View Poll Results: What to do about the 'Is Shaolin-Do for real?' thread

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  • Unlock IS-Dfr. Merge all S-D threads together so it clears 1000 posts!

    22 38.60%
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    13 22.81%
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    5 8.77%
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Thread: Is Shaolin-Do for real?

  1. #19966
    Quote Originally Posted by bodhi warrior View Post
    Great post. I have had the luck of studying with a very practical teacher. I still practice the material up to black belt and find it very rewarding and useful. I would have studied with my teacher regardless of the stories. I loved his teaching style and focus on sparring and conditioning. This was in the late 80ís.
    As far as seeing Sin Theí perform anything remarkable...I have the old KET series. Thereís a part where Sin is teaching sparring technique #17. When he done it in real time I had to rewind it around 10 times because I couldnít believe how fast it was. It was impressive. Iím like you, they shouldnít have told all those crazy history stories. But the techniques can and will work. As far as Internal material, Iíve only met a handful of people who could properly demonstrate and use the techniques. And they were guys with decades in the system. Personally I think thereís too much material. But thatís just me.
    I definitely agree about there being too much material - Everything else aside, that is one of the flaws in the system imo. Our instructor has always told us to find which forms/systems speak to us the most and focus on those ones more than others. I too practice most of the empty hand forms up to 1st black and find the applications very useful and practical. I've actually stopped caring about rank advancement altogether and shifted my focus towards perfecting what I've already learned. I never was much into the weapons except for staff.

  2. #19967
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    I had an experience with Shaolin-do when I first moved back from Texas to California. It was a school in Livermore, CA where I was living with my uncle, and I was looking to keep going with my traditional Shaolin training. I was 20, this was 2005, and I had only been training for about 6 years. I had learned wu bu quan, xiao hong quan, qi xingg quan, and luohan shibashou, and was a intermediated sanshou student. saying that to say, I was familiar with some core foundation movements, yet had little knowledge beyond the basics, however, I could discern just fine between styles of kung fu, and styles of fighting outside of kung fu.

    when I went to the school and inquired, I cant remember why, but I was given a student manual. Also, I did a sit in a couple classes, and I remember not recognizing nearly ANYthing I had been taught. so I didnt go to the school in the long run, only because it didnt appear to have what I was looking for, not because the school curriculum quality was poor.
    now in the classes I saw, they had open practice for a half hour at the end of their sessions, and I will never forget this kid, had to be about 16 or 17 at the most, and he stayed both days drilling his forms. when I say it was one of the strongest performances I've ever seen and felt. I've seen so much kung fu so its hard to put it in scope for you, it was great tho, kid made the walls crack when he exhaled. Now, mcdojo haters and chewbacca pictures aside, Im not into shaolin-do by any means, .... Im sort of Shaolin purist, on account of Ch'an, and Chanwuyi being the 360 of Shaolin teaching, so I cant support the school in that way. However, martial arts is martial arts, and when its good its good. I've seen some good fighters come out of these schools (and crappy ones), so I cant totally negate the system.

    Honestly find a style and train it till you cant move, train with all your heart, and the style wont fail you, no martial art is totally crap, if you apply yourself. Now if you want to practice some traditional style, and know the lineage and all that, thats fine too, that takes more study, more commitment, and you have to become a scholar of your school as well (which if you love it you wont mind putting that extra work in), and put the puzzle together .
    find a style that fits you best....you might want to practice Shorinji, or Silat, or Muay Boran, or Bak Sil Lum, who knows where you will find yourself. What you dont want to do is become a blind follower defending history that you cant verify with real scholars, or fighter who cant fight with real fighters. if you take up a martial art, be sure you can back it up if you want to represent the style, and be sure you can back up the history if you are going to use the styles history to the styles benefit.
    All the keyboard jutsu is not needed, theres people who know the truth and those who dont, theres a lot of people who wont waste time arguing styles at all for good reason. who cares who calls your style fake, if they arent tryong to spar to help you learn whats real, they are just mean or bored people throwing negative energy at you, stay tru to you, that stuff wont matter. do your research THOROUGHLY otherwise, and train hard, that never hurts, and both always rewards
    Amituofo
    Last edited by Djuan; 07-19-2019 at 03:58 PM.
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  3. #19968
    Quote Originally Posted by Djuan View Post
    I had an experience with Shaolin-do when I first moved back from Texas to California. It was a school in Livermore, CA where I was living with my uncle, and I was looking to keep going with my traditional Shaolin training. I was 20, this was 2005, and I had only been training for about 6 years. I had learned wu bu quan, xiao hong quan, qi xingg quan, and luohan shibashou, and was a intermediated sanshou student. saying that to say, I was familiar with some core foundation movements, yet had little knowledge beyond the basics, however, I could discern just fine between styles of kung fu, and styles of fighting outside of kung fu.

    when I went to the school and inquired, I cant remember why, but I was given a student manual. Also, I did a sit in a couple classes, and I remember not recognizing nearly ANYthing I had been taught. so I didnt go to the school in the long run, only because it didnt appear to have what I was looking for, not because the school curriculum quality was poor.
    now in the classes I saw, they had open practice for a half hour at the end of their sessions, and I will never forget this kid, had to be about 16 or 17 at the most, and he stayed both days drilling his forms. when I say it was one of the strongest performances I've ever seen and felt. I've seen so much kung fu so its hard to put it in scope for you, it was great tho, kid made the walls crack when he exhaled. Now, mcdojo haters and chewbacca pictures aside, Im not into shaolin-do by any means, .... Im sort of Shaolin purist, on account of Ch'an, and Chanwuyi being the 360 of Shaolin teaching, so I cant support the school in that way. However, martial arts is martial arts, and when its good its good. I've seen some good fighters come out of these schools (and crappy ones), so I cant totally negate the system.

