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    What follows is a quote from Liu Jinsheng, the author of the 1935 Chin Na Fa manual that was recently translated by Tim Cartmell. I just received a copy as a gift, and I'll likely write up a review sometime soon, but in the meanwhile this is worth adding to this thread:

    In recent years, the central government has begun to promote traditional martial arts, and every province has established martial arts training halls. Besides Chinese wrestling, the most popular arts are the Shaolin and Wudang styles of kung fu, both of which have methods of solo practice. yet the practical applications of these arts is a subject that is never breached. Those who have practiced these arts twenty or thirty years have never defeated anyone who has practiced Western boxing or judo. Why is this? It is because the practitioners of Shaolin and Wudang styles only pay attention to the beauty of their forms -- they lack practical methods and spirit and have lost the true transmissions of their ancestors. Hence, our martial arts are viewed by outsiders merely as rigorous dancing.

    When the ancients practiced any type of martial art, sparring and drilling techniques were one and the same. Once a fight started, techniques flowed in sequence, six or seven at a time, never giving the opponent a chance to win. In the Ming dynasty, men such as Qi Jiguang and Yu Dayou advocated this type of realistic practice and opposed any empty practice done for the sake of appearance. This is why these men have proud reputations in history.

    Today the scientific method is employed the world over. All disciplines seek to refine their techniques. Only China fails to improve its traditional martial arts over time, and even our past knowledge is being lost. [...] This is a great pity.
    Last edited by Jack Rusher; 10/10/2007 7:25pm, . Reason: the editor inserted some dancing hitlers for reasons that elude me. I forgot to type the word 'forms'.


      'When the ancients practiced any type of martial art, sparring and drilling techniques were one and the same. Once a fight started, techniques flowed in sequence, six or seven at a time, never giving the opponent a chance to win.'

      that's the difference between kuntao/kune tao/quanfa and 'kung fu' for the most part these days. that's why they call kuntao 'old kung fu'.

      link fist ftw.


        Nice post about Forms even if it is about Karate.
        Originally Posted by BlindAs

        Karate, if not other TMAs as well, is fucked up because of kata.

        My understanding is that before modern karate, kata were used as a mnemonic device; basically they helped the student to remember how their techniques were used. Practicing the kata itself were not meant to improve your technique, were not mock battles, were not super-long combos. They only jogged your memory while you were away from training. (Example: throw a snap kick to the stomach before moving in to elbow them in the head)

        When karate was exported out of Okinawa in the early 20th century, it was as a budo art, not a practical fighting system. The kata became physical development exercises and the instructors stopped teaching the techniques in the kata.

        Kata performance--making kata look good--became the focus of kata. Karateka are judged on their ability to perform kata in gradings and tournaments, and masters impress people with their 'powerful' kata. Truth is, most don't even know what the moves mean. Modern karateka religiously practice things like chambered punches, static stances, and 'snappy' looking techniques, in and out of kata.

        A lot of karate schools (within Shotokan, Goju, Wado, whatever) try to cover up their complete misunderstanding of kata by making up meanings for the moves in the kata, and saying that these made-up techniques are karate techniques. If you have at least half a brain you can see that making up a meaning for something you don't understand is absurd.

        So kata don't fulfill their original purpose anymore. What kata have helped is to turn the majority of karateka into chamber punching, stance holding, dance-performers. If it wasn't for modern kata, karateka would probably move and strike a lot more naturally, like the various types of kickboxing, and wouldn't waste hours and hours of training.

        Sure, some people like doing kata. Dancing and making angry faces is fun.
        Originally Posted by BlindAs
        My opinion is that for kata to serve as a mnemonic, you should have learned the relevant techniques before learning the kata. That's why I think it's odd that there are so many moves in kata that don't resemble the basic techniques being trained in the same school. Hell, that's how authors like Iain Abernethy or Bill Burgar make their money.



          Very interesting update of ideas from Tim Cartmell:

          Interview of the year IMO.


            That was great reading, I'm glad you posted it!


              Originally posted by It is Fake
              Interview of the year IMO.
              I'm glad you posted that. I've had it bookmarked for a couple months with the intent of putting it up here, along with this one, which the same guy did with Mike Patterson (I've pruned it down a bit):

              How long do you think an average student of internal arts needs to train until he is able to defend himself or to fight in the ring? Do you think it needs longer than in the so called external arts?

              Mike Patterson: It depends on the focus of training. I have been successful training people with no experience within a year to be competent ring fighters.

              [ ... ]

              Karl-Heinz: [ ... ] Or with other words. must a sport fighter be trained different than IMA fighters who just train for self defense?

              Mike Patterson: I have been asked that question many times over the years. My answer is no. [ ... ] One of the best living examples of that would be my eldest student, Alex Shpigel. Alex has never been defeated in the ring. He has been a World Champion, Multi-times International Champion, Multi-times National Champion and Multi-time Regional Champion.

              [ ... ] He had no trouble adapting his technical selection for the ring what-so-ever. [ ... ]

              Karl-Heinz: How is your pads and heavy bag work constructed? Can you explain some of the drills you teach in your school?

