CMA Practitioners Help, Please: Anyone recognize this style?

Discussion in 'Kung Fu' started by Capt Ann, May 29, 2006.

  1. Capt Ann

    Capt Ann Valued Member

    This link is to the opening of a breathing exercise used in Gicheon, an obscure Korean martial art.

    Does anyone recognize this breathing form?

    If you view the very bottom of the page, there are links to the 'Previous' and to the 'Next' video clips. The chain includes about 20 total clips, showing other breathing exercises, Taeguk moving meditations, a formal bow, and some blocks that look to me to be poorly executed.

    Does anyone recognize this combination of techniques, this style of blocks, or any of these breathing meditation forms?

    Gicheon is one of the two main roots for the sword art that I study. I have been trying to find its roots for the last two years. I have found some debate online as to whether it is a mix of Tai Chi Chuan and Northern Mantis or Hawk form KF, or possibly some other combination. I haven't been able to find any documentation for the roots of Gicheon (other than the standard monks-in-monasteries-2000-years-ago histories) dating it before 1960.

    So, how 'bout it, folks? Can anyone help me place this style?
  2. Guizzy

    Guizzy with Arnaud and Eustache

    I can't seem to be able to access any video from this site. Do you need to register/login or something?
  3. Capt Ann

    Capt Ann Valued Member

    No, but the site is in Korea, so it takes a while to load. A media-player pops up in the browser with the message, "Connecting", all the while the video clip loads. The video doesn't start playing until fully downloaded.

    Film clip is ~ 9 Meg.
  4. onyomi

    onyomi 差不多先生

    That way of making a horse stance is common in Southern Chinese styles. I don't recognize the arm movements, though they could conceivably be a type of qigong, albeit rather fast. I don't see any Northern Mantis in there. The circular arm movements could conceivably be related to Taiji, but the stance and body mechanics of Taiji aren't there. If it does come from a Chinese style I'd bet on a Southern one, so maybe someone who knows about Southern CMA qigong (i.e., not me) can comment.
    Last edited: May 29, 2006
  5. clfsean

    clfsean Mo Lum Yat Ga

    Well the four step opening is southern CMA reminiscent for sure... except for the guys being bent forward at the waist, having their knees pressed inwards in that kind of horse. The hands are pretty much unremarkable & that one clip 355 doesn't necessarily notate Praying Mantis because they pull their hand up to a hooked hand, just like the one after it doesn't constitute a bad gesture like flipping them off. Too much motion in the first blocking sequence with a partner, using 2 hands to block/trap/clear/secure the opponent's one hand... not good CMA.

    If you're having fun with it... rock on. I don't see CMA in it except in trying to copy motions & not understanding what's going on in the first place.
  6. DRMA

    DRMA Valued Member

    Well the stance is (perhaps ?? it is so bad I am only guessing ) a poor imitation of the ladies horse stance in southern styles martial arts but that is about it. Being bent over at the waist like that seems very wierd. That isn't southern chi kung. If it is some form of chi kung it is closer to the TKD one but still ???
  7. clfsean

    clfsean Mo Lum Yat Ga

    Nah even the lady horse/goat riding stance is with a straight back/waist with relaxed shoulders & spine. All CMA's I've touched have emphasized the straight back/waist for proper alignment of the body. None of them would/do put up with an intentional bend in the waist. The alignment of the body has been destroyed & the balance/stability of the player shot.

    It's not CMA in my book or if it is claimed as such, it's not good CMA.
  8. Capt Ann

    Capt Ann Valued Member

    The style doesn't claim to be derived from any Chinese style - like I said, it claims the standard 2000-years-of-Korean-monks-in-monasteries history. I thought the circular motions were reminiscent of what little I knew of some Northern styles, and I knew there was a large Chinese influence in Korean martial arts in the 1600's through the 1700's, then again in the late 1900's. The question is when/what Chinese influences are in this art - If the Chinese influences are much older (and not just a recent absorption), then this would be one of the oldest native Korean arts still in continual practice.

    The stance shown is based on Gicheon's central principle of (in Korean) 'yeokgeun', which is a theory to open all the ki channels by locking all joints in the body in full extension. Notice the pelvis is tilted (hence the bent look), and the knees and wrists are all bent to 90 degrees. Notice also that there are a lot of triangles used - the ankles are turned inward, so the feet form one triangle, the knees are angled inward, forming another.

    So, do you think that:
    1. The art shows no Chinese roots or influences,
    2. The motions and breath exercises show Chinese influences, but they must have been from a long time ago,
    3. The art shows Chinese roots and influences, based on ______ style,
    4. The art liberally borrows from Chinese styles, and is basically joints locked in triangles overlaid onto ______style, or
    5. The art is a clone of _______style.

    From what I've gathered so far on this thread, it sounds like no one would opt for option #5. However, from what little I know of Korean history and the history of this art, I can't believe the answer is Option #1. That leaves Options 2, 3, or 4. Anyone else have an opinion?

    Thanks again for all your time and help in looking at the links
  9. bcullen

    bcullen They are all perfect.

    I'm having the same problem from different machines. It's not using a standard video codec.
  10. clfsean

    clfsean Mo Lum Yat Ga

    Wait wait wait wait...

    You started off by mentioning some "obscure" KMA that claims a 2000 year history.

    But then in the 5th paragraph, there's direct mention by you of mixing things from CHINA to form a base or some such. Your quote was ...

    Everything I pointed as wrong or incorrect in the CMA world is on target. If this is Chinese or Chinese descended, then don't gripe. My assesment & criticisms are correct for the attempt at trying to reach to China. If it's not Chinese descended or blended, then ignore me but don't ask questions & bitch when it's not what you want to hear.

