Southern Shaolin - from some years past in Southern Taiwan

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Southern Shaolin - from some years past in Southern Taiwan

Postby Franklin on Wed Jan 31, 2018 8:29 pm

found these vids online--
some southern shaolin
taken some years ago in southern Taiwan...







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Re: Southern Shaolin - from some years past in Southern Taiwan

Postby Franklin on Wed Jan 31, 2018 8:39 pm

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Re: Southern Shaolin - from some years past in Southern Taiwan

Postby C.J.W. on Thu Feb 01, 2018 4:59 pm

As a Taiwanese CMAist who's dabbled in southern arts, I have to sadly say that the overall state of southern styles (perhaps with the exception of Fujian White Crane) on the island these days is quite bleak -- even to the point of being pathetic. All that's left are fancy forms and basic power training drills, with masters who understand the fighting aspects of the arts few and far between.

As an interesting and somewhat ironic sidenote, many of the "secret" fighting techniques I've been shown behind closed doors and asked to promise not to reveal by southern style teachers in Taiwan are in many cases almost identical to the applications openly taught in Indo-Malay-Filipino arts like Silat, Kuntao, and Kali.
Last edited by C.J.W. on Thu Feb 01, 2018 5:01 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Southern Shaolin - from some years past in Southern Taiwan

Postby Formosa Neijia on Thu Feb 01, 2018 6:03 pm

C.J.W. wrote:As a Taiwanese CMAist who's dabbled in southern arts, I have to sadly say that the overall state of southern styles (perhaps with the exception of Fujian White Crane) on the island these days is quite bleak -- even to the point of being pathetic. All that's left are fancy forms and basic power training drills, with masters who understand the fighting aspects of the arts few and far between.

As an interesting and somewhat ironic sidenote, many of the "secret" fighting techniques I've been shown behind closed doors and asked to promise not to reveal by southern style teachers in Taiwan are in many cases almost identical to the applications openly taught in Indo-Malay-Filipino arts like Silat, Kuntao, and Kali.


Boom. This, right here.

I got involved with silat due to the obvious source of many of the applications: southern shaolin. It's very obvious that diaspora Fujianese took their arts to SE Asia where the Fujian and other southern arts blended with the local arts. The result is that a lot of silat, kuntao, etc. is showing serious southern applications that aren't shown very openly much in the Chinese systems. The silat/kuntao people are actually working the material and subjecting it to feedback rather than letting it stagnate.

For example, many of these clips below show straight up southern iron palm techniques combined with point striking:



As for kali, they have developed the seven star stepping to very high levels. The pekiti footwork I was exposed to was amazing.
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Re: Southern Shaolin - from some years past in Southern Taiwan

Postby Trick on Thu Feb 01, 2018 9:23 pm

Interesting info on these Fujianese MA's, thanks
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Re: Southern Shaolin - from some years past in Southern Taiwan

Postby Formosa Neijia on Fri Feb 02, 2018 6:57 pm

Looking at Franklin's videos and tying it into CJW's comment about the diminishing usage, I note that most of these performances of southern shaolin are temple performances. In fact, most southern systems in Taiwan are heavily involved with these temple performances even to the extent that they aren't taught to outsiders of the performance groups. I think this raises a lot of questions.

For example, looking at the movements I often don't see the difference between the temple performances and a form competition. They are both performances and are both meant to be visual. I've looked at a ton of these performances and it's sometimes hard to see a practical use of some moves and forms, especially when weapons are involved.

Second, since they are temple performances, religion is heavily involved including doing these as martial demonstrations mean to honor the gods or perhaps have the gods possess the bodies of the performers. In either case, i think an analysis like Scott Philips would provide about the role of religion and dance would be appropriate. Basically if the point of the form is a ritual dance then people should perhaps stop looking for killer applications of those moves since none would likely exist. It's perhaps not the point of the form or even the system.

