Mis-Understanding of Kung Fu

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Matt Bernius

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These type of statements are usually a sign of ignorance as other posters have pointed out. If one is not exposed to things outside of ones immediate experience, it's difficult to form a correct opinion.

However, I think a lot of this is the fault of the CMA. CMA tend to be more closed door systems (or somewhat closed door) and in some cases a little high-faluteen'. Also, in many cases, CMA programs are not part of larger martial arts networks/associations (unlike Karate and TKD programs). So a lot of people outside of the CMA have not really seen the CMA at work. Plus, there is the entire Government Wu Shu thing which doesn't really help the effectiveness case (because it's designed not to be effective).

All this leads to that we, as CMA people, either have to resign ourselves to live with those comments or do something about it. If you're going to do something about it, remember that actions speak louder than words. I know it may seem frustrating, but at some point you expect people to take an art's claims of at face value (which I think is a big problem in CMA). For example 7sm, is anyone from your school going to enter that Tourney? That would the the best way to show those folks that you and your school are bringing something to the table.

- Matt
 
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7starmantis

7starmantis

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Matt Bernius said:
These type of statements are usually a sign of ignorance as other posters have pointed out. If one is not exposed to things outside of ones immediate experience, it's difficult to form a correct opinion.

However, I think a lot of this is the fault of the CMA. CMA tend to be more closed door systems (or somewhat closed door) and in some cases a little high-faluteen'. Also, in many cases, CMA programs are not part of larger martial arts networks/associations (unlike Karate and TKD programs). So a lot of people outside of the CMA have not really seen the CMA at work. Plus, there is the entire Government Wu Shu thing which doesn't really help the effectiveness case (because it's designed not to be effective).

All this leads to that we, as CMA people, either have to resign ourselves to live with those comments or do something about it. If you're going to do something about it, remember that actions speak louder than words. I know it may seem frustrating, but at some point you expect people to take an art's claims of at face value (which I think is a big problem in CMA). For example 7sm, is anyone from your school going to enter that Tourney? That would the the best way to show those folks that you and your school are bringing something to the table.

- Matt
Some very good points, Matt. I think closeminded ignorance is a huge problem with any art blackening another. I agree that CMA tend to have more close-door (old school) beliefs still floating around in them than others do. That is something I work hard to try and change. However, alot of that is due to customs of how kung fu was integrated into families and lifestyles in the "old world". That is hard to change in people.

I tend to like the "do something about it" approach better. I think it takes a huge joint effort which is starting to be possible in different kung fu styles. There are some great leaders in this "unification" of kung fu especially within styles, such as mantis, hung gar, etc. We created the US Kung Fu Exchange for this very reason (not solely). Its true that at some point it comes to action, and very often the "oldschool" thinkers wont or don't care to take it to that level. I can understand that thinking to a point as well. We did send a few students to the karate tourney (3) all of whom won medals and one who competed against all ages including advanced adults for the Grand Champion of the tourney and he's only 9 years old!! However, it seems those who were closed to kung fu in the beginning are still as closed, maybe more. Its frustrating, but slowly I can see a change in some who are openminded enough to accept that kung fu may actually be effective for fighting or self defense. The sad thing is most of the time it takes these people actually fighting (sparring) us to open their minds. Its not possible to fight everyone. One day people will understand, one day hopefully.

7sm
 
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Matt Bernius

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That's great that students from your school competed and won. That's all you can do. If you show your material and people still ignore it then you tried. And you can't do any more. Don't worry about those people who see and ignore. Concentrate on the people who see and ask good questions.

- Matt
 
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RHD

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7starmantis said:
Some very good points, Matt. I think closeminded ignorance is a huge problem with any art blackening another. I agree that CMA tend to have more close-door (old school) beliefs still floating around in them than others do. That is something I work hard to try and change. However, alot of that is due to customs of how kung fu was integrated into families and lifestyles in the "old world". That is hard to change in people.

CMA has more mysticism and methodology that is far enough out of the "mainstream" of karate and TKD that the general public has no clue what good CMA is or is about. Add to that the ding dong instructors that teach cap fu and it's a bleak picture...

My hat is off to anyone who teaches and publically demonstrates good CMA. I wish there were more of them. I have high hopes that in the long run, it is these schools and instructors that will be in the majority.
Mike
 
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7starmantis

7starmantis

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Matt Bernius said:
That's great that students from your school competed and won. That's all you can do. If you show your material and people still ignore it then you tried. And you can't do any more. Don't worry about those people who see and ignore. Concentrate on the people who see and ask good questions.

- Matt
Thats a good point, thanks for your support, those who ask questions are those who are worth spending the time on I guess. I hope things turn out as optomistic as RHD believes they will, with good CMA being in the majority!

7sm
 
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WLMantisKid

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I also find myself to be stereotyped as something when I go around (with my school's shirt on of course).

Crap like "Do you guys wear a bandana when you do it?"
"Do you have your karate class tonight?"

etc.

The ignorance to what Kung Fu really is, is sort of saddening, but then I remember - I'm the one training and I'm the one who feels much better about myself for doing it, so Kudos to me.
 
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