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#172427 - 07/28/05 09:05 AM Fitness and Kung fu
MAGr Offline

Registered: 04/11/05
Posts: 1147
Loc: London, home: Athens
I would like to have a discussion on fitness levels ansd kung fu. It seems to me that a lot of people think that you dont have to be fit in order to do kung fu. I believe the exact opposite. Like a good sushi chef you have to keep your knives sharp, and I mean SHARP. I dont think that an average level of fitness is enough, I think that the fitness side of training should be dealt with as much as the skill side, at least in the beginning stages. I think people have a tendency to rely on the cleverness of techniques and ignore the truth, that is so plainly evident in real life situations and sparring matches.

What do the different stylists think?

#172428 - 07/28/05 09:33 AM Re: Fitness and Kung fu [Re: MAGr]
MattJ Offline
Free Rhinoplasty!

Registered: 11/25/04
Posts: 15634
Loc: York PA. USA
I think that good conditioning is certainly a requirement to be a good fighter. Unless your technique is exceptional, you need to be able to withstand some exertion and punishment to subdue the opponent.

technique + conditioning = best chances
"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

#172429 - 07/28/05 11:40 AM Re: Fitness and Kung fu [Re: MattJ]
GungFuTy Offline

Registered: 01/28/05
Posts: 88
Loc: UT
I think that fitness is especially important to Kung Fu. Doing the techniques properly almost demands it. Kung Fu generally has lower stances---leg strength required. There are many other aspects of kung fu that require fitness to make kung fu effective. I think if speed/strength/endurance/balance/footwork/technique..etc. are not all being practiced then you may not be doing kung fu.

That may have sounded a little harsh. I do think that anyone who is interested in learning can and should learn kung fu. Fitness should be part of that training though, and you should almost expect it.
Maybe thats why I took up boxing. It's my response to men in white pajamas feeling each other's chi

#172430 - 07/28/05 08:46 PM Re: Fitness and Kung fu [Re: MAGr]
pathfinder7195 Offline

Registered: 02/11/05
Posts: 336
Loc: T.C Michigan, U.S
Good points Magr. If you walk in to most MA schools people are so out of shape but if you walk in to most boxing schools people are quite fit. Being fit is what makes your skill more effective. It gives you that edge.


#172431 - 07/29/05 08:53 AM Re: Fitness and Kung fu [Re: pathfinder7195]
RazorFoot Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 12/01/04
Posts: 2064
Loc: Seated at the computer, DUH
The fighting/sparring coach I have now with TKD pushes me extremely hard but the most physically exhausting training I have ever done was Northern Shaolin Kung Fu under Sifu Anthony Goh.
We worked to the point that even if you were mentally tough enough to endure the training, some times your body would just quit. You would reach the point where the muscles just couldnt perform the exercises anymore that class. I can laugh about it now because I am not home getting severe cramps in my legs right now, lol. It was hard work but it was also great fun.
"The greatest way to live with honor in this world is to be what we pretend to be."

#172432 - 07/29/05 09:15 AM Re: Fitness and Kung fu [Re: RazorFoot]
MAGr Offline

Registered: 04/11/05
Posts: 1147
Loc: London, home: Athens
The thing is, I believe that the people in this forum, are members of a forum because they are dedicated to their art and its development. Therefore its eas to see why most people agree with me when I say that fitness is paramount to learning kung fu. Unfortunately that is not the case with most people outside this forum. A lot of people do kung fu just to tick a box in their 'things to do before I am 30' list; and those people are generally the type who feel that kung fu is something untouchable, that it is superior above any other art. That is why I have such massive respect for karatekas.
Because I dont mean just push ups, but also drilling the techniques. A bit of chi sau is not going to improve the precision of your punching and kicking. In japanese schools they do hundreds of kicks and repeat the movements over and over until your arms drop. In kung fu people seem to think that if they slap a couple of hands, do a few slow motion forms, and then do some clever technique on a unresisting partner that they will be kung fu masters in 5 years. Sadly, a lot of kung fu practitioners, when faced with an actual threat have no idea what to do.
It is also up to the student to make his techniques work. I know people who have done kung fu for as long as I have and I KNOW that they would not be able to use their knowledge in a real situation in a million years. And that is really sad.

#172433 - 07/29/05 02:53 PM Re: Fitness and Kung fu [Re: MAGr]
imcrazy Offline
cereal killer

Registered: 04/12/05
Posts: 492
Loc: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Well I would say most certainly yes, you need a good fitness level. Look at the shaolin monks, they train everyday, all day doing strenious exercise. I once heard that boxers are 3 times as fit as an olympic runner and martial artists up to 9 times (this extreme being for shaolin monks or anyone at that equvilent fitness level). Now I can't guarantee the validity of that statement as I have no websites to back it up or anything, just something i've heard.
The greatest learning and understanding is found in hardship.

#172434 - 07/29/05 05:51 PM Re: Fitness and Kung fu [Re: MAGr]
GungFuTy Offline

Registered: 01/28/05
Posts: 88
Loc: UT
I understand what you are trying to get across, and I understand it from first hand experience. When I first started taking kung fu when I was twelve I had no idea it would developed into a life long pursuit. My first years of training were good. My sifu had a blood and guts mentality. Many days for class we would leave the studio run to the park (5 miles away) do kicking drills and then run back to the studio. We didnít do this everyday, but whatever we did it was with that type of mentality. As he got older (and became sick with a brain tumor among other things) he obviously slowed down. I started to realize he had been driving my study during class, but outside that wasn't the case. I just put all my effort into the "fancy techniques" and other things like that. That has all changed of course....I try to incorporate more balance into my training (I practice every day now) After my sifu got sick a few years ago, and I was on my own mostly( except for verbal instruction) I realized the necessity of hard training to make all the moves (punches, techniques, kicks,.ect.) effective. My class thought I worked them before................
Maybe thats why I took up boxing. It's my response to men in white pajamas feeling each other's chi


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