You have questions and we (may) have answers!

We're happy to try and help fellow enthusiasts in the field of CMA (Chinese Martial Arts). We get questions every day, and do our best to answer them. We try to respond when we can but the entire Plum staff counts as three people (and we all have full-time jobs in addition to Plum) so we won't always get back to you in record time. Also, some "easy" questions bear a lot more consideration than the inquirer might think. So, if you have a question, send it along, but please glance at our guidelines before doing so...it may save us both some time and effort, and reduce a little heartbreak along the way.

1. "Please tell me honestly".
We tend to laugh when we see this in a letter! Please! We are, if nothing else, already one of the most honest sites on the web concerning Martial material. If we don't like someone or can't get our hands on something, it probably won't appear on our site. We will ALWAYS offer our honest opinion, whether or not you ask for it.

2. Be Courteous! Please observe normal rules of martial communication...

A. Please don't ask us to track down something you saw on, say, youtube. "There's this guy who does a really cool saber set..." We have mixed feelings about youtube--on the one hand, some very rare material is made available there, real treasures that have been stored away in shoe boxes in people's closets for years. On the other hand, it elevates all material to the same level. If you see something you like there, enjoy it, or if you must pursue it, ask the person who posted it which vcd or dvd they swiped it from.

B. Although we are happy to answer (some) questions about the material we sell, please consider what you are asking: "Can you please watch the DVD on Fish Boxing and tell me how to do the 7th move about 12 minutes in?" We sell almost 3000 VCDs and DVDs and, while we have reviewed each one, they do not all stick in our heads.

C. Please don't ask us to rate products or events on other sites. We don't necessarily have all the other products out there, and if it is not on our site there might be a reason for it! On the other hand, we do appreciate recommendations, so if you want to suggest something we are always willing to consider other material, as long as you understand we may not want or be able to get it.

D. Don't ask us to rate other teachers. We often give such indications in our reviews and, generally, that's about as far as we want to go. In some cases we may restrain the heat of our criticism in deference to factors known to us, while still keeping our opinions honest.

E. Consider you questions. "Is there a fly style?" "How do I contact a real monk?" "Who's more powerful, the Thor or the Hulk?" Please.

F. When submitting questions, tell us a little about yourself so we have a context. Instead of, "How fast can I learn the steel whip?' Make it, "I'm a forty year veteran of watching Kung Fu movies from the couch but I have three years training in the Bates Method. How fast can I learn the steel whip?"

G. Don't engage in the counting game. It may seem grumpy but we've been doing this a while and are pretty tired of "Is this the 123 Tai Chi Fast set or the 87 posture version with the 4 extra hidden kicks." You must understand that most of these counts are, shall we say, less than significant.

H. If you have a teacher, please consider NOT asking us questions about things you have not yet learned. This is very difficult. "I am studying with a Wudang master and am wondering if you can answer some questions about Wudang for me." Every teacher has a pace and a reason for that pace. It is not for us to give away 'the ending' to the story. If you have not yet learned the 7 Sacred Breaths from your style, there might be a reason for it.

3. If you need to call us by phone, please know these things:

a. Please leave a message with your name, phone number, and a good time to call. You might even let us know your area, so we can figure out time differences. Please also let us know the reason for your call ("I have a question about my order", etc).

b. Please leave ONLY ONE MESSAGE! That's right...leaving seven messages will not get us to return your call any sooner (ah, you think we exaggerate but, sadly, we don't!)

c. Our phone response 'delay' can be as much as 72 hours. Phone responses require a different sort of timing and convenience: when we are able, given our day jobs and other work to have the time to reply, time differences between the west coast and the east coast, things like that. This is why we REALLY encourage people to email us, if at all possible. We are really fast with email and, chances are, even if you are calling about an order, we are more likely to reply quickly through email..

d. Did we mention that we REALLY prefer email communication?

When we created the site we wanted to leave the controversy outside because we knew there would be a world of it on the web, mostly unimportant, and we've been vindicated. For example, a couple of days ago in the public library a fellow came up and asked if I was Ted Mancuso. When I answered "yes" the guy said, "I just wanted to know about an incident that happened between Kumar Frantzis and Jerry Alan Johnson." Needless to say I just let that one lay.

What we LIKE is to know more about you. How much study do you have? Which styles? What styles are you interested in? Also, we may want to use your questions and our responses for our new Q&A page, anonymously, of course, unless you request otherwise.



Click to Contact Plum Online

By Phone (Voicemail):

By Mail:
Plum Publications
PO Box 1134

Santa Cruz, CA 95061

Plum Publications
849 Almar Ave
Ste C, #513

Santa Cruz, CA 95060