Thursday, July 21, 2011

ACTCM student Brenda Hatley on the U.S. Wushu Team

A student at the American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine has won a spot on the U.S. Wushu team. Her name is Brenda Hatley and you can read all about her at this website.

The U.S. Wushu Team is not super well-funded, so if you can please make a donation so that Brenda can go compete at the Wushu World Games in Turkey this fall!

There is a lot of cross-over between the worlds of martial art and Chinese medicine. Both developed from the same philosophical framework of Yin and Yang, the five phases, bagua, and so on. Many famous martial arts masters were also Chinese medicine doctors. Two that come to mind are Wong Fei Hung and Wang Ziping.

Wong Fei Hung has been portrayed extensively in film and television but is most famous in the U.S. from the Once Upon a time in China film series starring Jet Li. The movies are a lot of fun to geek out to if you are a fan of both martial arts and Chinese medicine - Wong is seen doing martial arts heroics and saving lives with acupuncture. There is even a scene where he educates Western doctors in acupuncture.

Wang Ziping (1881-1973) of Cangzhou in Hebei province, and was an expert in several martial arts including bajiquan, piguaquan and xingyiquan. He was also an expert bone-setter and traumatologist. You can learn more about him at this website. His daughter Wang Jurong also became a well-known martial artist, and his granddaughters are also continuing the family tradition.

My martial arts teacher, Dr. Alex Feng, is also a Chinese medicine doctor, and was my original inspiration for going into the Chinese medicine field. Tom Bisio and Frank Butler are both martial artists with successful Chinese medicine practices, and Tom Bisio wrote a popular book on how to treat martial arts and other sports injuries using Chinese medicine. The list goes on and on.

As a practical matter, knowledge of the body and how it moves is essential in both martial arts and medicine. Observation, timing and sensitivity are all skills that are strengthened and reinforced by cross-training in martial arts and Chinese medicine. If you're studying one, consider studying the other as well.