Those last two sentences are awesome. I had a flashback to a nursery rhyme:
YouTube- Make New Friends (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w3EPSGzJhcs)
Study jujutsu / but also chin na / one is silver / the other is gold
The Journal of Chinese Martial Studies (http://www.martialstudies.com.hk/) is a new magazine published in China for an international audience. The first issue is available for free download (http://www.martialstudies.com.hk/images/Journal_of_Chinese_Martial_Studies.pdf) as a beautifully designed PDF. I recommend it as an absolute treasure trove for CMA history dorks, including discussion of -- and photos from -- the 20s and 30s guoshu events in China (which included, as it turns out, wrestling, strike/throw fighting, and *weapon* matches).
Here's some representative text from Ma Mingda on bajiquan:
There is a further ‘Liu zhou tou’ (Six elbows) which is a basic training method used for enhancing hitting and resistance abilities. The ‘Six openings’ (Liukai) and ‘Eight techniques’ ( Bazhao) used in closed-door training are also simple, clean, and direct, without unnecessary flowery embellishments. Second, the force employed in Baji (jingdao) is likewise simple, clean, and direct, drawing a clear line between movements and still postures, empty feints and concrete strikes, and is devoid of complicated twists and turns and their accompanying exegesis: so long as a vigorous youth applies his efforts, he will grasp the principles of Baji and reap the benefits of training, and will not be befuddled by empty mysticism. Unfortunately, the development of Chinese martial arts has fallen under the shadow of superficiality in recent years. In this atmosphere, and pushed on by personal ambition and greed, certain individuals have taken the initiative to ‘transform’ the gems in classical Chinese martial arts (including Bajiquan) for their own gain, freely adding branches and leaves and foisting theories from other martial arts styles on to Baji, about which they have not a single sensible word to say, and merely adding froth and theatrics in order to enhance their weak techniques, even going as far as to invent ‘secret ancestral formulas’. It has eluded them that unembellished simplicity is the most sublime form of beauty between heaven and earth!
... in addition to bajiquan, there's coverage of the early development of Hung family fist (attn: Ming Loyalist), the history of physical culture in China, &c.
It is Fake
This is a good read, thanks for putting it up.
It is Fake
This link was originally posted by SBG-Ape
Does this mean you guys don’t teach Jun Fan JKD anymore, and if not, why not? Also, do you not teach the Kali drills of JKD Concepts anymore?
What we teach at the Straight Blast Gym is individuals. Not "Styles", Systems, or methods; be they called Jun Fan, or Classical Gung Fu.
What we teach those individuals to do is fight on their feet, in the clinch, and on the ground. How we do it is with ALIVENESS. Remember, all that matters is what YOU can do, and how well YOU can perform. The rest is just a semantic exercise in mental masturbation.
So are you saying that JKD is anybody that trains "alive" and in all ranges. And if so, what about interception. Isn't Jeet Kune Do the Art of interception?
What about Interception. Bruce Lee was fascinated by Muhammad Ali’s ability to intercept his opponent's strikes. Was Muhammad Ali JKD, and if not, why not? You see. . interception is a skill all great athletes acquire through ALIVE training. Its not a product owned by any "style" , "System", or man.
Are you saying JKD is the same as NHB sport then?
I am saying that if what you do works. . it will naturally resemble NHB sport. If what you are doing doesn’t resemble some aspect of NHB then it's without a doubt not athletic, and as a consequence, not functional.
I don’t see what the difference is between what you teach, and NHB training. What about Self Defense! Some of us just want to go home to our families and don’t care about brawling it out in a ring.
This is a question that is becoming so common I thought I would try and address it as simply as possible.
The idea that there is such a thing that is "self defense" training is in and of itself yet another in a long line of martial arts myths.
Let me explain. What works in "sport" is what works against resisting opponents. Much of what is passed of as to "deadly" for sport, is simply technique which will not work against resisting opponents. Obviously there are some foul tactics (such as biting and eye gouging) which could never be allowed in sport. But, would you really want to go tit for tat with a Rickson Gracie, or Tom Erickson by biting or eye gouging?
