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Thread: A manifesto for modern kung fu

  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by lkfmdc View Post
    If you don't want to learn to "fight" at least in some form, why do martial arts? You want to get in shape? Join a gym, get a personal trainer, etc

    You want to get into shape AND learn some new culture? Do yoga or Chi-Kung....

    Martial Arts are MARTIAL
    WU Kung is about WU

    When people say it's "about health" it is usually a code word for significantly altered if not down right made up stuff
    Thank you for that. A perfect illustration of my point.



    Instead of saying "if you just want health, don't study kung fu" we can say, "yes! Of course, kung fu will make you very healthy! And you can learn to protect yourself too. My gym is a great choice for you."

  2. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by ShaolinDan View Post
    Thank you for that. A perfect illustration of my point.

    Instead of saying "if you just want health, don't study kung fu" we can say, "yes! Of course, kung fu will make you very healthy! And you can learn to protect yourself too. My gym is a great choice for you."
    I'm real big on honesty and directness.... this morning for example I mentioned William CC Chen's program for elders to use Tai Chi to keep them from falling.. great program, no issues with it, because I assure you none of those people think they are learning to fight and aren't going to go around talking tough...

    Far too many places with "martial arts" on the door are teaching anything but martial and yet deluding their students otherwise
    Chan Tai San Book at https://www.createspace.com/4891253

    Quote Originally Posted by taai gihk yahn View Post
    well, like LKFMDC - he's a genuine Kung Fu Hero™
    Quote Originally Posted by Taixuquan99 View Post
    As much as I get annoyed when it gets derailed by the array of strange angry people that hover around him like moths, his good posts are some of my favorites.
    Quote Originally Posted by Kellen Bassette View Post
    I think he goes into a cave to meditate and recharge his chi...and bite the heads off of bats, of course....

  3. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by lkfmdc View Post
    Far too many places with "martial arts" on the door are teaching anything but martial and yet deluding their students otherwise
    Totally. But I don't see this as a threat to real kung fu. As long as you can teach what you want, how can anything kill kung fu? It's life is in your hands, dude. The fakes are irrelevant to the real material.

  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by ShaolinDan View Post
    c) practicing for health, performance, etc. does not have to negate practicing for combat ...
    All TCMA forms can be trained in 3 different ways:

    1. combat - punch out fast, pull back fast.
    2. performance - punch out fast, freeze at the end of your punch.
    3. health - punch out slow and pull back fast.

    IMO, those 3 different training methods do contradict to each other.
    Last edited by YouKnowWho; 06-01-2014 at 11:19 AM.
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  5. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by ShaolinDan View Post
    Another way to look at it:

    There are lots (millions upon millions) of people in the world today who don't want to fight, but still enjoy doing kung fu. There's no reason to try to take that from them (as if anyone could). There's plenty of kung fu to go around for everyone.
    I agree with you. It gets confusing though when people who do not train to be fighters and never really spar think that because they train Kung fu that they can handle themselves.

  6. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by ShaolinDan View Post
    Instead of saying "if you just want health, don't study kung fu" we can say, "yes! Of course, kung fu will make you very healthy! And you can learn to protect yourself too. My gym is a great choice for you."
    Exactly - and to illustrate that point, there are more non-competitive BJJers than competitive BJJers. Same can be said for just about any combat sport. I'm sure Coach Ross finds that to be true at his gym too.

  7. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by tc101 View Post
    It gets confusing though when people who do not train to be fighters and never really spar think that because they train Kung fu that they can handle themselves.
    Would it shock you to know that this same phenomena happens in every kickboxing gym in America?

  8. #23
    Dave's article is right though - there should always be sparring in kung fu and we have good equipment to make it safe so use it. I personally dislike it when too much class time is used for calisthenics and solo forms. The best thing about having a group of martial artists together in one setting is that there's a group of martial artists to practice with. That time should be used for drilling and sparring.

    Just my two cents on the topic.

  9. #24
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    The issues to me are twofold:
    You can do kung fu for whatever reason you want, as long as you are doing it for THAT reason and are getting OUT OF IT what you NEED for THAT reason.
    ie: Doing it for Health and exercise and not fighting, don't expect to be able to fight with it and don't think you are a fighter.
    Too many people do kung fu for every reason BUT fighting YET still think they can fight.
    Second:
    Do kung fu for whatever reason you want BUT never forget that the TRADITION of kung fu is fighting and unless you are doing for that, don't call yourself a traditionalist.
    Psalms 144:1
    Praise be my Lord my Rock,
    He trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle !

