Karate Nerd in China (Ep. 4) 🐲


Previously on Karate Nerd in China. I’m on my way to find the southern Shaolin Temple. Really? Yeah. So wait this stone tablet
outside the Shaolin Temple literally says you should “pass on kung fu”. Yeah. Look there it is. I might find an ancient source of karate’s history. (Kiai) That letter was sent to them by the mayor of Okinawa saying that this is the roots of karate. It feels like I’m learning the karate stuff that white crane was missing. Luckily there is a kung fu master outside of Shaolin that can teach us more. Follow along an epic adventure to rediscover the lost roots of karate. As Jesse Enkamp uncovers
the ancient source of karate’s kung fu connection. This is what the history
books never told you. You’re watching Karate Nerd in China. It’s a brand-new day in Quangzhou. I only have three days left here in China and today I’m meeting a
master of the kung fu style practiced by the southern Shaolin monks. As we’re walking to the master’s place, something interesting pops up. Oh, there’s somebody in there. Can we just say hi? Hello. Maybe can we speak to him? Can we go inside? To have a look? It would be nice to see a courtyard. (Will speaks Chinese) Does he live here? It’s his home, yeah. Can we look? Oh wow, thank you very much. Wow so we’re actually
entering a real courtyard in some old dude’s home here. What’s his name? – [Will] I don’t know. (Will speaks Chinese) Mr. Yang. Nice to meet you, I’m Jesse, that’s my name. How long has he lived here? (dog barking) Six generations of family- Whoa! Is that his ancestors? This is his ancestors, yeah. So, each generation of people. I gotta ask does he know kung fu? His younger brother has a
kung fu school in America. What? Really? I mean this is- Like lots of different styles. Just like a family-style. Wow this is so cool we’re actually inside this dude’s house. These are from the Tang Dynasty these are like over 1000 years old. That’s from the Han dynasty
like 2000 years old. So those are very valuable. Yeah, that’s the sort of stuff you get in the museum, like priceless. Do you mind asking if he has any martial arts stuff? – Yeah he does. A sword? He says it’s broken. It’s a foreign one, it’s not Chinese. He’s like this is just his hobby he just likes to just
collect these antiques. Bye bye, thank you. In the olden days martial
arts was never something that you would see in the public. It was always done
inside these courtyards. So you’d never know that’s a kung fu master– And so, that’s why the
Chinese word for “disciple” means What was–
Entering the door. Entering the door! So you’ve been allowed
into the courtyard. You’re sort of welcomed
in to come and train and sort of joining the family I guess. So they would actually
practice inside that courtyard? Yeah. Wow, so cool. After a brisk walk we finally reach our
destination, I am so excited. Thank you. This is Master Zhang, he’s been practicing kung fu for 40 years, and holds one of the highest ranks issued by the Chinese government. He’s also a very busy entrepreneur, But Master Zhang doesn’t
practice Monk Fist. He practices something
called Five Ancestors Fist. – [Will] He’s saying that’s Monk Fist. Ah, more tight. I am so confused right now. I thought this was the Shaolin stuff. (phone ringing) Well, yes and no. Five Ancestors Fist
contains a little Monk Fist, but it also contains White Crane. It’s actually a mix of five
different kung fu styles. The reason they practice
this style at Shaolin is because nobody knows Monk Fist anymore. It was lost when the temple burned down. After they rebuilt the temple, they introduced Five
Ancestors as their new style. This means we might never find the last piece of the karate puzzle. But according to Master Zhang, Five Ancestors still has an
important connection to karate. Wow, this is like a karate weapon. It’s the sai. Although the modern translation of karate is “empty hand”, the Okinawan masters also used weapons, and they have tons of
weapons in Five Ancestors. This sai is over 100 years old. It was originally used by Chinese law enforcement
to catch criminals. – [Will] Yeah don’t drop it. Is this also 100 years old? Yeah they’re all about, he doesn’t know the exact age but… – Ah, to protect, to catch. Oh okay, yeah yeah yeah, twist? Twist it and then… (laughter) Wow. If we follow Master Zhang to his school we can see even more. This is actually not his dojo it’s just a kung fu
