Sunday, July 19, 2009

why i don't really believe in chinese kung fu

i have been fortunate to have met some really amazing people in my life. and i've tried to learn all i could from them. martial arts has always been a part of my life, though i lack talent and skill in that area. i try to make up for that by being a hard working student.

but enough is enough. what my eyes (and bones) tell me is dishearting, but here it goes:

explain to me why, if kung fu is so good, NO ONE, NOT ONE competitor in the MMA uses it or has been able to use it successfully? yes, many have tried and many have died (figuratively of course). why is it that no one, no matter what system/systems they have studied fair any better in these matches than someone who has not studied them?

why is it that even arts like wing chun, though they look cool when two exponents doing the same thing are practicing together,are UNABLE to be used as they are practiced? these people too end up relying on some form of boxing and/or grappling.

i know very a good kung fu teacher who has answered this question well:
".....because when you practice, you practice in form, but when you fight, you must have no form"

excellent analysis. as a jazz musician i know this well. we practice etudes to learn how to swing, but when you're up on the bandstand you have to forget those etudes and just play.

but then, if the form is going to be forgotten anyway..... hope you see what i'm getting at.

also the concept of chi kung is very vague. i believe it has more to do with moving your body in a coordinated manner which includes the breath. but even weight lifters know this, so why go all mystical?

many would say that the reason these arts can't be used effectively is because the secrets of the arts have been lost to all but a few, and those few never choose to compete, so we never see the arts in their true glory.
again, those guys are like a UFO- heard of them, but not sure i've seen one.

also in taiwan, a lot of kung fu is connected to the temples, which are connected to the mafia or quasi-mafia type organizations. this i want no part of , not only because of the criminal element, but because this kind of stuff is retro-taiwan. modern, educated people don't run with gangs or go around establishing "turf". we spend our time at Starbucks reading and call the cops when shit goes down. or use pepper spray.

then again, a lot of teachers don't really want you to know anything, especially if you're a foriegner, no matter what they say to you. they will lead you on, teaching you just enough to keep you on the hook but never enough to really understand ,and they feel they haven't wasted your time because at least they taught you something.
and the foriegner gets dissed for learning it anyway, being called a kung fu freak. but when taiwanese learn it, it's ok.

also, i think a LOT of the forms in CKF are really anti-grappling moves or weapons related, and herein lies their real value, but there are tons of teachers still trying to get you to beleive that these moves can block a punch against a moving opponent. put a weapon in the hands of a person practicing these forms and they start to make sense. apply them to grab defenses and they make sense. but try to use the moves to block and you'll be blocking his punch with your FACE!!

personally speaking, i think most people would do better to learn how to box. or learning something modern like gracie jujitsu, or reality based things.

i am presently learning wing chun with a great teacher, but i have no desire to learn it all the way thru. i like the sticky hands and trapping and the concepts in it, but in the end, i will try to take from it what I, at my low talent end of it, can use.

that's my take on chinese martial arts.


  1. The people who say things like

    >and those few never choose to compete, so we never see the arts in their true glory.

    are somewhat correct I think. But for different reasons.
    See . The problem is that kung-fu just isn't that hardcore anymore. You're not exactly allowed to fight to the death in the streets now.

    1. That is not the only problem. The other problem is that kung fu is mainly an art form and not meant for fighting, i.e. MMA.

      Styles like snake, tiger, crane etc. look good, especially on movies, but are often useless in self defence.

      However, traditional and basic kung fu is indeed capable for self defense, however it doesnt "look so flashy" like tiger or crane, it looks quite plain and boring like your typical wing chun or tae kwon do fighter.

      It may not look so flashy but its therefore far more effective. The same applies to the different kung fu styles.

      So my advice if you want to learn kung fu for self defense: Stick to the basic traditional shaolin kung fu. It may not look like much, but its highly effective.

      And another problem is the mindset of typical kung fu practitioners including me. We simply refuse to use our abilities for show or violance. It is solely for self defense in critical situation, which is why you would never find me entering MMA even if I had the abilities to be an MMA fighter.

      And this rule applies to many many other practitioners of kung fu out there as well.

    2. I agree, I train in Cheng Chi style Taiwanese kung fu and we don't train to fight 5 minute rounds we learn all and practice (carefully) all the moves that aren't used in MMA, unless your a highly trained MMA fighter who trains 6-8 hrs a day I'm not to impressed with people trying take downs when an iron palm strike or eye gouge or in one case I had a brown belt judo guy in top of me trying to squash the sh!t out me and I reached down and grabbed/squeezed his balls and he was off me in 1/2 a second, lol, so real kung fu is about destroying your opponent with relaxed whole body power and not wear gloves and plan on 5 minute rounds because in the streets or bars or wherever it's usually more than 1 asshole trying to kick your ass so I do not, I refuse to go down and if I do you balls, eyes, dick, hair, throat or whatever are coming down as well. I sparred with an ex prison who was in prison for putting 3 people in the hospital and he managed to take me down and as we were going to the ground I gently touched his eyes to remind him that my thumb would have gone into his eye. He's a good friend now and he keeps me on my toes and alert, lol. Keep training and enjoy the process, mist of the fight is in your own mind! Lol. - Peter

  2. thanks for coming by.
    i agree that kung fu isn't hardcore, like it used to be. but i also beleive TONS of knowledge have been lost forever. a lot of thi knowledge going down the drain has to do with the way kung fu is taught in the first place.
    if they'd lose the mystical nonsense, the "bai shr" and all that, and actually make a curriculum, i think we'd see some kung fu in the MMA.

