Some questions about Shou Shu from a very lapsed MA newbie
This is a long one, and I may ramble a bit but it's gonna get somewhere.
I'm gonna get this out of the way right now--I'm very out of shape and haven't practiced martial arts for like five years. However, I'm the type of person who doesn't like easing into things, and learns faster by actually doing something (for instance, training for a job by actually working with clients and customers and learning along the way). I am a flabby mess and realize that the local TKD school will turn me into a contortionist, but I probably won't get much else out of it.
Enter Moore's Shou Shu, a CMA school two towns over in Monterey that some of my friends really enjoy. I was skeptical, but finally went over to try a class after more or less being invited.
I was honestly very impressed. There was very little bullshit about how amazing the style was and how amazing its lineage was. I haven't been punched full-on in the stomach for quite some time, and most of the night was everybody repeatedly gut-punching each other while practicing some mantis hook block, and then later smacking each other in the jaw with another block-to-attack drill. Going by the aliveness ratings, it's probably a 6 or a 7 at best, but damn, nobody holds back (not that that's a bad thing). I apparently missed the ridiculous ab workout/conditioning/warmup from hell that they did in the beginning, but the fact that I'm going to be coming home tired and sore means something to me, and the results of that are what I'm really after, in addition to it just being fun to hit and get hit.
Talking to the instructor, he seemed very straightforward and sincere, saying that it was a class where people got hit, that was just the way it was and that was how they trained here. The atmosphere was good, in my opinion--everybody was focused on doing the drills, and after class ended, plenty of people stayed to help newer members get the basics down.
I really like this school, but there's a tiny, niggling hint of skepticism because it's a Chinese martial art. There's a stigma, it seems, that traditional martial arts can't be taught in a practical or effective way, but this looked to be just that.
Most of my worry comes from the website, which talks about how it's the ultimate form of self-defense and deals in fighting multiple attackers. I'm sorry, I got into fights when I was in high school with multiple people. One of two things happened in those cases--I'd either run away or get my ass beat. However, I haven't seen this kind of talk from the instructor or the senior students (the few of them I've met), so maybe this guy's just a reasonable alternative?
Please allay my fears, Bullshido, or prove them correct. I really want to get back into martial arts, but I'm in no shape or mentality to be a professional fighter, or to train like one.
Without knowing more about the specific school you visited it's hard to offer useful advice. Mooresmartialarts.com lists 23 locations (unfortunately the Monterey branch doesn't have an individual website) for shou shu and with that many to choose from it's entirely possible you found one that offers good workouts or even produces capable fighters. What I can tell you with absolute certainty is that the history of shou shu is completely fabricated. Al Moore was a kenpo guy who came up with a story of Chinese gangsters and daring adventures and started a successful con that's been drawing in new suckers for several decades now, even after his death. Use the search function (NOOB!) here and at Martial Arts Planet if you're interested in the whole backstory.
Last edited by dougguod; 5/26/2010 2:33pm at .
Nobody ever talked about the CMA could not be taught in a practical and effective way unless he is lier. The real CMA focus on combating very much. The thing is, all the practical techniques should be taught with the solely practiced form or with the specialized training, such as zhan zhuan, Chi kung, Sole exercise or equipment practice. The basic practices and the combating techniques should be tied firmly together or you will find your power and skillls limited in combating.
About fighting with multiple attackers, the most effective method is the good body movment and fexible foot steps, and all of thesse should be felt and learned in the combating practices.