Describing a school as 'Shaolin'

Discussion in 'Kung Fu' started by belltoller, Jul 15, 2015.

  1. belltoller

    belltoller OffTopic MonstreOrdinaire Supporter

    Could you elaborate on this, perhaps in a separate thread?

    I'd to leave my previous boxing gym a couple of months ago due to logistics and, ironically, I came upon a TMA school that would be feasible to attend.

    It proposes to teach Kung Fu and seems to have a good reputation (in so far as I've looked) but it does claim a Shaolin lineage.

    I'm not quite certain if you are indicating that "shaolin" signifies bunk in general when you mentioned "shaolin bandwagon".

  2. 47MartialMan

    47MartialMan Valued Member

    Examine/Question "why" your current Kung Fu class has to use the term "Shaolin"

    No different than the "Ninja Bandwagon"

    Can the lineage be accurately proven or is it a item of namesake and/or propaganda?

    I will not apologize for being critical but I do apologize if you were "personally" offended
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2015
  3. aaradia

    aaradia Choy Li Fut and Yang Tai Chi Chuan Student Moderator Supporter

    Don't join a school because it says it is Shaolin, but don't dismiss one because of it either. Almost every TCMA claims it goes back to Shaolin in some way, shape, or form. It is part of the mythology mixed into the history of TCMA's.

    Look for the lineage of the training. Don't get roped into a school merely because they invoke the name "Shaolin."

    That school is run by the guy who coached Cung Le, isn't it? Some others MMA fighters trained by him too, right? Definitely worth checking out!
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2015
  4. 47MartialMan

    47MartialMan Valued Member

    Using the term for namesake is a sales-pitch even if there is a good instructor

    Why someone has to claim Shaolin, why can't their skills and training (with a good lineage instructor) be enough on its own merit?
  5. aaradia

    aaradia Choy Li Fut and Yang Tai Chi Chuan Student Moderator Supporter

    Avoiding a good school just because they choose, for whatever reason, to use Shaolin in their name is just as stupid as choosing as school solely because they do use the word.

    Head of that school trained Cung Le and others of note. That is legitimate credentials enough to be worth checking out to me. To avoid it because of one word would be stupid IMO.
  6. Johnno

    Johnno Valued Member

    Very true - unless that one word is 'Ninja'.
  7. 47MartialMan

    47MartialMan Valued Member

    So if they also used Ninja, Shaolin Do, Claim JKD, or some non-authentic term, does it make it right?

    How can one lay claim to Shaoiln as a lineage if not for a namesake.

    Shouldn't their skill or previous instruction/instructor stand on its own merit

    It comes down to nonsensical propaganda as a marketing ploy leading to false representation

    Cung also started a Ninja School
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2015
  8. belltoller

    belltoller OffTopic MonstreOrdinaire Supporter

    Not offended at'tall. I've no dog in it one way or the other. Was interested in how you came about your opinion on "shaolin" (whether pro or con) as you seemed to've spent a good bit of time delving into the subject - particularly as you were a proponent of - whatever "Shaolin" represents - but have since changed your mind about it - if that's correct.

    Yes, aaradia. The same.

    There's a good bit about the said Shaolin lineage in the "About/FAQ" tab at the top, MartialMan. I've no TMA experience so I canna judge if and to what degree, any of that means anything.
  9. 47MartialMan

    47MartialMan Valued Member

    Understand, I am not out to belittle

    The Shaolin Bandwagon is those who use the name for the sake of commercial gain or sales exposure. Whereas the name does not support a "Authentic Proven Lineage". The name is used to add more credentials or intrigue

    Even if the teacher has other outstanding credentials, why should they stoop to a level of propaganda to "sell".

    It seems like "false advertisement" and this is close to being deceitful

    Learning From a Shaolin Monk:
    I do not wish to offend or come off as stating that no one could use a "light reference" from Shaolin. But given that, why claim Shaolin or use its name. Why not just say a monk from Ch'an or Zen? Why must the name Shaolin be affixed unless there was recognition for the name?

    I thought a "authentic" Shaolin Monk will be upon the study of Ch'an, not martial arts.

    Oh wait, that's right, if it was a monk of Ch'an, no one would sign up for martial arts
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2015
  10. belltoller

    belltoller OffTopic MonstreOrdinaire Supporter

    I do agree with this but the way the classes run as was explained to me, there is a "basic Kung Fu" class that they put beginning students in, a more general adult Kung Fu class after you've been in for a while and then there are the fitness kickboxing, the Sanshou classes and the Sanda group - which seems to be a floating, by invitation only, informal group when described, reminded me a lot of the informal Transitions class that our old MMA school in Ohio had for ammy/semi-pro's who were competing in sanctioned events.


    The Sanshou is mostly of the soft-contact variety; however, they do have a full-contact version of the class but they became equivocal when I inquired about specific details - I think it after I told them I was 51.

    I suppose my question being, if I'm going to be spending valuable time learning "kung Fu", I'd like to know if there is something to what I'm being asked to believe in.
  11. 47MartialMan

    47MartialMan Valued Member

    Last edited: Jul 15, 2015
  12. El Medico

    El Medico Valued Member

    47MM,regardless of the accuracy of it all,there are many lines which have been claiming "Shaolin" as background for many,many years.So a lot of the Chinese teachers are just continuing what the system has been called for a long time.

    I don't feel Fu Hok has much to do w/Shaolin,but I'm not going to worry over the fact that ALL Fu Hok,including my line, identifies itself as such.Many people within such systems do believe it,y'know.It's not all just deliberate false advertising.