  3. Sorry but thats bullshit. As said above there are a few reasons why you will find so less kung fu fighters, and even less to actually none in MMA.

    As already said kung fu is about peace and not fighting or war. Therefore any true kung fu master would refuse to enter things like MMA matches.

    And secondly most people go for the animal styles in kung fu, which look good but are useless often in a fight. Instead of learning basic kung fu which is effective, they learn stuff like snake or crane which are ineffective in a fight.

    And that you cant block brawls in kung fu is utterly stupid and wrong. That kung fu is good for blocking grips is wrong to, tae kwon do is better for this.

    I know 2 different ways of getting free from a grabble around my arm wrist, 1 of them is from tae kwon do, the other from judo, both were taught to me by friends.

    So in fact its the OTHER WAY ROUND: Kung fu does not contain many moves to block graples, but many many moves to block or evade punches and kicks.

    I have done a sparing with a friend of mine who practictioned wing chung once, and guess what? I blocked all his punches, he was not able to land even one hit on me! Whilst I would have been able to hit im in the face at least 4 times if it would have been a real fight. In fact I even accidentally hit im in the face once, luckily it wasnt fatal since I aimed for his check and actually was not planing to hit him but stop a few centimetres before his face. This was also when we stopped sparing.

    So much for not beeing able to block in kung fu. Sorry but utter bullshit.

  4. Hi.
    I am a practitioner of Chang Hong Wushu in South Africa. We teach Northern Long Fist and a Taiwanese flavour of Hong Gar.
    To say the Animal styles are ineffectual is a little narrow minded. although I will agree that the basics are very effective.

    The the more exotic styles are harder to use in combat I'll agree but for someone who has had the proper training in their use they can be devastating.

    I also agree that the Kung Fu mindset is so far removed from the MMA mindset. We are not ego driven as most if not all the MMA guys seem to be ( Not a negative comment - Ego is important when engaging in combat sports) and there is the difference. Kung Fu is not a sport. It is a collection of methods for self defence tried and proven over centuries. To say that Kung fu is ineffectual in a fight because no MMA guys use it is like saying Krav maga is ineffectual because no MMA guys use it.

  5. I live to get guidance from consultant,I think this scarcely works for anything! So they get a low score and a superior evaluation, okay.Thanks for sharing this basic data about investigation. I had found out about eatery reviews. But,I don't have more thoughts regarding the score board created after investigation.
    Check military ranking

  6. On the off chance that any one needs to be an effective blogger, after that he/she should read this passage, for the reason that it incorporates al} techniques identified with that. Hello, it's reasonable bit of composing alongside this YouTube video; I can't envision that one can not comprehend this direct bit of composing having with video demo.

  7. I am truly eager of watching comic videos at youtube, and this videos is truly so comic, hehehhe.

    Kung fu school in china

  8. Okay i know this post may be tired at this point but no one has got to the bottom of the issue. The first person to realize this defficiency in the chinese martial arts was actually bruce lee. Im not talking about his fancy movies or related combat moves. Bruce did that because he needed to make money and martial arts was his skill so he did it. Before that though bruce observed that a regular street fighter could kick a blackbelts ass in combat. he observed this several times before resolving to figure out why. he realized after some time that it was related to ranges of combat. kicking punching, trapping and grappling. the street fighter would often enter grappling range and the karate guy would get his ass kicked because he didnt know that range well. conversely the boxer would meet the same fate if the street fighter could get by his fists, which was difficult but it could be done. also he observed that master shoot fighters (gracie wasnt widely known then ) but shoot fighting also was another range on the ground where if known and you could wnter that range , black belts of standup arts would get their ass kicked. bruce then took it upon himself to begin mixing all the ranges and mastering nearly 32 or more (some say 36) martial arts. finally he set a challangr for anyone who could defeat him. time and time again bruce beat master after master. and almost evertime it was in very little time. he simply entered a range of combat unknown to the master. then JKD was born. but soon after bruce died. those that knew him continued on and eventually traveled down to brazil when gracie jujitsu became popular to include gracie as part of their art. brazilian jujitsu became well known because the gracie brothers became well known for being undefeated for so long. this was because they faught in the less commom range of ground fighting and knew it well. but keep mind this was an evolution of martial arts from asia not born in brazil just perfected there like italian pasta in italy. MMA came about because the world then realized at once what bruce had discovered that whomever knew all the ranges of combat or could hold the person in that range that they were best in would win. this was a huge eye opener for the world at that time and MMA continues to be the best type of fighting system simply because of that. now does that mean chinese martial arts are useless. no, the answer is many of them have very useful tools to add to your repetoir of ranges. is any one of them the panacea? no but i personally found it very difficult to mix the ranges ecen after training JKD for five years. i felt some kind of deep foundation was required. i also saw JKD teachers seemed to lack that foundation that made bruce great as well. eventually i happene opem wu style taichi quan (the martial version) i think i found where bruce found the ability to mix so well and i feel like im getting my foundation. i have no beleif that its the panacea or wvwm the base of an iceburg, but i know that i will stick with it until i gained what i need. maybe then ill go back to JKD and show my old buddies what i think i found. or maybe ill just find another art to progress. i think wing chun is a another form to learn skills so keep it up and enjoy.