View Full Version : Just another doubt: what about Wushu?
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08-25-2002, 06:50 AM
HI everybody, I hope you're all in good shape.
I've decided to practice a martial art with the purpose of improve my agility and control of my moves and body, and to learn a bit of self-control on my mind; I'm not very interested about self-defense.
I thought that Aikido could be the answer, but I've just seen "The One" that introduced to me Wushu, and I noticed that its moves also need a lot of self control, and are based on "evasion, rotation, centralization", like Aikido, if I understood well; more, I went to Jet Li's web site and I found very equilibrate words, like I usually don't associate with martial arts (don't counting Aikido).
I wonder: is it true, or am I wrong? Is Wushu a possible alternate choice to Aikido? Did anyone practiced both?
08-25-2002, 09:53 AM
I think you should watch some real wushu (and aikido) before deciding. I'm not saying that Jet Li is not a "real" martial artist, but I just finished watching Romeo Must Die and I thought it was a bit too much, you know what I mean? I mean there's acrobatic prowess, ki and everything, but there's still a little thing called gravity..... Wire work and choreographed fights don't really display an art's best qualities..... that's why it's always satisfying to watch good ol' Seagal break a guy's wrist/elbow/face and toss him into a window or whatever :D .
08-25-2002, 10:45 AM
I am watching a very interesting documentary on Bruce Lee. The funny thing is that Bruce Lee at the time was in phenomenal shape. He saw Martial arts in general in the late 60's and early 70's as not being very realistic.
In eventing Jeet Kune Do he attempted to remove anything that he did not consider efficient or effective.
His belief was why do five backflips, a bunch of hand postures, crouches, etc if you can quickly and effectively.
So, I think it is possible to be very effective without being 5 7 135 lbs of raw muscle.
There are several basic combat principles that must be adhered to no matter what.
Speed, agility, stealth, economy of force, suprise, audacity, security (there are a few more that escape me right now).
Bottom line is, that all these in theory should be kept in balance, your tool box. depending on the situation...you might need to employ certain ones over others.
I think as you mature as a martial artist, speed (a relative concept), becomes less important as say agility, and economy of force that you gain from experience.
That said, one should not use this as an excuse to "get fat" or out of shape. A good martial artist will do well to matain his physical condition as best he or she is able to!
08-25-2002, 08:55 PM
"The One" is the wrong movie to see if you want a good representation of Wushu. A better movie to see is "Iron and Silk" with Qingfu Pan. It was released here in the states around 1990. Go out to a few dojos and watch it in person to help you make up your mind. We all here Love Aikido, but I do not know if it's the art to pick for keeping fit. You might want to look into Tai-kwan-do, or kenpo-karate. At least for me, randori has been the main training in Aikido that has been intense, or high energy, the majority has been gentle, but firm.
It's all about connection.
I think the intensity of training depends from dojo to dojo. Taking a look at this past poll (http://www.aikiweb.com/polls/results.html?poll_id=97), it looks like the average number of falls a person takes per hour is (reportedly) about 31 to 50. To me, that seems extremely low -- that's less than a fall a minute!
I remember talking to one of our senior members on how many falls he thought we took in an hour. He said that he'd actually thought about it a while back and said that in one of the high-paced classes, he thought we probably take somewhere in the order of 300 falls in an hour.
In any case, if you want to improve your fitness, find a good fitness gym. If you want to improve your hand-eye coordination and agility, take up juggling (really!). And, if you want to learn aikido, take aikido...
08-25-2002, 11:34 PM
I think the Wushu your talking about is just chinese MA mixed with loads of outragous acrobatics. I doubt the average person could ever get good enough to actually use it effectively (or at all for that matter), unless of course they began taking it as a child. Check out here (http://www.tntwushu.com/) and here (http://sonkal.taekwondo.cz/videogalerie-en.php?rok=2001 ) for videos of championships. (the last one has videos of lots of other MA's as well). If your really just interested in all that flowingness...stuff ;) , you should look into Tai Chi (a much more realistic goal IMO :p ).
08-25-2002, 11:38 PM
The One showed you a greatly dramatised sequence of two internal Kung Fu arts namely
Hsing I and Pa Kua. Hsing I being the harder, linear and more 'powerful' whereas Pak Kua based on the I Ching (book of changes) emphasises tricky movements, changing of pace and misdirection.
Both are internal arts that would help greatly in your exploration of the martial arts world. If you want to master something, try looking for one martial art that serves all your needs. Taking too many would inevitably mix you up.
