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critter
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There's a long standing and much hyped 'feud' between Shaolin (and many other forms of) Kung-fu and Muay Thai kickboxing. Many kickboxers have contended that Shaolin's techniques are inferior to theirs in combat. There have been challenge matches and both sides have won and lost fights. Both sides still proclaim their superiority and herald their own victories and nothing has been conclusively settled.
Similarly, many modern exponents of the sport of MMA have said similar things about any traditional martial art.
Even the recent issue of "Kung Fu" Magazine went so far as to say that grappling arts are superior. I guess the editor who wrote that hasn't figured out the Chin Na applications in their forms Smile
Penn & Teller did the episode of "BS" about martial arts and said all kinds of derogatory things about martial arts.
(I still love P&T though.)

With all of this going on I have to wonder, who gives a ***?
What are some reasons for studying martial arts?
1. Better health. Well, guess what, they work for that. They aren't a miracle pill that cures all ills, but medical experts agree that getting off of the couch and moving is better than being inactive. Exercise benefits physical and psychological health, and both of those benefit each other.
Better health? Check.

2. Self-Defense. This is the one that tends to carry the most heat. Folks try to compare various martial arts as to which is better for fighting, as if that's the be all and end all. Well, guess what? We don't live in Feudal Japan or the Wild West. There's guns and laws now. I've never been walking down the street and had a Thai kickboxer run up and knee me in the head. On the rare occasions when I've had to defend myself, the attackers have been generally unskilled and I've never been seriously injured. I think that's the goal of self-defense. Just about any martial art can teach you correct body mechanics so that if you do need to defend yourself you won't break your knuckles doing it. Self-defense is not the same as going around beating people up, if that's your goal then you might as well buy a weapon. It'll be easier. But if you want to learn some grappling and striking that can reduce your chances of being seriously injured if attacked, then most martial arts can do that.
Self-Defense? check.

If you want to be the #1 fighter in all the world, then the only way to do do that these days is to take up a combat sport and have the best genetics and fitness.
If you are the other 99.9% of the population, then forget all of that and just relax and do the best you can. You'll be fine.
"The fool is one who doesn't know what you have just found out."
~Will Rogers
LobowolfXXX
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Nice post, Critter. I'd add self-discipline to the list; a quality that has widespread usefulness outside of the studio.
"Torture doesn't work" lol
Guess they forgot to tell Bill Buckley.

"...as we reason and love, we are able to hope. And hope enables us to resist those things that would enslave us."
critter
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Good point. I think that also helps with the mental health aspect.
"The fool is one who doesn't know what you have just found out."
~Will Rogers
HerbLarry
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Because kicking people in the face has never lost it's appeal?
You know why don't act naive.
critter
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Re: Self-Defense- I'd also like to counter one point on the P&T show. Penn talked about guns being easier (which is true) and therefore rendering martial arts obsolete (which is not true.)
I would counter this with the number one reason given by the military for including H2H combat in their training, guns can jam. Your gun is prone to mechanical malfunctions and it is useful to have something to fall back on.
"The fool is one who doesn't know what you have just found out."
~Will Rogers
MagicSanta
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Herb. One of our UDT guys (UDT guys became SEALS in the early 80s) got in trouble and he had to go to see the captain. He told us that if the Marine Captain said anything dirogatory he was going to kick him in the face, so we went to watch. The captain said that Brown thought he was a tough guy so Brown kicked him in the face....it was good, real good, never saw Brown after that though.
critter
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Yeah UDT was incorporated into the SEAL toolbox and they became one entity rather than two. I know this because I wanted to be a UDT like my so-called Dad and they weren't around anymore so I tried for SEALs instead. That cigar-chomping frog was the best mascot ever.