themed hotel that he owns. Master Zhang’s dojo has two floors. According to Will, he’s most
likely a multimillionaire, because very few people have this kind of wealth in communist China. Hmm, same thing. Turns out the weapons used in Five Ancestors are
almost identical to karate. Master Chang uses the staff exactly like I teach it back home. And this famous karate weapon, known as “tongwai” in the local dialect, was apparently invented here in Quangzhou. The name literally translates
to “small walking stick”. That’s the exact same moves we do. (Zhang laughs) It’s the exact same techniques that we do. It’s becoming really clear that Five Ancestors played a major part in the evolution of karate, but not perhaps in the “empty hand” way. The real dojo turns out to be on the second floor and it’s huge. Complete with a beautiful altar, classical strength and conditioning tools, plus dozens of more weapons. Half of which I thought
were unique to Okinawa. But one thing that really stands
out is this piece of wood. The purpose of this bad ass heavy bag is to condition your bones and develop your ability
to receive impact. That hurts, this is okay, but this… Oh, pushing down. Five Ancestors has a lot in common with White Crane, but one big
difference is the footwork. Notice how Master Zhang
steps with his full body into each technique
instead of standing still. Fast and stable. Five Ancestors also uses the heavy pole I saw in Yongchun, but this time I actually get to try it (laughter) – Wow! Hold it wider. I’ve gotta say, this thing really develops
your core stability, it’s an excellent tool. The hands change from Yin and Yang. The more I learn, the more I feel like Five Ancestors is the MMA of kung fu. Not that they do any full
contact cage fighting, but because it’s literally
a mix of everything. The style even includes Dog Boxing. I’m mostly interested in the weapons because that’s the karate connection. After taking a few more phone calls it seems like Master Zhang needs to go and take care of business, but then he starts looking for something. I have no idea what’s about to happen. Turns out he wants to demonstrate one last kata before we leave. And then our visit is over. I am so happy to have
discovered karate’s old weapons, but I’m also a little disappointed. I was truly hoping to find
the original Shaolin style. My time here in China is almost over and I honestly don’t know what to do now. Is this the end? In a moment of desperation I decided to call up my old
mentor, Patrick McCarthy. After all, he spent his whole life researching the roots of karate. If anybody can help me, it’s him. Don’t be too anxious to look for Monk Fist boxing down there. Of course, the new Monk Fist is now all of the place, right? I did some interesting research into trying to figure that out. Why wasn’t there, back in the 70s and 80s, when I was trying to get hold of this, why couldn’t I find any Monk Fist boxing? But here it is clearly
described in the Bubishi. Apparently, one of the guys who came down from to the Shaolin Temple to Fujian, back in the 1800s, late 1800s, during this political upheaval and the fall of the Manchu government and all this type of
stuff, was a merchant. He was not publicly advertised to be teaching monk fist boxing. He was taken in by a guy
who was like a tea merchant. And he opened his school in Fuzhou… in a shop. What was the shop? Oh you know, they sold tea, and opium, and
incense and stuff like that. But the guy who ran the shop became very well known
for his martial arts. He was known as the incense shop owner. And what kind of kung fu did
he do? Incense Shop kung fu. I can’t believe my ears. Wasn’t that the style I saw
on my first day in Fujian? This is just insane! I mean, it does look a little like karate, but I didn’t see it because I
was so focused on White Crane. Heck, I even had tea with the master who demonstrated Incense Shop Boxing. Has the answer really been
under my nose this whole time? What I missed was, I kept
looking for Monk Fist Boxing and I kept seeing modern Monk Fist Boxing, which is your classic Changquan (Northern Shaolin). But it’s Southern Monk Fist that you want that became popularized under
the name Incense Shop Boxing. I don’t know what to believe. But I do know that I have to check it out and I don’t have a lot of time left. It’s time to head back to
the beginning of my journey. It’s time to rediscover
the lost roots of karate. Continuously hit you, so he’s going for pressure points now.