              Mike Patterson: I strongly believe in percussion training. For me it is one of the primary pillars of martial development.
              Last edited by Jack Rusher; 12/21/2007 4:49pm, . Reason: Added emphasis.


                Yes, now we have two good articles from IMAers.

                He had no trouble adapting his technical selection for the ring what-so-ever.
                This needs to be tattooed on anyone saying anything different.


                  San da, san shou, kuo shu, lei tai = FC KF

                  And another one from 1994, shortly after I left the game (one of guys quoted heavily in this article is my old san shou coach):

                  To its innate advantage, sanshou is a sport with a high excitement level. Executed in three, two-minute bouts, competition takes place on a platform - often called a lei tai - that is 24 feet square and raised two feet from the floor, significant in that some rules stress throws and grappling to maneuver the opponent off the platform, along those lines, sanshou is easy for the observer to understand - a clear component in successful spectator sports such as Western boxing.

                  [ ... ]

                  Also for safety reasons, certain techniques are not allowed in sanshou competition. While leg sweeps and throwing are permitted and are awarded high points, the fighters are not allowed to hit at the throat, or kick to the groin, spine or knees. Other moves including elbow strikes, open-hand strikes, biting, and head-butts have also been forbidden. However, cautious changes are occasionally made when they are proven to benefit both competition and competitor. Professor Xia Bai-hua is head of the Technical Institute in Beijing, China, and was sanshou chief referee at the 1993 Second world Wushu Championship in Malaysia. According to Professor Xia, "one (upcoming) rule change will allow knee strikes and elbow strikes, in addition to the current repertoire of punches, kick and throws. The objective of our research is to make competition more exciting and spectacular for the audience, but also to be safer for the contestants," said professor Xia. "In order to accomplish these goals, new protective equipment has to be designed that will not limit fighting technique."

                  Other organizers would prefer to return to sanshou's ancient origins, however, Adam Hsu, who just returned from Beijing, related that Zhang Yao-Ting, the president of the Chinese Wushu Research institute, and chairman of the Chinese Wushu Association wishes to name a chuang yuan - an older term designating "the best" with origins in national examinations in the Confucian sacred text - in a national sanshou tournaments in the various provinces. More unconventional in light of the fact that it could limit international competition. Zhang Yao-Ting expressed a desire to gradually eliminate protective gear. "He wants to take it away step by step," said Hsu.

                  Equally intriguing when discussing various full-contact rules is sanshou's connection to kuoshu, often seen as the Taiwanese counterpart to the Chinese based sanshou. [ ... ] Though a few see a stringent dividing line between the sports, some such as Goh see less contrast. "The rules will always be slightly different," says Goh, but "the various names all mean the same thing."

                  Others see the distinction as primarily historical. Huang Chien-Liang, president of the united States Kuoshu Federation and Chinese American Kuoshu Federation, notes that "kuoshu has another meaning as 'national art.' In 1928, the Central Kuoshu Academy was formed, and they sponsored a full-contact tournament, but when the Communists took over China, the original Chinese government moved to Taiwan, where, in 1955, they held a full-contact tournament, calling it lei tai. At that time, they used the original rules; no protection, and no weight class - whatever number you picked up, you fought together. In 1975, Taiwan sponsored the first World Wushu Tournament, and started to have weight class division. So by 1992, Taiwan had already sponsored seven kuoshu lei tai fighting events," he says.

                  Meanwhile in China, "kuoshu had been oppressed during the Cultural Revolution," notes president Huang, "and martial arts was then allowed only for performance until 1979, when wushu was allowed to include self-defense, so practitioners began writing the rules for the sanshou wushu tournaments, and the Communist government held a tournament called sanshou."

                  Confirming the common direction of kuoshu and sanshou toward safety, however, president Huang approves of the rules changes in full-contact kung fu. "In 1986, at the fifth world tournament in Taiwan, they had a separate weight class, but still no protection. So many people suffered a broken nose and other injuries." As a result, the international Kuoshu Federation - of which Huang is vice-president - decided to change the rules. "So since 1988, the new rules apply."

                  Surprisingly, the varied opinions, organizations and interests in full-contact kung fu have seemed to foster rather than hinder its growth. Progression has been strong and steady throughout the last two decades according to Anthony Goh. "In the early 1970s, full-contact kung fu was being promoted in Southern Asia. Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong were active in championship competitions." Goh comments. "Thirty-eight countries participated in the first Wushu World Championship in Beijing, China in 1991, and 53 countries participated in the 1993 championship in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Athletes from all the countries competed in the sanshou division. The United States also sent sanshou teams both times," he says. [ ... ]

                  Professor Xia Bai-hua expresses the belief that "according to our research during the past few years, many techniques in the traditional systems are not practical. It is important not to be preoccupied with arguments of traditional versus modern techniques. It is also not a good idea to 'protect' traditional systems by tailoring the rules to exclude, for example, foreign styles. Also, it is important to sift through the traditional Chinese arts to see which techniques are usable in sanshou. It is important to experiment with and thoroughly train in the traditional techniques to determine their effectiveness."

