TCMA techniques in the modern era

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TCMA techniques in the modern era

Postby C.J.W. on Thu Nov 30, 2017 6:46 pm

The thread I started on tradition in TCMA generated some interesting discussion about the fighting prowess of top modern fighters vs. legendary TCMA masters of the past. On a related note, I thought I'd play devil's advocate by throwing out this question: Do you feel that certain aspects of TCMA fighting techniques are no longer effective -- or as effective as they once were in ancient China -- in the modern world?

Take empty-hand fighting for example, TCMA places great emphasis on bridging, or creating arm-contact, as a starting point for most fighting applications. And once contact is made, a TCMA fighter will usually use some sort of style-specific hand-method (shou-fa手法) to execute a technique, or seek to create additional contact points before doing so.

While this game plan may sound great in theory and look great in demos, successful execution of it is rarely seen in actual fighting, especially in the ring against trained modern fighters. IMO, it is because that successful bridging relies on one of two things: committed attacks from the opponent or "layman responses" to incoming attacks. That's why so many TCMAists have a hard time against modern fighters who usually retract their limbs quickly after each strike, and prefer to move around with agile footwork and dodge incoming attacks as opposed to keeping the upper body rigid and blocking. And on the occasion that bridging does occur, a modern fighter would quickly move in for a body tackle or some type of wrestling takedown and transition the fight to the ground, thus eliminating any further possible stand-up techniques from the TCMAist altogether.

All in all, I would contend that most TCMA systems were designed to be used on opponents and for purposes quite different from what we see and need in today's world.

As an aside, I've always wondered what Bagua, Taiji, and Xingyi would look like now if IMA greats like Dong Haichuan, Yang Luchan, and Guo Yunshen had encountered BJJ, MMA, boxing, and Muay Thai champs of our times. ;)
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Re: TCMA techniques in the modern era

Postby oragami_itto on Thu Nov 30, 2017 7:05 pm

I'll just throw into the mix for consideration that self defense situations rarely look like combat sports fights.
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Re: TCMA techniques in the modern era

Postby windwalker on Thu Nov 30, 2017 7:12 pm

Take empty-hand fighting for example, TCMA places great emphasis on bridging, or creating arm-contact, as a starting point for most fighting applications. And once contact is made, a TCMA fighter will usually use some sort of style-specific hand-method (shou-fa手法) to execute a technique, or seek to create additional contact points before doing so.

All in all, I would contend that most TCMA systems were designed to be used on opponents and for purposes quite different from what we see and need in today's world.

As an aside, I've always wondered what Bagua, Taiji, and Xingyi would look like now if IMA greats like Dong Haichuan, Yang Luchan, and Guo Yunshen had encountered BJJ, MMA, boxing, and Muay Thai champs of our times. ;)


Wouldn't it be dependent on style and whether the style was found to be useful by those who use it?
white crane, hop gar are often used by people in gangs...because of its relative to what they need and use it for "fighting"


some styles as the aforementioned styles do not seek nor use bridging as I practiced it. It was one of things that attracted me to the art, as it bypassed blocking and bridging. What ever contact was made with this becomes the target...no need to directly go for the body...

How does one know if the IMA greats where actually great

"After I arrived in Beiping, I investigated the result. Although there are within the Beiping martial arts community those who know of Yang Chengfu’s reputation, there are few who know what level his skill was at, because he lacked fighting experience. To only practice Taiji Boxing and go without experience of sparring is not adequate.

Taiji Boxing especially requires a great deal of sparring experience, for it is otherwise quite difficult to be able to tell if one is succeeding in it. Practitioners of Taiji Boxing by all means must not overlook this sparring experience aspect."

https://brennantranslation.wordpress.co ... xperience/

touches on some of the points you've brought out concerning taiji and other inner arts.
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Re: TCMA techniques in the modern era

Postby Subitai on Thu Nov 30, 2017 8:42 pm

Well I pretty much covered what I'd like to say about this topic here on page 4 of:

Reading Punches like in the Matrix
viewtopic.php?p=443399

;)
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Re: TCMA techniques in the modern era

