What’s this blog about?
puts it used to put it, “jiang hu” is ‘not a physical place or geographic location but the wild and romanticized domain of secret societies, gangs, fighters, entertainers, prostitutes, assassins, thieves, actors, beggars, and wanderers that is roughly the Chinese equivalent to the English terms “bohemian” and “the underworld”‘. Influenced by the Temporary Autonomous Zone, I don’t look at jiang hu as a criminal zone; I see it as place for non-conformists; for bohemians; for ‘new barbarians‘; for mystics; for those who are following their own dreams rather than what society tells them they should be dreaming.
So what’s the “martial arts and mysticism” about? This blog is about my journey through the Chinese Internal Martial Arts – baguazhang, yiquan, taijiquan, and the people I meet on the way. It’s about people who are seeking to use their body as effectively as possible, to calm their minds and strengthen their meditative powers, to connect with the Dao or attain enlightenment… in other words, who are seeking to discover their true self, not the mediated identity defined for them by what the Situationists termed The Spectacle.
Since both the martial arts and meditation deal ultimately with questions about our own nature and character as individuals, I’ll also write about issues involving identity and perception – as well as anything else I feel is relevant or vaguely interesting!
(By the way, see also the Wikipedia entry on the Zaporizhian Sich:
The Sich population had an international component, and apart from Ukrainians included Moldovans, Tatars, Poles, Lithuanians, Jews and Russians. The social structure was also complex, consisting of: destitute gentry and boyars, szlachta (Polish nobility), merchants, peasants, outlaws of every sort, run-away slaves from Turkish galleys, run-away serfs, etc.