The hidden secrets in Jack Ma's Tai Chi Kung Fu Movie - "功守道" (GSD - Gong Shou Dao)


This article is not about Taoist Black Magic.. but on an important topic of Taoist Philosophy, Zen Buddhism, Confucionism and Traditional Chinese Culture.. so You just bare with it for a while. Someone will find this topic very important and interesting, which they can't get the knowledge from somewhere else.

The reasons fo Jack Ma & Jet Li to shoot a Tai Chi Quan Video - "功守道" (Gong Shou Dao) :

1) To promote / spread the practice of Tai Chi Quan to the whole world

2) To promote & share Traditional Chinese Culture / Wisdom to the whole world

3) To indirectly reveal the philosophy of Taoism / Zen Buddhism / Confucionism which guide Jack Ma's daily life and his way of doing business

4) It is the prelude for the competitive sport to be known as “Gong Shou Dao” - "功守道", based on Tai Chi Quan. Jet Li has been named the founder of the sport.

5) Jet Li’s dream is for Tai Chi to become an official event at the Olympic Games, while Jack Ma’s vision is for everyone to practise Tai Chi.

Few millions people all over the world had watched 功守道" (Gong Shou Dao) but seems like only less than 0.1 percent of the viewers were interested in the Chinese Quotes shown near the end of the video clip. The Chinese Quotes are the hidden gems and most important part of the video, which shows the philosophy of Taoism , Zen Buddhism and Confusionism that guide Jack Ma in his daily life and his way of doing business.

But instead, millions of the viewers are laughing at how ugly Jack Ma looks and what a terrible Kung Fu Actor he is in the video and  just because with lots of money, he can become whatever he wants to be  and other actors must kow-tow to him (Willing to act as the loser by accepting money) - Take note that the actors WERE NOT PAID A SINGLE CENT for shooting in the movie .  The reason for the actors and the back-end helpers to produce the Short Movie - "功守道" (Gong Shou Dao)  is to pay respect to Chinese Culture and Chinese Kung Fu.

I (Taoist Sorcery Master) had been waiting and hoping for few kind souls, who are Bilingual (English & Chinese) to help translate the meaning of the Chinese Quotes shown on 功守道 (Gong Shou Dao) Video clip but nobody have done that. Instead the English Educated Chinese folks only look at the surface level (The fighting moves of Jack Ma), and not able to pick up the hidden meaning from the Movie.

This is the reason, I've (Taoist Sorcery Master) to take up the duty to have this article written and post here.. to share with the folks out there who are searching high and low for the meaning of these Chinese Quotes found in "功守道" (Gong Shou Dao) .

功守道 - 拳无影, 脚无形. 无门无派, 随心从缘, 天下万物, 日月行天. 勇而不敢, 拈花微笑. 得之则少, 失之称多. 人刚我柔, 随心从缘. 心中无敌, 无敌天下. 舍己从人, 归去来兮. 用功..守住有形, 用心..融入无形.

The Title of "功守道" (Gong Shou Dao)

功守道 (Gong Shou Dao) - The Tao (Way / Method) Of Using skills (through hard work / prolong practices) to safeguard / protect ownself (homeland / people).

Jet Li and Jack Ma were discussing about the Title to be used for the movie and called it “攻守道” to correspond with the meaning of Yin & Yang of Tai Chi Quan. Later on, due to a slip of a stroke, the “攻" (Gong - Attack) was written as "功" (Gong - work, achievement, accomplishment). Jack Ma noticed it and indeed felt that "功守道" have closer meaning with Chinese Culture, thus "功守道" (Gong Shou Dao) as the title is used.

“攻守道” means The Tao (The Way / The Art) of Attack & Defence. In every Chinese Kung Fu Styles, the unique individual fighting styles have their own philosophy of attacks and defensive moves .

"功守道" was used because it is Chinese Culture to use skills (through hard work) to safeguard and protect own homeland, instead of being offensive to attack other people / countries. Chinese Kung Fu is NOT about attacking the opponents as the main motive but using martial art skills (achieve great skills through prolong practices) to protect ownself / homeland. The title is to pass on the Chinese Culture mindset to the future generation and the world.

拳无影, 脚无形

拳无影 - Fists without Shadow (Shadowless Boxing), 脚无形 - Legs witout forms / methods (Formless Leg Kicking Styles). There is no fix form of fighting moves, so opponents / enemies unable to predict Your next moves, thereby they won't  be able to counter attack nor defence. Thus, 拳无影, 脚无形 means.. Being Formless.

无门无派, 随心从缘

无门无派 - Without specfic schools of thoughts / sects of fighting style
随心从缘 - Follow along what is coming

天下万物, 日月行天

天下万物 - Everything on earth,
日月行天 - Sun & Moon following the path set in heaven. The full sentence is actually 日月行天,来去分明. The hidden sentence , "来去分明" - coming & going are clear, representing a Chinese Character - "明" meaning Brightness.