    Honestly find a style and train it till you cant move, train with all your heart, and the style wont fail you, no martial art is totally crap, if you apply yourself. Now if you want to practice some traditional style, and know the lineage and all that, thats fine too, that takes more study, more commitment, and you have to become a scholar of your school as well (which if you love it you wont mind putting that extra work in), and put the puzzle together .
    find a style that fits you best....you might want to practice Shorinji, or Silat, or Muay Boran, or Bak Sil Lum, who knows where you will find yourself. What you dont want to do is become a blind follower defending history that you cant verify with real scholars, or fighter who cant fight with real fighters. if you take up a martial art, be sure you can back it up if you want to represent the style, and be sure you can back up the history if you are going to use the styles history to the styles benefit.
    All the keyboard jutsu is not needed, theres people who know the truth and those who dont, theres a lot of people who wont waste time arguing styles at all for good reason. who cares who calls your style fake, if they arent tryong to spar to help you learn whats real, they are just mean or bored people throwing negative energy at you, stay tru to you, that stuff wont matter. do your research THOROUGHLY otherwise, and train hard, that never hurts, and both always rewards
    Amituofo
    I have to agree. Any style is going to be effective as long as the practitioner puts everything he/she has into it and takes the time to learn and understand it. The history/lineage of any style isn't necessarily important when it comes to actually being able to apply what you've learned anyway. Even a style of martial art that has a solid and verifiable history is worthless if practiced by somebody who doesn't take the time to actually learn how to effectively use their art. I've seen this countless times in not only SD schools but other traditional MA schools as well - There are so many students who only learn what they need to get a black belt and then they're gone. Like I said previously, a big problem I've seen in traditional MA schools these days is that you get maybe 1 or 2 out of every 10 students who is actually serious about their art and the rest are there because they want the "prestige" of wearing a gi and having a pretty belt around their waist. Whatever your style, if you train every day as if your life depends on it (because one day it very well may) then you should be an effective martial artist no matter how unbelievable your history may be.

  4. #19969
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    Quote Originally Posted by Djuan View Post
    I had an experience with Shaolin-do when I first moved back from Texas to California. It was a school in Livermore, CA where I was living with my uncle, and I was looking to keep going with my traditional Shaolin training. I was 20, this was 2005, and I had only been training for about 6 years. I had learned wu bu quan, xiao hong quan, qi xingg quan, and luohan shibashou, and was a intermediated sanshou student. saying that to say, I was familiar with some core foundation movements, yet had little knowledge beyond the basics, however, I could discern just fine between styles of kung fu, and styles of fighting outside of kung fu.

    when I went to the school and inquired, I cant remember why, but I was given a student manual. Also, I did a sit in a couple classes, and I remember not recognizing nearly ANYthing I had been taught. so I didnt go to the school in the long run, only because it didnt appear to have what I was looking for, not because the school curriculum quality was poor.
    now in the classes I saw, they had open practice for a half hour at the end of their sessions, and I will never forget this kid, had to be about 16 or 17 at the most, and he stayed both days drilling his forms. when I say it was one of the strongest performances I've ever seen and felt. I've seen so much kung fu so its hard to put it in scope for you, it was great tho, kid made the walls crack when he exhaled. Now, mcdojo haters and chewbacca pictures aside, Im not into shaolin-do by any means, .... Im sort of Shaolin purist, on account of Ch'an, and Chanwuyi being the 360 of Shaolin teaching, so I cant support the school in that way. However, martial arts is martial arts, and when its good its good. I've seen some good fighters come out of these schools (and crappy ones), so I cant totally negate the system.

    Honestly find a style and train it till you cant move, train with all your heart, and the style wont fail you, no martial art is totally crap, if you apply yourself. Now if you want to practice some traditional style, and know the lineage and all that, thats fine too, that takes more study, more commitment, and you have to become a scholar of your school as well (which if you love it you wont mind putting that extra work in), and put the puzzle together .
    find a style that fits you best....you might want to practice Shorinji, or Silat, or Muay Boran, or Bak Sil Lum, who knows where you will find yourself. What you dont want to do is become a blind follower defending history that you cant verify with real scholars, or fighter who cant fight with real fighters. if you take up a martial art, be sure you can back it up if you want to represent the style, and be sure you can back up the history if you are going to use the styles history to the styles benefit.
    All the keyboard jutsu is not needed, theres people who know the truth and those who dont, theres a lot of people who wont waste time arguing styles at all for good reason. who cares who calls your style fake, if they arent tryong to spar to help you learn whats real, they are just mean or bored people throwing negative energy at you, stay tru to you, that stuff wont matter. do your research THOROUGHLY otherwise, and train hard, that never hurts, and both always rewards
    Amituofo
    Agreed. Having learned some of those forms like 5 Stance fist, 18 hands (2 man form & the modern Shaolin version), and Xiao Hong Quan after I had studied SD for a decade, I can say that there wasn't much new. A high block is a high block. A low block is a low block. A straight; a cross; a hook; an uppercut; a palm strike--there wasn't much difference in striking. But I think the main critique of SD stands--it's how SD practitioners move in-between strikes (and how they butcher some of their mainstream forms [Hua Quan for instance] by making everything a punch or a kick when not every motion is a punch or a kick), or how they cross-step behind when they ought to be sitting on the rear leg: that's where SD tends to show a decline in information transmission. It's very small details in stepping, movement, stances, etc. Doesn't mean they can't come up with a rationalization. But it IS a major part of the criticism, besides its whole bizarre marketing strategy.

