Did movies hurt Kung Fu
I have enjoyed reading all the Kung Fu TCMA CMA threads that have come up in the last few days.
Besides a one hour semniar last year I know sweet F' all about Kung Fu.
Looking around though it seems that Kung Fu used to be a very "Alive" martial art about 40 years ago with students of it trying it out on each other in full contact fights.
What happend? Someone suggested it was the Kung Fu movies that hurt it as people wanted to learn what the saw on screen instead of learning how to fight, and that a lot of crappy teachers poped-up to take the money and do just that.
That seems the most likely.
What do the Kung Fu experts on the site think?
im no kung fu expert, but i think that that kung fu movies have hurt and helped kung fu, there are alot of kung fu stars that are actually great fighters, but like you said, kung fu movies made alot of fake kwoons come to be, but it also boosted the MA world, it also made alot of the martial artist out there want to begin martial arts (like Chuck Liddel).
god knows some of them make me cringe.
heng fa are you really training at a shaolin temple?
No, I don't think movies "hurt" kung fu as a whole.
I think "kung fu" was hurt most by the cultural revolution than anything else. There has also always been a principle of secrecy, that's hurt it.
Another thing may be the society that most of us live in. There is not the same external motivation to become a great fighter.
I don't know, but these are my best guesses.
“We are surrounded by warships and don’t have time to talk. Please pray for us.” — One Somali Pirate.
Originally Posted by HwangJangLee
I don't think its just movies. It's just not as socially acceptable for martial artists to go out and beat each other senseless in no-holds-barred free for all gong sau fights in the street and on rooftops anymore.
Back in the '60s, people apparently weren't such pansies... I can pretty much guarantee my instructor's instructor Wong Shun Leung wouldn't have been nearly as good as he was if not for the dozens of challenge fights he fought in Hong Kong when he was young.
I'm gonna have to go with mantis on this one and blame the communists. The Cultural Revolution broke the society of martial arts that existed in China until the mid-20th century, dispersing its knowledge and its human base all over the world. Those that stayed behind were either forced to retire, teach in secret, or take up "kommunist kung fu" (wushu).
But also like some have said, the Western, modern materialistic society that we all live in does not make it easy to live the kind of lifestyle that people that truly trained in the martial arts did a few decades ago. My sifu's generation did, but things have changed since then.
That said, if many CMA studios would insitute programs similar to what BJJ has done, where you have a relatively controlled free-sparring environment where you can test your skills on fellow students; then I think that would go a long way to bring back some of the spirit that was lost.
I don't know how many of you out there have day jobs or are students, but like I said; to get ahead in this world and even make enough money to pay for martial arts lessons, it takes a LOT of time that could have been spent training and conditioning yourself.
no doubt the cultural revolution effected martial arts in china, but it's not like they were fully eradicated- it is not so easy to disrupt what is already an insular and relatively closed door practice to the point of no return, which seems to be the suggestion often heard when the CR and Chinese martial arts are brought up together in conversation. There are still martial lineages that exist that predate the great leap backward.
in the US, to be honest, I think TCMAs have been affected by the same shaping forces as all other martial arts- by things like the reality of the effectiveness of the gun- I mean the impact of that instrument alone can not be underestimated, teachers who leave before their training is complete, with further iterations depleting the curriculums, support of PRC compulsory wushu over TCMAs in the land of it's birth, gullibility of those suckered into chicanery, these things moreso than anything else have caused what can be seen as the deterioration of most martial arts, chinese ones included. I think if you think about it clearly, most martial artists, no matter what they train, are in a bit of a fantasy prep nowadays...anyway, the liveness is just common sense to good training for a particular kind of fighting and there are examples of it in TCMAs here in the US.
I see plenty of good TCMA around, it's just that the bad is so glaringly bad, lol...
It's ironic that it's called a cultural revolution when a large chunk of their culture (maritial arts) became so watered down.
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