天下万物, 日月行天 means everything on earth have it's own clear path.

勇而不敢, 拈花微笑

勇而不敢 - Brave yet dare not (rush)

This sentence is derived on Tao Te Ching, Chapter 73

【道德经】七三卷 勇于敢,则杀,勇于不敢,则活。此两者,或利或害。

He who is brave and unscrupulous will meet his death.
He who is brave and cautious will stay alive.
Of these both, one leads to good, the other leads to harm.
Everyone hates the bad - the reason is clear.
That is why the sage is always cautious.
The Tao of Heaven does not fight but wins,
does not speak but is answered,
is not summoned but appears,
does not plan but consults.
The net of Heaven is widely cast;
the mesh is loose, yet nothing slips through.

拈花微笑 - Pick up flower, subtle smile

This sentence is derived from Zen Buddhism

The Flower Sermon is a story of the origin of Zen Buddhism in which Śākyamuni Buddha (Siddhartha Gautama) transmits direct prajñā (wisdom) to the disciple Mahākāśyapa. In the original Chinese, the story is Niān huá wéi xiào (拈花微笑, literally "Pick up flower, subtle smile").

In the story, Śākyamuni gives a wordless sermon to his disciples (sangha) by holding up a white flower. No one in the audience understands the Flower Sermon except Mahākāśyapa, who smiles. Within Zen, the Flower Sermon communicates the ineffable nature of tathātā (suchness) and Mahākāśyapa's smile signifies the direct transmission of wisdom without words. Śākyamuni affirmed this by saying: I possess the true Dharma eye, the marvelous mind of Nirvana, the true form of the formless, the subtle [D]harma [G]ate that does not rest on words or letters but is a special transmission outside of the scriptures. This I entrust to Mahākāśyapa.

得之则少, 失之称多

得之则少 - Gaining more and becomes lesser
失之称多 - Getting Lesser and becomes more
Therefore 得之则少, 失之称多 means "Less is more, More is less".

This is derived from Tao Te Ching - Lao Tzu - chapter 22

Yield and overcome;
Bend and be straight;
Empty and be full;
Wear out and be new;
Have little and gain;
Have much and be confused.

Therefore wise men embrace the one
And set an example to all.
Not putting on a display,
They shine forth.
Not justifying themselves,
They are distinguished.
Not boasting,
They receive recognition.
Not bragging,
They never falter.
They do not quarrel,
So no one quarrels with them.
Therefore the ancients say, 'Yield and overcome.'
Is that an empty saying?
Be really whole,
And all things will come to you.

《老子》第二十二章 曲则全,枉则直,洼则盈,敝则新,少则得,多则惑
【原文】 曲则全,枉则直,洼则盈,敝则新,少则得,多则惑。
是以圣人抱一为天下式。
不自见,故明;
不自是,故彰;
不自伐,故有功;
不自矜,故长。
夫唯不争,故天下莫能与之争。
古之所谓"曲则全"者,岂虚言哉?诚全而归之。

人刚我柔, 随心从缘

人刚我柔 - Others use hardness / strength, I use softness / yielding (Tai Chi Quan Philosophy)
随心从缘 - Follow along what is coming

心中无敌, 无敌天下

心中无敌 - Heart without Enemies / competitors
无敌天下 - No enemies / competitors in the world / Matchless

The above quotes derived from Meng-Zi Sayings:

《公孫丑上 - Gong Sun Chou I》- 无敌于天下者,天吏也。 战国·邹·孟轲《孟子·公孙丑上》

Meng Zi's student, Gong Sun Chou ask Meng Zi how can a country be strong and prosperous and without enemies?

孟子的学生向孟子请教如何才能使国家昌盛强大与无敌于天下。

Meng Zi replied: 1st is to show repect, appoint men with good characters and capable men (scholars) to lead the people to serve the country, next is to provide places / premises for merchants to do business wihtout collecting taxes, no collection of duties / taxes from the guests / tourists between borders of the countries. No collection of taxes of farms from the farmers and remove forced labours.

孟子回答他:首先是尊重、任用有德有才的贤人,带动士人为国效力;其次为商人提供场地,不征赋税;边境卡哨对旅客不收税,对农田不征税,免除劳役等。

舍己从人

Give up one's own opinion and accept the widely-accepted one
放弃自己的意见而服从他人的主张

This sentence derived from..

1) Shujing (书经) - Counsels of the Great Yu (大禹謨): "Giving up own opinion and follow that of others"

书经.大禹谟:「稽于众,舍己从人。」

Counsels of the Great Yu:
Di said, 'Yes; let this really be the case, and good words will nowhere lie hidden; no men of virtue and talents will be left neglected, away from court, and the myriad states will all enjoy repose. (But) to obtain the views of all; to give tip one's opinion and follow that of others; to keep from oppressing the helpless, and not to neglect the straitened and poor - it was only the (former) Di who could attain to this.'

