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Thread: A manifesto for modern kung fu

  1. #1

    A manifesto for modern kung fu

    http://nysanda.wordpress.com/2014/05...odern-kung-fu/

    latest blog post.... let's see what reaction I get on this
    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....

  2. #2
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    100% agreement.
    YET, I know in my heart that you are simply preaching to the converted.
    It truly saddens me.
    Psalms 144:1
    Praise be my Lord my Rock,
    He trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle !

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by sanjuro_ronin View Post
    100% agreement.
    YET, I know in my heart that you are simply preaching to the converted.
    It truly saddens me.
    I have expectations, based upon previous experience
    let's see if they play out
    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....

  4. #4
    This is the problem with summing up those who fight as "just kickboxing". It creates a mindset where kicking and punching are low level stuff that skilled people won't do, and yet the forms are full of common kicks, punches, and throws. One does not grow above the basics, the basics are the foundational skills that can make opportunity for the more specialized stuff.

  5. #5

    to play Devil's Advocate

    I understand what you're saying, but I find that the older I get, the less I'm willing to take an absolute stance. For example you wrote
    "However, for far too long “health” has been used as an excuse to avoid the issue of “fighting.” Chinese martial arts are not gymnastics, they are not yoga, they are not even Qi-Gong, they are “Wu Gong,” i.e. FIGHTING ARTS. To either ignore or obscure this is folly."
    but one could argue that that's what they are because that's what they (CMA) are in the present context.

    Plus it's impossible to make sweeping accusations about the state of TCMA and about the state of practice. For instance, you are/were TCMA. To think that you're somehow different than others who have the same interests in combat efficacy as you is folly because you are/were TCMA. I'd assume there are many people who've come from TCMA that have pursued a similar path as yours as far as cross training, fitness, etc. and some of those people eventually go full circle back to TCMA bringing with them their new found experiences. Yet, to hear them talk - they only claim they're TCMA practitioners.

    What I think is a good theme to expand on that you write about is the need to hard spar within CMA and the value of using the best safety equipment and how that helps develop the overall combat effectiveness of the practitioner.

  6. #6
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    To me, TCMA is to be able to master the following tools:

    - jab, cross, hook, uppercut, ...
    - front kick, side kick, roundhouse kick, hook kick, ...
    - finger lock, wrist lock, elbow lock, shoulder lock, ...
    - single leg, double legs, hip throw, firemen's carry, ...
    - full mount, side mount, arm bar, choke, ...

    We just can't define TCMA simpler than this.
    http://johnswang.com

    More opinion -> more argument
    Less opinion -> less argument
    No opinion -> no argument

  7. #7
    I've been thinking about how we define things...

    Maybe there should be a distinction. Forget everything we talk about and look at it in a new way. For instance, we have TCMA and CMA.

    TCMA pays homage to the tradition of Chinese Martial Arts. It's the history, the traditions, the lion dances, the etiquette, the old gungs and practice methods etc. But it is what it is for better or worse and we should be content to leave it at that.

    CMA is really 3 distinct areas. There's Wushu for performance, Shuai Jiao and Sanda for combat, and Tai Chi / Qigong for fitness.

    There can be overlap but it's not necessary. If you are good at any one of those you call yourself a Chinese Martial Artist IMO.
    Last edited by MightyB; 05-30-2014 at 01:37 PM. Reason: clarification in the final sentence

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by YouKnowWho View Post
    To me, TCMA is to be able to master the following tools:

    - jab, cross, hook, uppercut, ...
    - front kick, side kick, roundhouse kick, hook kick, ...
    - finger lock, wrist lock, elbow lock, shoulder lock, ...
    - single leg, double legs, hip throw, firemen's carry, ...
    - full mount, side mount, arm bar, choke, ...

    We just can't define TCMA simpler than this.
    Yes, couldn't agree more.

    Great article Dave, will share.
    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!

  9. #9
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    Nice article

    Great article. IMO it is articles like this that articulate what CMA is all about. If I told someone I train in CMA, and they didn't know anything about it, I might refer them to an article like the one Sifu Ross just wrote.
    Great points Sifu Wang... so simple, really- practice more, practice more, practice more...
    Thnx!

  10. #10
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    MightyB has gotten so mature since I joined this sight. (I think we're about the same age. )

    Lots of people study martial arts for lots of reasons. It's great that there are people out there working pure combat, but it would be a terrible shame if that's all there was.

    Do we say everyone who's not doing yoga to become an enlightened guru is wasting their time? If they're enjoying it, then it's just fine.

    Kung fu's original purpose was killing people, but millions of people have been enjoying it for centuries without necessarily killing anyone. I don't see anything wrong with that.

    While the real fighters help keep TCMA combat techniques alive and vital, other people are preserving aspects of TCMA that fighters don't have time/concern for.

    It's a vast tradition that takes many types of practitioners to sustain. And for those who train it, it's up to them to pick and choose what parts of the tradition to incorporate in their practice. And there's so much to choose from!
    This is why I love TCMA.

