Wu Wisdom: Peace

The following is an excerpt from RZA's "Tao of Wu." Peace. The word comes from Islam and is meant to be a universal greeting. It’s the only word I use to begin and end each communication with my fellow man. “Peace”—it’s the absence of confusion. “Peace”—it’s the prevention of conflict. “Peace”—it establishes both parties on a ground of mutual respect no matter who they are. “Peace”—it’s universal. If an alien jumps in front of your ass—comes at you, like “BLAAH!” —you can still say “Peace.” He may even understand you....

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Wu Wisdom: Lessons From The Projects

The following is an excerpt from RZA's "Tao of Wu." If you live in the projects, you don’t leave them much. Everything is right there: laundry, grocery store, check-cashing place—all set up so you can live your whole life in a four-block radius. I’ve lived in at least ten different projects in New York—Van Dyke in Brownsville, Marcus Garvey in East New York, Park Hill and Stapleton in Staten Island—and they all taught me something, even if they were lessons no one would choose. Imagine you’re eight years old, going...

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Wu Wisdom: The Math Behind 36 Chambers

The following is an excerpt from the "Wu-Tang Manual" by RZA. Mathematics is what we live. And the numerology side of it makes you aware of the connections between everything. Even if you talk about the thirty-six chambers: A student of the Wu-Tang sword school would master higher levels of technique. Each level, or chamber, that he climbed, he would near invincibility. If he was able to enter the thirty-six chamber, he was unstoppable to all but a fellow thirty-sixth-chamber Wu-Tang swordsman. So, break it down. You have the thirty-six...

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Wu Wisdom: "Tang is the slang, Wu is the way"

The following is an excerpt from RZA's "Tao of Wu." Studying with Sifu, I learned that kung fu was less a fighting style and more about the cultivation of the spirit. What made a Shaolin monk so tough was his mastery of chi—the fact he could make contact with the Earth and draw the energy from it through him. His chi translates as “the grand extreme” and breaks all ideas, forces, and objects into opposites, yin and yang. But wu-chi, which translates as “no extremes,” came before tai chi. It’s...

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Wu Wisdom: Cinematic Sparks

The following is an excerpt from RZA's Wutang Manual. I can still remember the first four movies I ever saw, in order. It went Tom Sawyer, then Rocky, then Star Wars, then The Swarm. Straight up, that was it. You can see the influence of those first movies throughout the Wu-Tang and my career. The Star Wars and Rocky movies you can definitely hear in the music. Star Wars had a super impact on me. Of course it had a super impact on a whole generation. To me, Star Wars...

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