Common people's kung fu?

Discussion in 'Chinese Martial Arts - General' started by demon seed, Jun 24, 2018.

  1. demon seed

    demon seed White Belt

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    Hi , I recently read something online about kung fu. It was saying something about there being kung fu of the common people. (Not my wording) But what the article was referring to was styles that weren't shaolin or taoist temple styles. I'd assume they also meant nonmilitary styles too. Which styles are the average Joe styles?
    Thank you all.
     
  2. Xue Sheng

    Xue Sheng All weight is underside

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    There isn't one, anymore than there is an average Joe fighting style in the USA, Europe or Japan
     
  3. demon seed

    demon seed White Belt

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    Thank you for answering my question. I thinking much along the same lines as your response. I just wasn't sure.
     
  4. Xue Sheng

    Xue Sheng All weight is underside

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    They may have been referring to a civilian version of Sanda/Sanshou
    There is a military version, a police version, a sports version and a civilian version
     
  5. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

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    Well, the way I understand it is that people have been fighting each other since our species first evolved on this planet. You didn’t need to be a military person or an aristocrat or connected to Shaolin or Wudang to be working on that. Everyone was engaged in it to some degree, especially in places where there was no law enforcement, you couldn’t call 911 for help, and there was no justice system for the common people. If a police force existed, it was more often a tool for the oppression of the common people. So the common people developed their own fighting methods because they knew they needed to take care of themselves.

    It is my understanding that a lot of places in China over the generations fit this description to some degree or other. There are lots of systems that were practiced in villages or by members of a family or extended clan. This was part of their line of defense against bandits and thugs and ne’er-do-wells who might try to harm them while they were working in the fields, or rob them while walking home at night, or might organize an attack on the village as a whole.

    China is a huge place, and likely a lot of these village systems still exist and have simply never been seen in the West. They are not famous, nobody has left the village to bring the method out of China or even into a metropolitan area where it might get noticed.
     
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  6. punisher73

    punisher73 Senior Master

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    Probably one of the more famous examples of a "village style" is Chen style Tai Chi. As Flying Crane pointed out, there are probably alot more since there are over 100's of kung fu styles.
     
  7. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

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    I will add that there could literally be thousands of these methods, as each village would have likely kept their methods a secret. These systems likely had similarities to each other especially in the same geographical region, but would have existed as “separate” systems even if closely related.

    One way of looking at it is if your grandfather and uncle taught you some boxing and wrestling that they learned from your great-grandfather. It might not be a highly structured curriculum or highly sophisticated, but it works and the last generations teach it to the younger generations because it was a necessary skill for survival. It might not even have a name, other than “fighting”.

    Maybe someone in the clan or village takes some extra time to improve the curriculum and standardize the training methods, or not. Maybe that happens at some point and this opens the door to the possibility that the method becomes systematized and then spreads in the modern world. Or maybe it doesn’t and it remains in the village, and possibly becomes extinct if it is perceived that it is no longer a necessary skill in a changing and modernizing society. Probably a lot of these have become extinct, many of them without even having a name other than “X village method”.
     
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  8. Xue Sheng

    Xue Sheng All weight is underside

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    Partial list

    List of Chinese martial arts

    And many of those have variants: Chen Taiji, Zhaobao Taiji, Yang Taiji, Wu/Hao Taiji, Wu Taiji, Sun, Taiji, Other styles of Taiji, Shanxi, Hebei, Henan, Xingyiquan, various branches of Bagua, Baji, Tongbei, even various branches of Wing Chun, etc.
     
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