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    West Wind-Setting the Record Straight

    Hello people,

    this is my first posting so I hope you guys read and comment. I stumbled across a few threads regarding West Wind Kung Fu and I wanted to set the record straight in a series of posts. It seems to me that most people do not understand West Wind or have just not looked into things deep enough. For my own reasons I shall remain anonymous. Prior to coming to West Wind I taught in another Chinese Kung Fu system in the early 1980's and have spent a lot of time checking out other schools and styles. I have intimate knowledge of West Wind as I was a Sr. Head Instructor and ran one of their schools in the for some time before quitting. The school used to be a great school back when money was not the focus. Twenty some years ago I could rattle off the names of all the blackbelts from its inception; there were that few. Back then there were good instructors like Mr. Zwior, Kelley, Gonzalves, Campell, Rad, Ahmad, and others. The hoops you had to jump through to get belts, especially the advanced belts were formidable. For your Blue belt and again for your blackbelt you had to fight full contact matches, usually 2-5 at the end of your test and always at least one fight would be a mass attack. Basically you stood in the middle of the mat with 4-5 other high ranking martial artists and the Blackbelt running the test would point to you and say your the good guy. The other guys job was to kick your ass. No one ever won, but that wasn't expected. They wanted to see if the student would give up and quit fighting if they were getting an ass kicking. Students would put on some basic kempo gear so no one got serious hurt and it was an all out fight. The judges wouldn't stop it even if the good guy went down and the others were jumping on him and kicking the shit out of him. Keep in mind this is all done after you completed a 90 minute blue belt test or at the end of a 3 hour blackbelt test. Twenty years ago West Wind practitioners could fight. Wish I could say the same now.

    I hope you liked my little introduction. I will keep writing if there is an interest in the topic. If anyone has any questions I'll do my best to answer them. I was an insider so I know how it worked then but today I don't even recognize the school. They have definitely lost their way!

    #2
    Any video evidence of the "hardcore" days or just the word of an anonymous guy on the Internet?

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by FooManChoo View Post
      Hello people,

      this is my first posting so I hope you guys read and comment. I stumbled across a few threads regarding West Wind Kung Fu and I wanted to set the record straight in a series of posts. It seems to me that most people do not understand West Wind or have just not looked into things deep enough. For my own reasons I shall remain anonymous. Prior to coming to West Wind I taught in another Chinese Kung Fu system in the early 1980's and have spent a lot of time checking out other schools and styles. I have intimate knowledge of West Wind as I was a Sr. Head Instructor and ran one of their schools in the for some time before quitting. The school used to be a great school back when money was not the focus. Twenty some years ago I could rattle off the names of all the blackbelts from its inception; there were that few. Back then there were good instructors like Mr. Zwior, Kelley, Gonzalves, Campell, Rad, Ahmad, and others. The hoops you had to jump through to get belts, especially the advanced belts were formidable. For your Blue belt and again for your blackbelt you had to fight full contact matches, usually 2-5 at the end of your test and always at least one fight would be a mass attack. Basically you stood in the middle of the mat with 4-5 other high ranking martial artists and the Blackbelt running the test would point to you and say your the good guy. The other guys job was to kick your ass. No one ever won, but that wasn't expected. They wanted to see if the student would give up and quit fighting if they were getting an ass kicking. Students would put on some basic kempo gear so no one got serious hurt and it was an all out fight. The judges wouldn't stop it even if the good guy went down and the others were jumping on him and kicking the shit out of him. Keep in mind this is all done after you completed a 90 minute blue belt test or at the end of a 3 hour blackbelt test. Twenty years ago West Wind practitioners could fight. Wish I could say the same now.

      I hope you liked my little introduction. I will keep writing if there is an interest in the topic. If anyone has any questions I'll do my best to answer them. I was an insider so I know how it worked then but today I don't even recognize the school. They have definitely lost their way!
      So your tests were kind of like a Kyokushin test, but not as many rounds and you got to wear gloves and headgear? I mean I guess that's better than average krotty, but you aren't impressing us as much as you hope.
      It seems to me that the Sanjuriu Martial Art is not in guestion, but, rather the character of Mr. Galt.
      -AkidoMom

      Comment


        #4
        I am really sick of this blah blah blah back in my day bullshit about martial arts.

