Throughout Chinese civilization, some men stood out for their knowledge in Chinese traditional arts. All of these arts helped the individual reach the main virtues proclaimed by humanity, namely: humility, determination, peace, kindness, justice and loyalty, among others.
These ancient arts could be separated into two categories: those in which the physical involvement was predominant, such as on martial arts and driving chariots, and those that were considered more delicate or intellectuals, like painting, sculpture, literature, calligraphy, music to mathematics.
"Principle of Ying-Yang" teaches us that opposites must coexist, interacting harmoniously. Likewise, in the past, it was considered a true artist who mastered the arts belonging to the two categories mentioned.
Grand Master Moy Yat, following the guidance of his mentor, the late Patriarch Yip Man, began the study of Chinese traditional arts from a very young age. Although it is known worldwide in the field of martial arts, in particular the system Ving Tsun(Wing Chun) , he is also a master of painting, sculpture, literature and calligraphy.
Although Moy Yat is a frequent figure in specialized journals in Chinese art, after all he is a consultant to the Museum of Natural History in New York and the Chinese Academy of Arts, is the first time presented to the public his side little known, leaving this privilege KIAI magazine.
On the eve of his official retirement, his Kung Fu is still impressive at least. It's amazing the power of time on people who honestly has been dedicated to the practice of his art.
This interview took place in New York, as a confirmation of who wrote it, Dr. Cameron Hurst, professor of Chinese and Korean history at the University of Pennsylvania and director of the Center for East Asian Studies at the same university: "... devotion to a single path in particular was widely advocated especially in martial arts texts.
The idea is that if a person exclusively devote full understanding of a single path, then paradoxically, their understanding is consistent across all paths.
Miyamoto Musashi, for example, stated that after years of devotion to the single "Heio" (martial arts), he eventually became an expert in a variety of "Geido" (Artistic paths), all without the help of a master.
Follow the path of this amazing teacher, the last of his line, which assigns all his artistic development to the practice of martial arts, his beloved Art Ving Tsun(Wing Chun).
How are the Martial Arts inserted in the Chinese Traditional Arts?
Martial arts are part of the so-called Chinese Traditional Arts. Perhaps because of the martial arts will combine aesthetics with usable, being considered by many the most important of Chinese Arts Traditional. Since my father was an artist, it allowed me as a child to have contact with the Chinese Traditional Arts.
I think the other traditional arts that allow the martial artist to develop a high artistic sensibility, as required in any human manifestation.
Although for decades my main focus has been the study of the art of Ving Tsun(Wing Chun), I currently have dedicated the mornings and afternoons to other traditional arts, leaving only the period of the night to practice the martial art.
I've been training since young, without sleeping much. I always had much time to dedicate myself the arts, while performing other activities. "
In the foreword of his book "The Legend of Kung Fu Masters", a famous journalist from Hong Kong makes it clear that even in china few masters can master so many excellences as you. How is this possible for a teacher in the twentieth century?
"Due to my learning of Ving Tsun(Wing Chun) with the Patriarch YIP MAN I could learn how to manage time properly, which allowed me to have the opportunity to devote myself to other traditional Chinese arts. Ving Tsun(Wing Chun) teaches among other things how to control the time.
With this, the practitioner shall have time to devote to other activities of interest. In my case, I undertook the Chinese Traditional Arts, other practitioners of Ving Tsun (Wing Chun) dedicated to other excellences of life.
Many see the martial artist as a fighter, a being brutal. This is because many preach the exclusive dedication to his own art, ignoring other activities. In Ving Tsun (Wing Chun), it teachs to do the martial art as a means of reaching the other arts, not an end in itself."
But how this art, Ving Tsun (Wing Chun), provides that an ordinary person can be successful in many areas of human knowledge?
"The art of Ving Tsun(Wing Chun) teaches us to learn how to learn. I think the most important point is to first have a good knowledge of the Ving Tsun(Wing Chun) system. Through their learning, the Ving Tsun practitioner learns to perform two or even three movements simultaneously. This will surely reflect on the activities of their lives. In my case, even the Western arts are my interest. For example, I remember that in Hong Kong, during a period of morning learning how to make photo montages and at night creating drinks.
Lately, I have devoted myself for some time to traditional Chinese music and Chinese Opera. I believe that humility is essential for us to practice. Many pretentious people, after a while, simply believe they are good enough to stop practicing. It is not my case. So I think that if we know how to manage our time, only then can we devote fully to the practices we choose for life."
Please explain in more detail how Ving Tsun(Wing Chun) can teach us to save time?
"In ancient China, the practice of Traditional Arts was related to social class. Only the most socially privileged had availability to engage the arts.
For this reason, under certain point of view, time is more valuable than money.
However, Ving Tsun began teaching people how to save time. In other words, how to have more temporal availability.
So people from less privileged classes as I could engage the arts. However, it was necessary to unfold and be very dedicated. Through the Ving Tsun(Wing Chun), I developed the insight to save time at every moment. For example, try to eat meals as quickly as possible.
Ordinary people may say that this is bad, but if you have the mental focus on eating, not only the food will be better utilized by the body as you can eat much faster than normal.
