Chinese Kung Fu and Bruce Lee may have a lot of fanatical fans, but I want to be honest. I’m a big fan of Bruce Lee, but I haven’t completely brainwashed. In fact, Kung Fu is like Bruce Lee. There is no need to think of them as magical.
Why? Below I will list my reasons.
• he lacks the talent to practice martial arts – if you look at Bruce Lee’s overall qualification in martial arts, you will find that he has almost no advantages. When he was a child, he simply learned the basic knowledge of Taijiquan, and then learned Yongchun from ye man, but he was completely a beginner.
He was expelled from school and neglected his studies. He has other martial arts style training partners, but these training partners are not equal to masters, and they can’t bring him any help. Bruce didn’t master any martial arts skills. He just learned and absorbed what he thought was practical from books and slides, and then applied them to his own training. Even Dan Inosanto admitted that Bruce was not qualified to teach martial arts.
• he has no record of fighting or fighting – there is little information about his fighting except in movies. People boasted about what a great soldier he was, but there was no evidence. The struggle between him and Chinese martial artist Huang Zemin is still controversial. Some say he won and others say he lost. Remember, Wang Jiemin is not an ordinary person. He is a kung fu master and Bruce is a beginner of Wing Chun boxing. He may move much faster than many people, but he is not fast enough to be a good soldier.
• his achievements and abilities are exaggerated – Bruce has done many things that seem to be famous in history, but in fact they are not. People boasted that he moved too fast in front of the camera. The problem was that the camera was poor. Some images also recorded Bruce Lee’s use of an inch fist, but the guy stood with his feet together, which made his body very unstable. Anyone who pressed it gently would fall, which did not prove Bruce’s great explosive power.
What about one finger push ups? He is not the only one who can do this. Many martial artists have done it. Easily break the board? Bruce Lee is a person who likes to show off. What he should do is to teach people martial arts, such as what the correct action should be, not to show any combat skills.
• his style is questionable – Bruce Lee has a wealth of knowledge of how to fight, how to adapt and how to create new movements. The problem is that he seems to have a lack of understanding of his modified style. Take his body as an example. Bruce Lee’s weight is very unhealthy. He weighs only about 120 pounds, which will seriously affect your hitting power. Look at people like Mike Tyson and Muhammad Ali. They weigh about 240 pounds. Everyone knows who will fight heavier? Bruce Lee’s boxing may be fast, but compared with heavyweight boxers, he is not worth mentioning.
• he’s a bad teacher – Bruce Lee is actually not good at teaching. He would train his students, but only to test his skills. At first he was selfish. It was not until later that he began to become more modest. Even then, he didn’t know how to teach correctly. He was impatient and vented many setbacks on his students. He doesn’t know how to explain things to people, so if they don’t understand, he will give up. To be good at martial arts, especially as a teacher, you need to be patient and know how to teach.
• this is not to say that he is a liar or a terrible fighter. I basically mean that we need to separate real people from legends. Too many people are obsessed with movies and think Bruce is the fighter of this legend. You can’t blame them because when you really want to support someone, you ignore their shortcomings. Revealing the truth will disappoint them more. Bruce’s reputation may be destroyed, and so will their reputation.
• generally speaking, I’m still a fan. Nevertheless, I don’t worship Bruce as Jesus. He is only a person, an extraordinary person, but he is still a physical child. The same is true of Chinese Kung Fu.
I think many people have great misunderstandings about Chinese Kung Fu. First of all, there are hundreds or even thousands of Kungfu in China. Kungfu is just a general term. Some Kung Fu is about wrestling. Some kung fu styles are good at kicking (North Shaolin). Others like close attack, such as Hongquan or Bajiquan. There are no two exactly the same kung fu styles.
Therefore, if someone tells you that “Kung Fu is not good”, you know that they know nothing about martial arts and Kung Fu, because the so-called “Kung Fu” they talk about actually contains hundreds of different martial arts, and they can’t have experienced or even seen them all.
Hundreds of years ago, Kung Fu was a killing skill, but now, Kung Fu is for self-defense. Officially, it has never been designed as a sport, which is why you rarely see it. In the MMA competition, you will not see the “tiger claw” (targeting the eyes and face) explicitly prohibiting the use of this technology. However, most legal Kung Fu venues have physical combat training as part of their curriculum, usually Sanda.
Most children today are obsessed with Sanda and MMA. They even said, “if there is no action method in MMA, it will not ‘work'”, which is completely wrong.
Martial arts training not only teaches you how to use skills to drive power, but also teaches you how to execute instinctively without thinking or planning. Training can help you understand how to hit, be hit, fight back, and how to do this with the best strength and combination. It teaches you to use your whole body as a weapon, combining blows (hands, feet, knees, elbows, and even the head), sweeping, grappling, throwing, and grasping according to style. It teaches you to defend even when attacking, and to counterattack flexibly when your opponent moves towards you unexpectedly.
In my 40 years of martial arts career, I have observed all kinds of fighting styles. At least in the United States, it seems to be developing in the direction of Chinese Kung Fu. Americans are pragmatic. If we find ourselves in a fierce fight, we are very sure that we are in serious trouble. This also explains the growing popularity of Krav Maga, Muay Thai and kembo. Compared with traditional styles such as karate, Taekwondo or various kung fu styles, these styles are more modern and therefore more suitable for street fighting, but if you believe this, you are very wrong.
This misunderstanding comes from the misinterpretation of traditional style, practice practices, fighting (or form) and boxing skills. For example, think of traditional karate style, deep forward posture, strong sprint and kick, which seems easy to avoid, or traditional Taekwondo. In the 1980s, when I was in graduate school, as a 28 year old black belt student from the fighting school, I was invited to participate in the training of the University Taekwondo Club. They are very traditional. They don’t hit the opponent’s face directly in the competition. This martial arts emphasizes kicking, so they face each other with their hands down and their heads exposed. It’s unwise to fight in the street.
Or it’s the carefully choreographed style of martial arts. It doesn’t seem realistic, does it? Unlike MMA. The deep posture of karate and Taekwondo will make the leg muscles very strong. The high kick used in actual combat with prepared opponents can improve flexibility and agility. Training these kicks can produce great strength and teach you how to combine kicks with destructive effects. Traditional Kung Fu moves are designed in this way, which has been the case for hundreds of years.
It’s not easy. For example, take a look at how traditional Sanda karate practitioners perform round kicks. Starting from the deep forward position, put your hands on your fists, lift your hind legs to your waist, perpendicular to the ground, then push your legs around, rotate your lower foot, and break your legs from your knees. It doesn’t seem practical, but it’s lethal.
Now, if you try to practice without training, you will find it very difficult, but a few years later, when you can do it effortlessly, you can easily hit at a very high speed and throw it in any position. This is what traditionalists do: they use seemingly impractical training methods, but they can cultivate strength, speed, agility, balance and strength, and the above movements and training methods come from traditional Chinese martial arts.