Ground-Fighting / Submission-Wrestling in CMAs?

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Ground-Fighting / Submission-Wrestling in CMAs?

Postby Bryan » Thu Jul 20, 2006 3:35 am

Hello, I'm new here and I had a question. First off, I'm really into Mixed-Martial Arts (MMA), but I always hate the bad rap that the Traditional Martial Arts (TMA) get from the MMA community. None of these people seem to think that Chinese Martial Arts (CMA) or TMAs could be effective in MMA competition, which I, being a longtime fan of TMAs, think is garbage. I feel that gongfu isn't lacking at all in the stand-up striking aspect of the game (despite what most Muay Thai or other kickboxers will have you believe), but one thing I've never been sure of is whether there's any degree of submission-wrestling / ground-fighting (similar to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu or Judo's ne-waza) in gongfu. I feel that if this type of fighting is trained in a CMA, then there really is no reason a gongfu practicioner couldn't succeed in MMA competition. Is there anyone that can clarify whether ground-fighting / submission-wrestling is trained in any gongfu style?
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Postby adamfuray » Thu Jul 20, 2006 12:07 pm

probably because good TMArtists don't get taken off of their feet as easy as these competition fighters. i think MMArtists don't do enough training that is geared towards staying on their feet. all that ground fighting is worthless if the fight never gets to the ground.
"I know sir, that I have played out of tune, but when I learn where to place my fingers, this shall no longer happen."-Giovanni Bottesini
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try it

Postby yeniseri » Thu Jul 20, 2006 12:08 pm

Byran,


Go head to head with an MMA person and what do you think the result will be? Traditional MA is good for show but many do not do any type of training to match how MMA trains. Grappling is essential in all encounters but traditional MA does not recognize grappling that so guess what happens!

People who train in principles of muay thai, wrestling, BJJ, etc and have the physical conditioning are good at what they do.
There is no concept of groundfighting in traditional MA!!! when pou compare to MMA. Shuaijiao is as close to MMA but its rules are different.
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Postby scramasax57 » Thu Jul 20, 2006 12:42 pm

First off, let me say that while I train mostly traditional CMA striking arts, I have a good bit of experience with modern grappling and I hope to get more.

[quote]probably because good TMArtists don't get taken off of their feet as easy as these competition fighters.[/quote]
I wouldn't say MMAists are easy to throw. When they know they have an advantage on the ground, they may go with the throw but end up on top. Just because you get someone off his feet doesn't mean i was necessarily a successful technique. And since many TMAists don't train any kind of full contact sparring with grappling, they would actually be pretty easy to knock down. Look at all those videos of "kung fu experts" getting trashed by the Gracies. Now, someone who has really trained a comprehensive traditional style, with plenty of full-on sparring, would be able to have more root than a MMA fighter because that's what TCMA footwork emphasizes. That doesn't necessarily mean he'd be harder to throw though; the quick shuffling footwork of kickboxing (for example) is very useful for getting out of throwing range, so even if you entered the clinch with them that would be far from a guaranteed throw.

[quote]...if the fight never gets to the ground.[/quote]
I don't agree with the assertion of most grapplers that "100% of fights end up on the ground, all the time", but in my experience a majority of them do. If you don't train groundfighting, you are ignoring a huge part of unarmed combat. It's like fighting with one arm tied behind your back.

[quote]There is no concept of groundfighting in traditional MA!!![/quote]
This is completely inconsistent with my experience. Granted, my only TCMA experience comes from YMAA, so I can't speak for all schools, but I can say with certainty that all styles originally had groundfighting of their own or incorporated shuaijiao. I'm not talking about the modern san shou shuaijiao here, but the traditional shuaijiao that has been around for a very long time. The problem is NOT that traditional arts have no groundfighting, it's that their groundfighting skills have been ignored for a very long time and most people do not train them.

