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Thread: The Stages of Kung fu Training?

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  1. #1

    The Stages of Kung fu Training?

    Tai chi teacher Chen Zhonghua just posted this excellent video talking about the stages of tai chi training.



    Jiben gong (aka chan si gong)
    Panjiazi (choreographed structures)
    Chai shou (breaking down choreographed structures into applications)
    Tui shou (simulated fighting)
    San shou (free sparring)

    I think you more generally apply this to all styles of kung fu:

    Gong (body conditioning)
    Tao lu (forms, choreographed sequences)
    Chai shou (breaking down the form into specific applications)
    Tui shou (limited, controlled fighting drills)
    San shou (free sparring with pads, etc.)

    Unfortunately, I think a lot of schools only focus on Gong and Tao Lu and never sufficiently break down the forms, drill, or free spar. That's how you end up with total disconnection between forms and fighting and why everything "looks like kickboxing" under pressure.

    Thoughts?
    Last edited by Fu-Pow; 08-03-2020 at 07:44 AM.

  2. #2
    I actually think everything looks like kickboxing because everything really starts there. Kickboxing is just Kung Fu without the throws and takedowns.

    In my experience, I have found that training the art in phases like this is very inefficient. It requires the student to learn a lot of material, then move to another phase, learn a lot more material, move to another phase, learn even more material, and then somewhere down the road try to put it all together. Its too over whelming. That's why it takes years for Kung Fu players to master the fighting ability that a Muay Thai fighter can do in months.

    I would suggest that a better mind set would be to replace the word "Phases", with the word "Elements". And instead of teaching in a linear fashion, to teach in a circular fashion.

    What I mean by this would be to teach ALL aspects of the art at once. Just break each down into its separate elements, and teach a little of all of them at each level

    Jiben gong - Everyone already does this

    Panjiazi (choreographed structures) - I would refer to this as drills. Dont over load the student. Only a few at a time.

    Chai shou (breaking down choreographed structures into applications) - Again, less is more. Dont make it a separate phase. Include it as an element in the first level. ONLY focus on the handfull you just taught. Keep it amount of material small.

    Tui shou (simulated fighting) - Add this element in as early in the training as possible. Quite literally a week one activity.

    San shou (free sparring) - same as the simulated fighting. A week one activity. Create simplified sparing though. Maybe only use a punch to the stomach, and the defender has to close the door to stop it.

    Then for level 2, you circle back to all the same elements, and teach the next thing in the progression for each of the elements. Maybe now the sparring arsenal includes a kick and and several more punches, and also combinations.

    level 3, add a little more, like some kick punch sweep combos, more defensive techniques, and more footwork.

    Next thing you know, you have a student with basic fighting skills, in like 3 weeks, while the traditional student is still stuck trying to absorb all his phase 1 material.



    Quote Originally Posted by Fu-Pow View Post
    Tai chi teacher Chen Zhonghua just posted this excellent video talking about the stages of tai chi training.



    Jiben gong (aka chan si gong)
    Panjiazi (choreographed structures)
    Chai shou (breaking down choreographed structures into applications)
    Tui shou (simulated fighting)
    San shou (free sparring)

    I think you more generally apply this to all styles of kung fu:

    Gong (body conditioning)
    Tao lu (forms, choreographed sequences)
    Chai shou (breaking down the form into specific applications)
    Tui shou (limited, controlled fighting drills)
    San shou (free sparring with pads, etc.)

    Unfortunately, I think a lot of schools only focus on Gong and Tao Lu and never sufficiently break down the forms, drill, or free spar. That's how you end up with total disconnection between forms and fighting and why everything "looks like kickboxing" under pressure.

    Thoughts?
    Last edited by Royal Dragon Pi; 09-30-2020 at 12:38 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    This topic is on training methodology. Now I am taking the forms that I have learnt apart, and apply these techniques in sparring. Like Jeet Kuen Do, the instructor does not teach form. But he teaches fight techniques to his students and help them practice.




    Regards,

    KC
    Hong Kong

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Royal Dragon Pi View Post
    Unfortunately, I think a lot of schools only focus on Gong and Tao Lu and never sufficiently break down the forms, drill, or free spar. That's how you end up with total disconnection between forms and fighting and why everything "looks like kickboxing" under pressure.

    Thoughts?.
    People learn Kung Fu for different reasons. Here in the USA just about any idiot can have a gun, so, many people learn Kung Fu only for health reasons and the ART of the martial art. That may be why you see more emphasis in forms...
    Last edited by YinOrYan; 10-18-2020 at 09:07 AM. Reason: TYPO

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by YinOrYan View Post
    People learn Kung Fu for different reasons. Here in the USA just about any idiot can have a gun, so, many people learn Kung Fu only for health reasons and the ART of the martial art. That may be why you see more emphasis in forms...
    ...and that's why I never do sword forms in public. I hear the exact same phrase from both gang-banger's and mountain-men alike: "Indiania Jones, bang! huh huh"

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