    But it was doing the JingWu forms where what I was learning seemed a little alien to me: Gongliquan, shizizhanquan, even the Tan Tui. It was all familiar (the structure of the forms was like SD--multiple repetitions of the same techniques), but alien (probably because it's all based on their Tan Tui). ChangQuan was a major corrective, and I always had to catch bad SD habits (incorrect shifting of weight from ma bu to gong bu that I learned in SD). The idea that forms could be just for form and structure (and not just throwing a hard punch) is a very important idea that I think SD folks sometimes gloss over in defense of bad structure. I'm not saying that they're the only ones who do this. Lots of folks do it (and lots of CMA folks do it in reverse, never understanding the necessity of ugly power). But you know, I'm talking to my folks. It's a bad counterargument.

    I can say this--with all of the people I have since studied with (in kung fu, and my taking my son to a local karate class), nobody has ever been anything but impressed with the power of my kicks and punches. LOL. SD def gets that part right.
    Last edited by Shaolin Wookie; 07-26-2019 at 09:48 AM.
    No, no, no. You're not thinking. You're just being logical---Niels Bohr

    Oh yeah!??!! Well, my dad could beat up your dad!--Lineage-Haters

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  5. #19970
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    Quote Originally Posted by Judge Pen View Post
    Interesting. Anyone know the exact origins of the form in the video?
    IWUF (International Wushu Federation) 32 Form elementary sets (for beginners):

    Jianshu
    Qiangshu
    Daoshu
    Gunshu

    Somehow The' wound up with the IWUF standardized wushu spear form. IWUF was formed in the early 90s. Where the IWUF got its forms (anyone can guess--probably an organization that preceded it who standardized some forms drawn from popular styles for competition) is anyone's guess. I don't think the other IWUF weapons forms were copies of any major style's weapons forms. Whatever the cases is, I would have to doubt that it came from the 70s. Some of the old-timers might be able to chime-in with accurate introduction timeframe for hte SD curriculum.
    Last edited by Shaolin Wookie; 07-26-2019 at 09:36 AM.
    No, no, no. You're not thinking. You're just being logical---Niels Bohr

    Oh yeah!??!! Well, my dad could beat up your dad!--Lineage-Haters

    For all nonsense there is an equal and opposite nonsense---Wook

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  6. #19971
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shaolin Wookie View Post
    IWUF (International Wushu Federation) 32 Form elementary sets (for beginners):

    Jianshu
    Qiangshu
    Daoshu
    Gunshu

    Somehow The' wound up with the IWUF standardized wushu spear form. IWUF was formed in the early 90s. Where the IWUF got its forms (anyone can guess--probably an organization that preceded it who standardized some forms drawn from popular styles for competition) is anyone's guess. I don't think the other IWUF weapons forms were copies of any major style's weapons forms. Whatever the cases is, I would have to doubt that it came from the 70s. Some of the old-timers might be able to chime-in with accurate introduction timeframe for hte SD curriculum.
    I know Sin Theí was teaching them in Ď84. He had an ad in inside kung fu for some week long sessions at the sports center, the spear forms being some of the forms taught. And I believe the spear forms were taught prior to the sports center being built as part of some financing effort. And Iíve seen Eric Smith demo a compilation of the forms on the KET series in 1980.

  7. #19972
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    Thank you all, love the information and personal views
    ...or is there something i have missed a glimpse of phantoms in the mist. Traveling down a dusty road bent forward with this heavy load..

  8. #19973
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    high level material

    Long time lurker, second time poster here.

    I'm optimistic that someone is still reading this thread and can answer.

    My question: what is taught after fifth black?

    There are enough sixth degrees and higher who aren't running a school and haven't quit in a rage for me to assume they are getting something out of it.

    I mean, if I stayed in the system 20 years (or whatever) and then for sixth black they said "do the lower belt material again ok here's your belt" I'd start sobbing or something.

    When I was in the system, I saw all the core material and some optional forms up to third black. I also saw probably fifteen forms for fourth and fifth black.

    The weapons and empty hand forms generally got longer or more difficult, but I didn't see anything radically different.

    For sixth and higher, is it more of the same? Or is it unique? I'm not asking for secrets of the temple to be revealed ... just an idea of the training.

  9. #19974
    Quote Originally Posted by Purple Dinosaur View Post
    Long time lurker, second time poster here.

    I'm optimistic that someone is still reading this thread and can answer.

    My question: what is taught after fifth black?

    There are enough sixth degrees and higher who aren't running a school and haven't quit in a rage for me to assume they are getting something out of it.

    I mean, if I stayed in the system 20 years (or whatever) and then for sixth black they said "do the lower belt material again ok here's your belt" I'd start sobbing or something.

    When I was in the system, I saw all the core material and some optional forms up to third black. I also saw probably fifteen forms for fourth and fifth black.

