Kungfu fighting

Kungfu is trained for real fighting


Another example of the modern combat philosophy is Muai Thai kick-boxing, and I have noticed that a person who studies one year of kick-boxing can easily defeat a student who studies one year of Chinese Kung Ku. I understand that Chinese Kung Fu takes longer to develop, however if the issue is self-defense then wouldn't it be better for someone to study any of the modern combat styles than spend three times that amount of time learning Chinese Kung Fu?

— Alex, Malaysia


If we are referring to those who use Muai Thai and Chinese Kungfu to fight, I would say the de facto situation of the world today is that more that eight out of ten times, a person who practices Muai Thai for six months can easily defeat a person who practices Chinese Kungfu for three years or for thirty years.

Actually it does not matter for how many years he has practiced Chinese Kungfu. The fact is that he cannot use his Kungfu to fight. If he fights, he usually uses Karate, Taekwondo or Muai Thai. This has become a laughing stock of Kungfu.

Nevertheless, if we take the other 20% of those who can use Chinese Kungfu to fight, the situation will be different. After one year of training, the fighting abilities of a Muai Thai practitioner and a Kungfu practitioner are about equal. But after three years, a Kungfu practitioner can defeat a Muai Thai practitioner most of the time, and after ten years he can defeat the latter almost all the time.

Many people may be surprised that Muai Thai, like Brazilian Jujitsu, is also a sport with safety rules. When safety rules no longer apply, as in a street fight, it may be dangerous for the practitioner to use Muai Thai, though it will not be as dangerous as to use Brazilian Jujitsu.

Suppose you were a notorious street fighter. When a Maui Thai stylist attacks you, grip a hard chair. As he kicks at you or strikes you with his elbow, move a step backward and simultaneously slam the chair onto his leg or arm. Immediately, irrespective of whether his leg, arm or your chair breaks or not, thrust the legs or whatever remains of the chair into your attacker's face or body.

This counter is likely to put your Muai Thai opponent out of action, not because he is not a good Muai Thai fighter, but paradoxically because he is a Muai Thai fighter he is not trained to handle such combat situations, as such things never happen in a Maui Thai fighting ring for which he is specially trained.

What would happen if you apply the same counter to a Kungfu practitioner. In the first place, if you are holding a chair in your hands, a Kungfu practitioner would not attack you with kicks. He would use other techniques and tactics.

Even if he kicks at you, and you slam your chair on his leg, he would know to respond. He may, for example, respond with “Lead Horse Back to Stable” to pull you to fall forward following your attacking momentum, then strike your face with “Fierce Dragon Across Stream”, and finish you off with “Golden Cockerel Stands Solitarily”.

Why could a Kungfu practitioner respond effectively to your chair attack, whereas a Muai Thai practitioner might be quite helpless? It is because the Muai Thai practitioner trains for sport, whereas the Kungfu practitioner trains for real life fighting. And meeting an opponent holding a chair as a weapon is quite common.

Whether one wishes to practice Kungfu or other martial arts or sports is a matter of personal opinion. Nevertheless, the answer above will provide some useful information for making a wise choise.

The above is taken from Question 11 of May 2003 Part 1 of the Selection of Questions and Answers.


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