Okay, “Enlightenment or bust” might be a bit dramatic, but…

"Dang Zang" is an empty name. The blog has to do with the dharma; material related to Buddhist teachings (Tibetan style in particular, Kagyu in even more particular), meditation, gurus and lamas be they genuine or flaky, books and events. I do have a more personal blog, Pica Pica, and a site for my work.

Oh yes, it's by Alex Wilding

Archive

  • A Brexit puzzle 03/07/2017
    No, not the one about “why did we ever…?” This: Let’s think of an election, perhaps a general election. A vital part of our democratic process, of course. Usually it’s a two-horse race with a few also-rans, so let’s just concentrate on the two main parties, and call them left and right. One side wins, […]
  • Kathmandu trip 30/06/2017
    For the last few weeks I’ve been writing up “what I did on my holidays” in Kathmandu this April. It’s on this site, but not on this blog. You’ll find it at http://alex-wilding.com/the-kathmandu-report/  
  • Untitled 27/02/2017
    https://www.theguardian.com/…/grandmother-deported-from-uk-… How is this fair? How is this not vindictive? How is this not a failure to use discretion? How is this not a failure of compassion? How is this not a failure of common sense? How is this not narrow-minded? How is this not mean-spirited? How is this not pig-headed? Sorry, pigs, it’s just […]
  • Donny, Theresa and the Brexit effect 29/01/2017
    In her attempt to pretend that there is enough other “free trade” out there in the world to compensate for the financial hit to the UK (lower wages and higher prices, to you and me) that Wrexit will cause, we have seen Theresa May cosying up to a variety of questionable characters, most notably the […]
Thursday August 27th, 2009. Posted by Alex W:

Tibetan snake boxing – whaaa?

John Davies has a way of finding both interesting and funny things on the net. He forwarded me the link for site that calls itself The Gompa.

Now although I’m tagging this with charlatans, I’m not at the moment saying that’s what this guy is – to be honest, I haven’t even read his site properly. But if one is tempted to come to a snap judgement…

This was my favourite picture, which is the illustration for “Tibetan Snake Boxing” in which “the main focus is on fighting while kneeling, sitting, rolling or lying on the ground. The Snake Boxer, through tumbling, rolling, leaping and coiling, controls the balance of his opponent by striking or locking vulnerable pressure points with devastating effectiveness.”

image33

 

On second thoughts, I am willing to class him as a charlatan. What do you think?

13 comments to Tibetan snake boxing – whaaa?

  • Sass

    The Derek Zoolander of Tibetan Yoga.

  • john foley

    I remember “Biff” Painter from back in the 70’s..one of the early “internal” martial artists on the scene at that time. Never met him, seemed like a “serious” student of the internal arts. I think the need to dress up with the beret stuff just reveals a serious lack of discrimination.
    Interesting that he is trying/ purporting to teach Tummo outside the four year retreat.
    Snake boxing would relate to monkey style boxing…I never tracked it down but styles of “Lama Boxing” was allegedly a super secret brought to the court in China by the Tibetans, never taught to commoners. Many styles specialize in “floor work” it being very difficult to deal with a trained opponent who stays low on, near the floor.
    Well, just some thoughts….he might teach really good Chi Kung..been doing it for a while, just too bad the presentation is so bizarre.
    Welcome to Texas.

  • Maybe a real master with a sense of humor?

    Not bettin’ on it, though!

  • Cone Beckham

    Whether or not this guy is genuine, I pause at the name “Tibetan Snake boxing.”

    I mean, boxing usually implies you have arms…and fists…and such? Do Tibetan Snakes have arms?

    (I suppose someone will reply that the word “boxing” is a translation from Chinese or Tibetan……fine. Go ahead.)

  • lhunrup

    why dont you take the cnace and guts , go up to his afce and ask him , your a a very very weak little man who just fault finds all then time to boost your own little ego
    i hope this kung fu guy in the picture gets to meat you one day
    i wonder are you gay or a pervert or something , i sense you are a very week man , with a lot to hide

  • Jim

    I will state up front that I study Jiu Long Bagua Zhang. JLBZ is in my opinion the backbone of the Li Family Arts taught at The Gompa. Dr. John Painter is the lineage holder for the Li Family Arts.

