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Thread: Minimum number of sets

  1. #1
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    Minimum number of sets

    If you had to reduce your sets to just 5 which would they be?

    What would be the core 5 that would cover the bulk of the material?

  2. #2
    This will be different for everyone but I would like to go on record for saying that you need 0 number of sets to become a proficient fighter.

    IMO the single forms are great for preserving certain elements of culture, history and are a great "catalog" of techniques for each particular style.

    I think forms are fantastic ways to work cardio and develop speed, strength and flexiblility. But other than developing these aspects they do not do so much for the "fighter". I tell my san shou people that instead of running for 30 minutes to do forms at a medium pace for 30 minutes. If you are doing cardo for fighting why not do it using fighting techniques. The bad thing about this is the forms become very "sloppy" and we risk the chance of our "catalogs" being ruined.

    The best approach is two person drills, Techniques like the cck sau fa and A LOT of free fighting.

    But, if you are like me and only have a partner for an hour a day the single sets are better than nothing.

    Sorry to take it off topic a bit Yao.
    Last edited by mantid1; 09-04-2006 at 09:46 AM.

  3. #3
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    That's ok and I'm in agreement but I'd prefer you answer the question.

    Sets are also a catalog of techniques which is why I asked the question. Some styles have an all-encompassing set the contains all the techniques of the style.

    Other have 'core' sets or essentials. I know NPM has core sets like Bung Bo, Luan Jie, and Ba Zhou plus the Zhai Yao series.

    I was going to ask this on the main forum but I didn't want to wander too far from may main interests.

  4. #4
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    Smile Hi Yao Sing, Mantid1 and All,

    I am in agreement with Mantid1. BTW, we have discussion about this in this forum before.

    Essentially in TCMA, one form is more than enough. Take a look at the so called internal styles (ie Taiji, Bagua, and Xingyi) or internally inclined styles (ie Baji, Baihe, etc.), they all have one form that they emphasize as "mother" form. It is not the width but the depth (hence the term internalization) that is of utmost important. It is no difference in Tanglang especailly in the Greater Meihwa line. Most if not all of the manuscripts point to the Luanjie/Lanjie as the mother form of GML Tanglang.

    But then we human as mere mortals loath monotonic existence. So we chase after a variety of things; thus, the need to chow down forms after forms thinking or rather hoping we can find some great secrets that nobody but the seeker alone gets it. This is the mindset of the seeker/student. The truth; however, is that there is only one truth and the truth is the truth. If one can not see it in the mother form, what chance is that he/she can find IT in the many other forms that follows. BTW, the truth, as IT has myriad of facets, here is defined as Quan Li (philosophy of pugilism). If the truth can not be applied regardless of mode of applications (ie reasoning, fighting, personal and nation security, etc), what good is this "truth"?

    There are differences in Wushu (martial skills), Wuyi (martial arts/cultivations) and Wuxue (martial academia). Wushu at best is about the quantative nature (the width and the depth) of a martial skill set. Wuyi is about the quality (the width, the depth and the height) of martial knowledge. Wuxue is study the core of our existence, being human, and a destiny of responsible guardianship of nature and its beings both sentient and non sentient. Which is it that you seek?

    Personally, it is not a question of how many forms. Rather it is which one of those forms that you have distilled is important? why is it important to you? More importantly, what are you really going to do with it?

    Warm regards

    Mantis108
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    妙着。


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  5. #5
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    I strongly disagree with the idea that forms, whether solitary or two-man, are not necessary in Chinese martial arts. Most people that I know who practice this philosophy have lousy fundamentals. No form, no finese. And finese is certainly lacking in modern tournament fighting.
    Forms can teach rhythm, footwork, precise movement, breath control and fighting combinations. Yes, these things can be learned separately. But why blacklist a tried and true method of teaching these skills.

    Though Mantid1 says,

    This will be different for everyone but I would like to go on record for saying that you need 0 number of sets to become a proficient fighter.

    I know that he has learned numerous forms and can perform them, both emptyhand and weapons, at a moments notice. He is a skilled martial artist and I would question whether he would be the excellent practitioner that he is without that type of grounding in forms.

    Hey, if all you want to do is learn to fight effectively without forms, take Western Boxing.
    Just my not very humble opinion.