What is the difference between "self defense" Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and tournament Jiu-Jitsu. . . .not much. An armlock is an armlock, holding mount is holding mount, etc. There are some things you need to watch for, but I have always seen Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Instructors address these. For example, when Rickson teaches a seminar he will often teach the simple shoulder lock from mount position. He will say "for street turn away from his face while you pop this because he may try and claw your eyes", but the armlock is essentially the same!
My friend, and Machado black belt Chris Haueter recently completed a video series with us titled "Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Streetfighting" (featured in our new adverts in IKF and black belt) Do you think Chris taught a whole "different" version of Jiu-Jitsu? No, he simply demonstrated areas that need to be addressed for the street. . .the moves, the positions, the training, the conditioning, the timing. . .its all the same. He also made a good point, you could take a very good boxer, and in a manner of minutes teach him to open his hands, how to strike the eyes, etc, and he would be very effective. However, if you took someone who knows no boxing, and has never done any sparring, and teach him or her just "streetfighting eye boinks" they will still get their ass kicked. They won’t have the timing, footwork, movement, coordination, etc. The same could be said of wrestling, and Brazilian jiu-jitsu, and all the other combat "sports".
What about knives and multiple opponents . . . .what about them? RUN! I cannot fight two large males who are strong and know even some of what I know. Neither can Randy Couture, Chris Haueter, nor (I've asked him) Rickson Gracie. If someone pulls a knife on me I am doing my best Ben Johnson imitation.
So are you saying you don't teach streetfighting anymore?
I am saying that to train specifically for the intention of "streetfighting", is a philosophical dead end. Actually I don't believe there is a better way to prepare someone for a real life altercation then the way we train here. Thats still not the point. The point is that the pursuit of "streetfighting" is never an excuse for not training athletically.
What about all the people who aren't jocks. . .who were beat up and are just looking to learn to fight! Who need the spirituality and self defense skills that are offered by realistic "streetfighting" training, and traditional martial arts.
Yes, many people come to martial arts to learn to fight. Many were picked on, and or beat up as a kid. Many were not "jocks", and lack a certain level of self esteem.
The answer to that puzzle exists in athletic training and work against resistance. You can meditate under a waterfall, chant secret chants, etc. All day long. . .but the scared kid inside still exists. However, once that person begins training "alive", against resistance, a wonderful thing happens. .they learn what they can do, what they cant do, they learn what they are truly scared of, and what they are not. . .and low and behold, they begin liking themselves more. Action, is truly the high road to self esteem, as Bruce Lee so eloquently put it.
I do allot of work with kids that have emotional problems at the Gym. I have also seen kids that lack confidence and self esteem helped greatly by wrestling coaches and others who give of their time.
Contrast that with traditional self defense, and or streetfighting arts. Put these same scared kids in there. . .they begin wearing camouflage pants, carrying knives everywhere, thinking "tactically", etc. Becoming just bigger dorks and obvious targets for a bully jock. They grow up and turn into the geeks you see at gun and knife shows. The ones who played dungeons and dragons in high school, and were constantly picked on. Instead of confronting those issues through athletics. . .they resort to looking for the "mysterious", the secret Silat master who can teach them to beat up the football players. . .as they have always fantasized.
As Krishnamurti said, "Once you reject experience, and begin looking for the mysterious, then you are caught!"I find it interesting that on the forums that are mostly populated by people training athletically. .ie: Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, boxing, etc. when the question of streetfighting comes up, knives, multiple opponents, etc. . most say without hesitation they would run. I have posted the same scenario on "traditional" forums, populated by the kung fu, aikido, shaolin, silat, etc, folks. . .and you would think you had never run into a bigger bunch of bad asses, (at least over the internet). . . .of course reality is that they would be the first to pee their pants and haul ass. The only difference is that they would feel like cowards when they did it. Where as a real fighter, ala; a Rickson, or Royler, or Couture, or even a good wrestler like Stephan Neal, etc, has nothing really to prove. They know what they can do.