100 thoughts on “Karate Nerd in China (Ep. 4) 🐲

  1. Thank You very much…
    Domo arigato…
    Muchísimas gracias Sensei Jesse Enkamp por los subtítulos en español, excelente vídeo…y de nueva cuenta esperando el próximo capítulo, saludos. Oss.("sayonara").

  2. well done explore continue to grow each day must out do the other make the most of the opportunity let it lead to even greater adventures

  3. muy buena tu investigacion Jesse es dificil encontrar maestros con mas de 50 o 60 años de experiencias . oss !!

  4. jesse maybe you can show origin of shurite (shorin ryu) and nahete (goju). my understanding is that they have different origin stories.

  5. Another great video Jesse, thank you for all your effort in putting these together I really enjoy the way you are delving deeper and deeper into the origins of karate. I wonder if this is the area where Chojun Miyagi, Kanbun Uechi and other great Okinawan masters first learnt their karate… cant wait for the next video. Again, fantastic stuff man.

  6. hi jesse i learn karate 1.5 year and i think to quit please make a video for students to think quit martial arts

  7. Its amazing to See Old masters moving with so much kime! Love the Ende of the Videos with masters demonstrating Katas. Amazing Job ! Keep going 💪🏼🥋 Oss !

  8. Iincense Shop Kungfu is a spinoff of Louhan (Monk) Boxing.

    During 16 centry, Ming Dynasty Outturned by the Manchu. The Ming navy remnants turned into Anti Manchu rebels with a Buddism idently which is Southern Shaolin.

    However, some of them do not care about politics and prefered a pleasant lifestyle. They open trading companies which offer products where they trade in the East Asia Pacific Ocean.

  9. Work has been quiet, so I've been on a Jesse Marathon since finding this series and the Okinawa series. Loving them and looking forward to more in the future.

  10. Great work Jesse, very interesting stuff. I'm impressed by the ability of these aging Chinese men, their strength and power is inspirational. Looking forward to the next Ep….

  11. I'm a FooChow (FuZhou) ethnic myself, but I didn't know all these martial arts are connected so deep with my roots!!
    Malaysian Chinese here btw, and karate enthusiast, same like Jesse sensei

    i'm lost of words to express my gratitude to Jesse sensei
    I'm really thankful for all the videos you've made all these years, Jesse sensei

  12. You took a longer way, but actually you learned and lived so much more!! Somethings do not occur randomly. I'm anxious for the next chapter! Congratulations for this innitiative. I'm loving to watch it.

  13. I just found this channel today. Watched the last 4 episodes and i'm hooked. This is amazing content, can't wait for more!

  14. You are soooo close senpai, I talk about this documentary with my Sensei and he told me some things that shock me out because following the history, we maybe be even near India, What do you think?

  15. Hi Karate Nerd, Regarding Southern Luohan (Shaolin Monk Boxing) may be you can find interesting the next video:

    watch?v=BL7Zm7SC6mo

    This style is said to have influenced strongly not only karate but most of the southern kung fu styles, but its origins were in northern shaolin temple long time ago. Some say that monks form northern shaolin temple founded the southern shaolin temple.

    At present it is difficult to distinguish the correct techniques and principles of combat in the modern Northern Shaolin by the influence of acrobatics and Chinese opera, but obviously they are there. Fortunately the most traditional way of practice remained in the south.

    Best regards!

  16. What that monk was showing you in the Southern Shaolin temple is exactly 'reverse' punching in Karate and TKD. Another kung fu guy is showing you a Tonfa kata and the weapons are identical; sai, bo, etc. even how to use them is done the same, I think you were in the right place already near that southern temple.

  17. I'm not surprised seeing what I just saw but he is more agile than what he looks and that shield and stuff look pretty awesome

  18. He is a nice Chinese master./ Your Karate Nerd series on the origins of Karate is a wonderful voyage of discovery for all of us- thank you guys….

  19. Excelente vídeo, impress me the conection Five ancester and Weapons of Okinawa Kobudo like the bo, tonta, timbei and seryuto, fantástico….wating the chapter five

  20. Just a random thing I noticed, but he punched it with the bottom 3 knuckles while you're using the Karate top-2, probably why it hurt when you tried it.

  21. Thank you sensei for this video this brings back old memories of when I first started my own journey of the martial arts.

  22. The meaning of disciple was so cool! 4:17. I actually had to pause this video and think about that. Seriously, as someone that trains in Chinese martial arts, that was mind blowing!

  23. We are extremely glad that you had sensei patrick to back you up. Cant wait to see the next revelation💪💪💪😍😍😍

  24. Great episode as the previous ones, I am looking forward to watching the next one. Thank very much for sharing your experience with us.

