Kung fu

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Kung fu

Post  John Skillen on Sun Jun 03, 2007 2:35 am

Kung fu is one of the oldest fighting arts i don't which style is the oldest maybe you can enlighten me! but within its sets/katas are a multitude of punches kicks strikes throws who on the board has studied kung fu and what were its benefits.?
I studied lau gar kung fu to black sash and found that within its sets were powerful heavy hand slaps, pushes, short punches like close in hooks and uppercuts. very street effective. I'm still amazed that kung fu was very popular in the late seventies early eighties but seems to have gone underground am i right or am i missing something.? i know wing chun is out there but what of the other styles how they doing.?
take care
John

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Re: Kung fu

Post  melvinfferd on Sun Jun 03, 2007 4:32 am

i guess this counts as kung fu ...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oS0WLXFfbWw&mode=related&search=

not sure how popular it is.

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Re: Kung fu

Post  John Skillen on Sun Jun 03, 2007 2:05 pm

that is really like judo! wicked Cool i have'nt seen that style before nice one simon.
by the way i got your message will reply in the next couple of days after i see the landlord.
take care mate
John

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Re: Kung fu

Post  David Stanswood on Sun Jun 03, 2007 11:54 pm

Hi John i hope life is treating you well.
There are thousands of styles of kung fu as far as i can remember. Kung fu is a generic term and i think it means to have worked hard at something i.e. a baker could have good kung fu if he worked hard and was good at it. Tai chi chaun is a very old style not to be confused with the tai chi you see today. The one we see today is only for health benefits and serves no fighting purpose tai chi chaun was so ive read a very effective combat system.
If you look at the history of china it was hardly ever ruled by the chinese and from what i understand most arts had to be practiced in secret as the government at the time would put to death anyone found training as they feared a revolt would follow. Thats why secret societys popped up like the triads etc these were underground fractions of people keeping the flame of china alive in secrecy.
Depending on which part of china you were in would depend on the style you trained. Logically thinking the styles changed due to the enviroment of the land southern china was quite hilly so high kicks etc were out. Styles like tai chi, wing chun, bag gua, hising iee etc came from southern china and these incorporated low kicks etc.
i believe the impulse to train in any style comes from the west now so most of the training is done by westerners. China is interested in the future and technology its us that is fascinated by its past.

Just my two pennies worth.
Cheers
Dave

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Re: Kung fu

Post  Sea Bass on Mon Jun 04, 2007 12:00 am

I practice Kung Fu San Soo. There is lot's of good stuff in it like eye gouging, strikes to the throat, open hand strikes like palm heel hooks and power slap strikes and so on. The major thing it is missing is the tactical aspect such as the line ups and artifice. I have to train that separate and when I bring it up with any of my fellow San Soo students it goes right over there heads. They have a tendency to have a match fight mentality Sad They would say differently. If you know what to look for San Soo has some gold in it.
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Re: Kung fu

Post  John Skillen on Mon Jun 04, 2007 12:24 pm

It is facsinating to think that hundreds of years ago they must have taught the sychological aspects of fighting within what we term an art form. I suppose that is probally the lost art. The part most people don't like studying as it actually brings home the truth of the conflict. Thanks guys. keep the thread going its good to maintain the arts and look into them deeper.
John

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Re: Kung fu

Post  Portals on Mon Jun 04, 2007 4:57 pm

Kung fu is one of the oldest fighting arts i don't which style is the oldest maybe you can enlighten me!

Shaolin is probably around 600 years old,Xingyi in its modern form around 200 years,Bagua 100 years,Tai Chi at least 200 years,Yiquan (the newest style) 70 years old.

When looking at Chinese arts you have to realise a lot was lost during the Cultural Revolution when many masters were banished to the countryside to work in communes.My Tai Chi teachers former teacher,the late Grand master Sun Jianyun, was beaten up and imprisoned for three years for the crime of working in a Taiwanese bank.Since the eighties things have slowly started to improve but you have to have the right contacts to get access to the top masters.My teacher also studied Yiquan with Cui Rubin,a man most regard as the most powerful martial artist in China.Cui beat numerous martial artists from other styles including professional Thai boxers.So it goes to show that these arts,taught properly,can be highly effective in combat.