The answer to the abused child, and picked on dork is athletic training. That’s where you can learn about yourself, and they discover that they do not need to be ashamed or afraid around any other man. It’s the high road to self esteem. The pitfall for them is the world of deadly martial arts, and weekend commandos. In that world they can live out their fantasies, without ever confronting themselves. Becoming just another bitter geek filled with bullshit hippie philosophy.
Why do you say you don't teach Wing Chun type trapping anymore?
When was the last time you ever saw anything that remotely looked like a wing chun or "kali" style trap in a NHB competition? You probably never will either. . . . . .guess what....there is a good reason for that!
Sure, complex trapping combos may not work just like some train them. But, don't you think they help develop attributes like line familiarization, helping you see all the possibilities, and "hardwiring" your reflex's?
Sure, complex trapping combos may not work just like some train them. But, don't you think they help develop attributes like line familiarization, helping you see all the possibilities, and "hardwiring" your reflex's?
think about what you are saying. You say "sure, complex traps may not work but like kali flow drills they teach other things like line familiarization, the possibilities, etc". If it doesn’t work what possibilities and lines is it teaching you?!
It reminds me of the argument people make that say if you throw out that which doesn’t work...ie: complex trapping, you are throwing away the "art". Art of what?? If it doesn’t work, where's the art? People don't say Randy Couture is a great wrestler but he has thrown away the art part of wrestling, or Evander is a great boxer, but he's thrown out the art of boxing. Thats nonsense. The ART is in the performance! Not the repetition of dead patterns passed on through hearsay by a "sifu".
Matt, I'm going to have to disagree with you. If I misunderstood what you have to say, please correct me, but it seems that you're saying that all these drills are worthless. I agree that drills are worthless without sparring, but I also believe that if you have weaknesses in your game, they can be worked on in isolation using drills. And then you have to be thrown back in against live opponents again. Boxing and wrestling and Judo which all focus on competing against live opponents have plenty of drills.
As far as the BJJ example goes, I've heard a story about Kimo going into Joe Moreira's studio, wiping the floor with the blue belts and purple belts there and being awarded a purple belt on the spot. If this story is true, would you consider Kimo a good technician because he could wrestle opponents with less athleticism and strength up to a purple belt level? Or would you say he was an awesome physical specimen and fighter who had a lot to learn about technique?
First off the idea of training the drills long associated with the FMA such as hubud, sombrada etc, primarily for the "empty hand attributes" makes absolutely no sense when you stop to think about it. What do you think will develop better attributes for empty hand fighting...attributes such as timing, footwork, spatial relationships, flow, rhythm, etc. . . .actually sparring against an "ALIVE" opponent, and , or doing yet another meaningless variation on a dead pattern drill such as box pattern. You don't have to be a genius to figure it out...and yet instructor after instructor, person after person...we constantly hear the same rhetoric about "attributes" and self preservation vs self perfection....etc.
Also you must re think the notion that there is a difference between being a good "technician" and being a good "fighter". Have you ever heard a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Instructor say to another "that black belt is a really good technician...but he just cant beat the purple belts in sparring."? Being a good technician in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu means you have a good groundgame in sparring. Not having a good groundgame in sparring means you are not a good technician! Fighting of all sorts, and ranges is the same. The idea that you can be a good technician without being a good fighter is another in a long line of myths that I hope you all come to question.
It's never disrespectful to question the answers, but it's cowardly not to speak the truth for risk of offending the long held JKD myths.
Matt, I agree with much of what you say. But I still think you guys are now teaching a 'sport' and not combat! Combat, "streetfighting" is much different. What about military style training methods, and people who just need COMBAT techs?
No problem. I appreciate your questioning. . sincerely. I also completely understand your point. I just don't think its very valid.
You see, how do you test reality for the street? Do you purpose streetfighting? Beating up some drunks in a bar? What does that prove. You say science. Where is the acid test?
I don't follow the logic of "streetfighting". It is a philosophical dead end. It is impossible to prove, and it is constantly used as an excuse not to train athletically. That may not be the case with you. . .but you must understand that 99% of the people that rail against NHB as being a 'sport' and not for street, are Aikido, and kung fu geeks that couldn't fight there way out of a wet tissue paper bag. They are looking for the 'secret' Chinese master thats to 'humble' to actually spar, as he has no 'ego'. And will teach them to beat up those naughty football players that have picked on the poor kid since he was in grade school. Do you see? Its all a big cliche, a joke!
