An attempt to study THE CULTURAL HISTORY of TRADITIONAL VIETNAMESE MARTIAL ARTS – Section 3

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HUNG NGUYEN MANH

… be continued …

       During the seven peacetimes, what did they do in their leisure time? Did they publish any books on sexual behaviors?

       Sexuality was researched by healthy peoples in the world. There were books like Kama-Sutra (India), Sex and Zen, Dao Ma secret teaching, Important secrets of Ngoc Phong (China). Particularly, The To Nu Book was hidden in a thousand-year-old Chinese museum since the Thai Co era (2,550 BC), the Golden Age of mankind, much less densely-populated than today. One of the three emperors at that time (Phuc Hy, Than Nong, Hoang De) paid attention to this issue. Phuc Hy found Bát quái (The eight diagrams) and taught people about marriages.

       It was fortunate for our nation that emperors of different dynasties did not think about publishing sexuality classics as pornographic books for their own pleasure. Although there were some lustful emperors, they were not recorded in any books, except for the case of Le Long Dinh (986 – 1009), the last king of Tien Le Dynasty. He was recorded in historical books as a lustful, brutal, and cruel emperor. That was why he had a shameful name: Le Ngoa Trieu (King Le, who always lied in a royal bed while holding court).
Beside peaceful times (seven times), whether or not the Ph.D. dissertation of the Japanese researcher described in details the power disputes which generated internal wars, but in historical records, we can also find some cases such as of Mac Dang Dung, Tran Thu Do, or Ho Quy Ly.

     It was a typical case that when the Hau Le dynasty started, a power dispute occurred immediately3. The factions began to differentiate between fellow townsmen, emperors’ relatives, people with different hometowns, etc. Especially, there were conflicts between men of merit to compete for the throne (between Le Tu Te, the eldest son, with Le Nguyen Long, the second eldest son) and defamation between them (Le Tu Te was alleged to be mad).

* * *

        During modern and contemporary history, from the second half of 19th century until now, Vietnam has changed the look on social models since the colonial occupation in the country. Although the situation was reversed, basic principles of the nation were still being taught in each family from urban to rural areas. Literature experts were equipped with new ideas, new writing, new Western civilization. The dialectical method of Aristotle replaced a large part of the traditional way of thinking of Confucius, of the East. Experts of martial arts or military were equipped with new weapons, new methods of warfare, new thoughts, etc.

       Thousands of years ago, Vietnam was a big battlefield against Mongolian and Chinese enemies with simple weapons. Later on, there were two new systems of thoughts which turned Vietnam into a battleground of modern weapons with biological battlefields using insects to fight: Bumblebees were used to attack troops entering villages, or bugs were used to detect military movements in war zones (bugs were starved for a long time then dropped down into the jungles to discover the smell of humans through the troops’ movements). Vietnamese military tactics were used in a guerrilla war and anti-guerrilla war. Vietnamese people’s blood and tears were shed, hoping for democracy, independence, freedom, and happiness. That was the general thinking of all the peoples during the Cold War and the way of thinking of each clan, each hometown, each family, each individual. It was the ancestors’ altar which reminded our nation to love one another. Since then, literature and martial arts experts were in the greatest solidarity ever in the history. Is this the 8th peaceful time of which our nation has dreamed?’

NOTE:
1:  LÉON VANDERMEERSCH, Le nouveau monde sinisé, Paris: Seuil, 1985
2:  Seven Military Classics include seven martial arts texts from the Chu, Han, Duong dynasties as follow:
*  Chu Dynasty: 5
1. The art of war by Sun Tzu
2. Wuzi – Art of war by Wu Qi
3. The methods of the Sima by Sima Rangju
4. Wei Liaozi by Wei Liao
5. Six secret strategic teachings by Jiang Ziya
*  Han Dynasty: 1: Three strategies of Huang Shigong
*  Duong Dynasty: 1: Questions and replies bewteen Tang Taizong and Li Weigong by Emperror Taizong and Li Jing
3:  Le Loi was an emperor who defeated the Minh troops, ending 20 years of the forth Chinese domination, establishing the Later Le Dynasty, the longest reign in the history of Vietnam.

◊  Figures’s sources:  yan.vn, myahola.vn

SEE MORE:
◊  An attempt to study THE CULTURAL HISTORY of TRADITIONAL VIETNAMESE MARTIAL ARTS – Section 1.

◊  An attempt to study THE CULTURAL HISTORY of TRADITIONAL VIETNAMESE MARTIAL ARTS – Section 2.

BAN TU THU
11 /2019

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