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  1. #1

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    Aug 2011
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    Hell yeah! Hell no!

    Confused Student

    Hello,

    I enrolled in an internal CMA school where Sifu teaches Yichaun, Xingyi, Bagua, Chen and Yang Taichi etc... I spent the first 4 classes in Chen but switched to Xingyi because, after some research, it appealed to me.

    5 months later I do not know any terms other than xingyi stance, as far as I can tell I have been shown the wood element and perhaps Metal with no turn. None of his students know the name of any of the elements or the name of the form.

    I started to learn the "form" yesterday (without training in the elements to be used) after a brief instruction by Sifu he sent his student over who preceded to contradict some points that Sifu made.

    I work hard...one of his students said homework is encouraged and I work everyday. But the more I see of Xingyi through homework the less I understand about what is being taught in class. Complicating things is Sifu's way of diverting and or shutting you up when you ask questions.

    Is this normal? Should I expect the language as well as the techniques?

  2. #2
    Chili Pepper's Avatar
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    Sep 2005
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    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    I've grown used to not learning the names of techniques, both in Chinese and Filipino arts. Typically my instructors would give me a sour look and say "do like this." It just never seemed to be a big concern for them.

    The urge to have standardized names for everything seems to be far more of a Japanese and Korean thing, in my limited experience.

  3. #3

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    Thank you Chili Pepper. That sounds like him. I like Xingyi because it is denoted to an extent. It helps me to learn when I know what I'm learning. I've gone from confused to frustrated. Perhaps I'm barking up the wrong tree.

  4. #4
    It is Fake's Avatar
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    Jan 2005
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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Do not read books on CMA. Sorry, there are sooooooo many conflicting beliefs it can and will hinder your learning. Practice what your instructor teaches and ask him questions. Years in you can start looking to books and videos. I could point you to threads of CMAers arguing one thing with a poster and years later agreeing with the same person.

    I'm going to disagree with Chilli on it being a Japanese thing. It is an elitist CMA/American/Western thing. I have witnessed and experienced more snobbery, I was guilty of this myself, in CMA than Japanese Judoka and the names of their techniques.

  5. #5

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    Aug 2011
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    Thanks It Is Fake. It's the westerner in me that wants a road map and a check off list. For whatever reason it helps me to focus and work long hours when I know where I'm going and where I'm at.

    I am here...I am here...I am here.

  6. #6
    It is Fake's Avatar
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    Jan 2005
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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    I understand the road map. I like to know what is ahead as well. Just don't let the focus on the road map blind you to the journey.

  7. #7

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    You both have been a big help. I appreciate it very much.

  8. #8
    Rivington's Avatar
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    Jun 2007
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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    My instructor also does, "Okay, now do this one." He'll occasionally mention a name, and one time handed out a photocopied list of the postures in our form, which I lost.

  9. #9
    Chili Pepper's Avatar
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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    My sifu, breaking his usual practice, actually referred to a particular kick by a particular name. We all were using the name for quite some time before he heard us and said "what? No, that's not the name of that kick!" and demonstrated the one actually referred to.

    ... come to think of it, he never did tell us the name of the first kick.

    ... didn't much matter - we still used that name to refer to it.

  10. #10

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Rivington View Post
    My instructor also does, "Okay, now do this one." He'll occasionally mention a name, and one time handed out a photocopied list of the postures in our form, which I lost.
    God I'm glad I'm not the only one who had to go through this. All my students want to know the name for this and this and this. I told them to bring a note book and write it down. I've had students bring their notebooks up from years ago and say "Look sifu, you told me it was this strike".

    I ask them what's the difference? They'd say something like "You switched the words around".

    *slaps forehead.

    My sifu would say "Hit like this, like baby cat playing." Which evolved into "Baby leopard plays with water." Which evolved into "Baby leopard strike". Which evolved into "Leopard strike" which evolved into "Hit like this".

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