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stonecrusher69
Red Belt
Red Belt

Joined: 23 Apr 2002
Posts: 771
Location: New Jersey
Styles: MCM WING CHUN

PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2017 1:43 am    Post subject: The Cult of Kung-Fu Reply with quote

The cult of Kung Fu


So you want to study Kung Fu? After, watching your first Bruce Lee or Jackie Chan Kung Fu movie you found yourself inspired and you like to be the next Van Damme. You've caught the Kung Fu craze and now you just need to find the right school and master to send you on that long journey to acquire the ancient secrets of Kung Fu passed down from master to student in an unbroken chain reaching back to the founder of the style. Well, you might want to think about that first before signing on the dotted line. In the world of Kung Fu, all may not seem to appear what it appears. There are politics, scams, and snake oil salesmen at every corner that wants to sell you their secret Kung Fu going back to the mystical sacred mountain of the ancient temple of Kung Fu. Well master Po may grant you what you want, but are you willing to pay the price?, and that price cost sometimes more than blood,sweat and tears.

As a potential student, looking for the master killer. You need to question everything. You have to use your own judgement to determine to find a legitimate teacher, and who is willing to teach you what he knows.

In the world of Kung Fu, Kung Fu families are sometimes very similar to religious cults. Each sect proclaims to have the one true knowledge, and all others have some watered down incomplete version. And unless you follow them you'll never receive the one true secret knowledge passed down from the ancients. Well this is great marketing and a tool for the salesman to use to get to your money, so is this really any different from the late night preacher on TV asking you “ if you only plant a seed” Jesus well take away your debt,or your pain etc. Well, why does Jesus need my money? Short of cash perhaps?
I mean, if he can take away my pain why can't he print his own money…

The dark side of Kung Fu is no different. You must pay, and sometimes pay through the nose to get what you’re looking for and even then you’ll be lucky to get it. Years of hard work, dedication, loyalty, and sweat won't guarantee you get to the finish line. You see, I’m not trying to stop you from following your dreams of training with a real legitimate teacher,but only to worn you and to get you to use your critical thinking before investing in a lot of time and money. For the novice student it can be very difficult to know a legitimate teacher from someone who is just looking to take your money. In general, the bigger the claim the more skeptical you should be. Don't just take the Sifu at his word. Make sure you check out his credentials. Know who he trained with and for how long. What did he learn? Did he complete the system under one teacher or many?,and is he certified by his Sifu to teach. If you can't get clear answers to these questions then be weary as it's possible the Sifu may be hiding something and may not be completely honest with you. If what he claims check out,then the next step is to evaluate the Sifu skill,knowledge and
quality of his senior students. In general, a good teacher will produce good students,and a poor sifu will produce poor students. Without prior experience ,it may be difficult to evaluate these quantities by yourself, so if you can bring someone with you who has martial art experience to watch a class his input could be very insightful and save you a lot of time and money.

After all said and done, You will have to be the one to make your final decision. My advice is don't necessarily pick a school based solely on price,how big or small the school is, or how convenient it is to train there. To find a good school is worth the extra money,and travel. You're not likely going to find a great school down the block from your house. Having said all this, if you really want to learn Kung Fu I say go for it! even if you happen pick a school, that later was not for you,that is also part of the learning process and will help you in the future to know the difference between a really good school and a poor one. And that can only come from years of hard training and experience. Which requires an investment in your time and money, but in long run, in my opinion, a well worth education.

So even though there are many pitfalls to look out for, dont let that stand in your way to finding a Good teacher.There are many good teachers,so Dont be afraid to take a chance. So,Good luck, and train hard!!!
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sensei8
KF Sensei
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Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 14407
Location: Houston, TX
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2017 12:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Solid post!!

Interesting how you choose the word "Cult"...very interesting!! I personally have never thought of the MA as a possible cult, albeit, it very well could be, as I might've had my head in the sand, refusing to think of the MA as a cult.

The MA, depending on the individual, can be construed as a cult...aka...a group. Is it positive or is it not? Outsiders can only assume from afar, whereas an insider is in the thick of it!! Some of those insiders, at first don't imagine that they're in a cult, whether it be good or bad. However, as time rolls on by, those same insiders start, for whatever reason(s), to realize that they're in a cult.

In my 52 years in the MA, I've never thought of my MA journey as it being a cult. A group? Yes!! To me the word cult has negative overtones that I don't want in my life. Whereas the word group has positive overtones that I do want in my life.

I don't view Shindokan Saitou-ryu as a cult; not even close, as I understand the word cult to be. The cult of Shindokan?!? Makes me shiver in its overall content as I imagine that possibility, as I ask myself...however, I refuse, of my own accord, to embrace that possibility because of my believe in the negative overtones of that word...CULT!! The cult of Shindokan!! Having those two exclamation points at the end of that statement causes me to run away from it because I fear that word...cult!!

All of my years in Shindokan, I've considered my being that positive proponent of Shindokan, but only as a infinite cog of the Shindokan wheel. Shindokan as a cult...NO!! Shindokan as a group...YES!!

Group...Cult...are they one in the same?? I suppose that it's how ones been raised in and out of the MA.