        You know what? It most likely sucked then and it sucks now.
        Guess what even if it didn't suck then, what the fuck difference does it matter?
        Is your hardcore martial arts training such a core part of who you are that you can't stand people not knowing how awesome you once where?
        I mean seriously wtf?
        Get over your own fucking ego.
        No one here gives a shit if you are or ever where a hard man.

        Fuck by gone days.

        If you want to get back to doing something respectable their are plenty of options out their that offer up the real deal.

        So who cares if it isn't what you where doing before.

        If the shit you learned before doesn't transfer to what works now. Well it was shit to begin with.



        Don't give me shit about your age either I have seen 70 year old White belts in my BJJ classes.
        Of the single rapier fight between valiant men, having both skill, he that is the best wrestler, or if neither of them can wrestle, the strongest man most commonly kills the other, or leaves him at his mercy.
        –George Silver, Paradoxes of Defence

        Comment


          #5
          X-WW Head Instructor setting the record straight

          Originally posted by Plasma View Post
          Any video evidence of the "hardcore" days or just the word of an anonymous guy on the Internet?
          Right now, just the word of an anonymous guy in the internet. I have pictures but they only prove I was a Head Instructor there. For reasons of my own I choose to remain anonymous. I have nothing to gain from posting here. I just saddens me to see how far the art I once loved has fallen. Even in it's heyday there were problems, but most schools have their good and bad aspects. If anyone has any questions about West Wind I would be happy to answer them. Later I will continue my account of my time there.

          Cheers

          Comment


            #6
            I got caught in a rainstorm in front of the West Wind dojo in Alameda, a good number of months ago. Only major storm in a while, actually. I was telling my friend about my first tournament fight.
            "Yeah, I was doing some dynamic stretching before my fight. The coach of my opponent saw me doing this stretch and somehow, I dunno how, thought I was throwing front kicks, so my opponent was coached to stop my front kicks no matter what, because somehow he thought they were really great or something. Which they aren't."
            "Really? I mean, what stretch was it?"
            "Oh, this one, where you swing your straight leg up high and then down and back a little bit, see?"
            I demonstrated the stretch, and from the front door of the dojo I hear "WOW, that's a really good front kick?"
            Schooling my expression, I turned to see Mr B. I don't remember what Mr. B's name was, but he was a black belt and an instructor, and I think maybe 14 years old. He was shorter than I am, by a great deal, voice still high.
            "Oh, thanks," I told him, "but that was a stretch, not a front kick. See, in my style, a mae geri has four parts. Chamber, strike, retract, and place." I demonstrated the kick, sort of near him, but not threatening him, and he flinched violently, but didn't bring his hands up. I started to feel bad for him. My noob ass usually thinks to protect my head, sorta. Here he was, a black belt and instructor, and he didn't think to guard his head?

            "Don't worry, I'm not going to hurt you." Why would I beat up a kid? Well I guess some people think they'll prove something by doing that.

            I asked him a couple questions, friendly, of course. No, he told me, they didn't really do much sparring, and never with contact, except he did a couple of "full contact" rounds before his black belt test, in private, to "make sure he was worthy of it."

            'Course, I've met at least one instructor in some branch of Shotokan who thought that "full contact" meant "touching the body, feather light," so I don't really know what he meant by "full contact" there, but as far as I can tell, hearing from this instructor kid, the test they do now isn't anything like what you described. Lots of kata and striking the air and, I'm sure, standing in a really deep horse stance (which I see them doing every time I walk past.)

            Not included, from what I have observed- learning to punch with a straight wrist. Learning that kind of pushing on someone will not make them comically windmill their arms and dramatically stumble 5 or 6 steps back before throwing themselves on the floor. That was something Mr. B was "drilling" with a student while my friend and I watched during the storm.

