Hybridized Martial Arts Training

What's good, y'all? Santanu Rahman here!

You've heard of MMA, right? It stands for "Mixed Martial Arts". That basically means they take a variety of martial arts styles, and combine them to make a very effective fighter. In the UFC (Ultimate Fight Championship), the mains styles the athletes use is western boxing, kick boxing, Muay Thai kickboxing, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and Wrestling. Sometimes people will have other arts they bring into the fold such as Judo, Sambo, and even Karate (by well known fighters like Georges St. Pierre and Lyoto Machida).

The concept was popularized by Bruce Lee in the late 1960's, with his philosophical concept of a martial art, "Jeet Kune Do", where he says to absorb what is useful and reject what is useless. He was coined as the father of MMA.

So the idea is a fantastic one, and in my opinion, what art is all about. It is about personal expression. 

Usually when we talk about the hybridization of martial arts, we generally talk about it in terms of combat. Well, I'm going to flip the script a little. I'm going to apply it to forms. Forms are pre choreographed solo routines that you can practice to build some basic attributes. 

Now, combining forms in the world of Kung-Fu is nothing new at all. Styles were constantly combined to create new styles. The snake and crane arts of Shaolin were said to make up arts such as Tai Chi Chuan. The style of Kung-Fu we do, Choy Lay Fut Kung-Fu, is a hybrid of Northern Chinese martial arts (footwork), Southern Chinese martial arts (fist techniques), and the Buddha Palm style (open palm striking). 

Well, I recently did a hybridization that was really bizarre, and cool. But before I tell you that, I need to tell you a little back story. I started my martial arts journey with a style called Shito Ryu Karate, from Okinawa. In Karate, we work a lot on "Kime", which is a snapping power. 

Now, Choy Lay Fut Kung-Fu is known for it's relaxed whipping power. I know how to generate this power pretty proficiently. We spend probably 75% of our adults Kung-Fu classes on developing this power on pads with a wide variety of drills.

So, Choy Lay Fut's forms are supposed to be done with that relaxed, whipping power method. But the other day I thought, "What if I tried doing the Karate Kime in my Choy Lay Fut forms?"

I tried it.....and I have to say......I KIND OF LOVE IT!!! To people of my Choy Lay Fut lineage, if they saw how I hybridized that, they would chastise me, and I would no hear the end of it about how wrong I am to do that. So, I won't make any videos of it (YET!). 

But I have to tell you, I absolutely loved it, 100%! It gave me a new way of looking at the moves, I was able to generate a lot of power, without needing a ton of cardio (as the typical way has you). Don't get me wrong, I was sweating and breathing hard, but I was not completely spent! It moved way slower and was staccato, which almost makes the art unrecognizable.

So I am finding that this is very much working for me, as my own form of exercise and working out. I might not teach it this way to my students right away...I want them to have a general understanding of the energy that was intended for the art. Then later on, I'll show them my hybridized method!