Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Competition in Fu Zhou

I recently had an amazing experience in a martial arts competition in Fu Zhou, China on Dec 12, 2008. It was a competion between all of the masters or "participating masters" from Taiwan v.s. the masters of Fu Zhou and other regions of China. Even though I am not big on competition myself, but was honored to be a representitave of the Taiwanese team as well as traditional martial arts.
The tournament took two days and the members of the Taiwanese team travelled together for 5 days. It was a wonderful opportunity to work with many masters hands on and learn the differences between the many different styles. I believe that trying to compare so many arts and masters and to say who is better or more effective is impossible. So the trophies and medals I don't really pay attention to. But the best part of the experience was being accepted as a master of the traditional arts. It was incredible being able to talk to the other masters regarding history, culture and the future of the styles.
In the end of the tournament I recieved two golds and two bronzes. I want to thank everyone who was willing to teach me and guide me into destiny and especially my master Wu Guo Zheng who showed me far more than just kung fu. I will always have Taiwan in my heart and will do everything to preserve the arts in the future.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

My brother master Eddie doing a demo in Korea

This is my brother doin a little demo in Korea. This gives a little closer view to the application of Huek Choo Kwan

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Training is research. This is our responsiblity

I find that many people these days believe MMA to be the most effective form of fighting. Not that I have a problem MMA being a former believer in mixed styles myself, but I have found it to be lacking in comparison to traditional styles in terms of power and effectiveness.

Why does MMA and ultimate fighting tend to dominate in competition?

1. Mixed martial arts is one of the easiest and quickest fighting styles to learn. In every style learning the basics can be done in a couple of months and the later more advanced techniques take years to achieve. MMA is a combination of the most basic manuevers from boxing, grappling, kicking etc. In short a person training Bagua for a year or two vs. a person doing mma for a year or two will be beaten. Since we live in a microwave society the quicker route is most appealing in all countries.

2. The second reasoning is that in competition everyone is limited to the same sets of rules. Wearing gloves completely eliminates wristlocks, pressure points, flesh tears etc. A technique that is most effective in almost all styles is "defanging" or eliminating the attackers ablity to attack. Breaking limbs and fingers while your opponent is engaging is much easier than always trying to strike the head and body. Especially since a lot of tradtional styles rely on countering your opponent. Even using a mat restricts the use of stomping techniques which is the key element for many styles. In a real fight all the elements of the environment must be utilized from the surface to the weather. In a restricted world ultimite fighting will "seem" most effective.
3. Finally the last most critical point lies in poor training of traditional styles. Practicing the movements and forms and sets is crucial to developing power and balance. Doing a single technique thousands of times is the only way to have the understanding of the movement. Tradtional stylist do this, however they do not practice a lot of combat training. All too often do martial artist assume they are ready for a fight when they have not been in enough fight like situations to prepare them. All of the power in the world is useless if you are not able to apply it.

This is where MMA exceeds the traditional arts which I believe is just a mere oversight made by many martial artist.

How to train for combat?

Sparring is what a lot of people believe will prepare them for a fight but it is actually is a good way to learn timing.Also sparring before you learn how to stay in your style will only result in sloppy kickboxing or worse slapboxing. FIRST practice a single move against your partner and learn to counter it. Practice to the left side, to the right side, while he is rushing you, while he is trying to grab you etc. Then as you begin to understand the true concept of the technique throughout varying circumstances, that technique is ready to be used in sparring......and possible fighting.

The key is to train the technique so that it becomes a natural reaction. Just as flinch is a natural reaction. Change your flinching to technique by repition,repition,repition,repition......
When you have done this with a dozen or so techniques then fighting, sparring or any situation becomes automatic.

Another part to the understanding of your style is understanding this simple concept. Martial arts is thousands of years old. Every movement, strike and stance was designed to maximize power and minumize weakness. So it is CERTAIN that all styles that have survived this long have stood the test of fire. Whether through war, slavery or protection all styles known have proven to be effective. But the sad thing is that many things have been lost through the years. Due to time, bad teachers, selfish teachers or whatever. It is up to you as an indvidual to train your technique and research it until it makes sense. All the movements have more than just one use....find it, explore it and share it. It is our responsibility as martial artist to preserve the culture that many do not care for or understand.

Soldiers and Warriors