The almighty founder of your system

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

Re: The almighty founder of your system

Postby Ian C. Kuzushi on Thu Nov 30, 2017 3:17 am

middleway wrote:I actually think that pre-industrialisation and farming, hunter gatherers were extremly powerful and capable. FAR more capable than the average human today. There is evidence to suggest that they could run faster on average than all but the most elite runners today.

For instance.

http://metro.co.uk/2009/10/19/ancient-man-faster-than-usain-bolt-and-stronger-than-schwarzenegger-3421373/

However, these are Ancient man, where they would need to hunt animals with minimal tools. Not those from the timeframe that many lineage founders lived. Secondly, my reasoning for viewing todays fighters as superior is not only based on physicality.

I certainly agree that many of the masters we hear of were 'outliers' and this speaks to why their systems often degraded after thier death, or why only one other person really got the good stuff when they died, it was more about that individuals genetics than the systems proficiency at producing fighters.

I have come to view the martial arts as a constant refinement down from a vaste array of specialisations. Unarmed fighting skill is always coloured by the timeframe it exists in. In the modern world where there are MMA gyms of every corner, Youtube teaching the world how to punch or fight, weight training facilities and a steroid epidemic you are more likely to meet a skilled fighter who is twice the size of the average peasant in ancient China than ever before.

I know people are anti MMA here, but the early modern 'no holds barred' events like the UFC really did show something to the world. It was an 'everyone come and try' moment, like the hailed 1928 tournement in China, all styles welcome. And what it showed was that many of the, once effective, specialisations were not applicable in a 1 on 1 encounter in the modern world. In a very short timeframe from that moment, the search for the most effective way to dissable someone has been going full bore and has been backed by the best science at fighters disposal. This has led to fighters with incredibale physical conditioning matched with incredible fighting skill. Now whenever even a mediocre MMA fighter beats the crap out of a TMA with NO RULES people still hold onto the idea that MMA is 'Just a sport'. There is more to that story.

But outside MMA, there is an emergant culture of RBSD and although that world is also saturated with prats teaching nonsense, there is also some extremely good stuff in that world. Then add in pressure tested weaponry work and you are living in a world with some of the most deadly fighters in history.

In essence i think today we have better martial artists for todays world. Could todays elite fight in a field against guys with spears on horseback? No. But could they handle almost any old time lineage master in a 1 on 1 encounter ... in my opinion absolutely.

Similarly i think if you put someone like Aleksandr Karelin in an ancient Olympian wrestling match he would ragdoll them ... although might not like them grabbing his junk.

To re-itterate, I dont actually think it makes any difference. I would not choose to study a traditional Chinese Martial art becasue it is the best platform to produce fighters. I would study it for every other great reason of which there are plenty.

cheers
Chris.


Hi Chris,

Hope all is well.

I must say, that source seems pretty dubious. From what I understand, the hunters in the bush are in some ways similar to the hunters in the savanah, they run their prey down using time and tracking to their advantage. This makes sense, as humans are just not as fast as most things they would hunt. Also, aren't you just bringing up another exceptional specimen? Or could rice farmers in Vietnam run as fast as a bushman?

That book you cite seems to be a trade book, not a peer reviewed work. Can you verify that? Always important to do. Also, how would an Anthropoigist be trained to acertain such specifics from a footprint. ???

At anyrate, I guess it depends on what you mean by average. There is still a large portion of this planet that is inhabited by very hard working, poor people who don't sit at a computer all day. From the time I was out of high school and for about 15 years after I worked manual labor and the strongest guys I met were the hose bucks or dudes working with rebar. We mostly dug and mixed concrete by hand, but did a lot of wrenching, too. So, my idea of strong might be different than someone else's.

And, I wasn't talking about average people, although I'd maintain that it's likely that the averages for longer life and strength could still be higher now (not everyone was a hunter). I specifically said:

But, the earlier statements about them being healthier or stronger falls apart if we start looking at professional athletes today.
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Re: The almighty founder of your system

Postby middleway on Thu Nov 30, 2017 4:13 am

Hope all is well.

I must say, that source seems pretty dubious. From what I understand, the hunters in the bush are in some ways similar to the hunters in the savanah, they run their prey down using time and tracking to their advantage. This makes sense, as humans are just not as fast as most things they would hunt. Also, aren't you just bringing up another exceptional specimen? Or could rice farmers in Vietnam run as fast as a bushman?

