One day quite a while back, I came across an interesting site – www.kungfu.net – a school in Oakland that offers training in taijiquan, xingyiquan, Northern Shaolin, and sanshou (the mixed martial art sports format with strikes and throws) . Anyway, what’s interesting is that its traditional styles are from Wong Jack Man – combatant of Bruce Lee in his infamous Chinatown fight – after this fight by all accounts Bruce Lee started emphasizing weightlifting and cardio. Lee is a grandfather or at least a precursor to modern mma and his approach seemed very “external”. However, Wong Jack Man continued down the internal arts path, building more “internal power”, presumably instead of weights and cardio. Now, the fighters at this school have produced more US san shou champions than anyone else, including Cung Le’s school, and William CC Chen’s taijiquan school. Hmm, something about that history seems ironic. According to the site, the head instructor is one of the head coaches of the US sanshou team and has a black belt in kyokushin (a very hard full-contact style of karate), a blue belt in BJJ, plus training in Greco-Roman, yet the school teaches Chinese arts – seemingly an internal/external mixed approach. Fascinating. Maybe there is no lesson here other than that mma of internal/external, soft/hard, striking/grappling or even internal/internal is a good thing. I just find the history interesting. I’d like to attend the school and find out more about their training and this story. Not sure when I’ll ever be close enough to Oakland.

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