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Thread: Wushu

  1. #46
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    Cool For the Nth Time...

    Modern Wushu is a sport that is a wannabe clone of Traditional Wushu (martial arts). One can say that Kung Fu is at the core of Wushu but not all Wushu is Kung Fu.

    People who took Modern Wushu (ie Jet Li, etc) in general have never had ANY traditional training in Chinese study (ie Confucianism, Daoism, etc..) and they never even bothered to learn about it. Their view in general represents the GRASS ROOT LEVEL [re: uneducated] of understanding of the term KUNG FU. This is why they say that farmer joe has kung fu, cook Jane Dough has kung fu, etc... This is also a slight to traditionally trained Chinese martial artists. It is more or less to say that you are a nobody which is what the Communist regime wanted everyone to think that way. Communist party certain don't want free thinking traditionalists to question them on the destruction that was brought on to the Chinese culture by the party.

    I am sorry that people like Dr. YJM actually hold the same silly view and put that on his site. [BTW, DJ I don't think you would be amount them for you are much more smarter then that]

    Anyway, Kung Fu as a phsyical education and combative art is the collective wisdom, knowledge, and intelligence of many devoted practitioners ranging from military officiers, scholars to members of secret societies. BTW, Sun Lutang is among one of my favorite practitioners. Kung Fu stands up to scrutiny from all classical studies. At the theoretical level, it is coherent with any Confucian material, Daoist cannon classic of change, internal classic of Yellow Emperor, and any military classic such as the Art of War by Sun Zi. In fact, in Northern Praying Mantis alone, there are manuscripts that have elements of plenty of Ming dynasty (1368 - 1644 CE) military manuscripts and to mention the classic of change. This means that principles that are employed in the dynastic military is also used in Mantis even in modern times. There is a distinct formula behind the methodology that Kung Fu systems follows. Kung Fu is a unique and extraordinary study far beyond the expression of the human body in combative form. Next time somebody wants to sell you modern Wushu the sport is the really deal, I would suggest you look around and think twice before jumping head in first.

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  2. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ray Pina
    Don't mean to rant, I just find this whole thing blasp****us, turning meaningful skills into flowery nonsense. I can't consider myself a martial artists anymore.
    I know what you are getting at, but I don't think a torando kick is "as silly" as a backflip. I've used tornado kicks in my MMA class.

    Shogun threw a tornado kick in a Pride fight last year.

    An aerial, backflip, or butterfly kick in the traditional external divisions at Taiji legacy earns you an automatic DQ.
    Last edited by MasterKiller; 05-22-2006 at 12:51 PM.
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  3. #48
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    I see contemporary wushu for what it is. I don't see it as a viable method for developing applicable martial skills and certainly not as a method of spiritual development.

    But then, I don't think spiritual development is in the equation anyway. While Buddhism and Taoism and other religio-philosophies are associated by proxy to traditional martial arts, the greater percentage of those that teach these martial arts do not include those teachings with any robustness whatsoever.

    One would do better in a religious studies and philosophy course anyway, or just go to church if you want for your spiritual food, or whatever it is you do for that.

    Too much taint is applied through martial arts to those types of study anyway due to pseudo understanding or misinterpretation or attempts at definitiveness of the meaning of someone else soul according to their understanding. Anyway, that's all part of the classical mess as it's been called. Not too mention, the nationalists have added as much political and philosophical taint to tcma practice as the communists have.

    IMO, this is a matter of Chinese political positions that have brewed for ages. To the point where there are some who say that only the KMT believers practice real martial arts and Communist followers all practice contemporary dance that looks like martial art.

    It should probably be known that neither end of the spectrum has the corner on the reality of it. What's in between covers the greatest mass.

    I think the recent sympathy and face giving to contemporary wushu is also a political thing and is more of an attempt at bringing unity. Get in, then make change. This method has historically been proven to work. But you have to get in first.
    Kung Fu is good for you.

  4. #49
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    Funny, when you want to see real power your don't look at the finished result, you look for clues.

    For example, a karate-type reverse punch with the snap-crackle pop, the hung gar guy tensing his arms with rings, you see power but there's no power there.

    You swing a baseball bat. What second has power? The whole thing is powerful, the weight of the bat dose the work and you swing with full body without tension.

    The karate snap punch is like a bunt ..... if you see the tension in the arms, ala Hung Gar, that's where the power is, it's not going out.

    Now, some say that's the way we train it. But why would you train swinging abat with tension and stop 3/4 and hold it, or pull it back, when in reality you need to swing through relaxed? Makes no sense.

    Makes no sense to have back flips in your martial arts (period). If you can come up with a scenario (which I'm sure you can), there's better things you can spend training so you won't be put into that scenario.