That book you cite seems to be a trade book, not a peer reviewed work. Can you verify that? Always important to do. Also, how would an Anthropoigist be trained to acertain such specifics from a footprint. ???

At anyrate, I guess it depends on what you mean by average. There is still a large portion of this planet that is inhabited by very hard working, poor people who don't sit at a computer all day. From the time I was out of high school and for about 15 years after I worked manual labor and the strongest guys I met were the hose bucks or dudes working with rebar. We mostly dug and mixed concrete by hand, but did a lot of wrenching, too. So, my idea of strong might be different than someone else's.

And, I wasn't talking about average people, although I'd maintain that it's likely that the averages for longer life and strength could still be higher now (not everyone was a hunter). I specifically said:


Hi Ian.

Although this is a little off topic, To be clear, by Ancient man i mean pre-farming and civilisation so we are looking at about everyone pre 15 thousand years (but probably more)

I wasnt aware i posted a link to a book. I actually read the findings back in 2009 or so when they came out, and havnt really looked at it since. I did however clearley say "There is evidence to suggest " Absolutely nothing is set in stone and i am open to having my thoughts changed. The gait analysis of the footprints was done by biomechnists as far as i remember.

There are plenty of interesting reads out there though, for instance.
https://www.cam.ac.uk/research/news/from-athletes-to-couch-potatoes-humans-through-6000-years-of-farming

From what I understand, the hunters in the bush are in some ways similar to the hunters in the savanah, they run their prey down using time and tracking to their advantage.


We simply dont know how an ancient population hunted. Modern populations in modern environments are not necissarily comparable to ancient populations. one of the mistakes of modern anthropology that has come to light in the last 20 - 30 years and been addressed, is the tendancy to observe one isolated modern population who retain ancient practices and extrapolate their behaivior to all ancients. We need only look at the completely different hunting strategies of mammals like killer whales or Dolphins around the world to see that the same organism can adopt very different solutions to the same problems of finding food.

At anyrate, I guess it depends on what you mean by average. There is still a large portion of this planet that is inhabited by very hard working, poor people who don't sit at a computer all day.


As to the average of the modern population, i absolutely do not think of the worlds population as developed, sitting at desks. I also worked in construction straight out of school for a short time, lifting bricks and steel. So understand your thoughts. However, i would still suggest that the ancient human was a superior animal, There is evidence to suggest this like bone density, heigh, dentition etc but i dont have time to dig out research at the moment.

As for longevity, the average lifespan of ancient man is so heavily skewed by infant mortality that it does not reflect the actual expected lifespan of an ancient person surviving to adulthood. There is plenty evidence that people lived to around 70 - 80 back then than that they all dropped dead at 35.

All a bit off topic i know but a very interesting subject none the less.

Many thanks.
Chris.
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Re: The almighty founder of your system

Postby Ian C. Kuzushi on Thu Nov 30, 2017 4:28 am

All good Chris,

Actually, I was very much in agreement with everything you say about 8-5 years ago. Certainly, there is a lot of truth to it--as I can personally attest to, moving from manual labor and competition to full-time study. I did start to ease back a bit as I read with a more critical eye. Certainly, I did much better on a near paleo diet and felt great trail running most days. I just think it's good to take a critical eye to all ideas, even when they seem so great from personal experience.

Besides, who would win in a fight, Jon Jones or a hunter-gatherer? I think I know where I'd put the money.

But, all that aside, there are some pretty sweet legends who did crazy things during our lifetimes. The founder of my first long-term martial system, Henry Okazaki was quite the character. He walked on katana, fire, suspended heavy urns suspended by a large needle put through his arm, and took on a heavyweight boxer in Hawaii. None of his students ever became as special as he did, so in that sense, I agree with the OP.

Besides, as I said, I rather enjoy the tales of old--I just try and use a discerning eye. :)
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Re: The almighty founder of your system

Postby middleway on Thu Nov 30, 2017 7:43 am

But, all that aside, there are some pretty sweet legends who did crazy things during our lifetimes. The founder of my first long-term martial system, Henry Okazaki was quite the character. He walked on katana, fire, suspended heavy urns suspended by a large needle put through his arm, and took on a heavyweight boxer in Hawaii. None of his students ever became as special as he did, so in that sense, I agree with the OP.