    Contrary to the posting by “A Word Witch” Dr. Painter does not call himself or accept others callimg him a master. The reasons for not accepting the title of master which I have heard in lectures from Dr. Painter, and that I am not quoting but paraphrasing(to be clear any errors are my own), are that a master has learned and understood everything, Dr. Painter has stated that there is much he is still learning and understanding.

    “Cone Beckham” the name snake boxing would be derived from this being a system of fighting from the ground. You would be correct in the thought that “boxing” in Chinese Martial Arts is not quite the same as “boxing” in Western terms.

    The gentleman running this site is the person I have a serious concern about. You sir have stated…”Now although I’m tagging this with charlatans, I’m not at the moment saying that’s what this guy is – to be honest, I haven’t even read his site properly” Why would you make a harmful statement about someone without doing the due diligence to ensure that you are behaving responsibly and not maliciously slandering someone. This is my first experience with your site. I hope more investigation is done on your other postings as I think the premise for your site is excellent as long as you are being vigilent.

    I wish you the best.

    Regards,

    Jim Sullivan

  • Alex W

    lhunrup: I think your post already says what I would say in answer. If you read this blog you will see that I *did* find out where to speak to him, and *did* ask him some relevant questions; the answers I got were not ridiculous, though they were extremely vague.
    As to your speculations about my personality, I leave you to them.
    Jim: You ask why I would “make a harmful statement about someone without doing the due diligence to ensure that you are behaving responsibly and not maliciously slandering someone”. The answer is that in the first place, the very idea of “Tibetan Snake Boxing” is just not something an informed person can easily take seriously; in the second place, as I see it, asking Biff for an explanation (which I published long ago) *is* reasonably diligent.
    Perhaps I should stress that it is, above all, the suggestion that he was taught Tummo (and now teaches it to others) by Thrangu Rinpoche (one of my own teachers) that, to those who know anything about things Tibetan, sounds extremely fishy.

  • Mike Hunt

    1) This is the same guy that was known as Biff Painter in the late 60s who performed an escape artist and magic act in small nightclubs in the Dallas, TX area. A highlight of his show was allowing himself to be buried alive in a mound of dirt a couple of days in advance of his opening his show at a particular nightclub.

    2) Painter also, claimed to be Houdini reincarnated. He claimed to be born on the same month and day that Houdini passed away.

    3) He opened the Life Science Center for the instruction of Kung Fu, Tai Chi, herbal medicine, etc. Painter claimed in his literature for the school that he trained in these disciplines from master teachers in the Orient. Let’s see, he performed until the late 60s, maybe 1970, with his magic act and the institute opened, I believe, around 1977 so, this would mean that he had approximately 7 years to learn his Far East craft, becoming in the process a master himself. From what I have read, this attainment isn’t reached until much longer than 7 years. Of course, he could have made trips to the Orient on breaks between magic gigs in the 60s, I guess.

  • Augie the Dawg

    I was a student for a time in Arlington Texas and I was just in search of my old sifu and was surprized to read these comments. In a time where Roy Kurban was also teaching Tai Kwon Do and visited us at the school of Tao Chi Chuan Kung Fu oh those were the days… Sifu Painter taught many soon to be Movie Stars, stunt men and well just people like me. Biff is much like a Chinese Proverb… achieve results but don’t boast … He lead us to believe he was raised in East Texas by an old Master of Kung Fu so I don’t know where you got the seven year thing. I learned it is a way of Life…

  • George

    Biff Painter claimed to be a jujitsu expert until the Bruce Lee movies came out. Then he somehow transitioned to being a Tai Chi Master, with great knowledge of acupressure, and internal medicine. He made many claims. I talked to him a couple of times and invited him to my school to work out. He invited me to his. He never came to my school, so I went to his. He did noting as far as free-syle sparring or fighting. He did a lot of “play like you are going to punch me with that hand and I will do this.” He was at best a Flake and charlatan.

