View Full Version : Karate vs Pa Kua

03-28-2001, 05:48 AM
Hello all,

I saw a recent tape called the Art of War. It showed Karate cats (from Europe) fighting in tournaments. It was an excellent tape. It showed serious Karate fighters that were fast, used technique and well conditioned. Now I've touched with Karate fighters and I've seen them fight. ( I mean real hardcore fighters). Now my question to all is that what techniques would one use to fight these individuals? Is pa kua effective against them? Can we take a punch or kick from a karate fighter? I know as Internalist we have a tendency to criticize karate because its hard and rigid...but on the other hand most fighters in the US are karate fighters...they are in tournaments, they are aggressive, they aren't punks, and there is little theory and more action...

So my brothers I ask can a Pa Kua figther of today compete with a Karate fighter of today? Can our high level of Chi, softness, and palms beat such a fighter?

Pa Kua is the college of martial arts ...right?

03-28-2001, 08:15 AM
Razak, Wassup,now you know if a Serious Bagua man was to fight a Karate "master" what would happen.

I'm a see you in the park.

peace Craig aka Jeffrey

03-28-2001, 10:08 AM
Here we are dealing with the Rolls saga (again), which escalates because he makes uninformed posts about the CMA. Please don't make us look as bad.

Karate is a huge family of styles - some are good
, some are bad. They are all disciplined and rigorous. They are not all hard. The guys I train with are relaxed, not tense - it is an external style though.

You would be shocked if you ran into a serious Karateka, don't underestimate the external styles just because the style you follow is internal.

The guys I train with train Taiji as well - they suffer a bit in terms of sensitivity (as I did when I started) but their Wado-Ryu Karate is exceptional now. They have softened enough for it to be used as (they believe) it was originally intended. We train Chin Na and they have now created a 'locking Kata' from the principles and techniques they have learned - it is very effective.

The crucial part of fighting Karate people is to get in as close as possible - if they are well trained then their kicking is very hard to deal with. They can also take a fair bit of punishment.

Live and let live perhaps?

"one room, many keys"

03-28-2001, 03:44 PM
Hello Mr. Kaitain,

I read your post very informative...I hope that you were not referring to my post because as you can clearly see I was not making any insults to Karate. I was giving Karate fighters respect because of their skill and no nonsense approach. I'm just asking my Pa Kua brothers who are fighters if they had any ideas how to deal with Karate fighters. If you are not referring to me please ignore this comment.


P.S. To anyone reading and answering this post - I just want to get ideas and learn. This post will hopefully educate all of us on how to use Pa Kua Chang effectively and efficiently.

Water Dragon
03-28-2001, 04:00 PM
I'm not too sure I'd try to force the clinch. Okinawan Karate has a helluva lot of influence from the Southern Chinese systems. The reverse punch draws back so far because it is used as a short "rabbit" punch.

There is a huge difference between traditional Okinawan Karate and the Japanese versions. Thin about it. If the Japanese did to you what they did to the Okinawans, would you teach them the good stuff. My first style was an Okinawan style called Shuri Te. I have found it just as vicious and usable as the Chinese systems. Power development is even similar, believe it or not.

Although there are many styles, they all depend on the strong beating the weak and the slow falling to the quick. These are not related to the power that must be learned -- Taiji Classics

Water Dragon
03-28-2001, 04:06 PM
Oh, Sorry Raz. Try to fight them off-angle. Use the same strategy you would against Hsing I. Spin off them and attack on the oblique. If you try to clinch head on they will blast through you.

Unfortunately, (unfortunate that I have to say this) If you know it's a Japanese stylest, fight them like you would Taekwondo.

Although there are many styles, they all depend on the strong beating the weak and the slow falling to the quick. These are not related to the power that must be learned -- Taiji Classics

03-28-2001, 05:29 PM
Yeah I like what you said by fighting with angles myself I would step to a 45 degree angle. What choice do I have? Karate fighters are strong so I would not want to get touched (in a real fight its almost impossible not to get touch - I know it sounds conflicting but I'm still learning). If I'm quick enough I would use Pi Chaun on the attacking arm and try to step to the side with a Pau Chan (cannon fist)...Just some ideas...

Also Stai-Nyce - I hear what you are saying about a serious pa kua person over Karate master but let me say this...what about a average pa kua fighter over a karate fighter? How many pa kua fighters are conditioned to withstand blows and keep on coming with their own technique? I learn learn not to sleep on anybody ...whether are martial artist or not...I live in brooklyn and I haven't met a cat in the streets that couldn't take punches and would not hit back with their own...so again I don't sleep on anybody skills at all

03-28-2001, 06:26 PM
Sort of a tough question to answer, because I've never seen anything to make me believe karate guys are any tougher or stronger than other MA's. I'm not saying this isn't the case, but I've never seen it.

