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Judo is more kung fu than real kung fu is!

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    Judo is more kung fu than real kung fu is!

    Well, not quite, I suppose. Perhaps what I really mean to say is judo is more like kung fu as it appears in kung fu movies than real kung fu is. This occurred to me last night as I was involved in a grip fighting a battle with a partner.

    In kung fu movies you often see two combatants involved in a long sequence sometimes referred to as slapping hands. Anyone who watches kung fu movies knows what I'm talking about. It's a sequence where they will strike, block, counter, Parry, grab, break, re-grab, etc. In my years of doing traditional martial arts like taekwondo, and training and sparring with guys who trained in kung fu, I have never approached anything even close to that in real life. But grip fighting in judo, where you are slapping away your opponents attempts to grab you, breaking grips, and trying to get your own grips, actually gets pretty close to a real life version of what happens in kung fu movies!

    And you know how in kung fu movies they sometimes get tied up up top and then have a leg battle where they will kick, check, sweep, hip bump, hook with the foot, etc. in a long sequence? Again, and years of training traditional standup martial arts I've never had anything even close to that happen. The closest I've ever come to that is again in judo when you get involved in an ashi waza battle, quickly transitioning from kouchi to oouchi to sasai to a hip throw feint, back to kouchi, etc.

    So there, you see? Judo is the real kung fu!

    #2
    Exactly.

    I think we can all agree few things are more important than getting grips, so why that wouldn't be a core APPLIED skill at a kung fu kwoon, makes zero sense to me. Yet seeing two kung fu students actually trying to get and break each other's grips (or for that matter, their balance) is so rare. Think about what chi sao, "bridging", etc. really is. Just ways to connect, close space, gain a feel for the opponent, etc. Few KF schools approach it realistically from a resistance standpoint, so light chi sao etc is often as alive as they get. It boggles the mind that they couldn't/wouldn't take it a few steps further into the realm of "ok I'm going to fucking grab you, FIGHT ME". Nope, it's "ok grab my wrist. Look I broke it. ok grab my wrist again". Repeat. NO.

    I saw some pretty awesome "alive" push hands competition recently. It was ten times more intense than almost anything I've seen online. There was no patty cake or soft caresses. So it should be with all kung fu.

    Five Ancestor, Hung Ga Tiger/Dragon and other styles contain those kinds of techniques for that range. Grabbing, pulling, gripping, breaking, circling. Practically all of southern Tiger and Dragon techniques are those kind of close range clinch grappling, with some strikes and elbows. But even Tiger style's "strikes" are more or less for grabbing HARD, and breaking HARD, as opposed to just clawing, growling like in the movies. That's a caricature.

    If kung fu schools did more live grip fighting, I think they'd start improving immediately. Just a hunch.
    Last edited by W. Rabbit; 9/02/2015 8:46am, .

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      #3
      Originally posted by W. Rabbit View Post

      If kung fu schools did more live grip fighting, I think they'd start improving immediately. Just a hunch.
      There we go! I feel spoiled, though. I trained Wing Chun in Richmond, VA and they were alive as all get-out. Chi-sao was definitely a faster pace and pretty decent level of contact, not just a slow touching drill (though, this was incorporated as well for the finer points of gaining that sensitivity to motion). I trained Southern Shaolin in Jacksonville, NC and we sparred almost every single night with MMA gloves and helmets, going toe-to-toe and even focusing on specific techniques from the forms in order to apply them in a more instinct-driven manner. I guess it's just hard for me to wrap my mind around a school that teaches everything watered-down but still touts themselves as being bad to the bone.

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by W. Rabbit View Post
        Exactly.

        I think we can all agree few things are more important than getting grips, so why that wouldn't be a core APPLIED skill at a kung fu kwoon, makes zero sense to me. Yet seeing two kung fu students actually trying to get and break each other's grips (or for that matter, their balance) is so rare. Think about what chi sao, "bridging", etc. really is. Just ways to connect, close space, gain a feel for the opponent, etc. Few KF schools approach it realistically from a resistance standpoint, so light chi sao etc is often as alive as they get. It boggles the mind that they couldn't/wouldn't take it a few steps further into the realm of "ok I'm going to fucking grab you, FIGHT ME". Nope, it's "ok grab my wrist. Look I broke it. ok grab my wrist again". Repeat. NO.

        I saw some pretty awesome "alive" push hands competition recently. It was ten times more intense than almost anything I've seen online. There was no patty cake or soft caresses. So it should be with all kung fu.

        Five Ancestor, Hung Ga Tiger/Dragon and other styles contain those kinds of techniques for that range. Grabbing, pulling, gripping, breaking, circling. Practically all of southern Tiger and Dragon techniques are those kind of close range clinch grappling, with some strikes and elbows. But even Tiger style's "strikes" are more or less for grabbing HARD, and breaking HARD, as opposed to just clawing, growling like in the movies. That's a caricature.

