How do the Chinese view ground-fighting?

geezer

Grandmaster
MT Mentor
Joined
Oct 20, 2007
Messages
7,356
Reaction score
3,557
Location
Phoenix, AZ
I've heard it said that all the great civilizations had some form of wrestling or grappling art. It seems to be something universal to the human condition. On the other hand, some of the southern Chinese Kung-fu sifus I've had the opportunity to meet held ground-fighting in very low esteem. Now I've heard a bit about shuai chao and mongolian wrestling in the North. But in the South is there a cultural prejudice against "taking it to the ground"? One Southern Chinese sifu I knew didn't mind dropping down to strike, press a lock, or slam his knee onto a fallen opponent, but disdained those who "roll around on the ground like dogs".

Now in today's world where we see a terrific revival of interest in grappling arts, this attitude seems dangerously limiting, rather like learning to fight back when kicks and "low blows" were considered "dirty fighting". My question is whether this apparent bias against ground-fighting was just an idiosyncracy of the sifus I met, or does it reflect traditional southern Chinese attitudes?
 

seasoned

MT Senior Moderator
Staff member
Lifetime Supporting Member
Joined
Apr 19, 2007
Messages
11,250
Reaction score
1,227
Location
Lives in Texas
A paragraph taken from a book I have read. The name of the book is The Essence of Shaolin White Crane Written by, Dr. Yang, Jwing-Ming
(For example, it is well known in China that in order to compete and survive in a battle against other martial styles, each martial style must contain four basic categories of fighting techniques. They are: hand striking, kicking, wrestling, and Qin Na (seizing and controlling techniques). When these techniques were exported to Japan, they splintered over time to become many styles. For example, punching and kicking became Karate, wrestling became Judo, and Qin Na became Jujitsu. Actually the essence and secret of Chinese martial arts developed in Buddhist and Daoist monasteries was not completely revealed to Chinese lat society until the Qing Dynasty (1644-1912)A.D.). These secrets have been revealed to western countrues only in the last three decades).
I study and teach Okinawan GoJu and was introduced to this book by a friend. What interested me was something written on the cover that says ( The Foundation of White Crane Kung Fu and The Root of Okinawan Karate). Over the years I have come to believe that GoJu Kata, as well as other Kata from other styles contains all that is needed to fight an enemy. Although kata is upright, I feel it contains many techniques found in ground fighting. For this very reason I feel it is important for everyone that studies a traditional martial art to adhere to their kata and embrace the content, and you will find all that you need. What was handed down from warriors of old were kata, not just techniques, but techniques. Logic tells me that in order for an art to be well rounded it needs to encompass all elements of fighting, or what good is it. Any good book must be read many time to fully understand its content, Kata is the book of martial arts and the means by which the arts were pasted down. Love your art, love your Kata. I will not take someone to the ground, but I may end up there. Ending up there does not mean I should stay there any more then if I were in a diner in a booth having lunch and was attacked. I would fight by way out of the booth just as I would fight my way off the ground. No special techniques for the booth and no special techniques for the ground, just kata and survival. Sorry I am so winded, I am a morning person. I hope you dont get board reading. J
 

clfsean

Senior Master
MT Mentor
MTS Alumni
Joined
Jun 15, 2004
Messages
3,687
Reaction score
400
Location
Metropolitan Tokyo
From the ground....like everybody else..DUH! :bangahead:

hhehe... cute..

I can't speak for CMA in general or even CMA in general, but from what I've been taught by my sifu, the outlook is hit them with the ground to set up the finish. You don't want to be on the ground necessarily because you could be the one that's finished. Besides in the South of China... it's flat, rainy much of the year, ground is soft once you get away from the cities & larger villages. Ground fighting becomes closer to an old fashion mud pit rasslin match.

Funny thing though... there's a pretty rare Fujianese style Gou Quan (Dog Boxing). It's supposedly all ground based or a vast majority of it. I've seen a modern wushu version of it. If that was based off anything like the real thing, it's interesting, but still not rolling around in the mud style ground work.
 

Tez3

Sr. Grandmaster
Supporting Member
Joined
Oct 13, 2006
Messages
27,600
Reaction score
4,895
Location
England
Having just got a marvellous book for my birthday from my daughter I've just looked Chinese grappling/wrestling up and come across "Shuai Jiao", comes from Jiangsu province and is a grappling style used mostly by the police and military now. The book has a lot of photos of this style on quite a few pages which includes a very good throw I'm planning on using in MMA!

