Tell me again why TCMA's aren't successful in combatsport

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

Re: Tell me again why TCMA's aren't successful in combatsport

Postby iwalkthecircle on Wed May 14, 2008 2:18 am

like to add that most TCMA would NOT know how to train for combatSport since they were not trained that way themSelves.

training for combatSport makes a big difference.
i would go as far as saying that most TCMA people are not in shape to fight three solid round in any combat sport.
i remember the 1st time i did three solid round of SC..... it was tiring.
some IMA people I know don't like to sweat, too much muscle/tense, no chi, not high level enough.....
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Re: Tell me again why TCMA's aren't successful in combatsport

Postby nianfong on Wed May 14, 2008 2:23 am

this is why I've always liked xingyi... the forms ARE the drills. you train your beng quan for like a mile a day, and you'll be really good at punching people. ;D

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Re: Tell me again why TCMA's aren't successful in combatsport

Postby OldRed on Wed May 14, 2008 5:03 am

Omar---that's great to hear. I know a few people on the E. Coast who are pretty serious too. My point is that these types of schools seem to more of the exception, rather than the rule.
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Re: Tell me again why TCMA's aren't successful in combatsport

Postby C.J.Wang on Wed May 14, 2008 7:47 am

As an amateur CMA practitioner, I have lots of repsect for people who train for hours a day like professional athletes in order to participate in combat sports. However, I still believe that CMA was never meant to be practiced as a sporting event.

For hundreds of years it was a form of self-preservation for the purpose of survival under hard circumstances where one human being must inflict serious damage or maim to another in a split second. It's not about sparring with rules, play fighting, or rolling on the ground in the ring with a referee present.
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Re: Tell me again why TCMA's aren't successful in combatsport

Postby JessOBrien on Wed May 14, 2008 9:31 am

CJW- I agree, partially. I think CMA CAN be used as a combat sport. It CAN also be used for life and death. It CAN also be used for self development, meditation, healing and even other purposes. CMA contains within it many different directions you can go, and sport is one of them if you choose to train it with that focus and intensity.

Sport only has one purpose, and that is to win under it's rule set. Many sacrifices are made in order to achieve that. Martial art has a lot of different things within it, and you can take it in many different directions.

That's the beauty of CMA, but it's also a source of frustration when we see people doing things with it that we don't agree with.

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Re: Tell me again why TCMA's aren't successful in combatsport

Postby DeusTrismegistus on Wed May 14, 2008 10:47 am

iwalkthecircle wrote:like to add that most TCMA would NOT know how to train for combatSport since they were not trained that way themSelves.

training for combatSport makes a big difference.
i would go as far as saying that most TCMA people are not in shape to fight three solid round in any combat sport.
i remember the 1st time i did three solid round of SC..... it was tiring.
some IMA people I know don't like to sweat, too much muscle/tense, no chi, not high level enough.....


I agree completely. Cardio is king in combat sports. When my teacher trained his students for san shou and shuai chiao competitions it was mostly cardio work. Cardio makes such a huge difference.

To be able to use TCMA in a combat sport setting you have to train to use your skills in that setting. If you don't strap on the gloves and headgear and practice using your techniques to win in whatever format you are entering then you wont do well.
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Re: Tell me again why TCMA's aren't successful in combatsport

Postby OldRed on Wed May 14, 2008 10:57 am

C.J.Wang wrote:As an amateur CMA practitioner, I have lots of repsect for people who train for hours a day like professional athletes in order to participate in combat sports. However, I still believe that CMA was never meant to be practiced as a sporting event.

For hundreds of years it was a form of self-preservation for the purpose of survival under hard circumstances where one human being must inflict serious damage or maim to another in a split second. It's not about sparring with rules, play fighting, or rolling on the ground in the ring with a referee present.


CJW---This is the basic problem. How does a person know that they can inflict serious damage or maim another if they can't survive play fighting, or rolling on the ground in the ring with a referee present?

Here's a nice quote I like to ponder from time to time when these debates surface:
From history of the Kodokan, the founding of Judo by Jigoro Kano...

Kano had seen that many of the ju jitsu ryu had developed an appreciation for perfect form; for the aesthetic component of their movement art. This was a poison handed down from the most admired of the bujitsu, the swordsmen; the Kenjitsu who could not practice fully, because they could not make mistakes without crippling or fatal results. Because they could not make mistakes, and survive, they could not fully learn. Because they could not fully learn, they created a false world of form, which substituted for experience. Eventually it became Kendo, which, to restore vigor, nearly eliminated form (kata) entirely.

