Your kung fu is bullshit

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

Your kung fu is bullshit

Postby GrahamB on Fri May 20, 2022 11:24 am

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Re: Your kung fu is bullshit

Postby Giles on Fri May 20, 2022 12:55 pm

Yes, good article. What's it about? Fun; health and fitness on all sorts of levels; a chance to reflect on some of your own behaviour patterns; spending a special sort of quality time with decent people; doing a martial art with a lot of potential depth (some of which you will never fully plumb, for sure); and - as a bonus, if you're interested in working and training accordingly - actually improving your chances of surviving/dealing with some kinds of physical attacks. (Even if that means just moving from a 40% chance to a 60% chance in a not excessively challenging situation).
So yes.
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Re: Your kung fu is bullshit

Postby origami_itto on Fri May 20, 2022 1:12 pm

Excellent points
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Re: Your kung fu is bullshit

Postby Ian C. Kuzushi on Fri May 20, 2022 5:22 pm

tldr, so take what I say with a fist full of salt. Yes, there is certainly a major issue with most TMA schools. But, I was able to use "internal" MA to good effect at various interschool bang ups, tournaments, and on the "Streetz." In fact, I had to face other students from schools that other posters here often mention: Brendan Lai, Henry Look, the Bay Area YC Chiang contingent, and other more scrappy WT (usually via Leung Tsing) and Eagle Claw peeps. Although I always won, it was almost always in the middle of a banquet (and on the freaking banquet floor!), so I often got sick afterwords.

But, my training was unusual in that is was like something out of Drunken Master and my teacher was pretty mean. He had retired and I got a special introduction to him when he moved to my small college town to retire while his wife taught Chinese Lit.

I signed up to learn hsing i, but he said I needed to learn taijiquan first to soften up my hardness from construction and shaolin. We never got past taiji! I had to do a lot of jinbeigong and static postures, then doing repeated movements from the form plus applications for about a year before starrting the actual form. As a result, the form became something very powerful, and if I did it four times in a row, my body would be courseing with...blood? Energy? Chi? Something was going on. It dramatically improved my judo, altough so did lifting weights and working manual labor for a decade (hand mixing concrete, digging by hand, wrenching on things, etc...

Kung fu done right is powerful. I submitted U Faber at a mutal friends apt not long before he was a UFC champ.
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Re: Your kung fu is bullshit

Postby Quigga on Sat May 21, 2022 1:56 am

Didn't know that about you Ian, cool to hear 8-)
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Re: Your kung fu is bullshit

Postby Formosa Neijia on Sat May 21, 2022 8:29 am

Do you go out of your way to find people who can beat you, and then scrap with them?

Yes, and honestly I didn't even understand this question the first time I read it. How could YOU NOT be doing this? It's literally the only way to improve. I can't imagine doing it any other way.

Do you seek out high-level MMA folks to exchange with? Or decent wrestlers, boxers etc

Yes. I took MMA, BJJ, and judo for exactly that reason. The MMA guys said "your wingchun is pretty good" so I took that as a complement. :)

Telling a classmate to “kick me like a Thai boxer” doesn’t count, unless they are actually a decent Thai boxer. Same applies to “take me down like a wrestler”.

Exactly which is why I took three training trips to Thailand to train. EVERYONE in CMA should do this. You've never seen anything like it, I guarantee. MT guys run 7 miles BEFORE class, train 2x a day for 1.5-3 hours each time, do 12 rounds with pads and 12 rounds of heavy bag, etc. Learning to block real Thai kicks is an absolute must and will show you that "circle walking to strengthen the forearms" and "standing zhanzhuang for strength" ain't gonna cut it even 1%.

How much time do you spend working with knives, or if you are in Murica, firearms and integrating those into your practice?

Oh boy, break into my house and my skills with kungfu are the last thing on earth you gotta worry about. I'm certed in two different knifefighting styles and integrating firearms into your material is an art in and of itself. Shivworks is one of the best for that:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wtUkeC7WwDc

If you are not regularly doing these things as far as I’m concerned martial effectiveness is NOT your top priority. If you are, cool.

