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    You guys know where this is going soon.

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      Where?

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        Progressive Martial Art Thinkers - No BS MMA and Martial Arts

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          If you read the Tai Chi Classics, study the philosophical foundation, practice the moving meditation, you will gain a sense of awareness, feel supple, and possibly be able to generate a lot of speed and power. But it is hard to translate these principles into viable martial application until you test yourself out in the ring and incrementally separate the real from the mythical. Unfortunately, many teachers haven't done this themselves, and they protect their egos and their schools by claiming to have tremendous power -- for example, the ability to throw someone without touching them -- but they refuse to show anyone. Often, supposedly great martial artists will avoid demonstrating their "power" by offering the explanation: "If you and I were to spar, I might kill you." Whenever I hear this I know that I am listening to a charlatan.
          -- The Art of Learning, Josh Waitzkin

          Waitzkin trained for years with William CC Chen, ultimately winning two gold medals at the 2004 Zhong Hua Bei (akak Chung Hwa Cup) push hands tournament in Taiwan (arguably the highest level of play in that sport). He's currently a BJJ brown belt.

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            Continuing the series of posts related to the Shanghai leitai, W C Chen was a student of Zhang Zhao-Dong, who trained Zhao Daoxin (the finalist who gave the great interview a few posts back). Zhang Zhao-Dong was also of the same generation and Beijing training group as Cui Zhendong, who is mentioned in the Western Tigers in Old Shanghai thread.

            Anyway, I just ran into these W C Chen quotes in a book by one of his students (Making of a Butterfly by Phillip Starr):

            Although shuai-jiao is a martial art itself, virtually all styles of kung-fu employ various throwing and takedown techniques. Chen was a strong advocate of the grappling art and insisted that his students become as skilled with the grappling techniques as they with [ striking ] techniques.

            Chen nodded and addressed the entire group. "In a real fight, people like to punch and grab. They try to wrestle with you. If you cannot fight this way, you will lose."

            He motioned for one of the students (a fellow whose surname was Lum) to step forward. "If Lum grabs me and wrestles, what can I do?"

            So saying, he directed Lum to grab him in any way he liked and throw him to the ground. [...] In a flash, Lum's feet were above his head and Chen brought him down easily.
            "See? He tries to wrestle with me, I take control and throw him down. This is very important."

            "The teacher of my teacher was Cheng Tinghua. He was very, very good at shuai-jiao. His style of Baguazhang was full of these kinds of techniques."

            "There are 'rules' for throwing that you must remember. First, always hit your enemy before you throw him. Second, never use your strength against his strength. Use his strength against him. If he pulls, you push. If he pushes, you pull. Never try to throw someone who is not off balance. If his stance is strong, you cannot throw him even if he is smaller than you. [ ... ] If your opponent is very tall, you can use body throws. If he is short, use leg sweeps."
            ... thoroughly practical and conventional advice for modern fighters.

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              Originally posted by Jack Rusher View Post
              Continuing the series of posts related to the Shanghai leitai, W C Chen was a student of Zhang Zhao-Dong, who trained Zhao Daoxin (the finalist who gave the great interview a few posts back). Zhang Zhao-Dong was also of the same generation and Beijing training group as Cui Zhendong, who is mentioned in the Western Tigers in Old Shanghai thread.

              Anyway, I just ran into these W C Chen quotes in a book by one of his students (Making of a Butterfly by Phillip Starr):



              ... thoroughly practical and conventional advice for modern fighters.
              "There are 'rules' for throwing that you must remember. First, always hit your enemy before you throw him. Second, never use your strength against his strength. Use his strength against him. If he pulls, you push. If he pushes, you pull. Never try to throw someone who is not off balance. If his stance is strong, you cannot throw him even if he is smaller than you. [ ... ] If your opponent is very tall, you can use body throws. If he is short, use leg sweeps."

              Terrific advice. Thanks for posting.

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                I just found this interview with Wu Bin (Jet Li's wu shu coach) on MMA in general and the Art of War promotion in particular. I was mildly surprised by his positivity:

                MMA is now a new sport in china, and it breaks the tradition of using large boxing gloves. MMA fighters use sandbag gloves to fight, which allows the use of grappling techniques. So definitely I think MMA is a very exciting sport.

