MightyBands, home gym system

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Kung Fu Fighting

Let's take a moment to look at what characteristics define real kung fu application. In other words, what does real kung fu look like? This is not about practice or drill work, but in actual application.

1) If you clearly show your technique, that is NOT kung fu. That includes whether you show definitive tan sao punch, regardless of how structurally or positionally correct it is, it is still not kung fu. When applied, kung fu technique is not distinguishable. Only function is distinguishable.

2) if you must pull back to throw the next attack, that is not kung fu. Chinese boxing relies on going forward regardless of where your limbs are.

3) If attacks travel in a straight line, that is not kung fu. Sure, in training there are techniques and weapons that travel in a straight line, but in application there is twisting and circular rotation from the ground up and within the delivery of the attack.

4) Attacks are not delivered from specific points, like the fist or first knuckle. Instead, the whole arm is the weapon, and if the contact point happens to be the first knuckle, then so be it.

5) There is no definitive offense/defense in each movement, instead, all movements contain elements of defense and attack and the possiblility to transition into a defense or attack. This explains why in 1), there is no clear technique. it can't be one or the other - it has to be both.

6) Kicks are seldomly delivered above the waist. In practice, especially in other arts, kicks are delivered at various heights. But this is all training. In reality, kicks are delivered below the waist to hide the kick, as well as minimize the compromising situation of throwing a kick. Also, the opponent is in a compromised position or controlled position at the limbs, in which a kick can be safely delivered.

7) Kicks/punches are not repeatedly thrown simply by the limb itself. Kicks and punches are thrown using the entire body. The whole body is the fist.

As you can see, the defining characteristics are very involved and clearly shows why kung fu training is long, painful and takes a lot of determination in order for it to be applicable for fighting. Unlike other arts, it takes a heck of a lot in order for it to be functional. Chinese fighting is incredibly different from any other martial art. I'm not saying other arts can't hit hard, or aren't effective - i'm simply saying that if you want to deliver an attack in true chinese form, it's gonna take a lot. Maybe that explains why so much has been lost, or that only forms competition is popular or that kung fu has been given such a bad wrap.

Until then.

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