Gold Summit Martial Arts Institute
Posted On:11/02/2008 2:57pm
Style: Ba Zheng Dao Quan
So I'm sure that this has been brought up before, but I wanted to focus on the perception of people not educated in the martial arts when it comes to a CMA teacher visiting China.
Do the majority of people have instant respect to someone for training in China, and automatically discount those who have not?
I'm curious to hear your experiences.
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Posted On:11/03/2008 6:30pm
Style: BJJ, Judo & Boxing
When I first started learning CMA I thought that the best training must come from China and that sifus who had travelled to China for training would naturally be far better than those who had learnt the art from white people here in Australia. I didn't discount those who hadn't been to China, I simply had much more respect for those who either were originally trained in China, or had gone to China for some training during their career. It was just one of those misconceptions I had.
Now I think that the Chinese teach in a very traditional manner, with much emphasis on forms and cultivating chi and all that crap. Most of the recent progress in the martial arts world has come from the West, plus Thailand, where martial artists are now training in ways which simulate real fighting rather than focusing on forms or compliant drills. Also, in most traditional-style schools of CMA there's very little emphasis on developing striking power. ie, very little bag work.
Posted On:11/03/2008 10:38pm
Style: Chinese Martial Arts
You're all just jealous because I have teh real Chinese connection!
Not everyone in China is practicing like that. Just like not everyone in the US is practicing live full contact sport fighting. It is hard to find good instruction anywhere you go unless you already know what to look for. Those of us who have been practicing martial arts for a little while have been able to see what lots of people practice, see what works, and associate many different things with crap or genius.
We got plenty of wingnuts to go around here. I am sure Australia has their fair share too.
Posted On:11/03/2008 11:22pm
Oh, definately. It's just that I I think in China there are a lot more traditionalists than in the West. Would you say that's a fair call?
Though with the recent advent of sanda/sanshou CMA is modernizing...
Posted On:11/04/2008 1:50am
I don't have any reasonable way to find out. What I do know is that most of the MA schools that I have seen have been traditionalist.
I also think that most "traditionalist" schools as we know them are not very good at upholding their tradition. Sport fighting and combat fighting are the two reasons for MA training IMO. Traditionally all the arts we know of as crap had roots in real combat. Trained poorly anyone's art can look that bad.
To get a little bit back on the topic of going to China, I would think that there are alot of great kung fu teachers here in the West. Didn't a whole lot of kung fu people flee from the Cultural Revolution? I would think finding those people would be pretty exciting.
I think it also depends on your lineage. Maybe some people have some weird tradition that you have to be put through by the grandmaster every so often and they live overseas. A teacher may be reluctant to train under other people than their lineage because of their preoccupation with image (Bruce Lee learned everything from Yip Man kind of a thing...). I don't know, who cares about crap like that?
Posted On:11/04/2008 7:59am
Before I studied in China for a year and a half: Tremendous respect for anyone who had trained there.
After I studied in China for a year and a half: Considerable disdain for 99% of the people who ARE training there.
I was lucky in that I found a good teacher and a good school, but to hang out at an expat bar is like attending a cosplay festival.
For me, traveling to Asia and seeing first hand the crap that is taught here did a lot to demystify the arts and put things in perspective.
But hey, with my American education, my knowledge of Asian history and culture was more or less random scenes from Vietnam movies and Kung-fu flicks spliced together in my head until I came to see for myself.
Stillness is death
Posted On:11/04/2008 12:58pm
NY Combat Sambo Style: combat sambo
Regarding training in China for credibility, I think the average non-martial artist (even some traind here) would view it as making the person more credible...even though it would not necessarily be accurate.
I can say that having trained sambo with Russians and in Russia has given people a certain credibility check with me...even though I know many good sambists who are strictly American Trained. I am sure it is the same with Kung Fu and training in China.
Posted On:11/04/2008 1:19pm
SamboSteve just raised this on the Tibetan Martial Arts thread, but have you read Matthew Polly's "American Shaolin"? Not only is it a good, fun read, but he is forced to consider some of his own misconceptions about the 'authenticity' of CMA during his stay. Admittedly, it's a little out of date now, and things may well have changed.
Posted On:11/04/2008 2:56pm
Style: ti da shuai na
I'll add my general agreement to this chorus: training in China would be good marketing for yourself as an instructor, but may not offer you the best opportunity to learn. That said, you will find the world's largest pool of san da and shuai jiao instructors in China, and I can recommend a few good traditional CMA teachers in China & Taiwan who produce competent ring fighters.
“Most people do not do, but take refuge in theory and talk, thinking that they will become good in this way” -- Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, II.4
International Man of Pancakes
Posted On:11/07/2008 4:40pm
Style: Wu style tcc+bjj
I'm planning on working in China for a bit next year. Based on what I have seen, I will try to *teach* there, rather than *study* CMA. If I actually look for classes to attend, it would probably be boxing or bjj... not a so-called "traditional" style.
Disclaimer: I have seen a few very good teachers there, but it would require me to change styles.
Anyone who has the power to make you believe absurdities has the power to make you commit injustices.
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