    Now for the original topic, which we are way off. I have not learned the nearly one hundred forms that some say comprise 7* PM. However, I have seen that the forms are very redundant. I have also recently spoken with two instructors who have nearly completed training in the system and they both said the number of forms is not necessary.
    How many could you boil it down to? No idea, I am not at a level where I could give a knowledgeable response.
    Richard
    Last edited by mooyingmantis; 09-06-2006 at 03:52 PM.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by mooyingmantis View Post
    I strongly disagree with the idea that forms, whether solitary or two-man, are not necessary in Chinese martial arts. Most people that I know who practice this philosophy have lousy fundamentals. No form, no finese. And finese is certainly lacking in modern tournament fighting.
    Forms can teach rhythm, footwork, precise movement, breath control and fighting combinations. Yes, these things can be learned separately. But why blacklist a tried and true method of teaching these skills.



    Hey, if all you want to do is learn to fight effectively without forms, take Western Boxing.
    Just my not very humble opinion.

    Now for the original topic, which we are way off. I have not learned the nearly one hundred forms that some say comprise 7* PM.
    Richard
    First Off Being a Baji Man as well as a praying mantis man i believe that forms that include the most effective movements as well as descriptive roots of power generation and timing are essential. However if you are a dedicated student you could get his out of a sort "Zai Yao" or mother form as described by M108.

    However if you do not isolate the moves and repeat relentlessly you never get the fundamental knowledge intended by the masters that created them.

    On the other hand, what makes a good fighter is FIGHTING and hard training.

    it is best if they incorporate transitional moves (which forms are supposed to simulate) in that hard training.
    My Master sya it best when he says "you want to learn to fight? go to the Bar pick on toughest guy then fight, then continue to other bars one day you will be a fighter"

    But if you want to learn sophisticated power generation made simple and natural run you zai yao forms until you drop.

    Then take all your best (personal favorites) and compose them into a grandfather form for you to practice. You will improve drastically.

    If planning sport fights,,, Get five really good combinations down cold then mix them up and match them into different orders drill them to death and good luck at the fight
    DF

  7. #7
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    Thanks for the responses guys but I wasn't really looking for the 'deep' answer. I really had some specifics in mind.

    I should have said something like 'If you could only learn 3 NPM sets which would you pick?'.

  8. #8
    Hi Richard

    Thanks for he nice words

    I took the question as how many forms do you need to become a good fighter. In that case Western Boxing and even better the san shou type stuff is great no forms needed.

    If someone were to ask how many forms to pass down a traditional praying mantis system I would have a different answer.

    You have a point, I do have A LOT of forms I have learnded much from them. I think my biggest problem is that many people do not teach the apps out of them. I know you are not like that because you were able to show me many apps for the form we went over.

    Yao

    I have had this "3 forms" question a few times with different people.

    I asked Mr. 108 his advice on this and he told me Lan jit and 8 elbows were very important in mantis. The first two covered so much as far as mantis the third did not seem as important.

    I got the same info from Mr Brazier.

    I have a lot of respect for these guys so I go by what they say. They have a MUCH deeper knowledge of mantis than I ever will.

    Hope this helps.

  9. #9
    funny this is brought up becuse we only have 5 forms that are taught to the general public. they are...........

    1. Chi Sao ( seven hands)
    2. Xiao Fan Che ( small rolling wheel)
    3. Li Pi (power cut)
    4. Da Fan Che (big rolling wheel)
    5. Lan Jie (intercept)
    KUNG FU USA
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    Teaching traditional Ba Bu Tang Lang (Eight Step Praying Mantis)
    Jin Gon Tzu Li Gung (Medical) Qigong
    Wu style Taiji Chuan



    Teacher always told his students, "You need to have Wude, patient, tolerance, humble, ..." When he died, his last words to his students was, "Remember that the true meaning of TCMA is fierce, poison, and kill."

  10. #10
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    EarthDragon
    Do you feel these 5 cover the basics of NPM?

    It's interesting that Lan Jit and Baat Jow would be considered core while the Zhai Yao series (essentials) is not. I would think a series of movements considered essentials would be the core whereas the sets would be examples of combos and yong fa.

  11. #11
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    Each system of NPM have his own forms some have the same name ....but each style from 7 stars ,taiji mantis CCK,babu ,liu he have their own way like a completely different style but with the same name praying mantis .....

    How some folk could blend some 7 stars with 8steps .....or whatever ....easyif u just teach forms in ur kung fu .....like a lot of kung fu stylist or school ....

    the idea of teach only 5 forms is the best ....but dont skip from 3 7 stars and 2 8 step forms ....its a completely different style with the same name praying mantis....


    Steeve

  12. #12
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    Smile Clarification

    First off, I would like to thank Mantid1 for the great support and kind words. You are truely a good friend in every respect. I am sure the respects in mutual.