The problem with TCMA styles and practicality is not the styles themselves, it's the people who train them and think they don't have to ever spar or grapple to be good fighters. I think the best approach for making TCMA practical is to cross-train a MMA like BJJ and muay thai; that old saying about knowing yourself versus knowing your enemy applies here, and the problem is that for too long TCMA have attracted people who are only interested in fancy uniforms, fancy style names, fancy forms, and fancy justifications for why they get their butts kicked, so the majority of TCMA knows only itself and not its enemy. A small group of the TCMA community, personified and led by Master Yang, is trying to change this.
aka eric hinds, 2nd stripe
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yang's martial arts association

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Re: try it

Postby adamfuray » Sun Jul 23, 2006 4:54 pm

[quote="yeniseri"]Byran,


Go head to head with an MMA person and what do you think the result will be? Traditional MA is good for show but many do not do any type of training to match how MMA trains. Grappling is essential in all encounters but traditional MA does not recognize grappling that so guess what happens!

[/quote]

your statement is ignorant one my friend. traditional martial arts definetly recognize and trains grappling and ground fighting, we just don't put an unhealthy emphasis on it. TMA martial arts is good for show? you have fallen victim to western watered down choreography that has been stripped of it's original principles. training the Chen Taiji style curriculum would send MMArtists crying home. so why don't these "killer" TMA's run around kicking the tar out of "ultimate fighters"? integrity, honor, discipline, and just straight up commen sense. these are all things that i believe are lost when you fight for money and entertainment. NO CONCEPT OF GROUND FIGHTING IN MARTIAL ARTS?!?!? are you really that sheltered? forgive me everyone for opening this can of worms.
"I know sir, that I have played out of tune, but when I learn where to place my fingers, this shall no longer happen."-Giovanni Bottesini
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proof of the pudding

Postby yeniseri » Mon Jul 24, 2006 1:28 pm

adamfuray,

I do not believe you said that but it is as it is. The fact is that the skill of traditional MA does not stand up to any measure of 'what one can do' but no doubt the art is still traditional. It means that people have fanciful images of skill where they are legends in their own mind.

I do agree that it is only the few who train in traditional MA that have such skill since the many are interested in wushu and other wonderful pajama acts of acrobatics and dance. I really love those guys because I cannot do the things they do on the floor.
The worm can has been opened many times so nothing but worms will come out, I think, so nothing to fear.

Scram''s point is a good one since people do not train groundfighting in traditional MA so their skill will be limited. Don't you think?
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Postby adamfuray » Mon Jul 24, 2006 6:58 pm

EVERYONE should train ground fighting, without putting an end-all do-all emphasis on it. the principles of the External and Internal arts can be applied easily to a ground fighting situation. If you haven't been taught these things, figure them out. 9 out of 10 chinese martial arts teachers have no systematic methods for this. sad. way to make us traditional martial artists look like chumps.
"I know sir, that I have played out of tune, but when I learn where to place my fingers, this shall no longer happen."-Giovanni Bottesini
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Postby BUDGIE » Tue Jul 25, 2006 1:11 pm

[quote]Is there anyone that can clarify whether ground-fighting / submission-wrestling is trained in any gongfu style?[/quote]

I believe this was the original question not whther a TMA could hang with a MMA! This kind of discussion is as old as the internet itself!

The style of fighting is never the issue as to the success of the fighter. The training methods are the key. Master Yang has said it numerous times before. Take a number of techniques and train them to work against a fully resisting opponent if you want to compete. He has also mentioned that the one area we lack at YMAA is ground fighting and has encouraged learning gracie jujitsu to cover the gap. He did mention the name of a CMA that specialises in ground fighting, but for the life of me I can´t recall it. The Chin Na for Ground fighting book (published by YMAA) is excellent.
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Postby Walter Wong » Tue Jul 25, 2006 4:06 pm

A folder with a 3 inch blade will ruin anyone's mount or guard.

Consider that classical Chinese martial arts came from a time that most average martial artists carried weapons from having one or two daggers that had 8 inch blade to a spear to swords to bladed projectile weapons and so on let alone grabbing a rock or hitting your opponent's head on something hard and jagged like the side of a mountain side.