  • Answers to the charges against me

    As I see it anyone has a right to say anything they like about me so long as they have direct personal experience we my teaching, skills or methods. This gives such persons a knowledge base with which to form their own personal opinions based on experience.

    Those without personal knowledge or who pass on opinions derived from second and third hand information, partial readings of internet materials or viewing videos are merely making assumptions without first hand knowledge such a level of inexperience with the subject should be taken for what it is gossip without factual substantiation. Passing along such assumptions is also known as in some cases as slander.

    With this premise in mind I shall attempt to answer truthfully some of the questions and so called “statements of fact” that have been made here.

    Mr. John Foley said
    “I think the need to dress up with the beret stuff just reveals a serious lack of discrimination.”

    John Painter: I assume you are making reference to the American Rangers photos. This is a legitimate company that instructs law enforcement, corrections officers and military in programs that began in 1990 and continue to this day. We dress in the appropriate uniforms for the LEO groups we are instructing. You can read about it here. http://www.american-rangers.com/

    Mr. John Foley said
    “Interesting that he is trying/ purporting to teach Tummo outside the four year retreat.”

    John Painter: About Gtumo
    I learned first a Daoist inner heat practice from Li, Long Dao of Sichuan province used to survive long treks in frigid temperatures. Many years later I was exposed to Gtumo and many other concepts of Tibet Buddhist practice from Lama Trangu Rinpoche. This training took place in various locations beginning with his visit to my school many, many years ago.

    Alex W Said
    “You will see that I *did* find out where to speak to him, and *did* ask him some relevant questions; the answers I got were not ridiculous, though they were extremely vague. The suggestion that he was taught Tummo (and now teaches it to others) by Thrangu Rinpoche (one of my own teachers) that, to those who know anything about things Tibetan, sounds extremely fishy.”

    John Painter:
    I do not recall ever “speaking” with you Mr. M except through the response I wrote to an earlier post of yours. I am not sure what you mean by vague as I thought I gave a pretty clear answer. On our Website TheGompa.com we advertise a three hour LECTURE program on Gtumo. There is no advertisement that we teach the Tibetan art of Gtumo (Tummo) in its entirety. I was never empowered by my Tibetan teacher to instruct the Tibetan version of this method and do not say so on my website. Out of respect for my teacher I do not do so now nor have I sought to instruct Tibetan Gtumo at any time in the past.

    Alex W Said
    “In the first place, the very idea of “Tibetan Snake Boxing” is just not something an informed person can easily take seriously.”

    John Painter About Tibetan Snake Boxing
    We fully explain our theory that the name Tibetan Snake Boxing was given to a ground fighting art taught by the Li family of Sichuan province China and that it most likely has not connection to martial arts taught in Tibet the family may have just adopted the name for their own personal reasons. I have not right to change it.
    If you have an interest read this
    http://www.thegompa.com/tibetan-snake-boxing/the-legend-of-tibetan-snake-boxing/

    Mike Hunt Said
    1) This is the same guy that was known as Biff Painter in the late 60s who performed an escape artist and magic act in small nightclubs in the Dallas, TX area. A highlight of his show was allowing himself to be buried alive in a mound of dirt a couple of days in advance of his opening his show at a particular nightclub.

    John Painter:
    This is absolutely true.

    Mike Hunt Said
    2) Painter also, claimed to be Houdini reincarnated. He claimed to be born on the same month and day that Houdini passed away.

    John Painter
    No such claimed were ever made by me. A press agent seeing the similarities to my birthday and other dates in Houdini’s life made these claims which I forced him to retract.

    Mike Hunt Said
    3) He opened the Life Science Center for the instruction of Kung Fu, Tai Chi, herbal medicine, etc. Painter claimed in his literature for the school that he trained in these disciplines from master teachers in the Orient.

    John Painter:
    Yes we opened the first Chinese internal martial arts school in Texas in October 1972. No claims were ever made that I studied with a master teacher in the Orient. All martial training took place on US soil under the tutelage of Li, Long-dao AKA Frank Li of East Texas.

