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Feb
10
2017

Coloring in the Picture: Bubishi and Hakka styles

The Colorful Bubishi… We now carry both the Bubishi and the new Lion Books, General Tian’s Wubeizhi, with painted figures. This special copy is unlike all other copies presently known. In an amazing confluence of facts, we just happened to read the following footnote in Patrick McCarthy’s Book on Bubishi: … According to Mr. Yoza […]

Jan
17
2017

Year of the Fire Rooster–January 28, 2017

Year after year, Narrye Caldwell’s annual Chinese Astrological analysis has been one of Plum’s most popular and requested topics. We are happy to once again offer it here. All Chinese wisdom traditions, including medicine, divination, astrology, and feng shui, are systems of pattern identification that guide us in adapting gracefully to change. A world in […]

Jan
10
2017

Stillness & Movement: Part Three

Dynamic Balance There’s a very old martial arts saying that we should “find stillness in movement, and movement in stillness.” It’s not just an old saw. For instance, say someone punches at you. You move out of the way extremely rapidly, but not so hurried that you resemble a bad example of the startle response; […]

Jan
9
2017

Stillness & Movement: Part Two

Thinking About Movement Learning movement—and therefore footwork—is a progression through four modes of stepping. First, when the beginner has just walked in off the street and you ask him to punch,  he will shoot arm first, before stepping. Envision tense shoulders, chest out and arm fully extended as he steps/falls awkwardly. Here’s the first, or […]

Jan
8
2017

Stillness & Movement: Part One

We’re having the storm of the century here in Santa Cruz. I see the trees in my yard bending to breaking, under a malicious, pushing wind that is nothing but movement one second, then still as a vanished squirrel the next.  I think of stillness and movement, my mind chasing them both down into the […]

Dec
23
2016

A Tale of Two Texts

So here’s how the story goes. It’s just a small anecdote about Bruce Lee (off stage) and Jimmy Lee (right in the middle). It’s also about keeping secrets and paying odd debts, with just a bit of rectifying humor in the bargain. It starts with one of the first English language books about Kung Fu, […]

Dec
16
2016

The Bible of Karate

What is the Bubishi? It is many things, but it’s most common attribution is “the Bible of Karate.” Why should Chinese stylists take an interest in a book that is fundamental to an Okinawan art? Because a closer look at this remarkable text opens up a widely different estimation, one that is both more expansive, […]

Dec
16
2016

A Wire of Iron

What a year the monkey has been! Now, we have so much good stuff coming in we can act like the Rooster Year is already here, and can start to crow a bit. In the next couple of months, we’re looking forward to adding more and more top quality books and DVDs, often in English.  […]

Dec
10
2016

A Welcome Guest: The Hakka Fist

I have a friend, Tek Young Lin, who is a born storyteller. He can weave a tale with every nuance—the smell, the expressions, the details—all brought to life. He can twist a yarn about anything or nothing. In fact, he tells a wonderful Daoist story about collecting holes, and how his best friend almost tumbled […]

Dec
3
2016

International Shipping Rates Drop

We’ve spent 20 years building a catalogue of hand-picked, traditional, rare books and videos. But every year the post office makes it a little harder to ship these fine products, at a reasonable rate, to our many international customers. The rise in prices has been so extreme that we’ve actually been subsidizing the costs. We […]

Dec
1
2016

Hung Gar booklets back in stock

LOTS of exciting new and returning titles coming over the next couple of months! For right now, these three ever-popular Hung Gar booklets (below) are finally back in stock. Click each picture to go to the page. Back with more, soon!  

Nov
29
2016

You Are Hired: Bodyguard Kung Fu

 Put yourself in the thick of it. What would you do? Your world is split into two—principals and enemies in a constant power struggle. Many hidden factions promote ninja-type fighting skills. You must protect your principal at all costs, yet not every situation requires deadly force so you have to be an expert at making […]

Nov
3
2016

Understanding Basics, The Chinese Way

Everything starts with basics. And when you are young or just beginning a long term study of expertise, or your taste runs to the piano or the basketball hoop, there is always a sentinel line of basics to be crossed before you get to the “good stuff.” But the surprise—sometimes disappointingly painful or tedious—is that […]

Oct
12
2016

Deconstructing Yin and Yang

You do not need to know anything about Asian philosophy to study Chinese martial arts. But that’s not to say that some understanding might not really enhance your experience. I hope that by deconstructing the parts of the famous Yin Yang diagram, I can show you some fighting principles and patterns of change based on […]

Oct
7
2016

This Is How Bagua Is Done

There are two ways to make a DVD, irrespective of a particular style. The first way is to follow your style’s structure: warm ups, basics, form and sampled applications. The second way, less common, is to offer, derived from your style, skills that might be universally helpful to appropriate seekers. Imagine a Long Fist practice […]

Sep
24
2016

Letter to the Editor: Partner Drills

Quite often, we receive emails from customers whose comments are worth a post of their own. Dear Debbie, I really appreciate that you send the orders so fast!  It helps me a lot! You are providing a very important service bringing traditional Chinese Martial Arts to people.  I, for one, see that a resurgence in […]

Aug
26
2016

Expand Yourself

Just in the final stages of the book I’m writing on Kung Fu Saber. I had an insight about why I’m fascinated by weapon’s work. Below is a rounding out of some of these thoughts. I’ve mentioned a few times that I have a slightly different idea about the relation of weapons play to martial […]

Aug
18
2016

Classics Texts for the Scholar’s Shelf

Three more for the martial scholar, the warrior or just someone who likes books (some such people still exist, thankfully). In each case, just click a picture to see and learn more. C087 Bagua Sword Studies by Sun Lu Tang, $12.9560 pages, many photos of Sun Lu Tang himselfPublished 1927 Some people think of Sun as […]

Aug
14
2016

In Good Standing

We received this (unsolicited) review of Wujishi Breathing Exercises, from our friend Tim, in Alaska. Wujishi is one of those important resources in the martial world that eventually goes out of print and drifts away…except in this case, we tracked down the publisher, bought the copyright, and republished it in 2013. It is one of the […]

Aug
5
2016

Managing Forms

You’ve been practicing awhile. You are no longer a novice. Your belt or sash no longer wears stiffly as though it were just a larger version of a bow tie. You now have “rank” whether or not it is formally recognized in your style. You have accumulated some formal training, too. You may have collected […]