  10. #25
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    The issue is the continued curious mixture of preventative healthful exercises, spiritual liberation work and traditional observance and history knowledge that gets package with Traditional martial arts. It seems to have gotten to the point were the martial aspect gets buried in those and hence the "It's for health" position.

    Having said that, it is not a huge difficult task to focus on the martial aspects and to put the Qi Gong, Traditional observance, history, preventative medicine, etc etc into another segment instead of tying it to the martial practice. Even though I personally advocate a whole being approach to it and can appreciate how Ch'an serves a workout an how morality and ethics can temper a quick sword so to speak.

    Martial purists will always be able to find what they want and those who are interested in the big tapestry should be able to find theirs as well.
    Kung Fu is good for you.

  11. #26
    I think the "looks like kickboxing" criticism has merit... in that there's a proven/good, correct way to learn to kick box and if you have no real faith in the techniques, philosophies, and methods of TCMA to try to learn to use it when you spar, then why would you continue to pursue TCMA? I don't like it when I see people "spar" in TCMA and it looks like bad Tae Kwon Do. They should study good TKD IMO. I really like it though when I see people spar and it looks like good kick boxing / Sanda or TKD, but they'll throw in a couple of old school combinations or techniques.

  12. #27
    Yeah, I think when we say "kickboxing" we're referring to it with a capital "K" as a proper noun. A style of fighting. Not as a descriptor of fighting itself. Anyone who grew up in the 70s and 80s watching American Kickboxing matches knows why we use it in a negative context when comparing it to Chinese Martial Arts. Not that it isn't effective, but it doesn't exhibit the attributes of the particular Kung Fu practices we were learning.

    But yes the blog was pretty spot on.

  13. #28
    There is really not a kick or punch in kickboxing that doesn't have a kung fu equivalent. Lack of throws and the related clinch is all the difference.

    To not fight like a kickboxer is to throw out a good chunk of our kung fu. If competitors aren't throwing punches or kicks, they aren't doing kung fu, at least any style I've ever seen. Now, if they don't have a variety of different jabs and crosses, then they aren't doing their full kung fu, but that's nitpicking.

    The differences are mostly in body mechanics and clinch work. You'd be hard pressed to find more than a small handful of strikes and throws that don't have variants in boxing, muay thai, judo, etc. That said, I will say the variation is often important, and not just to be stylistic.

    Strikes, throws, kicks, and grabs in kungfu tend to take into account transition to any of the others than in styles that are divided up by range. A judo player will tend to want to keep trying to throw, a boxer will seek to get back to striking, a ground fighter will seek takedowns to the ground. Muay Thai is probably the closest cousin to kung fu in this sense. Kung fu fighters should take the action most suitable to the situation, but if you are expecting not to throw and not to go to the ground, then you tend to do something like kickboxing, and if you enter venues that allow only this, that is the result. If you allow no head strikes in the venue, then you will kick and throw a lot, hand strikes not so much. If you do not allow ground, you may do throws that you wouldn't if the ground were a possibility and you didn't want to go there. This is why most previous full contact venues were better viewed as narrow practices just like other resisting exercises, but with more contact. Not realistic, but working some real skills if taken in their proper context. If you hate kickboxing for its narrowness, you're stuck reviling push hands and sticky hands, being just as narrow if not narrower.
    Last edited by Faux Newbie; 06-02-2014 at 11:14 AM.

  14. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by Faux Newbie View Post
    To not fight like a kickboxer is to throw out a good chunk of our kung fu. If competitors aren't throwing punches or kicks, they aren't doing kung fu, at least any style I've ever seen. Now, if they don't have a variety of different jabs and crosses, then they aren't doing their full kung fu, but that's nitpicking.
    The problem is when they're not trained to fight like a kickboxer and they try to imitate how a kickboxer fights. Then it's just bad. In that case I think the person's better off to go to a San Da gym and learn to kickbox in the correct way. At least then they'd have the skill base to ad the traditional techniques if they want to use them.

  15. #30
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    Do you feel excited when you see a punch coming toward your face. I feel very excited at that moment. I can't get that kind of excitement outside of sparring. Lately, I even willing to pay $20 for anybody who are willing to spar/wrestle with me for 15 rounds.

    If you don't train TCMA for "combat", you will miss that excitement.
    Last edited by YouKnowWho; 06-02-2014 at 11:36 AM.
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