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  1. #1

    Join Date
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    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!

    Chinese Martial Arts Worth Learning?

    Ah yes, the age old question "Are there any Chinese Martial Arts worth learning?". I know the title of this thread may have been deceptive, and perhaps lured some individuals who love to make those who have an interest in CMA look like idiots, but I'm really not looking to get into a pissing match. I feel like I have a pretty legitimate question, that's probably been answered. But I don't have enough time to browse the entirety of the forum. Lets being, shall we?

    Let me qualify my first question with another question: "Are there any surviving, practical Chinese Martial Arts?" or perhaps "Are there any surviving CMA that have practical application on the street?". To frame this discussion, I'm not looking for CMA that work well in the ring. Many MA used in the ring have practical uses outside of the ring, but not all MA have uses inside the ring. Once again, to qualify, I have nothing against MMA, or combat sports. I am quite aware of the effectiveness of practical MA like Muay Thai, as I have trained for several years in it and am still quite passionate about it. I am also aware of the effectiveness of BJJ, and other ground based disciplines.

    I'm quite happy with my own personal blending of TKD and Muay Thai. It's worked quite well for me Kickboxing and in the future I plan on training in BJJ. But, no matter how practical these arts are, I've always wanted to learn a CMA. Maybe its part of that Kung Fu romanticism that drew so many of us to MA in the first place. Maybe it's the fact that I want to learn some tradition and wear a Gi that makes one feel like one is a part of something both larger and older than oneself (I know very few Muay Thai practitioners who do the Wai Kru, earn or wear Mongkol or Prajioud at all) and sure, maybe to us Westerners that stuff is irrelevant or just pageantry or "If its not regulation, I don't give a ****". But I'd like to think that MA is more than just learning how to bash someones face in. There I go, romanticizing again.

    Anyway. So to return to the question, are there any Chinese Martial Arts worth learning? Perhaps in a fitness, street practicality, traditional sort of way?

    I've heard that Wing Chun and Kempo have some practicality, but that's all hearsay.

    So, whats the word?

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    Canada
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    Kickboxing
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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Sanshou / Sanda

  3. #3
    ghost55's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
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    Portland, Oregon
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    Kyokushin/BJJ
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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    I've heard some good things about Hung Gar, and I remember Omega having the base of his own unique style of Kung Fu be Seven Star Preying Mantis...

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Feb 2009
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    561
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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Unless the OP can further define what it is that they want out of CMA, itís difficult to know what to suggest.

    Personally, my attraction to CMA is developing posture, base, sensitivity, and coordination through qigong and push-hands exercises. Other than that, Iím not sure thereís much in CMA training you wonít find elsewhere. If itís really more the idiom of living like a wuxia hero that appeals to you, you might consider getting into Chinese literature.

  5. #5
    goodlun's Avatar
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    Jun 2008
    Location
    San Diego, CA
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    10,784
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    BJJ, FMA
    1
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Shuai Jiao
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0JKhNhvw7-U

    San Da
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uVTu9jKeh-g

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LvTQIMLPfEg

    Leitai (not an art per say)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p1QEhkukxM0

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hrdy2KyqPYo
    Man I want to say Pai Lum Tao Kung Fu because of Don "The Dragon" Wilson
    but I am having a hard time finding video to confirm this.

  6. #6
    bobyclumsyninja's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
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    Bahstun
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    Kickboxing (student)
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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    SanShou/SanDa

  7. #7

    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Lafayette, IN
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    BJJ/MT
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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Ke?po isn't Chinese (not any more, anyhow. Ke?po is a romanized version of a Japanese translation of a Chinese word) and it can be very good, but will likely be missing a grappling component unless you find somewhere that cross-trains regularly.

    The biggest problem with ke?po is lack of quality control. Some dojos spar hard and produce people who can really fight. Others play slappy-hands and think they can fight. Check out a school before you commit to it. If they spar hard they're likely good. If not, keep walking.

    The chun is a turd that just won't flush. Don't waste your time.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Aug 2006
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    New York
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    Prying Mantis Kung-f, SBD
    2
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Wushu. You probably won't get better at fighting, but you'll at least learn some cool flips and be taught how to twirl around a flashy weapon. It's probably the best thing to go for if you're primarily interested in the romantic elements of CMA. Just remember to warm up before they make you stretch.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_uOjR1vtSQU

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QVDPoyVuZZg

    (Also, expect your primary training partners to be apathetic white children)

    San Shou might lack the romantic element you want, but you might get lucky and find a traditional-style school that also competes full contact. There's always a diamond in the rough.

  9. #9
    Southpaw's Avatar
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    BJJ, Wing Chun
    3
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    There are a lot of good answers here..but what I will say is that in my opinion there is absolutely no reason to include traditional strength and endurance exercises to your traditional martial art. If you want to learn old forms, traditional techniques or combos...that's all fine and good. But doing **** like spending 30 minutes in low horse, shocking the pole 1000 times or hitting the bag 10,000 times is an incredible waste of time and the most inefficient method of training ever imagined.

  10. #10
    Ice Hole's Avatar
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    Mixed
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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    I like the late Lau Ka Leung's four basic subtypes of "martial kung fu":

    1. - demonstration fu (to be seen from 30 feet away, pow, smash, zip)
    2. - movie fu (caricatures of real kung fu styles, displays of form in simulated combat to please an audience)
    3. - Body strength fu (the internal/external strength building exercise)
    4. - Fighting fu (the real deal, the rarest, and simplest)


    The first two are everyone's favorites, especially the kids.

    The third is what many "serious" people take CMA for, and as far as they will ever get. Stronger maybe...better fighters no way. Don't try telling them that though...

    The last is the hardest, the one that involves the most work, sweat, blood, toil, pain management, and most of all, reduction to base elements.

    If you really want to learn a CMA and accomplish the latter two, you need an instructor that has taken those seriously themselves and understands the difference.

    Otherwise you are both just a pair of horse's asses, sucking at the teet of CMA and getting no milk.

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