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Thread: Weird how..

  1. #46
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    If you can log on to the forum site, it is alive and well.
    Last edited by PalmStriker; 07-28-2015 at 08:18 PM.

  2. #47
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    Personally, I haven't been contributing in a long time in part because I've been spending more time on another forum along with the likes of KPM, Vajramusdi, LFJ, and a few others. Other than that, my perspective is pretty much like Happy Tiger's. I'm not so important, or so thin skinned that I'm really bothered by the squabbling and name-calling that used to be common here. The real problem is a lack of lively discussion. And to be honest, it's not just this forum. I see the same problem all across the web.

    As previously mentioned, TCMA seems to be generating less interest every year. Maybe its the interest in MMA and BJJ, or maybe a generational thing. Heck, today is my birthday. I just turned 60. That's crazy old. And Joy is way older than that. Some of the rest of you too. My youngest Wing Chun students are around 30. Now I know plenty of teenagers. I have a 16 year old son and I teach at a high school. But I don't see much interest in Kung fu anymore. A few want to try BJJ, MT ...even HEMA. But not TCMA. Any thoughts?
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  3. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grumblegeezer View Post
    Personally, I haven't been contributing in a long time in part because I've been spending more time on another forum along with the likes of KPM, Vajramusdi, LFJ, and a few others. Other than that, my perspective is pretty much like Happy Tiger's. I'm not so important, or so thin skinned that I'm really bothered by the squabbling and name-calling that used to be common here. The real problem is a lack of lively discussion. And to be honest, it's not just this forum. I see the same problem all across the web.

    As previously mentioned, TCMA seems to be generating less interest every year. Maybe its the interest in MMA and BJJ, or maybe a generational thing. Heck, today is my birthday. I just turned 60. That's crazy old. And Joy is way older than that. Some of the rest of you too. My youngest Wing Chun students are around 30. Now I know plenty of teenagers. I have a 16 year old son and I teach at a high school. But I don't see much interest in Kung fu anymore. A few want to try BJJ, MT ...even HEMA. But not TCMA. Any thoughts?
    This is a bit long and I apologize for that, but I'd be happy to post my POV (and I asked about people's thoughts on what can be done to strengthen TCMA as a whole, so anyone is free to chime in):

    I'm 22 and am hoping to encounter a hard-working, lei-tai competing school near me some day. (I had apparently missed a now-inactive Sanda group in college.) For me personally, it's out of national identity (ABC) that I am hunting for full contact CMA in particular. As of now I am doing Karate. I have found a Tai Chi group that does applications and push hands, but it is generally full of older folks who probably cannot wrestle with me like some youngsters from the Chen village would.

    Has anyone you known overtly expressed outright dislike/apathy for TCMA? I hope not. But it's possible given the climate of the internet (Youtube especially), that they may think:
    1) It takes too long to learn to be effective for self defense, if at all
    2) Only forms are taught
    3) not rigorous enough
    4) no interest in weapons taught in Kung Fu (with the exception of the HEMA group, which, according to my time on reddit, a few HEMA folks are looking into Chinese arts as well)
    5) Skepticism in Chi (which I attribute more to a combination of cultural/language differences and the cleverness of frauds who take advantage of them)
    6) Knowledge that many in so-called "TCMA" are frauds or claim to teach more than they really know

    Or a combination of any of those is contributing to that trend you are seeing. It could be that the increasing average age of a TCMA practitioner is contributing to that too, especially in the Tai Chi department. I can imagine people viewing it as "an older man's art" in a negative sense (though it could one day be in a good way, seen by many as a way to keep healthy to old age.)

    Ben Judkins points out that last point here: http://chinesemartialstudies.com/201...ial-studies-2/. If you do not already follow his blog, it's a great read.

    I definitely still see some interest from young folk but generally it is not of the "combat sports" variety or those who are studying any art seriously, not in the schools I have visited, anyway. I will admit I've been a little disheartened to see that trend myself.

    It could also be the marketing. For example, I remember chuckling at this advertisment the first time I saw it: http://www.thegompa.com/tibetan-snake-boxing/

    But as it turns out from having done research, Dr. Painter does really know his TCMA and people that I've come to trust as authorities (or at least non-trolls) on this forum can vouch for his skills. Most of the time folks like me would have been too lazy to go beyond how the person is marketed and so bad first impressions hurt business.