Postby johnwang on Thu Nov 30, 2017 8:56 pm

C.J.W. wrote:Do you feel that certain aspects of TCMA fighting techniques are no longer effective --

It's not the technique. It's the students. If "internal" guys are all old, weak, and sick. How can they be able to fight against those external guys who are young, strong, and healthy?
I'm still allergy to "push".
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Re: TCMA techniques in the modern era

Postby dspyrido on Thu Nov 30, 2017 9:26 pm

johnwang wrote:
C.J.W. wrote:Do you feel that certain aspects of TCMA fighting techniques are no longer effective --

It's not the technique. It's the students. If "internal" guys are all old, weak, and sick. How can they be able to fight against those external guys who are young, strong, and healthy?


Or even if they are young, healthy and even strong "internalists" who don't get used to pressure, hardly throw real attacks because they are no supposed to sweat, never spar/compete or even test, don't cross train then what chance have they got against someone who is an old externslist that is tough, open, gets timing, tactics and is well trained?
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Re: TCMA techniques in the modern era

Postby dspyrido on Thu Nov 30, 2017 9:41 pm

C.J.W. wrote:Do you feel that certain aspects of TCMA fighting techniques are no longer effective -- or as effective as they once were in ancient China -- in the modern world?

Take empty-hand fighting for example, TCMA places great emphasis on bridging, or creating arm-contact, as a starting point for most fighting applications. And once contact is made, a TCMA fighter will usually use some sort of style-specific hand-method (shou-fa手法) to execute a technique, or seek to create additional contact points before doing so.


If the stories I was told of olden time masters are to be believed there was no talk of bridging and arm contact. One talked of a kick that snapped a leg before the other guy even knew the fight was on. Another was about a head butt that probably killed the other guy when he grabbed him. They went on like that...

I don't know if they are true but these old stories where always of guys who trained like demons. They're not about gents doing gentle forms in the park but doing hours of heavy resistance training mixed in with a lot of sparring (especially wrestling/chinna & weapons).

If the stories are to be believed then their footwork and evasion must have been top notch because no one likes getting stabbed & they were at risk as part of their normal duty.

I don't think we really comprehend how they trained especially since they were methodologically eradicated by mao. Guess he was right - what's the use when faced down with a gun.
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Re: TCMA techniques in the modern era

Postby C.J.W. on Fri Dec 01, 2017 12:22 am

oragami_itto wrote:I'll just throw into the mix for consideration that self defense situations rarely look like combat sports fights.


That may be true. But I feel that the growing popularity of MMA since the early 2000s has had quite an influence on people and slowly changing the nature of emptyhand fighting.
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Re: TCMA techniques in the modern era

Postby marvin8 on Fri Dec 01, 2017 1:31 am

oragami_itto wrote:I'll just throw into the mix for consideration that self defense situations rarely look like combat sports fights.

Then, what do they look like most of the time?

Here are a couple street fights:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jJUw7OXXGwg


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C2DirtL7JBg
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Re: TCMA techniques in the modern era

Postby windwalker on Fri Dec 01, 2017 2:00 am

While this game plan may sound great in theory and look great in demos, successful execution of it is rarely seen in actual fighting, especially in the ring against trained modern fighters. IMO, it is because that successful bridging relies on one of two things: committed attacks from the opponent or "layman responses" to incoming attacks. That's why so many TCMAists have a hard time against modern fighters who usually retract their limbs quickly after each strike, and prefer to move around with agile footwork and dodge incoming attacks as opposed to keeping the upper body rigid and blocking.


My first intro into CMA was with a group of people who were addressing this at the time

"We were experimenting quite a lot, especially when we broke away from the White Crane school, and started our own school (which was eventually merged into David Chin's Hop Gar umbrella). I think I saw a kind of kindred spirit in boxing where the "short hand" was concerned. And I liked the fact that we could put on gloves on, and really pummel each other without getting too messed up.