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Alan Armstrong
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Joined: 28 Feb 2016
Posts: 2207


PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2017 5:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

People inside a cult are viewing from the inside out and don't recognize that they belong to a cult or sub culture.

While one cult views the other group as a cult and don't recognize it of themselves.

Idols are cult figures for the rest of us to look up to and admire or worship.

Martial arts can be a way to look through all of the moneymaking hype surrounding us if we choose, for most we buy in to it willingly.

Martial artists with recognized credentials as mentioned earlier are no guarantee to be good teachers but what else is there to help make good choices? Not much!

Usally a student walks in to and joins a martial art club on blind faith, sounds like becoming a cult member to me.

Cults Clubs or Clans what's the difference?

Time usually helps to reveal all for the good and bad.
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KeithBerg
White Belt
White Belt

Joined: 25 Jun 2018
Posts: 10
Location: Apeldoorn
Styles: Ng Ying Kungfu, Kempo, Karate

PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2018 3:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well i practise 5 Animal Kungfu and the teacher is very open minded.
He encourages us to also look and train elsewhere for other skills, like bjj groundwork or whatever. Do you considder that also a cult form? Or whats your opinion?
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MatsuShinshii
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 15 Aug 2016
Posts: 1423
Location: Kentucky
Styles: Machimura Suidi Rokudan, Ryukyu Kenpo, Kobudo, Judo

PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2018 2:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A cult? Now there’s a new way to look at the martial arts.

I guess we all do look alike in our uniforms, and we do have a leader that we follow of sorts.

Hmm... I guess you could make that analogy but without the koolaid and end of the world apocalypse.

Oh and I’ve never heard my Shinshii proclaim to be the Messiah or to know little men on spaceships that will take us all to a new world. Soooo... Not sure I would call it a cult.
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Spartacus Maximus
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Joined: 01 Jun 2014
Posts: 1723

Styles: Shorin ryu

PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2019 10:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The common accepted definition of a cult has the central concept of being a toxic group that propagates a set of ideas and behaviours which are harmful to members, to others and perhaps to the surrounding society . Their ideology or beliefs are not necessarily unbelievable. There is also the universal trait of gradually isolating and controlling the members in one way or another.

With this in mind, it is easy to see how some martial arts schools or organizations certainly do fit this description. The martial arts are also a perfect tool for a manipulative person seeking to take advantage of others to exploit by its very nature.
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Himokiri Karate
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Joined: 13 Aug 2009
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2019 11:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I feel that the true essence of Kung Fu can be resurrected in western boxing!

I know it sounds a bit odd but there is a strange synergy between kung fu and boxing. Both have many sub styles and while boxing may not come in specific labels, different trainers claim their style is the best. It seems like the case for Kung Fu.

When you combine both you get a unique type of mapping. With Kung Fu you get cultivation of flexibility, movement and overall body control as well as the mind and emotion from Qi Gong. With boxing you get the ability to move and see what kind of body and mind you have while Kung Fu adds and improves things that a stereotypical boxing exercise selection may not have.


The horse stance of Kung Fu improves your baseline for dynamic movement. The Qi Gong improves your mind and has you less anxious to spar. The flexibility allows you to be more formidable with your footwork and prevents injuries. In many amazing Kung Fu books that promote internal martial arts, they also promote the idea of carefully engaging in pugilism ( be it boxing/kickboxing) to see the fruits of your labor if a person wishes to engage in martial arts from a combative purpose.

Thus through deductive reasoning you eliminate any false idea that might get in your head. The proof is on the floor and in the ring as well I suppose.
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Alan Armstrong
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2019 5:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Himokiri Karate wrote:
I feel that the true essence of Kung Fu can be resurrected in western boxing!

I know it sounds a bit odd but there is a strange synergy between kung fu and boxing. Both have many sub styles and while boxing may not come in specific labels, different trainers claim their style is the best. It seems like the case for Kung Fu.

When you combine both you get a unique type of mapping. With Kung Fu you get cultivation of flexibility, movement and overall body control as well as the mind and emotion from Qi Gong. With boxing you get the ability to move and see what kind of body and mind you have while Kung Fu adds and improves things that a stereotypical boxing exercise selection may not have.


The horse stance of Kung Fu improves your baseline for dynamic movement. The Qi Gong improves your mind and has you less anxious to spar. The flexibility allows you to be more formidable with your footwork and prevents injuries. In many amazing Kung Fu books that promote internal martial arts, they also promote the idea of carefully engaging in pugilism ( be it boxing/kickboxing) to see the fruits of your labor if a person wishes to engage in martial arts from a combative purpose.

Thus through deductive reasoning you eliminate any false idea that might get in your head. The proof is on the floor and in the ring as well I suppose.
Solid post!
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bushido_man96
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Joined: 31 Mar 2006
Posts: 27760
Location: Hays, KS
Styles: Taekwondo, Combat Hapkido, Aikido, GRACIE

PostPosted: Wed Aug 21, 2019 10:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Himokiri Karate wrote:
I feel that the true essence of Kung Fu can be resurrected in western boxing!

