Chon: 殘 The Principle of 

 "Destruction" in Combat




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Chon/Chan    (Cantonese) is one of the Four Principles 宗極 of Combat in the Si-Ji-Hao  (Lion's Roar tradition:

Chune          穿



In Simhanada Vajramukti - the Indo-Tibetan root art to the Sino-cized 'Si-Ji-Hao', these principles are described as the Tantric Catu-Guna's (the four qualities) see LINK: Mukti Dharma   They are a manifestation of the "Sacred Four" - the Four Noble Truths of Buddhism, which are represented within the Lion's Roar! tradition as the 4-Kaya's (bodies), 4-Guna's (qualities/principles) 4-Resha's (lines/planes)and the 4-Sakti's (gings/powers/strengths).   Here the multiplication of '4's' is not significant as such (4x4) but that in each of the 'four' considered, there are "4 truth's":  there are ONLY 4-Noble Truths.  Each dimension of the Art manifests them as a specific instantiation.

Chon/Chan is described on the above link as:

"Chon: Sanskrit: Vadhati 'Ruthlessness-Destruction', the goal of annihilation of the opponent or the 'attack' of the opponent - which is a moral issue for Buddhists that needs to be understood. There are grounds in Buddhism for ultimate force, should this be necessary according to Dharma, and there are grounds for ruthless destruction of an 'attack' within the Bardo, such 'destruction' removes the threat from the opponent by negation of the action against us - in such a way that gives a Karmic opportunity for the opponent to grasp the consequences of his actions. Kali 'The Destroyer' is the Deva-Raja of Vadhati-Guna".


Chon/Chan is a teleological principle (from the Greek 'Telos') meaning that it is present both as the 'cause' and 'effect' of the (combat) process.  It 'exists' as the primal intent-principle, that has within it the expectation of its fulfilment.  The goal of the (combat) process is 'completion' and completion is Chon - ruthless destruction.

Chon needs careful consideration and reflection to be understood.  It is not  a 'bad attitude', taken psychopathically against the person of another human being.  It is a Tantric Buddhist Guna (quality/principle), and as such, is primarily entrained to be directed against inner opponents of Bodhicitta (enlightened mind).   These inner opponents include all illusions and ego-fictions normally addressed by the Buddha's 8-Fold Path of Liberation.  The quality of 'ruthlessness', indicates the requisite intent of the adept, to confront himself, and his ego-acquired attachments to illusion.   Destruction indicates the goal of destruction of such attachments.

The Lion's Roar! Martial art is a Tantric Yana in its own right, and in the Siddi tradition, utilizes the 'alchemy' of mind-body passions and instincts to fuel transmutation of ego into Bodhicitta.  As a Martial Tantra, therefore, it addresses combat as part of its remit.   So, Chon as applied Tantric Guna in combat, addresses the external foe as much as it does the enemy within.   Combat proceeds to 'Completion' - the goal as anticipated at the beginning: the ruthless destruction of the enemies attack, or, if absolutely necessary (under Buddhist precepts) the external enemy them-self.

Kali the Deva-Raja (ruling-deity) of the Chon/Vadhati-Guna has a special significance. 

Kali: 歌利王 the 'Destroyer' has many aspects and forms in Tantra.  As Maya (illusion) she is the Deva-Raja of the Tantric Guna of Sim (Evasion/Deception).  As Maha-Kala (Great-Time) she presides over the Wheel of Samsara: 輪廻 輪轉- life, death and re-birth through Karma:  

Karma of a negative kind, destroys, and leads to re-birth within the cycle of Samsara.  

Maya induces 'self'-destruction thru illusion - and in combat - this is extended as a Bardo-field dynamic to entrap the opponent and is described in martial terms as Sim.   The destruction of illusion within, is to apply Chon to our ego-fictions and attachments.  Chon therefore can create Sim and destroy it.  Maya: 麽也 is an aspect of Kali so Kali in effect 'creates' Maya purposefully - with intention, towards an anticipated end (Telos).   Ideally, Chon will describe the 'end' of the cycle of Samsara, so again Kali utilizes her aspect of Maha-Kala as a stage in the process of transmutation that begins with the Chon of intention to complete and ends with the Chon of absolute completion - the process 'completes' itself and is no more...   The Lion's Roar! in the Buddha's Greater and Lesser Discourses on the Lion's Roar! in the Lotus Sutra, was the fearless declaration of Completion of the cycle of Samsara - the attainment firstly of Arhat and then Bodhisattva ideals.   Chon in Cantonese translates to include 'fearlessness' as well as ruthlessness and destruction (and also 'cruelty').    Kali in her 'Wrathful' forms can appear as overwhelmingly cruel, but, this is 'appearance' and it should be remembered that both wrathful and peaceful aspects of the Tantric deities, are merely complementary poles of Bodhicitta (enlightened mind) and their manifest form is largely a reflection of our own development in terms of our ability to access our potential for Bodhicitta.

In Han transliterations of "Bardo", the Character (Jiaan in Mandarin and Gaan in Cantonese) is often applied meaning: "leak; space in between; interval; between two things; the space between; within a definite time or space".  Note the similarity between the Character  (Sim) an that of  (Gaan) BOTH involve the concept of the Gate or Door.  Note too the emphasis on to 'Leak' in Gaan, to slip in-between the spatial and temporal points, and by inference, to do this within moments of arc-path, structure and thought, within contact or near contact with the opponent.  This is a subtle difference in usual translation of 'Bardo' which in non-martial Buddhist terms, is limited to the period between death and rebirth, that the Tibetans refer to as the Bardo-Thodol.          This usual transliteration appears as 中陰 and shows a conceptual branching away by the Han, from the original Sanskrit as Antarala meaning any in-between state, time or condition, and the specific notion of Antarala-Bhava: "Between Births".  The Tibetans keep to the Indian conception by discriminating Bardo from Bardo-Thodol, but the Han Chinese separate them in representational terms, even further.

Sadly, some Han Chinese variants on the Lion's Roar! martial tradition, have lost their Tantra, and take the transliteration of Chon as being: ruthless, cruel, destruction; literally.  It certainly can be literal,   in Tantra, but it is also both more, and 'other' than just that.

All the Tantric Guna's interact and produce one another from themselves, but, Chon is the first moral issue to be met with when the basic psycho-physical entrainments - using correct Seed Training, mobilize the deep instinctive passions for destructive rage.  This is why Adepts Must have guidance from their Root Guru.  If not then at best a misunderstanding and conceptual literal-ization of Chon will occur - and at worst a possession state, induced by the fragile ego being overwhelmed by uncontrolled instinctive and 'wrathful' powers from within.

                                              Om Mane Padme Hum

Some transliterations of Chon:

[1] [v] destroy; injure; damage; spoil [2] [v] wither [3] crippled; disfigured [4] cruel and fierce; heartless and relentless [5] remnants; residues; the little amount of something left [6] incomplete [7] [v] kill

Mandarin (hanyu pinyin)

Cantonese (jyutping)
caan4 caan1

Hakka (default)
[Meixian] ts'an2 [Bao'an] ts'an2 [MacIver] ts'an2 [Sathewkok] ts'an2 [Dongguan] ts'an2 [Hailu] ts'an2 [Lufeng] ts'ian3 [Siyan] ts'an2 [Lau Chunfat] can2 can4