大禹谟 - 帝曰:「俞!允若兹,嘉言罔攸伏,野无遗贤,万邦咸宁。稽于众,舍己从人,不虐无告,不废困穷,惟帝时克。」


2) 《公孫丑上 - Gong Sun Chou I》 - 孟子.公孙丑上:「大舜有大焉,乐取于人以为善。」

Mencius said, 'When any one told Zi Lu that he had a fault, he rejoiced. when yu heard good words, he bowed to the speaker. the great shun had a still greater delight in what was good. he regarded virtue as the common property of himself and others, giving up his own way to follow that of others, and delighting to learn from others to practise what was good. from the time when he ploughed and sowed, exercised the potter's art, and was a fisherman, to the time when he became emperor, he was continually learning from others. to take example from others to practise virtue, is to help them in the same practice. therefore, there is no attribute of the superior man greater than his helping men to practise virtue.'

【原文】 孟子曰:“子路,人告之以有过,则喜。禹闻善言,则拜。大舜有大焉,善与人同,舍己从人,乐取于人以为善。自耕稼、陶、渔以至为帝,无非取于人者。取诸人以为善,是与人为善者也故君于莫大乎与人为善。”

归去来兮

Go back / Return (Back to home / village / countryside)  - Homeward Bound

This sentence is derived from.. Eastern Jin Dynasty - Tao Yuan Ming (Poet) 《归去来辞》 - "Return (Back to home / village / countryside)! It is overgrown with weeds, why haven't You return?"
晋·陶渊明《归去来辞》:“归去来兮!田园将芜,胡不归?”

Tao Yuanming's poems can be found superlative examples of the theme which urges its audience to drop out of official life, move to the country, and take up a cultivated life of wine, poetry, and avoiding people with whom friendship would be unsuitable, but in Tao's case this went along with actually engaging in farming. Tao's poetry also shows an inclination to fulfillment of duty, such as feeding his family. Tao's simple and plain style of expression, reflecting his back-to-basics lifestyle, first became better known as he achieved local fame as a hermit.

Overe here, 归去来兮 means returns back to simplicity / basic

用功.. 守住有形

Use skills (through hard work / prolong practices) to Guard / Protect that (those things) with forms

用心.. 融入无形

Use heart (Be attentive / Focus) to Blend into the formless.

风清扬 (Feng Qing Yang)

风清扬 (Feng Qing Yang) is the song title played in "功守道" (GSD - Gong Shou Dao)

There were 3 stations that Jack Ma fought in the movie. The 1st station was 伍堂 (Feng Wu Tang), 2nd Station was 和冢 (Qing He Zhong) and 3rd Station was 芳池 (Yang Fang Chi). If You combine  the 1st Chinese Characters of the names of the the 3 stations together, You will notice it is 风清扬 (Feng Qing Yang).

Who is  风清扬 (Feng Qing Yang) ?

风清扬 (Feng Qing Yang) is a fictional character as the highest level martial art expert found in the 武侠 Wu-Xia ("martial arts and chivalry" / Vagabond Martial Artists) Novel called 笑傲江湖 (Xiao Ao Jiang Hu) - "The Smiling, Proud Wanderer" , written by Jin Yong (A Chinese Wu-Xia novelist). 风清扬 (Feng Qing Yang) belonged to Hua Shan Pai Kung Fu Sect.

Jack Ma loves this fictional character 风清扬 (Feng Qing Yang) very much and give himself this Nick Name - 风清扬 (Feng Qing Yang) in his business office.  He imagine himself as the real 风清扬 (Feng Qing Yang)  in reality.

风清扬 (Feng Qing Yang) is someone who is unpredictable and aggressive. He has a  special martial art skill  known as 独孤九剑 (Aloneness Lonely Nine Swords) , which the sword style has only attacks and no defendsive moves, because attacking is a form of defence by itself in this martial art style. He uses no styles to  win opponents with styles (无招胜有招) . He has the ability to see through the upcoming moves of his opponents and  therefore he always attacks 1st (料敌先机) . He reached the state of  just attacking without guarding ,  because any attacking moves is also  naturally a form of on-guarding by itself,  therefore no need to worry about guarding. With these methods, no enemies can win him.

獨孤九劍,有進無退。獨孤九劍只攻不守,以攻為守。原因是每招都是攻敵之不得不守,自己便根本不用防守。

Conclusion:

1) To understand, follow and learn from Jack Ma,  read up 道德经(Tao De Jing)and 笑傲江湖 (Xiao Ao Jiang Hu) - "The Smiling, Proud Wanderer" (especially take note of the character 风清扬 [Feng Qing Yang]).

2) Practice Tai Chi Quan  for health and self-defence.

3) Apply Tai Chi Philosophy on everyday issues and business.
    Important Note: There is consultation fee and ritual service charge when You seek help. The consultation fee & service charge are quite expensive and not anybody can afford it, or interested to pay for it. Kindly ask how much is the consultation service and ritual service fee when You seek help.

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