As far as the streetfighting stuff goes. . believe me, I have heard it all before! The military training methods.etc. I was in an elite unit of the military. We didn't learn much of anything for hand to hand. Its not a priority. . .as most encounters are handled at the end of a 5.56 round. What is taught is a simplified version of what we do. Simplified due to time constraints. . not effectiveness." -Matt
There is more but, this is what I liked.
Excerpts from The 8 Prohibitions of Che-style Xingyi by Prof Che Xiangqian, as translated and reported at the excellent Wu Lin Ming Shi blog (http://wulinmingshi.wordpress.com/):
1. The restrictive ‘5 elements theory’ that each fist corresponds to an internal organ and a sense organ and that the 5 element fists mutually create and destroy each other seems to have become a ‘classic’ of xingyi.
[ but ] Crushing Fist [beng quan] is actually found in all other martial arts, where it is called a straight jab. It’s also the most common and practical move used when people fight.
The previous generations explained crushing’s characteristics as: fast, simple, and straightforward, but capable of change and chain-punching. However, some books introduce crushing like so: “Bengquan [crushing fist] is wood. Wood creates fire and destroys earth, Beng creates Pao and destroys Heng” [ and so on through the 5 element rochambeau ] The explanations of Drilling, Pounding, Splitting and Crossing are also explained in this fashion. In Che style, we don’t believe in these connections, because application has shown that these theories do not hold true in practice and that there is not necessarily any connection between Crushing fist and, say, the eyes. Such theories only serve to hold people back.
2. We don’t believe in applications of Daoist alchemy without first seeing hard proof. I started learning xingyi in 1950, but it was only in the 80s that I heard of another ‘classic’, talking of ‘3 ways of practicing’, ‘3 steps of gongfu’, ‘3 layers of meaning’ and the ‘3 levels of breathing’. Pronouncements such as “ming jin [obvious power] is in the hands, change in the bones, turning jing into qi, breathing through the nose and mouth”; “an jin [hidden power] is in the elbows, changing the sinews, turning qi into spirit, dantian breathing”; “hua jin [neutralising power] is in the body, changing the marrow, returning to the void, breathing through the skin”. In the 90s I heard of an even higher level, to become all-seeing, all-powerful and at one with the Tao, a level which had only been reached by one person in the entire history of Chinese martial arts. The previous generations of Che xingyi in Taigu did not talk about this, nor did Guo Yunshen’s inheritors in Shenzhou (in Hebei province), nor did the inheritors of Zhao Zhenyao (Geng Jishan’s disciple)’s xingyi such as Professor Yang Shaoyu in Beijing, or Zhang Hui’an-Yu Chonglin in Wuhan. These terms come from Daoist alchemy. Not a single living person has displayed any of these phenomena through practice of xingyi. This is because there are no real martial artists in whom obvious and neutralising powers, or hitting and neutralising powers are separated; because the internal and external changes together in people who pracice xingyi in a scientific manner; nor is there any way of proving that someone has ‘returned to the void’ or ‘become one with the Dao’; nor can any of these ‘Grandmasters’ stop up their mouth and nose and breathe through their skin or dantian. That’s why Che style teachers don’t talk about it, and students don’t believe in it.
3. We don’t practice neigong that ignores the external. Our forebears were of the opinion that the internal and external should be trained together, at the same time. Training in a scientific manner measurably strengthens all the organs and systems of the body. If someone sweats, shakes and becomes breathless after ten minutes of sparring, that means there’s a problem [ ... ] For so many years, we have heard a lot of talk of ’stress the internal, dismiss the external’ and ‘abandon the form, stress intention’. The older generation of masters warned students that ignoring the external shape in favour of practicing neigong cannot produce a master, nor will it lead to health and longevity; instead, it can easily lead to monkhood. There is factual proof of this.
