All n00bies read: A guide to looking for Kung Fu Schools

Discussion in 'Kung Fu' started by sliver, Dec 24, 2007.

  1. 19thlohan

    19thlohan Beast and the Broadsword

    It appears to be missing.
  2. divisionbyzero

    divisionbyzero New Member

    I can't access the first page either.
  3. Ghilleman

    Ghilleman Valued Member

    Not just you.
  4. madknight

    madknight Valued Member

    Can a mod or someone do something about the first page not working or, if someone has the information that was there, post it again please.
  5. Infrazael

    Infrazael Banned Banned

    This thread is epic. Great job Sliver.
  6. 36chambers

    36chambers Valued Member

    well said sifu i agree that heavy sparring isnt ideal. my kung fu club practice sparring quite regular sometimes is light sometimes its a little heavier. nearer to tournaments we do go harder if not full pelt but wearing a protective chest guard as you say its no good getting injured especially if your training at your club 3 times a week.:)
  7. brotherinarms

    brotherinarms Valued Member

    hi, my names alex i was thinking of training in kung fu, and was hoping someone may be able to give me an idea of the legitimacy of a couple sites the one im going to tomorrow

    and the two places i want to go in a years time for a year. ive started running a few miles a day and do sit ups stretches and push ups to increase my fitness strength and flexibility with extra training on punch bags and 1 class a week (atleast) i should be prepared for the trip.


    if someone could help me out that would be greatly appreciated thank you!
  8. Ben Gash CLF

    Ben Gash CLF Valued Member

    The Lao Chi site doesn't look promising TBH.
    Of the two Chinese sites I'd say the first one is more interesting as they teach Mei Hua Quan, a traditional longfist style, and not just the usual Shaolin generic IMA stuff.
    Where do you live, what are you looking for, and what do you want from your time in China?
  9. brotherinarms

    brotherinarms Valued Member

    i'm from north wales a place called mold in flintshire, i want to go to china because its something i've wanted to do for 4 years, im interested in the beliefs - Buddhism, and meditation to clear my mind also through the hard work training in kung fu i want to become stronger physically and mentally. being over in china i will be able to focus 100% on training and be away from all the things that may conflict with my study. i dont want to learn wushu it looks good but its not what im looking for, i would like to learn some traditional styles become more flexible and also train in sanda. ive studied muay thai for a month in thailand and enjoyed that i understand it may be as hard or harder but im focused and want to go.
  10. Late for dinner

    Late for dinner Valued Member

    If the trip is what you are interested then go by al means. TBH many systems may have lost their stronger pupils to the west as people leave china to look for opportunities. There may still be some good people about but I have seen this trend occurring since the 70's.

    Don't be so sure that going to where something started means that you will get the experience that you are looking for. Sometimes things get lost in the tourism and business that has grown up around the history.


  11. brotherinarms

    brotherinarms Valued Member

    i understand what your saying and thank you for the comment. the thing with training in china is its affordable to stay a year and focus on training in comparison to training 5+ days a week for the same length of time! over here other obligations get in the way and i will only progress as much as i push myself too.

    you said: "Don't be so sure that going to where something started means that you will get the experience that you are looking for. Sometimes things get lost in the tourism and business that has grown up around the history."

    and that is partly the case in thailand i've experience it myself with the gyms over there but you do have trainers (or whatever there title may be for the MA) that want the best for the students as its also a reflection of them. jackie chan said "there is no such thing as bad students only bad teachers" and there is a logic behind that even if it is a quote from the karate kid haha. thank you again for your comment and i'll take what you said into consideration.
  12. Shaolin_Shinobi

    Shaolin_Shinobi New Member

    This looks like a great thread.
    Awesome opening post too.
  13. Napitenkah

    Napitenkah Valued Member

    So what if someone from some fake, pseudo-kungkaratetaekempo school learns to be a better fighter and martial artist, then someone from a perfect lineage, perfect model school?

    Sometimes I wonder if the lineage aspect comes from traditional martial art roots, in which the higher nobles were given much better access to training in martial arts.

    It is like an interesting point someone made about the common perception that Ninja training evolved from farm tools. That it probably wasn't likely.

    It is like the people that jump on people that learn from books.

    Maybe they cannot afford to pay the sometimes high prices for legitimate schools, but are able to be self correcting and may learn the form, better than someone did from a physical teacher.
  14. jeffkfu

    jeffkfu New Member

    Great thread. I wished I had seen this before I found my current school but luckily the school lives up to these points with the exception of full contact sparring. But as discussed we do use semi-contact sparring.
  15. Arnie

    Arnie New Member

    Very helpful!
  16. Shifu_HeZheYu

    Shifu_HeZheYu New Member

    I just wanted to point out some things in this post.

    1. True, one must pick apart forms into techniques, and techniques into principles, and explore these in partner-drills first, then try to apply them in sparring, but this may take alittle while between learning the first shape of a technique and moving past form and partner drills... will not happen the first classes.

    2. True, one must spar to learn to apply techniques with opposition, but the time frame is unrealistic and the hardness to.
    Learn the proper technique without opposition first... people are already getting sloppy with their techniques when under stress even when they have trained them alot.
    Also, to hard sparring too early, as some here have said, may cripple the progress of learning.
    There are also many forms of sparring.

    3. As some people already said, maybe not when he is holding class, but he should spar.

    4. No, a martial arts instructor shouldnt be "pro-fighting", many great teachers of great styles of martial arts also teach methods on how to prevent fighting alongside the normal training in how to kick butt.
    The best martial art wins a war with noone injured.

