Cailifo Video

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

Re: Cailifo Video

Postby GrandUltimate on Tue Jun 27, 2017 12:19 am

MaartenSFS wrote:https://www.youtube.com/watch?list=PL93D2EEF71BD409A6&v=VJi0tNIOusQ

I thought I'd share this video of Cailifo (Choy Lay Fut) training. I like the training methods and the progression from drilling to sparring is clear. It's not perfect, but an interesting watch. I hope that they also target the head in other sparring sessions, though.


I trained with this guy at his Sifu's school when I was dabbling in some CLF in Chicago. They teach Ving Tsun (WSL line), CLF (which includes a decent amount of Hop Gar), and Wu style Tai Chi and have some sort of history of at least their CLF guys throwing down in lei tei competitions (and doing pretty well). They certainly do have effective methods to progress from drilling to sparring. If I remember correctly, I was told that some people (like the guy with the shaved head in the video) cross trained stuff like Muay Thai to then fine tune their CLF training to work better in competition and with gloves and whatnot.

Being primarily a Ving Tsun guy, I've always found it frustrating to spar with 14+ oz gloves. I didn't feel this at all when training CLF sanda combos. It was pretty cool.


One other cool thing to mention about this kung fu family is that, IME, they were totally open with teaching without any of that hardcore secrecy stuff. No holding people back from learning for weird reasons or anything like that. I was telling one of the instructors how I appreciated them showing me so much so fast despite me being a random new guy. His response was great. "Heck, I'll show you the entire system. After all, if you don't put the time and sweat that I put in, you're not going to be able to do anything with it anyways. So why worry?"
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Re: Cailifo Video

Postby MaartenSFS on Tue Jun 27, 2017 1:01 am

Hey, that's pretty cool. I won't be THAT far away from Chicago when I move back to the States, either. Very true what he told you, as well.
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Re: Cailifo Video

Postby dspyrido on Tue Jun 27, 2017 4:16 pm

chimerical tortoise wrote:Has it now? I think you might be blaming the wrong man there.

I've trained for a little time under one of Chu Shong Tin's students - other than those who are explicitly training for 'health purposes' I found them to be more fightworthy than what I've seen from any other Ip Man WC. Yes, he was a researcher and as his students often say, the conditioning that you mention was merely the tip of his proverbial iceberg. But he was very serious about his WC training too - for example, I don't know of anyone who has put similar time into SNT than he has.

Most students walk away because they aren't able to do the hard work in standing or the mundane work in chi sau than anything else. Fair play, the martial arts is a wide world and there are lots of interesting teachers and systems out there. Still, if it's WC we're talking... it may be more physically strenuous to do knuckle pushups and treat chi sau like a slapfest game of tag, but it certainly is more difficult to train what Mr. Chu taught.

As one of the more low-key students of Ip Man I would hardly say that his teachings are at all familiar to most WC people - you can probably count the number of his direct students that teach publicly on both hands - let alone "destroy[ed] WC's ability to fight than anything else I have seen". What is sad is that people pay lip service as he is one of Ip Man's senior students, parrot what he says as if understood, and then proceed to demonstrate a complete lack of understanding by doing the opposite.

There is a very long list of WC people who deserve that epithet far more. ;)


Before jumping to conclusions just consider what I mentioned in another post. CST built a foundation doing daily thousands of punches, hundreds of kicks, many squats and weighted work. Intense stuff and not just standing and soft sticking. In his 60s when I had some training sessions with him he was flexible and although skinny was well conditoned and musclar especially for his age. His muscles where well tuned to doing a lot of movement without having to exert a lot of effort but when he wanted to apply power he had a structure that could apply it.

So if your instructor did all the above then he has the right foundation to do the standing, sensitivity and sticking and be even more effective.

But roll forward and a lot people took the guidance of standing and soft sticking and decided to turn away or minimize the other aspects. It was on his recommendation but having spoken to a fellow student who spent 5 years in hk with him it was clear they were missing the basics and focusing on the "internal" aspects. This is where his message imo got lost in translation but sadly is still the root cause of the degradation of the combative aspect of WC. I think CST was a wonderful guy, a great instructor who genuinely tried to impart knowledge and also did bring some great "internal" concepts to WC. But because I liked who he was that it is sad to see WC that I knew as an effective art turn into something that is less effective. Much like many tai chi'ers have gone.

That said I think some WC people are still great but that's because they stayed the course on balancing internal with external.

