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  1. W. Rabbit is offline
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    insight combined with intel, fuse, and dynamite

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    Posted On:
    6/17/2010 12:50pm

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     Style: (Hung Ga+BJJ+MT+JKD) ^ Qi

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!

    Hung Ga Kung Fu + Judo Thoughts...

    First post....lurked a bit rather than posting. Killing two birds with one stone here, introduction and serious questions about my current style Hung Ga. I thought I'd try to find some kindred spirits on the board and noticed a number of folks study both Judo and some form of eastern boxing, this seems to be a great balance of learning effective striking and effective ground technique. I studied Judo for several years in college and was having a blast sparring and competing until two back to back injuries (the last was letting a white belt tori throw me in harai goshi and he yanked my arm in a way it was not meant to go) made me hang up training for almost a decade to get married, have kids, etc.

    After my sons were born I wanted to get back into a martially disciplined mindset and I set out to find a good teacher of *something* and settled on a local Hung Ga sifu who had trained for many years in many different styles both traditional and modern but happened to enjoy teaching Hung. Knowing all about the bullshit passed off as MA these days everything seemed in order (our kwoon is nothing fancy but has lots of space and the necessary equipment, lots of bruising and contact, price reasonable, no claims to Zen wizardry other than the typical breathing, meditation techniques that I know from experience are solid).

    I was interested in people's take on Hung (particularly Ming Loyalist's), no bullshit. What do you like/dislike? I have to say that after about a year of Hung training my old Judo injury pains vanished and I began to practice my judo technique again and felt more power and flexibility than I had in my early 20s.

    regards, ED
  2. Ming Loyalist is offline
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    solves problems with violence

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    Posted On:
    6/17/2010 2:24pm

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     Style: Judo, Hung Family Boxing

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    well, for one thing, i feel that judo and hung ga can be trained together to produce a well rounded fighter (of course the newaza work wouldn't be as thorough as BJJ, but that's fine with me.) most styles of chinese kung fu have neglected their shuai (throwing) training, so judo fills a much needed void there.

    ok, on to likes/dislikes of hung ga:

    i like the emphasis on impact conditioning and grip strength, the lack of flashy kicks, the qi gong work (both health and power generation stuff), the five animal/5 element theory stuff (when it is taught in the proper way), and the association with traditional chinese medicine.

    i dislike the tendency to hype up "the deadly" (tiger claw eye gouges, etc.), the 5 animal/5 element stuff when it is not understood to be a fighting philosophy, the weapons work (very few people approach the weapons work in a realistic manner), the amount of class time spent doing dead pattern drills rather than alive drills with progressive resistance, and the approach that most sifus take of making beginners do stance work and forms *before* doing basic sanda. i believe in doing sanda until the student can fight a bit, and *then* doing stance work and forms if they want to.

    where do you train? the tang fung lineage is fairly tight knit, so chances are i either know or know of your sifu.
    "Face punches are an essential character building part of a martial art. You don't truly love your children unless you allow them to get punched in the face." - chi-conspiricy
    "When I was a little boy, I had a sailor suit, but it didn't mean I was in the Navy." - Mtripp on the subject of a 5 year old karate black belt
    "Without actual qualifications to be a Zen teacher, your instructor is just another roundeye raping Asian culture for a buck." - Errant108
    "Seriously, who gives a **** what you or Errant think? You're Asian males, everyone just ignores you, unless you're in a krotty movie." - new2bjj
  3. W. Rabbit is offline
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    insight combined with intel, fuse, and dynamite

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    Posted On:
    6/17/2010 3:27pm

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     Style: (Hung Ga+BJJ+MT+JKD) ^ Qi

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Thanks Ming I appreciate the candor.

    I am training out of the South Plainfield branch of Yee's Hung Ga, Sifu Tom Grant is my instructor. I did my first Lion Dances in Chinatown this last February, that is a whole other story (had a blast and what a cultural experience for me). Studying Hung is (aside from my martial interests) part of my overall self-imposed goal of learning Chinese language and culture, something I figured might come naturally if I studied a relatively "tested" style like Hung from an honest instructor. So far Sifu Grant has been an excellent teacher.

    As far as his training he has been nicely progressive depending on the student which is important I think. There is an initial focus on stance work if you are WEAK in that area (most people are, I sure was and 30 lbs heavier at the start) and of course learning the forms in "encyclopedic" form is an elemental part of any style, but we quickly get shown combat applications, footwork, and on to the free fighting which I am happy to confirm for myself...is a real amazing art :)

    I have had the luxury of past background in MA so I took my training seriously from day one knowing what I wanted, like my Musashi quote I believe MA helps me in all aspects of life. Like they say you can study without heart for decades and never have decent skill, or you could train for a year with total heart and advance beyond most casual students who spend their whole lives "dabbling".

    My favorite quote from the Matrix was "You do not truly know someone until you fight them", I think this goes double for one's self. You can't made an omelette without breaking some eggs, can't make an effective fighter without breaking ....something.