    I think what you're doing at your school is great David. But I'm glad it's not what everyone's doing.
    I'd rather live in a world full of kung fu students who can't fight, then one in which kung fu was taught only for combat and all the rest was forgotten.

  11. #11
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    Or...

    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.

  12. #12
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    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.
    People are free to do whatever that they want to do. There is no argument on that. The only concern is this:

    When TCMA is for "health", "self-cultivation", "inner peace", "performance", the word "opponent" will no longer has any meaning. Also

    - timing,
    - opportunity,
    - angle,

    will have nothing to reference to. The TCMA will easily to be changed into something that doesn't make any sense.

    For example.

    - If you drop your knee and use Taiji "twin peaks to the ear", it will have "health" value but won't have "combat" value unless your opponent is only 4 feet high.
    - If you use Taiji "double pulling" and both of your palms are facing downward, it will have "health" value but won't have "combat" value because with both downward facing palms, you can't control your opponent's arm.
    - If you punch when you "inhale" and pull your punch back when you "exhale", you will have "health" benefit but you have just violate the most basic "combat" rule and that is "exhale when you punch out".
    - ...

    The "combat" is the guideline for TCMA. Without it, the TCMA can be modified into un-recognizable. The more TCMA for health teachers that we have, the more danger that TCMA will be evolved into the wrong direction.

    I have taught Taiji to an old age group of people. When I taught application, an old guy asked me, "Do you expect me to use Taiji to fight at my age?" I told him that I expected him to use the "application" as the guideline to check his posture, hand and feet coordination, ... Without the "combat" as the guideline, just for "health', you can punch out your fist anyway that you may prefer.

    One day I saw a guy did his long fist form by punching his right arm forward and kick his right leg back at the same time. I asked him what he was doing. He said, "Punch the guy in front of me, and kick the guy's leg behind me." I then asked him, "without looking behind, how do you know where your opponent's leg is?" He could not answer my question. Can you image that one day when he becomes a TCMA teacher and teach his students, none of his students will know the purpose of "kick backward".

    As a TCMA lover, I don't like to see that happen to TCMA.
    Last edited by YouKnowWho; 05-31-2014 at 12:28 PM.
    http://johnswang.com

    More opinion -> more argument
    Less opinion -> less argument
    No opinion -> no argument

  13. #13
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    functional form.

    Been working on mine.

    Thank you for all the encouragement.

    Great post, Wang Shifu as always.
    Mouth Boxers have not the testicular nor the spinal fortitude to be known.
    Hence they hide rather than be known as adults.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by YouKnowWho View Post
    People are free to do whatever that they want to do. There is no argument on that. The only concern is this:

    When TCMA is for "health", "self-cultivation", "inner peace", "performance", the word "opponent" will no longer has any meaning. Also

    - timing,
    - opportunity,
    - angle,

    will have nothing to reference to. The TCMA will easily to be changed into something that doesn't make any sense.

    For example.

    - If you drop your knee and use Taiji "twin peaks to the ear", it will have "health" value but won't have "combat" value unless your opponent is only 4 feet high.
    - If you use Taiji "double pulling" and both of your palms are facing downward, it will have "health" value but won't have "combat" value because with both downward facing palms, you can't control your opponent's arm.
    - If you punch when you "inhale" and pull your punch back when you "exhale", you will have "health" benefit but you have just violate the most basic "combat" rule and that is "exhale when you punch out".
    - ...

    The "combat" is the guideline for TCMA. Without it, the TCMA can be modified into un-recognizable. The more TCMA for health teachers that we have, the more danger that TCMA will be evolved into the wrong direction.

    I have taught Taiji to an old age group of people. When I taught application, an old guy asked me, "Do you expect me to use Taiji to fight at my age?" I told him that I expected him to use the "application" as the guideline to check his posture, hand and feet coordination, ... Without the "combat" as the guideline, just for "health', you can punch out your fist anyway that you may prefer.

    One day I saw a guy did his long fist form by punching his right arm forward and kick his right leg back at the same time. I asked him what he was doing. He said, "Punch the guy in front of me, and kick the guy's leg behind me." I then asked him, "without looking behind, how do you know where your opponent's leg is?" He could not answer my question. Can you image that one day when he becomes a TCMA teacher and teach his students, none of his students will know the purpose of "kick backward".

    As a TCMA lover, I don't like to see that happen to TCMA.
    In total agreement here, however:
    a) practicing functional form is not prerequisite for fighting
    b) fighting is not prerequisite for practicing functional form
    c) practicing for health, performance, etc. does not have to negate practicing for combat
    d) in the end the only way to "help" kung fu is to teach what you feel should be taught

    The best thing any of us can do is put good material out there (whatever we think that means). It's a waste of time to criticize what other people enjoy practicing, and alienates the very demographic one presumably wishes to reach out to.

  15. #15
    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
    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....

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