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  1. Jack Napier is offline

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    Posted On:
    2/15/2013 10:18pm


     Style: Working on it

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!

    Opinions on Lama Pai and Choy Lay Fut?

    1st time posting but im wondering what the general opinions on the 2 styles? Choy Lay Fut has a fairly good reputation on here as one of the few styles of kung-fu that work but I know little about Lama Pai. Any kung-fu guys on here willing to offer opinions and comments??
  2. DimmedSum is offline

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    Posted On:
    3/20/2013 3:29pm


     Style: Lung Ying Kung Fu

    1
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Welcome to the site!

    I take it from your question that one of your deciding factors in choosing a discipline is the real world effectiveness of that style? This is definitely a tough question, because everyone will have a different opinion. I think it is more important to find a good teacher who understands your motivation for studying. There are good guides on the site to help you choose a school based on your needs.

    Personally, I am in Florida and have seen some decent Choy Lay Fut schools that do a lot of sparring including full contact which is important if you are looking to apply your art.

    Good luck on your journey!
  3. Permalost is online now
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    pro nonsense self defense

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    Posted On:
    3/20/2013 4:06pm

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     Style: FMA, dumbek, Indian clubs

    2
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Everything I say is IMHO, but I have a good deal of CLF experience

    CLF suffers from a common kung fu problem- overemphasis on forms. So many long, complex forms that to retain all that you know, you have to spend a good portion of time training them. Time that you could be spending hitting each other or wrestling.

    Stancework- there's an idea in CLF that low stances in the forms are just training analogs for high, mobile stances in fighting. The problem is, if you just train low wide stances, you still need to practice mobile upright stances if you want to be good at using them. So, I say mobile uprights stances are the only one that NEEDS to be trained, while a number of CLF players only do the low ones. Plus in some people it leads to problems with pivoting on the ball of the foot. ALSO the 2 person forms teach you to use exaggerated low stances when actually engaging with someone else, so there's that.

    The fighting stance that a lot of CLF people use is a stance longer than it is wide, like a modified sei ping ma. This sort of stance has problems in both striking and grappling. I prefer a more square, sort stance, but some CLF people would see that and tell me that I'M the one who'd doing things wrong.

    The extended arm strikes are something I don't really like (gwa, kup, pek, jong, dot, chin ji etc). They're some of the most powerful strikes that a person can hit with, but I feel that a 90 degree bend, as in a hook or uppercut or shovel hook, hits hard enough and has a lesser chance of being blocked or intercepted.

    Swinging the non-striking hand behind as you strike (a la CLF, gwa-kup or poon kiu-sao choi) is also something I don't approve of. I know there are applications where you're taking their weapons offline with this motion but honestly I'd rather just avoid that can of worms altogether. I believe that your weapons (hands or actual weapons) should be between you and your opponent; they must get past them to get to you. No need to do big windup Adam West Batman punches.

    I do like the structural points that the forms enforce- relaxed shoulders, erect spine, relaxed joints that pull towards the ground, level change using the legs not the back, getting power by twisting/crunching/sinking with the torso. But once these are developed, they could be further developed and exercised in 2 person live drills.

    I don't like that the weapon work was more haymaker type stuff (for example, the basic broadsword form has wide sweeping motions and wraps around the neck). When I got into FMA and fencing, I learned that real weapon attacks were more commonly short snapping or flicking attacks, not full power swings like in the broadsword form. I do like the single end staff basics, and in fact use CLF grip and strikes when I spar with a staff (FMA has the hands switched like a bayonet). In fact, when I hold it at one end with my right hand forward, I call it a Chinese grip, whereas if the thumps point towards each other I call it a Japanese grip (even though they have this in CLF too).

    Regarding CLF being "one of the few styles of kung-fu that work", I don't know if I fully approve of that. CLF is sort of "the art of the haymaker". Do haymakers work? Yeah, IF they land, but they also leave you very open to stop hits or counterpunches.

    I think the reason CLF doesn't get as much crap as, say, wing chun, isn't because its a better kung fu style. Its because CLF players tend to not go around saying that their art is a truly unbeatable fighting science, and releasing DVDs on how to anti-grapple with CLF or how to beat a boxer.
  4. Jack Napier is offline

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    Posted On:
    3/21/2013 6:06pm


     Style: Working on it

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Thank you for the very in-depth response! And thank you for the welcome. This is exactly what I was looking for. However I have come to the conclusion that what I have in front of me (kung-fu wise) isn't really....good enough. I've done some research on the instructors and their pasts are....murky to say the least. I don't really trust the level of competency.

    I WAS looking at a Bak Mei school but the closest one is in the Bronx.

