Time to throw in the Kung Fu towel
First let me introduce myself. I have been lurking on your site for quite a few months now. Checking out the humorous video clips and pics and even venturing into the forums when I had the time. I have studied Martial Arts in one form or another for most of my life. Starting, like most people with Judo and Karate. I gave up training in my teens and discovered Beer and Women, either of which being unhealthy enough on it's own! I then took up Wing Chun a few years back and switched to Praying Mantis with the same instructor two years later. I've been studying Mantis for about 4-5 years now and am fairly proficient at it and have attained assistant instructor level. However, about two years back I started becoming dis-illusioned with Kung fu and didn't feel that I was progressing as much as I should be. Because the Mantis system is so vast; 83 forms including 12 weapons and Chi Kung, I never practiced any one particular thing to notice progress. My kicking and flexibility was especially bad and so I decided to take up a bit of part-time Muay Thai to solve this little problem. Two years later and I'm looking at having my first fight lined up. Every day I get more and more doubtful of the effectivness of my Kung Fu. I see more and more MMA fights (especially early UFC matches) and see time and again that Kung Fu just doesn't seem to hold up against any of the grappling arts.
I was given your website address by a friend who studies BJJ and at I must admit to initially thinking it was nothing but a group of TMA Bashers and grapping & BJJ.... nutriders? I believe that's the expression I've picked up and one that has been given an honorary place in my vocabulary. However, from reading many many posts and discussions on the various arts and re-evaluating my own reasons for training I have decided that I really don't want to spend my time swinging swords around and practicing hitting people with the backs of my hands, fingers or one extended knuckle. It's just not practical and the only place it's going to get me is pasted across the concrete.
So after almost 5 years I'm going to call it a day on the Kung Fu and concentrate on Muay Thai. There is also a BJJ club 10 minutes from my house and I gave it a look the other day. Towards the end of the class we did some rolling and I must admit to having never felt so tired in a long time. The guy I was with told me at the end that the choke I was desperatley trying to get on him wasn't on properly and he was just going to lay there until I tired myself out. The thing is, he'd been training for 6 months and me for 5 years and I could neither make him tap out nor dominate the fight as soon as he got closer than punching range.
So I'm hanging up my sash and weapons and concentrating on Muay Thai with a little BJJ thrown in for good measure. I know absolutely nothing about BJJ so please, be gentle with me.
Congratulations! While there is nothing wrong with studying Kung Fu, I'm glad that you've taken the steps necessary to make your training worthwhile TO YOU.
We all hit plateaus (sp?), and sometimes we just need a break. Train in MT/BJJ, and train hard...then maybe, down the road, you'll want to try and take your Kung Fu to the level that your MT/BJJ training is. Combine elements of all your training and create a truly balanced and fulfilling training regime that satisfies what you want from martial arts.
Welcome to the forum.
Originally Posted by Mungkorn Dam
I've recently left "Kung Fu" behind too, and being exposed to fighters from totally different background (especially grapplers) has totally changed my mindset for the better, giving me a much better appreciation of where my strengths and weaknesses lie.
You could never find that in Kung Fu (or at least that which I was involved with), for you only went up against guys who had the same limitations you did, because everyone was learning the same BS. And, of course, "cross training" was prohibited, because then my Kung Fu system's claims of completeness, being able to counter any style, blah, blah, blah, would be exposed for the bullshit they were.
And, speaking of my fellow "Kung Fu brothers", most wouldn't last ten seconds in a real fight because practically none of them bothered with the basics such as conditioning and drilling, and most were horribly out of shape. But despite this, they still thought they could fight because they knew "techniques" (that they hardly ever drilled) as well as the "concepts" and "principles" of their system!
What a joke.
BTW you're largely correct about MMA fights too. So many of these guys from Kung Fu backgrounds were getting PWN3D precisely because of the limitations of their styles and systems, the number #1 being their erroneous belief that all fighting happens when we're standing up and moving around. Once these guys went up against grapplers, they were toast because they didn't know what in the hell they were doing and NOTHING in their backgrounds prepared them for it.
I realize now that one should never get constrained by a particular style or approach to fighting, but instead try to improve one's skill in stand up, grappling and groundfighting.
Good luck to you!
Originally Posted by Mungkorn Dam
You have taken the first step. Welcome to Bullshido
It is always good to branch out. I have also been studying Kung Fu recently. Ghost dog is correct in saying that Kung fu full of people who think they can fight when they have never really practiced the techniques in a sparring. I also have been doing MT and grappling to have a better idea of what I'm doing. If you enjoy Kung fu then I would recommend taking some time off away from it and come back to it again later. After you have done something more contact oriented you'll find a way to apply that same kind of training to your Kung fu.
I'm not in your boat -- I'm not even good at traditional MA's. I kind of just plain suck.
But I have to say that I find your intellectual honesty admirable and a sign of strength.
Wait, and that's somehow changed? :new_tomat
Originally Posted by Mungkorn Dam
EIGHTY_THREE FORMS!???! That's literally insane, but probably means you'd make one cool looking video-game character. Question though, did you ever feel like you were somehow, how do I put this, "leveling-up" over your normal, non-MA friends? Okay, that may sound stupid, but let me try putting it this way:
I'm a pretty small guy and grew up used to being the runt. After screwing around with JJ and learning to wrestle a little and toss in some locks and chokes, when friends would grab me I "felt" more able to handle myself. And I could apply a few things to show them that I wasn't a pushover. After taking some WC/VT I've noticed other subtle things, like when friends go to push me I can plant myself more, twist in, and shove them around more (even when they have 100 pounds on me). In short, I've felt some subtle differences in normal, everyday encounters.
When I took karate I didn't notice any of these things. Okay, I had great leg control, but that was really on account of all the hacky-sack I was doing. No doubt you feel much more in control taking up some new things now, but did you ever feel that way about the PM?
BTW, I have *tons* of respect for MT and BJJ. I tend to think that those styles are not as dependant on having a good teacher (not that I'm saying they have bad teachers), as the styles are much more simple and straightforward. Experiences seem to vary much more widely within TMAs. I always feel bad for guys like GhostDog, who seemed to have a very closeminded kung-fu family. No cross-training allowed? :biblethum
Anyway, good luck in your matches. Go kick some ass, as most MT guys do.
Don't give up Kung Fu entirely
I went from Aikido and Traditional (too dangerous) Jujitsu to Judo and wrestling. I expect you are going to find out that a lot of the principles that your old school talked about actually work (just not the way they applied them).
For example in Aikido they talk about using uki's strength and momentum against him. In wrestling you can figure out how to actually do this. Keep us informed - try some Kung Fu principles on your new mates and see how the actual execution changes under full contact conditions.
Also chicks dig dancers, you need to practice that too.
You and I must belong to the same club.