    Mike Hunt Said:
    Let’s see, he performed until the late 60s, maybe 1970, with his magic act and the institute opened, I believe, around 1977 so, this would mean that he had approximately 7 years to learn his Far East craft, becoming in the process a master himself. From what I have read, this attainment isn’t reached until much longer than 7 years. Of course, he could have made trips to the Orient on breaks between magic gigs in the 60s, I guess.

    John Painter:
    I never claimed to have ever made trips to the orient. Started training as a sickly boy in East Texas from Frank Li in 1957. Just because I did not start teaching publicly until 1972 does not mean that I was not training and honing my martial skills while attending high school and college, then later working as a performer. People can do more than one thing at a time. Like have a career and train in Gong Fu. From 1971 to 72 I worked in the nightclub business as a performer and at the same time as a bodyguard for the owners of the two clubs in which I appeared. The Twelve Signs and The Losers Club.

    George Said:
    Biff Painter claimed to be a jujitsu expert until the Bruce Lee movies came out. Then he somehow transitioned to being a Tai Chi Master, with great knowledge of acupressure, and internal medicine. He made many claims. I talked to him a couple of times and invited him to my school to work out. He invited me to his. He never came to my school, so I went to his. He did noting as far as free-syle sparring or fighting. He did a lot of “play like you are going to punch me with that hand and I will do this.” He was at best a Flake and charlatan.

    John Painter:
    It is interesting how so many people are afraid to identity themselves with a complete name on these forums. As Mr. George will not identify himself I cannot say if he ever met me in person or that we talked and as he is anonymous here I cannot say if he invited me to his school or attended mine. If so he did not experience much, as we have always emphasized real combative tactics of all the internal arts so I can only take his comments with a very microscopic grain of salt.

    I defy anonymous George to show me in print where I claimed to be a Jujitsu expert, no such claims have ever been made by me. Bruce Lee movies “The Big Boss” AKA Fists of Fury was released in America on March 1973 in New York city. Our school opened in 1972 so neat trick that I became a Tai Chi Master after the Bruce Lee films came out. By then our school was already established with a curriculum of Taijiquan, Baguazhang, Xingyiquan, Tibetan Snake Boxing and other Chinese martial and health arts.

    Final thoughts to the owner of this blog, I do not judge you sir or presume to know you, however it gives me pause to wonder at why someone who presents to be a practitioner of Buddhism especially Tibetan Buddhism chooses to involve himself in what seems to be pointless gossip and slander of others. In my personal view I would not choose to make assumptions or cast aspersions on those whom I do not personally know or have any first hand experience with their methods. I respect your right to do and say as you like and it is not my place to judge others Just my thoughts on the subject.

    If you want to make personal comments I can be reached here
    thegompa@yahoo.com

    Sincerely John P. Painter

  • I’ve been practicing the Snake Boxing for a long time, but I’ve kept a low profile and I’m not bent upon commenting on other people’s affairs. The snake, whether venomous or not, is armless and legless, even so it holds the mysterious, mesmerizing look, its meandering, sinuous moves. The style itself contains 17 different types of snakes, the biggest of all is the python (no anacondas in Asia, a constrictor. Another one is the green snake whose origin as a fighting style originated in Cambodia, Vietnam and made its way to the Shaolin Temple where it was adopted, modified, and refined as well as integrated into their systems. The Emei(also Omei) Mountain Snake Style is also a different school. As a reptile, the snake has a unique way of moving, defending itself, we human can’t move like a snake, but we codified and adapted this wide variety of snake species to create a boxing style. There are also other totally different animals inside the Snake Boxing, including rodents, and even the “folkloric white snake” as a defense/offense technique.

  • Basil Hoyl

    I remember Biff Painter from the 1970s. He had a martial arts school and I remember him on several occasions bringing a group of his students with many traditional Chinese weapons for demonstrations to the students, of which I was one, of some friends of his who had a Jiu Jitsu school. He also taught actors how to be stunt men and work with weapons in the theater. He was colorful, entertaining and instructive. I do not personally know his lineage, but I do know that some of the people he was around in the seventies were serious martial artists.

Leave a Reply

 

 

 

*