I've recently started studying in a class that is part of the Wutan school, but I'm wondering how reputable they are as a school or how decent their training is?
The teacher is good and the class is full of great people, don't get me wrong, but I understand that there is some focus on things that I have been warned about like "learn a form and make it look pretty". However isn't it true that making forms look pretty but fighting techniques effective (as slightly seperate things) part of CMA to some degree? The class does include sparring and self-defence/combat techniques as well - a good balance I'd say.
I apologize if this is in the wrong forum section, but I figured this was where the people who knew the most about classical gung fu would lurk.
School link? Lineage?
I'm kind of a CMA noob still but I'll give you my take since I researched CMA schools/types heavily before choosing my present one.
Keep in mind CMA schools differ in what they teach in what order, depending on the program and especially on the instructor's teaching philosophy.
Depending on what you want out of it you need to do your research BEFORE joining.
Some schools teach you forms and nothing else...these schools tend to have many forms and you pay to play, basically. You will never learn fighting applications, but you could spend 20 years (and a lot of money) collecting forms.
Some schools (the rarest) teach basic fighting first (i.e. how do punch kick block throw), sparring comes very early, and forms come only as an advanced, senior student element. Some Bullshido CMAers teach using this methodology.
Some schools teach forms along side with techniques, drills, padwork, footwork, sparring, weapons, etc etc (my kwoon is like this). The idea is that you condition/progress in skill over time with exposure to every element equally, starting on basics and moving on to more advanced things once your body is somewhat conditioned. You should still start doing more "live" training within the first year, or something is wrong. If you don't know what "live" training is, lurk on Bullshido a bit more and you'll learn.
And of course, some CMA schools are utter crap from top to bottom. These are the ones that profess to teach you ancient Wudang magic, make you live to be 300, or kill enemies with your mind.
Originally Posted by BuddhistJihad
Forms were a means to an end. Suddenly, the forms became more important than the applicable techniques. What's funny is the actual teachers with the best reputations had some of the most mediocre form performances.
Oh, I completely agree.
Originally Posted by It is Fake
However, with classical martial arts I remember that it is called an art. I've always considered the forms the "art" part and the techniques the "martial" part. What I mean is, the forms look pretty, to the style of the martial artist and could be used "for show" if you understand my meaning, (while giving you training in memory, coordination etc) however should not be taken as what you should do in a fight. That's where the martial techniques come in.
In my class the first thing we learnt was how to make a fist and throw a punch properly. My first lesson involved kickboxing drills, blocking techniques and drills, followed by the beginning of Chang Quan Yi Lu, and finally sparring.
I visited all the local classes (that I could afford) in my area and settled with this one because it seemed to have the most balance.
My old Hung Gar teacher told me there were 'versions' of the forms that were practiced for street demonstrations..don't know if its true or not.
If you are being told to make a form 'look pretty' i would ask your teacher : why are you practicing the form?
Yes, the old "marked" forms discussion.
Do you mean its been discussed here? I'm having trouble finding it if so..colour me dumb...
Most of the (Hung ga) street demos I've seen were basically just abbreviated (ie certain sections removed) to shorten them, as opposed to modified. This happens a lot when a particular school has a lot of demos to perform. I've seen it in my own school as well as others performing in NY Chinatown.
Originally Posted by Resonance10
No, on kung fu boards. Basically, there are forms that have allegedly been marked when they give a public performance. Also, it is alleged to have occurred in training videos, picture books, and other media.
Originally Posted by Resonance10
It was supposedly done so, instructors of say Lo Meng's School of Hun Gar could tell if someone stole their version of let's say the Iron Wire form. Also, if an instructor suddenly started teaching a Hun gar form *cough* Shaolin-Do *cough* you can point and say hey, that is book learned my instructor changed those moves on purpose.
True or not is up to you to decide.
Yes used to do this myself, only play half the 'I character' set for example. But as well as that I was told whilst learning the Lau Gar form and Moi Fah that there were 'performance versions' with modified techniques, never learned them myself. It was explained that it was to hide aspects of the style so people didn't see teh re@! De@dly. In those times the 'Dim Mak' aspect was in vogue..
Originally Posted by W. Rabbit