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Kung Fu Question
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devildog_jim
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Join date: Jun 2007
Posts: 696

Any Kung Fu people here know if being a Willy Lin trained Tian Shan Pai / Chin Na instructor means anything? I'm clueless when it comes to Chinese arts and lineage, but since I'm learning the language for work I figured I'd experement with a new style as well, and wu shu doesn't do anything for me. I may even enter in intermural level sanda/san shou tournaments, nothing I need to do fighter specific prep for though. This guy loks more legit than some of the other hustlers I've come across pedaling their one trip to Indonesia as an initiation into the deep secrets of the old masters, but beyond obvious bullshido I'm at a loss.

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Heysteve85
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Join date: May 2013
Posts: 4

I really don't think lineage is as important as 1. an instructor who is capable of teaching you and 2. an environment that meets your own personal goals ( self defense, sport fighting etc).

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FightinIrish26
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Join date: Feb 2005
Posts: 17139

Devildog - I tend to agree with the former poster. It's like saying that just cause a guy trained under Manny Steward, he's a good boxer, understands his craft, and can teach it effectively.

Unfortunately with TMA's it can be tough to tell who is legit and who is just hustling. Your gut is probably the best thing to follow. But it's very cool that you're giving another style a shot, let us know how it goes.

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devildog_jim
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Join date: Jun 2007
Posts: 696

I took a few classes, most of the people here are still wushu focused. Not really my thing, and not worth buying new kit. They're good at what they do, but what they do isn't really what I'm looking for. Still on the lookout for a more contact-oriented Chinese martial arts school.

The head instructor is legit, sat down and talked with him a bit. Seems like a good guy, not a hustler like some around here.

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Aragorn
Level 10

Join date: Feb 2003
Posts: 9394

devildog_jim wrote:
Any Kung Fu people here know if being a Willy Lin trained Tian Shan Pai / Chin Na instructor means anything? I'm clueless when it comes to Chinese arts and lineage, but since I'm learning the language for work I figured I'd experement with a new style as well, and wu shu doesn't do anything for me. I may even enter in intermural level sanda/san shou tournaments, nothing I need to do fighter specific prep for though. This guy loks more legit than some of the other hustlers I've come across pedaling their one trip to Indonesia as an initiation into the deep secrets of the old masters, but beyond obvious bullshido I'm at a loss.



I'm a former kung fu practitioner but I can't tell you. Chinese lineage is extremely obfuscated and obscure in a lot of cases. That and there are so many different arts it is very difficult to decipher. I have confidence in my personal training, but that is because I did roughly 2 months of research into the art and the teachers, lineages, and locations before I even started training.

I sympathize with you, I've been there before. Chin na is essentially joint lock study, so is not a "style" per se. It is incorporated into many many different chinese styles including tai chi (which I also enjoy) and every style has their own uses and takes on it. Tian Shan Pai I know nothing about.

I am personally biased towards wing chun, since that is what I did, but you do need to look into the school and the methods of practice (do they do free sparring, etc). It is also hand heavy so if you like kicks it is not an art for you.

Although I will say if you are practiced at free sparring already, and contact, then wing chun is conceptually simple and can be learned through that prism and applied as you see fit in whatever style you prefer (Joe Frazier learned a fair amount from Bruce and has been documented as saying it was very useful).

In general I say start and see if it passes your smell test--that's really the only way you can ultimately know even if you have a lot of research into a style. But I definitely suggest doing as much "due diligence" as humanly possible with TMA's and especially with chinese systems since there are a million of them.

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Aragorn
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Join date: Feb 2003
Posts: 9394

devildog_jim wrote:
I took a few classes, most of the people here are still wushu focused. Not really my thing, and not worth buying new kit. They're good at what they do, but what they do isn't really what I'm looking for. Still on the lookout for a more contact-oriented Chinese martial arts school.

The head instructor is legit, sat down and talked with him a bit. Seems like a good guy, not a hustler like some around here.