    The weapons and empty hand forms generally got longer or more difficult, but I didn't see anything radically different.

    For sixth and higher, is it more of the same? Or is it unique? I'm not asking for secrets of the temple to be revealed ... just an idea of the training.
    I've heard rumors here and there about material after 5th black but nothing definitive. My understanding of it is that after 5th black you'll start learning one or two "specialty" forms that aren't taught to lower ranks. I honestly think it's more of a time requirement than anything else. For each year of the black belt ranks you have to have the equivalent number of years before you can test to that rank. So from 1st to 2nd it's 2 years, 2nd to 3rd is 3 years, and so on... What I've always heard unofficially is that after 5th black there's not much new material but you're expected to more or less perfect what you've learned to that point. This would seem to be similar to the way many other systems treat their black belt ranks as well. Again, this is just speculation based off of things I've heard over the years so I can't say for sure, but it does make sense to me.

  10. #19975
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    5 ancestors fist

    Did some training over the past year in basic routines of 5 Ancestors Fist (Wuzuquan/Ngo Cho Kun).

    Found a lot of interesting likenesses between that art and SD's core techniques and forms. Simple, short, square-shaped forms with lots of repetition. Not a lot of fancy footwork. Lots of transitions from ma bu or ban ma bu to gong bu. Stress on hands. Very Kata-like in execution (except for the relaxation), which makes sense bc Wuzu has a link to karate.

    San Zhan--SD teaches this with a lot of tension like karate sanchin guys; but the two Fujian crane guys I've seen perform it (and learned from enough to fix the form), they did it without the dynamic tension. Their method of exhalation wasn't that SD "HISSS" between the teeth. It's straight from the gut in the way that you would try to fog the glass of a window on a cold day. SD gets the form wrong in a couple of places, including stepping and weight distribution (and breathing), and nuances of the hands, but it's still the basic pattern of San Zhan. One basic difference that is vitally important: the concavity of the chest and the rounded shoulders. You get a little of this from the dynamic tension SD teaches. BUt if you relax your shoulders and round them over, and THEN do that first finger thrust, you'll understand the difference. The way I learned their stance, it was still 60/40, but mostly back weighted. Also, on the second motion of the hands, which separate palm-up--I re-learned this as the transition between the finger thrust and the 3rd reset motion (basically Wuzu's standard/default crane position).

    Si Meng Bao Lian (Four Gate Smash; beginning crane form)--looks to me like a collection of techniques from some of the simple basic forms (the 10 compulsory forms of Wuzuquan). You can see it best in 四門打角 (si meng da jiao) "Attack the Four Corners of the Gate" and the Cross-Pattern San Zhan (三战十字拳 San Zhan Shi zi Quan). Occasionally, I get an eerie feeling that I've practiced stuff before. If you try to find a form on YouTube, you might not see it well. But I can tell you, it FEELS a lot like SD and I already knew most of the techniques and transitions. Wuzu Quan was one of the eeriest "deja vu" experiences I've ever had. Not just the techniques practiced, but specifically how SD folks move between stances (halting steps and transitions that don't exactly move fluidly like traditional Longfist, which requires a much different coordination of hands and legs).


    I never learned the Lohan techniques. I only learned the basics / crane. But I did see a demo of one of the Lohan forms. It did remind me a helluva lot of SD's Lohan Quan (green belt? I think).

    Some of you still interested in figuring out where SD's core techniques (or SKT's original training regimen from Indonesia) came from: I can't speak for the later stuff, which I assume was all book/video learned (and maybe while on crack), but the basics do appear to be Fujian in origin. Probably related to 5 Ancestors in some way, by hook or by crook.

    Anyways, just adding more info onto the flaming garbage heap of this thread.
    Last edited by Shaolin Wookie; 09-17-2020 at 09:20 AM.
    No, no, no. You're not thinking. You're just being logical---Niels Bohr

    Oh yeah!??!! Well, my dad could beat up your dad!--Lineage-Haters

    For all nonsense there is an equal and opposite nonsense---Wook

    My Youtube Channel

  11. #19976
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    Quote Originally Posted by JCBG View Post
    I've heard rumors here and there about material after 5th black but nothing definitive. My understanding of it is that after 5th black you'll start learning one or two "specialty" forms that aren't taught to lower ranks. I honestly think it's more of a time requirement than anything else. For each year of the black belt ranks you have to have the equivalent number of years before you can test to that rank. So from 1st to 2nd it's 2 years, 2nd to 3rd is 3 years, and so on... What I've always heard unofficially is that after 5th black there's not much new material but you're expected to more or less perfect what you've learned to that point. This would seem to be similar to the way many other systems treat their black belt ranks as well. Again, this is just speculation based off of things I've heard over the years so I can't say for sure, but it does make sense to me.
    Thank you for the reply. Just toting up the numbers, the system claims a lot of forms that haven't been taught yet even if you count each short kata as one form. I hope for the sake of people who spend 30 years in the system that they learn something exciting after fifth black.

  12. #19977
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shaolin Wookie View Post
    Did some training over the past year in basic routines of 5 Ancestors Fist (Wuzuquan/Ngo Cho Kun).

    Found a lot of interesting likenesses between that art and SD's core techniques and forms. Simple, short, square-shaped forms with lots of repetition. Not a lot of fancy footwork. Lots of transitions from ma bu or ban ma bu to gong bu. Stress on hands. Very Kata-like in execution (except for the relaxation), which makes sense bc Wuzu has a link to karate.

