Martial Arts Nonsense

James_H

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In recent years there's been considerable embarrassment in China with traditional kung fu practitioners being very easily beaten in bouts with MMA fighters. Here's the most recent such incident. Such incidents show that while the various forms of Kung Fu fighting may be ancient and valuable cultural traditions, they're not practical for actually fighting.

Aikido and Hapkido are often denounced as basically fraudulent, with their emphasis on using mental powers (Chi energy) and accusations of collusion between students and teachers to put on an impressive show. Watch this video of the little old founder of Aikido chucking his students about like paper aeroplanes and see what you think:


I myself went to one Aikido class and came away impressed with how the mental focusing techniques seemed to work, but I never pursued it.

Here is a whole website with an active forum dedicated to a skeptical take on the various occult claims in martial arts: https://www.bullshido.net/
 

Bigphoot2

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Many years ago I did some martial arts - a combination of taekwondo and boxing. The instructor had very little time for the mystical aspects; when one student asked if we will be learning about Chi, he laughed and said they'd be better learning about anatomy and Newton's Laws of Motion.
 

pandacracker

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When living in Tokyo I did two years of Aikikai Aikido at it's home Dojo, run by Ueshiba's grandson.

It's totally defensive so attacks are formalised, left and right. As in all martial arts you first learn to defend and roll with the punches/throws. As I understood it, this is what minimises injury. It looks, and feels like dancing, creates a flow and helps the defender to develop chi.

Both teachers and advanced students sometimes would help the defender develop chi by resisting the throw. One teacher stopped me halfway through a throw which involved both my hands on his lower arm.
"Do not push with your arms" he said "Where is your centre?"
I pointed to my solar plexus.
"Where is my centre?"
I pointed to his solar plexus.
"When you step forward, push my centre with your centre" (not literally, you imagine a bar between them)
I did as instructed and indeed the throw became easier. That's when I thought there could be something in the whole "Apply chi" comment one often heard at the dojo.

There wasn't any "woo" stuff while I trained there but that might be because I didn't stay long enough although I once had a teacher in an advanced class do a lot of Shinto breathing exercises. Can't remember being very impressed with it though.
 

Skrymr

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I am inclined to think Tai Chi might be the business when it comes to a real fight but Kung Fu less so. Looks cool though.
It is. It looks serene and peaceful but it can be kind of brutal when applied in sparring. There's a move (I can't remember what it's called) specifically for when someone has their hand around your throat. It results in the attacker getting their face slammed into the wall if you find yourself pressed up against one. If the attacker has their right hand around your throat, you use your left to arm to break the grip at the same time as moving diagonally to the right and behind them, momentum and a good hard shove results in them getting a face full of ground or slamming their head into the wall
 

Krepostnoi

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I did a bit of Kung Fu of the style called Wing Chun. That dispenses with most of the more acrobatic stuff.
Yeah, I did some Wing Chun a while ago, too. It seemed to emphasise practicality - no fancy kicks, punch from the centre line etc. I still remember a very effective response to being grabbed by the collar. Although as a paunchy guy just about still in his mid-40s, I can't help feeling that the best self-defence tip for me these days is not to be there in the first place.:slapd:
 

kamalktk

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Undefeated



/... versus carbohydrates
 

Bigphoot2

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It is. It looks serene and peaceful but it can be kind of brutal when applied in sparring. There's a move (I can't remember what it's called) specifically for when someone has their hand around your throat. It results in the attacker getting their face slammed into the wall if you find yourself pressed up against one. If the attacker has their right hand around your throat, you use your left to arm to break the grip at the same time as moving diagonally to the right and behind them, momentum and a good hard shove results in them getting a face full of ground or slamming their head into the wall
I did a bit of Tai Chi years ago and was surprised at how nasty some of the techniques were in the real world One that I remember involves pulling the attacker towards you by the wrist, moving aside as they go past, twisting their arm until the elbow points upwards and then delivering a downward strike to the elbow with your own elbow. OUCH.
The instructor told me that he had used it in self-defence but just kept deflecting the attack rather than striking the attacker. After being sent sprawling a few times, his attacker ran away threatening to get him the next time.
One thing that struck me thinking about arts like Aikido and Tai Chi is the possibility that with the breathing and slow relaxed movements, that it's a form of hypnosis.
 