    That having been said, even in the US only a small chunk of people ever practice martial arts actively (most quit after their childhood and martial arts in my university only represented maybe 8% at best of students at my school). There are still markets to tap into and in my opinion if all of the current fragments of TCMA (Modern Sanda, Tai Chi as a health exercise, Wushu, and historic styles which combine all three elements) work together to exert some quality control and good marketing, it could potentially be the most successful martial art in terms of the breadth of its appeal. Not everyone is a fighter, but the martial arts can still provide for them. CMA modern or traditional has potential to spread to a wider audience because it tries to address more needs than current combat sports do.


    Most of all right now, however, is that I want enough Sanda practitioners to penetrate MMA to get MMA fans to shut up about Kung Fu having no place in combat sports. That alone would greatly boost interest in TCMA and in my opinion most reliably.

  4. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grumblegeezer View Post
    Personally, I haven't been contributing in a long time in part because I've been spending more time on another forum along with the likes of KPM, Vajramusdi, LFJ, and a few others. Other than that, my perspective is pretty much like Happy Tiger's. I'm not so important, or so thin skinned that I'm really bothered by the squabbling and name-calling that used to be common here. The real problem is a lack of lively discussion. And to be honest, it's not just this forum. I see the same problem all across the web.

    As previously mentioned, TCMA seems to be generating less interest every year. Maybe its the interest in MMA and BJJ, or maybe a generational thing. Heck, today is my birthday. I just turned 60. That's crazy old. And Joy is way older than that. Some of the rest of you too. My youngest Wing Chun students are around 30. Now I know plenty of teenagers. I have a 16 year old son and I teach at a high school. But I don't see much interest in Kung fu anymore. A few want to try BJJ, MT ...even HEMA. But not TCMA. Any thoughts?
    I think itís a problem thatís always been there and is getting more profound with more choice, a more aware public and changing attitudes towards what fighting entails
    Kung fu typically brought in three types of people
    1) Those sold on the myth of the smaller weaker man being able to learn fighting without fighting
    2) People looking to learn something because they are fascinated by the kung fu lifestyle
    3) The local tough lads looking to learn to scrap
    What happened to these groups?
    Well the ufc and the gracies happened to group 1
    Kung fu typically was sold as this semi mystical art that could help a smaller weaker person beat a bigger stronger opponent, where you could learn to fight without actually, well fighting and getting hit. People believed this and then the Gracies and the UFC came along and pretty much destroyed with myth (some people still believe it despite all the evidence) but im also sure some still believe in a flat earth society point of view) but a number had their delusions destroyed
    Group 2? well
    I grew up watching shaw brother films, bruce lee and the karate kid, kids these days grow up watching the bourne movies, never back down and the UFC, different audience with different outlooks and social stimulus
    Group 3?

    well people who actually want to learn to fight and have the physical ability and willingness to do so no longer go along to kung fu clubs, they are off the the MMA club down the road. Back in the 70s, and 80s people who wanted to fight didnít have much of a choice, wrestling was only in schools boxing and judo were seen (wrongly of course) as sports, so the local tough kids up in the local kung fu and karate schools these lads had the athletic ability and skill to fight using anything, even bad training lol, now a days these guys end up in MMA, Thai or a combination of the above.

  5. #50
    Quote Originally Posted by Grumblegeezer View Post
    Personally, I haven't been contributing in a long time in part because I've been spending more time on another forum along with the likes of KPM, Vajramusdi, LFJ, and a few others. Other than that, my perspective is pretty much like Happy Tiger's. I'm not so important, or so thin skinned that I'm really bothered by the squabbling and name-calling that used to be common here. The real problem is a lack of lively discussion. And to be honest, it's not just this forum. I see the same problem all across the web.

