one place (preventing the surface mind from moving about without control) - and thereby achieving a permanent 'stillness' of mind (which allows for the perception of 'emptiness'). Again, the physical body is subject to the utmost discipline (through the Precepts as taught in the Vinaya Discipline).
The breathing is 'Daoist' in nature and involves a basic filling-up of the dantian with qi (inward breath into the lowest area of the pelvic girdle) - which is then redistributed throughout all the regions of the body (through the outward breath). The retained tension 'pulls' the qi into the dantian - and the maintained muscle tension 'extracts' the accumulated qi into the extremities (both breaths meditated by the awareness of the mind). The 'advanced' breathing is only hinted at and involves the microcosmic circulation of the qi. Qi is breathed into the dantian - which triggers the flow of qi up the Governing Vessel (which runs through the spinal column) and over the top of the head to the upper palate of the mouth. The tongue touches the upper palate with completes the circuit between the Governing Vessel and the Conception Vessel - which starts in the tongue, flows down the front of the body and through the grown and around to the perineum - where the Governing Vessel begins. The Sanchin breathing strengthens and maintains this Daoist breathing.
Oddly, I have translated a Chinese language text into English regarding the Head Shaolin Monk (of the Temple located in Henan) named 'Miao Xing' (妙兴) - a Buddhist monastic name meaning 'Profound Prospering' (these names can be used many times over during 'Ordination' to refer to completely different individuals) but his dates are '1891-1927' and not '1881-1939):
This 'Miao Xing' was considered a genius in gongfu and was trained in the following martial arts - Suppress Mountain Stick (镇山棍 – Zhen Shan Gun), Arahant Boxing (罗汉拳 – Luo Han Quan), Acupuncture (点穴 – Dian Xue), Grasping & Capturing (擒拿 – Qin Na), Bone-Breaking & Joint Dislocation (卸骨 – Xie Gu), 72 Methods of Qi Cultivation Practice law (气功七十二艺练功法 – Qi Gong Shi Er Yi Lian Gong Fa), together with many other arts.
This French language Wiki-page uses the Chinese ideograms referred to above for a 'Miao Xing' dated as '1881-1939':
'Luohanquan comes from the Monk known as Miaoxing (妙兴, 1881-1939) and is composed of 18 methods (Shiba fa): 6 with fist, 2 with palm, with 1 elbow, 4 with leg, 5 with handle / Qinna. This style might be considered a "new frame" of an older Luohanquan.'
Furthermore, this 'Portuguese' Goju Ryu article (GEKISAI – 撃砕) states this:
'In order to expand his martial knowledge he (Miyagi Chojun) traveled to China in 1936 where he learned Chuan Fa techniques. On a visit to the city of Shanghai, he met a master of Lohan Quan (罗汉拳 – Generic name for all styles of Chinese martial arts), called Miao Xing (1881 – 1939) of the Monk Fist style. Some strikes of Kata Gekisai Dai Ichi come from exercises from master Miao Xing's teachings.'
Obviously, Luohan Quan is not a 'generic' name for all Chinese gongfu - but a specific aspect of this genre. The idea of a 'Monk Fist' Style in this context is a misunderstanding of the available data. However, the proposed connection between Luohan Quan and Gekisai Dai-Ichi is curious and compelling.
I cannot find a 'Miao Xing' (1881-1939) within Chinese language sources - but there is a 'Miao Xing' (1891-1927) whose martial arts biography is a mirror reflection of that recorded in the Goju Ryu history - but he had died in 1927 (a year before the Nationalists destroyed the Henan Shaolin Temple) and had been deceased for at least nine-years by the time Myagi Chojun visited the Jing Wu Association (in Shanghai) during 1936. If Miyagi Chojun did train with 'Miao Xing' - then it must have been BEFORE 1927 - and probably during his 1915 and 1917 visits to China. This debate over dating reminds me of the disagreement regarding when it was that Miyagi Chojun learned the martial technical basis (in China) for what would become 'Tensho'.
