Why Lineage is Peripheral in the Martial Arts

Perry Battles' Blog

“Traditional Shaolin Kung Fu.”

“The originalEight Brocades of Chi Gong.”

“My grandmaster, who can trace his lineage to [insert traditional master’s name].”

Lineage is one of the foremost pillars in a martial artist’s sense of self, and possibly the largest factor in the legitimacy of a martial arts school. The statements above are about as common as snow in Alaska, and accentuate this fact.

I feel that martial lineage is, in all honesty, overvalued.

Martial arts were developed for multiple purposes across the span of human history; sometimes for health, discipline, sport, even enlightenment; and, most commonly, for battle.

Traditionally, an art’s value and the value of an art’s practitioners would have been measured by its efficacy — not by its lineage or how true to a previous form it was. Lineage didn’t matter — survival and victory were paramount.

Over the years, it seems to have become custom…

View original post 203 more words

Written by Master Ziji (Michael Weichhardt)

Als Linienhalter der 16ten Generation von Wu Dang San Feng Pai, Michael Weichhardt lehrt als Meister Ziji die traditionellen Lehren seiner Familie in Wien.

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