                Host: Do you think MMA is really close to traditional Chinese Wushu?

                Wu:

                Host: You must have seen many different kinds of fights before, and my question is how do you feel after you have watched a MMA fight.

                Wu: From my point of view, MMA is much more practical than any other combat sports in the world.

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                  Those last two sentences are awesome. I had a flashback to a nursery rhyme:

                  YouTube- Make New Friends

                  Study jujutsu / but also chin na / one is silver / the other is gold

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                    The Journal of Chinese Martial Studies is a new magazine published in China for an international audience. The first issue is available for free download as a beautifully designed PDF. I recommend it as an absolute treasure trove for CMA history dorks, including discussion of -- and photos from -- the 20s and 30s guoshu events in China (which included, as it turns out, wrestling, strike/throw fighting, and *weapon* matches).

                    Here's some representative text from Ma Mingda on bajiquan:

                    so long as a vigorous youth applies his efforts, he will grasp the principles of Baji and reap the benefits of training, and will not be befuddled by empty mysticism. Unfortunately, the development of Chinese martial arts has fallen under the shadow of superficiality in recent years. In this atmosphere, and (including Bajiquan) for their own gain, freely adding branches and leaves and foisting theories from other martial arts styles on to Baji, about which they have not a single sensible word to say, and merely adding froth and theatrics in order to enhance their weak techniques,
                    ... in addition to bajiquan, there's coverage of the early development of Hung family fist (attn: Ming Loyalist), the history of physical culture in China, &c.

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                      Awesome find.

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                        *subscribes*

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                          This is a good read, thanks for putting it up.

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                            This link was originally posted by SBG-Ape
                            http://www.straightblastgym.com/interview08.htm





                            What we teach at the Straight Blast Gym is individuals. Not "Styles", Systems, or methods; be they called Jun Fan, or Classical Gung Fu.

                            What we teach those individuals to do is fight on their feet, in the clinch, and on the ground. How we do it is with ALIVENESS. Remember, all that matters is what YOU can do, and how well YOU can perform. The rest is just a semantic exercise in mental masturbation.



                            So are you saying that JKD is anybody that trains "alive" and in all ranges. And if so, what about interception. Isn't Jeet Kune Do the Art of interception?


                            What about Interception.


                            Are you saying JKD is the same as NHB sport then?



                            I am saying that if what you do works. . it will naturally resemble NHB sport.



                            This is a question that is becoming so common I thought I would try and address it as simply as possible.

                            The idea that there is such a thing that is "self defense" training is in and of itself yet another in a long line of martial arts myths.

                            Let me explain. What works in "sport" is what works against resisting opponents. Much of what is passed of as to "deadly" for sport, is simply technique which will not work against resisting opponents. Obviously there are some foul tactics (such as biting and eye gouging) which could never be allowed in sport. But, would you really want to go tit for tat with a Rickson Gracie, or Tom Erickson by biting or eye gouging?

                            What is the difference between "self defense" Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and tournament Jiu-Jitsu. . . .not much. An armlock is an armlock, holding mount is holding mount, etc. There are some things you need to watch for, but I have always seen Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Instructors address these. For example, when Rickson teaches a seminar he will often teach the simple shoulder lock from mount position. He will say "for street turn away from his face while you pop this because he may try and claw your eyes", but the armlock is essentially the same!

                            My friend, and Machado black belt Chris Haueter recently completed a video series with us titled "Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Streetfighting" (featured in our new adverts in IKF and black belt) Do you think Chris taught a whole "different" version of Jiu-Jitsu? No, he simply demonstrated areas that need to be addressed for the street. . .the moves, the positions, the training, the conditioning, the timing. . .its all the same. He also made a good point, you could take a very good boxer, and in a manner of minutes teach him to open his hands, how to strike the eyes, etc, and he would be very effective. However, if you took someone who knows no boxing, and has never done any sparring, and teach him or her just "streetfighting eye boinks" they will still get their ass kicked.


