View Full Version : What non-kung fu pursuits have helped your kung fu training?

01-26-2001, 05:51 AM
What non-kung fu pursuits have helped your kung fu training?

I'm a Juilliard trained professional violinist, and I also play jazz violin.

Without the discipline, mental mindset, coordination, and agility developed by 20 years of playing violin, I wouldn't have been able to advance to the extent I have in kung fu.

How about you?

Chris McKinley
01-26-2001, 06:35 AM
Same here for 26 years of playing the guitar. Plenty of analogies between both pursuits.

01-26-2001, 05:36 PM
I definately go along with the music thing although I would say that kung fu has helped my music more than music helping kung fu. I agree about the discipline aspect though. One hobby of mine that really has worked both ways is juggling. It's very meditative, improves coordination, reflex and timing. Weapons make for some interesting juggling.
:D -

Chris McKinley
01-26-2001, 08:35 PM
Hi count,

Ya know, re: KF helping music, I'd almost put it the other way around in my experience. The lessons I've learned re: rhythm, dynamics, slow and perfectionistic practice of basics such as scales, orchestration, and getting inside each individual note have not only made me a much better fighter, but made my practice sessions a thousand times more productive than they would have been with solely traditional methods.

Anyway, cool thread, I'd like to hear more.

01-26-2001, 11:00 PM
More than just stretching, this health system keeps my mind focused and my body loose.

Without going outside, you may know the whole world.
Without looking through the window, you may see the ways of heaven.
The ****her you go, the less you know.
--Lao Tsu

01-27-2001, 12:28 AM
I have been a Swimmer for 8 years before starting in the MA, i have often been told that my breathing skills are very good.
Allso i agree with the thing about music and MA.

01-27-2001, 01:13 AM
Pan Pipes are good for practicing diaphram breathing.

Snow Shoeing is a great leg workout and it's very serene. I like outdoorsy kind of stuff, hiking, rock climbing etc.

I also like to write from time to time. It's like learning to kick...At first it's junky, but you carefully refine your work over and over until it is smooth and balanced.

If your not bleeding, your not having enough fun.

Kung Lek
01-27-2001, 05:06 AM
meditation, painting, music, cooking.

not necessarily in that order.


Kung Lek

01-28-2001, 07:10 PM
Classical dressage:
Think Lippizan Stallions. The art horse-training to prepare for war as originating from the texts of the Greek Xenophanon 3,000 years ago. It trains physically and mentally. your "cues" to the horse are borne from balance, muscle group coordination and precise timing. you must be able to completely control your own body before you can control the horse. How's that for a martial art?

I like guns. 'Nuff said.

Olympic rules and stage fighting. I never competed, but I learned from/with those who did. I would have prefered classical, but my options were limited. It helped me learn to deal with pain.

Oh yeah, guitar.
I was an '80s thrasher, when fast was "in". Then I played some jazz fusion. I would say the biggest influence that has had on my MA was experiencing the coordination of singing and playing. The mind has to "multi-task". Also, now I think of styles from a musical stand point: nothern stuff goes well with hip hop and dance, taiji can be interpreted through jazz, and my lung ying is definitely death metal.

"Waiting is bad." - Musashi

01-28-2001, 10:37 PM
1. Wrestling. I wrestled in grade school and high school. A great martial sport.
2. Handball. In high school and college I played alot of handball. It's a good tough sport that developed great hand-eye coordination and also developes a pretty good iron palm.
3. Skin diving. developes excellent lung capacity.

01-30-2001, 05:37 AM
Raising two boys. You develope good reflexes and learn how to take a hit to the groin.

01-30-2001, 10:39 PM
lol. My brother-in-law agrees with you.

Other pursuits. Dancing--absolutely love it. Nothing formal, just dancing at parties and such. I've been thinking about taking classes, but it would cut into my training/teaching. I'll have to look harder for more convenient classes. But, the rhythm, moving, and trusting (yourself and your partner--knowing how to follow his lead (yes, the guy actually does lead, it works out better that way)--all helps).


Surrender yourself to nature and be all that you are.

01-31-2001, 12:23 PM
Music is scimilar to martial arts because a good martial artist dosnt think about thier techniques and just reacts. Music has helped me with my video game skills too.

Skateboarding and snowboarding have helped my balance a lot too. You have to have a lot of sensitivity in your feet to skate well.

02-02-2001, 03:42 AM
Understanding yourself outside of physical persuits. This usually means coming to realise how you react emotionally, how you have or haven't handle situations in the past. Realizing habits or tendencies that might or might not enhance one's personal development.

As we progress in our martial studies, there should occur a natural blending of all our parts. None more important that any other, but made stronger because of the relationship to the greater whole.

It is like being in a relationship. In the beginning, we each still use and think in terms of "I". Over a period of time, this lessens and the "I" becomes "We" or "Us". Conversely, if your "I" turns into more "Him" or "Her", then you are at more of a disadvantage because all we can ever bring to a relationship or partnership is the "I". If the "I" is transposed or otherwise lessened in favour of being consumed by one's partner, then a worse imbalance occurs and both suffer..one in the short term, the other in the long term.

Think now in terms of looking at yourself being in partnership with yourself..how have you been treating yourself? How have you treated yourself in the past, and how do you see things occurring in the future?

02-03-2001, 09:25 PM
I just wanted to add sailing to my list of non-martial training that can help you in martial arts. You develope sensitivity as you have to feel the wind to get the best results and the way you handle the ropes is particularly good for Praying Mantis or Shuai Chaio as far as grip strength, and maintaining contact with out giving up the ability to move your hands. Plus you can really build the quads hiking out in a really strong wind.

