Karate Kung Fu is Cool!
I got my Karate Kung Fu-ed the day this kung fu guy came to work for my company.
This was back in the seventies, and martial arts were all the craze. Chop sockies were hitting the drive ins, and stores were popping up with ‘Karate Kung Fu’ written on their faces.
Now, to be sure, I had been doing Karate for six or seven years, and all these new guys were coming in off the Bruce Lee craze. Some of them would stick, some of them would drift.
Anyway, I walked up to where this new guy was talking to the boss. This was a factory and we were all young and loose guys, just working and having fun.
Now, in fairness, I was exuberant. When I placed my hand on the kung fu guy’s shoulder there was a message there. It was friendly, it was silent, but he and I, even though he hadn’t seen me physically he knew who it was, knew it was a friendly ‘what ya got’ type of thing.
He spun, his arms outstretched. It was a windmill sort of kung fu double chop, one hand to my arm, and one arm to my neck.
I realized what he was doing, it was very different than how I had been trained, and I stepped back.
He managed to get my arm, and missed the neck, but he took it was a win. And it was. It was Karate Kung Fu-ed, and that was okay with me.
Heck, if I hadn’t been trained I would have been dead meat.
As it was, I had more experience, I could figure things out, I didn’t have that momentary gap of thinking when figuring out things, but he displayed good kung fu form, good kung fu technique.
So we grinned, I knew he would go back and tell his sifu how well his martial art worked, and that was fine.
And, as for me, I was struck by the difference of kung fu to karate. Over the years I would study kung fu, lots of it. Shaolin, pa kua, tai chi, exotic styles one nevers about. But I would always hold to Karate as a base art. As a fighting art it was superior. It is more explosive, straighter, and more efficient. There are other things to be gleaneed form Kung fu, and these things can’t be found in Karate, the way energy works, odd technqiues that make a difference.
Still, I hold to karate for basic self defense and fighting. That first experience, me, my karate kung fu-ed (not), has proven true over the decades.