Chinese Boxing, Kickboxing, or Boxkicking?

Chinese Boxing, Kickboxing, or Boxkicking?

One of the worst misconception in CMA is that CMA sparring and fighting needs to look different than [fill in any other art or combat sport]. What works looks surprisingly very similar – and what does not work looks very different.

Guess what – one of the frequently used idioms for martial arts was Kyun Seut, lit. “Art of the Fist”, or Kyun Faat, “Fist Methods”, i.e. “boxing” or “pugilism”.

Another old idiom for martial arts was Kyun Geuk, lit. “Fists & Legs” – basically kickboxing, just the other way round, “boxkicking”. Of course CMA cover also other modes of attack, such as elbow strikes, palm strikes, finger pokes, throws, grabs, joint locks, weapons, etc., but the message is clear – punching and kicking – “boxing” or “boxkicking” – is the foundation.

So – any time I hear “it is just kickboxing”, I wanna punch or kick the guy.

PHK approach to developing the combat skills is simple, methodical, and practical: 

  • Learn the basic strikes and kicks in (as presented in our PHK Intro Kit) – so called “Seed Boxing” (Kyun Jing) techniques.
  • Add street combat specific techniques, such as groin kicks/groin strikes.
  • Add Hung Kyun’s “Special Hands”, such as “Long Bridges” (Cheung Kiu) techniques.
  • Integrate with all other aspects of the combat game, which are cover in our PHK Plugins, such as multiple attackers, knife survival, ground fighting, etc.

PHK “Long Bridges” Combat Combination | Practical Hung Kyun

  • Use all types of protective gear – from big boxing gloves to small MMA gloves, shin pads, and of course cup & mouth piece. You may not use ALL techniques from Hung Kyun arsenal, but you can use A LOT, and – use full force, full aggression, without unnecessary injuries.
  • Practice all different types of situational scenarios, sparring drills, and sparring.

If the grandmasters of the past had the opportunity to use the protective gear, they would! Less injuries equals more time you can spend training. Save your macho nonsense stories of full contact fighting without gloves for your little niece – we have seen many of those useless “Slap Fu” videos.  Don’t worry, you will have a chance to practice all other techniques in other modes of combat training, such as application drills, self-protection drills and scenarios.

You can strive for uniqueness and looking different – or fighting better. We at PHK made our choice long time ago.

And remember, any time somebody says “but it looks like kickboxing”… you know what to do.

Pavel Macek Sifu, Practical Hung Kyun

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  • Murilo Caruy Póvoa

    I was thinking about that for some time. The ancient Greeks, Romans and Egyptians had pugilism in their sports, and usually they used a primitive glove made of leather stripes (called “cestus” by the first two https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cestus), and the Thai and Birmanese had something similar made of rope. If “boxing gloves” was something so old and widespread, why they were never adopted by the old chinese masters? I don’t think that they couldn’t invent one, they were certainly crafty with their equipment. And if they did used things like gloves, certainly was not widespread, I’ve never seem or heard about them, beside the teachers that had been influenced by western boxing. What about you, Pavel?

    • Many Chinese masters have adopted various kinds of protective gear, including boxing gloves – Hung Kyun, Choi Lei Fat, Daai Sing Pek Gwa, Taijiquan, Yiquan. They have not been necessarily influenced by boxing – and even if they were, good. What about me? Have you read the article?

      • Murilo Caruy Póvoa

        I’ve read your article, of course. It’s just that some people say past masters did not used protective equipment because they were not available, which I disagree, since I believe that they could invent their own. My question is if you have ever found or heard about chinese made protective equipment that was not influenced by western protective equipment.

        • Same did, some did not, some do today, so me do not. Traditional Chinese protective gear? I do not know, and honestly, I do not care, not important. The influence was mutual – Western arts influenced the oriental arts, and vice versa. What is important – how about us today?

          • Murilo Caruy Póvoa

            About today, I agree with you. Personally started using gloves since I teared my knuckles’ skin when striking the punching bag in my early training days, a beginners mistake thanks to macho attitude like you said, and hurt a friend in sparring.

          • Most of the time we DO strike sandbag with bare hands, and use gloves when sparring.

  • Ying Ting Sung

    I enjoyed your article, but you have photoshopped the wrong glove on TaiSigung’s hand. You have a left hand glove on his right hand. There’s no need.

    Apart from that, your articles are great. Keeping the fire of Hung Kuen alive. ^_^

    • You are right! That needs to be corrected asap, thank you!