Today’s blog, a bit of a rant, but also a real look at how a pervasive culture does have consequences. I can’t say I have a definitive answer as to why, though I can suggest a few reasons, but if you’ve spent any time at all in the Wu Lin / Mo Lam (Chinese martial arts community) you can’t help but notice that it resembles far too much a bunch of old women sitting around gossiping and talking smack.
I have told this story before. A classmate of mine was in China and ended up having lunch with a fairly well known teacher. Chinese societal convention dictated that my classmate pay for that lunch, as the junior. According to my classmate, he DID pay for lunch. But according to the teacher, my classmate did not….
Let’s all stop and remind ourselves that all of this has to do with who paid for LUNCH.
The teacher in China has a student in the United States. I’ve never met the guy. He’s never met me, never been inside my school, etc. I should also note that when I met Chan Tai-San, the guy was three years old. So, by the time this guy started practicing, I wasn’t even spending time in the community. We’ll call the guy “Dexter” (not his real name)…
I found out Dexter took it upon himself to talk badly about me because, get this, he heard my classmate didn’t pay for lunch with his teacher…. It is what I call “kung fu stupid.”
And “kung fu stupid” is pervasive. It even exists among those who studied under Chan Tai-San. I’ve told a story about a guy coming into the Duk Chan in NYC’s Chinatown one night and challenging Chan Tai-San. Chan Tai-San punched the guy in the solar plexus and that was it. The only people present were Stephen Laurette and myself. Yet I’ve heard a bunch of my classmates tell the story, get the details completely wrong, and insert themselves into the story. Apparently, lies aren’t just OK in the kung-fu world, they are the currency.
Actually, it gets worse. On Gene Ching’s kung-fu forum, a classmate (I loath to admit he is a classmate but he was) told an ABSURD story about Chan Tai-San. It was right up there with “he ripped his heart out and showed it to him while the heart was still beating.” This wasn’t just the case of someone remembering the details of the story differently, it was just an outright LIE.. NOT ONE OF CHAN TAI-SAN’s STUDENTS REMEMBERS ANYTHING REMOTELY LIKE THIS STORY.. just that guy. And frankly, it was embarrassing to be associated with such bullsh-t.
Many know that a number of years ago, I had a bare knuckle fight, locked door, under “old rules.” It was the result of a rather heated argument on a public form (and after the fact, a huge misunderstanding). However, the fact remains, There were only six people in that room; the person I fought, me, that person’s friend, two of my students and a “referee.” For a number of reasons; tradition, that it was a misunderstanding that started it, that it was no one else’s business, etc; the people who were in that room have not talked about the fight much/at all. Yet, of course, I’ve seen people who weren’t even in the room, who weren’t even in THE STATE, describe it… “well I heard it form a guy“… yeah, another guy who WAS NOT THERE… laundry women, old wives tales… aren’t you supposed to be an ADULT?
My personal opinion, the Chinese martial arts community now TALKS ABOUT FIGHTING; because they no longer actually fight! It’s all talk, actually it’s all gossip and bullsh-t.
And when I listen to them talk, I realize they don’t understand fighting at all. I have heard a few “kung fu people” discuss a fight I was present for. We’ll say between “X” and “Y”… It is pretty remarkable how many people in the kung fu world think “Y” actually “won” that fight….. Because “X stalled” I often heard.
LISTEN TO ME CAREFULLY
When someone keeps their distance, waits for you to attack, isn’t hit by your attack, and kicks you in the legs until you give up, they did not “stall”… they did not “lose”….. they won
“Y” is of course a kung fu person and “X” is a despised Jeet Kung Do guy….
F–k! I listen to kung-fu people talk about fighting and realize they do not understand fighting at all…..
Headlocks aren’t “chokes”. Kung-fu has kicks and punches; if you kick and punch it doesn’t make it “just kickboxing.” Chinese martial arts has wrestling!
Kung-fu people just HATE Mixed Martial Arts, but their student base is no different than the “MMA fan boys” they hate so much… that’s the honest truth…