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Thread: What Would Kung Fu look Like From 200 Years Ago ?

  1. #1
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    What Would Kung Fu look Like From 200 Years Ago ?

    In another thread we were talking about old Thaiboxing coming from old Kung Fu would Kung Fu from 200 years ago look like old Thaiboxing ? If not what would it look like and how effective would it be in selfdefense ?

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    hi

    What you are saying sounds right good explanation .

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    I think it would look less like Thai boxing. Because we have T.V and internet nowadays everyone knows something about what fighting looks like without ever having learned, people imitate what they have seen. Called to fight most people will start looking a bit like a boxer. There are tens of thousands of styles of kung fu, 200 years ago without the influence of TV, movies and the internet I suggest the styles would be far more varied in how they looked.

    But we don't have to imagine, there are many QuanPu (fist manuals) that exist from over 200 years ago. One good example is a Henan style called Chang Jia Quan, they have a well preserved manual and still practice in this manner.

    200 years ago I think the emphasis would be on AnQi (hidden weapons). There are so many styles with these, I think they would be extremely effective.

    In terms of the hand to hand self defence, without the influence of of TV as i said people who never trained would have much less of an idea of what to do, so in comparison those who had trained would be at more of an advantage because of their MA than people who train today. Imagine if you grew up in some mountain village and had never seen people fight well, your natural method would be very primitive.
    問「武」。曰:「克。」未達。曰:「勝己之私之謂克。」

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    I reckon there was less number of forms, perhaps only 2 or 3 practiced, and the forms had simpler moves and more repetition. I think a lot of Iron Body and Iron Palm was practiced too.

    I could imagine that Qi Gong type exercises would be considered general exercise, much like fitness like running and calisthenics is nowadays.

    Also, I doubt people used to spar in the way we do nowadays, where you keep fighting for rounds of 3 minutes.... I reckon they probably focussed more on putting the opponent out of action as quick as they could.

    In my style of Mantis, most of our stances keep the knees very close together... this is an old way of training to offer more protection from groin kicks.

    I dont know anything about Muay Thai really, but I thought it came from Khmer martial arts originally, not from Kung Fu???

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by xiao yao View Post
    I dont know anything about Muay Thai really, but I thought it came from Khmer martial arts originally, not from Kung Fu???
    Kun Khmer = Muay Thai = Muay Lao = Lethwei = Other S.E. Asian styles.
    Quote Originally Posted by YouKnowWho View Post
    This is 100% TCMA principle. It may be used in non-TCMA also. Since I did learn it from TCMA, I have to say it's TCMA principle.
    Quote Originally Posted by YouKnowWho View Post
    We should not use "TCMA is more than combat" as excuse for not "evolving".

    You can have Kung Fu in cooking, it really has nothing to do with fighting!

  6. #6
    I imagine that kung didn't look a whole lot different back then. Forms were most likely a bit more rigid than today's and sparring back then was probably just as sloppy and chaotic as today's. Most here would probably greatly disagree with me but, I would argue that kung fu martial artists 200 years ago were likely weaker than today's martial artists, due to advancement in today's health sciences and physical development.

  7. #7
    Greetings,

    I think there would be serious restrictions on who trained the arts. the late Donn Draeger divided the martial disciplines into three categories: military, monastic, and civilian. I think there would be limits to what civilians learned and limits to what monks taught lay students. I think weapons use would dominate amongst the military. The social restrictions that existed then may have resulted in the secrecy that has existed for so long in the CMA. It was not a matter of prejudice. It was survival.

    As far as Muay Thai coming from China, well if you can't beat 'em, claim 'em.

    mickey
    Last edited by mickey; 11-04-2014 at 06:55 AM.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Firehawk4 View Post
    In another thread we were talking about old Thaiboxing coming from old Kung Fu would Kung Fu from 200 years ago look like old Thaiboxing ? If not what would it look like and how effective would it be in selfdefense ?
    It'd look a lot less like the bullsh*t that's spread around today. It'd work, there'd be less nonsensical mysticism and theory, and more hands on action. Crap that didn't pass the "does it actually work?" test would be thrown away.

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    Would it be in B&W?

