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Starjumper7

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Hi, I thought this beginner's forum would be a good place to say hello. Hello.
Actually I am pretty much a beginner in wing chun, but I have some close relationships to it.

I lived in Seattle for most of my adult life, before moving to Ecuador, and I was lucky to have been accepted into a semi secret little family that was centered around my main teacher, named Fook Yueng. I don't know if any of you have heard of him.

Most martial artists have not heard of him because he wished to remain hidden from the public eye, but he is famous in a way, or famous and much loved by the small community that knows about him. He was Bruce Lee's uncle and main kung fu teacher. Bruce came to live with him in Seattle so that he could go to the University of Washington. Bruce lived with him for three years and was his student for a total of eight years.

Mr. Yueng was in the Red Boat Opera. I think some of you will have heard of Red Boat Wing Chun, well, Mr. Yueng was the Monkey King, the star of the opera, and so was Bruce's father, so they were the closest of kung fu brothers. The reason that Bruce said that he made it up is because Mr. Yueng did not want him to tell people who he learned his stuff from, because he didn't want people bothering him for lessons or challenging him to fights; he only taught Bruce as a relative, in private.

I was also Mr. Yueng's student for eight years, but he taught me chi kung, not kung fu. However, I got to learn some of the kung fu methods from some of his other student's, one who was probably more advanced than Bruce. I never was interested in martial arts or fighting, but I got to see what they were doing, and it was so amazing that I became interested purely from a scientific standpoint - or so I thought. It turns out I've been in this system from past lives.

Anyway, my primary interest is in real nei kung (as opposed to fake nei kung, which is what the public has been led to believe) and I like to share methods of chi power cultivation.

Mr. Yueng knew over a hundred martial arts, but his main ones, or favorite ones, were tai chi, wing chun, bagua, and praying mantis; and they all blended together in his mind, which is something that happens when you "arrive at the formless". So perhaps I can comment on some of the combat methods discussed here on the forum.

Steve
 
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Starjumper7

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Welcome to MartialTalk.

Thank you.

Welcome

But knew 100 martial arts?....hmmm

That's what I was told, more than a hundred actually. It's not so surprising if you think about it. Someone who, at ten, joined the opera which traveled all over China's coasts and big rivers, was one of the main stars, and was exposed to the wicked underbelly of the Chinese killing community for decades ... because the Red Boat Opera was a cover for a troupe of anti government assassins ... could have learned very many martial arts.

When I asked Mr. Yueng who his teachers were he said "everybody in China" He said that all the masters liked him because he was a good looking kid and intelligent.

Those types of masters and those kinds of days are just about all gone now.
 

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Thank you.



That's what I was told, more than a hundred actually. It's not so surprising if you think about it. Someone who, at ten, joined the opera which traveled all over China's coasts and big rivers, was one of the main stars, and was exposed to the wicked underbelly of the Chinese killing community for decades ... because the Red Boat Opera was a cover for a troupe of anti government assassins ... could have learned very many martial arts.

When I asked Mr. Yueng who his teachers were he said "everybody in China" He said that all the masters liked him because he was a good looking kid and intelligent.

Those types of masters and those kinds of days are just about all gone now.
Okay
 

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Someone might feasibly be exposed to 100 martial arts if they travel a lot and meet a lot of martial artists. If they spent even a month on each one - without breaks - that'd take more than 8 years of nonstop training. And that'd be just a month of each, not nearly enough to claim they "know" that art, IMO. 6 months each, still training nonstop, they'd need 50 years. And that's with only 6 months in any given art. Spend the time to really develop any of them, and you throw all the math off.
 

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Someone might feasibly be exposed to 100 martial arts if they travel a lot and meet a lot of martial artists. If they spent even a month on each one - without breaks - that'd take more than 8 years of nonstop training. And that'd be just a month of each, not nearly enough to claim they "know" that art, IMO. 6 months each, still training nonstop, they'd need 50 years. And that's with only 6 months in any given art. Spend the time to really develop any of them, and you throw all the math off.

Lot of claims like that made by Chinese MA teachers in the West. And many more made by their adoring students. Chances are he was very good and actually trained a few, but far FAR from 100s. And he was actually, allegedly, well trained in a few.
 

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But knew 100 martial arts?....

That's what I was told, more than a hundred actually

Someone might feasibly be exposed to 100 martial arts if they travel a lot and meet a lot of martial artists. If they spent even a month on each one - without breaks - that'd take more than 8 years of nonstop training. And that'd be just a month of each, not nearly enough to claim they "know" that art, IMO. 6 months each, still training nonstop, they'd need 50 years. And that's with only 6 months in any given art. Spend the time to really develop any of them, and you throw all the math off.
I guess it depends on what you mean by "knowing" a martial art. (Also on how you count sub-styles within a system.)