    As previously mentioned, TCMA seems to be generating less interest every year. Maybe its the interest in MMA and BJJ, or maybe a generational thing. Heck, today is my birthday. I just turned 60. That's crazy old. And Joy is way older than that. Some of the rest of you too. My youngest Wing Chun students are around 30. Now I know plenty of teenagers. I have a 16 year old son and I teach at a high school. But I don't see much interest in Kung fu anymore. A few want to try BJJ, MT ...even HEMA. But not TCMA. Any thoughts?
    -----------------------------------------------------------------
    Wing chun forever ! I don't depend on the ups and downs of the market. 60 Geezer- that's young!! The net can be useful if one knows how to observe. With the help of others including Chee on this list- I explored various meaning of the sound "chum"
    and that "searching for the bridge" is not necessarily the most useful meaning for developing wing chun skills.

  6. #51
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    Frost, I think your analysis is pretty accurate. If i can add my own perspective:

    re #1: I do think that martial arts help a littler guy or girl take care of themselves. But it's not magic. There are limitations and it's equally true of any fighting art. A little guy that can box or grapple well can be a handful for a less skilled big guy. And actual sparring with resistance will teach him his limitations when going up against a bigger guy with some training. So properly taught and trained, I have no doubt that WC and other traditional martial arts can be useful for self-defense. However IMO it is not as direct a path as going to an MMA gym and learning competitive skills that you can regularly test on resisting opponents. So why would people choose TCMA today?

    Well that brings us to your reason #2, Kung-fu lifestyle, or what I would call the mystique of TCMA. This still attracts those of us who were raised when there was such a thing as "the Bamboo Curtain" and China was a distant, inaccessible and mysterious place. As you pointed out, that Asian mystique is seriously diminished these days when China is more commonly associated cheap import goods than taoist and buddhist wisdom, arcane methods of healing, and miraculous abilities derived from manipulating qi.

    There is still some interest in TCMA for it's novelty and history, but clearly this isn't the draw it was in the 70s and 80s. And those who seek out martial arts out of fascination with the history, culture and the whole wuxia thing may become loyal students but are not likely to be much interested in the applied fighting side of the arts.

    And that brings us to #3. If we believe in WC as a fighting art, how do we attract and keep the fighters, the "tough lads looking to scrap" that you mentioned? That's where I think we should all support the efforts of guys like Alan Orr, even if it's not what we do. We need people who are willing to adapt, evolve and test WC in the public, competitive arena if we want the art to survive for the next generation.

    Those of us like myself, who are are more traditional can keep the traditional side of the arts alive, but we need the Alan Orrs and his like to keep WC relevant in the world today.
    Last edited by Grumblegeezer; 07-29-2015 at 01:20 PM.
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  7. #52
    Quote Originally Posted by Grumblegeezer View Post

    And that brings us to #3. If we believe in WC as a fighting art, how do we attract and keep the fighters, the "tough lads looking to scrap" that you mentioned? That's where I think we should all support the efforts of guys like Alan Orr, even if it's not what we do. We need people who are willing to adapt, evolve and test WC in the public, competitive arena if we want the art to survive for the next generation.

    Those of us like myself, who are are more traditional can keep the traditional side of the arts alive, but we need the Alan Orrs and his like to keep WC relevant in the world today.
    That's what it comes down to. Kung Fu schools need to fight. Not everyone in the school needs to fight, but every school should have fighters. More Kung Fu schools need to compete in Lei Tai and Sanda; and help grow those sports. If there's no other CMA schools to participate, compete in Muay Thai, kick boxing or MMA. I think a lot of MMA minded types are more open minded then some give them credit for. Many people are interested in both MMA and TMAs.
    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!

  8. #53
    Quote Originally Posted by Grumblegeezer View Post
    Personally, I haven't been contributing in a long time in part because I've been spending more time on another forum along with the likes of KPM, Vajramusdi, LFJ, and a few others. Other than that, my perspective is pretty much like Happy Tiger's. I'm not so important, or so thin skinned that I'm really bothered by the squabbling and name-calling that used to be common here. The real problem is a lack of lively discussion. And to be honest, it's not just this forum. I see the same problem all across the web.

    As previously mentioned, TCMA seems to be generating less interest every year. Maybe its the interest in MMA and BJJ, or maybe a generational thing. Heck, today is my birthday. I just turned 60. That's crazy old. And Joy is way older than that. Some of the rest of you too. My youngest Wing Chun students are around 30. Now I know plenty of teenagers. I have a 16 year old son and I teach at a high school. But I don't see much interest in Kung fu anymore. A few want to try BJJ, MT ...even HEMA. But not TCMA. Any thoughts?
    Do you mind me asking the name of the forum? I miss the wing chun discussion here.