Nowadays, be aware of the guy that while you're trying to get a choke on him, he maybe carving you at the sametime on the street. Alot of murder crimes have been done with a kitchen knife. Many people trained in some form of combat art and not trained often carry folders. Beware. Gracie or Brazilian Jujutsu is fine for what it is and not a bad system to train in. I recommend to anyone to at least try a few classes in it. But don't get caught up in one style conquers another that simply. Martial Arts is a tool to train in. From there, be creative and properly prepared for the real thing. Sport fighting does not simulate the kind of real combat that happens on the street and battlefield both in ancient or modern times. Keep in mind of the iron fences with spear points the come up to your waist level, the trees, the iron/steel fire hydrant, concrete side walk and curb and the endless various other things/objects to use as weapons aside from your hands and feet in whatever martial art style you do or don't do on the street or inside someone's house.

If you think a little knife can't stop you, try choking out or arm bar a well trained seasoned Filipino knife fighter with him/her armed with a real knife.

Try different styles. Get really good at one though.

I feel the following has relavence, but here's something from my sensei from my Kenjutsu/Jujutsu training says:

[quote]So you have self-defense being mostly about being smart and putting yourself in a good position, not getting into bad areas or situations. Literally taking care of yourself, and this means how you treat yourself as well. Then there are arts that have some practicality for self-defense for people. A lot of people can spend time training. However, this will prove of little value if you don’t spend time to learn. You have sports. Sports are outstanding for all kinds of reasons. Boxing is a sport. I enjoyed kickboxing and boxing. I wrestled in high school and college. It was great and it taught me a lot. You have sports and fighting arts, especially things like the modern, mixed martial arts done in things like UFC. There are no weapons. The fighters are of relatively similar size most of the time and there are rules. Then you have combat. Combat has no rules. You stick your wife and my wife on one side of the octagon and give them both Glocks and a 300 pound guy on the other side. They're probably going to win. It's going to be pretty hard on the guy, bullets are no respecters of persons; they don’t care who you are or what you know. So you add a few more people in there and you can't see where they're coming from and you have combat. Increase the number and type of weapons and now you are getting into combat. Training for war is a radically different concept. Samurai training was training for war. It wasn't training for sport; it wasn't training for self-defense; it wasn't training for fighting; it was training for war. You had multiple opponents who had all types of weaponry available to them from spears to arrows to clubs and swords, everything you could imagine. There were no rules, their job was to deceive you and your job was to deceive and kill them. Well, this training is radically different than training for UFC or kickboxing, or self-defense. Or for that matter personal practice for self-enlightenment. Those are completely different things. My opinion though, if you don't train and expose yourself to true danger you're never going to fully understand and get to a place where the ancients got. You can't get there by thinking about it, reading about it, feeling good about. Warm gooey feelings have no place here in that sense of the term. As I frequently tell my students, that warm gooey feeling is usually blood![/quote]
Last edited by Walter Wong on Tue Jul 25, 2006 10:04 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Postby DOM » Tue Jul 25, 2006 5:04 pm

what a breath of fresh air,I can not tell you how many times I tried to get this point across to other martial artists.Like I said in a previouse post.Most of use will never truely understand the mind set of those who exsperianced and truely trained martial arts for the sole purpose of defending and killing.In today society there are those who mite come close to knowing what it is like.Those at war right know,and in the past,and those in other dangerouse locations around the world including some of are cities in the U.S.A.But even as dangerous as some locations are I do not thing it could match the up front and personal hand to hand combat of ancient times!
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Postby Eddard Stark » Mon Aug 14, 2006 8:31 am

This is what always turned me off from a lot of traditional MA's mind set. The "it was battlefield tested" or "some guys from my lineage did X,Y, & Z in the past", so they don't bother to test their art.

Their are plenty of fight orginizations that still allow the use of no gloves/weight-classes and the only rules are no biting, no fish-hooking, and no eye gouges which are the same rules of the original UFC's, which coincidentally had many TMA guys getting lit up by sport guys. I'm a big believer in training methods. Somebody can come along in any style and as long as they train in an alive manner, then they'll be far more likely to apply a technique that has been tested again and again against a fully resisting opponent as opposed to spontaneously using a technique for the first time at full force in a confrontation.

It's funny to me that people think they can hit a guy hard enough to disable him in a tiny target like the eyes, when they can't hit him in the jaw. Biting or eye gouging is a good idea on the ground against somebody that is dominating position and will have a far easier time retliating with devastating results. Realistically, you won't be finding yourself in the middle of a huge street brawl, a sword fight, or a monkey knife fight. In the modern world, the best way to train is to closely mimick those environments as possible.

