A Chinese article condemning the current state of Chinese martial arts as being “extremely low level” in the wake of a major tournament has sparked a great deal of controversy, with many Japanese of course only too happy to agree with the assessment.
The article, published on a popular Chinese site, soon found its way overseas to Japan. It can be read in abridged format below:
The SportAccord Combat Games 2010 recently concluded in Beijing. Chinese competitors took 7 gold medals in fights [overall Chinese results were 10 gold, 6 bronze – the event saw 13 “martial arts” tournaments ranging from kickboxing and judo to sumo].
However, real Chinese martial arts prowess is, far from being best in the world, actually exceedingly poor. The image of invincibility Chinese martial arts have is just a myth cultivated by movies and fiction.
Take a world renowned martial artist such as Bruce Lee. He is widely believed to be a first rate combatant, but in reality he was extremely myopic and hardly competed at all. People think he’s an American national karate champion, but in fact his real level is just a Hong Kong high school amateur boxing champion.
So what’s the real ability of our athletes now? In recent Sino-Japanese competition, and in competition between China and the rest of the world, China has indeed secured many impressive victories. However, these were just the result of bouts arranged with weaker opponents, and where the rules were biased in favour of our own fighters.
The Japanese fighters, supposedly Japan’s strongest, appearing in recent tournaments had fabricated career histories.
The China-Thai kickboxing bouts were even more cynically arranged. China fielded a pro-level police competitor, but he was fighting an amateur Thai policeman. And the rules banned the Thai competitor from using his knees and elbows [Muay Thai makes extensive use of knees and elbows – Thailand won no gold medals in kickboxing].
Fortunately, a host of martial arts experts spring forth from 2ch – who would have suspected?
Because they are gymnastic exercises.
With real rules:
I get the impression kung fu has no chance at all…
What’s the point of a martial art just based on learning the forms?
Basically, Chinese martial arts are just for showing off.
Kung fu is just for show, with no real practical use. Like taekwondo.
Fist of the North Star is a Chinese martial art too!
There are aren’t any serious karateka or aikido practicioners competing. Even so, joke styles like “praying mantis kung fu” are even worse than the ones competing.
Jackie Chan’s flashy stuff is no real use. In movies they never take any real damage anyway.
Kung fu is more showy acrobatics for moral discipline. Jackie is the former.
Muay Thai is the strongest, the rest are shit.
What about Shaolin?
A friend learnt Shaolin – since it has kicks and throws he said it was, if you spent years training, better than either karate alone or judo alone.
So why not learn karate and judo?
Shaolin is the real deal – I am going to keep believing this.
The Shaolin temples were all ruined in the Cultural Revolution.
A bout between a Tai Chi Chuan practitioner and a White Crane Fist practicioner from 50 years ago – true Chinese martial arts at their best:
It’s just an ordinary brawl!?
That’s just tacky.
So this is what happens when expert fighters do battle.
Even in Japan the practicioners make up excuses like “the real killing techniques are not things we can just lightly show to outsiders” – I bet the kung fu guys are the same.
Mao feared rebellion and turned Chinese martial arts into circus tricks. With tournaments banned for so long, its decline was inevitable.
If you’re saying martial arts with no real use are rubbish, what about useless Japanese kendo, iaijutsu and so on?
Tai Chi Chuan is just dancing.
Karate is the strongest. You can’t win with a dance like kung fu:
Kung fu is like Japanese ninja – just people who have been imaginatively turned into supermen.
Rather than calling it a martial art, we should be calling kung fu a traditional folk dance of the Chinese.
Drunken fist is a total lie though, no way can you gain strength by drinking.
I asked a Chinese exchange student about that – he was seriously annoyed and said “Are you an idiot? They are just pretending to be drunk, isn’t it obvious?”
Let’s all just keep believing all Chinese are kung fu masters, all Japanese are samurai ninja, all Americans are former marines, and all Russians subsist entirely on three meals a day of vodka.