Another example, when walking, always look for the shortest route, never walk in circles. Even in places full of people, it is important to predict the trajectory of the people that are coming your way. Another example: when speaking, try to explain as much as possible with the minimum of words. Choose the right words and energy on each one, increases understanding of their thinking and reduces the repetition of phrases.
People should understand the nature of time to devote to learning more from life. So all my time is used to self-improvement ".
Currently you are considered a world leading expert in the manufacture of the traditional chinese seals (stamps). Could you explain something about this art?
"The Art of Traditional Chinese stamps is one of the hardest of expression, it is necessary to have knowledge of archaic ideograms - some dating back thousands of years - and how to write them into the proper aesthetics. Additionally, you must have the ability to know how to carve the ideograms in stone seals, any mistake can ruin all the work, since it is impossible to make adjustments.
For its intrinsic difficulty this art requires much time to master. It therefore lacks many experts. As challenges are my nature, I identified immediately with this art.
It's been forty years and I'm still practicing. Fortunately, today many of my students are very respected in the art, which leads me to believe that it will still be preserved for many years. "
In the 60s, you connected the martial art and traditional art of seals to develop the famous collection "Ving Tsun Kuen Kuit", supervised personally by the Patriarch YIP Man, How did this idea?
"The practitioners of Ving Tsun (Wing Chun) needed to have a reliable source on the history of our style. The concern of the Patriarch YIP MAN was that the ancient wisdom could be lost forever. By registering in stone all this knowledge, the legacy of the ancestors would be guaranteed to be transmitted to subsequent generations. History has shown that many paper documents were destroyed, losing forever the legacy of our ancestors. And for this reason that the stone represents eternity. It cannot be burned or torn.
In painting, you have developed a new technique that has structured an entire monochromatic collection called "BLUSH STROKES." Why is this collection so controversial?
"Because the theme of the 'BLUSH Strokes' collection is sex. In the worldwide arts there is a certain bias towards this issue. Some paint the nude. But mostly avoid accomplish the most famous paintings of people making love, that is, they avoid the issue regarding the sexual act itself. As an artist, I understand that art must transcend the moral prejudices, so I risked the reputation I have built during the forty years of my career to fill a gap that is the aesthetic expression of what I consider one of the sublime moments of human nature.
For that I developed a monochrome technique, with simple lines, an abstract conception, following exactly the aesthetic design of the art of Ving Tsun. "
Why the name "blush Strokes"?
'Blush Strokes' is a pun of 'Brush Strokes'. 'Blush' in English, is when someone feels embarrassed and ends up getting blushed. That happens a lot when we talk about sex. And also very similar to ‘Brush', in English.
When the "Stroke" in English can mean both a movement when we make love as well as a stroke made by the brush. Thus, the name combines the theme with the technique. The theme 'Blush Strokes' can be translated as 'the reddening to see two people making love', while the technique used is 'Brush Strokes', in other words, the technique of simple strokes. Without doubt, the ideal name to convey my message."
While a vehicle for the perpetuation of an expression, what is the difference between martial arts and other traditional Chinese arts?
"From this point of view to say that on one side are those such as Traditional Chinese Painting, in which its expression is recorded for posterity, but are static, because they reflect that special moment forever that once the context is changed, it can no longer be special.
But even then, the work and the signature of its author will be there to be seen and understood by future generations.
On the other side are the martial arts and Chinese opera. They are dynamic because they can be transformed to each context. However, its expression can not be captured by other than the human mind. That moment of brilliance, in which years of intense practice can register them because it would capture the magic of that moment. Only through the pure transmission of feelings is that art can be perpetuated. Only true disciples perpetuate the art properly. For this reason, in China, the choice of a disciple is as serious as choosing a master. And that's where lies the importance of a traditional martial art.
For these reasons I have held both forms of perpetuating the art as they are completed. "
Since you mentioned about traditional Chinese calligraphy, what is your opinion about the popularity of this art?
"To develop your artistic sense through calligraphy is necessary the study and dedication.
Harmonize short lines with long lines or thin with thick strokes is as difficult as deciding the size of each ideogram as a whole.
This aesthetic perception is only possible through great mental exercise, which attracts people who want to use their minds more fully. “
With Hong Kong returning to belong to the People's Republic of China in 1997, many traditional Chinese families are leaving the city, emigrating to the United States.
You have been approached by many of these families to tutor their children, where these young people have access to traditional Chinese culture by learning the traditional arts major. Do you believe that the ancient arts are being phased out and will not survive the next century?
"For a long time I worried about the fact that there is no person who could preserve the Chinese traditional arts, in particular the Ving Tsun (Wing Chun) system.
Today I am calm, as some of my disciples managed to capture the essence of art, becoming masters of the art. This makes people finally understand that what is broadcast is the Ving Tsun(Wing Chun) system and not my own knowledge.
The essence of the art of Ving Tsun(Wing Chun) is it's pure transmission. Perhaps for this reason that people all over the world, even on my official retirement, come to me to receive the pure knowledge of the art of Ving Tsun(Wing Chun) system.
Even if I die, I'm sure my followers will continue to preserve my legacy. "