02-08-2001, 06:16 AM
I have to add my bit about Kung Fu and music as well.
I've been playing drums for about 12 years...
After studying Kung Fu, my stamina for playing has increased drastically. Just like soft and hard stikes in Kung Fu, you have soft and hard strikes in percussion.
The composition of songs is virtually identical (in theory) to that of forms. Simply put, playing a song from start to finish is a sequence of movements - that must be mastered in order for the song to come out right.
Each member of the band working together would be comparable to a four-man matching set (if such a thing exists). Must be in complete unison.
I've found the two arts to be alike in so many ways. And the way they compliment each other is amazing.

Then, while playing the drum during Lion Dance, I get to combine both...

Good thread.


02-08-2001, 06:21 AM
...forgot to mention the coordination aspect.

When you can get each one of your limbs to operate with a mind of their own, (done when playing drums) coordination in Kung Fu becomes considerably easier.

Kung Lek
02-10-2001, 02:29 AM
wait a sec, nospams right...hahahaha all that stuff i mentioned earlier is all part of my Kung Fu path.


Kung Lek

02-23-2001, 12:29 AM
Okay, what's the difference, really? Well I when entered the service, I was not as in tune with my body as I am now, nor did I pay as much attention to detail as I do now, or have the pride in my work as I do now.

This has impacted my martial arts, my kung fu, as I have strived for perfection in my form and techniques, but also because of my attention to detail, I can appreciate the mechanics involved in all my martial movements.

In the army, things are very detailed in explaination. When a senior soldier is explaining a task to a junior, less experienced soldier, the senior must go through great detail to insure that the task is done properly and that there are no questions left unanswered (thus allowing the junior to grow through taking initiative)....anyways, through this process I was able to develop a much deeper understanding of my art and how each posture, each position, could change a simple punch or throw.

Make any sense?


From One Thing, Know Ten Thousand.

02-24-2001, 06:04 PM
A girl I know has started giving me dance lessons(ballet, jazz, & ballroom).

02-24-2001, 06:23 PM
Other than the obvious benefits to strength, rythem, flexabiliy, and posture, it also helps in learning to express your emotions in a physical way. This I feel helps me to perform my forms with the proper intensity and get the most out of my workout.

02-25-2001, 04:14 PM
I went to American medical school for 3 years before quitting due to parental BS.

The knowledge I gained about the human body has been invaluable to my training.

02-26-2001, 06:49 AM
May is doing sit ups.

Jin basically likes swimming more. I can not swim to well, but I learned the frog stroke in L.A. when I first came to the United States.


I love my daughters and they grow up over a long time just like my kung fu.

I don't have a signature because I have no pen to write it.

03-01-2001, 05:46 AM
Asiansifu, do your daughters enjoy the kung fu training?

Or do they rebel - as many Taiwanese kids who want to become mainstream Americans do?

Sho Pi
03-19-2001, 01:37 AM
I am pretty sure that in the Book of Five Rings Musashi stated something similar to this thread.

I don't happen to have my copy handy but he states that all the arts/professions are related...and they compliment each other. To be a master of one you needed to be competent in many....

I realize that I am grossly misquoting but thought it was a neat parallel

Sho Pi

04-02-2001, 09:27 PM
I think my love for SOCCER has helped me a lot!
I started in GR 9 practicing every day with my best friend. We trained daily, as well as liftied weights and ran. anyway...
in gr 11 I was on The New Brunswick team (my province) and grade 12 I was on the New Brunswick Men's Canada Games Team that is competing in The 2001 Canada Games (I have quit the team since, for various reasons).
But the training in soccer has DEFINATELY helped me in my kung fu, which I started in Gr 12. You wouldn't believe ho wmuch it helped.
Also in gr 10-11 I used to skateboard, and I would spend hours training how to use it. Sensitivity in your feet and timing is something you pick up from that. A kickflip or 180 flip requires precise timing. You have to 'catch' the board in the air, while it is spinning. You would sweat so much while practicing these tricks, even though there is little movement involved. It's the CONCENTRATION that makes you sweat.

Also in soccer, you learn timing, it is very difficult to learn to kick a moving ball that is in the air, you automatically with prcticing over and over learn the angles, and timing, eventually you can kick the ball extremely hard, and fast without extending very much effort at all. It's all in the technique. I have seen people first learning how to kick the ball. they swing their leg so hard!!! and smack that ball. It will go a fair distance, but if you have good technique, one smooth coordinated swing of the leg and the ball SOARS! It also feels good :)

Anyway I think all things can be related to kung fu in some way or another, you just gotta look :)

----- :) -----

Johnny Hot Shot
05-03-2001, 12:17 AM
I'm not sure how many of you all are familiar with the tree planting industry in Canada but I sure am ( I did it for 6 years)
Tree planting is EXTREMLY HARD work you are paid by the tree so the more you plant the more you make. Near the end of my carrer I was planting roughly 2000 trees a day.
My martial arts traing I belive helped me to achieve this level of perfomance. Since I have left that industry I feel that my tree planting has enhanced my martial arts performance, in that my stamina and my ability to focus for long periods has been greatly improved. Oddly enough the more I think about how activities other than martial arts enhance my martial arts, I think that what ever you do if you are a serious MA then everything can help you in your training even as I type or mabey I'm just a fanatic. ;)

[This message was edited by Loc_Qui on 05-03-01 at 03:23 PM.]