Is Kung Fu real?

Is Kung Fu a fake?

A good question

One of the most common questions that newbies ask on the web is the one about if Kung Fu (or any other martial art) is a “fake” or is “real” in terms of effectiveness.

The answer is yes, it could be a fake, if trained in the wrong way (read Is traditional Chinese Kung Fu practical for fighting?), as it happens for any other martial art or combat system:

  • Krav Maga
  • Karate
  • MMA (in its modern meaning)
  • BJJ
  • JKD

When Kung Fu is ineffective in combat?

It is completely useless when:

  • The training consists (only) on repeating the same movements – Without sparring (dynamic targets, etc.), the practitioner will learn the movements but not how to fight (read The meaning of sparring fighting in martial arts)
  • The training consists only on studying techniques against cooperative partners – The practitioner will learn those techniques for an exhibition but not how to insert them in a real context (read A scheme to quickly learn any kind of technique)
  • The training does not focus (enough) on physical conditioning – The practitioner will be weak, slow, clumsy, fatigued, easy to surprise, tire and damage (read Physical conditioning: how it works)
  • The preparation does not focus (enough) on the mental aspect, strategy and tactic – No one can elaborate effective combat tactics in the moment of real need, it is too late (read /// Subscribe (it's free!) or Login to see this content ///)
  • The methods do not update, customize and expands – No fighting system has reached (and will reach) the perfection, they evolve, one in relation to the other (read 7 principles to become a better fighter)
  • Today training is too commercial – Kung Fu is for special people with a special mindset; who thinks it is possible to become a good fighter with 1-4 hours of gentle movements per week is simply a fool (read Tips on how to stretch our training times)

So, what makes Kung Fu useless in terms of fighting?

Let’s try to focus on a few facts:

  • Without real training, even the most perfect combat system fails – The major difficulty is to encourage serious training focused on practical application and experimentation (as we said sparring, etc., read Why martial arts do not work: 5 reasons)
  • A secret that is no more a secret – The art of combat has evolved over the centuries (and not only in relation to the advent of fire weapons), what used to be a well-kept secret, today (in quality martial circles), is for everyone
  • If you know it, you avoid it – If we hope to prevail against skilled adversaries in today’s combat with old techniques / tricks already studied for generations and generations, then yes, Kung Fu is completely ineffective
  • Being dwarfs on the shoulders of giants – If instead, we take the best of the past (concepts, principles, etc.), we make it our own and connect them to what today’s fighting systems are, there is no martial art that can match Kung Fu
  • Kung Fu is not a single combat system, it is an ensemble of thousands of styles – Kung Fu represents such an extension of martial knowledge that it far surpasses any other system of struggle (it contains throws, ground fighting, striking, joint levers, an incredible number of weapons, etc., read Martial arts: all derive from Kung Fu?)
  • Many ways, many difficulties – The real difficulty is to distinguish what is good from what is no longer good (or never has been); no one knows all of Kung Fu, it is composed by hundreds and hundreds of different fighting styles (which sometimes have diametrically opposed approaches)

The reply to the question “is Kung Fu real or fake?” is very simple: everything depends on the quality of daily training and the mindset of the practitioner.

A note by Master Kongling – The point is that who see a martial art as a closed and ended book will always be surpassed. Who learn from the past, test in the present and project for the future will always have an incredible advantage.

How 6 Dragons Kung Fu address the challenge of synthesis

The 6 Dragons Kung Fu is a fluid martial art made of principles before of techniques, it tries to respond to the need of synthesis, putting together:

In-depth video courses

In-depth articles


Reply in the comments and share your experience:

  • What are your doubts about Kung Fu?

Author: Master Kongling

Founder of 6 Dragons Kung Fu.

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