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Alan Armstrong
Black Belt
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Joined: 28 Feb 2016
Posts: 2016


PostPosted: Sat Nov 17, 2018 1:16 pm    Post subject: What does Chinese Martial Arts Mean To You? Reply with quote

Isn't it the simple questions that seem to be the most
difficult to answer?

For me it is using the understanding and principles of Yin and Yang and the wisdom of countlesss genenerations of Chinese martial artist sages through the ages.

As the advancement of technology reigns supreme, there are areas that ancient wisdom still seems impossible to call redundant, nothing more so than Chinese martial arts, that there is always something new to discover.

Could it be due to the over whelming amount of information to be able to master or learn for one person within one life time.

So what makes Chinese martial arts so different than all others from your perspective?
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sensei8
KF Sensei
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Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 14179
Location: Houston, TX
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Sat Nov 17, 2018 6:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bruce Lee, imho, said it best...

Quote:
"I do not teach, you know, Karate, because I do not believe in styles anymore. I mean I do not believe that there is such thing as, like, a Chinese way of fighting or a Japanese way of fighting...or whatever way of fighting, because unless a human being has three arms and four legs, there can be no different form of fighting. But, basically, we only have two hands and two feet. So styles tend to, not only separate man because they have their own doctrines and the doctrine became the gospel truth that you cannot change! But, if you do not have styles, if you just say, "here I am as a human being, how can I express myself totally and completely?" ...now that way, you won't create a style because style is a crystallization. That way is a process of continuing growth." ~Bruce Lee


And...

Quote:
"Man, listen to me, ok? To me, ultimately, martial art means honestly expressing yourself. Now it is very difficult to do. I mean it is easy for me to put on a show and be cocky and be flooded with a cocky feeling and then feel, then, like pretty cool and all that. Or I can make all kinds of phony things, you see what I mean? And be blinded by it. Or I can show you some really fancy movement, but, to express oneself honestly, not lying to oneself....and to express myself honestly, that, my friend is very hard to do. And you have to train. You have to keep your reflexes so that when you want it...it's there! When you want to move, you are moving and when you move you are determined to move. Not taking one inch, not anything less than that! If I want to punch, I'm going to do it man, and I'm going to do it! So that is the type of thing you gave to train yourself into it; to become one with it. You think....(snaps his fingers) ....it is." ~ Bruce Lee


MA, to me, is just MA, not cultural based, but based on an individuals personal expression. Yes, MA are founded somewhere by someone, in that, there are strong cultural influences that can't be denied. Had I ever found a MA, I wouldn't be influenced by any western culture and/or the like because I've been born and raised in the USA. My newly founded MA would be influenced by movement as its core, through simplification of that said movement. I'm a human being and this human being cares less about labeling styles; that part within me has died!!

Shindokan is an Okinawa MA style, birthed and raised in Okinawa by an Okinawan, in which he explicitly taught us that Shindokan, while it is a MA, it's a personal journey for the individual practitioner, and NOT for the Okinawan people only. Soke always said that he moves the way he moves and with that, he founded Shindokan WITHOUT any Okinawan cultural influences whatsoever...He told the powers that be in Okinawa just that when they tried to get him to join, and when they tried to force him out, after he told them what to do with the sun.

My personal view of Chinese MA is one word...maybe two words...fluidity and effective!!



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Alan Armstrong
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Joined: 28 Feb 2016
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2018 7:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chinese use utherisms to describe techniques such as a "White Gorilla Picks A Peach"

Also using a word to describe a technique or doing a movement that seems irrelevant but is not, for example "Cultivation arm" which is the right way to cut through dense vegitaion otherwise it would seem to most to look like a hacking movement when not.
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sensei8
KF Sensei
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Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 14179
Location: Houston, TX
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2018 10:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Alan Armstrong wrote:
Chinese use utherisms to describe techniques such as a "White Gorilla Picks A Peach"

Also using a word to describe a technique or doing a movement that seems irrelevant but is not, for example "Cultivation arm" which is the right way to cut through dense vegitaion otherwise it would seem to most to look like a hacking movement when not.

Kenpo Karate does the same thing, i.e. Parting Wings or Five Swords or Detour from Doom so on and so forth. So does Okinawa-te, i.e. Snake in the hole or Snake out of the hole or Snapping Twig/Branch or Swooping Dragon.

Interesting way to learn/remember the different techniques found within their respective MA styles, I'm almost sure that Chinese MA had a lot to do with that. And Shindokan IS partially based in Okinawa-te, however, not one technique uses illustrative labels/names whatsoever.



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Alan Armstrong
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Joined: 28 Feb 2016
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2018 2:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When hearing the word style, the word "mimic" comes to mind, as when a person uses the movements of a MA system.

As when a person mimics for fun or illustration a karate technique done robotically or a kung fu move flowery, as they are removed of functionality that style is the most noticeable thing.

Point being, functionality has no time for style only what works matters most.
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sensei8
KF Sensei
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Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 14179
Location: Houston, TX
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2018 9:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Style" is just a word, and isn't meant to be the former or the latter in any MA conversation; it means nothing to me because it's not important. Whenever I hear the words "Style" or "Arts", I hear...well...words, nor the meanings and/or the intents.

These words are just words, in short, they're like the forest that gets in the way of the trees, and vice versa. "Styles" and "Arts" have become recognized romances to be thrown around for no other purposeful reason than any other known word.

I just want to train effectively.



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Alan Armstrong
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Joined: 28 Feb 2016
Posts: 2016


PostPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2019 4:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Elaborating on the Yin/Yang aspect further, it is the common denominator of all Chinese MA styles and systems.

With this in mind there is alot of theories that need explanation when used in combat, so much so that a class could easily become totally theoretical (talking) not consisting of any type of physical activity.

Whereas training hard "physically" towards becoming effective martial artists is normal for many students.

Having trained in both sides of this theory vs physically has its Ups and Downs, please excuse the Yin/Yang pun.

As there can be such a thing as too much theory and also too much emphasis put on the physical aspect alone; with children however playing is normal as opposed to using (adult) complex ideas.

The Yin/Yang symbol is commonly used by many martial artists throughout the world, as it facilitates in explaining complex concepts in a simple way,

The complimentary opposites exist in all things, through out the known universe, where connecting with this is called Tao, the way, the right way, that includes harmonizing with Yin/Yang.

Tai Chi Chuan for instance with practice is to harmonise with the universe in a type of physical activity that is also just as important to use Yin/Yang energy theories and concepts, to cultivate chi energy in oneself.

Yin yielding concepts are difficult to understand for many to include in techniques which are just as important as the opposite Yang factor, which is usually used,

The way I explain it is similar to concrete that cracks due to becoming harder/ brittle whereas being a wet noodle isn't recommended either.

A few finer point when utilising Yin/Yang is when simultaneously attacking and defending or transitioning a single hand techniques or movement from defensive to offensive in the most effective way possible.

Of course to be called a martial artist should contain expertise in using effective and efficient techniques, as opposed to those who do whatever by swinging and wailing away arbitrarily.

This refinement in combat must find itself somewhere inbetween, when the theory and physical are put into practice.
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