    I'm sorry if this offends, but form is not the nail and hammer of martial arts. I train zero form. I'd love to fight a guy who's training in based 100% on form. And not because I'd love to beat them, I'd love to fight him. Literally. Because he's nowhere to be found.

    I feel most know this in their art, but if they're a teacher they'd have to come up with a meaningful curriculm real fast. And if you're a student, you have to face yourself in the mirror and realise you've been di(king around and actually have to get your hands dirty to be a warrior.

  5. #50
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    a back flip will never be applicable in a fight. its rediculous.

    the only argument i had is that in TCMA it IS traditional to be able to do this.

    we all know there are things in TCMA that dont NEED to be there.

    i am partial TCMA, there are things in my training that are very traditional, yet at the same time there are many things in my training that are very modern.

    EVERYONE uses traditional methods (if even just one small tiny itty bitty thing), whether they are 100% traditional or not is what makes the difference. i know some people would love to argue that, but there are some things that modern practitioners do that just happen to have been done 1000 years ago as well.
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  6. #51
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    ray-

    kungfu training starts at form and is not 100% based on it. The method is a progressive model and it is a method that has been developed over a long period of time.

    In fact, long forms are relatively new and are not the only method of learning. Even in Kungfu styles there are not alwasy long forms. Some are short with only one or two moves, more like a combo drill in boxing.

    all martial training includes form in this sense. YOu must understand structure and how it is best optimized to deliver power. This is form whether it's one move or 200.

    not so black and white at all.

    go far enough into traditional training and the forms will go away. Because you don't need them, you move onto the next set of tools. But every beginner will get instruction in proper form whether that is about angle and structure and position of strength vs position of weakness or if it comes in the modality of set choreographed forms that are intended to instill the same thing through continued practice and correction.

    the efficiency of forms is that you can practice many of the different shapes and get the proper idea of where it is most strong and where you need to make the change to make better your structure, power delivery, pand so on.
    Kung Fu is good for you.

  7. #52
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    “Tornado kicks and back flips have no part in traditional taiji,”

    On this I would agree…. Even in Chen style there is no Xiao Feng Tui (Tornado kick).


    “I would go so far as to argue they have no place in traditional form”

    Back flips…I would say that they would be something played with but not in the lexicon of forms. Tornado kicks…a big part of northern. Cha quan (Cha, Hong, Pao, Hua quans ALL have Xioa Feng Tui in them. – done correctly they are fast and powerful.) Many broadsword routines (Traditional ones) from northern styles have a flourish followed by a tornado kick landing in Ma Bu.


    “Then you have guys doing this gymnastics and calling it traditional.”

    Unfortunately, this is all too often true…. But the cure is for judging to get better in competitions and for people to be a bit better informed in looking at schools and teachers.


    “Not to mention, while one may see a little intent in a form demonstration, it is difficult to 'see' power.”

    Not always. There are plenty of very quick moving techniques in northern styles like Cha quan that might have rapid fire punches or kicks. When you see no connection to the root and the arm flopping, you can be pretty sure there is also no power. Now, if there is SOME power, it can be very difficult if not impossible to gauge how much power is there unless you see an impact.


    “An aerial, backflip, or butterfly kick in the traditional external divisions at Taiji legacy earns you an automatic DQ.”

    Not exactly true. This depends upon the head judge. A backflip would probably get an incorrect division score. An aerial – probably. A butterfly kick – there ARE butterfly kicks in some old northern weapon sets. Now, a butterfly twist…nope.

    In competition, you don’t really have to disqualify. You can just as easily score on the 10 point method as described and still come out with an accurate score. – 6 points on technique. 2 points on speed and power. 2 points on flavor, spirit, sense of enemy, etc…

    So…if a person comes out and executes everything flawlessly…but has no power – well…they may get 6 out of 6 but they would only get 1 out of 2. Then, if they started doing aerials and such, well, no sense of enemy, wrong flavor (not traditional), incorrect spirit…so they might get 0.5 out of 2. Add it up and that flash got a score of 6 + 1 + .5 – in an advanced division : 7.5 total
    In advanced division, 8.0 is about the lowest score acceptable. I would say giving such a score would send a clear SUPPORTABLE message within the rules and totally avoid any disagreement of “is that modern or classical”

  8. #53
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    The fact that this is even a discussion is very disturbing to me.

    Yes, you need to have structure, mechanics, leverage .... why is it that I know so many CMA schools packed with students who can perform countless forms crisply, beautifully, no doubt about it, but put boxing gloves on and throw two strikes at them and they bend backwards at the waist?

    For all you teachers out there, try this test in class this weak. Don't say anything, put closed head gear on your student, have them just stand their and tell them to defend themselves against a simple 1-2 punch. See how many flinch backwards bending at their waist.

