PDA

View Full Version : Chinese Martial Arts Worth Learning?



Pages : [1] 2 3 4 5 6

GreenCross
5/16/2014 1:44am,
Ah yes, the age old question "Are there any Chinese Martial Arts worth learning?". I know the title of this thread may have been deceptive, and perhaps lured some individuals who love to make those who have an interest in CMA look like idiots, but I'm really not looking to get into a pissing match. I feel like I have a pretty legitimate question, that's probably been answered. But I don't have enough time to browse the entirety of the forum. Lets being, shall we?

Let me qualify my first question with another question: "Are there any surviving, practical Chinese Martial Arts?" or perhaps "Are there any surviving CMA that have practical application on the street?". To frame this discussion, I'm not looking for CMA that work well in the ring. Many MA used in the ring have practical uses outside of the ring, but not all MA have uses inside the ring. Once again, to qualify, I have nothing against MMA, or combat sports. I am quite aware of the effectiveness of practical MA like Muay Thai, as I have trained for several years in it and am still quite passionate about it. I am also aware of the effectiveness of BJJ, and other ground based disciplines.

I'm quite happy with my own personal blending of TKD and Muay Thai. It's worked quite well for me Kickboxing and in the future I plan on training in BJJ. But, no matter how practical these arts are, I've always wanted to learn a CMA. Maybe its part of that Kung Fu romanticism that drew so many of us to MA in the first place. Maybe it's the fact that I want to learn some tradition and wear a Gi that makes one feel like one is a part of something both larger and older than oneself (I know very few Muay Thai practitioners who do the Wai Kru, earn or wear Mongkol or Prajioud at all) and sure, maybe to us Westerners that stuff is irrelevant or just pageantry or "If its not regulation, I don't give a ****". But I'd like to think that MA is more than just learning how to bash someones face in. There I go, romanticizing again.

Anyway. So to return to the question, are there any Chinese Martial Arts worth learning? Perhaps in a fitness, street practicality, traditional sort of way?

I've heard that Wing Chun and Kempo have some practicality, but that's all hearsay.

So, whats the word?

honest_truth
5/18/2014 9:40pm,
Sanshou / Sanda

ghost55
5/18/2014 9:55pm,
I've heard some good things about Hung Gar, and I remember Omega having the base of his own unique style of Kung Fu be Seven Star Preying Mantis...

DARPAChief
5/19/2014 12:34am,
Unless the OP can further define what it is that they want out of CMA, itís difficult to know what to suggest.

Personally, my attraction to CMA is developing posture, base, sensitivity, and coordination through qigong and push-hands exercises. Other than that, Iím not sure thereís much in CMA training you wonít find elsewhere. If itís really more the idiom of living like a wuxia hero that appeals to you, you might consider getting into Chinese literature.

goodlun
5/19/2014 12:34am,
Shuai Jiao
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0JKhNhvw7-U

San Da
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uVTu9jKeh-g

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LvTQIMLPfEg

Leitai (not an art per say)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p1QEhkukxM0

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hrdy2KyqPYo
Man I want to say Pai Lum Tao Kung Fu because of Don "The Dragon" Wilson
but I am having a hard time finding video to confirm this.

bobyclumsyninja
5/19/2014 1:34am,
SanShou/SanDa

wetware
5/19/2014 3:08am,
Ke?po isn't Chinese (not any more, anyhow. Ke?po is a romanized version of a Japanese translation of a Chinese word) and it can be very good, but will likely be missing a grappling component unless you find somewhere that cross-trains regularly.

The biggest problem with ke?po is lack of quality control. Some dojos spar hard and produce people who can really fight. Others play slappy-hands and think they can fight. Check out a school before you commit to it. If they spar hard they're likely good. If not, keep walking.

The chun is a turd that just won't flush. Don't waste your time.

Holy Moment
5/19/2014 5:32am,
Wushu. You probably won't get better at fighting, but you'll at least learn some cool flips and be taught how to twirl around a flashy weapon. It's probably the best thing to go for if you're primarily interested in the romantic elements of CMA. Just remember to warm up before they make you stretch.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_uOjR1vtSQU

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QVDPoyVuZZg

(Also, expect your primary training partners to be apathetic white children)

San Shou might lack the romantic element you want, but you might get lucky and find a traditional-style school that also competes full contact. There's always a diamond in the rough.

Southpaw
5/19/2014 9:34am,
There are a lot of good answers here..but what I will say is that in my opinion there is absolutely no reason to include traditional strength and endurance exercises to your traditional martial art. If you want to learn old forms, traditional techniques or combos...that's all fine and good. But doing **** like spending 30 minutes in low horse, shocking the pole 1000 times or hitting the bag 10,000 times is an incredible waste of time and the most inefficient method of training ever imagined.

W. Rabbit
5/19/2014 10:46am,
I like the late Lau Ka Leung's four basic subtypes of "martial kung fu":


- demonstration fu (to be seen from 30 feet away, pow, smash, zip)
- movie fu (caricatures of real kung fu styles, displays of form in simulated combat to please an audience)
- Body strength fu (the internal/external strength building exercise)
- Fighting fu (the real deal, the rarest, and simplest)


The first two are everyone's favorites, especially the kids.