4. We don’t pursue ’superpowers’. In martial arts tales and books, there are many training methods that can enable the practitioner to withstand sword cuts, lift great weights, vault over walls, even to move objects with the mind or eternal youth, etc. Our forebears were always dismissive of these kinds of claims.
[ ... ]
8. We don’t take the path of ‘wushu-isation’ or the ‘mystification’ of xingyi [ ... ] there are two tendencies in the xingyi community. One is wushu-isation: the movements and names are xingyi, but the postures, coordination, power and rhythm are all ‘long-fist-ised”, meaning that the performance is neither good long fist nor good xingyi. The other tendency is the mystification of xingyi, where people force daoist, buddhist, confucian, or TCM concepts onto xingyi, turning xingyi into a religion, almost. This ‘mystical’ kind of xingyi I call ‘neigong-style’ xingyi. These two trends have existed have a long time, but are particularly rampant now. When Che Yonghong [aka Che Yizhai], Li Fuzhen and Bu Xuekuan were alive, these two tendencies had no place or market among Che stylists. Since 1980, these two trends have flooded the xingyi community. Regarding this phenomenon, the older generation of masters impressed upon us that we must preserve Che style’s simplicity, practicality and emphasis on skill.
Zhang Xiaowu, one of Chen Zhenglei's disciples, lays it down (http://wulinmingshi.wordpress.com/2009/04/22/walking-the-fine-line-between-tradition-and-modernity-chen-style-master-zhang-xiaowu/):
If taijiquan is to be used for combat, the student doesn’t need to learn the forms, the basis and focus of the training should be laid on power training. [ ... ] ‘old-man’s taiji’ and ‘performance taiji’ are only one part of taiji, namely its form. In original taiji quan which emphasised fighting ability, forms were least important. And yet, for various reasons, during taiji’s evolution forms have gradually become the ‘core’ of taiji, to the point where very few people know what real taiji is about. The professional performers and the hobbyists all say they ‘know’ taiji, actually all they know is the taiji form. The main difference between them are in the quality of performance and the difficulty of the movements. Taijiquan has become a form of calisthenics; most of the taiji that we see should be called ‘Taiji Cao’ [ taiji exercises ] rather than Taiji Quan [ taiji fist ].
Does ‘real’ or ‘complete’ taijiquan still exist then? The answer is yes, but it is only to be found amongst those who have learnt the complete system and were willing to put in the time and effort to train. These people are not necessarily taiji ‘grandmasters’, nor do the famous ‘grandmasters’ of taiji necessarily have the skills.
When our reporter asked about whether the student should also practice pushing hands, Zhang Xiaowu replied, “Pushing hands is just a training drill, the aim is for it to act as an intermediary for progressing on to sanshou. [ ... ] A lot of people who are good at pushing hands think that they have developed gongfu, when in truth they have only mastered a skill under cooperative conditions, which isn’t real gongfu. Taiji’s true essence is in its sanshou, which has no set moves. [ ... ] If someone wishes to become an expert fighter, they should devote more of their time to non-cooperative sparring.
Some people studied taijiquan with Zhang Xiaowu purely to learn ‘real gongfu’, they only learnt fa jin, no forms, but barely any of them managed to see it through to the end. Training for real gongfu is tough, hard work, whereas learning forms is relatively comfortable. However, if you don’t learn forms, outsiders think you don’t know taiji. The gradual trend towards emphasising forms is an inevitable consequence of our modern society, where combat ability has very few uses. Zhang Xiaowu realises that taijiquan’s market in a fast-paced modern society which leaves people stressed out and fatigued by their jobs is in its ability to make people healthier. This is why Zhang stresses taijiquan’s health-giving properties and not its fighting ability when he teaches.
It is Fake
That little bit needs to posted on all cry baby Tai Chi forums.
That little bit needs to posted on all cry baby Tai Chi forums.
No doubt. I've gotten into so many arguments over the same things he says in that interview. Now I'll post a couple more from that same blog...