Since this side subject was brought up, I have a little story:
My uncle's friend, a golden gloves boxer, got a roundhouse kick to the face in a fight at a strip club and knocked out. My uncle never let him live it down.
"The fool is one who doesn't know what you have just found out."
~Will Rogers
MagicSanta
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UDT guys were a little more intense, I thought, than the SEALS cuz they just were. For the most part the SEALs were nice guys until they had to work and then they got serious but the UDT guys would whip your arse for looking at them funny. The UDT guys were the ones that tossed me off a pier to see if I could swim and also made me swim in the open ocean with them and scared me dang near to death.

We were in Uraguay and were going to have smokers (short boxing matches) agains the Marines. We had this book wormy guy named Giggi (nick name cuz he called a gig line a giggi line in bootcamp) and someone signed him up for a match. This Marine was cocky and Gig took his glasses off and walked out and kicked the living #@!%# out of the grunt, put him down, walked over w/out a word and got his glasses then left. Turned out Giggi was a golden gloves in Detroit!
critter
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Quote:
On 2010-12-15 18:57, MagicSanta wrote:
UDT guys were a little more intense, I thought, than the SEALS cuz they just were. For the most part the SEALs were nice guys until they had to work and then they got serious but the UDT guys would whip your arse for looking at them funny.


My Dad says that sort of thing is exactly why he quit going out to the bars with Jesse Ventura. He said he got sick of always having to beat the crap out of people every time Ventura started a fight.
"The fool is one who doesn't know what you have just found out."
~Will Rogers
MagicSanta
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I knew the guys who were part of the spec war organization that tracks down phony SEALs etc and heard some stories about Ventura. He had discipline problem and was a thug. That isn't typical of the SEALs, who are not only tough but are also very smart and while you didn't triffle with them they were pretty much all good guys, the ones that you had to worry about you just avoided.
critter
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The number one reason that I started practicing traditional gung-fu forms again was for relaxation. I wanted the moving meditation type of benefit to help me with my anxiety related problems. It has helped a lot.
If attacked on the street it's likely that I'd use more Thai boxing than gung-fu, but the gung-fu has been much more beneficial for my overall feeling of well-being. I'm happier when I play the forms every day. A lot happier.
"The fool is one who doesn't know what you have just found out."
~Will Rogers
crestfallenLyric
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Quote:
On 2010-12-15 18:57, MagicSanta wrote:
UDT guys were a little more intense, I thought, than the SEALS cuz they just were. For the most part the SEALs were nice guys until they had to work and then they got serious but the UDT guys would whip your arse for looking at them funny. The UDT guys were the ones that tossed me off a pier to see if I could swim and also made me swim in the open ocean with them and scared me dang near to death.

We were in Uraguay and were going to have smokers (short boxing matches) agains the Marines. We had this book wormy guy named Giggi (nick name cuz he called a gig line a giggi line in bootcamp) and someone signed him up for a match. This Marine was cocky and Gig took his glasses off and walked out and kicked the living #@!%# out of the grunt, put him down, walked over w/out a word and got his glasses then left. Turned out Giggi was a golden gloves in Detroit!


That's an epic story!! What a guy!
"It is better for a man to honor his profession, than to be honored by it." - Robert-Houdin
Cohiba
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So, this post interests me for probably what you would consider the wrong reason. I get the point of the original post, and agree with that.

However, I have often wondered about the disconnect between martial arts in the movies and martial arts in real life. Before you think I'm crazy, know that I understand that a movie is a movie. I know it's all choreographed, made larger than life, etc. However, the movies are fairly accurate as to what martial arts are SUPPOSED to look like, right? For example, the blocks, forms (katas, etc., depending on which type of martial art you're in), and movements that are taught in martial arts classes look like the stuff you see in movies. Wax on, wax off, etc.

Yet when I see MMA on UFC, the fighters that claim to have more of a Karate background (for instance) do very little that looks like Karate in the movies. Again, I know this sounds incredibly naive - I know the movies are fake - but it almost makes me feel that martial arts must then be pointless (other than for the points made in the original post - though I would argue that there are better ways to accomplish all of those points if they are what you are after). Don't get me wrong - I've always been a fan of the martial arts. But when you see serious fights, it seems that everyone becomes a boxer. (Granted, I haven't watched very much UFC, so maybe I've missed fights that would prove me wrong.) Why do I never see the moves taught in martial arts studios occurring in UFC?