    Quote Originally Posted by Yao Sing View Post
    It's interesting that Lan Jit and Baat Jow would be considered core while the Zhai Yao series (essentials) is not. I would think a series of movements considered essentials would be the core whereas the sets would be examples of combos and yong fa.
    First and foremost, my usual caveats applied. The Greater Meihwa Line tradition is without a doubt came from Liang Xuexiang (1810-? CE). It is believe that Luanjie/Lanjie (also known as Meihwa), Bazhou, and Mishou 90 hands are the core of his teaching. This is supported by Liang's Quanpu (manuscripts) as well as later manuscripts such as Cui Shou Shan's Tanglang Quanpu (dated 1935). The 6 sections of Zhai Yao, common to most GML, are thought to be later derived from Mishou 90 hands. The 7th section of Zhai Yao was said to be Liang Xuexiang's ground fighting form but there is an account that the 7th Zhai Yao is a creation by both Liang Xuexiang and his student Jiang Hualong. In CCK TCPM oral tradition, it is said that Liang was presented the Zhai Yao by different Kung Fu masters as a birthday present in his old age. Regardless of the circumstances of the creation of Zhai Yao, there's little doubt that it's not an "original" content that Liang Xuexiang inherited form his teacher Zhao Chu.

    Liang Xuexiang was well known for his martial prowess while he was working as a commerical convey armed escort even before he became a Kung Fu teacher. Luanjie, Bazhou and Mishou 90 hands were amongst those earily forms of Tanglang that he taught. BTW, Mishou 90 hands are more like Shou Fa or San Shou of Tanglang as far as I understand it. There has never been record of Liang, a great fighter in his own right, having practiced 50 - 100 forms of Tanglang before becoming a formidable master and a banchmark of Tanglang Kung Fu.

    GM Chiu Chuk Kai, whom I have the great honour and fortune of training under in HK, had less than 10 mantis forms (only one section of Zhai Yao) although he had 64 Shou Fa/Sau Fa (not including changes and counters). He also created a wooden dummy form for Tanglang training out of his Taizu, Tanglang and Taiji Shou Fa. Anyone who have seen our Shou Fa and the wooden dummy form had no problem seeing the presence of mantis techniques as well as CCK's 64 Shou Fa. They would also marvelled at the ingenious design of the form. Great master such as Shr Zhengzhong (Kevin Brazier's Shifu), who has more than 30 mantis teachers, regards GM Chiu as one of the greatest masters of Tanglang in modern times. It is not because of the quantity of GM Chiu's forms; rather it is GM Chiu's profound understanding, practical approach and innovative contribution of Tanglangquan that I believe Master Shr admires.

    I remember reading the great Wong Han Fun's comments about forms and I paraphrase: Learning more forms equates to having heavy debts.

    I have nothing against proliferation and acquisition of forms as I believe that good form is like a good myth. It is often larger than life. But it is counter productive to view forms as the sole mean of transmission or verification of "knowledge" and "status" because it encourage nothing more than elitism on esoteric knowledge that might be divisive in nature. I have given 2 examples of great free thinking men created Tanglang forms as useful expedients to free the clouded minds and I hope that Tanglang forms created by all the great free thinking men would not enslave those who seek the truth.

    I hope I've made my view with a bit more clarity.

    Warm regards

    Mantis108
    Contraria Sunt Complementa

    對敵交手歌訣

    凡立勢不可站定。凡交手須是要走。千着萬着﹐走為上着﹐進為高着﹐閃賺騰挪為
    妙着。


    CCK TCPM in Yellowknife

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  13. #13
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    Mantis 108 wrote:

    But it is counter productive to view forms as the sole mean of transmission or verification of "knowledge" and "status" because it encourage nothing more than elitism on esoteric knowledge that might be divisive in nature.

    Robert,
    I certainly agree with you on both points. Forms without applications and separate drills, two-person drills and sparring lead to an incomplete knowledge of the fighting arts.
    As for the second point, I have personally witnessed the "elitism" you mention in both Chinese and Japanese arts. It is ridiculous! In time one finally realizes that the only true secret is "master the basics".
    Very well-written post, BTW.
    Richard

  14. #14
    I have noticed that some schools organize their entire curriculum, levels, and ranking around forms. Does this somehow mislead new students perceptions in any way, and does it lead to greater importance or value placed on forms?

    BBK

  15. #15
    I have to say it does.

    I struggle with not having a colored belt system. Most soccor moms that calls say there kids want to go to a place where they have belts. I must be crazy for staying traditional......

    Back on subject here.

    Once my students get to my school and begin training they see all the different levels with the forms. At point all they worry about is forms. They always want the next one even if the last one sucks. They pay little to no attention to the basics, combos and two person drills we do every day that come right out of the forms.

    In short the forms of kung fu have become the belts of karate.

    If you run a comercial school and only teach two forms without belts....well.....good luck

    For making money belts are the way to go.

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