I know it sounds a bit odd but there is a strange synergy between kung fu and boxing. Both have many sub styles and while boxing may not come in specific labels, different trainers claim their style is the best. It seems like the case for Kung Fu.

When you combine both you get a unique type of mapping. With Kung Fu you get cultivation of flexibility, movement and overall body control as well as the mind and emotion from Qi Gong. With boxing you get the ability to move and see what kind of body and mind you have while Kung Fu adds and improves things that a stereotypical boxing exercise selection may not have.


The horse stance of Kung Fu improves your baseline for dynamic movement. The Qi Gong improves your mind and has you less anxious to spar. The flexibility allows you to be more formidable with your footwork and prevents injuries. In many amazing Kung Fu books that promote internal martial arts, they also promote the idea of carefully engaging in pugilism ( be it boxing/kickboxing) to see the fruits of your labor if a person wishes to engage in martial arts from a combative purpose.

Thus through deductive reasoning you eliminate any false idea that might get in your head. The proof is on the floor and in the ring as well I suppose.


I think in the years prior to the use of gloves in Western Boxing, I do believe the two styles had much in common, especially in regards to the use of trapping motions and what not. The evolution of Boxing, however, has made it very difficult to see any of these connections.
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Himokiri Karate
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 06, 2019 8:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Alan Armstrong wrote:
Himokiri Karate wrote:
I feel that the true essence of Kung Fu can be resurrected in western boxing!

I know it sounds a bit odd but there is a strange synergy between kung fu and boxing. Both have many sub styles and while boxing may not come in specific labels, different trainers claim their style is the best. It seems like the case for Kung Fu.

When you combine both you get a unique type of mapping. With Kung Fu you get cultivation of flexibility, movement and overall body control as well as the mind and emotion from Qi Gong. With boxing you get the ability to move and see what kind of body and mind you have while Kung Fu adds and improves things that a stereotypical boxing exercise selection may not have.


The horse stance of Kung Fu improves your baseline for dynamic movement. The Qi Gong improves your mind and has you less anxious to spar. The flexibility allows you to be more formidable with your footwork and prevents injuries. In many amazing Kung Fu books that promote internal martial arts, they also promote the idea of carefully engaging in pugilism ( be it boxing/kickboxing) to see the fruits of your labor if a person wishes to engage in martial arts from a combative purpose.

Thus through deductive reasoning you eliminate any false idea that might get in your head. The proof is on the floor and in the ring as well I suppose.
Solid post!




Thanks man!

They both share a cultural attitude of teachers feeling their style or way is the best way. That and similar training methods in some ways. For example in both boxing and Kung Fu the teachers will give you the basic training like the horse stance, the footwork and movement as well as conditioning exercises. From there, the students get to pick which animal style they want to mimic.

I remember in the movie, Iron Monkey, there was a scene with the shaolin master saying to the disciples that its time for them to choose their style of Kung Fu which requires each individual to take a different path.


In boxing the idea is, once you learn the basics and gained a bit of experience, you can learn different ways of developing guard and footwork or stick to one and make it work against every style you face. No wrong answers because many ways to succeed.


bushido_man96 wrote:
Himokiri Karate wrote:
I feel that the true essence of Kung Fu can be resurrected in western boxing!

I know it sounds a bit odd but there is a strange synergy between kung fu and boxing. Both have many sub styles and while boxing may not come in specific labels, different trainers claim their style is the best. It seems like the case for Kung Fu.

When you combine both you get a unique type of mapping. With Kung Fu you get cultivation of flexibility, movement and overall body control as well as the mind and emotion from Qi Gong. With boxing you get the ability to move and see what kind of body and mind you have while Kung Fu adds and improves things that a stereotypical boxing exercise selection may not have.


The horse stance of Kung Fu improves your baseline for dynamic movement. The Qi Gong improves your mind and has you less anxious to spar. The flexibility allows you to be more formidable with your footwork and prevents injuries. In many amazing Kung Fu books that promote internal martial arts, they also promote the idea of carefully engaging in pugilism ( be it boxing/kickboxing) to see the fruits of your labor if a person wishes to engage in martial arts from a combative purpose.

Thus through deductive reasoning you eliminate any false idea that might get in your head. The proof is on the floor and in the ring as well I suppose.


I think in the years prior to the use of gloves in Western Boxing, I do believe the two styles had much in common, especially in regards to the use of trapping motions and what not. The evolution of Boxing, however, has made it very difficult to see any of these connections.


Yes and No. I get that the glove has taken away barehanded strike but the horse stance gives you amazing base strength. The movement of kung fu allows better weight transfer and perhaps learning to sway back if you are in to unconventional boxing technique and movement.

Also someone who wants to have a higher guard for face protection may perhaps consider iron body training. Example would be if someone wants to learn to box like Winkey Wright. His guard protects his head real but he would be open to body hot. To his credit he has developed great rotation allow the body punches to slip and not land cleanly. While a good method it does take away the power of his offense but if he perhaps engaged in iron body he could embrace a bit of body damage to power up his offense.


The way I see it, there are plenty of ways that Kung Fu can be implemented in to boxing. Even learning kicks gives you a better footwork because of the flexibility and range of motion which is the nature of kicks or leg raises.
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