During a two-week visit to Hong Kong and the New Territories during February 1999 - which included a visit to the 'Chan' (陳) ancestral village in the Sai Kung area of the New Territories (as well as a trip over into Shenzhen to visit other relatives), I engaged in the usual gongfu activity of 'Form Swapping' with any other interested parties. Chinese gongfu Forms are like a form of cultural currency that involves a 'sharing' process which develops the over-all understanding of China's martial heritage of each individual involved! It is not that these 'new' or 'unfamiliar' styles are necessarily integrated into existing styles, systems and schools (although sometimes they are), but rather that practitioners of a certain level of attainment possess the ability to 'look beyond' and 'see through' the usual stylistic barriers that usually 'separate' and 'define' martial traditions! Indeed, as Master Chan Tin Sang (1924-1993) has a good reputation in the area, I was approached by various individuals to 'share' a gongfu Form over a friendly cup of tea! One such individual belonged to the now very affluent and exclusive 'Beggars and Wanderers Society' who offered to exchange one of our Longfist Forms for a Tiger and an Arahant Form preserved in their tradition. The members of this Society used to walk the roads of ancient China 'stealing' or 'borrowing' the gongfu Forms of local gongfu schools and passing these systems around, through and into places the population of which would usually not have encountered these types or sets of movements.
These 'Beggars' were also tough and developed these Forms through the practicality of having to fight for their survival! Today, however, this Society is now comprised of families that have done well for themselves in business, and which form a type of 'Guild' around the fact that a distant relative was once a wandering beggar - similar to an itinerant Buddhist monk - but without the support of the establishment! Travelling from place to place, and penetrating the clans and social systems of other places was a highly unusual pastime during feudal China - where China was controlled within the empire through a stringent conservativism where every household, community and area was expected to be an exact copy of the imperial house! Moving 'between' communities was viewed as being strictly unnecessary unless there was a good reason for it - but 'Beggars' often possessed the ability to move in and out of places 'unnoticed' and 'unhindered' providing they did not draw attention to themselves. This is how they 'acquired' their extensive martial knowledge - which is said to cover 'Northern' and 'Southern' fighting styles in equal measure! The style featured on this post is said to be a mixture of 'Northern' and 'Southern' styles and is termed '羅漢十八摩' (Luo Han Shi Ba Mo) or unusually' 'Arahant Eighteen Abilities of Touch'!
The use of the ideogram '摩' (mo2) is interesting - particularly as it seems to be replacing the more familiar '拳' (quan2) which denotes a closed fist. The ideogram '摩' (mo2) is comprised of:
Upper Particle - 厂 (han2) = 'Cliff'
Middle Particle - 𣏟 (pai4) = 'Hemp' or 'Linen'
Lower Particle - 手 (shou3) = 'Open-Hand'
Therefore, the use of '摩' (mo2) might denote the 'careful' and 'gentle' plucking or picking of plants from the edge of a cliff - a dangerous activity that requires skill, timing and precise movement. Indeed, this leads to the other meaning of '摩' (mo2) which is to 'study' so that the 'touch' of the individual becomes highly skilled and yet free of all malice. As this style is said to have been developed by Chinese Buddhist monastics (possibly premised upon Indian Buddhist prototypes) - it is more than likely that the use of '摩' (mo2) signifies the non-presence of greed, hatred and delusion, the three taints all Buddhist practitioners are expected to 'uproot' through hours of seated meditation and the behaviour modification enforced through stringent (Vinaya) self-discipline! I suspect this indicates that this style of 'Arahant' self-defence preserves an older naming system. The arrangement of the ideograms seem to suggest that there are 'Eighteen' fighting techniques the 'Arahants' are expected to 'Study' if the sentence is read from left to right (which I am assuming). If the arrangement is meant to read right to left, then we have 'Study Eighteen Arahants'. Whatever the case, it is more usual today to place the number 'Eighteen' BEFORE the word 'Arahant' (十八羅漢). It seems that the use of the ideogram '摩' (mo2) suggests methods whereby the Buddhist monastics emulate the techniques of 'closing the distance' between themselves and their opponent - without involving any malice of fore-thought!
Shifu Adrian Chan-Wyles (b. 1967) - Lineage (Generational) Inheritor of the Ch'an Dao Hakka Gongfu System.