Just look at how Kano owned the top level JJ guys in Japan. He comes up with a system to train JJ techniques safely and at full force (and is dubbed Judo). He then challenges all the top JJ guys to fight no rules. All their deadly techniques were open to be used. The JJ guys were roundly defeated. If you think a guy who can manhandle you in a ring, won't be able to do so because of a fence or curb (or my favorite... glass on the ground), you are sorely mistaken.
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Postby Patbirder » Mon Aug 14, 2006 11:51 am

"Their are plenty of fight orginizations that still allow the use of no gloves/weight-classes and the only rules are no biting, no fish-hooking, and no eye gouges which are the same rules of the original UFC's, which coincidentally had many TMA guys getting lit up by sport guys. I'm a big believer in training methods. Somebody can come along in any style and as long as they train in an alive manner, then they'll be far more likely to apply a technique that has been tested again and again against a fully resisting opponent as opposed to spontaneously using a technique for the first time at full force in a confrontation. "

This is true and why good TMA schools also practice 2-person fighting forms, fighting drills and sparring that emphasizes applying techniques from the style.
the "environment" is not separate from who you are
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Postby DOM » Tue Aug 15, 2006 5:58 am

very true,The system of karate I studied practiced two pearson fighting forms intensly along with full contact sparring to protectors( Bogue).This is why I feel this style is more effective and suppior to other martial arts who do not train and emphisis this type of training.Do not get me wrong other systems are not bad,it is how they are trained.Even with in the system I train there are schools who resemble the style but have lost the essence because the do not train this way any longer.Infact there was a much greater greater emphises on fighting forms then kata.It allowed you to learn proper timing and distancing to avoid and apply techniques with out injury.But more importantly it taught you how to read your opponants intensions from a distance before he reached you.
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Postby DOM » Tue Aug 15, 2006 6:05 am

opps posted to soon,most but not all of are fighting forms were derived from the kata, but some were developed strickly for fighting.Mostly from the founders exsperiance in real fights.
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Postby BaguaMonk » Sun Aug 27, 2006 5:42 am

I don't know what all the fuss is about. All BJJ techniques came from MANY TMA's. Real TRADITIONAL Judo had groundfighting that looked almost identical to BJJ! Where do you think the Gracie family got most of their methods/techniques???

And to answer your question yes there is groundfighting in CMA, it is just lost or nonexistant thanks mostly to cultural revolution, communism, and pretty much the death of actual "fighting" in CMA. I have seen locks, and even some arm bars of an old chinese dude. Shuai Jou used to finish the attacker off with some basic ground work (not like Bjj though) after they were thrown. It was when it became a "competition" art that things changed.

Grappling DOES exist in CMA/TMA, it just seems that CMA/TMA is so unindated in bullshit, such as religious practice of forms, and culture, mysticism, legends, and misleading of the ignorant (many of us westerners) that the arts, and reality of fighting becomes completely tainted.

Standing grappling DOES work, just not when you are going toe to toe with someone TEN FEET AWAY, who you have studied and know everything about, trained 7 days a week in COMPETITIVE ATMOSPHERE, and prepared all your life for...But when someone comes up to you in a bar, and grabs your shirt, pushes you, or even sucker punches you....everything in CMA I have learned works.

MMA is a beautiful thing, I agree with most of the community simply because both in the west, and east, these tma's are dying. The effectiveness is gone due to cultural, mystical bullshit but MOST OF ALL, politics... Around where I used to live the so called "masters" taught things they learned less than 6 months in..but because they were chinese they were considered "real"

I am also tired of all these UFC wannabe steroid meatheads who talk all the time OMG UFC IS SO REAL< YOUR ART IS FAKE BECAUSE UFC GUYS WOULD RIP YOU UP!!! How many MMA/kickboxing guys have been victims to guns, knives, or even attacks randomly on the street?? Lots. What I'm saying is fighting competitively, in a ruled environment where you know everything, have a strategy, are prepared, have trained hard, know the layout ETC. Is WAAAAAAAAY different then someone sucker punching you in the bar. Of course they are 90% more capable of handling it then alot of these so called "traditionalists" out here.