I guess martial effectiveness is my top priority. :)
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Re: Your kung fu is bullshit

Postby Quigga on Sat May 21, 2022 8:50 am

You've passed every test with flying colors. I'm so proud of you :-)
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Re: Your kung fu is bullshit

Postby Appledog on Sat May 21, 2022 11:18 am

GrahamB wrote:https://edwardhai.medium.com/your-kung-fu-is-bullshit-890532793626

Good article by Ed Hines. Read it!


Other than the statement "If you are not regularly doing these things as far as I’m concerned martial effectiveness is NOT your top priority. If you are, cool." which implies there are some IMA people who can fight with IMA, the entire article seems to present a false dichotomy that the IMA method does not work to produce martial arts skill. I disagree; the article also agrees with me, (see quote above) but acts like it doesn't. And it has a point. But the solution of borrowing or stealing from other martial arts is bad and wrong. I would prefer if the article advised people to double down on their training time or to switch styles and experiment with wu, chen, or sun style instead of just beating the yang cheng fu style drum for eternity. But to switch entire systems, is probably a big mistake for most people.
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Re: Your kung fu is bullshit

Postby wayne hansen on Sat May 21, 2022 1:50 pm

If you take it one step further
The only thing that counts is the street with no referee where your life depends on it
If you don’t do that weekly you arnt serious
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Re: Your kung fu is bullshit

Postby Formosa Neijia on Sun May 22, 2022 8:22 am

Quigga wrote:You've passed every test with flying colors. I'm so proud of you :-)

Thanks but that's not why i do it. I do it because that's what martial artists do. If fighting skill is the goal then surrounding yourself with powerful people with the same goal is the only way to improve. Frankly I'm really surprised that nearly no one seems to be doing this. I thought at least a lot of people back around 2004 took seriously as i did the idea that anti-grappling didn't work so we had better seek out MMA/BJJ.

Appledog wrote:Other than the statement "If you are not regularly doing these things as far as I’m concerned martial effectiveness is NOT your top priority. If you are, cool." which implies there are some IMA people who can fight with IMA, the entire article seems to present a false dichotomy that the IMA method does not work to produce martial arts skill. I disagree; the article also agrees with me, (see quote above) but acts like it doesn't. And it has a point. But the solution of borrowing or stealing from other martial arts is bad and wrong. I would prefer if the article advised people to double down on their training time or to switch styles and experiment with wu, chen, or sun style instead of just beating the yang cheng fu style drum for eternity. But to switch entire systems, is probably a big mistake for most people.

I don't think he's saying IMA for fighting can't work, I think he's (bizarrely to my tastes) saying that isn't his goal? Again, frankly I don't get it. If fun is the goal has anyone tried racquetball? Racquetball rocks, it's social, you get a great workout, it doesn't require going to China, and it makes you attractive to the opposite sex if you do it enough. The "martial arts for fun" angle seems bizarre to me.

As for doing different systems, if your goal is fighting ability then your main concern isn't having an extreme style fetish, like TCMA is obsessed with. The style fetish has got to go. It exists because every kungfu teacher in China is horrified that they might lose students to the next teacher 100 feet away in the park they teach in. That simply doesnt apply to anywhere in the West where the number of teacher is likely in single digits (or less) across an entire state.

Exposing yourself to styles that actually fight CAN lead to you finding things in your own style you wouldn't have seen otherwise because we all share common routes. William E. Fairbairn the father of combatives trained in Shanghai in the early1900's and passed that knowledge to modern combative styles. Examples from my own experience: 1. the best application of lieh -- to split, from taiji -- that I ever saw came from my krav maga cert, krav being a hybrid style of fighting techniques. It's so good I immediately incorporated it into everything I do. 2. the best app for single whip I ever saw came from a kali cert and the move is done right out of the form. I was shocked. 3. panantukan and kuntao done by some people is basically old-time southern shaolin because they emphasize certain aspects like silat, which is itself a hybrid art heavily influenced by Chinese immigrants to SE Asia. If people cut themselves off from this material because it's called a different name then you'll lose out on finding alternate stuff within your own system, often because the fighting aspect is being lost due to possibly being practiced "for fun."
Time to put the QUAN back in taijiQUAN. Time to put the YANG back in YANG style taiji.
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Re: Your kung fu is bullshit

