What Can The East Learn From The West?

What can the east learn from the west…


Eastern cultures possess a rich history. Many eastern countries are off-shoots of ancient civilisations and this has allowed them many years to test methods and practices like Chinese medicine.

A lot of eastern philosophies never make their way to the west despite their supposed benefits. A lack sound evidence and research are the cause.

We live in a world driven by science and data. For something to earn our buck it must be supported by studies and research. But the east tends to rely on dogma and anecdotes – a strategy that fails to sway western sceptics.

Westerners who experiment with eastern techniques are in the minority. Until the east adopts rigorous methods to prove effectiveness, their unique knowledge will remain in the dark.

Sharing of ideas

Failure to share is not isolated to the east but appears more prevalent.

Kung Fu forms a significant part of Chinese culture. But over the years many forms have been lost because of unwilling teachers.

Masters and grandmasters choose not to teach their specific skills for two reasons:

  1. They haven’t found a student worthy enough
  2. They don’t wish their form of Kung Fu to spread, preferring secrecy

This thinking is damaging Kung Fu. Imagine the possibilities if sharing was encouraged instead of looked upon negatively.


Kung Fu training is very well-rounded but could be improved changing exercise order. Often, power training and mentally stimulating drills are left to the end. This increases the chance of injury and reduces performance due to fatigue.

Training sessions would be more effective if challenging exercises were prioritised.

Build strength

Endurance is the focus of body conditioning in the east – high repetition sets are the norm. Endurance is an important part of martial arts but a greater focus on strength would improve performance.

Visualise a pyramid – strength forms the base and other physical attributes, like endurance and speed, are stacked on top. By creating a larger strength base it is easier to build the other physical abilities and create a balanced athlete in the process.

What are your thoughts on what the east can learn from the west? Do you agree? I look forward to reading your comments.


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