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The Traditional Ritual of Bai Shi PDF Print E-mail
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Friday, 08 June 2007
The Traditional Ritual of Bai Shi
   From the old times on, the succession of Chinese traditional Kung-fu has been including not only handing on Kung-fu and its skills but also the culture comprised in. The traditional culture contained in Chinese traditional Kung-fu embraces a broad and wide knowledge in different fields such as the ancient philosophical theories, ethical and moral fields, literature and art culture, the ancient natural science principle and so on. The traditional Bai Shi ritual is one of the points in the field of humanity and ethical culture.
      As China has a broad territory, a certain form of Bai Shi ritual varies with different regional cultures and various characteristics of the humanity culture.
      We would like to introduce to you a certain Bai Shi ritual conducted by a contemporary representative of Shao Lin Quan as well as a famous Kung-fu master, Zhu Tianxi.
      A traditional Bai Shi ritual is usually hosted by one of the compeers or the hail-fellows of the master in taking some one as his pupil. The host will first introduce the guests and the personages active in different fields of Wushu present at the ritual and then give a brief introduction of the master who is to take some one as his pupil while the guests and his friends will always express their congratulations through some brief addresses or presenting gifts. After that the prentice first will do a kowtow (touching the ground with his forehead in expressing his respect and in fixing the relationship between the master and himself) ritual and then, submit a written note for the instruction issued by the master with a Kow-tow posture again or deliver some Li Jin (a girl of money). As for the old tradition there would be a ritual of San Bai Jiu Kou (three times of knee on and nine times of kowtow). The master will then lead all his prentices to salute bowing to their ancestors of the founder of the Quan. The new prentice will again salute bowing to his master's compeers and his senior fellow apprentices. After that the master will present a keepsake to his new prentice and then both of them take a picture together and then with some honoraria done by them in ending.
       Most Bai Shi rituals are generally conducted the same with a few differences in their procedures and the forms a little bit different in various regions.
       Traditionally the master will keep a strict distinction between his taking up a new prentice and instructing his students in Kung-fu learning. Some masters has many students yet a few prentices, they regard the formally  taking up of a new prentice each means that they are also  responsible to instruct and guide the thoughts and  ideological consciousness as well as the theories and  skills learning of their prentices, for their future succession of their schools of Kung-fu. Of course there are masters who take up one hundred or two hundred per year but instruct a few of them merely.

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