1. #1

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    Connection between South Pacific and Chinese MA?

    It seems pretty unusual to me, but most places that teach South Pacific MA (FMA, Silat etc) also teach some variant of Chinese MA. Can someone explain why?
    In addition, it is said that even Bruce Lee cross-trained in Escrima with his Wing Chun/JKD? Is this true? Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Keeping you safe from Mongolians

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    FMA and stick fighting were a big part of JKD when/where I trained it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by judoist View Post
    It seems pretty unusual to me, but most places that teach South Pacific MA (FMA, Silat etc) also teach some variant of Chinese MA. Can someone explain why?
    In addition, it is said that even Bruce Lee cross-trained in Escrima with his Wing Chun/JKD? Is this true? Thanks in advance.
    Many people in the South Pacific can trace their blood line to China. Many Chinese people live all over South East Asia. Especially during the Tang Dynasty 600-900 China flourished and so did trade and migration so its not uncommon to see Chinese influence in the surrounding areas.

    One of Bruce Lee's students Dan Inosanto was Filipino and that was Bruce's biggest exposure to FMA but that was in the US.

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    Post and Pre revolutionary China, there existed a strong trade route and immigration lines through the following areas in general:

    Mainland -> Taiwan -> Macau/Indonesia/Micronesia -> south and central America

    For a long time.

    I am certain that both Pirates and Ninjas could be in there somewhere, but otherwise, the immigration patterns would give you something to start with.

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    As has already been mentioned the Chinese went all over the place as did the Japanese and other nations which make up the far east and south pacific.

    I tell people that if you want to get a decent idea of what CMA looks like when it stays closer to its combative roots than you should check out some legit Kuntao and legit Okinawan Karate. With the communist government pushing all of training underground, the shaolin becoming a tourist trap, and the proclivity of Wushu in Mainland China it become hard to find. If you look for the commonalities between some of the traditional forms of Kuntao and Okinawan Karate, you will probably get a decent idea of what CMA looked like back in the day.

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    Jwinch is right, and so is chainpunch. I can't speak for all of SE Asia, but I know that one of the systems I practice, Kuntao Silat de Thouars, is a product of the intermingling of Chinese MA and Indonesian MA. I can give you two sources if you want to look closer at how it came to be.

    1. Donn Draeger's The Weapons and Fighting Arts of Indonesia (Tuttle Publishing, 1972) addresses Kuntao and its Chinese roots by saying this:

    "In the 19th century the Dutch brought in hundreds of thousands of Chinese merchants to aid the economic "farming" of Indonesia. With these Chinese came a great variety of kuntao methods, a specific conglomeration of fighting arts." pg. 29

    Draeger goes more in depth, especially about Chinese immigration before the 19th century, but this thread will be long enough already.

    2. Bob Orlando's Indonesian Fighting Fundamentals (Paladin Press, 1996) also comments on the mixture of native Indonesian arts and Chinese arts:

    "Put simply, Chinese practitioners were usually fighting other Chinese practitioners and training accordingly. With their migration to Southeast Asia...the rules of engagement changed." pg 117.

    "Now, Chinese martial artists faced a different fighter...and with an approach to fighting like none the Chinese could recall." pg 117.

    "What went into the crucible were the martial skills of two very different cultures: the time-tested skills of classical kung fu and the deadly reality of pentjak silat." pg 117.

    I hope these examples serve to illustrate how CMA came to be a part of some SE Asian styles. It IS important to note, however, that the Chinese influence had more of an impact in certain areas than others. Some regions of SE Asia got a lot from the Chinese, others got less. I would also dare to say that the Chinese took a lot from their experience in SE Asia as well.

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    Those are all great references and would certainly lend an understanding of how CMA has contributed to the development of other arts within the SE Asia region. You know, it really is too bad that CMA, which have contributed so much to the MA world in general are in such a state of affairs. It would be a worthwhile project to get some Kuntao, Legit CMA, and Okinawan Karate stylists of various types, but traceable lineage, in the same room and have them look at the commonalities of their movements in an attempt to re-create the essence of CMA from a long time ago. If you could distill that information with a focus on combatives, you would have something really worth looking at.

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    Great post, Mutt. Thanks. It would be great to have a professional Anthropologist on this topic. That said, I'll reply with a general comment that coincides with previous posts. That is the migration patterns of the world including China and all the S.E. Asian countries were dynamic and complex. A very interesting time, pre-electricity. That said, heartier souls generally men took what they knew and went everywhere and did everything. Basically, we all affected each other no matter where we lived. Again, I defer to a currently employed University Anthropologist to fill in the details. Off topic: Mutt, the book by Donn Draeger is incredible. I've owned it for 10 years and even travel with it from time when I want something interesting to read on the plane. Train well, brother. Salamat.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by SayocUSA View Post
    Great post, Mutt.
    You are posting a response to something really, really old that was posted by someone who was on Bullshido for all of two months, over a year ago.

    You really need to go to Newbietown and try again, before something terrible happens. Looking at the date of posts is another skill that you should master before posting again. It is not difficult.

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