    Im now looking into more of the Kempo styles. Doing a lot of research on them as well. As i've seen, many of them incorporate several different styles of fighting and self defense and in my eyes this is a wise move. Karate, 5 animal kung-fu, Judo, Jujitsu, Boxing, wrestling. Seems like a good combo to me. I cant see any big weaknesses IF its taught competently and the sparring is hard enough.
    Any thoughts on that?
  5. Permalost is online now
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    pro nonsense self defense

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    Posted On:
    3/21/2013 6:44pm

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     Style: FMA, dumbek, Indian clubs

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Napier View Post
    Im now looking into more of the Kempo styles. Doing a lot of research on them as well. As i've seen, many of them incorporate several different styles of fighting and self defense and in my eyes this is a wise move. Karate, 5 animal kung-fu, Judo, Jujitsu, Boxing, wrestling. Seems like a good combo to me. I cant see any big weaknesses IF its taught competently and the sparring is hard enough.
    Any thoughts on that?
    My old kung fu teacher had a kempo black belt before studying kung fu, and it showed in his teaching methods. Anyway, my problems with kempo:
    -the cross-training attitude and "universality" of it can make a kempo practitioners overestimate their abilities to apply or teach stuff from other styles. Do they really have backgrounds in kung fu, judo, JJ, boxing and wrestling, or did they read some books and watch some videos before deciding they were qualified to teach it?

    -kempo tends to focus on self-defense techniques, where one guy does something and you respond with a pre-determined series of movements. This lacks aliveness and often is overambitious about the previous movement "first you kick the groin, which will definitely make him grab his groin, bend forward and stick his butt out". The problem with this sort of training is that the first real spinal reflex you get is the real challenge, not learning how to exploit it. Hell, if you can get a perfect groin or eye strike reaction, you can follow it up in whatever ugly way you want. No flowing combinations necessary. Do a Polish hammer to the back and stomp on their foot if you feel like it.

    -not exactly sure why, but there's lots of overweight/obese kempo guys.

    -my FMA teacher goes and teaches for a kajukempo group once a week, and sometimes they come to the garage to train with us. Kaju seems to be the kempo style that makes the most sense to me. They wear gis and bow and stuff, but also spar hard and really cross train (with teachers from other styles, not books). They manage to have both family and fighting cultures in the same training group, and I like that. Plus there's always a good kaju showing at the Dog Brothers gatherings.

    -it might seem like a bigger combination of things is better, but that's not necessarily the case. I'd rather learn a muay thai/judo hybrid than a style that's a mix of karate, judo, jujutsu, capoeira, pankration, tukong musool, kali, hapkido, krav maga, XMA and bagua.
  6. Jack Napier is offline

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    Posted On:
    3/30/2013 3:42pm


     Style: Working on it

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Sorry it took me a while to get back. This place kinda slipped my mind for a bit.

    -I fully understand your gripe about the instructors who may have learned from tapes. That's just sad. Distance training is not training at all. I believe Villari is known for that and he seems to get a lot of hate on here for it (as well as a couple of other things) however im not sure if/how this translates to his style in itself it be ineffective (im just using him as one example, im sure there are others)

    -The pre-determined series of moments as i've heard of sounds interesting if it can be pulled off (and most of the people i've spoken to say they can and that its quite effective) however I had the same thoughts you just brought up, however I did learn that many teachers allow the students to do whatever works best for them, they still offer guidance of course but many of them stick to the "Self DEFENSE 1st then Martial ART" aspect of it. I've actually found a seemingly solid place, I hope im in good hands. No contracts of any kind along with other things that seem to say "Not McDojo"

    -Lol yeah I don't get that one ether, really. Although, at the place i've found, the main instructor is quite thin, I thought I had found the other extreme! However the power he generated in his blows (to a bag not me haha) killed any fears I had of him being frail.

    -I would honestly LOVE it find a Kaju school, however on the north east coast they seem almost non existent.

    -Honestly a Muay Thai/Judo hybrid sounds damn near perfect! Someone get on that! Anyway, I very much get the point of, to many styles in one. Clutter and misdirection abound. However as i've read so far, Kempo seems to be well balanced an handles everything it tries to do rather well. Ill just have to see.

    As for what STYLE of Kempo im taking? Well, im working on it. Im trying to find brief overviews of the best known ones and take if from there.
  7. Permalost is online now
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    Posted On:
    3/31/2013 2:44am

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     Style: FMA, dumbek, Indian clubs

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Napier View Post
    As for what STYLE of Kempo im taking? Well, im working on it. Im trying to find brief overviews of the best known ones and take if from there.
    I'm no kempo guy so take this with a grain of salt, but I've heard this more than once: the r34l kempo really came about in Hawaii. Ed Parker was one of the guys who learned here, but he was considered to be just average. Except when he went to the mainland, where he was legendary because there wasn't really anyone else doing that sort of stuff. So, some Hawaiian kempo folks basically believe that the big majority of American kempo is overhyped mediocre Hawaiian karate. That's not to say there's no good AKK though. If I were looking for kempo, I'd look specifically for Hawaiian kempo (not necessarily Kaju; there are other Hawaiian kempos too). Plus, you have all the Villari schools, which are textbook mcdojos. Seems like there's more to avoid than seek out.