  25. Hey Jesse, correct me if I am wrong. Wasn't the monk from the Temple from the previous episode, that started doing "Kiba dachi fists" and then the other monk showed you the way out? Why the White Crane guy moves are possibly the ancestors of Karate and not the monk who did the exact same moves we do in our first class of Karate? PS I saw a lot of Matayoshi Kobudo in the hands of the millionaire guy 😉

  26. Helo Jessy sensei
    Only when you told about kobudo weapons i got one doubt… How do you carry your kobudo weapons like nunchucks in flight???….Are they allowed in checked in baggage???…becoz i have one and i want to know how to take it…

  27. Interesting journey,on way to core of karate.the master cum businessman,a very deceptive character.looks very ordinary,in the sense that he does not look like a trained athlete.very slippery body language.
    Jesse,the true diplomat & gentleman.always save your chi for a higher purpose.

  28. It's a pity that the Shaolin temple was burned down and historical kung fu styles just disappeared hence some of Karate history too. By the way another awesome video 💪

  29. I always want to master the technique of connecting my feet with my "dantien"
    I hope u will be able to fulfil this wish of mine

  30. It's a great adventure, really amazing, charming places and houses, old lethal men, lovely chinese stuff, I am waiting for the fifth episode, Sensei.
    Have you take so much tea in your life before?
    Kind regards Sensei

  31. I LOVE THIS EPIC ADVENTURE! LEARNING SO MUCH FROM A GREAT MAN … AKA THE KARATE NERD! Again thanks for doing this trip Jesse. (salute)

  32. Hi from Lithuania! I am study and practice and teach others Wing chun . I was practitioner Karate Kyokushin. Very interesting videos! Tnank your for hard work to show us these videos <3

  33. 释妙兴’ (or ‘Venerable Miao Xing’) was the man who taught Luohan Quan to Chojun Miyagi, but it was in Shanghai.

  34. Super great series 🙂 when will you go down further the rabbit hole and look for the roots of Kung Fu and Karate in India? 🙂

  35. Hey Jesse! These videos are fantastic! I’m 52 years old and I’ve studied martial arts most of my life. In recent years I’ve been doing a lot of digging into the history. Your videos are informative and fun. And they inspire a love of the arts. I love what you are doing!

  36. I guess you are now answering my previous question, when I asked if you were going to hit on Five Ancestor Fist, etc…. you said wait and see. I am seeing!
    As originally I studied Shorin Ryu, growing up, I am loving this!. Having also studied Southern Shaolin, I am loving this! On to Kali, as I have gotten older. My training needs have changed from fun and wonder, to necessity with weapons. Spending a year deployed to Afghanistan showed me that I needed practical weapons training. Even in Kali, there are techniques almost identical to Karate and Kungfu. The fellow I study with also teaches Krav Maga…..again, it's all very similar. The biggest difference between all of them, is the areas of concentration of technique (whether it be stick and knife, empty hands, mind set, etc.). Otherwise, when you look at bunkai, they are almost all the same.

  37. you should do some research into the five animal style kung fu. Me and my karate pals can totally do some exercise together in truth.

  38. I had a long branch lying around. Didn't really know what to do with it for months now. Will be turning it into a long pole for training like @10:44

  39. Hi Jesse. I have been practicing Okinawan GoJuRyu for over 17 years and greatly appreciate your channel and videos. I was wondering if you have written want books about the art.

  40. these chinese guys are fairly athletic to be that old and chubbby. Maybe they hadnt battle test their abilities but they seriously got moves.

  41. how do people still think all that arm flapping actually woirks when its been demonstrated ime and agin that it definatly has zero practical application, how do people still not know this in the 21st century ?

  42. Dear Sensei Jesse, watching this video is like watching an episode of Sherlock Holmes! 😀 Don't give up! Go where the clues lead you, sir! God bless!

  43. Wuzu is call 5 ancestors and combine in to one.
    1)Tai cho style very hards like karate.
    2.)Monkey style is the leg work.
    3)Lao hun is the swing and hook like the boxing.
    4.)White crane is the wing and flapping against the wind.
    5.)Bodhidharma is the chi and shen plus the form all integrate into One.
    As also meditation is require to train the mind into stillness and empty the cup .
    Some call it zen kungfu
    Mainly is meditation.

  44. This is awesome. I'm curious though, do you send the people you visited, say for example Master Zhang, your completed videos? Youtube is banned in China but I imagine they would've been happy getting these somehow.

  45. What Patrick says about Monk Fist boxing is similar to what happens to Wing Chun. During the 1800s there is a change in the course of Kung Fu. This 1840-1850 period is very important to the historical aspects of all Gong Fu.

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