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Thread: Too Tall for Kung-Fu?

  1. #1

    Too Tall for Kung-Fu?

    Hey guys. I've always wanted to know this. I'm about 6'5, or 6'6''--last time I checked and a little slim. Will my height become a hindrance to Hung-Gar? There's a Kung-Fu school way out from where I live in South Carolina. Some of the guys I've seen are a bit shorter and might make it hard for me to spar them. Any thoughts?

  2. #2
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    crush them like ants!
    For whoso comes amongst many shall one day find that no one man is by so far the mightiest of all.

  3. #3
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    Just find some MAists that are as big as or bigger than you and spar them whenever you can.

    I have a friend the same height as you who went pretty far in Shotokan before switching to Xing Yi/Chen/Ba Gua.

    The only problem I see is not having anyone your size to spar with. I'm 6'2, and that's already tall enough that I have an automatic reach advantage on most people. Sounds fun, but I had a rude awakening the first time I sparred my 6'5 friend. I finally knew what it felt like to be the little guy in a fight. It really helped me though, I learned a lot.
    "It is the peculiar quality of a fool to perceive the faults of others and to forget his own." -Cicero

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xiao3 Meng4 View Post
    The only problem I see is not having anyone your size to spar with.
    Yeah that could be frustrating. Its like an adult sparring a 5 yr old as far height disparity is concerned.
    Master of Shaolin I-Ching Bu Ti, GunGoPow and I Hung Wei Lo styles.

    I am seeking sparring partner. Any level. Looking for blondes or redhead. 5'2" to 5'9". Between 115-135 weight class. Females between 17-30 only need apply. Will extensively work on grappling.

  5. #5
    Don't worry about it. It will be just as much a good learning experience for them as it will be for you. Out on the street somebody might have an altercation with someone as tall as you. Happy training!

  6. #6
    Thanks for the replies. The only thing I'm worried about now is the uniforms and stretching, lol.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by DragonSeeksPath View Post
    Hey guys. I've always wanted to know this. I'm about 6'5, or 6'6''--last time I checked and a little slim. Will my height become a hindrance to Hung-Gar? There's a Kung-Fu school way out from where I live in South Carolina. Some of the guys I've seen are a bit shorter and might make it hard for me to spar them. Any thoughts?
    Being tall shouldnt matter in your kung fu, because no matter what style you learn you have to adapt it to your size and strengths. And even when you do spar with shorter people it is a good thing for both of you because you will each have different heights, strengths, speeds, etc to work with and overcome. If anyone tells you that you are too big, or too small even, for that art then they are not very knowledgable. Kung fu is for everyone. In the real world you never know if the attacker wil be twice your size or half your size, so training those ways is a benefit. Im 6'2" 160 lbs myself and have trained with people taller than me, people twice my weight, and even women a foot shorter than me. I apply my techniques to that specific person, whether im lifting an arm higher, lowering it, able to take there force, or having to change position so that their force doesnt overwhelm me.

  8. #8
    most southern kung fu is designed for short stocky people but it dooesnt matter. if u like southern kung fu go learn it. the most important thing isnt style its metting ppls u like and train hard
    Last edited by bawang; 01-29-2010 at 06:03 PM.

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  9. #9
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    they'll get a uniform to fit you for sure, comes in all shapes and sizes, also you'll go through the same thing in stretching as everyone else, just depends on how limber you are presently.
    For whoso comes amongst many shall one day find that no one man is by so far the mightiest of all.

  10. #10
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    I think I understand what you're getting at. There are conceived notions of ideal body-types for certain activities.

    Stereotypically, basketball players are ideally lean and over 6'. BJJ players ideally have longer limbs. Gymnasts are ideally under 5'6". Linebackers are not Wide Receivers for a reason. Sumo wrestlers.....well, that's another thing altogether lol

    Still, those perceptions should not and do not stop a lot of people from engaging in those arts or sports. For competitive or professional reasons, the ideals tend to dictate who advance according to those purposes. However, for the amateur or recreationist, it shouldn't matter as long as you enjoy doing what you do.

    If you were to ask me to suggest to you some ideal martial arts based on your physical stature, I would probably mention Tae Kwon Do (advantageous kicking reach), kickboxing (once again, the reach advantage), weaponry (Filipino martial arts, once again threatening with long arms & blades attached to them) and Brazilian Jiujitsu (for those python-like maneuvers). But that doesn't mean that you can't do other martial arts!

    Go with your interest. If you take something half-heartedly, even though it may ideally suit your build, you won't likely progress and you'll quit eventually. If you won't enjoy it, you won't excel at it.

    If you like Hung Gar, then go for it! Make it work for you. Adapt according to your opponent. Perhaps I'm biased, as I've been practicing Hung Gar for over 30 years. Why that long? Because I enjoy it. I'm sure you will, too

    Realistically, though, try it out first. You may end up deciding that it may not be for you for whatever reason. Be it Hung Gar or any other form of martial art, there is something waiting for you out there that you will enjoy immensely.

    Good luck & try not to be self-conscious about those trivial ideas. Get out there and just do it

  11. #11
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    i feel my build and frame arent especially suited to kung fu especially the arts id like to learn like hung gar

    however for some reason i have found for me and others than karate or tkd is good for taller folks

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  12. #12
    go for it, I guarantee you'll enjoy it on some level. Anyone with experience enjoys getting to work with new big guys, your strength and reach can be a fun challenge. So long as the older students are confident in their abilitites they should all want to work a lot with you and you'll get expereince at a much faster rate than the average student. Don't let others notions of style and build matches distract you, just find out for yourself. Good luck and have fun.

  13. #13
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    being tall is an excellent advantage... a great way to train is in the condensed/sulking posture - this allows another added dimension to explosive action... crane, tiger, and dragon styles seem to be best suited for tall folks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bawang View Post
    most southern kung fu is designed for short stocky people but it dooesnt matter. if u like southern kung fu go learn it. the most important thing isnt style its metting ppls u like and train hard
    where is bawang and what have u done with him.
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  15. #15
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    You'll have a real advantage when sparring but other than that you'll be sweet, enjoyment is they key I suppose.

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