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I used to practice Tai-Chi & Qi-Gong and most of them respect it, still do it every now and then for fun. Basically the chinese culture is a vegetarian diet from origin, they only use a little bit meat for seasoning, i've read about in the book called "The China Study". It's proven that the people were more healthy and had less diseases.
There's a set of chi-kong that I really liked to do, since it's very relaxing, but at the same time strengthens the body and calms down the mind.
Our diet has direct impact to our spiritual well-being. In the Samurai training, mental and spiritual well-being are shaped and formed. Their life was strictly monitored from what food they consume to their lifestyle. This is the same for Kong-Fu, Tai-Chi, Chi-Kong, and other Asian martial arts. Prior to interacting with the western culture, the Asian diet is primary vegetarian or vegan. The meat are usually cured and used as seasoning, since people pick whatever vegetables and fruits available around where they live. Only the extremely wealthy and the royalty will they be able to eat meat, dairy, and/ or eggs on a daily basis.
The China Study book Roy mentioned is really interesting. For me, it's especially interesting about proteins: what effects they traditionally thought it has and what effects it actually have.
Well. any martial artist who says so is not authentic. Martial arts isn't like body building or WWE. It's more like a spiritual journey and self defense mechanism and physical mental body workout. I've done tae-kwon-do in the past and its nothing like having meat or stuff. I've seen many skinny and tiny ppl kicking butts of big bull size ppl.
Right.. that's the beauty of marshal arts. Any one can bust any one's butt.