            I am the most crap fighter in my dojo, but I'm really grateful to be training there, nevertheless. :p

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by FooManChoo View Post
              Right now, just the word of an anonymous guy in the internet. I have pictures but they only prove I was a Head Instructor there. For reasons of my own I choose to remain anonymous. I have nothing to gain from posting here. I just saddens me to see how far the art I once loved has fallen. Even in it's heyday there were problems, but most schools have their good and bad aspects. If anyone has any questions about West Wind I would be happy to answer them. Later I will continue my account of my time there.

              Cheers

              Fair Enough. From what I been reading it seems like West Wind was your standard Kung Fu school with its pluses and minuses till there was some change years ago that turned it into a profit making center instead of a Martial Arts academy. Sorry :( Did you find somewhere else or train or though of starting your own academy as you were a head instructor?

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by Evergrey View Post
                ...

                I asked him a couple questions, friendly, of course. No, he told me, they didn't really do much sparring, and never with contact, except he did a couple of "full contact" rounds before his black belt test, in private, to "make sure he was worthy of it."

                'Course, I've met at least one instructor in some branch of Shotokan who thought that "full contact" meant "touching the body, feather light," so I don't really know what he meant by "full contact" there, but as far as I can tell, hearing from this instructor kid, the test they do now isn't anything like what you described. Lots of kata and striking the air and, I'm sure, standing in a really deep horse stance (which I see them doing every time I walk past.) ...
                I don't know if we here have formally defined "full contact" either.

                To me at least it means that I am striking to injure my opponent and he is doing the same thing to me. If I could knock my opponent out with the first strike in the first round and not even go the distance, that would be the best way for me to get through that fight without injury.

                By that metric, I have never done full contact, even after nearly four years at the Seidokaikan hombu. We struck with hard contact, and in some rounds neither I nor my opponent was holding anything back, but we were still in some respect working together, fully intending to go the distance in the sparring match, and each trying to learn something.

                To me full contact is a fight you're trying to win, not a sparring match in class with classmates or friends. It sounds like West Wind students do no full contact sparring if that's the case, since none of their students should be surviving the beating described in OP without debilitating injuries.
                It seems to me that the Sanjuriu Martial Art is not in guestion, but, rather the character of Mr. Galt.
                -AkidoMom

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by FooManChoo View Post
                  Right now, just the word of an anonymous guy in the internet. I have pictures but they only prove I was a Head Instructor there. For reasons of my own I choose to remain anonymous. I have nothing to gain from posting here.
                  Thanks, anonymous guy, for setting the record straight. I can assure you that many of us here are nodding our heads in respect for our new-found knowledge.

                  Say, can you do me a favour? I'd love to see some video of what sparring at West Wind looked like. Thanks in advance.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    For your Blue belt and again for your blackbelt you had to fight full contact matches, usually 2-5 at the end of your test and always at least one fight would be a mass attack. Basically you stood in the middle of the mat with 4-5 other high ranking martial artists and the Blackbelt running the test would point to you and say your the good guy. The other guys job was to kick your ass. No one ever won, but that wasn't expected. They wanted to see if the student would give up and quit fighting if they were getting an ass kicking. Students would put on some basic kempo gear so no one got serious hurt and it was an all out fight. The judges wouldn't stop it even if the good guy went down and the others were jumping on him and kicking the shit out of him.
                    This is a common anecdote. It seems to be used to illustrate how much a student is prepared for fighting, but let's turn it around- what does it say about the other students that four of them couldn't injure one of them? To me, it suggests that they aren't really trying in earnest to hurt them, or they're not that good at hurting people. Jumping on someone in an attempt to injure them should yield lots of injuries.
                    The usual response to this inquiry is "well, we learn to use good control", but then, is it really full contact?

                    Twenty years ago West Wind practitioners could fight. Wish I could say the same now.
                    If you're admitting they can't fight now, then what's there to set the record straight about? We all seem to agree that they can't fight now.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by Permalost View Post
                      This is a common anecdote. It seems to be used to illustrate how much a student is prepared for fighting, but let's turn it around- what does it say about the other students that four of them couldn't injure one of them? To me, it suggests that they aren't really trying in earnest to hurt them, or they're not that good at hurting people. Jumping on someone in an attempt to injure them should yield lots of injuries.
                      The usual response to this inquiry is "well, we learn to use good control", but then, is it really full contact?