I saw much of boxing's maneuvors as following the same kind of circular ideas we were doing on a more extended platform with the long-arm. I was looking at Bruce Lee's ideas about fencing and boxing, but relative to White Crane. So it there was quite a lot of experimenting we were doing by the time you came along. And Yes, you do have to look at differing "ranges" with regard to long arm/short hand moves." Mike staples" viewtopic.php?f=3&t=26046&p=443772&hilit=burning+palm&sid=13f4842fa90da13465c73416d7fcac2f#p443772

David Chin also one of Mikes teachers carried on the practice of past masters by adopting his style to the task at hand...
http://tibetanhopgar.com/tibetan-hop-gar-kung-fu/


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gHxCvLG ... e=youtu.be

"david chin, born in Sun Wei City in 1943. He began his study of Hop Gar at seven under his father, Chin Chong. The senior Chin was a student of Lee Jing, a direct disciple of Wong Yen Lum. At thirteen, his family immigrated to Stockton, California, but Chin never lost his interest in kung fu.

He studied many styles under a throng of newly transplanted masters: Choy Lay Fut under his great-uncle Dean Loy (陳典來, a disciple of Chin Goong Bok, the son of Choy Lay Fut founder Chin Heung); Hung Ga under Mar Sik; Buddha's Palm under Lee Keung; and Chin Yang Tai Chi under Lau Yee Sing. But he returned to Hop Gar, becoming an indoor disciple of Ng Yim Ming, better known as Harry Ng, when Ng arrived in San Francisco in 1970.

While it might not have been as mythic a period as the late Qing Dynasty, it was part of another kung fu golden age, in San Francisco's Chinatown."
http://www.kungfumagazine.com/magazine/ ... rticle=661

I think all have to examine what they do, why they do it, and intended usage...
When I look at things and evaluate them I always look at the training and usage to see if they match if what is trained can actually be used, is used by those who train it.

"You might remember my saying that a lot of Mr. Long's students used his White Crane in the streets -- just as there were guys in our later school where were bouncers. But some of Mr. Long's students were street gang members, and a few of them had developed really interesting and unique ways of using White Crane. As usual, I was pushed into sparring with pretty much anyone who walked through Mr. Long's door, and one of the most interesting of his "older" students was a gang member who had a very tricky way of using the Crane style. "mike staples"

as many have mentioned what ever one does must be tested for intended use.
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Re: TCMA techniques in the modern era

Postby Bao on Fri Dec 01, 2017 3:06 am

C.J.W. wrote:: Do you feel that certain aspects of TCMA fighting techniques are no longer effective -- or as effective as they once were in ancient China -- in the modern world?
...
, TCMA places great emphasis on bridging, or creating arm-contact, as a starting point for most fighting applications. And once contact is made, a TCMA fighter will usually use some sort of style-specific hand-method (shou-fa手法) to execute a technique, or seek to create additional contact points before doing so.

While this game plan may sound great in theory and look great in demos, successful execution of it is rarely seen in actual fighting, especially in the ring against trained modern fighters. IMO, it is because that successful bridging relies on one of two things: committed attacks from the opponent or "layman responses" to incoming attacks.
...
All in all, I would contend that most TCMA systems were designed to be used on opponents and for purposes quite different from what we see and need in today's world.


TCMA strategy isn’t built on putting on gloves and trade punches. I don’t agree that you need committed attacks or certain responses. You don't wait for any attack or look for any certain response. As soon there’s a threat you go in and make contact. You don’t wait for the other one you attack. But people tend to have a modern boxning picture about how fighting or sparring should look like. TCMA strategy is also not what teachers start to teach. Traditionally, first there's a foundation and on top of that you learn methods, how to use the foundation. Also, fighting practice usually looks a bit different than regular sparring.
Last edited by Bao on Fri Dec 01, 2017 3:10 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: TCMA techniques in the modern era

Postby marvin8 on Fri Dec 01, 2017 3:36 am

Bao wrote:But people tend to have a modern boxning picture about how fighting or sparring should look like. . . .
Also, fighting practice usually looks a bit different than regular sparring.