Besides, as I said, I rather enjoy the tales of old--I just try and use a discerning eye. :)


He sounds like a badass! I love the legends too :) One of my teachers was fond of them and i have great memories of hearing about the exploits of the old masters. A critical or discerning eye doesnt mean we cant appreciate the stories.

All the best mate.

Chris.
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Re: The almighty founder of your system

Postby chimerical tortoise on Thu Nov 30, 2017 8:09 pm

middleway wrote:Although this is a little off topic, To be clear, by Ancient man i mean pre-farming and civilisation so we are looking at about everyone pre 15 thousand years (but probably more)

I wasnt aware i posted a link to a book. I actually read the findings back in 2009 or so when they came out, and havnt really looked at it since. I did however clearley say "There is evidence to suggest " Absolutely nothing is set in stone and i am open to having my thoughts changed. The gait analysis of the footprints was done by biomechnists as far as i remember.

There are plenty of interesting reads out there though, for instance.
https://www.cam.ac.uk/research/news/from-athletes-to-couch-potatoes-humans-through-6000-years-of-farming

From what I understand, the hunters in the bush are in some ways similar to the hunters in the savanah, they run their prey down using time and tracking to their advantage.


We simply dont know how an ancient population hunted. Modern populations in modern environments are not necissarily comparable to ancient populations. one of the mistakes of modern anthropology that has come to light in the last 20 - 30 years and been addressed, is the tendancy to observe one isolated modern population who retain ancient practices and extrapolate their behaivior to all ancients. We need only look at the completely different hunting strategies of mammals like killer whales or Dolphins around the world to see that the same organism can adopt very different solutions to the same problems of finding food.

At anyrate, I guess it depends on what you mean by average. There is still a large portion of this planet that is inhabited by very hard working, poor people who don't sit at a computer all day.


As to the average of the modern population, i absolutely do not think of the worlds population as developed, sitting at desks. I also worked in construction straight out of school for a short time, lifting bricks and steel. So understand your thoughts. However, i would still suggest that the ancient human was a superior animal, There is evidence to suggest this like bone density, heigh, dentition etc but i dont have time to dig out research at the moment.

As for longevity, the average lifespan of ancient man is so heavily skewed by infant mortality that it does not reflect the actual expected lifespan of an ancient person surviving to adulthood. There is plenty evidence that people lived to around 70 - 80 back then than that they all dropped dead at 35.

All a bit off topic i know but a very interesting subject none the less.

Many thanks.
Chris.


Hah! A little off-topic but I'm probably much more qualified to talk about anthropology than martial arts! Although footprints is probably more archaeologists and biological anthropologists' domains, neither of which I specialised in.

There's still quite a few hunter-gatherer groups (e.g. the Semang, San, etc.), pastoralists (e.g. the Maasai, Nuer, etc.) and swidden agriculturalists who hunt and fish (e.g. most of lowland Amazonia) that do receive a lot of attention by anthropologists, whose present patterns of subsistence and resource use are generally still very different from 'modern populations in modern environments'.

I wouldn't say it's a mistake of modern anthropology to observe isolated modern populations and extrapolate their behaviour to all ancients though - at least from how I was trained we are very much encouraged not to do that and this understanding of cultural relativity, even across history, has been a key principle of anthropology for quite a long time. How it's adopted by modern media and fads is very different... I personally find that's where findings get sensationalised! For example this whole 'primal diet' really tries to appeal to this idea of noble savages and wisdom from the ages but it's complete bollocks... to figure out what people ate is hard enough, and to draw conclusions applicable to how modern man should eat that are based off of what 'all primitive people' ate without looking as you say at behaviour, effects of modernisation etc., is complete bollocks IMO.

And yes 100% agreed - there are plenty of people that lived longer than this idea that everyone drops dead at 35. Some of the toughest and healthiest people I know are old bushmen and cowboys, but you can't tell that just based on what they eat and drink alone... the volume of drink would certainly raise nutritionist eyebrows! And I think there are a lot more attributes they have that are impressive - their degree of perception of their environments for example, technology i.e. weaving leaves to help them climb trees, handling animals, etc. that would probably be quite difficult to quantify or stack up against a modern man.



