Thread: Choy Li Fut
1/05/2011 7:12am, #1
- Join Date
- Jul 2010
Choy Li Fut
Having trouble finding anything around Bullshido and videos. I found out there's a school at my university that teaches it, and I know that CMA isn't the most practical thing out there but I've been researching Choy Li Fut and apparently a lot of people endorse it as one of the better forms. Can I get some clarification from some CMA experts/practitioners? I've looked for sparring videos but all I can find are either stylistic show-and-tells or spar matches where the user degrades into soem kind of mode where he just seems to flop his limbs around.
I'm not looking for the most optimal fighting form. Heck, I might take Muy Thai, boxing or Judo instead but I've always been interested in CMA, as many times they seem just as much an art form as fighting.
EDIT: I don't know if this is part of Choy Li Fut but the school also teaches a fair amount of takedowns and grappling with any MA you take there.
1/05/2011 3:34pm, #2
I did choy li fut for around 9 years. My impression- there are lots of useful bits in it, but there's a few things I never got around to liking. I'll write a bit about what I liked and didn't like.
-taught correct alignment of the skeleton when striking with the arms (knees bent, hips underneath shoulders, elbows down, shoulders relaxed, wrist straight)
-taught good power generation concepts (twisting the waist, crunching the torso, sinking the bodyweight)
-got me used to hitting things (wooden dummy, wall bag)
-static stance training- for fighting, the legs can be better developed in the same time.
-exaggerated stances- CLF and other southern kung fu use wide, low stances for training and higher ones for fighting. I think this complicates things unnecessarily and is often at the expense of practicing optimized footwork
-too many forms- I did Hung Sing choy li fut, which has well over 100 forms. You can study for decades and still just keep collecting more new forms. This is at the expense of learning other more useful things.
-lack of form structure- some styles use forms to build a "matrix" of movement, where the forms logically build on each other. Even after years of study, I didn't see the logic of the forms. They seem to be just collections of different movements rearranged in different ways.
-weaponry- Choy li fut has a wide range of weapons, but they are mostly just used for 1 or 2 man forms. If you study a ton of different weapons and only do forms, your understanding will be shallow. Also, the double dagger vs empty hands form makes me want to claw my eyes out. It's full of nonsense to anyone who has studied knifework.
-wide, sweeping punches- CLF is kind of known for these, and they are trained so that they hit very hard. However, these punches aren't sketchy from a lack of power- they're sketchy because you have to know when and where you can do them, and this wasn't addressed well.
-stance- the sideways fighting stance most clf fighters advocate is laterally weak and makes it harder to move in a circle without crossing the feet.
-half fists- the most common thrusting fist strikes are done with the leopard fist/ping tsop type hand position with the 2nd set of knuckles. I don't like to hit people like this.
-shoulders- in CLF, the shoulders are pulled down to promote body use when striking, focus on relaxation, and keep good structure. IMO, in fighting the raised shoulder can be used very effectively for defense, and a good striking school should recognize this instead of harping on people with their shoulders up.
Anyway, this is just a partial list of my CLF thoughts.
1/08/2011 2:30pm, #3
i agree with the bulk of the above.
I'd add that in CMAs in general, there is wide variety between schools and CLF is no exception.
Some schools are much more into actual fighting than others.
1/08/2011 3:14pm, #4
i agree with permalost and chenpengfi. while you *can* learn to fight at some CMA schools, a lot of the time you'd be better off doing boxing or judo. in truth i would go farther than that and say that i think that in a perfect environment, if i were to run a school again, CMA students would get a solid base in boxing and judo before they do anything else.
maybe if the students were dedicated enough to train *more* than 6 -8 hours a week, and they were dying to do some *traditional* "CMA", i would give them basic stancework and chi gung exercises to do, probably mixed in with some pilates and body weight exercises.
anyway, about the school you posted about, we've posted this a lot before, but a solid CMA school will probably have a fight team, and compete in sanda or at least lei tai. any grappling that isn't being taught by an instructor who holds rank in a grappling style is suspect, and probably a mistake. by grappling styles i mean BJJ, Judo and Sambo, Sometimes you can learn good stuff from shuai jiao teachers, but there are a lot of BS artists out there.
remember that it's totally possible to train at a school that spars, and grapples among themselves, and still not learn anything useful or good. in an insular environment full of noobs, lots of crap gets accepted and passed on. we call that crappling, and the only way to expose it is at competitions or when someone good comes to work out. that's why a competition record is important when checking out a school. we can't tell you anything more without having more info on the school.
good luck. try judo, try boxing, get a feel for what their classes are like and then go to the place that fits your needs."Face punches are an essential character building part of a martial art. You don't truly love your children unless you allow them to get punched in the face." - chi-conspiricy
"When I was a little boy, I had a sailor suit, but it didn't mean I was in the Navy." - Mtripp on the subject of a 5 year old karate black belt
"Without actual qualifications to be a Zen teacher, your instructor is just another roundeye raping Asian culture for a buck." - Errant108
"Seriously, who gives a **** what you or Errant think? You're Asian males, everyone just ignores you, unless you're in a krotty movie." - new2bjj
1/08/2011 5:41pm, #5
I agree with the previous posters. And remember, when choosing a school or art, make sure you decide for yourself, in advance, what you're looking for when training a style. If a style meets those objectives, then pursue it. Many of the people around here forget that not all of us are looking for a purely combat school or art. Lots of people enjoy the forms, exotic stances, etc. that are a part of CMA or other TMAs.
It's only bullshit if they promise something they aren't delivering.
1/08/2011 6:42pm, #6
- Join Date
- Mar 2008
I studied with Sifu Richard Leung (Leung Yum Gung), and coming from several full contact arts, I have found Buk Sing Choy Lay Fut to be an incredible stand up system. Leung is a 3rd generation teacher, who studied under Lai Chou. Love the style! Here is some video of me sparring at the school. If you have a good teacher who promotes fighting, CLF is great. I'm half asleep on flu meds, I go sleep.
YouTube - 2010 Training
1/09/2011 1:21am, #7
I would not like to use the standard choy li fut stance against your leg kicks.
1/09/2011 10:50am, #8
- Join Date
- Mar 2008
The gentleman that i kicked was actually a boxer who had come in. The best stance for leg kicks is the white crane stance in Karate Kid :)
1/09/2011 2:16pm, #9
1/20/2011 5:34pm, #10
- Join Date
- Mar 2008
Hm, I see I was wrong about the crane stance!!!