    San Zhan--SD teaches this with a lot of tension like karate sanchin guys; but the two Fujian crane guys I've seen perform it (and learned from enough to fix the form), they did it without the dynamic tension. Their method of exhalation wasn't that SD "HISSS" between the teeth. It's straight from the gut in the way that you would try to fog the glass of a window on a cold day. SD gets the form wrong in a couple of places, including stepping and weight distribution (and breathing), and nuances of the hands, but it's still the basic pattern of San Zhan. One basic difference that is vitally important: the concavity of the chest and the rounded shoulders. You get a little of this from the dynamic tension SD teaches. BUt if you relax your shoulders and round them over, and THEN do that first finger thrust, you'll understand the difference. The way I learned their stance, it was still 60/40, but mostly back weighted. Also, on the second motion of the hands, which separate palm-up--I re-learned this as the transition between the finger thrust and the 3rd reset motion (basically Wuzu's standard/default crane position).

    Si Meng Bao Lian (Four Gate Smash; beginning crane form)--looks to me like a collection of techniques from some of the simple basic forms (the 10 compulsory forms of Wuzuquan). You can see it best in 四門打角 (si meng da jiao) "Attack the Four Corners of the Gate" and the Cross-Pattern San Zhan (三战十字拳 San Zhan Shi zi Quan). Occasionally, I get an eerie feeling that I've practiced stuff before. If you try to find a form on YouTube, you might not see it well. But I can tell you, it FEELS a lot like SD and I already knew most of the techniques and transitions. Wuzu Quan was one of the eeriest "deja vu" experiences I've ever had. Not just the techniques practiced, but specifically how SD folks move between stances (halting steps and transitions that don't exactly move fluidly like traditional Longfist, which requires a much different coordination of hands and legs).


    I never learned the Lohan techniques. I only learned the basics / crane. But I did see a demo of one of the Lohan forms. It did remind me a helluva lot of SD's Lohan Quan (green belt? I think).

    Some of you still interested in figuring out where SD's core techniques (or SKT's original training regimen from Indonesia) came from: I can't speak for the later stuff, which I assume was all book/video learned (and maybe while on crack), but the basics do appear to be Fujian in origin. Probably related to 5 Ancestors in some way, by hook or by crook.

    Anyways, just adding more info onto the flaming garbage heap of this thread.
    I appreciate everyone who has contributed to discussion of the origin of the material. For every form short or long, only one answer can be true and these are the answers different posters have offered:

    (1) It is a shaolin temple original (directly passed down a long chain to GM Ie to GM Sin)
    (2) Someone from a different system taught it to GM Sin or GM Ie. GM Sin openly acknowledges that origin
    (3) It was shortened or made easier by GM Sin from shaolin temple originals for impatient LARPing Westerners
    (4) It was totally made up by GM Sin in the 1960s or 1970s for impatient LARPing Westerners but it teaches the lessons of the shaolin temple originals
    (5) It came from a book or video or some person from outside the system and it isn't properly attributed and instead is passed off (by GM Sin or maybe it was by GM Ie instead) as a real or modified shaolin temple original

    Am I missing any explanations?

    Maybe we have a (6) It is a shaolin original but another system stole it (or legitimately got it through lineage) and now the other system claims shaolin do stole it.

    As more and more forms are explained as a 6, and involving more and more different styles, at some point every 6 is going to suddenly look like a 5. That also makes it harder to uncover the real 1s.

  13. #19978
    Quote Originally Posted by Purple Dinosaur View Post
    Thank you for the reply. Just toting up the numbers, the system claims a lot of forms that haven't been taught yet even if you count each short kata as one form. I hope for the sake of people who spend 30 years in the system that they learn something exciting after fifth black.
    I can't remember where I read it (maybe it was on this thread somewhere), but someone said that there is no "real" material after 5th black because GM Ie only taught Sin the material up to 5th black before he came to America. When he came to America he was only a 5th black and then later was granted the rank of 10th by Ie after he got here. All material after 5th is a few forms from notes Ie SUPPOSEDLY left for Sin before his passing. At one time GM Sin had claimed to have MASTERED over 900 forms. Now, I can believe that someone could learn 900 forms but there's a huge difference in saying you've learned something vs MASTERED it. There are many traditional martial artists who spend their entire lives trying to master only one or two forms and even then they still don't believe they've fully mastered them. So let's just for the sake of argument say that a single form takes an average of 1 minute to complete. I realize many are either more or less than this but even at 1 minute per form, practicing 900 forms would require 15 hours of work alone just to go through each form one time. And even then, just learning the movements and repetitions of a form is in no way shape or form mastery of it. To me, mastery of a form would be not only memorizing the movements, but being able to fully break the form down and explain each application and subtle nuances in complete detail. Again, this takes years to perfect. The math just doesn't add up. To get to 5th black as it stands today, the curriculum includes about 100 forms from white belt to 5th, although once you reach first black there are "required" forms and "optional" so you don't even have to necessarily learn all 100 to get to 5th black. Still, 100 is a lot more reasonable to believe than 900, but I feel like a lot of practitioners still aren't going to necessarily master them by then. If I remember right, I think when he was going through his lawsuit with Rydberg he said he only could really remember 300 of them, which is still a lot but a *little* more reasonable than 900. One thing my instructor always has told our class is to learn what you need to for rank advancement (if that's even your goal) and then find your top 5-10 forms that really speak to you and work on perfecting those, which seems consistent with the philosophy of many other martial arts styles.

