Five Word -Verses : 五字訣
[ 五字 歌, 訣]
Pugalistic Knowledge : 拳學
Li Dong Feng : 李東風 [Li, East Wind
], Note: East-wind is currently a very common Chinese name, there is evidence that it first appeared in the Ming dynasty.
(CE. 1368-1644) as personal name.
Identity : 粗成五字訣;
拳學 (Five Characters, Boxing Knowledge )
Alleged Author : Li Dong-feng (
李東風 ) 先師寫於鹿邑
: 隱山 hidden mountain; Yin Shan (李東風先師寫於鹿邑
隱山) Some sources say 'yun shan' which would be 雲山
[雲門山志 yun men shan zhi, would be a Buddhist
temple ], yun means 'cloud'.
[ Note : Nearly all of the Chinese martial or health exercises when claiming a lineage history, tend to choose iconic beginnings
[ famous man, famous mountain, famous dynasty-period ], and tend to mingle, whole or in part, prior archaic events [
which are not completely known ] with later Renaissance 'romantic' history [ the giant, Chang San-feng was a hero against
the Mongol government and he 'created' Tai-chi-] and embellish it with serendipitous events [ knowledge found in a cave, found
in a tomb, or inspired by watching a bird and a snake fight ; Note also, that Yun-shan is also deemed honorific enough
that children may be named with it, ie. Yun-shen Li, Li being the family name ].
"The Daozang ( 道藏, Treasury of Tao) is sometimes referred
to as the Taoist canon. It was originally compiled during the Jin, Tang, and Song dynasties. The version surviving today was
published during the Ming dynasty. The Ming Daozang includes almost 1500 texts.
example of the Buddhist Tripitaka,
it is divided into three dong ( 洞, "caves", "grottoes" ).
They are arranged from "highest" to "lowest":
> The Zhen ("real" or "truth" 眞) grotto. Includes the Shangqing
> The Xuan ("mystery" 玄) grotto. Includes the Lingbao scriptures.
The Shen ("divine" 神) grotto.
Includes texts predating the Maoshan （茅山
Daoshi generally do not consult published versions of the Daozang, but individually choose, or inherit, texts included in
the Daozang. These texts have been passed down for generations from teacher to student.
The Shangqing school has a tradition
of approaching Taoism through scriptural study. It is believed that by reciting certain texts often enough one will be rewarded
with immortality. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taoism
The Five Word Verses, also called
the 'Five Characters Secret', is classified as part of the quan2 xue2, 'boxing knowledge' ( 拳學 )
associated with the 'usual given' documentary history of LHBF heritage; this in itself does not validate it. The document is called 五字 訣,
both word, zi4 字 and farewell jue2 訣 and song-secret ge2 歌 each has been used to name the verses;
the context usage implies, sometimes, the idea of 'parting' 'secrets' as a 'farewell';
this is two-sided: imparting knowledge to a 'student' who is leaving, or the last words of a teacher, who is 'departing',
dieing. The expression: zi4 jue2 字訣 words at parting 'farewell' is somewhat better.
This duality of meaning is also conveyed in the mythic legend that sage
Tze as he 'departed' to the 'West' he 'gifted the gatekeeper with a book.]
Five Word Verses ( 五字訣, 五字歌) are
typically said to have been 'written by Li Tung-feng ( 李東風
) sometime after the First Song Dynasty, at about 'the year 1100'
[ and possibly 500 years later ].
often as this is recorded, there is no convincing evidence of the story in real history. [ A search of archaic martial and
or taoist literature for 'notables' returns nothing for Li Tung -feng; nor for this poem. 'East-wind' Li is a person of unknown
origins and unknown abilities, and of an imprecise historical time. The name east-wind may be symbolic due to earlier Chinese
An analysis by a foremost authority on Chinese language and music also concludes it is 'unknown' in itself. [ John
Thompson, http://silkqin.com ]
It can be said however, that 'poem' verse..of variable character number [3,4,5..] is an established
and studied part of Chinese dynastic history; the Song Dynasty was noted for its' 'song' verses.
The usual location given is:
於鹿邑隱山 in, at, LU (deer)
District-city, YIN ( hidden-concealed )
SHAN (mountain) 先師寫
'Master Li took refuge
at Yun 雲(云) [cloud] Mountain and / or Yin 隱 [hidden] Shan 山 mountain
Southeast, from the Lok [Lu] 鹿邑 District. '+ Yun Shan, cloud mountain,
there are many, 'cloud' is used to describe a 'secret place' + Lok
District, ????unknown, unclear.
'” While living
on Mt. Yun, he authored the famous Five Word Song, which serves today as the only extant
treatise explaining the principles of the “original” Lop Hop Pak Fat.”
An approach to understanding
this history, is that as current writers are using Cantonese,
Mt. Yun could likely be
Yuan, and S.E. Lok, maybe, Luo. Most modern Chinese hotels also like to be called Yun, 'cloud hotel',
to improve marketing. [ HuaShan is also popular, being equivalent to 'best'.]
A balanced choice may be:
yun [yin] shan, 雲山,cloud-hidden 隱 mountain :
Bai yun Mountain 白雲山 [Note: as for legend making, accrediting the exercise
or verses to Mt.Hua Shan would be simple due to its' notoriety; accrediting it to often confused source of Jiu-Hua-Shan
could have been done with less success; accrediting it to 'cloudy' mountain adds a mystic
aspect to the history.]
The Five-word Verses, in themselves, lack the terseness and depth in comparison with the core LiuHe
BaFa verses. Common taoist concepts as wu-wei, innate 'non-thinking' intuition and similar does exit. There is
also numerous repeations and warnings to 'study' the verses for success. This, to me, implies some non-taoist editing.
( 五字訣 ) 'Verses' of boxing
...Wu Zi Jue ( 拳學