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#177503 - 08/11/05 06:57 PM Can you say you know it?
18lohans Offline

Registered: 01/16/05
Posts: 321
It's common knowledge that there are hundreds of different kung fu styles. Some are very similar, some are not. Most MAs will, at one point or another, be exposed to more than one style.

I have always been confused as to what (or when) entitles you to say you know a certain style. Is it knowing forms? Is it being able to use the trademark techniques of the style? Is it knowing its history and philosophies? Maybe it's just having studied it?

Also, how far (or how much time) do you have to go in a style before you feel like you've done more than just 'try it for fun' ?

I understand that these questions reflect different emphasis and values for different people, but all input is still appreciated.

#177504 - 08/11/05 07:29 PM Re: Can you say you know it? [Re: 18lohans]
MattJ Offline
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Registered: 11/25/04
Posts: 15634
Loc: York PA. USA
personally, I feel that if you have studied an art enough to grasp one or more of the core concepts or philosophies of it, I think you can say that you "know" it to some degree.

That is a very vague question, though. All of your answers could be correct, depending on why you are asking or to what level you mean.
"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

#177505 - 08/12/05 02:07 AM Re: Can you say you know it? [Re: MattJ]
18lohans Offline

Registered: 01/16/05
Posts: 321
Yeah, I agree the question's kinda vague. My first version of it was a complete explanation of the question. But I cut all that out hoping to get a feel of what people think ask they read the question.

Anyways, I'm having the opportunity to train in multiple styles right now. More specifically, I know history, lineage, forms, and techniques for all styles I train in. I feel fairly proficient at performing forms and explaining techniques.

Yet, I feel like I only know two or so of the styles I train in. For example, my tai chi forms are getting good enough so that my instructor would want to send me into competitions. Yet, I couldn't use tai chi even during easy-going sparring. If I do use tai chi during sparring, I can't consciously tell it apart from my other styles.

I put in almost 2 years of time into the training, and my movements and knowledge are fairly more polished than someone that's just "trying the style out". I'd say I definitely know more tai chi than say, Muay Thai. (All I know are some jab/roudhouse bag workout combos my intructor showed us). Yet, I'd probably be able to fight a lot better with those jabs and roudhouse than, say my parting the horse's mane.

So if you were in my shoes, would you be comfortable saying you know tai chi? Or maybe because I can throw a good muay thai style roundhouse, and seen ong bak tons of times... do I know muay thai? I mean, what does it take to "know" a style?

#177506 - 08/13/05 03:55 PM Re: Can you say you know it? [Re: 18lohans]
etaks86 Offline

Registered: 04/14/05
Posts: 161
In my mind, i consider you being able to say you know something when you understand the basic concepts of the art and can apply them in real life. for example let's say you are learning siu lim tao form of wing chun or chin na, now to me you could say you know these when you understand the basic of siu lim tao and chi sau and basic footwork and how to apply these with a real life fight problem. the same for china na i would say you know chin na if you understand and can apply the basic joint locks, arm control abilities in real life and not just in practice. anyway that's just some of my opinions. i hope i gave some kind of insight into this subject. and also forgive my spelling i'm not very good at spelling.

#177507 - 08/14/05 03:31 PM Re: Can you say you know it? [Re: etaks86]
18lohans Offline

Registered: 01/16/05
Posts: 321
So I take it that most will agree that applications is what separates the ones that "know" versus the ones that "can copy".

I've actually started reading a kung fu book that stresses on how alarming it is that combat application of a lot of kung fu styles is either forgotten or not understood.

This makes sense to me, as it is quite easy to just learn a movement or a form. I suppose there are a lot of people in my school alone that knows dozens of forms, but still can't apply them to technique training, much less sparring, and definitely much less a real life situation.

#177508 - 08/14/05 07:39 PM Re: Can you say you know it? [Re: 18lohans]
pathfinder7195 Offline

Registered: 02/11/05
Posts: 336
Loc: T.C Michigan, U.S
18lohans my si-gung would tell his students that when he taught in China if he did not want people to learn how to fight he would teach them a form. Without any MA knowledge it would be quite hard to find the fighting applications in the forms. He also said that if you did a lot of drills like what boxers do you could become efficient in fighting within three years.


#177509 - 08/14/05 07:49 PM Re: Can you say you know it? [Re: pathfinder7195]
cks_cropper Offline

Registered: 03/04/05
Posts: 63
Personally I would have to say that to know a style you have to know its basic concepts, its rules, little bit of history, and how it all works really. Then you have a good overview of what the style is as you have understood a little about everything in the style, so you have an idea of what it is all about.



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