    It probably wouldn't look like Muay Thai though. Muay Thai is fairly young as martial arts go. It has only really come into existence within the last century. It was preceded by Muay Boran and some other indigenous Thai styles. And Muay Boran looks a lot like Kung Fu.
    Gene Ching
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    Thumbs up Old style kung fu

    200 years ago was a long time , my Sifu ( the late GM Ark Y Wong ) was born in 1900. His teachers were all born sometime in the 1800's. There was more emphasis on combat back then , with and without weapons. They also had tournaments , but they were nothing like today. Sifu Wong said, they would meet in the mountains , the participants were from several villages. There were no rules , last man standing won. One would see forms at the Chinese Opera or at celebrations. The fellows back then were strong , they conditioned themselves well , Village Kung Fu fighters , those old styles are about gone. Needs and time have changed. My best to all.
    Visit the past in order to discover something new.

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  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by MightyB View Post
    It'd look a lot less like the bullsh*t that's spread around today. It'd work, there'd be less nonsensical mysticism and theory, and more hands on action. Crap that didn't pass the "does it actually work?" test would be thrown away.
    I'd like to think there was more hands on action; and there probably was, but there's always been a lot of mystical/magical elements to Asian MAs, that's not new at all.
    Quote Originally Posted by YouKnowWho View Post
    This is 100% TCMA principle. It may be used in non-TCMA also. Since I did learn it from TCMA, I have to say it's TCMA principle.
    Quote Originally Posted by YouKnowWho View Post
    We should not use "TCMA is more than combat" as excuse for not "evolving".

    You can have Kung Fu in cooking, it really has nothing to do with fighting!

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by GeneChing View Post
    It probably wouldn't look like Muay Thai though. Muay Thai is fairly young as martial arts go. It has only really come into existence within the last century. It was preceded by Muay Boran and some other indigenous Thai styles. And Muay Boran looks a lot like Kung Fu.
    Muay Boran = Old Muay Thai.

    MT is what MB looks like with gloves on. The sport element is not new, it's at least several hundred years old, the 1920's/30's just saw the adoption of western equipment.
    Quote Originally Posted by YouKnowWho View Post
    This is 100% TCMA principle. It may be used in non-TCMA also. Since I did learn it from TCMA, I have to say it's TCMA principle.
    Quote Originally Posted by YouKnowWho View Post
    We should not use "TCMA is more than combat" as excuse for not "evolving".

    You can have Kung Fu in cooking, it really has nothing to do with fighting!

  13. #13
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    The equipment changes everything

    Quote Originally Posted by Kellen Bassette View Post
    The sport element is not new, it's at least several hundred years old, the 1920's/30's just saw the adoption of western equipment.
    Muay Boran fought with rope-wrapped knuckles. That's a lot different than gloves. It's like comparing Durex to no lube.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kellen Bassette View Post
    I'd like to think there was more hands on action; and there probably was, but there's always been a lot of mystical/magical elements to Asian MAs, that's not new at all.
    I think that really depends on the country. Asia is extremely diverse, at least as diverse as Europe, probably more so. For example, the JMAs, for the most part, steered clear of mysticism or magical connections.

    As far as CMAs, I'd imagine the emphasis would have been on quality vs. quantity, and things would be much simpler. The first CMA teacher I trained under was a northerner born circa 1915, and he had lived and trained with his teacher from the age of ten or so. He said he was taught one move a month; his teacher would not teach something new until the student had mastered a move and developed himself well enough to somehow apply it effectively against a uncooperating senior student. He also said that after teaching something, his teacher would correct a student once. If someone made the same mistake again, he would simply drop them with a hard strike or kick without a single word.

    As far back as the Ming Dynasty and probably even earlier, the problem of some CMAs or practitioners becoming too dance-like (not necessarily counting opera performances) and losing their combative focus did occur.
    Last edited by Jimbo; 11-04-2014 at 08:38 PM.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeneChing View Post
    It probably wouldn't look like Muay Thai though. Muay Thai is fairly young as martial arts go. It has only really come into existence within the last century. It was preceded by Muay Boran and some other indigenous Thai styles. And Muay Boran looks a lot like Kung Fu.
    Muay Boran and Krabi Krabong has forms/sets and looks quite a lot like TCMA.

    Muay Thai today as a sport fighting art, as brutal as it can be, is it's own thing though.
    Kung Fu is good for you.

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