View Full Version : learning kung fu from books

09-20-2000, 03:30 AM
Is it good to learn kung fu(I want to learn Hung gar)from books?
or it is better with a real experience sifu?
cuz the most old guys here do nothing but playing
mah tjok!

Paul Skrypichayko
09-20-2000, 04:35 AM
It is always best to learn from a good master. Books and videos mean nothing in comparison with the real thing.

If you are serious about martial arts, you should try to find a sifu. If there are none nearby, you might have to travel. If that isnt feasable, you might want to get some people together, and pay a master to travel and teach you.

09-20-2000, 08:54 PM
Find a teacher and practice what you are given to practice. This is the ONLY WAY.

09-20-2000, 10:49 PM
MoQ and Paul are 100% correct. If there are no
instructors in your area, find one and commute.
Even if that means going to see him 2 or 3 times a year, because you have to fly to another state,
its the only way to learn. Books and videos can
only supplement the knowledge given to you by a qualified teacher.
Often you will find that the out-of-town students
have much better basics then the ones that have the sifu in the same city. This is because they
are forced to really learn and train what is given to them until they next return.

09-21-2000, 12:18 AM
i agree, you cannot learn from books, they are to learn about kung fu (as already stated). If you have the basic principles and foundation in a style then it is possible to get some benifit from videos. there also has to be correspondence between teacher & student though so that any mistakes can be corrected (so no basic retail purchases, it has to be personal). make sure that the teacher is legit as well. the only thing with learning from videos is that you dont get hands on from teacher to student, and in advanced levels of kung fu you definately need to be learning from a sifu.

it is nearly impossible to learn from books and videos without any prior knowledge of martial arts. books can only show still pictures (whats in between the pictures?), you do not see the intricate moves. videos at least have the full moves, but they are nothing compared to a sifu.

Paul Skrypichayko
09-21-2000, 12:58 AM
You need a sifu for the most basic things, forget about advanced stuff.

09-22-2000, 11:41 PM
you are right about, you need a sifu for the most basic things. but i mentioned that if you already have the basic principles down and your foundation is good then yes you can learn from a video.... but still need to see your sifu for more advance info....


10-02-2000, 04:50 PM
If you learn from a book, you will have to invent the transitional movements on your own.

Mind you, the transitional movements are what makes the difference between doing a set for combat and doing a set for show.

I've always started with books first, then gone to teachers or videos.

I actually encourage you to try to learn Hung Ga from a book (there are some good ones out there) because the process of INVENTING your own usages for the moves is something you'll have to do even if you did have a teacher or video.

10-06-2000, 09:24 AM
just books. Before Ohara's publications of Bucksam Kong's Hung Gar, there were Bruce Tegner books, Greco Wong's Wing Chun book, Un's Praying Mantis Bung Bo or Pak Mei books, Cheng Man-Ching's Tai Chi book, Robert Smith's Shaolin, Pak Kua, & Hsing-I Book. Ooohphs...and The Dynamic Sphere of Aikido (love those illustrations). Back then there were a few correspondence course w/8mm film tapes. Bucksam Kong actually had entire series of CLF and HG 8mm film tapes: You would go blind trying to see any detail.

Now you have tons of videos and seminars available. As I said before, the Wing Lam videos are the exact same way he would teach the Hung Gar sets. As a previous poster had mentioned, it is difficult to try to guess the transitional movements. Still if you are limited financially, then you do what you gotta do. The plus is that once you see the real thing, a light bulb goes off and you instantly KNOW what you are doing wrong. You would be surprised how many tournament attendants are book/video learners...

10-06-2000, 02:09 PM
With or without a sifu, you need to invent your own applications.

You'll be amazed at how much knowledge you can "steal" from other styles now that kung fu has gone multimedia/global.

When you're testing your art regularly, you'll find out what works for you and what doesn't. So many times, I've tried what a sifu taught me against a resisting opponent - only to end up on my butt.

So whenever that happened, I went back to my sets and discovered my own ways of doing the sets that worked time and time against VARIOUS opponents.

The all-too-repeated Chinese saying goes "Give the student one corner of a square, expect him to come up with the other three corners".

10-07-2000, 03:09 AM
"If i teach you everything you will learn nothing."

blessed be,