It seems like you need to be a good boxer, and then have some good wrestling skills for when you start grappling. They call it MMA, but I don't feel like that's what I'm seeing. Is the grappling / Jujitsu stuff about the only martial art in there? (I don't really consider a boxer who throws in some kicks to the side of the knee a martial artist, effective as they may be.)

I'm curious as to your thoughts.

PS - How bout Wing Chun? Anyone ever see any of that in UFC? Worthless?
critter
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Quote:
On 2010-12-15 19:04, MagicSanta wrote:
I knew the guys who were part of the spec war organization that tracks down phony SEALs etc and heard some stories about Ventura. He had discipline problem and was a thug. That isn't typical of the SEALs, who are not only tough but are also very smart and while you didn't triffle with them they were pretty much all good guys, the ones that you had to worry about you just avoided.


If anybody ever wants to know if a SEAL or UDT is phony, all they gotta' do is email the UDT museum and they'll send you their class and team number.
I did that with my Dad because he was such a loon that I needed to know if he was full of it. Team 12. I forget his class number. He says Ventura was his swim buddy.
"The fool is one who doesn't know what you have just found out."
~Will Rogers
seadog93
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I heard or read a self defense instructor commenting on the gun thing.

He said he would have people come to a demonstration and challenge him by pointing there fingers at him (like a gun).
He would ask them if they planned to shoot him with their fingers.
Of course they would say, "no, with a gun!"
"do you have a gun with you?"
"no"
So much for that argument.

-Also, even if you have a gun and someone jumps you ...no time.
-Or if someone attacks you with a knife from up to 21 feet (that's quite a ways away!!!) they can get to you before you can draw/aim/fire.
-I've also heard "hardened criminals" (who have been shot before) say that if anyone pulled a gun on them they would just take it away and if they got shot they would kill the guy. Someone who buys a gun because they think they will be able to defend themselves with no work or experience will not be able to handle someone like that ...of course most martial artists couldn't deal with someone like that. I don't know if I could and I hope I never find out!
"Love is the magician who pulls man out of his own hat" - Ben Hecht

"Love says 'I am everything.' Wisdom says 'I am nothing'. Between the two, my life flows." -Nisargadatta Maharaj

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MagicSanta
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Mix it up! Could be worse Critter, my coworkers husband came back from Viet Nam, he was a SEAL, in a cage and has been in a mental hospital since, if he is still alive. I knew some guys when they came back from Viet Nam would get bored and would do some very strange things for fun, like disarm police and then give them back the weapons figuring they would get the joke. Ventura was legit his only thing is, and I have no details, he wasn't as great at it as he claims lets say. I ask 'em what team they were on. You don't run into many young ones because they are of high value with other groups and are not usually hanging around. What is cool is the Navy brought back the Riverine group and that is good stuff.
critter
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On 2010-12-15 19:31, Cohiba wrote:
So, this post interests me for probably what you would consider the wrong reason. I get the point of the original post, and agree with that.

However, I have often wondered about the disconnect between martial arts in the movies and martial arts in real life. Before you think I'm crazy, know that I understand that a movie is a movie. I know it's all choreographed, made larger than life, etc. However, the movies are fairly accurate as to what martial arts are SUPPOSED to look like, right? For example, the blocks, forms (katas, etc., depending on which type of martial art you're in), and movements that are taught in martial arts classes look like the stuff you see in movies. Wax on, wax off, etc.