See, you've got a good nose. Use it :)

Good instructors are infinitely more important than the lineage. Lineage can be important as far as "vocabulary" of moves is concerned, and I do believe some forms were diluted a few generations or more ago by bad instructors....but then that highlights things doesn't it? Getting a good instructor NOW is much more important than the lineage because as Irish said just because somebody learned under a great artist doesn't mean they can transmit it. It means their knowledge base SHOULD be much greater, but it doesn't translate if they suck personally.

Cool to see you branching out as well. When I have more free time I intend to start branching out as well in some form or other (probly means jiu jitsu, since I've never studied that and need to plug holes in my knowledge base)

Whereabouts in virginia are you?

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FightinIrish26
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Join date: Feb 2005
Posts: 17139

devildog_jim wrote:
I took a few classes, most of the people here are still wushu focused. Not really my thing, and not worth buying new kit. They're good at what they do, but what they do isn't really what I'm looking for. Still on the lookout for a more contact-oriented Chinese martial arts school.

The head instructor is legit, sat down and talked with him a bit. Seems like a good guy, not a hustler like some around here.


I was figuring you knew how to tell the good from the bad haha.

Good TMA teachers are diamonds in the rough... hard to find, but they're there.

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Aragorn
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Join date: Feb 2003
Posts: 9394

FightinIrish26 wrote:
devildog_jim wrote:
I took a few classes, most of the people here are still wushu focused. Not really my thing, and not worth buying new kit. They're good at what they do, but what they do isn't really what I'm looking for. Still on the lookout for a more contact-oriented Chinese martial arts school.

The head instructor is legit, sat down and talked with him a bit. Seems like a good guy, not a hustler like some around here.


I was figuring you knew how to tell the good from the bad haha.

Good TMA teachers are diamonds in the rough... hard to find, but they're there.


Yep, fully agreed. When you find 'em, don't let them get away! They're worth gold and about as hard to speculate for lol.

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devildog_jim
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Join date: Jun 2007
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Aragorn wrote:
devildog_jim wrote:
I took a few classes, most of the people here are still wushu focused. Not really my thing, and not worth buying new kit. They're good at what they do, but what they do isn't really what I'm looking for. Still on the lookout for a more contact-oriented Chinese martial arts school.

The head instructor is legit, sat down and talked with him a bit. Seems like a good guy, not a hustler like some around here.


See, you've got a good nose. Use it :)

Good instructors are infinitely more important than the lineage. Lineage can be important as far as "vocabulary" of moves is concerned, and I do believe some forms were diluted a few generations or more ago by bad instructors....but then that highlights things doesn't it? Getting a good instructor NOW is much more important than the lineage because as Irish said just because somebody learned under a great artist doesn't mean they can transmit it. It means their knowledge base SHOULD be much greater, but it doesn't translate if they suck personally.

Cool to see you branching out as well. When I have more free time I intend to start branching out as well in some form or other (probly means jiu jitsu, since I've never studied that and need to plug holes in my knowledge base)

Whereabouts in virginia are you?


I'm in the DC area, Arlington in particular is on my way home from work and makes for an easy stop. I work too demanding a schedule to drive all over creation for what will end up being a hobby level martial art.

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Aragorn
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Join date: Feb 2003
Posts: 9394

Hmm...bummer. I don't know of anybody near DC offhand.

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Schwarzfahrer
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Join date: Jun 2005
Posts: 3521

The idea of "martial lineage" does not make sense in an age of information.

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devildog_jim
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Join date: Jun 2007
Posts: 696

Schwarzfahrer wrote:
The idea of "martial lineage" does not make sense in an age of information.


Well, there is something to be said for having received good instruction. For example, if a guy trained with Cus d'Amato and then Pat Miletich, I know he's been exposed to good training methods. Whether he picked them up is an open question, but it's possible. Conversely, if you say you're a George Dillman disciple, I know I'm paying for a comedy show.

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Schwarzfahrer
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Join date: Jun 2005
Posts: 3521

Well, of course I'd love to be instructed by someone who's received training from Cus D'amato personally.
As you wrote, he might be just the one who'd understand peek-a-boo thoroughly. Or not.