I'll look at my own training for comparison. I've never trained martial arts full-time professionally, as Mr. Yueng did. I also did not start training as young as he did and am not yet as old as he was when he passed. I'll therefore allow that he could have easily twice my experience and possibly much more than that.

I just did a quick count of all the arts I've had at least a few hours of training in, and came up with 22. If you split that up by sub-styles (i.e. Inosanto-blend Kali vs FCS Kali), then I could bump that up to maybe 25 or so.

If you limit it to arts I have at least 100 hours of training in, then it drops down to maybe 10 or 11.

If you limit it to arts I understand well enough to teach someone else reliable functional skills, then it becomes 4 or 5.

If you limit it to arts I'm actually kind of good at ... maybe 2 or 3, maybe just 1, depending on how high your standards are.

If we say that Mr. Yueng had 4x my experience, then I could believe he had exposure to 100 styles. I suspect the ratio of arts he had exposure to compared to arts he had significant training in was probably something like what I've outlined for myself.
 

Monkey Turned Wolf

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I guess it depends on what you mean by "knowing" a martial art. (Also on how you count sub-styles within a system.)

I'll look at my own training for comparison. I've never trained martial arts full-time professionally, as Mr. Yueng did. I also did not start training as young as he did and am not yet as old as he was when he passed. I'll therefore allow that he could have easily twice my experience and possibly much more than that.

I just did a quick count of all the arts I've had at least a few hours of training in, and came up with 22. If you split that up by sub-styles (i.e. Inosanto-blend Kali vs FCS Kali), then I could bump that up to maybe 25 or so.

If you limit it to arts I have at least 100 hours of training in, then it drops down to maybe 10 or 11.

If you limit it to arts I understand well enough to teach someone else reliable functional skills, then it becomes 4 or 5.

If you limit it to arts I'm actually kind of good at ... maybe 2 or 3, maybe just 1, depending on how high your standards are.

If we say that Mr. Yueng had 4x my experience, then I could believe he had exposure to 100 styles. I suspect the ratio of arts he had exposure to compared to arts he had significant training in was probably something like what I've outlined for myself.
I think this is exactly it. He may have had exposure to a ton of different arts, especially if he was actively meeting martial artists while traveling, with some of the arts being similar enough he could use them to learn something about the new ones. Another thing to keep in mind regarding Gerry’s math is that he’s assuming one art at a time. That’s not necessarily a safe assumption, since people could easily be training 3 or even 4 arts at once, especially if they’re compatible.
 

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I guess it depends on what you mean by "knowing" a martial art. (Also on how you count sub-styles within a system.)

I'll look at my own training for comparison. I've never trained martial arts full-time professionally, as Mr. Yueng did. I also did not start training as young as he did and am not yet as old as he was when he passed. I'll therefore allow that he could have easily twice my experience and possibly much more than that.

I just did a quick count of all the arts I've had at least a few hours of training in, and came up with 22. If you split that up by sub-styles (i.e. Inosanto-blend Kali vs FCS Kali), then I could bump that up to maybe 25 or so.

If you limit it to arts I have at least 100 hours of training in, then it drops down to maybe 10 or 11.

If you limit it to arts I understand well enough to teach someone else reliable functional skills, then it becomes 4 or 5.

If you limit it to arts I'm actually kind of good at ... maybe 2 or 3, maybe just 1, depending on how high your standards are.

If we say that Mr. Yueng had 4x my experience, then I could believe he had exposure to 100 styles. I suspect the ratio of arts he had exposure to compared to arts he had significant training in was probably something like what I've outlined for myself.
Yeah maybe but the thing saying he "knows" 100 martial arts. That's obviously a thing that's said to make him sound better. I could say I kmow taekwondo because I did a week of it in the 90s but doesn't mean I'm any good at it or can show you anything of it now
 

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I think this is exactly it. He may have had exposure to a ton of different arts, especially if he was actively meeting martial artists while traveling, with some of the arts being similar enough he could use them to learn something about the new ones. Another thing to keep in mind regarding Gerry’s math is that he’s assuming one art at a time. That’s not necessarily a safe assumption, since people could easily be training 3 or even 4 arts at once, especially if they’re compatible.
Agreed, though three arts at once doesn't really change the math. 3 arts for 3 months is about the same exposure as 1 art at a time for 1 month each.
 