    Look, I'm not living in fantasy land here. Your students are not becoming skilled fighters. They're not. If they were, even a small percentage of them interested in going out would be flooding all the fighting venues we have today. But they're not. They tend to hide in their own little world of tornado kicks and chi sau with no contact competitions. This is fine. To each their own. But then they need to know when to pipe down when it comes to fisticuffs.

    Sorry, I just don't think many CMA instructors are preparing their students to face real hand-to-hand violence. Ontop of that, they mislead them thinking that they are taking them down that route when they know themselves inside they aren't. That's wrong. It's wrong to lie to your students, it's wrong to pollute your style.

    Get the skills to teach right or be honest about what you're doing ..... historical preservation, not martial science.

  9. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ray Pina
    The fact that this is even a discussion is very disturbing to me.

    Yes, you need to have structure, mechanics, leverage .... why is it that I know so many CMA schools packed with students who can perform countless forms crisply, beautifully, no doubt about it, but put boxing gloves on and throw two strikes at them and they bend backwards at the waist?

    For all you teachers out there, try this test in class this weak. Don't say anything, put closed head gear on your student, have them just stand their and tell them to defend themselves against a simple 1-2 punch. See how many flinch backwards bending at their waist.

    Look, I'm not living in fantasy land here. Your students are not becoming skilled fighters. They're not. If they were, even a small percentage of them interested in going out would be flooding all the fighting venues we have today. But they're not. They tend to hide in their own little world of tornado kicks and chi sau with no contact competitions. This is fine. To each their own. But then they need to know when to pipe down when it comes to fisticuffs.

    Sorry, I just don't think many CMA instructors are preparing their students to face real hand-to-hand violence. Ontop of that, they mislead them thinking that they are taking them down that route when they know themselves inside they aren't. That's wrong. It's wrong to lie to your students, it's wrong to pollute your style.

    Get the skills to teach right or be honest about what you're doing ..... historical preservation, not martial science.
    Uh, i don't think i know anyone who has much time on the mat that bends backwards at teh waist when they get hams tossed at em.

    newbs will be newbs. when you stepped in the fiurst time, I'm sure you probably ate a lot of knuckle sandwhiches. What training where you doing? YOu weren't trained yet to fight that's all.

    form has it's place. It is a tool, it is not a constant and because of the interesting points of teh tool, it has become something that is emphasised for it's own artistic merit.

    To believe that structure and alignment make you a better fighter without practicing how to fight is a delusion many martial artists suffer from I agree, but to throw away the tool because you are at this timne incapable of understanding it's value will change nothing except that you will derive no benefit from form practice as it should be. THat is to say as part, not all of ones training regime.

    you shadow box? stepping drills? repititiously practice attacks and defenses? or do you just stand there and breath and maybe lift some weights and then go bang?

    the whole "formlessness" argument is in and of itself a delusion used by some to seperate themselves from something they don't like for entirely personal reasons and that has nothing to do with reality. If you practice combonations of any sort in the air and not against an opponent, that's not different from doing forms.

    there once was a karate guy who said "there is only one karate".
    That statement, once you get it sorted, you will find is true.

    forest for the trees in other words.
    Kung Fu is good for you.

  10. #55
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    Can someone post the clip of Shogun using that tornado kick in PRIDE please? It's the same fight where he almost gets the Omo Palata in the first 30 seconds.

    This really just reminds me of the thread where Ray argued that "real" CMA has no roundhouse kicks...
    Last edited by MasterKiller; 05-23-2006 at 07:07 AM.
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  11. #56
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    here's the oine i always get a little giggle out of.

    instructor new way - "we don't use forms"

    the dude -"then what are those guys doing?"

    inw- "those are drills man!"

    td- "aren't they the same thing as forms?"

    inw -"No they're drills man, big difference"

    td -"drills eh?"

    inw- "yeah cool concept eh?"

    lol.
    Kung Fu is good for you.

  12. #57
    Quote Originally Posted by Ray Pina
    Sorry, I just don't think many CMA instructors are preparing their students to face real hand-to-hand violence. Ontop of that, they mislead them thinking that they are taking them down that route when they know themselves inside they aren't. That's wrong. It's wrong to lie to your students, it's wrong to pollute your style.
    there is a difference.

    I happen to know 2 popular wushu or tai chi kung fu schools in the area. there are teaching some basics and then form works old and new. some Qi Gong, some push hands. It is a short course and not expensive. It is to let the public have some ideas of Tai Chi and Tang Lang.

    there is no saying about turning you into a fighter. they enjoy performing choreographed fighting sets at public events. that is about it.


