Pakua wooden dummy training?

Tim's Discussion Board: Ba Gua Zhang : Pakua wooden dummy training?

   By ryan on Saturday, July 10, 2004 - 07:39 pm: Edit Post

It seems that no matter who the person is, if he's teaching something, someone, somewhere, will bash him. It seems like Erle gets bashed more for being himself and not calling himself a master and clearly saying he's only teaching what he was taught, than the supposed masters who do the circus tricks at seminars. Truely no teacher is able to escape the wrath of people's opinions. This seems like it could discourage a lot of people from wanting to become teachers, especially "famous" ones with books and videos. They will always be slammed with "doing things incorrectly" or "just wanting to make a quick buck".

Kudos to the ones who still do what they beleive is right and continue to teach and try to ignore the insults. It's the same in the computer programming world, almost everyone who has a strong opinion about a certain programming language has almost zero experience with that language yet somehow has decided to label it as bad just because they heard someone say its bad or they looked at it for a second and it felt awkward.

I think if I ever publish a book or anything, i'll do it as 'anonymous'

   By ryan on Saturday, July 10, 2004 - 08:19 pm: Edit Post

..Of course in the "old days" everyone had opinions of everyone and thought they had no skill, so they challenged them and only decided they had skill if they got their ass kicked by them. There were also the people who only saw demonstrations of certain things where it "appeared" the master was doing something great and they beleived it whole heartedly.

SO the real question is how do we measure someones skill without fighting them, or more importantly by simply watching them move? Especially in an internal martial art. It seems impossible to judge someone on a video unless they're blatantly going against the main principles as stated in the classics.

Everyone these days still wants to see proof with challenged matches yet no one is willing to accept this level of violence anymore. It's no wonder so many people are skeptical and just end up practicing internal martial arts for the health the aspects.

For centuries people fought to prove their skills and all we have is stories that may or may not be true and we FINALLY have video recording capabilities to capture real fights and now suddenly no ones willing to do it.

Is the only solution to go back to accepting challenges? People really need to spend more energy on figuring out how we can prove certain things instead of just bashing everyone without knowing whether their fighting skill is good or not.

"don't tell me the answer
I've got ideas too
but if you've got enough naivete
and you've got conviction
then the answer is perfect for you
an urban sprawl sits choking on its discharge
overwhelmed by industry
searching for a modern day savior from another place
inclined toward charity
everyone's begging for an answer
without regard to validity
the searching never ends
it goes on and on for eternity" - bad religion

   By sleepydragon (Unregistered Guest) on Saturday, July 10, 2004 - 11:31 pm: Edit Post

I agree with you Ryan...

I believe there are too many bashers out there... and most don't back up what they say. It is sad that a person would try to convince his students that he is correct at the expense of another teacher and what they are doing. If the teacher is that good... he and his students will know it and find no need to bash others.

Everyone knows some style bashing goes on... sometimes it could be a good motivation to make you train harder in your style- but to completely put another style or teacher down is inappropriate.

All styles have good and bad points.

   By sleepydragon (Unregistered Guest) on Sunday, July 11, 2004 - 02:34 am: Edit Post

Let me correct myself... I should not have said bad points, just differences of opinions.

   By YangLuChanStudent (Unregistered Guest) on Thursday, June 09, 2005 - 09:39 pm: Edit Post

As to Erle's "not moving like a Taiji or Bagua man", I think a distinction should be made. True internal Gung fu in terms or forms ect takes on the nature and characteristics of the individual. Therefore, you should not see a "standard" way of movement for Taijiquan or Baguazhang practitioners. it should be different for everone. what is important is that, that movement is coherent with the principles lying at the roots of the art practiced and in this case fully expressive of Fa - jing power (whether a slow movement or explosive) and a constant changing from Yin to yang and vice versa (eg. never being double weighted). this can be very hard to distinguish in someones form or training unless one understands the intricate levels of these internal arts and not just the basic forms ect.

i hope I have helped in some way here.
p.s. perhaps it is the many other taiji/bagua practitioners/techers out there that don't know how to move correctly -- mabey erle is doing it right.

