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Thread: Why is Kung Fu so caught up with circus tricks?

  1. #1

    Why is Kung Fu so caught up with circus tricks?

    Let's agree that there are very many good CMA fighters. No argument about that. But what is this facination that many in the CMA have with parlor tricks and circus acts? Empty force, tremoring energy, pulling trucks with the johnson? I have yet to see this associated with any other group of martial arts, at least in the main stream. What gives?
    I quit after getting my first black belt because the school I was a part of was in the process of lowering their standards A painfully honest KC Elbows

    The crap that many schools do is not the crap I was taught or train in or teach.

    Dam nit... it made sense when it was running through my head.

    DM


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  2. #2
    What gives?
    Hopefully not your johnson.
    I will crush my enemies, see them driven before me, then hit their wimminz with a Tony Danza. - Vash

  3. #3
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    I can think of two reasons:

    1 - circus tricks are cool.

    2 - kungfu is associated with religious and mystical traditions(buddhism/taoism) which means they'll be different from arts associated with athletic traditions (boxing/wrestling) and purely martial traditions (karate/fencing.)
    All my fight strategy is based on deliberately injuring my opponents. -
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  4. #4
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    Arrow Tricks........

    Well while times have changed i would not call them parlor or circus tricks.

    They had a meaning and use back then.It's just that it's not needed these days ,and if it was too many ppl are not willing to put in the training.


    jeff
    少林黑虎門
    Sil Lum Hak Fu Mun
    RIP Kuen "Fred" Woo (sifu)

  5. #5
    Originally posted by shaolin kungfu


    Hopefully not your johnson.
    LOL!

    Now my keyboard is coffe stained!

    Rogue - to answer your question, it's because kung fu is far cooler than all those other styles.

    "i can barely click the link. but i way why stop drinking .... i got ... moe .. fcke me ..im out of it" - GDA on Traditional vs Modern Wushu
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  6. #6
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    The same reason TKD teachs you that training your high kick
    will help you in a fight??



  7. #7
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    One reason I have heard of is that back in the day, kung fu masters were often bones setters and herbalists and would travel from town to town plying their trade. Now to get people interested in them and maybe win some business, the masters would often do demos and 'parlour tricks' to gather a crowd around as a lead-in to selling their medical services. I guess the tradition never died

    I suppose the other aspect of it is the focus of CMA on the more mystical aspects of the training i.e. 'qi' control and manipulation. To be able to exhibit some skill in this area would traditionally be a way of showing people the skill you have achieved in the art.
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  8. #8
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    Have to agree with Joedoe.

    I heard the same thing that many MA of old were forced to wander and earn a living by doing street preformances of "impossilbe feasts" or similar.

    They used to perform simialr stunts like the monks are doing on their current tour .

    Lets not forget that many MA of old were lower class and un-educated people that often had no other means of earning a living.

    Example:
    YLC was illiterate, thus MA research ash to be often conducted via 3rd party or outside sources as many masters of old were not able to leave a written record of what the learned.

    Cheers.

  9. #9
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    This won't be popular but: To put it simply, they're hicks.

    Where do all these traveling religious con men go in the US? The south! The bible belt!

    Likewise, most of the popular kung fu that made it to the US (Wing Chun, Hung Gar, ect) comes from South China where most of the folks are(were) farmers and peasants ... not the most educated of folks. Thus the term Village Boxer. Martial artists in north China, which consists of a much greater area, kind of look down on them sort of the way people from NY or Boston question a small town doctor's ability from Alabama.


    Personally, I hate that sort of thing. I don't care about ones ability to bend a spear or break a rock, I am interested in their technique.

    For kicks my master has shown me how these guys do some of their tricks. But if you get fooled by such things you deserve to lose whatever money you give them, just like paying $20 to have some hill-billy preacher absolve you of sin.

  10. #10
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    Kung Fu masters used parlor tricks the same way Jesus did---to get people's attention. C'mon, what kind of miracle is turning water into wine, anyway. You'd think the son of God could raise a mountain or flip the moon on it's axis. But water to wine? Please...ranks up there with Empty Force.
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  11. #11
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    It's simply for promotion.
    Just think how well-known the "karate-chop" is, after all those wooden board-braking demos.

  12. #12
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    Kung fu is not the only set of martial arts that uses trickery and showmanship for promotion.

    It is also interesting to note, that the majority of people fail to understand that they are tricks. And usually, not many people figure it out on their own but rather have it explained to them that there is trickery involved.

    still, the skill to do "magic" tricks is a skill in and of itself. I doubt many folks can do the "tricks" of the Shaolin Monks touring ensemble for instance without becoming injured.

    simply because someone points out the physics of something does not mean there wasn't work involved in figuring out how to pull off the trick.

    when someone here has a film of them being propped up by their stomach on a spear, even a blunted spear, and they do it without any training, then I will say, "hey, nice trick" but if one cannot perform them so easily, then is it really a "trick?"

    cheers
    Kung Fu is good for you.

  13. #13
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    rogue, I have this theory. See, way back when, they didn't know the things we know now, about the body, about training, about the mind.
    A man who trained day in and day out several hours a day, could in a few years appear to be capable of some almost magical feats of control over his own body and others. Today hard and intense training are common place and so those things may not seem so magical, but back then they did.
    In our modern times those myths and legends have turned into a belief in something that is more explainable today. Now you look at a guy who can hit you in the right spot and make part of you body go numb as being a pretty good martial artist who knows the nervous system fairly well. Back then he was using his chi power to block your chi power.
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  14. #14
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    Today hard and intense training are common place and so those things may not seem so magical, but back then they did.
    I don't think todays' training is particularly hard or intense in comparison to even the training done in wushu schools.

    Most martial arts schools in North america and elsewhere are fairly reasonable in training expectations. With the exception of those schools that are extremely hard core or olympic training schools or hard core fighter schools. For the most part, classes can be taken by anybody who wants to learn and learning is paced according to the skill of the student.

    cheers
    Kung Fu is good for you.

  15. #15
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    Kung lek, you can always up the ante, what I am saying is that intense training is not only more common, not just in the martial arts, but we are better able to get access to the ideas and theories behind it. I do't have to ride my horse drawn wagon three hundred miles to talk to a guy who is training in a particular art and has a good reputation for it. There is always someone ot there training harder, but that's the point...
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