Not sure I'm understanding correctly. But, I posted two videos of actual fights, not an imaginary picture. If one feels a fight looks different, they can post a video, too. Maybe someone can explain how they would use traditional methods to handle the fight in the first video, as the MMA coach did. Then, show how an IMA/CMA "fight should look like."

C.J.W. wrote:Do you feel that certain aspects of TCMA fighting techniques are no longer effective -- or as effective as they once were in ancient China -- in the modern world?

Take empty-hand fighting for example, TCMA places great emphasis on bridging, or creating arm-contact, as a starting point for most fighting applications. And once contact is made, a TCMA fighter will usually use some sort of style-specific hand-method (shou-fa手法) to execute a technique, or seek to create additional contact points before doing so.

While this game plan may sound great in theory and look great in demos, successful execution of it is rarely seen in actual fighting, especially in the ring against trained modern fighters. IMO, it is because that successful bridging relies on one of two things: committed attacks from the opponent or "layman responses" to incoming attacks. That's why so many TCMAists have a hard time against modern fighters who usually retract their limbs quickly after each strike, and prefer to move around with agile footwork and dodge incoming attacks as opposed to keeping the upper body rigid and blocking. And on the occasion that bridging does occur, a modern fighter would quickly move in for a body tackle or some type of wrestling takedown and transition the fight to the ground, thus eliminating any further possible stand-up techniques from the TCMAist altogether.

Elite modern fighters do use bridging and trapping, although may be not in the "traditional" way. They tend to spend time on what works. Here is an article on it with GIFs at the bottom, WING CHUN AND MMA: CONTROLLING THE CENTER by Jack Slack, http://fightland.vice.com/blog/wing-chun-and-mma-controlling-the-center

Modern fighters have methods in controlling their opponent in all ranges, not just in the bridging or trapping range. Control should start before any contact is made. Unless you can control at the point of contact, the bridge range can easily turn into the grappling (e.g., Shuai Chiao) range, as you mentioned.

Here is a Bagua vs Muay Thai fight. The Muay Thai guy is even at a disadvantage by wearing gloves. The bagua guy has no gloves or excuses:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yJ0Bhp3O7sk
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Re: TCMA techniques in the modern era

Postby windwalker on Fri Dec 01, 2017 5:05 am

Of those here who practice bagua, was that representative of the art.
What did he do or not do that he should have done or didn't do.
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Re: TCMA techniques in the modern era

Postby middleway on Fri Dec 01, 2017 5:26 am

I'll just throw into the mix for consideration that self defense situations rarely look like combat sports fights.


Is that a personal assumption or is that based on experience of both environments?.

As someone who has been in many many 'street fights and also combat sports events I agree to an extent. Self defence situations are usually much easier than dealing with a determined combat sports athlete. With that said I have lost count of the amount of guys I have seem square up and trade like a boxing match.

As for the general topic. I would first say that there is a major underestimation of modern combative developments, I think born out of the misguided view that 'older = better". People assume that if you put on gloves or spar then it's not 'real. But if we were to examine their practices they would invariably be full to the brim of 'rules' of practice, be that when practicing apps or pushing hands etc.so I think that idea in general is redundant and disingenuous

However... i think there are strategies in the cma that are extremely effective, also body development methods and approaches to producing and dealing with force that are extremely refined. For instance the hand fighting skills of good tai chi is extremely good and useful. Unfortunately very very few see through the fluff techniques on the surface to these things ime.

That said, there are also a huge amount of 'techniques' that would fail the pressure test of fighting a skilled opponent from a modern co combination style (no ... not sports)

It's is EXTREMELY hard to find examples of cima being used that people perceive to be legitimate to the styles exponents. Every time we do see something people say it's not representative... so we have to raise the question .... does the cima version of fighting people have in their heads actually exist outside of the closed school environment?

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Re: TCMA techniques in the modern era

Postby oragami_itto on Fri Dec 01, 2017 5:45 am

Based on my personal and professional experience in concert and night club security.

I don't know about other people's experiences. When I've had to rely on it, it's been there and it's worked just fine. I don't have the conditioning for competition but I can handle most anything the street can throw at me.
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