If I'm fighting a very aggressive, powerful enemy (regardless of style) my strategy is to yield and evade until they surrender their balance (or I take it with a hook or well placed koubu) and get a vital opening. Throw a damaging strike, adhiere, and follow into more strikes or chin na as opportunity allows.

I know that sounds a bit vague at best, but general questions will typically yield general answers ;). The important thing (IMO) is to remain very soft and avoid any "force against force" actions. Once you're through the door and inside trapping range, do your best to stay very close and use every weapon you've got.

03-28-2001, 07:00 PM
I know its a very general question but I just wanted to spark some dialogue we all can come up with some ideas...

03-28-2001, 07:25 PM
we have a saying that goes, "If you think you can beat your opponent, go in through the front door, if you think you can't beat him, go in through the side door.
Off topic but relavent, in my favorite kung fu movie of all times, The shaolin player has a contest with each Japanese style individually. When it comes to the karate fighter he beats him with drunken style. It's a riot but I can't give the title. It was changed like 3 times and I haven't seen it for a long time.

03-28-2001, 07:32 PM
Count I think your quote can sum all up!!!

KrAzy FiLiPino
03-28-2001, 10:19 PM
Was it "Challenge of the Ninja" where the guy was married to a Japanese girl and they got in a fight and she returned to Japan. She said that he was saying that Japanese styles were ineffective and they sent like 5 ppl to show him what's up. He fought one guy who had a katana and after defeating him didn't take his sword which was big insult(taking his sword was a sign of friendship). At the end he did end up taking it. The last guy he fought was a ninja. That the one?? That's one of my favorite movies.



03-28-2001, 10:22 PM

The name of the movie is called Challenge of the Ninjas - its a Shaw Brother flick with Gordon Liu ...dont worry brother we will have a product list on our site soon for the movies...See Duel of the Seven Masters - a good movie of Kung fu vs Karate..Kung Fu cat has to learn all the major styles of Chinese Boxing...the black taoist will be sending another butter tape to you...

03-28-2001, 10:33 PM
That is the title I have it under. Really good messages in that movie and I loved the scene where he went to learn drunken style from the drunken master. I have to dig it out and watch it.

Kevin Wallbridge
03-28-2001, 11:52 PM
My experience with karate stylists (and Chinese hard styles as well) is that they are almost always vulnerable in their connection to the ground. While they are fast and can hit, they tend to have a lousy root (probably too much stiffness in the hips). I find the smallest angle changes are necessary to achieve an advantage. My experience is also that their structure tends to be rigid to the point of being brittle, so that they are quite unresponsive and change their energy rather crudely.

Ma Hong says about Song (energized relaxedness) "if this is not understood the fists will be hard and the feet will coil and leap."

"The heart of the study of boxing is to have natural instinct resemble the dragon" Wang Xiangzai

03-29-2001, 12:09 AM
That would be interesting, cause the japanese, and brazilian love to rumble at that sport. Those have some karate guys, mauy thai, jujitsu, can pakua survive?

03-29-2001, 02:19 AM
Thats the question Ma...I think its about how realistic people train for combat... again maui thai, karate, and jujitsu fighters - fight...they work hard to condition themselves and they just talk but they put up...they also fight in tournaments to prove if they have thier skillzzzzzzz

I rarely see pa kua fighters in tournaments...

03-29-2001, 01:58 PM
Water Dragon, where did you learn Shuri te? I am currently studing it,but it doesn't seem that many schools follow that style.

"Life is a pre-death stage"

03-29-2001, 06:18 PM
I have long been of the idea that tournament fighting is really nothing more then a sport and shouldn't be confused with actual fighting.
The first priority of a sport besides fun is safety, thats a given, thats why there is rules, and pads and judges, safety so people don't die or just greviously injured.
Safety of the other man is not my concern in physical conflict, good possibilty of premenant injury and or even death is a first priority that should be in the attacking/offending man's mind, this is because I expect no less of him doing the same to me.
Seems to me that a lot of what I do now naturaly might not be aceptable in a controlled and safety minded enviroment.
How you train is how you will re-act to any stimuli that trips that trigger, is there a diffrence between fighting for sport and the outside real world encounter?
I always thought there was, maybe I'm wrong, please enlighten if so, I'm interested in hearing more.

Water Dragon
03-29-2001, 06:35 PM
When I practice shooting, It is draw-aim-fire. Always. I have pulled my gun on an individual once. I drew, I aimed, I did not fire. Even though that is what I practiced.