    5. True, but for this to happen, they need to first learn the proper techniques before sparring, if you rush sparring, you will go to the most natural, pull your hands close to the body to protect the vitals and dont apply proper form or technique.
    If people start sparring to early and perform this behavior... it might get stuck in them and cripple their form.
    Driving on the highway before you learn how to shift gear, brake and turn is just... stupid... and the teacher that expected that to work is... yeah.

    6. Yes, this is very important, but it is also important that the students perform the basic training for some techniques.
    Some (many) techniques that are amazing, work because the special attributes you get from some strange basic exercises that in themselves seem worthless, like pinching a wall, standing in a weird pose long, slapping a bag of beans or coiling rope on your arm.

    7. As many have already said, yes, someone who claims to have a lineage (traditional style) should be able to state where he learned.
    But that doesnt mean the one who taught him should be world famous.
    The greatest teachers mostly are not very famous, they just keep their heads down and try to rub as much of the style into their students.
    This was the traditional way, teachers shouldnt advertise to get students, students should come seek the teachers... sadly in modern time this doesnt work anymore.

    8. As before, students should have the ability to fight, but they shouldnt be pro-fighting and learn both the laws about fighting and methods to prevent fighting from breaking out.
    Hot-heads who just want to bash brains should be gone after basic training.

    9. For some things, its best to just try and feel for yourself, but the instructors should be able to answer questions about the style directly, yes.

    10. This is what I really wanted to comment on...
    Chinese actually did have traditional clothes very similar to the "japanese gi" before the manchurians forced them to wear different clothes and a que... my sifu wears it simply because the frog buttons open and break to easily from what I could understand.
    About the "sensi"... this could actually be 先生 or xiānshēng (we sometimes use it for teachers)... when read in cantonese it can sound alot like "Sensi" especially if passed on through non cantonese speakers.
    Larger associations or schools where the teachers has alot of students belts are used both by the instructor to keep track of what can be expected of the students, and what the students should be learning... and for "younger" students to know who to ask if they need help.
    Most "japanese" weapons actually come from chinese, so yeah... the only "Japanese" weapon really is the katana... wich is very, very, very simillar to a certain type of "Dao"... so basically, a gongfu school can teach whatever weapon they want to and still be legit.
    (and of course the star-shaped blade meant for throwing or cutting while hidden in your hand and such... but yeah... real chinese can most likely talk you into it coming from china as well).
    Personally, I would love to see a machine gun and lightsaber form. :woo:

    But what I think is important to remember here, is that you are looking for traditional gongfu, not MMA or some kind of ring-sport.
    Traditional gongfu has a process of learning, and there is a reason for this process.
    It doesnt just pick you apart and rebuild you as a fighter, it rebuilds you as a person.
    Understand now? :)
    bagels likes this.
  17. Napitenkah

    Napitenkah Valued Member

    I like the school I am at, for sparring, as well as everything else.
    I like full contact, but I found with Shaolin Kung Fu, they have an effective system, a well rounded system. That doesn't leave the student injured and feeling bad because they received inadequate guidance.
    I feel martial arts, as far as choosing what MA they should choose and what kind of school they should go to, is individual, based on the individual's awareness and what they need to experience, physically and energetically.
    For myself. I have done full contact at some schools, Taekwondo and Kung Fu, and we would beat the **** out of each other. Essentially. Bruises. Damaged tendons, groin shots, hurt ribs, chipped teeth, kicked against the mirrors which would be broken.
    All and all, pretty linear.
    Not a holistic system. Often instructors, though they say they knew about health, would be indifferent and often unable to tell when a student had been hurt or pulled a muscle or tendon. The limping didn't even clue them in. Only when they fell to the ground screaming, they thought, maybe something is wrong. But by then it was too late, and the student would be out for weeks or sometimes permanently.
    In Shaolin Kung Fu, there is sparring, but you don't start off full contact.
    Anymore than you throw a kid in the deep end to swim.
    Not just physical, but energetic. At first it didn't sink in, I would get frustrated about the contact level. I knew since I was a kid, experiential, about energy, how it felt. Came in knowing.
    But I wanted to do at least moderate contact. I know, one night they must have picked up on my energy, because the black belts started hitting, and I got swept, and fell to the hard concrete floor, and was out for 2 weeks. Later it came up that they should have controlled my fall. Since I didn't know.
    Someone might say, in a real fight they are not going to hold back, but this is training, conditioning, learning. I know after that I would not let anyone sweep me, while I worked on body conditioning. They would try, and I would work my way out of it, even with the sweep fiends.
    But the body is more than physical, there is meridians, acupressure points and all that stuff you read about, but probably think is B.S because you haven't felt it, seen it.
    It seems like a lot of people, even in tai chi and kung fu, don't buy it.
    I would to if I didn't, but I was able to experience before I knew what it was conceptually.
    Iron shirt. It doesn't take a couple weeks where you can spar and incorporate the techniques of iron shirt at the same time.
    To spar in a relaxed state, even if it is contact.
    But the acupressure points, at the same time I learn how they can be used in fighting, I also learn how they can be used to heal.
  18. Mangosteen

    Mangosteen Hold strong not

    i personally would blame the schools lack of heath and safety by not investing in mats
  19. Napitenkah

    Napitenkah Valued Member

    Yes, there are different ways of doing things. I did the matts for years, didn't condition me at all. Just gave me a false sense of being able to roll and fall without getting hurt.
    Now I gradually get accustomed to falling and rolling on the floor.
    For me, Kung Fu, the basic foundation is conditioning. When I have seen them do it traditionally, in dengfeng, shaolin, they have all kinds of conditioning practices. No matts.
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2014
  20. Mitch

    Mitch Lord Mitch of MAP Admin

    Napitenkah, please do not swear in posts on MAP, it is against the terms of service you signed up to when you joined.


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