Cochise

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Yeah, I did some Wing Chun a while ago, too. It seemed to emphasise practicality - no fancy kicks, punch from the centre line etc. I still remember a very effective response to being grabbed by the collar. Although as a paunchy guy just about still in his mid-40s, I can't help feeling that the best self-defence tip for me these days is not to be there in the first place.:slapd:
My Dad - ex REME - taught me a number of defensive maneuvers. Preventing yourself from getting hurt - while it may hurt the opponent - is a different set of skills to setting out to demolish said opponent.
 

Min Bannister

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It would have to be quite a slow fight, wouldn't it?
No, I think because it is the yang to the yin of the gentle hand waving you normally see (or is that other way round?). For those interested, try looking for tai chi fights on Youtube. It is proper hard core. The fighters are pretty much wearing full body armour and they need it. I will certainly never get round to it since I haven't thus far but if I was ever going to learn a martial art it would be tai chi.
 

Xanatic*

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I think the MMA vs chinese martial arts beatdowns mentioned earlier has been against several tai chi masters.
 

Min Bannister

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I think the MMA vs chinese martial arts beatdowns mentioned earlier has been against several tai chi masters.
My computer is having bother with that website but that is a bit of a shame. I would still rate it as a practical real-world skill though, even if it doesn't beat MMA.
 

Carl Grove

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I have no doubt that the internal aspects of martial arts, the chi side, are genuine and useful. The original reason for the graceful flowing hand movements is to pick up your opponent's chi and detect when he is about to strike -- when I had a programme of reiki healing the healer used precisely the same movements, and he could pick up on physical problems (e.g. pain in a certain body part) without me needing to tell him. The superhumans TV series had a very interesting item featuring a chi exponent who claimed to be able to put animals to sleep --

 

gordonrutter

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I am inclined to think Tai Chi might be the business when it comes to a real fight but Kung Fu less so. Looks cool though.
Hmm, I would have said the exact opposite to be honest. I’ve never done either, did Judo for a long time and Karate for a shorter period of time.
I think it may just be I have never seen real fighting with either only demonstration or film versions.
 

Mythopoeika

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I used to work with a man who is now a fully qualified Tai Chi instructor. This man has all the qualities required to become a secret agent - he has that kind of air about him. I used to rib him about the 'slow fights' with Tai Chi. He assured me it was a proper martial art where people actually got hurt. He found the one Chinese master in Europe who could teach him all the most esoteric moves, including the one inch punch.
So... yeah, I think Tai Chi is definitely to be taken seriously.
 

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Other than what he said, what makes you think this?
 

dream_decoder

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I did some Aikido, it was very graceful but seemed choreographed. I felt we were taught to respond submissively to any attack.
One of my experienced opponents got upset when I wouldn't allow myself to be thrown and I turned defence into attack.
Great exercise, great to watch, great company but little use in a real fight; far better to play dirty! Grrr...
 

Mythopoeika

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Other than what he said, what makes you think this?
I'll admit that I don't know any martial art from personal practical experience of it, but I have seen a few videos of Tai Chi fighting on Youtube. In many ways, Tai Chi seems to have many similarities to other martial arts in terms of efficacy. I don't know which martial art is 'the best', however.
 

Xanatic*

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Fights between a tai chi practicioner and someone else surely, to really judge it.
 

Min Bannister

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Fights between a tai chi practicioner and someone else surely, to really judge it.
That would be interesting. I tried to scroll on that horrible website but the only story I managed to find was the tai chi master doing kickboxing and he just looked like a guy who doesn't do kickboxing, trying to do kickboxing. However, if it doesn't "beat" MMA it still doesn't mean it is no good in the real world.
 

maximus otter

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Learn the ancient art of:

Avoiding dodgy pubs.
Not being in unlit streets at hoying-out time.
Seeing a dodgy pedestrian underpass on to a shit estate and thinking, “Nah”.
Ditching scrotey “mates”.
Giving the body swerve to drugs and those used by drugs.

Etc.

You will sidestep 99.9% of potentially violent situations, and save the cost of those embarrassing canvas pyjamas seemingly obligatory in all Japanese fights.

maximus otter
 

Min Bannister

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Yebbut, you'd really rather be Donnie Yen wouldn't you? ;)
 

Min Bannister

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Nah. I’d have to fork out for a new kilt.

maximus otter
Not sure what you are referring to? If you know of a picture of Donnie Yen in a kilt, please post it here for the benefit of thread continuity.

:shy:
 

James_H

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I think the MMA vs chinese martial arts beatdowns mentioned earlier has been against several tai chi masters.
Also Wing Chun, see the article in my OP.
 
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