Do not forget that we are human beings. As such, we have the ability to think critically and respond appropriately to a situation. That ability will also serve you well in life as it is a good cure for foot-in-the-mouth disease. ;)

Although there are many styles, they all depend on the strong beating the weak and the slow falling to the quick. These are not related to the power that must be learned -- Taiji Classics

03-29-2001, 07:18 PM
Tournaments do not necessarily test your ability like in real fighting because you are restricted. There are things that are tested though...

You can see if some of your techniques work
You can see if you have HEART to fight at all
You can test your endurance
You can hit hard and fast unlike normal sparring with friends and classmates
You can build confidence if you win and if you lose you can learn from your mistakes

It's hard for pa kua fighters to fight in touraments because how we fight ... but it can be done...

because remember pa kua is the art of change and adaptablity so you should be able to (in theory) adapt to anything...

Water Dragon
03-29-2001, 07:23 PM
Karol, I learned from the Robert a Trias lineage through Bill Tolley out of North West Indiana. He was 3rd Dan at he time. I believe he is 4th or 5th now.

Raz, Amateur NHB provides a good proving ground for CMA. You really aren't restricted in what you can do. You may hit,throw, lock, shove, etc. Not being able to poke in the eyes is no excuse IMO. CMA are still about power, right?

Although there are many styles, they all depend on the strong beating the weak and the slow falling to the quick. These are not related to the power that must be learned -- Taiji Classics

03-29-2001, 10:48 PM
I understand you train DRAW-AIM-FIRE, however should the other person have had a gun and did DRAW-AIM-FIRE, you would have fired first or been likly shot. This NOT at all what I was talking about. You having the ability to draw a weapon on someone how has not done the same to you is not triggering the flight or fight response to cause the mind to revert to a naturaly instinctive state, if you however do become like this when dealing with unarmed or people with undrawn weapons please tell me you don't work in Law Enforcment or some other associated career.
Take into account my dealings with TKD stylists on a World competetion level of practice and sparring, they are very well adapted to the rigours on competetion, but while sparring others not of TKD they simply do not protect their head and body form in close hand methods.. because the majority of what they do is kick.. this is how they respond to actual situations as well, kicking and unprotected against common punching..because they have never trained to do so and they are under stress and having to simply react and the fight or flight stimuli has been triggered hard, the treat of injury and death is a very close reality and they simply can't deal.
We as human do have the ability to think and re-act appropriately..however when we have time to do so, other then that we are running on instincts and how we have pre-programed ourselvs to handle very high stakes situations.

Water Dragon
03-30-2001, 12:03 AM
Kevin, I think we should just agree to disagree on this one. This usually ends up being a pointless argument. If you don't think controlled sparring will help or may hurt that's fine by me.

I will continue to try and hit/throw/lock/shove/kick/stomp on/etc other people as they attempt to whoop on my azz. If it means I do not have the ability to kill in the street that's OK with me. All I want to do is make a grown man cry anyway :eek:

Although there are many styles, they all depend on the strong beating the weak and the slow falling to the quick. These are not related to the power that must be learned -- Taiji Classics

03-30-2001, 10:20 PM
There's no question about how a Ba Gua Fighter
would do against a Karateka. On the physical principles of Karate alone No kung fu fighter should have a problem.

The problem with Karate is, It's too single minded in it's actions. It's either attack or defend. In attacking it cannot defend and in defending it can't attack. Reason being, all energy is expended single directional and single
targeted. Thus leaving all other areas open to attack.

As for weather or not a Ba Gua stylist in particular today can fight a Karateka? is the correct question.

The question is asked in respect to the methods that have been observed being taught to Ba Gua students currently.
While walking the circle and static postures will to some degree enhance your resistance to blows
recieved while fighting. however, you won't last if your cornered. Why? Because unless to train external factors with the internal, ultimatly
you'll be a gun without bullits.
How do you train to fight with out fighting?
You Can't.
The answers are in the fundamentals. In the fundamentals, all of the physical aspects should be introduced in the beginning.
The average Ba Gua stylist right now has no bridge. thats horrible.
Right now a Karate fighter would walk right though
the average Ba-Gua stylist.
The footwork won't work if you havn't trained the footwork properly. Not just walk the circle.
Exercises like " open the gate", The Crain Step,
Snake step(with weights). Snow & Ice Training.
All of these and more develop muscle and skill
so you can use the footwork the way your suppose to.
Internal training is just as rigeruse as the external perhaps more because of the constant inpact on the mind and the role it plays.

I feel like Kevin.
I will not and have not since i began teaching,
train people for compitition. I train for fight or flight, period. I tell my students if thats what you want, you'll have to modify the techniqes.
I've seen to many so-called tournament Champs get
thier ass handed to them in the streets. And why'd they lose? Because of habits aquired in the tournaments.
We train for second nature responces. Tournament training trains you to hurt not maim.
The street mentality is kill. the two don't mesh.