    Thanks again,

    ED
    Last edited by W. Rabbit; 6/17/2010 3:30pm at .
  4. Ming Loyalist is offline
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    Posted On:
    6/17/2010 6:20pm

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     Style: Judo, Hung Family Boxing

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Earth Dragon View Post
    Thanks Ming I appreciate the candor.
    no problem. i'm known for being brutally direct.

    I am training out of the South Plainfield branch of Yee's Hung Ga, Sifu Tom Grant is my instructor. I did my first Lion Dances in Chinatown this last February, that is a whole other story (had a blast and what a cultural experience for me). Studying Hung is (aside from my martial interests) part of my overall self-imposed goal of learning Chinese language and culture, something I figured might come naturally if I studied a relatively "tested" style like Hung from an honest instructor. So far Sifu Grant has been an excellent teacher.
    tom grant is an excellent sifu, and you have made a good choice in joining his mo kwoon. lion dance can be a very rewarding part of your CMA practice, and it can also be a huge drag. i learned a hell of a lot about chinese culture doing it, that's for sure, and i'm glad that i did it for so many years, but i don't miss it much right now.

    the only problem with doing southern CMA as a way to learn the chinese language is that all the counting and technique names are in cantonese, but if you want to go to china you'll need mandarin. also if you want to read the signs in chinatown and in the mo kwoon, you'll need to know the traditional hanzi, but if you want to read books or again go to china, you'll have to learn the simplified characters.

    As far as his training he has been nicely progressive depending on the student which is important I think. There is an initial focus on stance work if you are WEAK in that area (most people are, I sure was and 30 lbs heavier at the start) and of course learning the forms in "encyclopedic" form is an elemental part of any style, but we quickly get shown combat applications, footwork, and on to the free fighting which I am happy to confirm for myself...is a real amazing art :)
    when i speak about progressive resistance, i am actually speaking of a very specific training method, championed by matt thornton and his straight blast gym. it would take a lot of typing, so here's a blog of his that is a great read on the subject: http://aliveness101.blogspot.com/ it's a long read but well worth it. a 2 minute youtube clip probably covers the point i am making however: YouTube- What is Aliveness - Matt Thornton

    realize that i took a fairly radical approach in my teaching methods, and that most people in the family don't agree with me on how to teach beginners. hence my saying that i disliked the order in which the material is presented. i don't have an issue with forms or stance work at all, i just think that everything makes a lot more sense after a student has a grounding in sanda.

    I have had the luxury of past background in MA so I took my training seriously from day one knowing what I wanted, like my Musashi quote I believe MA helps me in all aspects of life. Like they say you can study without heart for decades and never have decent skill, or you could train for a year with total heart and advance beyond most casual students who spend their whole lives "dabbling".
    the same can be said for those who don't do realistic sparring, don't spar with other styles, and don't compete in full contact. training with heart necessitates testing yourself. far too many mo kwoons do not emphasize that point to students. while there is nothing wrong with having some students who are forms competitors and others who are fighters, it *is* wrong to let those who don't fight think they are fighters. i think judo does a great job of making that point abundantly clear.

    i'm not trying to hate on forms competitors, but i just feel that they have to be realistic about what they can do. as an example, i really don't like seeing forms competitors performing on the lei tai platform at some tournaments. that platform is sacred to me, and i feel that if you stand up there (and you aren't the ref) you are literally asking for someone to come and knock you off the platform. most people don't agree with me on that point, and that's ok, i know i am being a bit extreme.

    My favorite quote from the Matrix was "You do not truly know someone until you fight them", I think this goes double for one's self. You can't made an omelette without breaking some eggs, can't make an effective fighter without breaking ....something.

    Thanks again,

    ED
    yes, you don't know someone until you fight them, and there is nothing like the mutual respect that comes after you cross hands with someone. that's why i thank my sifu for putting on the gloves and personally kicking my ass so much, and also being willing to go out and test himself and our art outside of the mo kwoon.
    "Face punches are an essential character building part of a martial art. You don't truly love your children unless you allow them to get punched in the face." - chi-conspiricy
    "When I was a little boy, I had a sailor suit, but it didn't mean I was in the Navy." - Mtripp on the subject of a 5 year old karate black belt
    "Without actual qualifications to be a Zen teacher, your instructor is just another roundeye raping Asian culture for a buck." - Errant108
    "Seriously, who gives a **** what you or Errant think? You're Asian males, everyone just ignores you, unless you're in a krotty movie." - new2bjj
  5. W. Rabbit is offline
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    Posted On:
    6/18/2010 8:59am

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     Style: (Hung Ga+BJJ+MT+JKD) ^ Qi

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Ming Loyalist View Post
    i think judo does a great job of making that point abundantly clear.
    Amen. Thanks for the great blog/video spot I am going to look into it more.
  6. nomamao is offline

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    Posted On:
    6/18/2010 8:36pm


     Style: Hung Ga Kung Fu

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Ming's said all I can say. I hope you enjoy your time in training Hung Ga and don't unlearn any of your judo training, but find the common ground in both.
  7. Pen is offline

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    Posted On:
    6/18/2010 11:09pm

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     Style: jiu/ju/kettlebells/cma

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    I learned my Hung Ga from the same sifu as Ming, and I now do Judo and BJJ as well. I have a somewhat different opinion than Ming's on some details, but overall agree with most of what he said, and I agree that Judo is an excellent combination with Hung Ga, and my kung fu training has definitely enabled me to progress much faster in both Judo and BJJ. I agree that aliveness is a crucial part of training, whatever you do.