Funny enough a few years ago there was a 'whole body workout' trainer who came down on vacation and absolutely nerded out on how my friends moved and did things. Something along the lines of "this is what we are trying to replicate in gyms for the people we train!" It was interesting to see that he did not move anything like they did (not a slight against him as he looked pretty athletic) but I think that this may be one of those cases where if you live in such a context/environment you will develop that, and if you don't then you won't.

I sit at a desk these days too much for work... so I'm pretty envious of all of these folks!
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Re: The almighty founder of your system

Postby marvin8 on Thu Nov 30, 2017 8:18 pm

Trick wrote:But as Windwalker writes, I too have met some practitioner that displayed some skill that was "special", but those skills could most probably be explained by someone versed in physiology and psychology.

There are videos of masters displaying special skills in demonstrations. But, I have not seen them or their students using these special skills in open rules competition. Granted, they may be good fighters. These special skills may exist. However, I have not seen the ability to use them against moving, resistant opponents.

C.J.W. wrote:If you think about this, it's actually quite ironic for some to be so insistent on preserving tradition -- considering how all great CMA masters and founders of yore were actually the ones who had the foresight to modify, synthesize, and create something new based on the materials they had learned elsewhere.

If living today, these same "great CMA masters" might analyze (a whole lot easier) modern training styles and nutrition, as they did in the past with other styles. Some masters even challenged others in fights, in order to grow as a martial artist.

Bao wrote:Why do everyone believe that a modern rule-set is the ultimate proof of fighting skills?

You need to put them outside of the ring without any kind of rule-set. That would be much more interestinfg and much more fair.

Modern rules are more open (e.g., mma, open gloves, etc.) than push hands competitions, demonstrations, lectures, etc.

Fighting outside the ring may be illegal. If one cannot protect themselves in a ring, one may not be able to protect themselves outside of a ring, even with less rules. The modern fighter can gouge eyes, kick the groin, etc., easier with more accuracy. Because, they develop fighting skills (e.g., controlling distance, timing, accuracy, positioning, etc.) fighting against moving resistant opponents.

windwalker wrote:When Ku got into the ring with the horse, he got kicked several times, but he received no injuries at all, due to his internal iron body skill (gold bell, i.e. iron shirt).

Yi Long (shaolin, golden bell practitioner) was hurt and TKO’d by Sittichai. Sittichai was not hurt by Yi Long. He showed more "iron body" and effective power generation than Yi. Also, Yi has been KO'd before. Only taking punches or kicks doesn't mean one is a good fighter. It is more important to hit & not get hit and control your opponent.

windwalker wrote:what is often missing with some of what are called higher level skill sets is the lower level skill sets that allow them to be used.

I agree. One should have fundamental fighting skills, before talking about higher ones.
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Re: The almighty founder of your system

Postby windwalker on Thu Nov 30, 2017 8:40 pm

marvin8 wrote:
windwalker wrote:When Ku got into the ring with the horse, he got kicked several times, but he received no injuries at all, due to his internal iron body skill (gold bell, i.e. iron shirt).

Yi Long (shaolin, golden bell practitioner) was hurt and TKO’d by Sittichai. Sittichai was not hurt by Yi Long. He showed more "iron body" and effective power generation than Yi. Also, Yi has been KO'd before. Only taking punches or kicks doesn't mean one is a good fighter. It is more important to hit & not get hit and control your opponent.

windwalker wrote:what is often missing with some of what are called higher level skill sets is the lower level skill sets that allow them to be used.

I agree. One should have fundamental fighting skills, before talking about higher ones.


couple of points that comes to mind. His training in iron body ect. seems to have affected the strategies used maybe causing an over reliance on something that works against others of less skill, similar to the push hands that many practice. Only a partial skill set not a complete one.

It is more important to hit & not get hit and control your opponent.
totally agree but one needs to get hit to understand hitting IMO/IME
When I mention higher level skill sets, I mean skill sets that are harder to use not necessarily better.
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Re: The almighty founder of your system

Postby marvin8 on Thu Nov 30, 2017 9:03 pm

windwalker wrote:
marvin8 wrote:
It is more important to hit & not get hit and control your opponent.

totally agree but one needs to get hit to understand hitting IMO/IME

Not if one uses the heavy bag and pads, which some traditionalist may refuse to use. ::) :)
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