    Naturally,being the priggish historian type I am you may rest assured I've never--(perish the thought!)- used the name as regards my Fu Hok.

    All this gets compounded further when individuals just blithely tack "Shaolin" on to whatever they're doing, "Shaolin" Kenpo.:rolleyes:
  13. 47MartialMan

    47MartialMan Valued Member

    This may apply to ALL out there tacking on the name :p

    Bare in mind, as I had stated, I am not out to belittle.

    Somehow, some way, this romanticism has to come to a reality

    Ignorance is bliss and all that, does not imply to those who know the reality from certain untruths.

    For example; likewise someone going back to study TKD with their daughter
    There is no harm in learning, provided that what is represented is thoroughly understood and that there isn't false advertisement or non-accurate propaganda to intice

    On another example of certain prejudice;
    Why is someone slammed or challenged when they state they are learning from a Ninja Master, verses someone stating they are learning from a Shaolin Monk (the latter hardly being challenged)

    Last edited: Jul 15, 2015
  14. El Medico

    El Medico Valued Member

    Yeah,well,you know how I feel about the whole Shaolin thing.Same as you.

    Even the monks ain't monks.

    P.S.--weird-when I look at my post in the forum a sentence reads "It's all just deliberate false advertising."

    When I look at it below when I'm writing this post it reads as it should," It's not all just deliberate false advertising."

    Must be something on my end.
  15. 47MartialMan

    47MartialMan Valued Member

    On another note: Celebrities have been endorsing crappy stuff for decades, who is to say that most of what is at the school that Cung is involved with, not crappy?

    I don't care who endorses it, if it looks like crap or a McDojo......
  16. aaradia

    aaradia Choy Li Fut and Yang Tai Chi Chuan Student Moderator Supporter

    It isn't who endorsed it, it is who RUNS the school. The main trainer- possibly the head of that school trained Cung Le. Straw man argument talking about endorsments. I am talking about the trainers, not the endorsers.

    People often say to look at lineages in traditional schools to see if it is a legit lineage as one factor to consider.

    In schools that train competition, they usually say look at the track record of the people who train there.

    Cung Le
    I think Pat Barry too? I would have to go look at the page to remind myself who, but I think Pat Berry.

    I am saying that is legit enough to take a look at. Not saying it automatically makes it great, but legit enough to go check it out for sure. You never know until you walk into the school.

    I am saying to not have a knee jerk reaction against it merely because the term Shaolin is associated with it. :rolleyes:
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2015
  17. 47MartialMan

    47MartialMan Valued Member

    Yep..Even it Cung was there and the school was called "Shaolin Ninja", still interesting to check it out
  18. The Iron Fist

    The Iron Fist Banned Banned

    A great case study, the "Fu Hok". The Fu and Hok styles were commonly associated with Shaolin in the Ming Dynasty because they both traveled through it (as well as a lot of other places inside and outside China.), and Shaolin heroes real and legendary emerged in those styles especially ones who combined styles and mixed their own legendary "brew". Choy Li Fut Hung gar Wing Chun all these share common cores but each became its own cultural identity, distant but somehow related. And its important to realize this fact: ~100-150 years ago, Wong Fei Hung was also tacking on "Shaolin" but it was considered far and wide to be authentic. Wong Fei Hung's Po Chi Lam was the latter in a long succession of Shaolin-associated healing and fighting arts that preceded him by his father, uncles and so forth. So in the old days of China it was totally normal to have some sort of distant past relationship with the Shaolin. I'd argue the Shaolin were and still are a great cultural treasure of China for a wide variety of reasons. It was not a big deal, and even a layperson, if they spent some time learning from a monk, might know a thing or to to teach others. The martial arts bits are more or less, child's play, in my humble opinion. The life lessons have far wider applications.
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2015
  19. belltoller

    belltoller OffTopic MonstreOrdinaire Supporter

    Barry. Its Pat Barry. He's still quite active having retired from MMA and returned to kickboxing, having signed with Glory and some arrangements made with Legacy FC.

    Interesting story regarding he and my potential new school and why I'm having such a bleedin row over their FC class.

    Barry had been an instructor at the school and it was their custom to have regular full contact sparring ( which personally, I think wonderful ) and unfortunately one of the students suffered a concussion during the sparring session.

    There was a lawsuit, a dismissal and then a reversal by the court in favour of the plaintiff.

    The effect being they have become understandably cagey regarding who they let into their full-contact class.

    I jokingly told them not to worry that I could take shots and I'd have heart failure long before I was KO'd.

    They didn't seem to think it funny, for some reason.

    I'd already made the decision to have a butcher's. The idea that they've full-contact sanshou lends is compelling enough in itself for that.

    Just doing my due diligence with respects to knowing at least something regarding Kung Fu and TCMA before I go in and getting this "shaolin" bit settled in me head and done is the first order of business.

    There are other issues of practical import such as reasonable, customary fees to be expected, contracts, etc. but this Shaolin lineage thing pesters as much as it fascinates me for some reason. It prolly shouldn't but it does.

    I'm much more prone to relaxing and experiencing the class if I "know the market" before I go in, so to speak.
  20. aaradia

    aaradia Choy Li Fut and Yang Tai Chi Chuan Student Moderator Supporter

    Yeah, I caught my typo and fixed it. But not before you caught it. :eek:

    How on earth did they not have a clause protecting them from lawsuits with regards to injuries from training? :confused:
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2015

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