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#182176 - 09/04/05 07:18 AM Re: Gong-Fu in the streets [Re: Stone Carver]
BaguaMonk Offline

Registered: 12/18/04
Posts: 404
Thanks alot tookien!

Everyone brings up good points. But what someone said is very true, the reason kung fu movements (not contemp. wushu) look strange, pretty, or flashy, is for different purposes. Alot of the MMA community will say "Forms are useless" or just for "performing," but that is mostly an observation made from wushuu atheletes, or people who seem to just perform and not teach fighting aspects. But the main reason for forms are many.

First of all, each form is a "style" in its own. Each technique well hidden (remember when gong fu was outlawed) but also ingeniously designed to condition the correct muscles, teach your body to move the correct way, and develop a sense of distance and timing (usually Shaolin forms start and end at same spot). The transition from one technique to the next is highly important. They can be done fast, slow, or at the default rhythim for different purposes. IMO they should be done with as much effort as possible, otherwise there is no point (as much effort doesn't mean change speed, it only means you do it the way your taught, the best you can). You also learn how to breathe, and conserve energy the best. With all these things in mind, you should be able to generate some good power. Of course forms/techniques are only one aspect, without application, or experience, they are nothing but past times.

Arts like Taiji and bagua, look the most flowery sometimes. Because the techniques are well hidden/vague, and have pretty interesting names. The techniques are amazing, but they are used for the same purpose as forms, to develop the specific mindset and harmonize the body with the mind and spirit. From the "Zen" or "wushin" (no minded-ness), accleration is greatly increased, and using the techniques is not only easier, but almost unecessary with such heightened awareness.

While some go too far in stripping gong fu down to its basics for fighting. Others seem to go too deep into teaching how to fight with it, directly how its used in forms (deep stances etc.) Of course, in sparring and what not, the best kind of practice is the way it is taught and practiced, since it is much harder for instance, to hit somebody very fast from a med-low gong bu stancee, than from a standard standing position. Or learning how to use all the various blocks/punches successfully, without having to learn on just beginners instinct. Since eventually that will lead to a different type of more refined instinct.

You are training yourself to use things that seem different, or not as easy. So as to develop so much skill, mental, physical, and spiritual congruity, so that you won't ever have to use the advandced techniques (unlses we were in ancient china, where gong fu adepts were more common), just the direct simple ones.
Truth comes from the absolute stillness of the mind...

#182177 - 09/09/05 05:34 PM Re: Gong-Fu in the streets [Re: BaguaMonk]
-orangesiscool- Offline

Registered: 04/08/05
Posts: 58
Loc: marysville, CA, USA
kung fu and gong fu mean different things. (please note the angry smilie) Gong fu literally means something that trancends esthetic purposes. A performance form has no "gong fu."
I Swear By My Life And My Love Of It That I Will Never Live For The Sake Of Another Man, Nor Ask Another Man To Live For Mine.

#182178 - 09/11/05 01:15 PM BaguaMonk [Re: Stone Carver]
tookien1 Offline

Registered: 02/13/05
Posts: 299
Loc: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Hey BaguaMonk

I could'nt get any info on those locations about any good Pak Mei schools. I believe there are some Pak Mei schools, but if they advertise it like there is no tommorow, than don't bother. Find out from others in the MA community, or visit various Kung-fu studios, they might know.

Check out this link. If you DO find a school of Pak Mei than use this as a key reference to finding a good credible teacher. They must have found their knoweldge from some place, if it is not by any of the given names listed, then find someplace else, or just don't join at all.

#182179 - 09/12/05 08:38 AM Re: Gong-Fu in the streets [Re: -orangesiscool-]
Fisherman Offline

Registered: 07/16/03
Posts: 1656
Loc: Colorado, USA

kung fu and gong fu mean different things. (please note the angry smilie) Gong fu literally means something that trancends esthetic purposes. A performance form has no "gong fu."

Aren't you going to tell us what kung fu means then?

#182180 - 09/12/05 01:15 PM Re: Gong-Fu in the streets [Re: tookien1]
7starstudent Offline

Registered: 09/12/05
Posts: 2
I am actually having a hard time thinking of many kung fu styles that have been modified for sport/competition fighting (other than flashy modern "wushu"). All of the styles that I have been exposed to don’t compete in sparring or point sparring competitions because the rules would tend to inhibit many of the techniques traditionally used in the style (not that there isn’t a time or place for competitions).

Of course, I am only a beginner, and I have only had experience with Hung Gar, Tai Chi, and 7 Star Praying Mantis kung fu. So let it be duly noted that my experiences are limited. It should also be duly noted that I’m probably a little bit biased...