I don't even call myself a traditionalist anymore, I just do what I got to do, and research/analyze everything, I will call BS but am also open minded, this way I learn from both the old, the deep, and the new/modern fast food culture.
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Postby Walter Wong » Mon Aug 28, 2006 10:01 pm

BaguaMonk, that was well put. Thank you.
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Postby Yue » Sun Nov 25, 2007 10:33 pm

BaguaMonk wrote:I am also tired of all these UFC wannabe steroid meatheads who talk all the time OMG UFC IS SO REAL< YOUR ART IS FAKE BECAUSE UFC GUYS WOULD RIP YOU UP!!! How many MMA/kickboxing guys have been victims to guns, knives, or even attacks randomly on the street??


I understand completely. I can't stand that! At least twenty-five percent of the people at my school does some form of boxing or kickboxing or wrestling, while I and most of my friends practice traditional chinese martial arts. I'll spar anybody who challanges me, not to be competitive but to gain knowledge of other arts. Everybody who practices any form of combat knows that I love to spar. My problem is, I get mixed martial artists coming at me bragging and saying dren like, "You can't beat me. I got an award for something or other, so your girly karate wouldn't stand a chance. " I don't even bother telling them I do Long Fist, not karate. So we start sparring, and guess what? He loses. He was overconfident. He thought I had what CMA practitioners call flower fist and brocade leg just because they've seen me doing all these kicks that they percieve as "flashy". Just because someone doesn't have grace and focuses on how to beat someone senseless, doesn't mean that they WILL beat someone senseless. Don't underestimate.
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Postby CKenpoBJJ » Wed Jan 23, 2008 5:08 pm

This is exactly why people view us as hostile from the outside world. Why should we contend with one another. MMA...CMA...TMA...who really cares, we are suppose to be leaders and looked up upon. It seems after Bruce Lee's influence in Wushu, there are still so many walls that need to be torn down. Traditional martial arts are excelent in building a foundation and there are no better striking arts around, but.. we need not to limit our mind to only one way. In order to be good you need striking, blocking, firm stances, kicking, chin na, and grappling. Ground work is one of the most overlooked aspects, but it is not the best...there is no best, in fact it is also held on a pedistal that it shouldn't be on. You mention the Gracie fights online, there are several other ones that show grapplers getting their foot in their mouth as well. In fact look at Gracie's last fight in the UFC getting knocked out by a striker. Instead of "cat-fighting" back and fourth like you are you should be happy with what training you have. I am a Sifu myself in the art and way of Chinese Kenpo, it does have quite a bit of ground work but not enough to my belief so I also practice BJJ along with shaolin kung fu, taiji quan and american kenpo. It is always good to just choose one system to master, but we should always use the practice of other systmes to enhance our mastery.
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Ground Fighting, Traditional Chinese Martial Arts, and YOU!

Postby von Harris » Wed Feb 06, 2008 7:03 pm

(All apologies for inaccuracies and idiocies in this reply; I'm posting to this subject as a favor for a friend. )

I moved to Boston in ‘98 and trained with Dr. Yang in Longfist, WhiteCrane, and Taijiquan, continuing after I left for Carolina. Before that, I wrestled in high school and college. Before and since, I have coached high school and college wrestling; including these last six years at Chapel Hill High School, NC. We have two returning two-time state champs, just won our conference, and are beginning end-of-season tournament action.

1. TCM has always striven to include Ti-Da-Shuai-Na, ie. Kick-Strike-Wrestle-Submission, and each style has it's version of all-the-above, even "soft" Taijiquan.

2. There's a difference between 'ground fighting' and 'submission.' 'Submission' can be done standing, while 'Ground fighting' can include both 'submission' and 'striking.' Standing-Submission is often demonstrated in Qin-Na, Ground-Submission in Brazilian-Jiu-Jitsu, and Ground-Striking in current UFC "ground and pound."

3. It's questionable how 'complete' ANY traditional lineage is these days, especially since most of us is white folks, not in China, and not training the traditional MINIMUM of 3 hours a day.