    There used to be a guy here named Clyde, who was sort of an outspoken loudmouth, who was an old kempo guy. When he started coming to Throwdowns, people learned that he could really fight, and he could do it with kempo. I remember he got me with stop side kicks to the ribs as I was punching, and combination slap/reap movements that were pretty cool actually. Here's his guys sparring:
  8. Jack Napier is offline

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    Posted On:
    4/02/2013 12:31am


     Style: Working on it

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Ok 1st of all, the sparring looks great. Actual realism. As the odds of finding 2 people who can fight like you see in the movies are very rare. Perhaps not impossible but ive never seen it caught on film. THIS looks like real fighting.

    As you know im kinda new so perhaps you can just fill me in, why does this Villari get such a bad rep? Perhaps he's an asshole but I find it hard to believe that anyone who at least presents there style and school as professional, uses a COMPLETELY ineffective style (Ive seen a thread or 2 about him and most say hes a joke but oddly no one ever expresses WHY. Im curious is all) There are no schools ive seen with the Villari named attached, I think im good haha.

    One of the schools im looking at right now looks solid and the instructor seems very legit. Very....serious about about what he does. Does the name Tom Ingargiola mean anything to you? Ive looked him up on here and he seems to be one of the few respected Kempo guys. Ive looked up the style he teaches, Shaolin Kempo, and it seems...well rounded.
  9. Permalost is online now
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    pro nonsense self defense

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    Posted On:
    4/02/2013 12:04pm

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     Style: FMA, dumbek, Indian clubs

    2
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Napier View Post
    Ok 1st of all, the sparring looks great. Actual realism. As the odds of finding 2 people who can fight like you see in the movies are very rare. Perhaps not impossible but ive never seen it caught on film. THIS looks like real fighting.
    I'd say it looks like good point sparring (they're keeping their distance and exchaning 1 or 2 things at a time). But anyway, I especially like the sweeps and karate stomp to the back.

    As you know im kinda new so perhaps you can just fill me in, why does this Villari get such a bad rep? Perhaps he's an asshole but I find it hard to believe that anyone who at least presents there style and school as professional, uses a COMPLETELY ineffective style (Ive seen a thread or 2 about him and most say hes a joke but oddly no one ever expresses WHY. Im curious is all) There are no schools ive seen with the Villari named attached, I think im good haha.
    Villari is, well, let's start with a picture of the guy:

    Here he is standing in an overly fanciful pose, with a sleeve full of extra stripes because his black belt couldn't acomodate all of his self-appointed glory, looking like Carl from Aqua Teen Hunger Force trying to score with a karate persona. Here's a better look at his sleeve of glory (all other observations still apply):


    Its worth noting that the fancy gi and awards are nowhere to be found in actual Shaolin martial arts; this extra emphasis on show is his own doing.

    You might say I'm just being a hipster who's hating on a guy's appearance, so let's see him in action:

    I could break down what I like and dislike in each of his techniques, but I'll cut through that and get to the heart of the matter: in several minutes of demos, did you see anything that wasn't totally choreographed? Its all half hearted attacks where you punch, hold your fist out, and pretend to be hurt. That's it. You know, I'll bet most people could come up with some groovy demo stuff like that after half an hour of screwing around with compliant attack. If you browse around his videos, you'll see this pattern over and over again. When I've asked the SKK people about his lack of competition success or otherwise, they talk about how he used to be some kind of street tough. Yawn.

    Then after all this, he starts telling his students that he was the first to incorporate all 4 methods of fighting (strikes, kicks, throws, locks), showing that he was ignorant of the other arts before him, and arrogant to try to attack such a title to his name.

    One of the schools im looking at right now looks solid and the instructor seems very legit. Very....serious about about what he does. Does the name Tom Ingargiola mean anything to you? Ive looked him up on here and he seems to be one of the few respected Kempo guys.
    Never heard of him. Some people like to have a really serious teacher, who never jokes about their art or much else; who think that life is all about training and that all free time should be spent trying to improve one's art. I'm not one of those people.

    Ive looked up the style he teaches, Shaolin Kempo, and it seems...well rounded.
    Shaolin kempo can mean 2 different things:
    1. An American art that claims to be descendent from the Shaolin temple, despite not looking like Shaolin kung fu. When I see Shaolin tacked on to a style, its a bit of a red flag. Its sorta like when you see a product you're familiar with, but now the word Xtreme is in front of it.

    2. A Japanese art founded by a guy named Doshin So around WW2 era, who studied at the Shaolin temple and returned to teach something that also doesn't look like Shaolin kung fu. This style is called Shorinji Kempo (Shorin is the Japanese way of saying Shaolin).

    The 2nd one is pretty neat. It combines strikes and locks together in cool ways, and they do bogu kumite (karate sparring in kendo chestpieces), and in Japan the organization is a religion. You're also less likely to find an overpriced Shorinji kempo place, and their uniforms are pretty cool.
  10. DerAuslander is offline
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    Posted On:
    4/02/2013 1:39pm

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Napier View Post
    1st time posting but im wondering what the general opinions on the 2 styles? Choy Lay Fut has a fairly good reputation on here as one of the few styles of kung-fu that work but I know little about Lama Pai. Any kung-fu guys on here willing to offer opinions and comments??
    Why the **** do you care about the opinions of people on an Internet board who you have never met?
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