                            What about knives and multiple opponents .
                            . . .what about them? RUN! I cannot fight two large males who are strong and know even some of what I know. Neither can Randy Couture, Chris Haueter, nor (I've asked him) Rickson Gracie. If someone pulls a knife on me I am doing my best Ben Johnson imitation.


                            So are you saying you don't teach streetfighting anymore?


                            I am saying that to train specifically for the intention of "streetfighting", is a philosophical dead end. Actually I don't believe there is a better way to prepare someone for a real life altercation then the way we train here. Thats still not the point. The point is that the pursuit of "streetfighting" is never an excuse for not training athletically.



                            What about all the people who aren't jocks. . .who were beat up and are just looking to learn to fight! Who need the spirituality and self defense skills that are offered by realistic "streetfighting" training, and traditional martial arts.


                            Yes, many people come to martial arts to learn to fight. Many were picked on, and or beat up as a kid. Many were not "jocks", and lack a certain level of self esteem.

                            The answer to that puzzle exists in athletic training and work against resistance. You can meditate under a waterfall, chant secret chants, etc. All day long. . .but the scared kid inside still exists. However, once that person begins training "alive", against resistance, a wonderful thing happens. .they learn what they can do, what they cant do, they learn what they are truly scared of, and what they are not. . .and low and behold, they begin liking themselves more. Action, is truly the high road to self esteem, as Bruce Lee so eloquently put it.

                            I do allot of work with kids that have emotional problems at the Gym. I have also seen kids that lack confidence and self esteem helped greatly by wrestling coaches and others who give of their time.

                            Contrast that with traditional self defense, and or streetfighting arts. Put these same scared kids in there. . .they begin wearing camouflage pants, carrying knives everywhere, thinking "tactically", etc. Becoming just bigger dorks and obvious targets for a bully jock. They grow up and turn into the geeks you see at gun and knife shows. The ones who played dungeons and dragons in high school, and were constantly picked on. Instead of confronting those issues through athletics. . .they resort to looking for the "mysterious", the secret Silat master who can teach them to beat up the football players. . .as they have always fantasized.

                            As Krishnamurti said, "Once you reject experience, and begin looking for the mysterious, then you are caught!"I find it interesting that on the forums that are mostly populated by people training athletically. .ie: Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, boxing, etc. when the question of streetfighting comes up, knives, multiple opponents, etc. . most say without hesitation they would run. I have posted the same scenario on "traditional" forums, populated by the kung fu, aikido, shaolin, silat, etc, folks. . .and you would think you had never run into a bigger bunch of bad asses, (at least over the internet). . . .of course reality is that they would be the first to pee their pants and haul ass. The only difference is that they would feel like cowards when they did it. Where as a real fighter, ala; a Rickson, or Royler, or Couture, or even a good wrestler like Stephan Neal, etc, has nothing really to prove. They know what they can do.he pitfall for them is the world of deadly martial arts, and weekend commandos. In that world they can live out their fantasies, without ever confronting themselves. Becoming just another bitter geek filled with bullshit hippie philosophy.


                            Why do you say you don't teach Wing Chun type trapping anymore?


                            When was the last time you ever saw anything that remotely looked like a wing chun or "kali" style trap in a NHB competition? You probably never will either. . . . . .guess what....there is a good reason for that!



                            Sure, complex trapping combos may not work just like some train them. But, don't you think they help develop attributes like line familiarization, helping you see all the possibilities, and "hardwiring" your reflex's?


                            Sure, complex trapping combos may not work just like some train them. But, don't you think they help develop attributes like line familiarization, helping you see all the possibilities, and "hardwiring" your reflex's? The ART is in the performance! Not the repetition of dead patterns passed on through hearsay by a "sifu".


                            Matt, I'm going to have to disagree with you. If I misunderstood what you have to say, please correct me, but it seems that you're saying that all these drills are worthless. I agree that drills are worthless without sparring, but I also believe that if you have weaknesses in your game, they can be worked on in isolation using drills. And then you have to be thrown back in against live opponents again. Boxing and wrestling and Judo which all focus on competing against live opponents have plenty of drills.