Postby Quigga on Sun May 22, 2022 8:42 am

Fun is a terrible thing :D

Cooks arguing about how to make the best tasting dish

What is a dish and who is tasting it

A good cook can make something delicious without knowing what ingredients he is presented with

Obviously some combinations are hard to pull off

An archer who isn't absorbed in the process will miss

But I've recently took a kickboxing class again, not adopting their frame but maintaining mine - I may use some of their movements, but they don't reach my core, my result of changing myself - just a different dress

It's fun :D
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Re: Your kung fu is bullshit

Postby Doc Stier on Sun May 22, 2022 8:54 am

Formosa Neijia wrote:Exposing yourself to styles that actually fight CAN lead to you finding things in your own style you wouldn't have seen otherwise...If people cut themselves off from this material because it's called a different name, then you'll lose out on finding alternate stuff within your own system...

And in fact, every combat style or method which is still being used effectively in realtime fighting scenarios today was gradually developed into its current model through such a process. Whatever worked well under pressure was retained and perpetuated, while anything that didn't work well was discarded.

That being said, some practitioners of every method clearly excel in that process more than others do, relative to their personal training regimen and their self-disciplined motivation to actually work it regularly.
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Re: Your kung fu is bullshit

Postby windwalker on Sun May 22, 2022 9:10 am

Quigga wrote:Fun is a terrible thing :D

Cooks arguing about how to make the best tasting dish

What is a dish and who is tasting it

A good cook can make something delicious without knowing what ingredients he is presented with

Obviously some combinations are hard to pull off

An archer who isn't absorbed in the process will miss

But I've recently took a kickboxing class again, not adopting their frame but maintaining mine - I may use some of their movements, but they don't reach my core, my result of changing myself - just a different dress

It's fun :D



Seems like your"er not really "taking" the class
Your'er using the class to test you own ideas.....

how do you feel about this,,,,is it fair to the teacher and other students..

Why not just enter some local comps, or meet up with others wanting to do the same...off line so to speak

In China a students sincerity is tested, allowing a teacher to determine why the student is actually training and for what.
Before the real training begins. It allows the teacher to know the student, and student to understand the nature of the teachers training.

Maybe a little different in some commercial gyms, .

In boxing the boxing gym, one of my students father ran,,,it would not be possible to do what you've mentioned
Unless it worked in the ring,,,with someone of equal or greater skill, assigned to work with you... :P
Last edited by windwalker on Sun May 22, 2022 9:36 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Your kung fu is bullshit

Postby Formosa Neijia on Sun May 22, 2022 9:37 am

Doc Stier wrote:
Formosa Neijia wrote:Exposing yourself to styles that actually fight CAN lead to you finding things in your own style you wouldn't have seen otherwise...If people cut themselves off from this material because it's called a different name, then you'll lose out on finding alternate stuff within your own system...

And in fact, every combat style or method which is still being used effectively in realtime fighting scenarios today was gradually developed into its current model through such a process. Whatever worked well under pressure was retained and perpetuated, while anything that didn't work well was discarded.

That being said, some practitioners of every method clearly excel in that process more than others do, relative to their personal training regimen and their self-disciplined motivation to actually work it regularly.


Agreed, Doc. And what really stunned me was that both the lieh/split and single whip app were done exactly as in my Yang form, yet I never saw either or those from multiple taiji teachers. The combatives people certainly only retained and refined what worked. I'm grateful to have learned from both groups.
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Re: Your kung fu is bullshit

Postby yeniseri on Sun May 22, 2022 10:18 am

Loved it!
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