Disdaining "competition" as too dangerous, or even vulgar, many arts, during the waning twilight of the Tokugawa shogunate, had abandoned their martial spirit in favor of idealized movement forms. They convinced themselves that such perfection of movement reflected mastery of martial skills. Kano was not the first to see the fallacy of such an approach, which was simply rationalizing a way that eliminated, rather than preserved, the martial sweat, and agony, and ordeal that had characterized the training of men in the olden times; men who understood that perfection of movement held no advantages to the defeated, who were dead. Instead, they knew, above all, that martial spirit was strength, skill, conditioning, and above all, martial timing and ardor in the face of a determined adversary who gave no quarter and expected none. It was the development of "fudoshin" the immovable mind, that met all challenges and surprises with a state of composure but instant and devastating response
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Re: Tell me again why TCMA's aren't successful in combatsport

Postby fuga on Wed May 14, 2008 12:33 pm

Nice quotation, Old Red.
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Re: Tell me again why TCMA's aren't successful in combatsport

Postby johnwang on Wed May 14, 2008 1:01 pm

C.J.Wang wrote: I still believe that CMA was never meant to be practiced as a sporting event.

SC is CMA and SC was always practiced as a sporting event. It takes different kind of personality to be in the sport. You have to enjoy winning and feel bad for losing. Also the ancient Chinese fighting spirit such as "if you beat me today then I'll come back in 10 years to get even with you" is not popular today.
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Re: Tell me again why TCMA's aren't successful in combatsport

Postby neimen on Wed May 14, 2008 2:04 pm

to the original question--

well, for one thing, getting into match fighting would be like getting another job. i don't want another job. i already have one. and i barely have time to have a real life as it is.

another thing: i'm all in favor of crossing hands with different folks with different backgrounds in a friendly context, and learning things. and when i say 'friendly context,' i'm not saying all-soft, all-easy. i've had an elbow and a shoulder mangled, and racked up all kinds of bruises playing 'friendly'. i've also been pretty definitely in a position to incapacitate or maim or kill the partners i was playing with, and we both knew it. but while i enjoy the give and take of practice, i'm not interested in actually trying to hurt anyone unless i actually have to--and in that situation, i want to gauge the intention of my opponent, and discourage them if they're discourageable, and i have the luxury of making that choice (i.e., we're talking about a single-attacker scenario), and i want to screw them up as quickly and as badly as i possibly can, if that's what the situation calls for.

one of the cores of IMA is intention. if you're training to fight for real and for your life, i don't believe that sport fighting is necessarily the best friend you can have. if you're a master, fine. but if you're farther down the learning curve--if you're not john wang, say, and you can't count on always being able to not only throw your opponent, but also being able to catch their head as they hit the mat--training to ignore certain targets, soften certain techniques, and basically *not having the intention of going all-out on your opponent--may wind up giving you funny reflexes. you don't always have time to parse situations or make judgement calls in a fight. you respond instinctively the way you've trained yourself to respond. like bruce lee said--'you' don't do it. 'it' does. 'it' being the training you've internalized.

for another thing: seriously, i know 'teh deadly' is used as an excuse by a lot of IMA practicioners. but why would you tell yourself that you're training to use your art more fully by taking your most effective targets out of play? sure, it's be great to be able to put your opponent into an americana nine times out of ten ninety seconds into a street fight. but personally, i'd rather break an opponent's knee or elbow in five. or land a nice crisp strike to the groin or the throat or the nape of the neck.

i have nothing but respect for the folks who do want to match fight to test and improve their skills. but me, i'm an amateur, and i'm happy being one. for me, a fight is a situation i don't really want to be in. part of my personal IMA training is about being able to identify a potential combat situation before it happens, and either skip it or neutralize it, if at all possible.

the little handful of real fights/life-or-whatever situations i've actually been in have only fed that feeling. as have the other little handful of real fights/life-or-whatever situations i could've been in but wasn't, because my training kept me so relaxed and centered and close to my potential opponent that my potential opponent felt uncertain, and backed off the whole fighting idea.

just my two cents.
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Re: Tell me again why TCMA's aren't successful in combatsport

Postby cerebus on Wed May 14, 2008 2:42 pm

neimen wrote: i'd rather break an opponent's knee or elbow in five. or land a nice crisp strike to the groin or the throat or the nape of the neck.