  13. #58
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    David J:
    I do "form work," in the sense that I train specific ideas in motion, such as, can I walk back and forth doing an uppercut where I am driving off the back leg, using my hip, waist, rib, elbow, everthing to drive that strike. I do it over and over.

    Now, we can argue it back and forth, but that is a completely different intent than what is accepted as "form" today. You know it, and I, someone who has learned Isshin-Ryu, Hung Gar, Bak Mei, Lau Gar and Wing CHun forms, knows it.

    You can take any movement and place it into my model. So in that sense, by training one thing, I'm training all things.

    In the reverse, I see people training all things (millions of strikes, kicks, sweeps, jumps, flairs, weapons, spinning, you name it) and exhibiting no skill what so ever.

    I think we all know the difference.

    Master Killer:
    Anything can work in its time and place. I'm not arguing that a tornado kick can't land. I'm not arguing that a spinning kick can't land. I almost had my collar bone broken by a TKD cresent kick.

    But let me ask, do you think that MMA fighter trained that kick in his form and tested it for the first time in the cage? How much time do you think he puts into form work? How much time does Cung Le put into form work? And when I mean form I mean: bow, foot A goes here, foot be goes there, spin, duck, point finger to the sky, foot A goes here, etc., etc., etc.. bow, end.

    As far as the round house kick like you are talking, I still say its not in TCMA, that it has been incorporated from outside influences. Not saying it's not being taught as traditional. Not saying it's not in form being taught as traditional.

    This is just what I hear from the old school Chinese that I respect, who learned and fought in China. I also see that these kicks come from the outside and work there way inside (exposing the groin), that they are vertical balanced.

    Now, I say a well trained CMA has all kicks available to him/her: front, round, side, even back. But you see taiji, Hsing-I, Ba Gua .... where is the kick as you know it in their form?

    But they train to not only use the snapping power that people love to hear from their gi pants (any TKD kid can do it), but the back leg also as a driving source of power, the hip. What direction the leg goes, any decent martial artist has that ability already.

  14. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by SPJ
    there is a difference.

    I happen to know 2 popular wushu or tai chi kung fu schools in the area. there are teaching some basics and then form works old and new. some Qi Gong, some push hands. It is a short course and not expensive. It is to let the public have some ideas of Tai Chi and Tang Lang.

    there is no saying about turning you into a fighter. they enjoy performing choreographed fighting sets at public events. that is about it.

    I would first ask, are the classes free? Otherwise, let's be clear on the intent. And there's nothing wrong with making a buck.

    But now you're charging. So the big question: are these self defense applications being taught as part of these basics?

    That's it in a nut shell. If you're teaching someone "self defense" they should be able to produce results that will defend them.

    Otherwise, don't call it Supreme Ultimate Boxing or Mantis Fist, call it Chinese Opera. That is my point. Otherwise you have Shaolin Monk wannabees with delusions of granduer that can get them hurt at the most, taking their money through disception at the least.

    I just don't think it's right. Teach what you know and label what you know honestly.

    The Civil War Memmorial Society does not recruit people for militant training. They put on uniforms and march up the street and there's nothing wrong with that. It's when they start putting their two cents into military affairs, and when their number and voice are actually larger than those in the know, that CMA is in jeopardy of losing everything. Everything is becoming Wushu. We should be outraged about this and fighting to reverse this trend and preserve what's left. Do you think it's by accident this is happening in China?

  15. #60
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    ray-

    the difference is semantics.

    whether one does long form or short, if they focus only on combos that consist of 3 or 4 moves or what not, it is all working towards teh same thing. I.E training to make an attack or a defense work in structure so that later it can be applied in action.

    the choreography is longer in some forms of course, but if you are doing a+b=c you are still doing the same thing as in left foot goes here, right foot goes there, step to the outside etc etc etc. Changing the language around what one is doing doesn't change what one is doing in the least.

    one could argue the validity and martial applicability of some of the things they see, but one could also argue about all the times you see competition fighters missing the obvious moves you can see they should make while in conflict.

    how many times have any of us said to ourselves , I shoulda done a there or b here or x and y. How many times do we watch fighters and get frustrated that they are not seeing the openings that we as spectators see? This happens all teh time.

    drills, forms, angles, etc etc all the same stuff, just different methods of getting to it. but again, changing the language around it doesn't change what is being done.

    it's all dance and it's all choreography until it gets to the touching part, then it's applied and it all comes down to who is better that day or who has obviously practiced more and had more experience.

    btw and fwiw, i've seen a lot of axe kicks, roundhouses, spinning kicks et al pulled right out of the tma textbooks and used in mma settings. It's not that uncommon at all really.
    Kung Fu is good for you.

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