        If kung fu schools did more live grip fighting, I think they'd start improving immediately. Just a hunch.
        While my post was definitely tongue in cheek, you bring up an interesting point. As I watch them perform a lot of traditional forms (probably the only thing in those old movies that may have some authenticity), especially the Animal forms like tiger and crane, I often find myself thinking they look more like grappling styles than striking styles. That what they end up using as strikes, really look more like grabs to me. Thoughts?

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by JudOWNED View Post
          I watch them perform a lot of traditional forms (probably the only thing in those old movies that may have some authenticity), especially the Animal forms like tiger and crane, I often find myself thinking they look more like grappling styles than striking styles. That what they end up using as strikes, really look more like grabs to me. Thoughts?
          This is an enormously common theory in Okinawan and Japanese karate, and I believe folks have discussed it on the CMA forums. People have written books about it: http://www.amazon.com/Okinawan-Karat.../dp/0965008584 One way to see the similarity is to look at shuai jiao drills.

          The problem is incomplete transmission. Nearly all JMA/OMA karateka have lost the meanings of these moves. Tell them this fact, and they think "Great! I'll buy this book that explains how a middle block is actually a seeeeeecret wristlock!" And now they're doing shitty compliant standing joint locks instead of shitty compliant two-step block-punch drills. Whoopee. The fact is that you can't learn these techniques in a vacuum, and just learning "oh, when I turn 180 degrees into a lunge, that's actually a grab and trip" doesn't help karateka learn how to grab and trip people. They need to learn the kata in the context of alive grappling-and-striking training.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by JudOWNED View Post
            Well, not quite, I suppose. Perhaps what I really mean to say is judo is more like kung fu as it appears in kung fu movies than real kung fu is. This occurred to me last night as I was involved in a grip fighting a battle with a partner.

            In kung fu movies you often see two combatants involved in a long sequence sometimes referred to as slapping hands. Anyone who watches kung fu movies knows what I'm talking about. It's a sequence where they will strike, block, counter, Parry, grab, break, re-grab, etc. In my years of doing traditional martial arts like taekwondo, and training and sparring with guys who trained in kung fu, I have never approached anything even close to that in real life. But grip fighting in judo, where you are slapping away your opponents attempts to grab you, breaking grips, and trying to get your own grips, actually gets pretty close to a real life version of what happens in kung fu movies!

            And you know how in kung fu movies they sometimes get tied up up top and then have a leg battle where they will kick, check, sweep, hip bump, hook with the foot, etc. in a long sequence? Again, and years of training traditional standup martial arts I've never had anything even close to that happen. The closest I've ever come to that is again in judo when you get involved in an ashi waza battle, quickly transitioning from kouchi to oouchi to sasai to a hip throw feint, back to kouchi, etc.

            So there, you see? Judo is the real kung fu!
            Nice observations. Just get a good double lapel grip on the guy and stop fucking around. Keep both your elbows down, and see what he does.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by 1point2 View Post
              This is an enormously common theory in Okinawan and Japanese karate, and I believe folks have discussed it on the CMA forums. People have written books about it: http://www.amazon.com/Okinawan-Karat.../dp/0965008584 One way to see the similarity is to look at shuai jiao drills.

              The problem is incomplete transmission. Nearly all JMA/OMA karateka have lost the meanings of these moves. Tell them this fact, and they think "Great! I'll buy this book that explains how a middle block is actually a seeeeeecret wristlock!" And now they're doing shitty compliant standing joint locks instead of shitty compliant two-step block-punch drills. Whoopee. The fact is that you can't learn these techniques in a vacuum, and just learning "oh, when I turn 180 degrees into a lunge, that's actually a grab and trip" doesn't help karateka learn how to grab and trip people. They need to learn the kata in the context of alive grappling-and-striking training.
              yeah this is pretty much why i changed my tune from "all CMA kwoons need to work the shuai jiao contained in their art" to "get at least a black belt in judo first and then study CMA if you can find a decent place."

              a solid base in judo can make a lot of hung ga stuff make sense.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by JudOWNED View Post
                Well, not quite, I suppose. Perhaps what I really mean to say is judo is more like kung fu as it appears in kung fu movies than real kung fu is. This occurred to me last night as I was involved in a grip fighting a battle with a partner.

                In kung fu movies you often see two combatants involved in a long sequence sometimes referred to as slapping hands. Anyone who watches kung fu movies knows what I'm talking about. It's a sequence where they will strike, block, counter, Parry, grab, break, re-grab, etc. In my years of doing traditional martial arts like taekwondo, and training and sparring with guys who trained in kung fu, I have never approached anything even close to that in real life. But grip fighting in judo, where you are slapping away your opponents attempts to grab you, breaking grips, and trying to get your own grips, actually gets pretty close to a real life version of what happens in kung fu movies!