  9. #54
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    There are still markets to tap into and in my opinion if all of the current fragments of TCMA (Modern Sanda, Tai Chi as a health exercise, Wushu, and historic styles which combine all three elements) work together to exert some quality control and good marketing, it could potentially be the most successful martial art in terms of the breadth of its appeal.
    The main problem here in my experience is that too many of the principals think they should be in charge. Way too much internecine squabbling for that to work out. Not that this is the sole province of TCMA. Kyokushin Karate has fairly deep divisions too, since Oyama's death.

    At top levels MMA is well organised with plenty of money behind it, but at the lower levels where I live there is little cooperation amongst MMA coaches and promoters and some of them cannot stand to be in the same room as each other.

    BJJ is successful because there are well organised competitions for kids, women, older people, etc. This more than anything else leads to at least some level of interschool cooperation. This is a SPORT that parents and friends can get involved in.

    TCMA lacks the same sort of wide "scene". I've done Wing Chun for 25 years and Some Xingyi/Bagua and other stuff before that.

    As a BJJ black belt, occasional competitor (I'm 60) and regular referee I literally know and have trained with scores of practitioners from dozens of academies. I train regularly at four different schools belonging to different umbrella organisations. BJJ is incredibly social. I can go to any city in the world, and find a good academy, probably through recommendations and referrals from my own circle of BJJ acquaintances, and make pretty much instant friends.

    Not from what I've seen with TCMA. My first instructor, David Crook, used to run annual camps and invited multiple martial arts stylists, and these were successful and a lot of fun, but that's as far as it went. This sort of thing is pretty rare, though.

    I've probably met three Wing Chun people in the flesh outside of my own organisation/academy, and only done anything like serious training with one of them (duende from this forum).

    When you have most of the old guard saying that their stuff is the true path and everyone else's is useless (yes they do, just look at William Cheung, the Phillipp Bayer guys that were on this forum, and Hendrik with his snake engine/1850 palaver just for starters) you are headed for division, not cooperation.

    If I had a child, I would send him to BJJ. No contest.

    Most of all right now, however, is that I want enough Sanda practitioners to penetrate MMA to get MMA fans to shut up about Kung Fu having no place in combat sports. That alone would greatly boost interest in TCMA and in my opinion most reliably.
    Many people want this but they almost all expect someone else to do it. If you won't do it yourself, why should anyone else?

    If you don't have some knowledge of BJJ and wrestling, you will almost certainly fail IMO. So you need to cross train anyway. And train to counter MMA stylists, and the best place to find those is at an MMA gym.
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  10. #55
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    I think a lot of MMA minded types are more open minded then some give them credit for. Many people are interested in both MMA and TMAs.
    Definitely. Deriding all MMA people as violent meatheads is about as sensible as saying all TCMA people are new age hippie airheads. A good BJJ or MMA coach will adopt good ideas from any source.

    I have a foot in both camps myself. Unnecessary dichotomies are stupid.
    "Once you reject experience, and begin looking for the mysterious, then you are caught!" - Krishnamurti
    "We are all one" - Genki Sudo
    "We are eternal, all this pain is an illusion" - Tool, Parabol/Parabola
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  11. #56
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    When you have most of the old guard saying that their stuff is the true path and everyone else's is useless (yes they do, just look at William Cheung, the Phillipp Bayer guys that were on this forum, and Hendrik with his snake engine/1850 palaver just for starters) you are headed for division, not cooperation.

    Bravo my friend!

  12. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by anerlich View Post
    At top levels MMA is well organised with plenty of money behind it, but at the lower levels where I live there is little cooperation amongst MMA coaches and promoters and some of them cannot stand to be in the same room as each other.

    BJJ is successful because there are well organised competitions for kids, women, older people, etc. This more than anything else leads to at least some level of interschool cooperation. This is a SPORT that parents and friends can get involved in.

    TCMA lacks the same sort of wide "scene". I've done Wing Chun for 25 years and Some Xingyi/Bagua and other stuff before that.