  11. Capt Ann

    Capt Ann Valued Member

    I think someone needs a time-out :D

    Chill, guy! I appreciate all the input, as I am trying to research the real roots of this art. You mentioned that the art is wrong if it claims to be CMA descended. Gicheon doesn't claim to be descended from CMA (in fact the Gicheon founding legend has a female Gicheon master in the mountains teaching the secrets of 'yeokgeun' to the Bodhidharma, the legendary founder of CMA. Personally, I don't really believe this ( :eek: ) . But if the art didn't come from monks-in-mountains, then it must have come from somewhere else.

    The idea of a Chinese root came from:
    a. the Daoist philosophical approach of the art,
    b. Its internal emphasis,
    c. The similarity (on the surface) of certain breathing forms to taichichuan,
    d. Korean cultural history,
    e. An Internet debate I found online while researching the art, between two posters on another forum, as to whether the art more closely resembled Hawk form KF or Northern Mantis KF,
    f. The informed opinion of a Gicheon practitioner who I don't think has experience in Northern mantis KF, and
    g. The obvious lack of any similarity to or root in any Japanese MA.

    So, please take a deep breath. Then if you agree that I am not trying to attack you, ignore you, argue with you, demean you, or bend your answers to what I 'want' to hear, please review the five options in my last post and tell me which you think most closely describes this art in relation to any Chinese arts, and why.

  12. clfsean

    clfsean Mo Lum Yat Ga

    Oh trust me... no time out needed here. I tend to laugh way to much.

    You're the one that referenced CMAs, not me.

    a) Not wholly Chinese, but often imitated or claimed as such.
    b) Not wholly Chinese, but often imitated or claimed as such.
    c) Not wholly Chinese, but often imitated or claimed as such.
    d) Definately not Chinese
    e) What I saw bears exactly no resemblance to Nothern Mantis. I've played a little Mantis before... not there. Never seen/heard of "hawk kung fu".
    f) Ok...
    g) Can't argue there, but I'm not seeing any CMA there either....

    Don't worry... if I could breath deep right now I would, but a summer cold is raining on my fun.

    Here it is & I'm making precise... in my opinion (which was solicited by the posting here), this isn't a CMA based art. You posted that there was a mix of several martial arts that are CMAs & posted videos. I looked & in my opinion it's just not there. It looks like somebody learned badly or not at all & is selling it to who ever will buy it.
  13. funnytiger

    funnytiger Earthbender...

    someone needs a hug... :rolleyes: (looks at clfsean)
  14. Yohan

    Yohan In the Spirit of Yohan Supporter

    *tries to hug CLFsean*

    Hey, don't run away! :D :D
  15. Capt Ann

    Capt Ann Valued Member

    Sorry about that! Sincerely hope you're feeling better quickly.

    Thank you. Not at all what I expected, but an honest well-reasoned answer, and I truly appreciate that.

    I found an experienced Gicheon practitioner on another forum who was gracious enough to load a clip he took of himself practicing Gicheon onto YouTube, then to give me permission to link to it from this forum. This clip is longer (2:36) and shows a cross-section of techniques, including empty-handed moving meditation and some sword forms (with really freaky background vocals). If anyone is up for one more clip, [ame=]please have a look at this[/ame].
  16. jroe52

    jroe52 Valued Member

    the opening stance is similiar to pigeon toed opening for wing chun (maybe they are related)... also the techniques used seem to be fore "centering" which are similiar to the first wing chun form...

    i think it is probably unrelated but for a similiar purpose...

    1. meditation
    2. active meditation (asana) like yoga
    3. centering and alignment (arms cross thingy or palms together)
  17. Guizzy

    Guizzy with Arnaud and Eustache

    I see absolutely no similarity to Wing Chun here. Are you certain it's not the case of someone with a hammer calling every problem a nail?

    To me it looks very Taichi-esque, although the forms seem to de-emphasise empty hand a lot (they only make sense with the sword).
  18. jroe52

    jroe52 Valued Member

    re-read what i said and watch the video.. .they share similiarities therefore probably share similiar goals...

    have you practiced wing chun? have you ever seen the non-parellel neutral stance, aka pigeon toed stance of traditional wing chun (ours is parellel however).... THEY DO A VERY SIMILIAR OPENING.

    also in wing chun, when we first start our form we cross our arms to center ourselves... in our lineage between tan sao and fook sao during SLT, we do a centering technique with our wu sao.

    if you google search pigeon toe, it is often prefered by "chi" believers, which might relate back to qigong (though i do not know much about this, research it yourself)...

    basically they are centering and doing some type of meditation... compare videos

    parrallel wing chun form: (take note to the arms crossing for alignment... later when doing fook sao, notice the centering)

    pigeon toed... look at the opening! this is common for a horse stance/neutral stance that is influenced by qigong or meditation or martial art:
    someone find a vid for me i gave up lol of the pigeon toed wing chun footwork
  19. Yohan

    Yohan In the Spirit of Yohan Supporter

    Well, I only watched the youtube video (couldnt see the original post). It has some of the same moves and stances (sort of). It has a twist stance, and a drop stance. It doesn't look like any CMA I've seen though. It's not even Tai Chi like, IMO because it's so repetetive and simple. Tai chi seems more complicated and varied than that. It has no wrist movement either.

    I'm going with CLFsean on this one. No more chinese influence than tae kwon do or Hapkido.
  20. jroe52

    jroe52 Valued Member

    i looked at it as a meditation stance or a mini-part of a larger form...

    i could see its relation to qigong meditation or how we do shil lim tao in meditation (still qigong, if you think technically... aka chinese yoga... unless of course you think meditation is fiction and pointless as bill gee does... in this case you would focus on the centering and allignment parts only)

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