Yes there are others who did not do wc well but they tend to be people who get ignored.
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Re: Cailifo Video

Postby chimerical tortoise on Tue Jun 27, 2017 9:14 pm

I'm probably a lot younger than you and less wise to boot so take it with a shaker full of salt...

dspyrido wrote:Before jumping to conclusions just consider what I mentioned in another post. CST built a foundation doing daily thousands of punches, hundreds of kicks, many squats and weighted work. Intense stuff and not just standing and soft sticking. In his 60s when I had some training sessions with him he was flexible and although skinny was well conditoned and musclar especially for his age. His muscles where well tuned to doing a lot of movement without having to exert a lot of effort but when he wanted to apply power he had a structure that could apply it.

So if your instructor did all the above then he has the right foundation to do the standing, sensitivity and sticking and be even more effective.


Agreed that conditioning makes a big difference. My sifu did a lot of it prior to learning from CST as well, and it is something important that most of us students tend to forget.

dspyrido wrote:But roll forward and a lot people took the guidance of standing and soft sticking and decided to turn away or minimize the other aspects. It was on his recommendation but having spoken to a fellow student who spent 5 years in hk with him it was clear they were missing the basics and focusing on the "internal" aspects. This is where his message imo got lost in translation but sadly is still the root cause of the degradation of the combative aspect of WC. I think CST was a wonderful guy, a great instructor who genuinely tried to impart knowledge and also did bring some great "internal" concepts to WC. But because I liked who he was that it is sad to see WC that I knew as an effective art turn into something that is less effective. Much like many tai chi'ers have gone.

That said I think some WC people are still great but that's because they stayed the course on balancing internal with external.


As far as I know CST's training became more dynamic towards the end of his life - when I visited him in 2012 there was a lot more going on than standing and SNT which is what I had expected, for example turning, kicking, single movements of the pole, etc. There were also a few older gents who came in to visit and the chi sau between them was quite aggressive, not just the vegetarian rolling hands. From what I saw/understand he had had a lot of students in his long teaching career, some of who focus more on "internal" and others more "lively" for lack of a better word. Every CST student I've met could show, rather than just tell, just what made WC useful.

As for the "internalisation" of WC, there are lots of different takes on this and IMO comparatively few voices from the CST guys - personally I don't really subscribe to a lot of what I've heard/seen from other WC guys like fajin, springing force, inch power, hand "sensitivity", rooting, redirecting... am assuming that you are not referring to these when you say "internal" here? There are plenty of WC guys who see CST's methods and gloss over with "yes, it's basically the same as what we do" but... it isn't.

CST's WC interested me from the start because it was/is an effective art, not just in rote trapping technique but rather the overall focus on improved structure and stability rather than a paint-by-numbers lap sau pak sau pattycake. My sifu could and still does toss me around like a rag doll and did not 'hide' any explanations. Despite being impressed, most of us only began training the more "internal" elements after alot of chi sau in which the value of the "internal" stuff became abundantly clear. That is what was fiendishly difficult - I'm terrible at it myself - and most students quit somewhere down the line unfortunately.

dspyrido wrote:Yes there are others who did not do wc well but they tend to be people who get ignored.


LOL. I think those who don't get a lot more attention than those who do WC well!

Considering how much of a gent he was, and now he's passed on... I think what's sad is not his teachings but what later people have interpreted from it. The conditioning that you mentioned is probably one of the best examples - I still don't take it seriously enough myself.
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Re: Cailifo Video

Postby Formosa Neijia on Thu Jun 29, 2017 11:49 pm

dspyrido wrote:
Appledog wrote:No offense, but why is this interesting? I hope you don't mind if I ramble as I tend to do. This kind of exercise has been going around the block for over 1,000 years, it is pretty well known, like pak da or chi sao in wing chun. Such exercises are the precursor to pushing hands, but the theory and bodywork are 90 degrees off-course from what we see in this video. Here's something similar:

(https://youtu.be/6eedxyuche0 ; seems to be a problem with embedding youtube atm)


Marteen's video is more interesting than the 1st one you posted because:

1. Distancing: In your vid the guy throwing the punch won't land anything because he is too far out so why even use cloud waves hands?
2. Footwork: In marteens when they throw a punch they are at least using their feet to get in and out of range
3. Intention & power: Aside from being too far out he has no intention of even coming close to hitting the other guy
4. Randomness: It is robotic. Aside from the range problem the guy could do cloud waves hands with his eyes closed. In Marteens they are at least playing with different timing and even slightly changing attacks.

So it's not that Marteen's video is super awesome but it is at least doing something that is more interesting.


