Is fitness the ultimate key?

Discussion on the three big Chinese internals, Yiquan, Bajiquan, Piguazhang and other similar styles.

Re: Is fitness the ultimate key?

Postby C.J.W. on Fri Dec 30, 2016 7:53 am

grzegorz wrote:Yes, but you also stated in "many cases" which is where we disagree. If you do 12 hours of manual labor a day you find ways to "relax" while doing it otherwise the work would be impossible.


IMO, relaxation has little to do with it. It's about how typical manual labor will not necessarily better prepare/condition one's body for TCMA/IMA.

If your line of reasoning is correct, then farmers, construction workers, lumberjacks, and miners should all be able to excel in TCMA/IMA and pick it up much faster than an average joe. Would you say that's true?

My Fujian White Crane teacher was in his 90s when I trained with him, and he told me how he used to teach FWC in the countryside of central Taiwan back in the 1950s and 60s. The town was a farming community, and the majority of his students were farmers in their 20s, 30s, and 40s. He said he hated teaching them because years of robotic and repetitive manual labor in the fields had left their muscles "dead" and ingrained bad habits into their movement. It was very difficult to "undo" and "rewire" their bodies to move in the manner required of a crane style practitioner.
Last edited by C.J.W. on Fri Dec 30, 2016 3:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Is fitness the ultimate key?

Postby Steve James on Fri Dec 30, 2016 9:17 am

The town was a farming communities, and the majority of his students were farmers in their 20s, 30s, and 40s. He said he hated teaching them because years of robotic and repetitive manual labor in the fields had left their muscles "dead" and ingrained bad habits into their movement. It was very difficult to "undo" and "rewire" their bodies to move in the manner required of a crane style practitioner.


Hmm, but I thought that part of this argument was cultural: i.e., that is China, the preference was for the creation of a certain type of fitness for martial arts. So, if Chinese farmers developed "fitness," it would be along the Chinese cultural model.

However, if the example above is representative --which actually seems reasonable-- then the previous arguments about the results of hard labor are accurate, and apply regardless of the culture. Of course, farmers needed to work hard to live. Learning martial arts is either a necessity (for soldiers and criminals) or a luxury for people who did not have to spend their days working hard. The people with that much free time have always been the exceptions to the rule. But, they didn't need to be fit, either. I don't think that means that fitness was a disadvantage, though.
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Re: Is fitness the ultimate key?

Postby grzegorz on Sun Jan 01, 2017 2:05 am

Exactly and the length of time it takes for someone to pick up a crane form has nothing to do with fighting either.
“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” ― Edmund Burke
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Re: Is fitness the ultimate key?

Postby Steve James on Tue Jan 10, 2017 12:14 pm

http://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsod ... -gatherers

After the countdown to New Year's, Americans start thinking about upping the intensity of their workouts or making room in their schedule for a boot camp.

But the men and women of the Hadza, a group of hunter-gatherers in Northern Tanzania, have no need for resolutions to be more active.

Anthropologist Herman Pontzer, an associate professor at Hunter College, and his collaborators distributed GPS units with heart rate monitors to a group of Hadza adults. The goal was to use the gadgets to pinpoint the level of physical activity in Hadza life.

What Pontzer and his collaborators reported in a study published in October in the American Journal of Human Biology is that the Hadza are moving much of the time, typically in moderate and sustained activity rather than vigorous bursts.


I tried to find a photo of a Hadza with a pot belly. For them, though, it would be a luxury.
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