A nice interview (http://wulinmingshi.wordpress.com/2009/01/30/fu-nei-pai-taiji-of-li-zheng) regarding pre-simplification Yang taiji dating from Yang Luchan's time at the palace in Beijing (when they still did small, medium and large frame, Chang Quan, and so on):
Wang Lanting was ... responsible for the security of [ Prince Duan's ] House; Fu Zhou was a Manchu general with a very solid foundation in martial arts. Both of these men only became Yang Luchan’s disciples after losing to him in several challenges.
[ ... ]
You have to take the historical background into account as well when thinking about Yang Chengfu’s promulgation of the 85 set. 3 generations of the Yangs all taught within the mansions of the Manchu princes. After the fall of the Qing dynasty, the princes quickly fell from grace, and so the Yangs found themselves having to teach commoners to make a living. And so they simplified their public form to make it easier to learn. Another reason for the changes was that they didn’t want to teach the full original system to the public.
I wanted to compare and analyse the public 85 set against what I’d learnt, [ ... ] After I had learnt the 85 set, I could see traces of the original sets [ ... ] a lot of the hand techniques [ shoufa ] and body requirements [ shenfa ] of Wu style, Hao style and Sun style all preserve traces of early Yang style as passed down to us in Fu Nei Pai.
[ ... ]
The large frame and old frame are like drills in training: they’re to train fitness and tactics,
[ ... ]
In our system, there are only 37 postures in our long boxing, 37 ‘moves’ or small ‘combos’. Each ‘combo’ is a unit that can be practiced by itself. The 37 moves can also be combined at will. [ See the first post in this thread for more on this. ]
Many teachers split up the movements of the form in order to make it easier to teach. This is a teaching method which can make things easier for students, but actually applying these ’split out’ components of the form in combat is very difficult, which is why our system has these 30 individual ‘moves’. In the old days, they used to be called dan cao shou. These sanshou moves are a bridge from taiji forms practice into combat.
In this (http://www.bullshido.net/forums/showpost.php?p=2215662&postcount=104) post, I quote an interview with Zhao Daoxin, who:
The fighter they point out as having been the youngest of the finalists, Zhao Daoxin, studied under Zhang Zhao-Dong (xingyi + bagua/shuaijiao), Wu Yi Hui (founder liuhebafa), and Wang Xiangzhai (founder of yiquan).
... more recently, in a piece (http://wulinmingshi.wordpress.com/2009/04/10/reminiscences-of-master-yao-zongxun-part-vii/) on the history of Yiquan, I ran into this reference to him:
(Wang Xiangzhai’s disciple and champion boxer) Bu Enfu once mentioned M Wang and his disciples in conversation with Liu Pulei, saying “I don’t dare mess with [Yao] Zongxun and [Zhao] Daoxin, with the rest of them, if they stay away I can hit them, if they come in close I can throw them.”
OK, last one for awhile. From a piece (http://wulinmingshi.wordpress.com/2008/12/13/song-style-xingyi-in-tianjin-li-xuzhou/) about Li Xuzhou's Song style Xingyi:
The xingyi system passed down by Li includes a lot of neigong and sanshou from bagua, taiji, tongbei and shaolin, most of which was acquired through challenges against other masters. As a result, Li’s xingyi has preserved much of the original fighting value of traditional Chinese martial arts. It could even be called a repository of traditional fighting techniques. He not only practiced what he preached, he also encouraged his disciples to familiarise themselves with other arts, and to test what they had learned from him. Most of his disciples had learnt other arts before studying with him, in fact a good many had only become his disciples after being bested by him in challenges.
... measuring fighting ability by fighting, encouraging crosstraining, &c.
In his own teaching, he never used metaphysical terminology. The drills and exercises he taught were judged in terms of their effectiveness and he only passed on fighting techniques that had been proven in combat. He often said “If the teacher knows why he does what he does, the student will naturally remember clearly”. His disciples followed in his approach: they are very practical and never talk about any mysterious powers. They believe that practicing neigong should give you great reserves of energy, build a sturdy body, and lead to great agility and power in combat. As Li often said, “You can tell who’s practiced neigong and who hasn’t, there’s a noticeable difference”.
... practicality, rejection of mysticism, explanation of nei gong as a kind of deep conditioning.
