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Thread: Insecurity - the *real* reason why wuxia writers make CMA look so powerful?

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    Moderator Ken Cheng's Avatar
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    Default Insecurity - the *real* reason why wuxia writers make CMA look so powerful?

    The martial arts depicted in Chinese wuxia novels by Jin Yong, Gu Long, Leung Yu Sang, and others are invariably skills far more powerful than any martial art seen in the real world. There is nothing in the real world comparable to the Hong Lung 18 Palms, the 6 Mak Divine Swords, and even wuxia versions of real world martial arts such as Cheung 3 Fung's Tai Chi techniques from HSDS.

    Do you think that the Chinese wuxia writers might have been compensating for something? In our discussions of real world martial arts on this forum, the consensus seems to be the Chinese martial arts in the real world today look pretty, but are utterly worthless in fights...routinely getting pwned by Japanese, Korean, and Southeast Asian martial arts of various kinds. Maybe the Chinese wuxia writers had to depict Chinese martial arts as being so superhumanly powerful because real world Chinese martial arts suck so badly?

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    Moderator Ren Wo Xing's Avatar
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    Over-analyzing. Western media has its comic book heroes et. al. China has wuxia. Japan has ridiculously over-the-top anime. You get the picture
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    This kind of argument is silly. In real life the "system" you use is way less important than how hard you train in it.

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    Moderator Ken Cheng's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jhudsui View Post
    This kind of argument is silly. In real life the "system" you use is way less important than how hard you train in it.
    The only other conclusion, then, is that modern real world Chinese martial artists are generally lazier than their counterparts in the rest of Asia, because every discussion we've had on the topic here has shown that Chinese martial arts lose and lose badly in most competitions against other Asian martial arts in modern tournaments.

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    Chinese people lose in most sporting events, period :P. The state of Chinese soccer in particular, which is perhaps the most popular sport in China, is a source of never-ending grumbling and shame for mainlanders...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Cheng View Post
    The only other conclusion, then, is that modern real world Chinese martial artists are generally lazier than their counterparts in the rest of Asia, because every discussion we've had on the topic here has shown that Chinese martial arts lose and lose badly in most competitions against other Asian martial arts in modern tournaments.
    It's possible that there are just cultural/social differences in how martial arts are taught and trained. Thais have an established professional prizefighting tradition, so you would expect them to produce excellent competitive martial artists. I don't believe that necessarily means Muay Thai is a superior fighting system.

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    Moderator Ken Cheng's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ren Wo Xing View Post
    Chinese people lose in most sporting events, period :P. The state of Chinese soccer in particular, which is perhaps the most popular sport in China, is a source of never-ending grumbling and shame for mainlanders...
    One would think that with all the pride we Chinese treat our martial arts traditions, we'd try a little harder not to look like perennial losers in international martial arts competitions.

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    One would think that with all the pride we Chinese treat our martial arts traditions, we'd try a little harder not to look like perennial losers in international martial arts competitions.
    Amen to that!!!!!

    I mean seriously....Drunken fighting??? Mantis fighting?? All look good..but in real life....it will get pawned by Muy Thai.

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    Quote Originally Posted by QF View Post
    Amen to that!!!!!

    I mean seriously....Drunken fighting??? Mantis fighting?? All look good..but in real life....it will get pawned by Muy Thai.
    Jin Yong and Gu Long must have realized that since real life Chinese weren't going to kick any booty, they'd just have to invent some *fictional* Chinese who could.

    The same might explain why Bruce Lee movies became such hits.

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    It's only since 1993 with the advent of the first Ultimate Fighting competiton that kung-fu became regarded as an ineffective martial art in street fighting, and only in the western world I might add, I think the majority of China's population still consider kung-fu as the best.

    During Bruce Lee's time, it was regarded very highly, it was probably lumped together with other martial arts focusing on striking, such as karate, and it had an aura of mystique and power.

    During Jin Yong and Gu Long's time, people everywhere still believed that kung-fu was awesome, most also probably believed in the might of chi, at least in China. So I think both authors just catered to a huge market, and the writers themselves were fans of martial arts and kung-fu in particular. No complex there.

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    I think learning martial arts was very popular back then. Many youngsters join martial art school or clubs. Even my dad learn some martial art back when he was young (I only got to know this a few years ago) and he was an english and art teacher.

    So, I agree with Wellesley. The writers were just catering to a huge market. Nothing complex about it. There were many wuxia novels writers back there. Really a lot compared to nowadays. I've seen huge collection of wuxia novels by many different authors on chinese old book stores. You can see how big the market was for this genre back then.

    Wuxia novels to chinese is like fantasy novels to the westerners.
    Last edited by kidd; 11-30-07 at 12:49 AM.
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    Here's my impression:

    - Pretty does not necessarily imply impractical--some MAs look pretty and happen to be effective. It's all in the execution.

    - A lot of CMA instruction puts emphasis on practicing techniques but not on sparring. There are differing explanations for why.

    One is that the techniques are so dangerous and crippling that practicing them safely would require so much safety gear that movement would be seriously hampered. Sparring then would be pointless. Hence, the moves could be effective, but nobody would know how to apply them. There could be some truth to that--I think back in the day, when jujutsu practitioners first competed against judoists they got creamed for that reason: jujustu had killing techniques nobody could practice, whereas judo is safe enough for sparring to be possible. Certainly some martial arts instructors teach techniques without explaining how to apply them, and others give contradictory explanations for the same technique!