    As a BJJ black belt, occasional competitor (I'm 60) and regular referee I literally know and have trained with scores of practitioners from dozens of academies. I train regularly at four different schools belonging to different umbrella organisations. BJJ is incredibly social. I can go to any city in the world, and find a good academy, probably through recommendations and referrals from my own circle of BJJ acquaintances, and make pretty much instant friends.

    Not from what I've seen with TCMA. My first instructor, David Crook, used to run annual camps and invited multiple martial arts stylists, and these were successful and a lot of fun, but that's as far as it went. This sort of thing is pretty rare, though.
    I gyess I can't argue with you there. But I do have some hope seeing how there are still a handful of organizations here and there (for example, there is the USKSF Lei Tai)

    I've probably met three Wing Chun people in the flesh outside of my own organisation/academy, and only done anything like serious training with one of them (duende from this forum).

    When you have most of the old guard saying that their stuff is the true path and everyone else's is useless (yes they do, just look at William Cheung, the Phillipp Bayer guys that were on this forum, and Hendrik with his snake engine/1850 palaver just for starters) you are headed for division, not cooperation.

    If I had a child, I would send him to BJJ. No contest.
    IMO this is a result of horrible marketing strategy and thr largest problem next to fraud. It made sense prior to the UFC era, I guess, but Wing Chun could certainly fare better now if students of this generation decide to consolidate rather than comtinue to divide among themselves. I will say that after doing a lot of web surfing that there seems to be less arguing in terms of frequency amongst each other. Though there are still several very visible, very vocal practitioners who sort of spoul the broth for everyone else.

    What I was getting at is students now vould very well go the opposite direction of their old guard sifus. If anything it would be more "traditional" of the students to do so ad opposed t parroting their leaders.



    Many people want this but they almost all expect someone else to do it. If you won't do it yourself, why should anyone else?

    If you don't have some knowledge of BJJ and wrestling, you will almost certainly fail IMO. So you need to cross train anyway. And train to counter MMA stylists, and the best place to find those is at an MMA gym.

    Oh, absolutely. There is no debate there. What I was saying is that in general if CMA does somehow make a splash in the MMA scene that would best resolve its current problems. Moving in the opposite direction has given it an audience not normally attracted to violence but it does won't satisfy say, my generation. (I will say that whenever a Kung Fu fighter does win their Kung Fu background usually gets dismissed, amost as if it was a tradition among MMA fans).

    I was lucky enough to find a Tai Chi group near me that did more than just forms and Qigong but none of them are Sanda fighters. (Older folk mostly). But Tai Chi Sanda fighters do exist, as do a handful of MMA fighters with Kung Fu backgrounds. I'll be rooting for those folks.

  13. #58
    Quote Originally Posted by anerlich View Post
    When you have most of the old guard saying that their stuff is the true path and everyone else's is useless (yes they do, just look at William Cheung, the Phillipp Bayer guys that were on this forum, and Hendrik with his snake engine/1850 palaver just for starters) you are headed for division, not cooperation.
    The main reason for this is that wing chun doesn't obviously work. There is no easy way to verify what youi are learning and so bull****ters can proliferate. I don't think it is a problem that can ever be solved. There is wing chun that works but sadly most of these groups also participate in the slurs and put downs; i guess they have to.

  14. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by duende View Post
    When you have most of the old guard saying that their stuff is the true path and everyone else's is useless (yes they do, just look at William Cheung, the Phillipp Bayer guys that were on this forum, and Hendrik with his snake engine/1850 palaver just for starters) you are headed for division, not cooperation.

    Bravo my friend!
    Alex! Hope all is good with you, bro.
    "Once you reject experience, and begin looking for the mysterious, then you are caught!" - Krishnamurti
    "We are all one" - Genki Sudo
    "We are eternal, all this pain is an illusion" - Tool, Parabol/Parabola
    "Bro, you f***ed up a long time ago" - Kurt Osiander

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  15. #60
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    TCMA WingChun became divided into different camps as soon as it left the Red Boat Opera venue. Before Master Ip Man's day, plenty of derision and disagreement, not necessarily a bad thing. Something for everybody.
    Last edited by PalmStriker; 07-30-2015 at 09:09 PM.

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