    Tom Grant is an excellent teacher; I don't know him real well, but we've met at various events several times, and I've worked out with him a tiny bit, and with students of his. He knows his stuff, and he can teach it. Ditto most of what Ming said about lion dance, its also good physical training and helps with learning connection, a key concept in Hung Kuen. As far as hanzi, that's independant of dialect, and it is much much easier to go from traditional to simplified than vice versa (that's a whole other rant...). If you can read traditional, you can get up to speed in simplified in a matter of weeks (speaking from personal experience of my own and teaching others). And when I was in southern China, in 2001, Cantonese was still very much alive and well; people spoke mandarin in you spoke it to them but conversed with each other in Cantonese. I'm told the same is true in Hong Kong and various other overseas communities. All this is a digression though; if you're interested in my more specific thoughts on how Hung Ga and Judo combine, and how to get the best out of both, send me a pm and I'd be happy to chat.
  8. oplus is offline

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    Posted On:
    6/19/2010 12:03am


     Style: Judo, BJJ

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    You know how you got your arm wrecked, by chance? I'm pretty new at judo and I'd like to watch out for my fellow judo noobs destroying my joints during randori, or vice versa. I can't really imagine how a harai could mess up your arm in standardgrip, so I imagine that you must have been pretty throughly entangled or something.
  9. Ming Loyalist is offline
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    Posted On:
    6/19/2010 9:47am

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     Style: Judo, Hung Family Boxing

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Pen View Post
    I learned my Hung Ga from the same sifu as Ming, and I now do Judo and BJJ as well. I have a somewhat different opinion than Ming's on some details, but overall agree with most of what he said, and I agree that Judo is an excellent combination with Hung Ga, and my kung fu training has definitely enabled me to progress much faster in both Judo and BJJ. I agree that aliveness is a crucial part of training, whatever you do.
    hey dude! sometimes i forget you're lurking around here... pen and i trained together a lot under the same sifu, were often under the same lion during lion dance, and when our sifu went off to travel and test himself, he helped me a lot with my training. i'm glad he's here to temper some of what i said!

    we need to catch up, i'd like to hear how your judo/bjj is coming along, and i hope we're not in the same weight class at the promotional tournaments!

    Tom Grant is an excellent teacher; I don't know him real well, but we've met at various events several times, and I've worked out with him a tiny bit, and with students of his. He knows his stuff, and he can teach it. Ditto most of what Ming said about lion dance, its also good physical training and helps with learning connection, a key concept in Hung Kuen. As far as hanzi, that's independant of dialect, and it is much much easier to go from traditional to simplified than vice versa (that's a whole other rant...). If you can read traditional, you can get up to speed in simplified in a matter of weeks (speaking from personal experience of my own and teaching others). And when I was in southern China, in 2001, Cantonese was still very much alive and well; people spoke mandarin in you spoke it to them but conversed with each other in Cantonese. I'm told the same is true in Hong Kong and various other overseas communities. All this is a digression though; if you're interested in my more specific thoughts on how Hung Ga and Judo combine, and how to get the best out of both, send me a pm and I'd be happy to chat.
    you know *way* more about mandarin, cantonese and hanzi than i ever will know, so i'm glad you weighed in on this. i guess my point was that CMA training is not really the most direct way to learn about the chinese language. the best way is to, you know, find a teacher and study the chinese language (didn't work so well for me, but **** happens.)

    oh and by the way, you will both have to post more to enable the PM feature (i think it's 50 posts)
    "Face punches are an essential character building part of a martial art. You don't truly love your children unless you allow them to get punched in the face." - chi-conspiricy
    "When I was a little boy, I had a sailor suit, but it didn't mean I was in the Navy." - Mtripp on the subject of a 5 year old karate black belt
    "Without actual qualifications to be a Zen teacher, your instructor is just another roundeye raping Asian culture for a buck." - Errant108
    "Seriously, who gives a **** what you or Errant think? You're Asian males, everyone just ignores you, unless you're in a krotty movie." - new2bjj
  10. nomamao is offline

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    Posted On:
    6/19/2010 11:16am


     Style: Hung Ga Kung Fu

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Anyone taking CMA to learn Cantonese (well, for Hung Ga concerns, anyway) will be underwhelmed. I took Hung Ga for ten years and lived with a native Cantonese speaker for 3 years... and I know how to say a few phrases, but nothing more. Go to school and get a course in the stuff.
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