                      If you're admitting they can't fight now, then what's there to set the record straight about? We all seem to agree that they can't fight now.
                      Sadly I suspect OP just cropdusted us and won't be back to respond to anything we've said. At least maybe there's some stuff in here for anyone who stumbles across the thread googling West Wind to think about.

                      Then again, what if each successive generation of West Wind black belts is six times better than the last? Clearly the newest ones must be monsters.
                      It seems to me that the Sanjuriu Martial Art is not in guestion, but, rather the character of Mr. Galt.
                      -AkidoMom

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by MrGalt View Post
                        Sadly I suspect OP just cropdusted us and won't be back to respond to anything we've said. At least maybe there's some stuff in here for anyone who stumbles across the thread googling West Wind to think about.

                        Then again, what if each successive generation of West Wind black belts is six times better than the last? Clearly the newest ones must be monsters.
                        I think you forgot something.

                        6 x 0 still equals 0.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          West Wind Bok Fu? Now I understand.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Guys, guys, guys...just saying, if you back up a bit and ignore the title of his thread and the horrible wording used in the first three sentences, this is an opportunity here to do what this site says it's goal is intending to do. I mean, he agrees that the place sucks now, so there's definitely a consensus there.

                            By inviting him to check out the arts of used by guys and gals who really "can fight," as opposed to lighting him up for his honest, upfront beliefs about the fighters back then (remember him saying "back then, these guys could fight" isn't the same as him saying "back then, my Dim Mak would murdurz your petty Jitz"), his eyes can be opened. As another poster said, there's 70 year old's showing up for BJJ these days.

                            So...as someone who has spent thousands of bucks on karate, watching my child blow through the ranking system while still having a hankering feeling of "Hmm, yeah, but can she REALLY fight? Or can she just KARATE fight?" until we finally let go of all the...false confidence builders karate encourages and completely focused on Jitz (and soon to add some wrestling to supplement that), I want to say to the OP that now is the time to check out some quality non traditional arts like BJJ, MT, MMA, Sambo if it's in your area and you're still able to train.

                            Even if you aren't, it's still worth looking into because your with your experiences, you can compare and contrast and make your own determination of what it's worth. I think if you're smart enough to see how West Break Wind has fallen off, then you're smart enough to see what's going on with the aforementioned arts. Remember, even though the training is hard, that's only because you're learning something that's worth learning. It's a lot more than two guys or girls rolling around beating the hell out of each other...and it's REALLY REALLY practical.

                            OP, These guys here really aren't a bad bunch, it's just they get so many people White Knighting crappy arts/schools after being blasted on the forums, that they get ready to pounce in for the kill once they see phrases like "Setting the record straight" and "haven't done the research" and "don't understand." I think your purpose of this thread was lost with your initial wording. Yes, I do tend to think even the guys back in the days you speak of really couldn't fight unless it was according to Karate rules, but I think you would come to that determination yourself if given the chance to look at the 'good stuff.'

                            I can say in full confidence that my daughter, the four stripe white belt in BJJ, could kill my daughter, the green belt who was a week from a purple belt when we left, in a fight. Same person, same athletic ability, same intelligence...just one thing is more effective than the other in a fight. After doing some research, I think you'll see the light as well.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Oh yeah they are trying to say they're big time boxing somethingorother now.

                              http://boxrec.com/list_bouts.php?cat...uman_id=428906

                              Here's her fight record, I guess? I don't know much of anything about boxing organizations, so I do not know how legit or amazing she happens to be, but boxing and bok fu are not the same thing, heh.

                              The name still makes me think of some sort of vegetable.

                              Click image for larger version

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                              Would love to see someone try to box like that. Or do any kind of alive sparring like that. I really would because I cannot seem to figure out how.
                              Last edited by Evergrey; 9/07/2014 5:19pm, .

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