   By Bob #2 on Thursday, June 09, 2005 - 10:05 pm: Edit Post

"mabey erle is doing it right" Do you ever choke on the hook, line or sinker?

   By Michael Andre Babin on Friday, June 10, 2005 - 09:30 am: Edit Post

Erle uses his whole body to strike, can attack and defend following the principles of taiji and bagua. Anyone who says that he is a fraud as a martial artist has never seen him move in person and/or have no idea of the difference between being a martial artist and doing forms.

I have been present at large workshops that he has given in the USA in which "famous" American taiji people were present to "call him" on his claims. Funny how they ended up either respecting what the saw or lacked the courage to confront him face-to-face when they saw him in action.

   By stan (Unregistered Guest) on Friday, June 10, 2005 - 11:43 am: Edit Post


da one.

chocolate taijiquan people like D Docherty says, they melt when it gets too hot!

   By YangLuChanStudent (Unregistered Guest) on Friday, June 10, 2005 - 11:09 pm: Edit Post

Hey Michael Andre Babin (Are you the Michael Babin who is the wtba baguazhang specialist?)
I agree with you totally. I am a long-distance (wtba) student of erle and I dont think anyone after seeing him move and learning why he moves the way he does (eg. fajing ect) has understood true internal gung fu. I have never trained with erle personally but I hope to be putting some months of full time training at taiji farm next year and hopefully erle will be back in australia by then. -- mabey i'll meet you at one of the international, yearly held workshops there?

and happy training!

   By BOB # 3 (Unregistered Guest) on Saturday, June 11, 2005 - 09:28 pm: Edit Post

"I dont think anyone after seeing him move and learning why he moves the way he does has understood true internal gung fu."

I agree. I once saw Earl's video and lost all my skill too.

   By Jamie (Unregistered Guest) on Tuesday, June 14, 2005 - 10:31 pm: Edit Post

Probably the main reason why Erle cops so much flak is that, instead of being honest about the stuff he teaches and admitting that he made most of it up himself (Old Yang, Dim Mak, Qi Disruption etc.), he invents fictitious lineages complete with non-existant grandmasters, to give his stuff more credibility.

   By Shane on Tuesday, June 14, 2005 - 10:51 pm: Edit Post

Did Erle and "Dr. Capitan John Biff Painter Phd Ranger" go to the same marketing school?

   By Bob #2 on Tuesday, June 14, 2005 - 11:09 pm: Edit Post

I was just thinking the same thing.

Great minds...

   By Michael Andre Babin on Wednesday, June 15, 2005 - 09:29 am: Edit Post

If Erle has made his lineage up then he is in good company and following the Chinese tradition in the internal arts. Those of you who feel smug in your Family styles of the Yang style, Bagua and Liu He Ba Fa often seem content to believe in the founder myths about Chang San Feng, mysterious Taoists from the mountains or finding ancient manuscripts in a cave that are translated by ghosts in the night ...

Judge a practitioner after you have met him or her and once you have enough skill yourself to know the difference between real skill and good acting.

   By David Borg (Unregistered Guest) on Wednesday, June 15, 2005 - 12:33 pm: Edit Post

If Erle is skilled or not is not the issue. Anyway, I believe that there IS a reason why the most people attending Erle´s seminars are not neijia-practitioners(as Erle himself has said).

Maybe they don't recognize his teaching as being true neijia?

   By Michael Andre Babin on Wednesday, June 15, 2005 - 03:27 pm: Edit Post

Good martial arts are good martial arts and the supposed distinction between internal and external is often most fiercely asserted by those who have no real fighting skills and hide behind "softness" and "yielding".

   By David Borg (Unregistered Guest) on Wednesday, June 15, 2005 - 04:52 pm: Edit Post

Oh, I see. . . Sun Lu Tang had no real fighting skill, because he was so good at hiding himself from attacks with softness and yielding. :-)

When I think off it, all of the great "masters of neijia" distinguished neijia from waijia.

   By Tim on Wednesday, June 15, 2005 - 08:41 pm: Edit Post

"When I think off it, all of the great "masters of neijia" distinguished neijia from waijia."