    The second--which I don't really buy, but is one I have heard of--is that at one point, martial artists were persecuted, so to hide their identities, they became performers. That could explain why CMA as practiced by many seems like a performing art rather than martial art. I don't know about the persecution bit, but certainly I can believe martial artists were forced to turn to performance to feed themselves.

    - That said, I wouldn't mess with someone who practices CMA the way it's often taught (i.e. practicing techniques without sparring much) and understands it deeply to the point where he/she can figure out how to apply the techniques on their own. I know those types; they're not easy to take down.

    - Agree with all the folks who are pointing out this is fiction, not an inferiority complex. Look at the western--nobody's going to shoot like The Man With No Name, but the creation of such a character doesn't reflect any insecurities. It's just fiction.
    Last edited by dewyloony123; 11-30-07 at 03:34 PM.

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    Because ancient CMA are that powerful, just that most of the Arts were losted.
    Not to mention most chinese martial artist 2day don't learn NeiGong.
    Qi does exist in reality.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Son of Light View Post
    Qi does exist in reality.
    I believe it does too, but I do not believe that chi practitioners at any point in history were capable of the more outlandish feats described in wuxia novels.

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    Default Slow-Fiction

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Cheng
    The martial arts depicted in Chinese wuxia novels by Jin Yong, Gu Long, Leung Yu Sang, and others are invariably skills far more powerful than any martial art seen in the real world. There is nothing in the real world comparable to the Hong Lung 18 Palms, the 6 Mak Divine Swords, and even wuxia versions of real world martial arts such as Cheung 3 Fung's Tai Chi techniques from HSDS.

    Do you think that the Chinese wuxia writers might have been compensating for something?
    I do think Jinyong is compensating for something, but not for any supposed inadequacy of Chinese martial arts (which are a great and venerable tradition); rather, he's compensating for the fact that it's impossible to adequately represent a realistic fight scene in words.

    I've always been bewildered by what I call the Mount Hua Syndrome (i.e. obsessive focus on fight scenes and martial arts mechanics) which plagues every JY forum I've visited, in English or Chinese. Personally, I find JY's fight scenes - supposedly one of his greatest selling points - to be pretty excruciating reading at times. They move with all the speed of a physics lesson and all the force of a philosophical essay. JY sometimes takes 3 paragraphs to describe something that would occur in 0.3 seconds. Reading his fight scenes is like watching someone freeze-frame their way through a boxing match, pausing in the middle of every punch to give you an amateur lecture on biomechanics. And it sounds infinitely slower in English than it does in Chinese.

    JY isn't necessarily being a bad writer; he just picked an inferior medium in which to represent action. (Would you rather *watch* a football match or a gymnastics competition, or *read* someone's description of it?) In order to compensate for the fundamental lack of visceral thrill in his fight scenes, he uses other methods - one of which is having interesting strategies and skills. And the more powerful and elaborate the skills, the more interesting they are.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Cheng View Post
    J In our discussions of real world martial arts on this forum, the consensus seems to be the Chinese martial arts in the real world today look pretty, but are utterly worthless in fights...routinely getting pwned by Japanese, Korean, and Southeast Asian martial arts of various kinds. Maybe the Chinese wuxia writers had to depict Chinese martial arts as being so superhumanly powerful because real world Chinese martial arts suck so badly?
    This is not true. While many pratictioners of CMA are closer to being performance artists than true pugilists, masters of CMA can easily hold their own in real fights. Look up Wang Shu Jin on google. He was a overweight master of Tai Chi who defeated many Karate experts in Japan.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liu_Hailong

    Liu is a Sanda competitor who's defeated some of the top Thai kickboxers. Sanda is basically the modernized MMA derived from traditional CMA. What Liu has done is really impressive since Muay Thai fighters have always been very tough in cross arts competitions.

    Finally, check out this old monk who's masterd 1 yang finger.
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/61804/...on_one_finger/

    It might not be as ridiculous as some of Yideng's feats but it's still pretty crazy!

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    Mixed martial arts competitions still aren't representative of real life situations, where anything goes.

    Wrestlers come out on top, because opponents can't break the hold via 'dirty' tactics.
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    Quote Originally Posted by yittz View Post
    Mixed martial arts competitions still aren't representative of real life situations, where anything goes.

    Wrestlers come out on top, because opponents can't break the hold via 'dirty' tactics.
    Also, wrestling is awesome at one-on-one but gets a lot less useful if you have multiple opponents to deal with.

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    Real Kung Fu Master Fight in 1953 I think this was when the "Windmill" technique was invented.
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    It's just that it looks alot cooler when people are beating on each other with all sorts of crazy moves. I would much rather see two people fight with chi wind blowing all over the place and rocks exploding, with optional holographic dragons, than a boxing match.

    If I remember right, wrestlers actually dominated the MMA scene more in the past when the UFC was still billed as having no rules etc. It's hard to do anything when your opponent has so much control over you and knows how to position himself so it feels like he weighs 500 pounds.

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