This also confuses the neigong for me to some extent because when people are performing, I'm not sure if they are filling their practice with chi/jing or the gods. What about dantian usage? I was told the sounds were to come from the dantian and were used to build power but I see a lot of temple performances where the moves and sounds are done for dramatic purposes instead.

None of this is to imply no one in the southern systems can apply their art. Some clearly can. But all of this muddies the waters considerably. I'd appreciate any thoughts on this as I'm trying to learn more myself.
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Re: Southern Shaolin - from some years past in Southern Taiwan

Postby Trick on Sat Feb 03, 2018 12:23 am

I've never practiced and actually never witnessed the practice of any south East Asian MA such as Silat/Kuntao as was mentioned in previous post. But from the little I have read about those martial arts they seem quite combat oriented and not focus too much on performance, but if I recall right I believe I have read that those SEA MA's also involve quite a lot of esoteric/religious practices and rituals?
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Re: Southern Shaolin - from some years past in Southern Taiwan

Postby C.J.W. on Sat Feb 03, 2018 1:48 am

Formosa Neijia wrote:
C.J.W. wrote:As a Taiwanese CMAist who's dabbled in southern arts, I have to sadly say that the overall state of southern styles (perhaps with the exception of Fujian White Crane) on the island these days is quite bleak -- even to the point of being pathetic. All that's left are fancy forms and basic power training drills, with masters who understand the fighting aspects of the arts few and far between.

As an interesting and somewhat ironic sidenote, many of the "secret" fighting techniques I've been shown behind closed doors and asked to promise not to reveal by southern style teachers in Taiwan are in many cases almost identical to the applications openly taught in Indo-Malay-Filipino arts like Silat, Kuntao, and Kali.


Boom. This, right here.

I got involved with silat due to the obvious source of many of the applications: southern shaolin. It's very obvious that diaspora Fujianese took their arts to SE Asia where the Fujian and other southern arts blended with the local arts. The result is that a lot of silat, kuntao, etc. is showing serious southern applications that aren't shown very openly much in the Chinese systems. The silat/kuntao people are actually working the material and subjecting it to feedback rather than letting it stagnate.




In fact, the term "Kuntao" -- or chuan2tou2 in Mandarin -- is the traditional generic name used to describe martial arts in southern Fujian/Hokkien dialect spoken in Taiwan, and it literally means "fist" (拳頭). If you talk to local Hokkien speakers above the age of 65 about Chinese martial arts, you will most likely notice that many use the terms "kung fu" and "kuntao" interchangeably.

Historically, Chinese immigrants from southern coastal provinces of Fujian and Guangdong have been settling in Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines since the Ming Dynasty. As strangers in foreign lands, martial arts practice naturally became a necessity -- as a means to defend against the locals who were hostile towards them. Therefore, it makes perfect sense to conjecture that the southern CMA styles they'd brought with them from their hometowns began to spread and influence the development of local Silat/Kuntao/Kali systems over the centuries.

I also remember reading an article online years ago about the founder of a particular style of Silat (maybe Cimande?) who supposedly honed his skills by challenging and fighting Chinese CMA masters who had immigrated to Java.

Looking into the link between Indo-Malay arts and southern CMA is actually one of the pet projects I've been working on.
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Re: Southern Shaolin - from some years past in Southern Taiwan

Postby C.J.W. on Sat Feb 03, 2018 1:56 am

This is also a good one that shows a quick takedown application for a common move found in SCMA.

