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Thread: Women in Kung-Fu

  1. #1
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    Women in Kung-Fu

    Can anyone give me the names of some prominent American women in Kung-Fu? And also where I can find more information on them?

    Cynthia Rothrock and Kathy Long come to mind, but Cynthia is more a movie star who's movements don't look very kung-fu (I know she studied Eagle Claw, but you'd never be able to tell that by watching her films), and Kathy is a kickboxer.

    Any help would be much appreciated. Thanks!

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    The 10 Elements of Choy Lay Fut:
    Kum, Na, Gwa, Sau, Chop, Pow, Kup, Biu, Ding, Jong

    The 13 Principles of Taijiquan:
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    And it doesn't hurt to practice stuff from:
    Mounts, Guards, and Side Mounts!


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  2. #2
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    Women in kung fu

    Hi all. Being in the minority in the martial arts world, I was wondering if anyone has stories to tell about prominent female martial artists in their schools.

    Also, do you think it is reasonable for a woman to aspire to having her own school? Or is there too much stereotyping (or other reasons) that she would be ultimately unsuccessful?

    Love to hear your thoughts. Don't worry, I'm not going to pitch a fit if I disagree with your views. Remember I asked.

    SiMui

  3. #3
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    There are many successful women in Martial arts. Gini Lau, Lily Lau, Graciales Cassias, Melody Shuman, in my neck of the woods, there is Suigetsu Dojo, owned by Dara Masi and Melanie Fine, and Empire State Karate, owned by Joyce Santamaria-a leader in the Martial Arts industry.
    Go for it!

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by SiMui View Post
    Hi all. Being in the minority in the martial arts world, I was wondering if anyone has stories to tell about prominent female martial artists in their schools.

    Also, do you think it is reasonable for a woman to aspire to having her own school? Or is there too much stereotyping (or other reasons) that she would be ultimately unsuccessful?

    Love to hear your thoughts. Don't worry, I'm not going to pitch a fit if I disagree with your views. Remember I asked.

    SiMui

    Cynthia Rothrock has a school, has been in a bajillion karate movies, plus there are more and more women stepping up every day. Some of the thai fighters in the category de la femme are wicked!

    But kungfu has it's share of talented women and many are sifu as well.
    Kung Fu is good for you.

  5. #5
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    Mok Gwai Lan who was Wong Fei Hung's last wife was well known and had a school of her own that is still going strong today.

    Here is a rare clip.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1k1u7Fn0ahM
    Last edited by banditshaw; 06-16-2008 at 11:38 PM.

  6. #6
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    Chan Mui Gwai aka Rose Chen was Tam Fei Pang's last closed door disciple and is infamous for her whipping power and chop choi. A few of my brothers study with her now and she is a real task master, really old school southern style gung.
    Robert James
    5th Gen. Bak Hsing Kwoon
    bakhsingkwoon@gmail.com
    http://www.youtube.com/user/SatoriScience
    "Whip the pole like the dragon whips its tail. Punches are like a tiger sticking out its head!"

  7. #7
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    Wang Jurong had her school in Houston and her daughter is now running the school and teaching classes.

  8. #8
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    Lucia Rijker.
    One of the best fighters in the world.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gi7EGIh4TJQ

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W0yzj0p9BNI
    Psalms 144:1
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    He trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle !

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by banditshaw View Post
    Mok Gwai Lan who was Wong Fei Hung's last wife was well known and had a school of her own that is still going strong today.

    Here is a rare clip.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1k1u7Fn0ahM
    That was cool to see, thanks!

    Check these Kung Fu ladies out...
    http://www.choylaifut.com/about.php

    The all time Kung Fu woman was Ng Mui.

  10. #10
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    Thanks for your thoughts so far. Here's another thought.... Would you rather be taught to fight by a man or a woman?

    Simui.

  11. #11
    Iím proud to say that female Sifus / Instructors of our system Ng Ga Kuen of Ark Yuey Wong are inspiriting and capable to perform, compete, and teach in all level as their male counterparts.

    Here are some videos of them showing forms in artistic, athletic, and power performace; also in fighting competition.

    Double fan form
    http://youtube.com/watch?v=T3uvBn9CRUs

    Hand form
    http://youtube.com/watch?v=JJXHIvtfAdM

    Hand form
    http://youtube.com/watch?v=NWGaqNEy0PU

    Fighting / Sparring Competition, 2 of our Sifu / instructor ended up fighting for 1st and 2 nd place.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=71FTgNtO7ms

  12. #12

    It's all about what they teach

    Quote Originally Posted by SiMui View Post
    Thanks for your thoughts so far. Here's another thought.... Would you rather be taught to fight by a man or a woman?

    Simui.
    I'm 6'5", 230 lbs. We have a female instructor in our school who's maybe 5'2" and maybe 100 lbs. She smokes us every time she runs class and her advice on techniques is top notch. She'll tell me "you might be able to knock me down with that sweep but to make it work in general, you need to do [X]" If you've got the goods to teach, people will come.

  13. #13
    I think that as long as the Sifu is skillful, respects their students, and teaches good self defense from their style gender is not an issue.

    In the first school I attended one of the best fighters in the school was one of my older sisters.

    In the last school I attended my sihing's wife was a great performer and fighter. One of my sifu's daughters was an incredible martial artist and I would be happy to be able to achieve her level of ability in the next ten years.

    There is a hung gar school that is close to my home in which the chief instructor is a woman, Sifu Wanda White. http://www.bostonacademyofmartialart...structors.aspx

    One of my best friends had a female sifu master Bow Sim Mark before I met him. This friend was over six feet tall and had developed great fighting skills from his female sifu.

    I agree with the earlier posters that examples of modern female masters are Lily and Gini Lau; Mimi Chan; I believe Tat Mau Wong has a young daughter that is a master.

    I think as long as you have the permission to teach from a legitimate sifu and you want to pass on your knowledge you should open a kwoon.

    On the issue of female sifus teaching fighting and which I would prefer. Again it does not matter to me.

    I am short and muscular 5'3" and around 130 lbs. I out weighed my sijeh by about 35 lbs but I remember her using a chin na technique that I could not break with all my strength and I can bench press 250 lbs.

    She also was able to block almost every one of my kicks in a free sparring session with the soles of her feet. She was very good. I wish did teach her fighting technique to her younger kung fu siblings and her fighting was not nearly as good as her sister- in-law.


    I hope things work out for you.
    Sincerely,
    Steve

  14. #14
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    Let's put it this way. If someone were to mention the word "sifu" to me, the first
    thing that comes to mind is a man, as I had always thought it a male's domain (no
    thanks to the gazillion books, media, and Hollywood that helped shape my thinking). I would be lying if I told you otherwise.

    That being said, it's the "quality" of teaching that I would be more concerned about than the "equality" aspects. If the woman sifu has a proven record to be a far better fighter and a more efficient teacher than a male sifu, by all means I would go with the woman sifu. At least that's how I feel today.

    You cannot ignore the fact though that it's generally ingrained into the male human psyche to naturally gravitate towards a male sifu, whom he will again naturally hold in higher regard to be more superior to a female sifu. That's where homework comes into play, and who and where a person ends up with will depend on how much digging for information they do.

  15. #15
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    Thanks for all the great clips everyone! There are some very talented ladies out there.

    And thanks for your honesty, WarriorDude. I was wondering how much of this natural inclination would rule men's decision on which sifu to choose. Decisions are not made solely by logic.

    Simui

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