The main problem with Chinese arts in the west is that they have failed to evolve.You will often find students telling you they don't need ground work as their style is so effective a fight never goes to ground.Well this used to be true in China but the reason the fight didn't go to ground was due to the unwritten rules that stated a downed opponent was allowed to get to his feet and have another go.He could even be revieved and still allowed another go after being kO'd.To work in a modern western environment the arts have to be modified and adapted to the changing combat conditions and almost all of them fail to do this.When arts such as BJJJ,Muay Thai etc became more popular in the early nineties it was obvious that kung fu would have to change or it would become merely a classical art practiced by enthusiasts.Some styles,namely Wing Chun,did make an attempt to evolve, but others buried their heads in the sand and refused to accept change,hence the reason they have gone into decline.Tai Chi is very popular as a health exercise but very few know how to apply it as a fighting art.

The Chinese arts,especially the ones known as internal,have huge potenial for the RBSD practioner provided he can understand the complex theory. They are highly complex and involve a complete integration of body and mind.Ultimately all power orginates in the CNS. The Chinese knew this 200 years ago but didn't have a science to explain it with so they used their own culture and explained things in the context of chi.This has been one of the main problems when trying to understand these arts as this mind/body integration has nothing whatsoever to do with mysterious energies and students start searching for something that isn't there.Sure there will be subjective feelings of chi that are useful as landmarks but chi can never be objectively tested and shouldn't from part of the students education.


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Re: Kung fu

Post  David Stanswood on Tue Jun 05, 2007 1:54 am

I have often wondered did they intergrate the spiritual side to the arts (all arts) as a way of cleansing the mind after killing people on the battlefield. It must have effected them psyhcologicaly.
Is this why now the arts have adopted the spiritual side more in our modern age as we do not fight like that anymore. I believe that most arts must have been useful at one stage or surely they would not survive.

PTD i know that it is well documented about the lineage of the soft styles but is it not written that the origins for these arts go back as far as the 12th century. Wing Chun is a relatively new art and that is only 300 odd years old. Some excellent info by the way kkep it coming mate.

Dave

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Re: Kung fu

Post  Socrates on Tue Jun 05, 2007 2:00 am

I do wing chun myself. My feeling is that reputations go in cycle. In the 70s, everyone thought kung fu was the bollocks and a lot of waiters from Chinese restaurants got rich by pretending to be masters.

Nowadays, kung fu's reputation is so bad that someone once asked on this site if anyone had EVER won a fight using Chinese Martial Arts (CMA). Im sure a lot of genuinely good kung fu teachers are going hungry.

In the longer term, Im sure it will come back into fashion in about 20 years time...
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Re: Kung fu

Post  Guest on Tue Jun 05, 2007 3:36 am

Fashion?

That's why standards dropped so much. It got to be fashionable, so every man and his dog became an instructor, and standards dropped in good clubs to cash in on the influx of students.

The same happened to Krav Maga, and is happening to BJJ. It happened to Karate to.

An art needs to be kept small to keep the quality.

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Re: Kung fu

Post  Portals on Tue Jun 05, 2007 3:53 am

David Stanswood wrote:I have often wondered did they intergrate the spiritual side to the arts (all arts) as a way of cleansing the mind after killing people on the battlefield. It must have effected them psyhcologicaly.
Is this why now the arts have adopted the spiritual side more in our modern age as we do not fight like that anymore. I believe that most arts must have been useful at one stage or surely they would not survive.

PTD i know that it is well documented about the lineage of the soft styles but is it not written that the origins for these arts go back as far as the 12th century. Wing Chun is a relatively new art and that is only 300 odd years old. Some excellent info by the way kkep it coming mate.

Dave

Perhaps the reason they made use of spiritual disciplines like Chan/Zen was to make them better fighters rather than clearing their conscience.The Zen concept of "no-mind" was abused in WW2 when Japanese soldiers were told it was perfectly okay to kill as long as it was done in a state of no-mind.This twisting of religion led to the genocide at Nanking in 1937.If you want to read more on this try Zen at War by Brian Victoria,it is truely shocking.I should imagine life was very cheap in China,it still is,and what would seem shocking to us was/and still is,routine to them.They do have a "disposable people" culture,at least on the Mainland.

Xingyi is supposed to be 800 years old but there is no firm evidence to back this up.Also there is no evidence to back up the fact that Chang Sanfeng learned Tai Chi in a dream in the 13 th century.One of the problems when translating classical Chinese texts is the problem of exaggeration. In Chinese literaure,especially classical literature, its good form to exaggerate and a lot of translators fail to take this into account.We have stories of Sun Lutang being able to run across the ceiling but his daughter confirmed this wasn't so.He could run up a 10ft wall like modern Parkour practioners but not across the ceiling.So we had a highly skilled athlete rather than a superman.I should imagine the other top masters were of a similar standard to Sun Lutang.


