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Thread: Article on the future of Kung Fu in China

  1. #1
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    Article on the future of Kung Fu in China

    http://roadsandkingdoms.com/2014/kun...entity-crisis/

    It mentions Emei, though the basic thrust is that most if not all of the 19th century arts from around there vanished during the Cultural Revolution.

    Interesting. Largely concurs with my own experiences there in the early 1980s and current view.
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  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by anerlich View Post
    http://roadsandkingdoms.com/2014/kun...entity-crisis/

    It mentions Emei, though the basic thrust is that most if not all of the 19th century arts from around there vanished during the Cultural Revolution.

    Interesting. Largely concurs with my own experiences there in the early 1980s and current view.
    ---------------------------------------------------

    Thanks for the interesting article. Modern wushu displaced traditional wushu under Mao. The changes began even before the cultural revolution.
    The traditional teachers were often identified with feudalism and the Kuomintang. Many Southern stylists fled to Hong Kong,Macao and SE Asia-
    northerners often to Taiwan. Some exceptions- here and there. Chen village was visited by the Red Guard but some dedicated Chen stylists kept the faith and practiced and taught
    in private and kept Chen taiji alive. Ip Man helped keep wing chun alive.

  3. #3
    "Nevertheless, Wulinfeng has a fan base of more than 40 million and is flush with cash. Top fighters can earn $50,000-$60,000 per fight. Wulinfeng is televised weekly on Henan Provincial Satellite Television in China, and has staged international shows in Las Vegas, Tokyo, and Dubai."

    That's a nice purse!

  4. #4
    I enjoyed reading this article, thanks for sharing.

  5. #5
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    Good article.

    I lived in Taiwan for nearly a decade, until '93, and the most popular MA there BY FAR was TKD. Also, judo, kendo, etc., were/are very popular there. I worked for a while at a MA supply store in Taipei, and we set up the mats for the judo dojo in a newly-built police station.

    I remember some guys there telling me that for a time, the Taiwan military hand to hand combat was CMA (Baji? I'm not 100% certain), but that sometime in the 1960s or '70s, a TKD breaking demo convinced the military brass to adopt TKD for their H2H.

    *to add:

    In Taiwan, many people seemed to have a rather low opinion of kung fu, considering it 'hua quan, xiu tui' ('flowery fist, embroidery legs'; a showy dance useless for fighting), or something that gangsters do.
    Last edited by Jimbo; 06-05-2014 at 08:37 AM.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimbo View Post
    ...In Taiwan, many people seemed to have a rather low opinion of kung fu, considering it 'hua quan, xiu tui' ('flowery fist, embroidery legs'; a showy dance useless for fighting)...
    Just like a lot of people here.

    ...Now the gangster thing is different. Here in the States, a gangster, street-thug, or prison association gives cred.
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  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by BPWT.. View Post
    "Nevertheless, Wulinfeng has a fan base of more than 40 million and is flush with cash. Top fighters can earn $50,000-$60,000 per fight. Wulinfeng is televised weekly on Henan Provincial Satellite Television in China, and has staged international shows in Las Vegas, Tokyo, and Dubai."

    That's a nice purse!
    Not compared to top fighters in boxing or MMA here.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Eric_H View Post
    Not compared to top fighters in boxing or MMA here.
    The article gave the amount in dollars, so I was assuming US$. It seems like a decent amount to me

    What does a typical MMA fight have for a purse (in the US)?

    Earlier this year I was approached by a publisher about a Creative Director position (based in Hong Kong), which offered a salary of US$140,000 per year, plus benefits - so I was basing my shock at the MMA earnings based on that.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grumblegeezer View Post
    Just like a lot of people here.

    ...Now the gangster thing is different. Here in the States, a gangster, street-thug, or prison association gives cred.
    Yeah, over there, among the majority, the association with gangsters was/is looked at with scorn. Southern styles in particular tended to be associated with thugs.

    Also, many people (non-MAists) I spoke to there viewed training kung fu in general as a waste of time. Meaning, the time spent practicing it would be better spent studying for school exams or making money. Many associated a lifetime of kung fu training with being poor and uneducated.

    However, when I was there, many of those very same people who believed kung fu is a waste of time, themselves believed in gimmicky qigong taught by quack teachers professing supernatural powers. The demos by these teachers were embarrassingly bad, but many believed/wanted to believe in gaining perfect health and the ability to stop a potential attacker with one's qi/chi...all without breaking a sweat. Some of them considered sweating 'undignified'. Not that I believe qigong isn't real; it is. But those quack teachers and their 'methods' clearly were not.

  10. #10
    My experience was much later, and largely based on contact with Hui. Since they were already muslim, maintaining kung fu was not exactly their biggest red mark.

    Some areas suffered a lot more loss of kung fu than others. I doubt that most teachers had the ability to leave the country at any point in history.

    Additionally, the idea that the repeated destruction of martial arts temples over time led to a decline may be premature. The same thing happened to Buddhism and Taoism in general in Chinese history, but the result ended up being then homeless monks spreading those philosophies across China, so that when times became easier for them, there was actually a broader base of followers.

    MMA seems to be posing a greater problem for kung fu here than in China, but I could be wrong. A large number of sanda coaches practice traditional styles, so I'm hesitant to make conclusions on this.

    I think relevance plays a greater role, and the obsession with forms, which predated modern wushu, but still is not traditional beyond the tradition of performance to raise money, imo.

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