The Siu Lim Tao Traditions
In this blog we have two posters for your wall. First, we have a poster I developed by combining two posters designed by my Sifu, Barry Lee. The separate ones are also available, as are other posters he and I have written.
We also have a poster taken from one version of the traditional Grand Regulations of VTK, and my translation of it. The Grand Regulations have been variously ascribed to different teachers, and is a series of poems on the topic of VTK. They possibly originated with Leung Jan, at least the existing form of it. Many related sayings, though, predate Leung Jan. Probably the most common final form we have today is the one that Yip Man taught, written down by different students at different times. That means there are several versions. The order of the lines and the layout varies as well, meaning that the juxtaposition will change, changing the contexts and thus the meanings. I used the oldest version I could find in each case.
Note that if anyone can find older versions I would be most happy if someone would send them my way, even just a scan or photos of the pages. The one I have is a scanned copy of an old hand-written one that has old pictures of the deadly pressure points in it, but a couple of the characters have been corrected in what appears to be pen. There should be older ones around.
Many translations are not very good, as the poems have hidden meanings that only Chinese scholars, especially those versed in both old Chinese philosophy and old Chinese literature can appreciate. It is a bit like trying to understand a car manual written in Shakespearean quotations. What is worse is that much of the philosophy seems to use the interpretations of Traditional Chinese Medicine as well. Therefore, there are layers of meaning that are often missed. Some people translating it have great knowledge of Chinese, but little of English, or vice versa. I and my colleagues have tried to improve on that, I hope with some success. The first translation we did was in the early nineties, when a very literate Chinese friend named Conrad Cheung offered to help, and we, along with his even more knowledgeable father, managed to elucidate some of the depth that appears to be missing in the usual translations. For the final level, I had the able assistance of a doctor of Chinese medicine and Kung Fu researcher Huang Guo Chu to help me do this. He felt that someone, possibly Leung Jan himself, who was a prominent pharmacist and Chinese doctor, had put hidden meanings in it that people have overlooked, as they were not classically trained scholars.
For more information about this set of poems you will have to see the relevant forthcoming articles.
The following pic downloads a pdf that can be made into posters for your wall: Like the page and download it freely.