In the 70s, everyone thought kung fu was the bollocks and a lot of waiters from Chinese restaurants got rich by pretending to be masters

Not only Chinese,but also Westerners.I was a teenager in the seventies and started martial arts in 1974.I looked at one or two kung fu schools and smelt a rat despite having little knowledge of martial arts.It wasn't so much that the stuff being taught was ineffective but rather the instructors seemed to have bad character.I choose the Shotokan dojo instead and it was the right decision.I was right about the kung fu instructors as one of them turned out to be a bent copper who had been kicked out of the force and the other,Pete "Mr Big" Bradshaw,who John probalby remembers,went completely off the rails and ended up doing 14 years for armed robbery and kidnap. :shock:From what I can remember they kidnapped a Swedish businessman and cut his ears off when the ransome wasn't paid. I spent some time training with Pete and he was a real bad un.Just glad that I saw through him as several of his students,who had been members of the kidnap gang,went down with him.Its only after meeting real Chinese masters that I realised that Pete had only been given the outer form when he trained in Hong Kong.He didn't understand the internal principles,but despite this,he could certainly fight and was a master of the art of intimidation.

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Re: Kung fu

Post  REG999 on Tue Jun 05, 2007 4:33 am

Chinese martial arts are very misunderstood. I am a chinese myself (Hong Kong) and ranging from seeing different people in the styles you can certainly see the ones that are successful are the ones that applied the principle, the guy who ones showed me his wing chun is totally different (He has loads of real expereience) , I dont know how are techniques named in english, for example, his "Qiao Sao" ("Bridge hand") is basically like the john styers wheeling move! An aggressive long "hook" that loops both of the attackers hand, hangs on it then whack him with a big one with the other, while in the conventional wing chun that is usally a soft knife hand going over the attacker's arm then go for a straight punch while this the one i was taught is a aggressive loop foloow up with a big right. That's why when other people show me their Qiao Sao i have no idea what they are doing, cause i am lucky to learn form the practical instroctors! He also does not use the backfist but a inner hammer fist, he parrys really quickly in then hits with a hard hammer fist to the side of neck. People kept saying what he does is not wing chun but thuggery but he just replied "Who cares? As long as it works"

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Re: Kung fu

Post  John Skillen on Tue Jun 05, 2007 6:18 am

I do remember pete bradshaw he's still around doing business in france last I heard. There are a lot o men around that like to use intimidation as a factor in thier lives. Getting
back to the kung fu thread the internal energy aspect is one which needs clarifying any takers?
John

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Re: Kung fu

Post  Steve Rowe on Tue Jun 05, 2007 12:42 pm

Hi John

There is still quite a bit of Kung Fu around in the UK, I think like Karate, many practitioners are now MMA, but the traditionalists can still be found. I study Tai Chi and have found it very practical for self defence, in fact I teach it to the Czech police, presidential bodyguards, many doormen and special services personnel.

When in Hong Kong we would always meet up with other UK expats, Europeans and others over there studying for shorter periods from the UK and USA. There is a kind of 'fraternity' that isn't underground, but groups of people that have been knocking around for a few years.

There was another thread on here about 'internal energy' but I think it's probably more appropriate to talk about 'no excessive tension' and internal connection to power movement and technique. These are the skills that make tai chi very effective for security personnel.

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Re: Kung fu

Post  Socrates on Tue Jun 05, 2007 1:41 pm

Brian S wrote:An art needs to be kept small to keep the quality.

True. In reality its very difficult to do. With wing chun, you really only had three people setting up massive worldwide organizations and none of them was considered a "senior" in Hong Kong...
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Re: Kung fu

Post  Ste on Fri May 30, 2008 7:04 am

Just found this, interesting reading.

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Re: Kung fu

Post  John Skillen on Sat May 31, 2008 3:43 pm

Hi Ste I love Kung fu philosophy and I know its a big shout but hey I think it really has everything you need, again the breakdown comes within the application- the kebab shop mentality- I think we have to look within all of the arts for the real purpose of them which is to defend ourselfs and our loved ones. for me the various forms of karate and kung fu have it all. Add reality training and realistic methods to the country your in and you have the power in your open palms. bounce Cool Very Happy
Take care
John

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