The third is what many "serious" people take CMA for, and as far as they will ever get. Stronger maybe...better fighters no way. Don't try telling them that though...

The last is the hardest, the one that involves the most work, sweat, blood, toil, pain management, and most of all, reduction to base elements.

If you really want to learn a CMA and accomplish the latter two, you need an instructor that has taken those seriously themselves and understands the difference.

Otherwise you are both just a pair of horse's asses, sucking at the teet of CMA and getting no milk.

Permalost
5/19/2014 12:15pm,
The thing I valued most from my decade of CMA was push hands, from a place that made it a major component of their tai chi. I'd say I still use attributes I learned there. For example, in a stickfighting comp a few weeks ago, I lost one of my sticks and when I ran to pick it up the guy chased me, so I knew as soon as I stood up I'd be getting hit, so as I rose I stepped into him with a shoulder press which sent him to the mat. Without the CMA background I doubt I'd have the structure and rooting to do such a move.

At the end of next month, I'll be teaching a push hands seminar at a hippie festival, since they were looking for flow instructors and I convinced them that tai chi was a flow art. So to me, CMA is also a method to introduce martial arts to hippies and burners, although I'm pretty explicit that a few hours of push hands with me won't make you a fighter.

W. Rabbit
5/19/2014 1:39pm,
I will say one tiny thing about traditional vs. modern programs, too.

There is a reason everyone promotes Sanda. It's the closest thing to real old school kung fu fighting without going to jail or seriously injuring each other on a regular basis.

What's missing from many trad. CMA programs is that (mutually beneficial, ego free) dueling aspect of kung fu, the most important one for hammering the nail home.

What is my favorite thing I learned from CMA?

I credit CMA for helping me whine less about my jiu jutsu boo boos.

That, and Monkey Steals the Peach.

FinalLegion
5/19/2014 2:25pm,
I will say one tiny thing about traditional vs. modern programs, too.

There is a reason everyone promotes Sanda. It's the closest thing to real old school kung fu fighting without going to jail or seriously injuring each other on a regular basis.

What's missing from many trad. CMA programs is that (mutually beneficial, ego free) dueling aspect of kung fu, the most important one for hammering the nail home.

What is my favorite thing I learned from CMA?

I credit CMA for helping me whine less about my jiu jutsu boo boos.

That, and Monkey Steals the Peach.

I'm a little confused about Sanda. Is it a training method that you can incorporate into a traditional CMA or is it system all unto itself?

Ming Loyalist
5/19/2014 2:51pm,
I'm a little confused about Sanda. Is it a training method that you can incorporate into a traditional CMA or is it system all unto itself?

it's a competition rule set. some people have abandoned any training that isn't specifically for that rule set and therefore would be running a sanda gym, but it's not a system, it's just a set of rules to hold fights under.

when checking out a CMA school you should be looking for places that compete in sanda or lei tai (another rule set.)

W. Rabbit
5/19/2014 3:03pm,
I'm a little confused about Sanda. Is it a training method that you can incorporate into a traditional CMA or is it system all unto itself?

What Ming said, and if you want to know the brief history of why...

The words san da come from the terms for traditional kung fu sparring rounds where training brothers try to hit and evade each other "free form". San da might have a different feel/look depending on the art involved. The more contact, the more gear.

The modern combat sport also takes its name from san da, but Sanda (capital S) contains a specific mix of Chinese and non-Chinese (e.g. Russian) elements carefully put together. There are a few differences between civilian and military versions.

What this means is that quality kung fu schools will include san da sessions that generally resemble Sanda, with varying degrees of contact with the "best" schools actually traveling to compete, etc. Anyone claiming that kind of "best" title had better have such a record.

One big difference between Sanda and san da, is Sanda (big S) is really a rule set as Ming pointed out. san da (little s) is whatever you agree is ok with your partner, you can punch, push, breakfall, choke, crab fu...whatever floats your boat. You can just box, or you can grapple.

San da is kung fu horse play, in a nutshell. It's all fun and games until somebody gets hurt, but that's what the jow is for.

FinalLegion
5/19/2014 3:59pm,
What Ming said, and if you want to know the brief history of why...

The words san da come from the terms for traditional kung fu sparring rounds where training brothers try to hit and evade each other "free form". San da might have a different feel/look depending on the art involved. The more contact, the more gear.

The modern combat sport also takes its name from san da, but Sanda (capital S) contains a specific mix of Chinese and non-Chinese (e.g. Russian) elements carefully put together. There are a few differences between civilian and military versions.

What this means is that quality kung fu schools will include san da sessions that generally resemble Sanda, with varying degrees of contact with the "best" schools actually traveling to compete, etc. Anyone claiming that kind of "best" title had better have such a record.

One big difference between Sanda and san da, is Sanda (big S) is really a rule set as Ming pointed out. san da (little s) is whatever you agree is ok with your partner, you can punch, push, breakfall, choke, crab fu...whatever floats your boat. You can just box, or you can grapple.

San da is kung fu horse play, in a nutshell. It's all fun and games until somebody gets hurt, but that's what the jow is for.

So, if I understand correctly...

You could attend a school that teaches, say, Mantis Style and includes san da (little s) as part of it's training...but you could also attend a school that teaches Sanda (capital S) as a modern combat sport.