Li Xuzhou emphasised applicability in his teaching – in his view, practice was for use, you should practice techniques as you would use them, he strongly resisted the trend of separation of practice and actual usage. As a result, all of his disciples were skilled in combat, and preserved to a large degree the combat ability of traditional chinese martial arts.
"People often say that ‘Xingyi’, ‘Taiji’, ‘Bagua’ and ‘Tongbei’ are internal styles, I do not know how the names of internal and external came about, so I cannot comment on that."
"As masters of the original ‘Taijiquan’, I should recommend the Yang brothers Shaohou and Chengfu. They are also old friends of mine, thus I know that this boxing really has some knowledge of mechanics, but out of one hundred persons not even one gains its essence, and even if one can gain it, it is still one-sided, because the basic skills of intuitive perception already died out a long time ago, thus their lower bodies have no real strength to speak of. Originally this boxing consisted of three fists, also called the “old three cuts”, Mr. Wang Zongyue changed it into “thirteen postures”, and it was later changed into as much as one hundred and forty or fifty postures, this is the major reason for the distortion.
For health preservation, it restrains the spirit and mettle, and brings discomfort to the practitioner. For combat, it harms the practitioner’s limbs and trunk, and causes the useful body to become a mechanical and stiff thing, it also disturbs the student’s nerves, and is nothing more than wasting one’s time. As for its method of training, a punch with a fist here, a slap with the palm there, a kick to the left, and another one to the right, that is pitiful and laughable.
As for dealing with an enemy in a fight, against a master-hand, please do not even consider it, if the adversary is not stiff and sluggish, even the famous masters of this boxing have no chance to apply their skills. These abuses are so big that ‘Taijiquan’ might soon become just a mere form comparable to a chess manual. For the last twenty years, most people who have studied this boxing have not been able to differentiate right and wrong, even if someone has been able to differentiate them, he has not been capable of putting it into practice. As for common students, most of them use their ears instead of their eyes.
So ruined is this boxing that it has become useless, this is really deplorable. I wish that the powerful members of this school would promptly and strictly clean it up, and attempt to develop it in the future. When the day of success comes, they will be held as the bosom friends of all the boxing fans. I dare to say that I understand ‘Taijiquan’ deeply, those who do not agree, can notify me or lay the blame on me, only the wise ones might understand. At the same time, I suppose those who have really gained something in their study of ‘Taijiquan’, when they read this, they will nod in agreement and cannot help laughing."
"‘Tongbeiquan’ is popular in northern China , especially in Beijing . The practitioners I have met were mostly out of shape, however, some were also holding a theory that was close to being right, but when checking their skills, they were very far from it. "
"The boxing arts of our nation are in a chaotic state, thus the people cannot know what course to take. Summed up, they have abandoned the quintessence and kept only the scum, nothing more. Although the martial arts of Japan and the boxing of Western Europe are one-sided, they all have their original points. In comparison to an ordinary boxer of our nation, they are countless miles ahead."
"All learning in the world depends on comparison, only that way can good and bad be distinguished, otherwise every school will claim to be right, and the laymen will have difficulties distinguishing right and wrong. The correctness of boxing cannot be judged merely by the criterion of victory or defeat, it must be judged by whether it is reasonable and suitable to the human needs or not. What is reasonable is achieving comfort, gaining strength, and getting zest into one’s life. If one does not achieve comfort, gain strength, and if the study does not bring zest into one’s life, then it cannot be called boxing.
Whether one knows of the history of boxing or not does not matter at all, one should only see whether there is any value in regard to learning and whether it accords with the requirements of life. But speaking of the combat science of our nation, it has a centuries-old history. It began revealing its brilliance in the Warring States Period (403 BC – 221 BC), and gradually advanced and evolved. During the times of the Tang and Song dynasties, boxing started to turn into technical skills and different styles started to evolve. During the Yuan, Ming, and early Qing dynasties, the different schools were most popular.