I've been taught (and have experienced) that some of the "flowery" movements in kung fu are rather practical in a real world situation. For instance, the basic low horse stance incorporated could be viewed as "too slow" and "impractical for fighting" by some. But the same low stance is really amazing at closing distance and destroying your opponent's base, or for throwing your opponent, or simply for stepping in and under his/her high kick or punch and attacking low (groin, knees, etc)... Also, that same low, flowery stance provides the most powerful punches. What’s interesting (to me anyway) is that these same applications of the basic low horse stance are not permitted in most point sparring competitions. So, in that context, the deep stance could be seen as a slow and pointless technique.

After previous training in Hung Gar and Tai Chi, I have been training in Praying Mantis kung fu for about a year now. I have found this style of kung fu to be anything but flowery in its application. It is vicious and fast (and, for that matter, extremely low…). I am extremely pleased the practical nature of the fight training I am receiving, which covers everything from striking to grappling and joint locking. My training is almost exclusively centered on reality based fighting. I do have to admit that I thought some of the forms seemed incredibly impractical when I watched from the sidelines, until Sifu showed me the applications. When I say he “showed me”, I mean he knocked me around a bit before dumping my ass on the floor – in a very practical and straightforward manner.

Like some of the other posters here, I believe that the "flowery" movements have a great deal of practicality; but they take time and dedication to learn to use effectively. This, of course, is discounting the stuff used in modern wushu, the stunts used in the movies, and the flashiness developed in the Peking Opera.

#182181 - 09/22/05 09:29 PM Re: Gong-Fu in the streets [Re: 7starstudent]
BaguaMonk Offline

Registered: 12/18/04
Posts: 404
Of course flowery movements have great amount of practicality. Only flaw I seen in low deep stances is when people pose in them, or use them in the wrong ways.

In fact, in every altercation I've been in, low deep stances are perhaps the most useful thing I've ever come across. For rooting purposes, and each one has its strengths (and weaknesses), therefore shifting from one to the other, or simply learning how to use it to retreat or press on your opponent has amazing qualities. Stances are used transitionally, and for the most part very useful. I had someone much bigger trying to push and tackle me, and because of both a low horse, and gong bu sance, he could not even get one foot off the ground, not even with two arms. I could also not be tripped ju-jitsu style/Judo style because of the horse stance. Add a little bit of Taiji sensitivity/redirecting to it, and its quite easy to use it to your advantage.

If you manage to get to the point where low stances are easy, then you have MUCH greater advantage over anything, in a high stance, you have amazing mobility and springiniess/strength, and in low stances you still have that, but are able to make yourself smaller and create leverage and technical advantages.They also give you devastating kicks, greater agility, mobility, strength, endurance.

All "flowery" movements have very practical, and sometimes quite deadly applications. Are they necessary? Nowdays..not always.But nevertheless, amazing to learn from.
Truth comes from the absolute stillness of the mind...

#182182 - 10/20/05 06:38 AM Re: Gong-Fu in the streets [Re: BaguaMonk]
NottaMaster Offline

Registered: 10/20/05
Posts: 2
I would still agree that some of the portions of the forms will never be directly used for "practical" fighting purposes.... But so much of our training is essential for proper physical conditioning. And isn't physical conditioning one of the most practical aspects of the art?

#182183 - 10/20/05 09:02 AM Re: Gong-Fu in the streets [Re: NottaMaster]
MAGr Offline

Registered: 04/11/05
Posts: 1147
Loc: London, home: Athens
yes it is.
But all parts of the forms have an application.
Does it have to be a direct application?

#182184 - 10/20/05 09:11 AM Re: Gong-Fu in the streets [Re: NottaMaster]
pathfinder7195 Offline

Registered: 02/11/05
Posts: 336
Loc: T.C Michigan, U.S
In Kung Fu forms should be used to build the body first and fighting is secondary. When you do a "flowery movement" in a form that helps stretch the muscles and tendons throughout the entire body. Look at some of the most common injuries in sports like a torn ACL. Todays athletes build so much muscle but neglect all the torque and tension it put's on their tendons which are unable to handle the muscle's new strength and give out.

Doing forms develop the gung fu body. It cannot be achieved by lifting weights and running instead. Forms have a very special purpose for the body ,mind and spirit and to conentrate on the "fighting movements" in forms one is never able to see their true value.


#182185 - 10/20/05 09:25 AM Re: Gong-Fu in the streets [Re: pathfinder7195]
MAGr Offline

Registered: 04/11/05
Posts: 1147
Loc: London, home: Athens
I agree with that but I would even take it a step further and say that the movements also aid in muscle memory. The fact that you coordinate your limbs to do the form in the most balanced way possible then you are training your self to achieve that balance in your fighting. Like a lot of people have said, a real fight does not look like there is much 'form' involved, but that is one of the advantages that studying the patterns gives to your fighting and your training. It Makes your muscles be more coordinated draw more accurate paths to the target. IMO

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