Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Martial Arts Change ALL THE TIME

in my last post, I talked about how the Siu Nim Tao form in the wing chun system was actually an "incomplete" form as result of a teacher's death, where they passed away before having taught the entire form to their students. Or also a result of physical restrictions - for example, small training place limited the movements they could do, so the students never really learned parts of the form that involved wide steps/stances...

What I find interesting is the perception or even the "traditionalist forces" that try to prevent change. Change in martial art systems is very much like an eco-system. 1000 branches of various styles and only 2 or 3 surviving - either due to untimely deaths, ineffective system, inabilty to teach, lack of students, etc etc.

Learning and do what was taught 1000 years ago in a temple somewhere doesn't mean it's a good thing. Think about it. You want a record player or a blu-ray player?

The generation of MMA is a great example of an incredible evolution of martial arts - it's like the rise of humans or death of the dinosaurs or the emergence of single cell life forms. It threw away the concept of training like our ancestors and focused on scientific/athletic/competitive training in a martial arts context.

It was quickly realized that "traditional" martial arts was not as effective in the octagon, and out came this new breed of martial art - MMA.

And now, as with any shake up of the eco system, it's time for other martial art styles to adapt to this new breed of martial art. Those that can't adapt will die off, those that can will live on.

Change is always happening. Change is good. Change doesn't mean that the wing chun teacher will teach grappling, instead, change could mean applying your system of martial arts differently to adapt to the opponent.

There's an idea that martial artists want to do what their ancestors did or what the original shaolin monks did and people have even propelled them into a mystical realm where they have super powers...

this is complete baloney.

History of war is all about adaptation and change. When the gun was used on the battle field, the guys using the bows and arrows didn't create sharper bows - they used guns. Change is inevitable and if you can't accept this, you're done.

Until then.

Until then.



Sunday, June 27, 2010

Siu Nim Tao Is Not Complete!

Thanks to my wing chun brother, Tony for forwarding this. It's a lengthy interview, but definitely worth your time if you're into wing chun.

Here, the person describes the time before Yip Man wing chun and he describes how the Siu Nim Tau form that we have all come to know within the Yip Man lineage is not complete at all. It's only a portion of the original form, as a result of the timing of the death of key teachers (due to old age) and space limitations during teaching lessons. Very interesting stuff.

Maybe not as mystical as watching a leopard fight a frog and forming a style of kung fu from that, but the story that the interview reveals seems much more plausible.

To add, the person interviewed mentions a lot more forms (eg. 12 empty hand forms) involved in the "real" wing chun curriculum - so much for it being an "efficient" style of kung fu. Turns out, the other forms just died with the teachers.

You can find the interview and the complete Siu Nim Tao form here.

Until then.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Deadliest Move EVER

i don't know if my Si-Fu would teach me after having revealed this to you. Please keep this as our little secret.

This is the deadliest move ever in all martial arts history.
















WOW - REALLY?

Until then.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Lesson from The Karate Kid

So I'm planning to catch the latest Karate Kid movie starring Jaden Smith and Jackie Chan, unfortunately the timing's been bad and will have to push it to next week hopefully.

In the mean time, I thought it'd be cool to check out the original Karate Kid that got every kid in school back in the 80's amped up about signing up for karate. I watched the entire movie from beginning to end, but this time, 20+ years older and with wayyyy more martial arts experience and I have to say, this movie really is a gem. It's not an action movie, but a drama - about teacher/student relationship and the life lessons of karate. Simply brilliant.

Ok, I want to go over some important lessons from Mr. Miyagi (Daniel's Sensei) that I think serves as a great reminder for all martial artists.

1) Walk on road. Walk left side - safe. Walk right side - safe. Walk in the middle - squash! like grape! With karate - it's either karate yes or karate no, karate guess-so and squash! like grape!

Great lesson here - commit to it. Either you're in or you're out - you can't be half-assed about it.

2) Better learn balance. Balance is key. Balance good. Karate good.

Another gem - oh so true. Balance is vital. Without balance, you can forget about any cool arm locks, spinning kicks, pressure points, etc. Balance is key.

3) Drive punch - use whole body - legs, hips - drive punch!

Couldn't be any truer. The key to a good punch is using the entire body. Sometimes this is kind of foreign to the wing tsun student since we're initially taught to restrict such movement given the mechanics of the chain punch and 100/0 weighted stance. Flash forward a bit and you'll realize that putting the entire body into the punch is key and always has been.

4) Karate here (points to head). Karate here (points to heart). Karate never here (points to belt).

it's not the colour of your belt or student level or sash. Martial skill is comes down to what you truly know, what you feel and your ability to express that.

Love this movie! can't wait to check out the new one!

Until then.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Is Your Wing Chun Real?

Here's an interesting question for you - how do you know that the wing chun that you're learning is the real deal and not some watered-down or elementary form of wing chun?

The same can be said of any martial art I suppose - karate, taekwondo, kung fu, etc.

What makes a style real or not, and more importantly, would the person seeking real wing chun even know what real wing chun is when he or she sees it?

Is it a Chinese teacher that determines if your wing chun is real? Or the traceability of lineage to Yip Man, Bruce Lee, William Cheung, etc?

Is it how hard he can punch?

Is it how hard he or she trains you?

Is it the robes that the teacher is wearing or, like a chinese restaurant, the number of chinese students attending the class?

How do i know if the wing chun I'm learning right now and for the last years, is the real thing? Maybe all that matters is that helps me improve from where ever I'm at..and that's all that really matters.

But then again, maybe that's what real kung fu is supposed to be.

Until then.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Victor Guiturrez

Came across this video of a seminar held by ex-WT Victor Guiturrez on a wing chun forum. You know what? This video got flamed big time. I was really dissapointed. Many took the assumption that since he's training with partners and with no footage of free fighting, that this guy knows sh*t all.

I liked what I saw here. There was un-orthodox attacks (in the eyes of wing chun), there was an emphasis of a realistic attacker, and there was importance placed on putting weight and your whole body behind the hits. I would say these are all good points to pick up, rather than focusing on how co-operative the partner is.

One note on the "co-operative partner" - you can't really tell on video clips, but sometimes the hits ACTUALLY HURT LIKE A BITCH so there's really no point trying to resist the attacks and so you cover up or don't "fight back". in other cases, you can try to fight back or resist, but then the teacher doing the demonstration will hit you harder to the point where you can only take so much pain. Is it worth it? not really, so you kind of "co-operate" by not fighting back.

There's a reason the partner doesn't attack back - it's because it hurts to.

Anyway, what are your thoughts/

here's the video clip.

And on a lighter note - here's a prank gone wrong - just the first half of this clip though.


Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The Karate Kid

Just saw a commercial for the Karate Kid! Man, i dunno........

I loved the original Karate Kid - the story was something people could relate to, the characters awesome and Mr. Miyagi was like the best karate teacher in the whole wide world.

What i even liked more about it was how "Daniel-san" was good at karate but not THAT good..he just knew the basics really well. No spinning kicks, no flashy flips - just basics and his one special move - the crane kick ;)

But then i see this new movie starring Jacky Chan in Will Smith's son...looks entertaining, but is it Karate Kid worthy? i don't know. There isn't even karate in it!! Plus, the kids look kinda young too..is there a love story involved? Might be kinda weird...

anyway, you gonna check it out? i probably will.....

Until then.

Popular Posts