Martial arts in Middlesbrough, UK?

Willow

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Hi everyone. I’m interested in learning Chinese martial arts (particularly Shaolin Kung Fu), but I don’t know where to go. My university has Shaolin Kung Fu, but it doesn’t look reputable. Are there any reputable martial arts places in this area, or just outside of it? I’m not looking for self defense as much as the authentic Chinese art. Thanks for any advice.
 

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In what way does the group at your uni not look reputable?
 
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Willow

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In what way does the group at your uni not look reputable?

The leader claims to be a black belt (apparently in Kung Fu they don’t do belts) and they seem to practise a non-existant style called “Flowing Water.”
 
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Willow

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Who cares? If you enjoy that's all that matters authentic or not

I feel like I’d be making a mockery of the art if I chose somewhere that claimed to practise Shaolin Kung Fu, but actually does not.
 

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I feel like I’d be making a mockery of the art if I chose somewhere that claimed to practise Shaolin Kung Fu, but actually does not.
Again who cares? It's a hobby not a job all this authentic Kung fu or traditional pure Kung fu or whatever cool sounding names they use in the movies, if you have fun and enjoy yourself and it's convinent. That's way more important that being "pure" tell me would you rather train at a pure club and hate it but do it because it's pure or train at a not pure school and actually enjoy it
 
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Willow

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Again who cares? It's a hobby not a job all this authentic Kung fu or traditional pure Kung fu or whatever cool sounding names they use in the movies, if you have fun and enjoy yourself and it's convinent. That's way more important that being "pure" tell me would you rather train at a pure club and hate it but do it because it's pure or train at a not pure school and actually enjoy it

I’m not sure I’d enjoy it all that much knowing that what I was doing wasn’t real. I mean, what’s the point of going through all that effort if I’m not doing it correctly? Anyway, it’s personal preference for me. I’m not here to argue about what is “best.” I’m here to find a place to train.
 

Martial D

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I’m not sure I’d enjoy it all that much knowing that what I was doing wasn’t real. I mean, what’s the point of going through all that effort if I’m not doing it correctly? Anyway, it’s personal preference for me. I’m not here to argue about what is “best.” I’m here to find a place to train.
Keep in mind, what is 'correct' in terms of traditional styles is simply what some guy decided they should be. There are a LOT of styles, which fragmented into other styles, which subdivided into different branches of the same style. Imagine a cluster of trees, with the trunks being ancient 'proto-styles'(mostly lost to antiquity) and all the many many intermingling branches at the top being currently practiced styles.

Who is fit to say which among them is ' correct'?

My solution has been to use what is effective vs a live opponent as the bar by which to measure this, but that has lead me to all but abandon the traditional approach.
 
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Willow

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Keep in mind, what is 'correct' in terms of traditional styles is simply what some guy decided they should be. There are a LOT of styles, which fragmented into other styles, which subdivided into different branches of the same style. Imagine a cluster of trees, with the trunks being ancient 'proto-styles'(mostly lost to antiquity) and all the many many intermingling branches at the top being currently practiced styles.

Who is fit to say which among them is ' correct'?

My solution has been to use what is effective vs a live opponent as the bar by which to measure this, but that has lead me to all but abandon the traditional approach.

Okay, I see what you’re saying. In that case, my question should’ve been: which school near me would be best to make sure I don’t develop bad habits in case I want to train somewhere else or in China?
 

Martial D

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Okay, I see what you’re saying. In that case, my question should’ve been: which school near me would be best to make sure I don’t develop bad habits in case I want to train somewhere else or in China?
There again, what you learn here is going to be different regardless, even if advertised as the same style. The exception would be if the style was strictly regulated by an org as per curriculum (sorta like how WT has kukkiwon)
 
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Willow

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There again, what you learn here is going to be different regardless, even if advertised as the same style. The exception would be if the style was strictly regulated by an org as per curriculum (sorta like how WT has kukkiwon)

Does that mean that I can’t actually train between two different schools?
 

Martial D

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Does that mean that I can’t actually train between two different schools?
Sure you can. Just keep in mind there will be variation in techniques and training methods between schools.

If you focus on being good in general rather than being good at some specific way of doing things you'll be fine. I use techniques from many different sources.
 

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I’m not sure I’d enjoy it all that much knowing that what I was doing wasn’t real. I mean, what’s the point of going through all that effort if I’m not doing it correctly? Anyway, it’s personal preference for me. I’m not here to argue about what is “best.” I’m here to find a place to train.
Just because it's not "pure" doesn't mean it's not real. You want to train then find a place and go and train. That's what we did before Internet forums existed. You'd have to actually leave the house to find out about it lol
 
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Willow

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Sure you can. Just keep in mind there will be variation in techniques and training methods between schools.

If you focus on being good in general rather than being good at some specific way of doing things you'll be fine. I use techniques from many different sources.

Okay, thank you. I was afraid that I would get a bit confused if things are done too differently. Additionally, I was worried about making a mockery out of the art itself...
 

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Okay, I see what you’re saying. In that case, my question should’ve been: which school near me would be best to make sure I don’t develop bad habits in case I want to train somewhere else or in China?
Why would what you learn over here be bad habits just because it's different in China? China's not some magical temple with all the answers. China has good and places just as every other country does, don't always believe that just because it's in the home place that it's perfect there. It's not
 
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Willow

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Why would what you learn over here be bad habits just because it's different in China? China's not some magical temple with all the answers. China has good and places just as every other country does, don't always believe that just because it's in the home place that it's perfect there. It's not

I know that not everywhere in the UK is terrible. That’s why I’m asking what places near me are good. However, if I train with Shaolin monks, then obviously they can teach me the real deal. Unfortunately, I can only spend a certain amount of time in China, though.
 

Martial D

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Why would what you learn over here be bad habits just because it's different in China? China's not some magical temple with all the answers. China has good and places just as every other country does, don't always believe that just because it's in the home place that it's perfect there. It's not
Actually, according to many sources, actual traditional Kung Fu is difficult to find in China, and is actually far more readily available in the USA.
 
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Willow

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Actually, according to many sources, actual traditional Kung Fu is difficult to find in China, and is actually far more readily available in the USA.

Really? I hope there are boarding/holiday opportunities for me in the US, then. I’m unfortunately not from there. I have a US citizenship, but I’ve lived in the UK since I was a toddler.
 
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