                            As far as the BJJ example goes, I've heard a story about Kimo going into Joe Moreira's studio, wiping the floor with the blue belts and purple belts there and being awarded a purple belt on the spot. If this story is true, would you consider Kimo a good technician because he could wrestle opponents with less athleticism and strength up to a purple belt level? Or would you say he was an awesome physical specimen and fighter who had a lot to learn about technique?


                            First off the idea of training the drills long associated with the FMA such as hubud, sombrada etc, primarily for the "empty hand attributes" makes absolutely no sense when you stop to think about it. What do you think will develop better attributes for empty hand fighting...attributes such as timing, footwork, spatial relationships, flow, rhythm, etc. . . .actually sparring against an "ALIVE" opponent, and , or doing yet another meaningless variation on a dead pattern drill such as box pattern. You don't have to be a genius to figure it out...and yet instructor after instructor, person after person...we constantly hear the same rhetoric about "attributes" and self preservation vs self perfection....etc.

                            Also you must re think the notion that there is a difference between being a good "technician" and being a good "fighter". Have you ever heard a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Instructor say to another "that black belt is a really good technician...but he just cant beat the purple belts in sparring."? Being a good technician in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu means you have a good groundgame in sparring. Not having a good groundgame in sparring means you are not a good technician! Fighting of all sorts, and ranges is the same. The idea that you can be a good technician without being a good fighter is another in a long line of myths that I hope you all come to question.

                            It's never disrespectful to question the answers, but it's cowardly not to speak the truth for risk of offending the long held JKD myths.





                            Matt, I agree with much of what you say. But I still think you guys are now teaching a 'sport' and not combat! Combat, "streetfighting" is much different. What about military style training methods, and people who just need COMBAT techs?

                            Answer:

                            No problem. I appreciate your questioning. . sincerely. I also completely understand your point. I just don't think its very valid.

                            You see, how do you test reality for the street? Do you purpose streetfighting? Beating up some drunks in a bar? What does that prove. You say science. Where is the acid test?



                            I don't follow the logic of "streetfighting". It is a philosophical dead end. It is impossible to prove, and it is constantly used as an excuse not to train athletically. That may not be the case with you. . .but you must understand that 99% of the people that rail against NHB as being a 'sport' and not for street, are Aikido, and kung fu geeks that couldn't fight there way out of a wet tissue paper bag. They are looking for the 'secret' Chinese master thats to 'humble' to actually spar, as he has no 'ego'. And will teach them to beat up those naughty football players that have picked on the poor kid since he was in grade school. Do you see? Its all a big cliche, a joke!



                            As far as the streetfighting stuff goes. . believe me, I have heard it all before! The military training methods.etc. I was in an elite unit of the military. We didn't learn much of anything for hand to hand. Its not a priority. . .as most encounters are handled at the end of a 5.56 round. What is taught is a simplified version of what we do. Simplified due to time constraints. . not effectiveness." -Matt

                            There is more but, this is what I liked.

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                              Excerpts from The 8 Prohibitions of Che-style Xingyi by Prof Che Xiangqian, as translated and reported at the excellent Wu Lin Ming Shi blog:


                              2. The previous generations of Che xingyi in Taigu did not talk about thisNot a single living person has displayed any of these phenomena through practice of xingyi. This is because there are no real martial artists in whom obvious and neutralising powers, or hitting and neutralising powers are separated; because the internal and external changes together in people who pracice xingyi in a scientific manner;

                              3. Our forebears were of the opinion that the internal and external should be trained together, at the same time. Training in a scientific manner measurably strengthens all the organs and systems of the body. students that ignoring the external shape in favour of practicing neigong cannot produce a master, nor will it lead to health and longevity; instead, it can easily lead to monkhood. There is factual proof of this.

                              4. In martial arts tales and books, there are many training methods that can enable the practitioner to withstand sword cuts, lift great weights, vault over walls, even to move objects with the mind or eternal youth, etc. Our forebears were always dismissive of these kinds of claims.

                              [ ... ]

                              8.

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                                Zhang Xiaowu, one of Chen Zhenglei's disciples, lays it down:

                                , which has no set moves. [ ... ] If someone wishes to become an expert fighter, they should devote more of their time to non-cooperative sparring.

                                but barely any of them managed to see it through to the end.

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