The book is called The Way of the Warrior by Chris Crudelli the guy who does the programme Mind, Body and Kickass Moves. It has what must be every martial art in the world in it. A sheer joy for people who like me love all martial arts (which is why I wander all over the different sections of MT) it is a big book, loads of wonderful photos of practictioners and weapons, has a big Chinese section too. Covers martial arts we've all heard of and many we haven't. Absolutely fascintating.
 

Xue Sheng

All weight is underside
Joined
Jan 8, 2006
Messages
34,145
Reaction score
9,160
Location
North American Tectonic Plate
hhehe... cute..

I can't speak for CMA in general or even CMA in general, but from what I've been taught by my sifu, the outlook is hit them with the ground to set up the finish. You don't want to be on the ground necessarily because you could be the one that's finished. Besides in the South of China... it's flat, rainy much of the year, ground is soft once you get away from the cities & larger villages. Ground fighting becomes closer to an old fashion mud pit rasslin match.

Funny thing though... there's a pretty rare Fujianese style Gou Quan (Dog Boxing). It's supposedly all ground based or a vast majority of it. I've seen a modern wushu version of it. If that was based off anything like the real thing, it's interesting, but still not rolling around in the mud style ground work.

That is pretty much the idea. On the ground can mean dead. A lot of CMA styles come from a time when carrying rather sharp weapons was rather common.

But there are grappling styles as clfsean said there is Gou Quan (Dog Boxing) and as others have said there is Shuaijiao and you can find parts of Shuaijiao in a lot of CMA styles because Shuaijiao is rather old. And as seasoned said he read from Dr Yang's books I can say he said something very similar in a seminar about 10 years ago. I do not remember the exact quote but it was rather circular Shuaijiao fought kicking a bunching qinna fought Shuaijiao and kicking a punching fought qinna or something like that.

Something to take into consideration when talking Shuaijiao. It is a part of the Sanda I have trained and the idea is to throw your opponent to the ground hard enough so he may not be able to get up.

And to come into the 21st century there is now a BJJ school in Beijing
 

clfsean

Senior Master
MT Mentor
MTS Alumni
Joined
Jun 15, 2004
Messages
3,687
Reaction score
400
Location
Metropolitan Tokyo
That is pretty much the idea. On the ground can mean dead. A lot of CMA styles come from a time when carrying rather sharp weapons was rather common.

And still is in some circles! :headbangin:

But there are grappling styles as clfsean said there is Gou Quan (Dog Boxing) and as others have said there is Shuaijiao and you can find parts of Shuaijiao in a lot of CMA styles because Shuaijiao is rather old. And as seasoned said he read from Dr Yang's books I can say he said something very similar in a seminar about 10 years ago. I do not remember the exact quote but it was rather circular Shuaijiao fought kicking a bunching qinna fought Shuaijiao and kicking a punching fought qinna or something like that.

Honestly I've seen very few CMA's that don't have shuaijiao & qinna in some form or fashion. It may not be called as such, but in technique & execution, that's the end result.

Something to take into consideration when talking Shuaijiao. It is a part of the Sanda I have trained and the idea is to throw your opponent to the ground hard enough so he may not be able to get up.

I've seen that in person in China. I was watching Sanda practice at Liang Yi quan's school in Dengfeng. It was during the grand opening of his school after it moved. The matches were between students in his school, but when they put each other down, they weren't doing it nicely. This was on a Lei Tai. Saw some more of the same at the Shaolin Temple stadium on the clay. Same intent behind the throw/take down.

And to come into the 21st century there is now a BJJ school in Beijing

Hong Kong too... or at least one practice group I know of working with somebody BJJ trained & teaching.
 
OP
G

geezer

Grandmaster
MT Mentor
Joined
Oct 20, 2007
Messages
7,356
Reaction score
3,557
Location
Phoenix, AZ
hhehe... cute..

I can't speak for CMA in general or even CMA in general, but from what I've been taught by my sifu, the outlook is hit them with the ground to set up the finish. You don't want to be on the ground necessarily because you could be the one that's finished...

Yeah, that's pretty much the way it was presented to me too. We did train throwing, falling, and if you were thrown, how to fight from the ground until you could get back up. But that was seen as an "emergency" situation... not where you wanted to be. Since the recent craze for BJJ, like a lot of folks, we've worked harder on addressing how to deal with the grappler. And, yes, the system does have techniques to address that. Still, I feel it's an area that may need "continuing development".
 

Latest Discussions

Top