More on the revival of practical Chinese martial arts…

5 Aug

I don’t know if people loved it or hated it, but “A Revival of Traditional Chinese Fighting Arts” got over 1000 views in 24 hours. It continues to motivate and inspire me as I am writing more blogs and here are a few more related thoughts;

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1. Whether you are practicing martial arts to develop fighting skills, to be healthy, to learn a new culture or just because it is fun, TRAIN WITH TRUTH. Chinese martial arts were originally COMBAT ARTS. Maybe that isn’t what you are interested in, but don’t for a minute think those who are still doing these traditions as combat arts are “wrong” or “bad”. Don’t attach things that were never attached to these arts and try to paint them as truth. Revisionism sucks.

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2. In my personal opinion, things like “Northern” vs “Southern”, or “External” vs. “Internal” at best have limited practical use. At worst, we could argue (successfully) that they were nothing more than marketing schemes in a competitive market place and/or also motivated by POLITICS. Today, these things confuse students, in many respects mislead them. They create divisions at a time when Chinese martial artists should be unified.

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3. In some respects, we need a return to the “old days”; by this I mean hard training and comprehensive training in all aspects. At the same time, we shouldn’t be afraid of the “new”; advances in knowledge of anatomy and sports performance, advances in sports, advances in training equipment. Our grandmasters hit sand bags because that is what they had, if they had had a credit card and Ringside’s number on their cell phones, they would have gotten better equipment!

foot jab to round kick

4. We have to police our community. We have too many people who aren’t just unqualified, they are outright frauds. And in our community, we often know these people are frauds and under some convoluted logic we fail to call them out. You want to clean up Chinese martial arts, remove all the nonsense!

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5. Somewhere along the way, the idea that fighting, sparring and competition is somehow antithetical to Chinese martial arts got introduced. In a word, this is RUBBISH. We need only look at “Lei Tai” challenges and the national competitions from the Nationalist period to dispel the idea that our ancestors wouldn’t engage in competition!

MORE TO COME

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