                And you know how in kung fu movies they sometimes get tied up up top and then have a leg battle where they will kick, check, sweep, hip bump, hook with the foot, etc. in a long sequence? Again, and years of training traditional standup martial arts I've never had anything even close to that happen. The closest I've ever come to that is again in judo when you get involved in an ashi waza battle, quickly transitioning from kouchi to oouchi to sasai to a hip throw feint, back to kouchi, etc.

                So there, you see? Judo is the real kung fu!
                Oh the irony.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by JudOWNED View Post
                  While my post was definitely tongue in cheek, you bring up an interesting point. As I watch them perform a lot of traditional forms (probably the only thing in those old movies that may have some authenticity), especially the Animal forms like tiger and crane, I often find myself thinking they look more like grappling styles than striking styles. That what they end up using as strikes, really look more like grabs to me. Thoughts?
                  They are heavily blended art forms so the distinctions between striking grappling can be really blurry, which is what makes it so hard to learn and teach them if people over complicate things, and that's where the esoterica is a big problem. Simplying things into "strike" "grab" is hard, some are technically both. The systems rely on the sifu to guide a student on these things properly. At least for Hung ga the general idea is to eventually learn to punch/kick to grab to throw to lock, or the basic 4 categories of Chinese MA. FYI, the first time these 4 things were combined for military training in China was 500BC, and by 200BC it had become a public sport. That sport eventually became shuai jiao, with most of the non wrestling components birthing their own legacies..

                  But to keep it simple....if I counted up the positions of the 4 pillar forms of Hung ga, it's some number in the hundreds, ballpark 500, not including all the weapons. That's a lot to learn but it only takes a few years with moderate effort. Nonetheless the positions of the forms aren't as important as the space in between them, where all the actual work is done. Those 500 positions really distill down into a much smaller number of conditioned/learned body movements, and a lot of dynamic tension exercises in between. Those exercises (the qigong) are the glue of Hung ga.

                  BJJudo is the same, anyone can learn how to sit with kesa gatame. That's a "position". But really LEARNING kesa-gatame (in terms of internalizing it) involves getting it, holding it, trying to improve on it, getting it back, getting your ass swept a hundred times because you didn't control your weight distribution properly, etc. Being told by an instructor what you're doing wrong that you'd never, ever figure out on your own (you're too busy getting swept). You can hold it REALLY REALLY HARD and guess what you'll get flipped anyway, right?

                  It's all the error correction that ends up being important.

                  The same thing goes for the Five Animal Fist, it's just a 5 minute long routine of punching, kicking, locking, and throwing. Taught well, it includes all the space in between the positions too, the glue logic...graceful movement, not like a robot but a human animal, once-AGAIN-fluid (to borrow from Bruce Lee)...but what's still missing should be clear to anybody, it's what would be missing with kesa-gatame if you never tried fighting or escaping from the position. The Chinese have a simple term for the missing piece that everyone knows: "San Da".

                  You could practice kesa-gatame 1,000,000,000 times, sitting in a 100% dead on balls accurate hold....and never learn shit without that part.

                  And so, 1,000,000,000 people learn martial arts, including the rich Chinese martial arts, in this shitty way. The scary thing is we've seen at least one BJJ school do exactly that, right here on Bullshido (teaching holds without resistance). Take a snapshot, it might look right but..

                  The Chinese have a name for that too: "Flowery fists and emboidered kicks".
                  Last edited by W. Rabbit; 9/02/2015 12:07pm, .

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by W. Rabbit View Post
                    .

                    And so, 1,000,000,000 people learn martial arts, including the rich Chinese martial arts, in this shitty way. The scary thing is we've seen at least one BJJ school do exactly that, right here on Bullshido (teaching holds without resistance).
                    I hope I don't get flamed for this but....... if it's not Jean Jaque...... I don't put tons of stock in the other part of that name. I have met too many iffy iffy belts. Sad but true.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by Raycetpfl View Post
                      I hope I don't get flamed for this but....... if it's not Jean Jaque...... I don't put tons of stock in the other part of that name. I have met too many iffy iffy belts. Sad but true.
                      Well I'm more of "if it doesn't have Machado" attached but I get your point.

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                        #12
                        Have any of you guys seen "Kung fu Jungle/Killer"? The OP reminded me of the fight with the throwing expert.

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                          #13
                          Originally posted by Omega Supreme View Post
                          Well I'm more of "if it doesn't have Machado" attached but I get your point.
                          Sad but true.

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                            #14
                            I think one of the things that gets me training in karate is when people don't understand that the hikite (IE, the hand at your hip) is supposed to be grabbing/holding something, or getting a limb out of the way so you can hit someone. I can't remember which historical figure said it, but his saying basically goes along the lines of 'never have a dead hand'.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by Omega Supreme View Post
                              Well I'm more of "if it doesn't have Machado" attached but I get your point.
                              Oh come on your in SoCal we can expand the list a little bit
                              Harris
                              Lister
                              Glover
                              Santos
                              Galvao
                              Ribeiro
                              ect ect

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