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#159879 - 06/24/05 03:00 AM Multiple styles
18lohans Offline

Registered: 01/16/05
Posts: 321
For a while now I've been practicing multiple styles. It used to be clear what my "foundation" or "main" style was. However, I'm getting to a poitn where my second/third styles are becoming pretty dominant in my foundations. I'm a bit confused as to what my style is.

Is it weird to not have a main style? What's the criteria for picking one of the styles you practice as your main one?

#159880 - 06/24/05 05:45 AM Re: Multiple styles [Re: 18lohans]
Rico Offline

Registered: 05/23/05
Posts: 28
If you feel comfortable when free sparing and can blend the techniques without thinking then who cares to be honest. I dont know what styles you mix but Id say the only problem with mixing kung fu is not being able to reach a high level in one of them because of time.

#159881 - 06/24/05 01:37 PM Re: Multiple styles [Re: Rico]
18lohans Offline

Registered: 01/16/05
Posts: 321
That's a good perspective on it Rico. Thanks for the input. You brought up a really good point.

My question to that, though, is about reaching the high levels. I understand that different styles feature different philosophies, body mechanics, etc... But is that really what makes mastering different styles more time consuming?

For instance, the two styles I practice most now are Northern Shaolin and praying mantis. PM shares a lot of the shaolin traits. They emphasize similar stances, etc. While they look different at high levels, the basics feel very similar (or complementary). I may be wrong about this though. I feel that practicing both arts at once is making me better at both, and actually making that path to a higher level easier.

Does this sound feasible, or is it lack of understanding the two styles on my part?

#159882 - 06/24/05 10:07 PM Re: Multiple styles [Re: 18lohans]
MAGr Offline

Registered: 04/11/05
Posts: 1147
Loc: London, home: Athens
There is no reason why you should not be able to, in time harmonize different arts. About the mastering question, the only thing that I can see is that it would be easier to master one at first, because you can concentrate on it fully, since 'mastering' has subtleties that need time to develop as well as commitment. I think it would just take longer to reach that level of 'realisation', but the fact that you are studying two arts brings other advantages which can overcompensate for that.

#159883 - 06/27/05 04:25 PM Re: Multiple styles [Re: 18lohans]
BaguaMonk Offline

Registered: 12/18/04
Posts: 404
Each one should compliment eachother. At least if they are gong fu styles. Keep them seperate when you practice. What I mean by that is if you use, lets say a white crane technique, use that technique (stance, whatever) the way its supposed to be, and then if you use a hung gar technique, use that the way its supposed to be. So you can practice them together, just try and keep them seperate mentally (power generation etc.) so you have the best of all worlds.
Truth comes from the absolute stillness of the mind...

#159884 - 06/28/05 01:53 PM Re: Multiple styles [Re: BaguaMonk]
RazorFoot Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 12/01/04
Posts: 2064
Loc: Seated at the computer, DUH
Is there really an importance to being able to clearly identify a "base" style after you have become proficient? I agree that you should develop a proficiency in one Art first before trying to learn another but once you have established a good foundation and are capable of learning other styles easily due to that previous training, do you really need to be able to identify a base style?

At that point, the purpose of the base style has been met. If you become more proficient in a new style, maybe that becomes your base style because of your knowledge and experiance with it.

I guess my point is, it is important initially to have a base style to be able to springboard off into other styles effectively. After that, having or maintaining a base style becomes less important. You need to be careful not to lose those skills as you develop others but over all, I dont think the need for a base style is as important then.
"The greatest way to live with honor in this world is to be what we pretend to be."

#159885 - 06/28/05 02:19 PM Re: Multiple styles [Re: RazorFoot]
MattJ Offline
Free Rhinoplasty!

Registered: 11/25/04
Posts: 15634
Loc: York PA. USA
I agree totally with RazorFoot.

Once the foundation has been established, it has served it's purpose. Now comes the balancing act of trying to add utility in the form of decreasing the amount of unsuitable techniques and increasing the amount of functional ones.

These can come from the base art or anywhere else.
"In case you ever wondered what it's like to be knocked out, it's like waking up from a nightmare only to discover it wasn't a dream." -Forrest Griffin

#159886 - 06/28/05 10:23 PM Re: Multiple styles [Re: MattJ]
18lohans Offline

Registered: 01/16/05
Posts: 321
Interesting ideas once again! I have a few follow up questions though. But bear with me, as it might come out hard to understand.

So are you all okay with, say... someone who introduces themselves as a student of style A and style B, without clarifying a 'main' style? (Assuming that this person is proficient in the forms and applications of both)

I ask this because it just seems that my MA friends all have a main style. (i.e. Joe is a Long Fist guy (even though he does a bit of tai chi), Jack does Wing Chun (even though he does a bit of muay thai).

But when it comes to myself, I've known myself to be a Wing Chun guy. However, I've been doing Longfist for long enough now, that I feel my skills in it are equal, if not better, than my wing chun skills. By this I mean that I no longer know what to say as far as what my style is. I could say both. But I wouldn't know what's the dominant one.

In Razorfoot's idea, I could be just comfortable with the idea that WC served as a base style, and now I have both WC and Longfist. But it just feels that I'm lacking an identity by not having a 'main' style. Am I just making complications inside my own head, or is there any reason in all this?

#159887 - 06/28/05 10:45 PM Re: Multiple styles [Re: 18lohans]
RazorFoot Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 12/01/04
Posts: 2064
Loc: Seated at the computer, DUH
18lohans, I understand the problem better now. It is almost like asking what your signature is or what it should look like in a way.

When I need to identify myself as a certain type of stylist, although I am comfortable with my skills in TKD, Kenpo, and Northern Shaolin, I always identify myself by the first Art I studied, TKD.

To me, it is almost like saying, "where were you born?" "Well, I was born in Baltimore but I live in Parkville now." So, I am a TKD stylist but I have studied Kung Fu and Kenpo also.

Does this make a little more sense? Other than that, I am not sure how else to look at it.

Hope this helps
"The greatest way to live with honor in this world is to be what we pretend to be."

#159888 - 06/28/05 11:31 PM Re: Multiple styles [Re: 18lohans]
pathfinder7195 Offline

Registered: 02/11/05
Posts: 336
Loc: T.C Michigan, U.S
18lohans, I too felt that way between studying clf and boxing. But now I just see it as "good kung fu is good kung fu" regardless of style. Once the foundation of those styles was learned I find it very educational to learn the "delivery system" of other arts.


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