There were very many practitioners, and only because their strength, skill, and attainments were different and some being wise and others stupid, boxing broke into different schools, each claiming its teachings as correct. Those schools are namely what are now called the various styles. During the reigns of Kangxi and Yongzheng of the Qing dynasty (1662 – 1735), firearms were not yet prevalent. The emperors feared that the martial arts would be used against the government, therefore they wanted to destroy them for good and so that they could never recover.
Therefore they started to influence the people to think highly of the civil arts and look down upon everything martial. On one hand they advocated flying immortal swordsmen and taught the mystical on purpose, on the other hand they praised the boxing forms and fixed techniques in order to lead the martial arts astray. The middle road and the great Tao could not be asked about, and they used opera and storybooks to serve as their tools of propaganda. Furthermore they made the people who practised martial arts to be despised by the scholar-bureaucrats, so the situation went from bad to even worse. All kinds of ugly performances emerged, what a great pity and tragedy.
Luckily our combat science predecessors secretly had successors, and they succeeded in having a gleam of light survive. Although training halls were set up all over the country to advocate the martial arts during the last twenty years, the more they were advocated, the sooner they would be lost, never being able to return to the right path of combat science. In fact, learning boxing is not difficult, but because the brains of the ordinary people are tormented by the storybooks, and furthermore, because the boxers of modern times mostly do it for living, the combat science is completely at loss. Even if some people are conscious of that, they are still too ashamed to study from others, and thus have no way out.
During the last half of the year, the other boxers have come to me to compare their skills in combat. I will not point out who they were, in order to let them keep their ways of making a living. Now they mostly understand that they were wrong, but why do they not agree to come and discuss the martial arts openly, and furthermore, why are they not willing to compare their skills in combat, in order to improve their learning? On the contrary, they go against their conscience and claim others to be wrong. They do nothing but secretly create absurd tales, and still they pretend being ignorant of those tales. What do they do that for? As for the non-professional martial artists, they want to become mysterious boxers by creating these tales, being like theatregoers not well versed in drama, they are not able to do anything but throw punches at random to show off their skills.
That is really something to be despised. In case my words are considered erroneous, can the non-professional boxing students agree to grant me instruction? Furthermore, I wish to have small friendly tests of skills in combat, and even if the people who come to me have no martial skills at all, I will not insult them, and I will not tell about them to other people in order not to harm their business. If one cannot come to visit me to grant me instruction, then please tell me the place and the time, and I will come to pay my respects on time. If one has even a tiny strong point, I will do my utmost to give him publicity, and if one has no strong points at all, I will keep my mouth shut. If one always considers oneself as a top boxer behind closed doors, that is not worth a penny."
It is Fake
Thanks to lkfmdc:
Here is an active link to the entire interview.
An Interview with Mr Wang Xiangzhai
This article is long as hell but, the guy has some really good points.
Wang Xiangzhai: The boxing arts of our nation are in a chaotic state, thus the people cannot know what course to take. Summed up, they have abandoned the quintessence and kept only the scum, nothing more. Although the martial arts of Japan and the boxing of Western Europe are one-sided, they all have their original points. In comparison to an ordinary boxer of our nation, they are countless miles ahead. The people should be very ashamed of this. So we should clean up and carry forward the old knowledge. Except for us, who else is there left to do it? Despite my meagreness, I call for action to advocate it, only for this purpose.
It is Fake
Due to a semantic debate I found some interesting comments by Tim Cartmell.
It was birthed from this thread with some very interesting comments of no sparring in Tai Chi:
When asked about Tai chi Sparring:
Both of my primary Yang style teachers advocated sparring. There were two basic formats. One method was a free method of "push hands" sparring that started at contact and allowed pushes, pulls, sweeps, throws and takedowns and chin na techniques. The other method was regular "sparring," starting from a distance with all of the above techniques allowed including blows (we kept head contact light).
My belief is it is virtually impossible to learn how to apply your techniques for real without non-cooperative sparring (no matter what style you practice).
I would suggest looking into Judo for some practical self defense training (there will be plenty of sparring). The principles of Judo are virtually the same as those of Taijiquan.
The first link will make your head hurt and eyes bleed. Typical advanced students, internal external, sparring is detrimental, and you must wait to spar.