Glad to see an old clip of mine surface after so long. These were absolute beginners with zero MA experience and this was the first time they had seen this stuff, hence all the things "wrong" with it. In the future, I will try to make more vids with everything in them "wrong" as well. :)
Finally, I'm honored to see my clip come up in a choylifut thread since CLF was my first art and I'm giving up taiji to go back to it and other primitive, "external" arts. I prefer those arts because as has been noted about this CLF school, they openly teach real stuff, work hard at it, and can fight with it. All properties I value over wanking off about internal stuff that people just argue about. Frankly I find the IMA to be boring, humorless arts these days. To each their own and carry on, gentlemen.
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Re: Cailifo Video

Postby Appledog on Fri Jun 30, 2017 3:14 am

Hello! Originally I wanted to have a "cool post count" of 108, or something like that (something associated with Tai Chi) but that does not seem possible here. Therefore I am editing this post to point out that users here cannot delete their own posts. I do not understand why users have the ability to edit their posts but not to delete their posts.
Last edited by Appledog on Tue Aug 08, 2017 10:02 am, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: Cailifo Video

Postby C.J.W. on Fri Jun 30, 2017 5:04 am

CLF guys have always had a reputation for being tough leitai fighters. Back in the 60s and 70s in Hong Kong, many of the top competitors in full-contact tournaments were CLF practitioners.

(I was told by some old-timers that while CLF guys did well in competitions, WC guys dominated in back-alley street fights.)
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Re: Cailifo Video

Postby wayne hansen on Fri Jun 30, 2017 5:20 am

Don't quite get the CTH connection
Don't put power into the form let it naturally arise from the form
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Re: Cailifo Video

Postby Appledog on Fri Jun 30, 2017 5:22 am

Hello! Originally I wanted to have a "cool post count" of 108, or something like that (something associated with Tai Chi) but that does not seem possible here. Therefore I am editing this post to point out that users here cannot delete their own posts. I do not understand why users have the ability to edit their posts but not to delete their posts.
Last edited by Appledog on Tue Aug 08, 2017 10:02 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Cailifo Video

Postby MaartenSFS on Fri Jun 30, 2017 6:06 am

Ja, no worries, mate. Got any more videos?

For me the problem wasn't with internal martial arts, just with the way that Taijiquan is taught. XYLHQ and XYQ are much more direct and to the point, less esoteric.
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Re: Cailifo Video

Postby everything on Fri Jun 30, 2017 8:06 am

Formosa Neijia wrote:Frankly I find the IMA to be boring, humorless arts these days. To each their own and carry on, gentlemen.


hey man welcome back. sit down, have a drink, stick around a while. eventually we'll entertain you with some IMA humor.
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Re: Cailifo Video

Postby dspyrido on Fri Jun 30, 2017 4:01 pm

everything wrote:
Formosa Neijia wrote:Frankly I find the IMA to be boring, humorless arts these days. To each their own and carry on, gentlemen.


hey man welcome back. sit down, have a drink, stick around a while. eventually we'll entertain you with some IMA humor.


I find 99% of ima a joke.

But the 1% is what makes it all with it.
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Re: Cailifo Video

Postby Formosa Neijia on Fri Jun 30, 2017 9:17 pm

Thanks for the kind words. In an effort to make a small contribution to the discussion, I'll briefly mention a few reasons why I'm enjoying going back to southern "external" arts like CLF.

When I started CLf in 1990-91, my teacher made clear to me that it should take 3 years to be competent with CLF and that I should reach a basic fighting level in 6 months. We started with basic stances (5 wheel horse), block, punches and kicks and I was expected to do them in any combination and any direction possible. My teacher immediately had me do them against him: I would punch and he would block, he would kick and I would block, etc. and it was all done moving. Through this I was able to fight in six months because timing, distance, and body hardening was built into the practice. Yang Shao-hou apparently taught in this non-forms format with a lot of two-man interaction but that it rarely done in taichi these days.

BTW, Bud Jenkins in this excellent The Birth of Wingchun notes that CLF and some other southern styles were taught in a commercial format in south China in the late 1800's with competency in 3 years as the goal. This came from the idea that the southern militias needed troops to fight the Qing and couldn't wait 10 years, nor should we today.

CLF also benefitted from the forms being released into the public domain thanks to the videos put out by Tat Mau-wong and Doc Fai-wong in the late 80's/early 90's. There aren't really any secrets or arguments over who has the "real" cross pattern grabbing form or the real plum blossom since nearly everyone practices some version of those.