4. From my experience, Chinese perception of 'Shuai/Wrestling' is MOSTLY, but not ENTIRELY based on take-downs. Which means bringing a person from standing to prone position, while retaining dominant position. This has been supported by traditional history, which indicates that the arts were developed for pitched-battles (if you fall . . . you get trampled), weapon fighting (. . . you have difficulty using your main weapons), boats (. . . you drown), Lei-Tai dueling (. . . you lose), and responding to ambush in a crowded city (. . . you get trampled again).

5. "Folkstyle" is the term wrestling practiced by US high schools and colleges. "Freestyle" is closely related, and is practiced globally, including the olympics. Both of these can be called "Traditional Martial Arts" if you look into their 300-2000+ year heritages. Both systems include take-downs (bringing opponent to ground while retaining dominant position), riding (keeping opponent on ground while retaining dominance), escapes (getting off ground, back to standing position), and reversals (gaining dominant position while staying on ground). All of these can be applied directly to a striking fight.

6. Use of mats allows training to be challenging in multiple positions, while keeping things safe. Lots of "mat-time" helps you feel comfortable going from standing to ground and back. This feeling persists even “off mat.” (One of my guys recently developed a standing back flip, for example. The mat allowed him to practice without hurting himself, and now he can do it without the mat.)

7. Wrestling is mostly practiced with partners, so all your techniques are trained with varying degrees of resistance, different body sizes, and in ever-changing scenarios. This builds strength, endurance, and flexibility; as well as allowing practitioners to develop a highly trained body intuition of your opponent's actions and your own capabilities.

8. In TCM, this is called "matching practice," and includes routines such as "push-hands," "fighting forms," and "matching sets." These routines are abstract training methods meant to help practitioners develop their techniques into useable shape, without injuring yourself in the process. It would be silly to dismiss "push hands" as artificial, limited, or non-martial; just because it doesn't allow all-out damage. The RESTRICTIONS of training routines are what allow you to focus on developing your weaknesses without harming yourself or others in the process.

9. Training ethic is probably the most important aspect of any serious martial artist or athlete. QUANTITY of time invested and QUALITY of time spent make the biggest difference in your success. TCM calls for 3 hours a day minimum, over 10 years, for basic competence. High School and College Wrestlers usually manage 2-4 hours a day minimum, over 4-12 years. This training regimen includes what in TCM would be referred to as both "external" and "internal" curriculum. Many of the successful MMA/UFC guys come from this background, and reflect the ethic and reward of long-term training with motivated partners.

10. Athletic competitions, call it sport or not, allow you to bring an intensity to your training. Your "sense of enemy" becomes much more real. And though they are "artificial,” competitions allow you to SAFELY test your awareness and reactions in a way not otherwise possible, shy of being "jumped" or ambushed (NOT safe).

11. Dr. Yang is fully aware of the difficulties that most martial artists are facing in trying to get their 'quantity' and 'quality' training time. Anyone who has trained with him at the CA camps has felt the difference in working intensely with constant training partners for regular long hours. It's this ethic that matters more than WHICH art you train. If you don’t believe me, ask anyone who has trained in CA.

12. There's not much reward in comparing apples to oranges. Quality and freshness of the fruit matter most; otherwise it's a matter of taste.

thank you,

ciaran harris
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Postby jbowman » Sat Mar 22, 2008 1:22 am

I agree with VH and would like to add that most people confuse modern Chinese Martial arts for health and image with traditional chinese martial arts meant to defend one's life. In a real street fight when you go to the ground it becomes a contest of strength, all your opponents will probably treat you like down pinata at a 1st grade birthday party an ugly scene since most thugs run in packs. The best way I can think to solve this argument is to say that what I've learned from Master Yang in California has not involved a set of rules and when you train a rule based system you are limiting your own potential. Eye gouges and the like are not techniques for the octagon or any other arena, they may save your life in the street though. The knife comment was right on 3 inches of steel will ruin just about anyones guard and probably there whole day but how do draw it in a serious lock? All these things lead back to one answer learn your art well all aspects if it is a true martial art it will cover all aspects of the battle field not just a single confrontation and more importantly how to avoid the battle field all together.
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