Just puttin in my 2c

Peace Maoshan

03-31-2001, 02:00 AM
i dont normaly critizes another MA for this is very closed minded.. but let me add this... how many people do you know that practice karate and actually work techqiues in there forms? i have yet to see this.. the mear fact that they cant even use there techquies only basics in a fight says alot.. and now if say one of them manages to try to work or works a techque from there form how many differnt ways do you think they can work it? infact they probly work it exactly how they learn it.. now in kungfu one technique can work in many many differnt ways... during a fight you might rarely work a technique exacly how you learned it and because you can change the technique to suit the situation is something which gives kungfu practicers an advantage... and if they train to point fight thats even worse.. now learning to fight in your form is not easy.. it takes alot of time and practice.. thats why in reality a person should not be learning a new form until they can fight in the one they know.. but once you get the hang of it trust me your fight because very strong..

03-31-2001, 04:44 AM
Wang Shu Chin was a high level Tai Chi/Hsing-I/Pa-Kua master. He went to Japan to establish an internal school there. While in Japan he had to constantly defend against challenges from high-ranking Karate exponents.

Utilizing mainly Pa-Kua, he defeated them all. Never took a loss from some of Japan's top Karate people.

You can find some of these events documented in scattered writings of Robert W Smith and Bruce K Frantzis.

04-01-2001, 12:04 PM
the guys I train with train hard - they train technique within their form

It's sad that so many are happy to denigrate another style whilst knowing next to nothing about it - everyone gets so upset when someone slags off their own style yet some people then go ahead and do the self same thing.

Some of the comments about Karate in this thread rank alongside 'Taiji teachniques are too slow to be any use in a fight'

Not all Karateka fight in tournaments, and Kyokushinkai (sp?) fighters are exceptionally good and very tough.

It's blind ignorance to state categorically that a Bagua fighter would beat a Karateka. The same goes vice versa. It's also ignorant to talk about Karate as a style - Wado-Ryu and Shotokan are so different as to be different arts entirely. eg - Wado-Ryu bow stance, hips at 45, Shotokan bow stance, hips are squared - that is a fundamental difference that affects all techniques.

Sorry if I'm a bit harsh - just tired of 'which style would win' threads. It's all down to the individual - training makes you a better fighter, not a superior fighter.

On that basis, let me try and take the discussion on a bit - the internal systems may take 15-20 years to internalise/master but how long do you think it takes before you can use the external principles of your art effectively? After 2 years hard training I'm starting to feel confident in my ability in sparring - obviously it's still quite external (very soft but quite large movements still).

"one room, many keys"

04-01-2001, 03:11 PM
I hear you Kaitian on the following comments

"On that basis, let me try and take the discussion on a bit - the internal systems may take 15-20 years to internalise/master but how long do you think it takes before you can use the external principles of your art effectively? After 2 years hard training I'm starting to feel confident in my ability in sparring - obviously it's still quite external (very soft but quite large movements still)."

I love it...I hope you didn't get too ****ed off on the thread I created. My purpose wasn't to say really which style is better...my argument with a lot of internalist is that we tend to be very critical of external arts. (including myself at one time when I didn't know any better) I find though that many internalist cannot use their OWN style. Now I'm internalist and I'm not a master but I learning - I study the theories and try to adhere to the principals...I hope no one thinks that I down the Internals. I'm just looking for the realistic and useful information. Thank you so much for your insight.

04-01-2001, 03:13 PM
I wonder if maybe I should have called the post Which is better to study Internal or External?

hmmm maybe will create that one...

KrAzy FiLiPino
04-01-2001, 08:59 PM
Don't both start as external and end internal?
Your thoughts?



04-01-2001, 09:35 PM
Most people will say you should start with external over internal first...but in reality if don't know martial arts and you start with (lets say for example) pa kua will you not learn pa kua regardless of your lack of knowledge of the arts?
I doubt it

Kevin Wallbridge
04-05-2001, 07:35 AM
The idea that it takes 15-20 years to internalize Bagua is rather silly, if you haven't gone internal within a couple of years or so just give up everything you've been doing and start over because you've been wasting your time.

Its not a mystical blessing from heaven that comes down on the heads of the faithful, its simply a refinement of internal muscolu-skeletal connections. Learning to overcome opponents who use clumsy/rigid strength is fairly easy, it only takes six months or so. Overcoming an internally connected person requires subtle skill, and that is what takes time.

"The heart of the study of boxing is to have natural instinct resemble the dragon" Wang Xiangzai

04-05-2001, 03:10 PM
Hot Hot...excellent explanation...you are on point my friend ...there are no mysteries!!! Just find a good teacher and practice hard....

"If you're looking for the key to the universe I've got some good news
and some bad news. The bad news: there is no key to the universe. The
good news: it was never locked."