But only after Sun Lutang, Cheng Tinghua and a few others started using the terms about 100 years ago.

   By Michael Andre Babin on Thursday, June 16, 2005 - 08:20 am: Edit Post

There are structural differences between the martial arts and some are more effecient of structural mechanics and whole-body usage than others; but don't fool yourself into thinking that you can get real self-defence skills by only studying neijia form and push-hands -- no-matter how skilfull your teacher may seem in relation to you and your classmates.

The old masters who had real fighting skill usually did so because they had trained for decades under a variety of competent teachers; had done a lot of research on their own .. . and had sweated and bled, more than most modern students care to consider!

   By David Borg (Unregistered Guest) on Thursday, June 16, 2005 - 01:02 pm: Edit Post

"But only after Sun Lutang, Cheng Tinghua and a few others started using the terms about 100 years ago."

Dear Tim, I know this is a common opinion, but it is not true. This term has been used in a lot of old texts, including the Nan-lei chi, which is a collection of essays written by Huang Li-chou, and the Wu-chia ts'ung t'an, a collection of biographical notes. Here is some of the translation from my teather Dr. William C.C. Hu:

"The reputation of Chang San-feng of the Sung dynasty who advocated the Neichia or esoteric style of boxing(in orig. text: neijiaquan) is spread throughout the empire. It spread to many places and in Wen-chou in Chekiang province. Chang Sung-ch'i in the Ming dynasty was the most notable adherent."

Best Regards, David

   By Tim on Thursday, June 16, 2005 - 08:25 pm: Edit Post

I know the term was borrowed from ancient times. If you read the actual history though, no one really knows what the original "neijia" arts were like, only that the name was recorded.

Most if not all serious modern historians of CMA believe Zhang Sanfeng had absolutely nothing to do with the development of the martial arts we now refer to as Neijia (although some agree he may have been a real person).

   By Nianfong (Unregistered Guest) on Friday, June 17, 2005 - 01:03 pm: Edit Post


its the same everywhere. try posting on EF, the self absorbed elitis scumbags on that forum would wear you out!

   By David Borg (Unregistered Guest) on Friday, June 17, 2005 - 03:00 pm: Edit Post

Dear Tim.

My intention is not to discuss Zhang Sanfengs contribution to martial-arts or even to health-arts. I just want to make it clear that the term neijiaquan or "inner boxing" is not just 100 years old. There is plenty of examples, sometimes with rather intricate explanations of the term.

Maybe you just think this is nothing to care about. But in my humble, personal opinion, this is something quite interesting, that there is proof of a quite early polarization of the chinese martial-arts. Yes, I know, in earlier days they did not practise in quite the same manner compared with today, so maybe it is more fare to say that these thoughts were there early and later led to the modern polarization? How would you put it? I know that yoy are quite an authority on this field (a field that I am very interested of), so I want you to know that I really enjoy discussing these thoughts with you! :-)

Best Regards! David

(Please, do excuse me for my losy english!)

   By Kenneth Sohl on Saturday, June 18, 2005 - 09:06 am: Edit Post

So the "Polar Bear-style" Bagua is a relatively modern system, eh?

   By Fernando from Downunder (Unregistered Guest) on Sunday, June 26, 2005 - 10:20 pm: Edit Post

In response to Ryan's post:
It seems that no matter who the person is, if he's teaching something, someone, somewhere, will bash him.....
Clint Eastwood's line comes to my mind:
"Opinions are like arseholes, everyone has one"

Just my opinion anyhow....

   By Azza (Unregistered Guest) on Wednesday, May 17, 2006 - 02:10 am: Edit Post

I think we internal martial artists should be focusing more on the validity/significance and application of the principles of our arts and less on history. Lineage cannot be the most important thing, as someone somewhere at some stage made these arts up. I dont believe in esoteric secrets passed down through history, privy to only a few. I believe in grand, profound principles - which are essentially self-evident: Qi, sung, peng - that take many years of deligent practice to truly understand. Lots of people know what sung means, but so they really know sung?

We need to think more like philosophers and less like historians.

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