    The big problem with SD as I see it as far as material goes is two fold:

    1. There is waaaayyyyy too much material. The argument goes that by learning from a ton of different styles and systems that it gives you plenty of movements and techniques to pull from, but as I stated above, it just makes it too difficult to really master any one form because by the time you've learned one you're moving on to the next.

    2. Since there are so many different styles within SD, it really makes it difficult to focus on one specific philosophy of defense/fighting since by the time you've just learned one, you're moving on to another. So say for example you've just learned a tiger form and how the tiger is expected to fight, and then right after that you're learning a bird form and how it's expected to fight. This isn't necessarily always a bad thing but I feel like there's a reason there are entire systems dedicated to these styles alone and lumping them all together can create problems.

    I do think SD is a great system if it's taught and practiced correctly. I've been practicing for over 10 years now and have mostly stopped learning new material to perfect the forms that speak to me the most and learn more from them. Less is more is a common phrase in my repertoire and something I try to live by. Having the right teacher who is proficient AND honest is crucial for any MA you study.

    As for the material that hasn't been taught yet, I really can't comment on it too much just because I have no real confirmation other than what I've acquired through my own research on message boards and hearing bits and pieces floating around from others in the system over the past several years. I honestly don't even care though. At this point in my MA training I've lost interest in rank anyway but personally don't see how there could be any "better" forms up any higher in rank.

    Hope this helps a little!

  14. #19979
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    Quote Originally Posted by Purple Dinosaur View Post
    I appreciate everyone who has contributed to discussion of the origin of the material. For every form short or long, only one answer can be true and these are the answers different posters have offered:

    (1) It is a shaolin temple original (directly passed down a long chain to GM Ie to GM Sin)
    (2) Someone from a different system taught it to GM Sin or GM Ie. GM Sin openly acknowledges that origin
    (3) It was shortened or made easier by GM Sin from shaolin temple originals for impatient LARPing Westerners
    (4) It was totally made up by GM Sin in the 1960s or 1970s for impatient LARPing Westerners but it teaches the lessons of the shaolin temple originals
    (5) It came from a book or video or some person from outside the system and it isn't properly attributed and instead is passed off (by GM Sin or maybe it was by GM Ie instead) as a real or modified shaolin temple original

    Am I missing any explanations?

    Maybe we have a (6) It is a shaolin original but another system stole it (or legitimately got it through lineage) and now the other system claims shaolin do stole it.

    As more and more forms are explained as a 6, and involving more and more different styles, at some point every 6 is going to suddenly look like a 5. That also makes it harder to uncover the real 1s.
    1. Shaolin-Do is definitely not original material (in terms of actual forms) from Shaolin. It doesn't mean that techniques and some foundational principles are not conveyed. But it isn't THE shaoiln or even "a" shaolin. But it will be related more or less to other styles because someone taught GM Sin and GM Ie something kung-fu-ish at the Chung Yen School in Indonesia. This is now my only interest in SD, since I don't practice it. Jie Quan and Lian Wu Zhang are taiwanese (or more importantly, come from the Chinese nationalists who were exiled to Taiwan with the Kuomintang govt). One of them is Chin Woo (sometimes Lian Wu Zhang makes it into ChinWoo as a side-form), which means it comes from the republican era of Chinese MA (early 1900s) and can't be "original Shaolin from the Southern Temple." We can research these forms and disprove the lineage with ZERO doubt quite easily now thanks to the internet and Google Translate.

    2. I doubt Shaolin-Do is a "system" in the way we would recognize it. Youtube "Siaw Lim" or "Siauw Lim" and look at the multitudes of "Shaolin" in Indonesia--all of which are some hodgepodge of Kuntao, Silat, karate, and Chinese Martial arts. Nevertheless, the core basic forms that GM Sin taught the longest actually have quite a bit of Fujian flavor to them, as a distillation of techniques, and therefore are closest in originality to the kung fu/kuntao he probably learned in Indonesia--whatever that hodgepodge was.

    3. GM Sin did not "shorten" or "make easier" any originals. In my opinion, he made them harder and worse; and if he did "shorten" them with this intention, it was because he wasn't competent to teach them. I think Siu Meng Bao Lieh is a decent form that simplifies Fujian kung fu and passes on the sequences of its "Se Mun" forms (see Goh/Ngo Cho Kun). But I'm betting that distillation came from one of his teachers, and not GM Sin--given that it is so good as a distillation of Fujian techniques. But this "he made it easier" explanation is false. Westerners can learn Tan Tui, Jie Quan, and Lian Wu Zhang without having the techniques shortened and made simpler. Though that first judgment sounds harsh, here is why I am so harsh: Lian Wu Zhang (his brown belt form) is actually a 2 person form (dui lian) practiced in Taiwan, sometimes called Martial Arts Sparring Palm because the chinese characters for 連五掌"5 Continuous Plams" (lian wu zhang) and 練武掌對打 "MArtial Arts Sparring Palm" (lian wu zhang dui lian) sound pretty close if passed on orally. The difference between them is simply tonal on the "a" in Lian and "u" in Wu; this turns "Continuous" (lian) into "Art" and "Five" (wu) into "Martial" (as in Wu-shu). Lian Wu Zhang teaches VERY basic techniques as a two-person form. I've been practicing the corrected version for 4 years. It's the same form, just "un-fu*&ed" from whatever GM Sin did to it when passing it on. The form is patterned to teach basic techniques, and the "fu*&ed" version he teaches confounds one's ability to apply those techniques when the second partner is standing there with you doing the other side of the form (There aren't many well-performed sets on YOUTUBE, but here's one demo from some kids (kid in white hoodie is doing SD's version correctly, but also at a beginner level): https://www.youtube.com/watch?index=...&v=TrNyyBpPOJ4). Another version from the 高芳先 Gāo Fāng-Xiān lineage pretty identical to the one I learned: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?index=...&v=pdfh9jqapII). I can tell you, having practiced this form for years--it is the same form. But where GM Sin shotgunned in some solutions to the form, he lost the techniques and principles of the second partner. In sum, Westerners can do Chinese MA as long as the teacher is competent.

