More times than not… the stress response is activated during modern Kungfu vs MMA challenges and goes into overdrive anytime popular kungfu interpretation examines its own feudal history (the one that is not reimagined/approved by the Chinese State Commission for Physical Culture and Sports). Elevated levels of stress and anxiety often accompany vestibular dysfunction- overwhelming dizziness and loss of balance are common in kungfu practitioners with panic and other anxiety disorders. A stressed-out vestibular system may induce fear of movement, the feeling of insecurity in a fight, and unbalanced emotions in the context of proper historical documentation. Extensive circle walking and feudal insight harmonize the interaction between stress and vestibular compensation.
[Xu Xiaodong’s coach Mei Huizhi, demonstrates principals of the circle]
In any era, self-defense requires standards and context relevant to its environment. Feudal Baguazhang strategies nowadays are often adapted for combat sports, fitness, or holistic routes in training, to cater to the modern man. For instance, ancient polearms/ instruments are adapted for body alignment/strength conditioning, to benefit the everyday person. Unarmed techniques are now used in conjunction with compact carry weapons of the 21st century. Mei Huizhi is a pioneer of Sanda sport in China, while remaining a dedicated practitioner of old school Baguazhang. He has integrated principals of Bagua footwork and grappling into Chinese Sanda and MMA.
Certain historians believe the unarmed structures of western boxing evolved from the quarterstaff. The angles of the guard and strikes in that era are reminiscent of the exotic postures seen in many Kungfu styles. Modernization of boxing/empty-hand fighting has gradually altered the original polearm structures- inherent in the east and the west. [John L. Sullivan in pic]
Shanqi (善耆; 1866–1922; 10th), held the title Prince Su of the First Rank from 1898 to 1922, posthumously honored as Prince Suzhong of the First Rank (肅忠親王). There are three noticeable Airbenders in the background. Eunuch bodyguards of the good prince would look like the pic. Dong Haichuan is employed by Prince Shanqi in the 19th century.
The vast majority of Yin Style Baguazhang folk stories are based on Gong Baotian (Yin Fu’s disciple and not Yin Fu himself). A 2019 article documents one incident which Yin Fu encountered during his life. The story presents more realism on how Yin Fu’s Baguazhang is utilized, outside of an MMA cage and away from the tree:
Yin Fu is very loyal. Once he was at the forefront of a friend, the two sides invited dozens of people to start a scuffle in the courtyard (undocumented reason). During the dispute, Yin Fu suddenly realized the conflict was not for loyalty, but for the parties competing interests. Among the enemies, there is a surname of Yang, who was also a well-known martial arts master at that time, but there is still a considerable gap between his kung fu and Yin Fu. Yin Fu became more and more fierce, and the enemy fled. After the event, the number of people was counted. Four people were killed on the spot and more than a dozen were injured. Later, in an attempt for revenge, Yang and his crew retaliated using six-wheeled pistols, and took a shot while Yin Fu was sleeping. Yang went to the room where Yin Fu was asleep (supposedly a hospital) and pulled a revolver from the sleeves. Yin Fu counter ambushed Yang, causing a big shock- resulting in Yang shooting himself. The government intervened in this matter and Yang was arrested and sentenced.
A unique characteristic of Chinese fighting arts is the integration of feudal instruments, within the empty hand structures. Close-in wrestling and striking are delivered in conjunction with weapons strategy- this is a primary reason kungfu looks so exotic. The Kungfu vs MMA debate fails to acknowledge most urban adversaries in ancient (and modern) era are armed- a primary emphasis on empty hand application is excellent for combat sport pugilism, however, limited for the real world.