                  Others stress the similarities already present between sanshou and more traditional kung fu. "for example, the t'ai chi technique 'Waving Hand Like Clouds Drifting By' is widely used in countering the opponent's kick," notes Yu Zhi-bo, the coach of the Sanshou Team of Beijing Wushu Institute, which was headed by Wu Bin. "It is a very effective way to absorb and catch the opponent's leg."

                  [ ... ]

                  Master Li Wing-Kay, president of the Brazil Chinese Kuoshu Federation, a representative of South America Khoshu Federation, and an international referee for wushu and kuoshu, however - who notes that "approximately 80,000 people in Brazil practice kung fu and nearly all of them are involved in sanshou" -echoes many who see sanshou as a chance to improve realistic fighting skills. "If you only practice (kung fu) without competition, why not practice other kinds of sports such as swimming or dancing?" said Kay.

                  [ ... ]

                  Tat-Mau Wong was Full-contact champion of Hong Kong and Southeast Asia in the 1970's, and is licensed promoter of full-contact kickboxing in California and promoter of full-contact events open to all martial arts. He commented that full contact "is really tough training. It's not like usual kung fu training. It's mental game. You have to know your opponent and know yourself to win."

                  Even some kung fu styles must adapt their way of thinking to participate in sanshou. Dr. chi-Hsiu D. Weng, who is president of the United States Shuai-Chiao Association, notes that a majority of people in his style "would look at sanshou as a more combative expression of techniques already taught in shuai-chiao, but that are not practical in tournaments. In any case, the joint locks and joint attacks of shuai-chiao are not allowed in sanshou competition. Under the current sanshou scoring system, a throw is not valued as highly as it would be in a street-fighting situation. Being thrown head-first onto hard concrete, or being stuck with a joint attack, would have a much more decisive effect in a real fight, than being struck by a single punch or kick"

                  Nonetheless, Mark Wong, also a shuai-chiao practitioner, sees sanshou as an opportunity for martial artists. " to test their skills." He teaches martial arts at the Chinese American International School at the San Francisco Presidio military base and at his club in Oakland, California. "it would be interesting to see people with different martial arts backgrounds sparring." Says Wong. "many people work on theory, or they only fight in a certain style, and think that their style would work against everything else. Through sanshou, kung fu practitioners can try their skills against other styles, and see how they fare in this king of competition.

                  [ ... ]


                    Replace with Basically any TMA or eclectic style:

                    Originally posted by Tom Kagan
                    And, yes! If you have only a 1 in 12 or less chance of finding that one good teacher, it absolutely reflects on the one who can do it that 11 cannot.

                    Originally Posted by Vulgar42Ox
                    elites of a style? what is your point? so wing chun is just not usable if it doesnt have a represenative. even tho you just watched wing chun fighting that wasnt bullshit you still deny wing chun. i cant believe you dont see huge holes in your logic. if a bunch of people go to a crappy wing chun school, then the good wing chun schools are bad, because there is less of them. is there some like democratic vote on styles i missed, was there a 2006 election where over 50% of wing chun people go to horrible wing chun schools, so even tho the other 49% work hard at wing chun and are talented, it doesnt count. seriously, thats just a load of crap. i wont encourage more posts in this thread, i just cant help but respond on a boring night.

                    your absolutely right, wing chun sucks, no one is good at wing chun, and if they are good and can fight, it doesnt count. you win.

                    So, by your logic, if only 11 in 12 marines can't actually pull the trigger, that is no reflection on the Corp's training method, because 1 of them still can.

                    .. or if 11 out of 12 cars produced by GM can't make it out of the showroom without breaking down, its no reflection on GM's ability to produce quality cars because there is 1 which can still move.

                    Every style which fails simple tests deserves every last bit of ridicule from the fighting community.

                    If there are no comparable numbers of elites which can compete with the elites of other styles, and also the average practitioner cannot demonstrate an increase in fighting skill in a level playing field, then yes, it is a reflection of a problematic methodology. If the above isn't happening (or hasn't happened consistently in almost 40 years), this isn't a loss of an election in a democracy; it is a failure of training methodology.


                      Originally posted by It is Fake
                      Replace with Basically any TMA or eclectic style:
                      I'm glad you brought this thread back to life. Those were excellent articles.

                      On a side note, the GM and founder of my system was the coach for the US team at the '75 Kuoshu tournament held in Taiwan.


                        Ah, so he isn't the no contact ,I'm scared type, of coach. Train hard.


                          I love this thread.


                            Originally posted by It is Fake
                            Ah, so he isn't the no contact ,I'm scared type, of coach. Train hard.
                            I also liked the comments regarding forms. We do quite a few of them and they can be great training tools but they're just one of many tools in the box.


                              See, I have no problem with forms. Never have in the correct context. You'll find posts here where I say as much.


                                Originally posted by Errant108
                                I love this thread.
                                Yeah it started as a lark because of Jack.

                                I stumble across thins as I search out old threads. I know you have some good ones on the site. I'm just looking for that right one. I'm also going to adds simo's recent post on Aikido.



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