Monkey Turned Wolf

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Agreed, though three arts at once doesn't really change the math. 3 arts for 3 months is about the same exposure as 1 art at a time for 1 month each.
I was thinking more for 6 months. So he could train 3 arts for 6 months, versus 1 for six months, and shorten the time needed to reach 100 from 50 to a little under 20. Or study 3 for a year, and reach 100 arts in a little over 30 years. Which is theoretically doable, and I could understand someone stating they trained in an art after doing it for a year.
 

JowGaWolf

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Agreed, though three arts at once doesn't really change the math. 3 arts for 3 months is about the same exposure as 1 art at a time for 1 month each.

It also depends on how similar the martial art system is. For example, I don't think it would be difficult for me to learn Choy Li Fut, Choy Ga, Hung Ga, Jow Ga, Mizong, and Lama Pai at the same time. Because some of the techniques are similar or a variation what I already do in Jow Ga. If I had time and money that I can probably learn all of these at the same time. The most difficult part would be not the learning , but trying to prevent techniques from one system blending with another.

The hardest part would be me trying to keep the techniques separate in my training and just memory power along would be difficult. For every system, with a good memory I could learn 2 forms per system, per year. So for my example, that's 14 forms in 1 year. I would have to have a memory like my son to work at that pace.

The thing is after that first year the math gets really nasty to learn 28 forms in 2 years, 42 forms in 3 years and that's only covering 21 systems.There is just too much to overcome at that pace. Even at 3 year.

I'm thinking this " was in the Red Boat Opera" is similar to how many martial arts that today's action stars are exposed to, when making movies. If that's how the 100 count happened then I can see this as being realistic.
 

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I was thinking more for 6 months. So he could train 3 arts for 6 months, versus 1 for six months, and shorten the time needed to reach 100 from 50 to a little under 20. Or study 3 for a year, and reach 100 arts in a little over 30 years. Which is theoretically doable, and I could understand someone stating they trained in an art after doing it for a year.
But you couldn't maintain what you learned. Things will start to blend and you'll forget what techniques go with what system. Eventually things will fade. Sort like when you don't practice a form for a year, you begin to forget. stuff
 
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Starjumper7

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Good comments, possibly 'knows' isn't the best word to use, but that's the word that was used when it was told to me. I never implied mastered. What I was thinking is that when you are exposed to so many styles of martial arts and most of them are based on Taoist principles or philosophy, then there is a lot of similarity. From my exposure to these arts I've learned that there are tremendous amounts of variations to any move, and there are also a lot of similar moves that run across different systems. With applications that are similar to each other but have little differences you could say they are the same application, but sometimes approached, expressed, and explained differently.

I call this "arriving at the formless" when things all blend together, and you can see the sameness and the underlying principles. I was told that Mr. Yueng knew so many arts that they all blended together in his mind as a single thing, which is normal. Arriving at the formless is one of the big goals in Taoism and in tai chi as well. I suppose that arriving at the formless is embedded in the wing chun systems too, but I'm not familiar enough with wing chun to make that pronouncement.

Anyway, what was really amazing about Mr. Yueng was his bright energy that sparkled, and his joy, which was contagious. He chi power was vast, and his psychic abilities made him essentially omniscient. He was one of the more advanced chi kung masters one could hope to find anywhere in the world, which is another reason he stayed hidden.
 
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Starjumper7

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Speaking of ability to learn things quickly or not I have a little story. Andy Dale was my main Yang stle tai chi teacher, and Tchoung Ta Tchen was his teacher, my grandfather teacher, who I got to go see quite a few times at his home. He had been a general in the Chinese army, and he was a real tough and serious dude. He was known as a grandmaster and was famous for being able to push people "really far" before they touch down. Anyway, Andy learned a new tai chi form, and it took him about a month to get the whole form memorized, then he showed it to Tchoung one time. A month later he went to see Tchoung, and Tchoung did the form for him, he did it perfectly, but incorporated more of the correct tai chi principles in it. After seeing it only once. Just to show some high level abilites = )
 

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Speaking of ability to learn things quickly or not I have a little story. Andy Dale was my main Yang stle tai chi teacher, and Tchoung Ta Tchen was his teacher, my grandfather teacher, who I got to go see quite a few times at his home. He had been a general in the Chinese army, and he was a real tough and serious dude. He was known as a grandmaster and was famous for being able to push people "really far" before they touch down. Anyway, Andy learned a new tai chi form, and it took him about a month to get the whole form memorized, then he showed it to Tchoung one time. A month later he went to see Tchoung, and Tchoung did the form for him, he did it perfectly, but incorporated more of the correct tai chi principles in it. After seeing it only once. Just to show some high level abilites = )
As you said.....a nice story...


I've heard that exact same story said about Bruce Lee and loads of other martial artists
 
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