    4. It was "totally made up." More likely, it was his attempt to teach what he originally learned, and which was not well-systematized in Indonesia. He then wanted to build on that, or else he got bored. He had some natural athletic talent, was ****ty at forms; but somehow decided to make forms his thing. The rest is ****ty marketing.

    5. The new forms came from videos, very likely (Qiang Shu/White Ape Mantis & 7-star). The rest was created from his base of knowledge. His Liu Shing and Ching Pao-- they're definitely not learned from video or chopped up from videos. They're his originals. His 7 Star is shotgunned in places and missing the subtleties of technique. How much anyone values what Sin created very much depends on how competent and trustworthy one finds GM Sin. Given the misrepresentation in advertising, that's not much. Also, his tai chi and bagua are really bad. So is his brother's.

    None of these are intended to say that the The' brothers can't fight and weren't strong guys, and couldn't teach people to punch and kick. They could. And they could do it well. But based on what I've seen firsthand...their "Chinese" kung fu is pretty bad and not very "Chinese," and unfortunately what was pretty good is also what was pretty ****ed basic. They should have stuck with what they had learned instead of building up a bad marketing strategy and then adding 5,000 forms to back up the marketing instead of being honest. The more complex forms are often done wrong and have shotgunned sequences placed into the cracks in memory like silly putty holding the forms together.

    None of this means that SD can't teach you to fight. It can. It does mean that SD is an "original" art in the sense that it was created by Sin The and his brother from whatever their basic studies were. The rest is dishonest in its presentation, and sometimes in its composition. You could create an application for the shotgunned sequences in Jie Quan and Lian Wu Zhang. I did that as a student. But they're not the forms that go by the name utilized, even though the forms move in the shadows of the originals.
    Last edited by Shaolin Wookie; 09-21-2020 at 01:13 PM.
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  15. #19980
    Quote Originally Posted by Shaolin Wookie View Post
    1. Shaolin-Do is definitely not original material (in terms of actual forms) from Shaolin. It doesn't mean that techniques and some foundational principles are not conveyed. But it isn't THE shaoiln or even "a" shaolin. But it will be related more or less to other styles because someone taught GM Sin and GM Ie something kung-fu-ish at the Chung Yen School in Indonesia. This is now my only interest in SD, since I don't practice any of it except Black Tiger and Si Meng Bao Lian (although I do practice the Jing Wu versions of its pirated forms). Jie Quan and Lian Wu Zhang are taiwanese (or more importantly, come from the Chinese nationalists who were exiled to Taiwan with the Kuomintang govt). One of them is Chin Woo (sometimes Lian Wu Zhang makes it into ChinWoo as a side-form), which means it comes from the republican era of Chinese MA (early 1900s) and can't be "original Shaolin from the Southern Temple." We can research these forms and disprove the lineage with ZERO doubt quite easily now thanks to the internet and Google Translate.

    2. I doubt Shaolin-Do is a "system" in the way we would recognize it. Youtube "Siaw Lim" or "Siauw Lim" and look at the multitudes of "Shaolin" in Indonesia--all of which are some hodgepodge of Kuntao, Silat, karate, and Chinese Martial arts. Nevertheless, the core basic forms that GM Sin taught the longest actually have quite a bit of Fujian flavor to them, as a distillation of techniques, and therefore are closest in originality to the kung fu/kuntao he probably learned in Indonesia--whatever that hodgepodge was.

