Strength Training in the Traditional Chinese Martial Arts - From Kung Fu Tea

Xue Sheng

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Through a Lens Darkly (22): Heavy Knives and Stone Locks – Strength Training in the Traditional Chinese Martial Arts

One occasionally hears assertions that strength training is unimportant in the traditional Chinese martial arts, or that Chinese boxers and soldiers did not value muscular development. A quick examination of China’s rich indigenous physical culture shows that this is simply not the case. While strength may have been downplayed by reformers seeking to create “martial arts for the masses” in the 1930s-1960s, this is not an accurate reflection of the genesis or original emphasis of these arts.


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drop bear

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Nice.

The method just recently being reflected in modern day training.
 

Flying Crane

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yup, i've been a proponent of training with heavy weaponry for a long time, including swords, spears, staffs, and drawing heavy bows. good stuff.
 
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Xue Sheng

Xue Sheng

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It's not clear what you want to discuss here.

As I have said before when you have posted this. If I want to discuss something it will be clear, at times I post things and/or links for general information and if a discussion develops around that its ok with me. but I have no discussion in mind at this time
 

wingchun100

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Well, this is no surprise. While I do believe body mechanics can help you to hit harder than someone with more muscles, that does not mean strength is not important. In fact, the legend behind martial arts is that an Indian monk introduced a series of exercises to Chinese monks who were in bad physical health. They learned how to apply these exercises to self-defense, and thus martial arts were born.

Again, that is not gospel truth. Just one legend I heard.
 

Thunder Foot

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I agree with this and its modern resurgence in the Martial Arts. One thing thats not quite clear to me though is if this is widespread across most fists, or if its characteristic of only a few? There must be some sets which augment a specific fist, and likewise practice of the wrong sets may be detrimental to a particular attribute a fist may rely on. So my question is how can we come to understand these methods toward the benefit of our own fists?
 

punisher73

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One of the books I have read was "72 Consumnate Arts: Secrets of the Shaolin Temple" (purchased through Wing Lam), many of the exercises listed are almost the same as modern day strength training. Things like deadlift, squats overhead pressing etc.

Another book that catalogs many of the strength training exercises from a slightly different perspective is "The Art of Hojo Undo" by Michael Clarke. The Naha styles of karate imported these exercises from their experience and training in China.

In fact, in Goju-Ryu and Uechi-Ryu the older method of training before the widespread of karate consisted of the first 2-3 years of the training concentrating on Sanchin and the Hojo Undo type exercises to condition and strengthen the body. I realize that this is looking at kung fu practices, but I think that it shows a direct correlation that strength training was a very important part of martial training.
 

clfsean

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Another book that catalogs many of the strength training exercises from a slightly different perspective is "The Art of Hojo Undo" by Michael Clarke. The Naha styles of karate imported these exercises from their experience and training in China.

In fact, in Goju-Ryu and Uechi-Ryu the older method of training before the widespread of karate consisted of the first 2-3 years of the training concentrating on Sanchin and the Hojo Undo type exercises to condition and strengthen the body. I realize that this is looking at kung fu practices, but I think that it shows a direct correlation that strength training was a very important part of martial training.

The Naha styles are IMO direct cousins & direct examples of CMA in Okinawa. So their mention (again IMO) fits here. They came out of Fujian. In Fujian those practices are abundant in the styles there (Bak Hok, Ngo Cho, Hakka) so it just shows where they came from to me. Good stuff.
 
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