Yet when I see MMA on UFC, the fighters that claim to have more of a Karate background (for instance) do very little that looks like Karate in the movies. Again, I know this sounds incredibly naive - I know the movies are fake - but it almost makes me feel that martial arts must then be pointless (other than for the points made in the original post - though I would argue that there are better ways to accomplish all of those points if they are what you are after). Don't get me wrong - I've always been a fan of the martial arts. But when you see serious fights, it seems that everyone becomes a boxer. (Granted, I haven't watched very much UFC, so maybe I've missed fights that would prove me wrong.) Why do I never see the moves taught in martial arts studios occurring in UFC?

It seems like you need to be a good boxer, and then have some good wrestling skills for when you start grappling. They call it MMA, but I don't feel like that's what I'm seeing. Is the grappling / Jujitsu stuff about the only martial art in there? (I don't really consider a boxer who throws in some kicks to the side of the knee a martial artist, effective as they may be.)

I'm curious as to your thoughts.

PS - How bout Wing Chun? Anyone ever see any of that in UFC? Worthless?


I think there's some truth to your observations, but even with the grappling one can argue that Wrestling is a martial art, and there's no doubt that Jiu-Jitsu is a martial art. Martial arts aren't all punching and kicking.
I haven't seen Wing Chun used in MMA, but I think it would make a good addition to the MMA arsenal. Could be used to set up other moves.
As for traditional karate, I think Lyoto Machida for one has utilized stand-up martial arts techniques from traditional karate very well in his stand up game.
And then there's Anderson Silva. Mostly a Muay Thai guy, but he's won many fights with the kinds of stuff you usually only see in movies.
So I think that these types of techniques have a lot to offer in MMA competition.
You also have to realize that traditional gung-fu contains eye gouges and small joint manipulations which could be dangerous in a street fight but are illegal in MMA.
I think the sport of MMA is very interesting, but it's still not a real fight.

For a real fighting perspective:
My uncle (A former all-state wrestler and HS coach) was a bouncer who worked his way up to bartender. His friend was a Southern Style Kung Fu instructor, I never heard which exact style. Either Wing Chun or Hung Gar. Some guy pulled a gun on my uncle for cutting him off and the Kung Fu guy was next to him. My uncle's Kung Fu friend disarmed the guy before he knew what hit him. Kung Fu saved Uncle Ward's life that night, that's proof enough for me.
"The fool is one who doesn't know what you have just found out."
~Will Rogers
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Well, I have trained in various MA styles over the years, but have concentrated in FMA for a little over a decade now. I train for all the reasons most usually do. Among the reasons for me, some have been mentioned above: health, self defense, and self discipline.

I also train for reasons I haven't seen mentioned: the pure fun of it, being a part of perpetuating a fascinating, and somewhat rare lineage of martial art, and the brotherhood and friendship with my fellow practitioners.

One thing I have a slightly different view of than what has been expressed in this tread is the regarding the issue of guns. I happen to shoot and train regularly with a variety of firearm weapons platforms, and in my experience, learning and honing the skills of gun fighting is no different than learning and honing the skills of martial arts. In fact, I would go as far as to say that training to shoot proficiently can be considered a martial art as well.

One of the instructors I have been fortunate to learn from is Jeff Gonzales of Trident Concepts. Jeff is a former Navy SEAL, and is one of the top firearms instructors in the US today. When you see how good one can be with a gun, as one does when watching a guy like Jeff shoot, you realize that most people who consider themselves "marksmen" don't even know what it means to be a true marksman, let alone what it means to be a proficient gunfighter.

Yes, a gun is perceived by the general public as being easier to use than trying to go toe to toe with an adversary. Admittedly, with some training, it can equalize the playing field under certain circumstances, but once another "player" is in the game who also has a gun, but also possesses true skill and knowledge with that gun, than you can bet it's no longer an equal playing field.
critter
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Oh I agree that a gun is useful. I take my shotgun out to practice regularly and consider it a vital part of my home defense strategy. My point was just that the invention of firearms didn't render hand to hand skills useless.
"The fool is one who doesn't know what you have just found out."
~Will Rogers
Nom de Guerre
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I'm in complete agreement with you. In fact, you might say I am in violent agreement with you. Smile
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