    3. GM Sin did not "shorten" or "make easier" any originals. In my opinion, he made them harder and worse; and if he did "shorten" them with this intention, it was because he was a bad teacher. I think Siu Meng Bao Lieh is a decent form that simplifies Fujian kung fu and passes on the sequences of its "Se Mun" forms (see Goh/Ngo Cho Kun). But I'm betting that distillation came from one of his teachers, and not GM Sin--given that it is so good as a distillation of Fujian techniques. But this "he made it easier" explanation is false. Westerners can learn Tan Tui, Jie Quan, and Lian Wu Zhang without having the techniques shortened and made simpler. Though that first judgment sounds harsh, here is why I am so harsh: Lian Wu Zhang (his brown belt form) is actually a 2 person form (dui lian) practiced in Taiwan, sometimes called Martial Arts Sparring Palm because the chinese characters for 連五掌"5 Continuous Plams" (lian wu zhang) and 練武掌對打 "MArtial Arts Sparring Palm" (lian wu zhang dui lian) sound pretty close if passed on orally. The difference between them is simply tonal on the "a" in Lian and "u" in Wu; this turns "Continuous" (lian) into "Art" and "Five" (wu) into "Martial" (as in Wu-shu). Lian Wu Zhang teaches VERY basic techniques as a two-person form. I've been practicing the corrected version for 4 years. It's the same form, just "un-fu*&ed" from whatever GM Sin did to it when passing it on. The form is patterned to teach basic techniques, and the "fu*&ed" version he teaches confounds one's ability to apply those techniques when the second partner is standing there with you doing the other side of the form (There aren't many well-performed sets on YOUTUBE, but here's one demo from some kids (kid in white hoodie is doing SD's version correctly, but also at a beginner level): https://www.youtube.com/watch?index=...&v=TrNyyBpPOJ4). Another version from the 高芳先 Gāo Fāng-Xiān lineage pretty identical to the one I learned: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?index=...&v=pdfh9jqapII). I can tell you, having practiced this form for years--it is the same form. But where GM Sin shotgunned in some solutions to the form, he lost the techniques and principles of the second partner. In sum, Westerners can do Chinese MA. I picked up longfist and Jing Wu at 30 no problem, as well as Liangyi, and vastly improved my flexibility and stances, etc.. If #3 were an excuse anyone felt justified in offering, it's an excuse that is just as easily explained by "bad teaching." Some very good fighters are also ****ty teachers. Good fighters/good teachers: One doesn't preclude the other, nor yet does it presume the other. I can say that Mullins, Nance, and Reid were the best I saw, from top-to-bottom, and I value every lesson I took from them.

    4. It was "totally made up." More likely, it was his attempt to teach what he originally learned, and which was not well-systematized in Indonesia. The rest is ****ty marketing.

    5. The new forms came from videos, very likely (Qiang Shu/White Ape Mantis & 7-star). The rest was created from his base of knowledge. And I get it--if he were honest. He was geographically isolated and kung fu is a more recent phenomnenon in MA. If he wanted to teach forms learned via video, he could have. He should've just done that. But he represented it one way and did something else. His Liu Shing and Ching Pao--they probably aren't useless. But they're definitely not learned from video or chopped up from videos. They're his originals. I think they're pretty bad, as far as forms and demos go. His 7 Star is shotgunned in places. I know this now. I didn't know it back then. I studied the 14 roads of 7 star tan tui. The BASIC techniques (Guo Lo Cai Shou/alternately Bung, forgive sp. not gonna check it now) get turned into 2 motions instead of delineating a chain of techniques, etc. The 7 hands and 8 hands is pretty ****ed good, tho. How much anyone values what Sin created very much depends on how competent and trustworthy one finds GM Sin. Given the misrepresentation in advertising, that's not much. Also, his tai chi and bagua are really bad. So is his brother's and the elder masters'. I'm not saying they can't hit hard or apply what they know. I'm saying they can't demo the basic principles (outside of a handful of guys who are quite excellent, including a former SD teacher of mine who is AMAZING). But I can tell you this--as a student I was always in a weird place because my teacher was 10000X better at Tai chi and Bagua than GM Sin and the Elder Masters. Why? He knew the princples and executed them flawlessly. But that DIDN'T come from his teachers. It couldn't have. They hadn't mastered them or shown an ability to display them. (NOt looking to stir up any beef in SD, in which I play no part. This is MY evaluation, and why I left. I wanted to learn something I could pass on with pride).

    None of these are intended to say that the The' brothers can't fight and weren't strong guys, and couldn't teach people to punch and kick. They could. And they could do it well. But based on what I've seen firsthand...their "Chinese" kung fu is pretty bad and not very "Chinese," and unfortunately what was pretty good is also what was pretty ****ed basic. They should have stuck with what they had learned instead of building up a bad marketing strategy and then adding 5,000 forms to back up the marketing instead of being honest. The more complex forms are often done wrong and have shotgunned sequences placed into the cracks in memory like silly putty holding the forms together. If you have the chance to study outside of the art, it can be very enlightening. And I've been lucky enough to come across a couple of arts that are pretty parallel to SD. Jing Wu is one. 5 Ancestors is another. Some of the Longfist is, as well. Chen/Yang Tai Chi/Bagua (CMC's 37 posture Yang and Jiang Rong Qiao's NEW style bagua) are better learned from good teachers. I fixed mine with the assistance of video instruction, tips/seminars from competent instructors who KNOW the principles, and worked them into a respectable state. Seminars/workshops will put you in contact with some good practitioners and training partners. I don't have a lineage for those arts now. But I'm proud of my competence to display and explain the principles, now.

    None of this means that SD can't teach you to fight. It can. And I still utilize many of those foundations everywhere I go. It does mean that SD is an "original" art in the sense that it was created by Sin The and his brother from whatever their basic studies were. The rest is dishonest in its presentation, and sometimes in its composition. You could create an application for the shotgunned sequences in Jie Quan and Lian Wu Zhang. I did that as a student. But they're not the forms that go by the name utilized, even though the forms move in the shadows of the originals.
    Wow Shaolin Wookie, this is one of the best posts I've read on this thread! Thanks for your insight. I tend to agree with what you've said and as a longtime practitioner of SD, I do believe the art CAN be effective IF properly trained. Great post!

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