Wouldn't we all. But it's alot easier to say than to do. Afterall, he's gonna be trying to do the same to you. Groin, throat and nape of neck are not easy, open targets. If you can't land powerful blows to the relatively open face/head area allowed in sport competition while your opponent is trying to pummel you to the mat, you won't have an easier time going for harder targets in a streetfight.

Sport fighting (if it's a relatively open set of full-contact rules) won't detract from street ability. In fact, it will make one's ability to hit the more difficult targets while under pressure that much easier...
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Re: Tell me again why TCMA's aren't successful in combatsport

Postby JuanM on Wed May 14, 2008 3:18 pm

"Sport fighting (if it's a relatively open set of full-contact rules) won't detract from street ability. In fact, it will make one's ability to hit the more difficult targets while under pressure that much easier..."

Absolutely. I find myself becoming more accurate with my punches since I have started MT. When I was first sparring my punching was all over the place...it's quite difficult to hit someone who doesn't want to get hit and is hitting you back.
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Re: Tell me again why TCMA's aren't successful in combatsport

Postby C.J.Wang on Wed May 14, 2008 5:35 pm

OldRed wrote:CJW---This is the basic problem. How does a person know that they can inflict serious damage or maim another if they can't survive play fighting, or rolling on the ground in the ring with a referee present?


I am not saying that any form of realistic sparring training/ free-fighting shouldn't be done. In fact, I am all for it. Still, free-fighting and realistic sparring training still aren't equal to combat sports. It's not a matter of which one is better, the mentality invovled is just different.

In sport fighting, there are rules that protect the participants from being bitten, eye-gouged, kicked in the groin, pinched on the throat, and attacked with various objects found in the surrounding. (chair, brick, stick, belt, pocket knife,etc) When one side is about to get his face smashed in, the referee ends the fight or the coach throws in the towel. At the end of the day, it's still a game - a game with heavy contact but various levels of protection - rather than real fighting. If you lose in sport fighting, in most cases you walk away with a few bumps and bruises; if you lose in a real fight against someone who aims to do damage, it could very well land you in hospital for weeks or even cost your life.

In traditional systems like the Praying Mantis and certain Hakka systems, there are movements found in the forms where you'd go low, slap the ground with the palms, and thrust the hands forward. When I asked the old-timers what those moves are for, they told me that the original application was to grab a handfull of sand, a pile of cow manure, a rock, or whatever's on the ground and throw it to the opponent's face; "Water Hand," an arm whipping move found in Fukien Whtie Crane system, was once used for throwing coins at the opponent with deadly power and accuracy; In the Bagua style I do, there is a self-defense technique (application of turning body palm ) passed down for generations where you'd move in high and low while piercing to the opponent's eyes, throat, and groin one time each. Once you manage to get pass his guard and touch one of those three areas, grab on and squeeze as tightly as possible for a split second before releasing and using your footwork to turn around and run off.

Can you see how this is different from sport fighting? It's not about who has the endurance to go for 10 rounds of kicking and punching or who is fast enough to take someone down to the floor and make him tap out in under a minute. Only thing that matters is survival.
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Re: Tell me again why TCMA's aren't successful in combatsport

Postby C.J.Wang on Wed May 14, 2008 5:46 pm

johnwang wrote:
C.J.Wang wrote: I still believe that CMA was never meant to be practiced as a sporting event.

SC is CMA and SC was always practiced as a sporting event. It takes different kind of personality to be in the sport. You have to enjoy winning and feel bad for losing. Also the ancient Chinese fighting spirit such as "if you beat me today then I'll come back in 10 years to get even with you" is not popular today.



I agree that SC has long been a sporting event. If memory serves me correctly, in ancient China SC matches were even practiced in ways similar to modern Sumo wrestling as ceremonial events for the worship of god and the display of strength and beauty.

But do you think that your teacher, GM Chang Dong-Sheng, thought of SC as a sport where playing fighting and losing are acceptable? Based on everything I've heard from others, he took SC as a dead serious combat art for survival.
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Re: Tell me again why TCMA's aren't successful in combatsport

Postby johnwang on Wed May 14, 2008 5:57 pm

C.J.Wang wrote:But do you think that your teacher, GM Chang Dong-Sheng, thought of SC as a sport where playing fighting and losing are acceptable? Based on everything I've heard from others, he took SC as a dead serious combat art for survival.

There was a fight that he had in a Beijin opera theater in Taiwan. He used his elbow striking only and not used even one of his throwing skill because the office space was so small, and he had to deal with 8 guys at the same time. Even SC was GM Chang's major style, he had cross training many styles. This is one good example that "effective finish moves" should be our highest training goal.
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