The conservative concept of lineage, however, goes deeper:
You are the single heir and now highest practitioner in both theory and practise to a complete system that is revealed only in small increments to the non initiated.
That's a dark age concept to me.

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devildog_jim
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Join date: Jun 2007
Posts: 696

Yeah, that's just goofy. These days, I have to question those who claim to be teachers but hold back anything (once they're convinced you're not a mental case of some sort).

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Schwarzfahrer
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Join date: Jun 2005
Posts: 3521

you know, that is actually quite a question; what to do with students you deem mentally unstable?

Tell them to leave class? "I'm sorry, you have a psychopath in you. Sort that out, first."
Just teach them the more fitness related stuff? "no rolling for you, do the tabata with Amy"
Embrace their natural killer instict?

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conservativedog
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Join date: May 2010
Posts: 1690

Grandmaster Henry Cook was the best I ever saw or learned from.

https://www.facebook.com/...26226838?v=info

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FightinIrish26
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Join date: Feb 2005
Posts: 17139

Schwarzfahrer wrote:
you know, that is actually quite a question; what to do with students you deem mentally unstable?

Tell them to leave class? "I'm sorry, you have a psychopath in you. Sort that out, first."
Just teach them the more fitness related stuff? "no rolling for you, do the tabata with Amy"
Embrace their natural killer instict?


Nah. That's the good part about training guys - you do what you want.

You're a psychopath? Fuck off, find someone else to train you. And I don't have to give a reason.

Take no chances.

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devildog_jim
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Join date: Jun 2007
Posts: 696

FightinIrish26 wrote:
Schwarzfahrer wrote:
you know, that is actually quite a question; what to do with students you deem mentally unstable?

Tell them to leave class? "I'm sorry, you have a psychopath in you. Sort that out, first."
Just teach them the more fitness related stuff? "no rolling for you, do the tabata with Amy"
Embrace their natural killer instict?


Nah. That's the good part about training guys - you do what you want.

You're a psychopath? Fuck off, find someone else to train you. And I don't have to give a reason.

Take no chances.


My mcmap instructors were all black belt instructors in other martial arts as well (bb or equivalent required after a certain level of mcmap). All of them had stories about mall ninjas that they had turned away, because they felt the kid would start a brawl in a Dennys and get himself killed.

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Aragorn
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Join date: Feb 2003
Posts: 9394

LOL at "mall ninja"

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idaho
Level 2

Join date: Aug 2009
Posts: 529

Aragorn wrote:
LOL at "mall ninja"



X2 on that. I am going to confess my crime now........I am stealing that one for my own use.:)

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Sifu
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Join date: Oct 2002
Posts: 3775

FightinIrish26 wrote:
Devildog - I tend to agree with the former poster. It's like saying that just cause a guy trained under Manny Steward, he's a good boxer, understands his craft, and can teach it effectively.

Unfortunately with TMA's it can be tough to tell who is legit and who is just hustling. Your gut is probably the best thing to follow. But it's very cool that you're giving another style a shot, let us know how it goes.



You guys have a misunderstanding of the relevance of lineage. It works this way. If a fighter was student of Manny Steward we know he at least had a legit teacher to teach him how to fight. Plus we can trace back Stewards lineage a couple of generations and know Steward came from legit trainers.

Whether or not a fighter trained by Steward is competent at passing on that knowledge is the issue. Teaching is a skill and an art in itself that has to be learned and cultivated. If someone was a trainer under Steward we probably could expect them to have some competency to teach. This is why on The Ultimate Fighter series some of the guys who are great fighters aren't necessarily good coaches.

The way it worked in the schools I trained in, was a traditional system where the green belts were primarily responsible for teaching the white belts, brown belts taught green belts, first to second degree black belts got the brown belts ready to test for black belt.

So by the time a black belt tested for third degree black belt which is the sensei or teacher of black belt rank, they had multiple years of teaching experience. Under that system even a sensei who wasn't a great teacher still had a minimum level of competency because they had been tested on their knowledge and even more importantly they had been observed for years teaching.

So lineage can have some usefulness in determining if someone is going to be a good teacher.

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