Btw, Jet Li cannot fly. But he wasn't a reigning China wushu champion since prepuberty for nothing. But of course growing up poor and being sent to a special martial arts training school since he was a little kid had a lot to do with his prowess today.
08-26-2002, 12:39 AM
Thanks a lot, guys! I always appreciate your answers :-)Surely it isn't easy to chose a MA that fit yourself, I can see it from other posts..
Have a good day
08-26-2002, 08:07 AM
Surely it isn't easy to chose a MA that fit yourself, I can see it from other posts..
Especially from a "spectator" position. It is much easier to chose when you actually "particpate" and try the fit on.
09-02-2002, 06:16 AM
as long as you stay away from kickboxing, I'm happy ;)
09-02-2002, 06:51 AM
Once upon a time there was a man who couldn't decide which kind of pie he wanted to eat -- apple, cherry, or blueberry. So, he decided to go to the bakery and have one piece of each kind of pie on three consecutive days. Based on his conclusion on the third day, he would decide which kind was his favorite pie.
The problem was, that on the third day, he decided that he liked all three kinds of pie, but decided that blueberry was his ultimate favorite. So he bought a whole blueberry pie.
But after several weeks, he decided, for a change of pace, to have some apple pie. That was good too! It was nice to have a change, although blueberry remained his favorite.
Then, after about a month, he decided to go for a cherry pie. That was darned good too! But more often than not, he still buys blueberry pie.
Aikido is my blueberry pie. :do:
P.S. The quality of the pie depends on the baker. A good baker makes good pie, no matter what the flavor.
09-03-2002, 04:03 PM
I agree with all of you. Erminio, you must understand, there is a huge difference from movie MA, to real life MA. Know, don't get me wrong, I'm not taking you for an idiot at all, it's just something that one doesn't want to accept when choosing a style like Wushu. In a real life situation, no MA is pretty, they are short, ugly, and dangerous. Yet, all these styles are pretty and effective in their own way. Don't worry I went through the same phase, of wanting something more physical and damanding, but aikido is too in it's own way.
09-05-2002, 08:16 AM
You have a lot of sensible questions and it is very smart to check out possibilities and compare them to eachother.
As for which martial art to start, I just wanna say this: I have trained 3 different styles both external and internal. What I have learned from this is that the SENSEI is more important than the ART. Having said that, the overall quality of senseis in Aikido is IMO very good. It is more difficult to find a really good gongfu teacher; there are a few cowboys on the market there.
09-05-2002, 12:49 PM
I'm in a rush, so this will come across as being blunt....
The time you've spent trying to make a decision based on others' experience could have been better spent actually trying dojo that are practical for you to join (cost, location, schedule, etc) and making a decision based on your own, first-hand experience.
09-09-2002, 04:54 PM
In my humble opinion, aikido can be all that you want it to be. Since it is a compilation of different arts, it gives the practioner the ability to do whatever he or she wants during a physical confrontation. Since we are talking about only physical issues, i will stay along those lines..
The martial art does not make the person...the person makes the martial art. Just because you study aikido, doesn't mean that you cant incorporate other areas into your studies.
I had a question a few months ago about Newaza..ground fighting that another aikiweb subscriber gave me guidance in. Why not make aikido what YOU want it to be. If you want to concentrate on the spiritual aspect of the art..incorporate O'sensei speaches and more about Omoto kyo or Shinto into YOUR studies.
Myself, I like the jui-jutsu background of aikido and want to concentrate on that. I still value the principles of other techniques, and faithfully practice them, but
i am now at a point in my life where I want to concentrate on things that might work for me..that i have a knack for. Lets face it, in the long run,when and if youare thrusted into a self defense situation, you are going to perform that technique, that you are used to doing the most...that much that is ingrained in you.
The person or student makes the martial art. I think that the best thing you can do right now, is ask yourself "what do I want to achieve by studying this particular martial art"? Don't study something just because of its looks..it has to work for you. In the long run you will either fall into a false sense of security, or you will realize that it is not for you after you put in a lot of sweat, blood and tears.
09-10-2002, 09:20 AM
It's all good.
What matters is:
1. Find an art that fits you
2. Find a worthy teacher
3. Adopt a good attitude.
Aikido is like nothing else - the lack of competition ensures that certain types of people are weeded out and don't generally hang around long. Which is why I started Aiki. Now I practice it simply because I know of nothing else that brings me this much joy. And one thing's for sure - I could never say before Aiki that a martial art brough me joy. Satisfaction and pride, maybe, but not joy.
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