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Re: Southern Shaolin - from some years past in Southern Taiwan

Postby Franklin on Sat Feb 03, 2018 9:00 pm

i thought the videos were interesting--
becuase they show skill
and its hard to find nowadays

when i lived in the south of taiwan
(I was not really looking for southern shaolin)
but really did not see any out and about...
I saw lots of cheng manching taiji, some chen style, and large groups doing yang style, etc...
but the most I saw of southern shaolin was -- in a couple years - only saw like 2 poeple in the park practicing some crane movements

its a big contrast compared to what people have told me it was like 20-30 years ago..
they said kung fu seemed much more everywhere..

i think the same is in the north of taiwan (where i live now)
people told me about who they studied with 20-30 years ago in taipei
the teacher had a huge organization with thousands of students
but now-- you can not find that style anywhere...

the same thing happened where I am from in the caribbean
on a small island - when I was in grade school and high school in the 80s-early90s
there was a big martial arts scene-- lots of school
lots of people practicing
when I returned home 15-20 years later
its totally different
no one is practicing anymore...

so maybe its more widespread... the decline of the popularity of MA training
i don't know



re -- the southern shaolin -- silat

i don't know the history-
but i agree-- what i have seen of the southern styles
the application seems similar to silat
who influenced who-- i don't know
I do know that some of the southern stuff like tai zu
has that same "wild energy" that I have seen in silat people

in tainan -- my internal teacher had studied southern style with his uncle when he was a kid
and even 50-60 years later he still could manifest that type of energy in his applications...


as for the temple demo
the ones i have seen in taiwan -- mostly on youtbe
seem not so religious or spirit possessions or stuff like that
seems mostly people demoing kung fu...


i posted those videos because they were interesting to me...

the first one
the guy is very hard-- but has a good connection in his body

the second one
was interesting because
I had never seen the crane type whipping done with such low stances and sweeps
usually i have only ever seen that in the higher stances..
to keep the connection and do the whipping while he is moving through those low stances and sweeps shows some good kung fu...


the third video
a guy does the dummy work..
but he just keeps going..
that was cool
he did not just pound it a couple time
he was really in to it...


and the last video i thought was interesting because
it shows some southern long arm stuff...
i have not really seen that very much..
he shows good body connection and power...




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Re: Southern Shaolin - from some years past in Southern Taiwan

Postby Tiga Pukul on Thu Feb 08, 2018 5:44 am

Nice to see the link discussed between southern shaolin and Silat. Now i'm a hardcore Silat / Pukulan guy and have been for years, however i did get to meet a teacher from the SAOLIM martial art from Penang (http://saolimpenang.com/), Malaysia which supposedly was called 'hood gar pai' or something similar. Although it's origins were southern chinese, it's movement are totally different from most silat styles.

There is a distinction however. A lot of silat styles have it's origin on Java, Indonesia, West Java more specifically. Some others on Sumatra (Minangkabau region), and there are a lot of silat styles coming from Malaysia which actually often look a lot different from Indonesian Silat. Probably because they have closer link (geographic location) to Chinese arts and also some Thai arts.

There is indeed plenty of Kuntao in Indonesia which generally is of Chinese origin. Funnily it sometimes depends on who you talk to. Some Indonesian people will call a style silat, while a chinese guy will call it Kuntao. In some stories the chinese win, in other stories the indonesian wins. Offcourse there has been quite a bit of exchange between the 2 cultures. Where it comes from is hard to trace.

My style is Bukti Negara which comes from the West Javanese silat Serak, which supposedly had quite some kuntao influence and thereby Chinese influences. If you look at the last silat video (The Chinese Martial Connection) you see practitioner Roberto Torres, known in the US for his Kuntao, but funnily the way he explains the moves probably comes from Bukti Negara (he uses the exact same setup and vocabulary) and I actually know him.

He does make some strange links between the chinese horse stance with feet inward, which is actually often quite different in Silat styles.

What is indeed true is that quite a lot of silat is very practical in nature, however you can see the same thing happening a with Chinese martial arts, the government wanted to standardize quite a lot of it, 'killing' a lot of diversity and over the years quite a bit of knowledge is lost. If i look at the current state of silat it's often either lacking in practicality (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uFCAXlk1tKI ) or it's basically krav maga with some silat thrown in to make it 'unique' (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RU9xof8heYA)
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