The southern neigong i have done is also nice in that it's a health system designed to enhance hard physical training. No one in southern styles argues you should use qi/relaxation to power the moves. Muscle/tendon force is clearly used and the neigong makes it stronger, which I find deeper and more sophisticated since it's more physically demanding. For example, hung gar is clearly one huge neigung system and even CLF has neigong in the opening salutes to the forms, as nearly all southern systems do.

The other southern practices enhance the neigong experience right from the beginning. Example: southern pole work is introduced early with an emphasis on waist power. This causes a strong tonifying effect on the kidneys due to the twisting which obviously greatly improves your health and neigong work since kidneys are vital to those areas. Pole work in something like taichi is rarely taught and if it is, it's really late in the curriculum and done slowly which negates a lot of the benefit.

All of this taken together makes southern style work a good investment since a day's work is a day's reward, meaning you sweat a lot, burn a lot of calories (we all need this), and you get stuff directly applicable to both fighting and neigong work if you've been taught that angle in a short amount of time. You get immediate benefits whereas i see lots of people doing an hour a day of qigong/taichi and they have little to show for it.

Here's another excellent CLF clip that shows what hard training in the system can bring in a fairly short amount of time:
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Re: Cailifo Video

Postby Franklin on Fri Jun 30, 2017 11:56 pm

Formosa Neijia wrote:Thanks for the kind words. In an effort to make a small contribution to the discussion, I'll briefly mention a few reasons why I'm enjoying going back to southern "external" arts like CLF.

When I started CLf in 1990-91, my teacher made clear to me that it should take 3 years to be competent with CLF and that I should reach a basic fighting level in 6 months. We started with basic stances (5 wheel horse), block, punches and kicks and I was expected to do them in any combination and any direction possible. My teacher immediately had me do them against him: I would punch and he would block, he would kick and I would block, etc. and it was all done moving. Through this I was able to fight in six months because timing, distance, and body hardening was built into the practice. Yang Shao-hou apparently taught in this non-forms format with a lot of two-man interaction but that it rarely done in taichi these days.

BTW, Bud Jenkins in this excellent The Birth of Wingchun notes that CLF and some other southern styles were taught in a commercial format in south China in the late 1800's with competency in 3 years as the goal. This came from the idea that the southern militias needed troops to fight the Qing and couldn't wait 10 years, nor should we today.

CLF also benefitted from the forms being released into the public domain thanks to the videos put out by Tat Mau-wong and Doc Fai-wong in the late 80's/early 90's. There aren't really any secrets or arguments over who has the "real" cross pattern grabbing form or the real plum blossom since nearly everyone practices some version of those.

The southern neigong i have done is also nice in that it's a health system designed to enhance hard physical training. No one in southern styles argues you should use qi/relaxation to power the moves. Muscle/tendon force is clearly used and the neigong makes it stronger, which I find deeper and more sophisticated since it's more physically demanding. For example, hung gar is clearly one huge neigung system and even CLF has neigong in the opening salutes to the forms, as nearly all southern systems do.

The other southern practices enhance the neigong experience right from the beginning. Example: southern pole work is introduced early with an emphasis on waist power. This causes a strong tonifying effect on the kidneys due to the twisting which obviously greatly improves your health and neigong work since kidneys are vital to those areas. Pole work in something like taichi is rarely taught and if it is, it's really late in the curriculum and done slowly which negates a lot of the benefit.

All of this taken together makes southern style work a good investment since a day's work is a day's reward, meaning you sweat a lot, burn a lot of calories (we all need this), and you get stuff directly applicable to both fighting and neigong work if you've been taught that angle in a short amount of time. You get immediate benefits whereas i see lots of people doing an hour a day of qigong/taichi and they have little to show for it.

Here's another excellent CLF clip that shows what hard training in the system can bring in a fairly short amount of time:



cool...

I agree with most of what you said..
my background is in Ark Wong's 5 Family style, not Choylifut..


are you just reviving what you learned before?
or are there choylifut teachers here in taipei?



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Re: Cailifo Video

Postby MaartenSFS on Sat Jul 01, 2017 1:37 am

That's pretty much my thoughts exactly, except that it's not limited to Southern arts. I was trained in this same way and sweat a lot. I strive to further streamline my curriculum for maxum efficiency. Even though I put a lot of sweat into Taijiquan I got annoyed with the mythical skilld I'm supposed to gain and just felt like I was never going to live up to the hype. Ever since changing directions I've been improving my fighting ability and feel content with my training and what I've learned, never looking back..
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