Displaying posts filed under

Article

Jul
29
2016

A Glimpse into Bajiquan

Baji Thunder, Adam Hsu’s 3 volume course on the elusive art of Bajiquan, has been one of the most ambitious projects ever seen from a single instructor. Sifu Hsu has created a series of 14 DVDs teaching the core of Baji Quan (Eight Ultimates Boxing,) probably the fastest rising style of Kung Fu out there […]

Jul
21
2016

Natural Speed: Three Step Program

I won’t keep you in suspense about what the three step is, so here’s the saying: “Slow is fluid, and fluid is fast.” On at least one level, pretty much everyone might agree with this. And, as your Kung Fu skills increase, that border between fluid and fast will start to wash away. The hard […]

Jul
10
2016

There Are No Secrets

I often read of well-meaning martial instructors using this phrase, inferring that hard work is the guarantee to progress, and that long-held and closely-kept secrets are the stuff of legend. Whenever I hear this statement applied to martial arts or, for that matter, any other pursuit, I try to avert my gaze so my eye-rolling […]

Jun
26
2016

Wong Fei Hung’s Five Animal Fist

We’ve been seeing a lot of books on the Hung Kung Fu system lately. Now here is one of Hung’s great forms; the Five Animal Boxing. Presented by Frank Yee with hundred of color photographs, this world-famous fist captures the essence and the shape of each of the original Shaolin animals: dragon, tiger, snake, leopard […]

Jun
16
2016

Fifty

Today I celebrate fifty years in the martial arts. It has been long enough now to seem natural that it became my fate or, at least, a “way of life,” as everyone calls it. People ask me what could possibly be the attraction. I have to tell the truth and admit that I always believed […]

Jun
13
2016

Bajiquan Celebration in Taiwan

We were delighted to see this clip from a recent Liu Yun Chiao memorial held in Taipei. Sifu Adam Hsu leads the whole room in a simple exercise that GM Liu reported he performed over 200 times a day; he recommended this two-move loop for improving all Kung Fu training. Note the esteemed teachers of […]

Jun
10
2016

Remarkable Adam Hsu

Not for the first time, Sifu Adam Hsu is doing something remarkable. And, as with many projects that fall into the ‘remarkable’ category, it is also different enough that a few words of explanation are not mis-spent. In fact, he is producing something completely new based on one of the most traditional methods for teaching […]

May
31
2016

Instructor’s Notebook #29: Metaphorically Speaking

Teachers have tools, great teachers make tools. But that’s not all. Students also make tools, in their minds. And the persistent teacher will go inside those active minds too, creating new ideas and ways to view things. All, of course, to the student’s benefit. Everyone who teaches the martial arts can fall victim to micro-management […]

May
16
2016

Snap of a Sleeve: Training for Martial Speed

When he was covering sports and at the top of his form, Hemingway wrote about things like the squeak of the boxer’s shoes as they rotated on the canvas. Just a poignant little detail like something Roger Angell might use in a baseball piece. The martial arts is loaded with such details. Some are so […]

May
8
2016

Li Tianji’s Xing Yi Legacy; Andrea Falk’s Dictionary

Plum is adding another text by Andrea Falk, a translation of significance to Xing Yi practitioners: Li TianJi’s The Skills of XingYiQuan;  311 pages, with hundreds of illustrations. This is a thorough text on the style handed down to Li Tianji from his father, Li Yulin. It’s very well laid out with sections covering basic […]

Apr
23
2016

Tong Bei, Loose and Powerful

Here is a pretty advanced Kung Fu puzzle: along with Bagua Zhang, Xing Yi Quan and Taijiquan, what do all of the following styles have in common:  Liu He Ba Fa (Six Harmonies, Eight Methods,) Mi Zong (Lost Track,) BaFa Quan (Eight Methods,) Liu He Quan (Six Harmonies Boxing) and Tong Bei Quan (Through the […]

Apr
21
2016

The Happiness of Wushu

Here is a new/old article I wrote for the organ of Adam Hsu’s Traditional Wushu Association. It discusses some of those “hidden little” pleasures harvested from years of practicing martial arts. Enjoy!

Mar
28
2016

Twin Roads to Mastery

Things go better if we’re clear at the outset. This is a meditation on mastery—not a claim to it. I’m still trying to spell it correctly. But, after watching and judging many, many practitioners for more time than I want to admit, I’ve come to the conclusion that mastery has two paths. If you find […]

Mar
18
2016

Reprint: Stillness in the Martial Arts

Here is a piece I wrote for the now defunct Journal of Asian Martial Arts. A number of people have asked about the “myth” at the front of the piece. I believe it hints at the dialog between stillness and movement that can—and must— be found at the heart of martial practice. If nothing else, […]

Mar
18
2016

Stillness In the Martial Arts

Download the PDF file .

Mar
6
2016

Another Modest Proposal

Through my entire martial career I have been listening to everyone’s questions and problems with traditional forms. For most people, it all centers on practicality. For some people, the answer lies in detailed analysis of the forms and what self defense and fighting treasures are hidden therein. For still others, it’s a lost cause and […]

Mar
2
2016

Two Very Different Books in English

These two different books show a pair of positive paths for martial arts: Warrior Guards the Mountain, and Lien Bu Chuan. On the one side, the technical aspects and descriptions have matured to a degree where, in Lien Bu Chuan, they really convey a lot of instructional fine points. On the other hand are books […]

Feb
12
2016

Just a Handful of Books

We have SO many new texts in Chinese to offer that we are just picking some at random. Some are on rare material like Shi style Bagua, others are those classic collectibles taken at the beginning of the last century with dodgy photos and famous masters still young men. We picked a few subjects at […]

Feb
6
2016

Great Books, Greater Prices

When sparring, martial artists rarely like to get hurt. But at Plum, we are always looking for hurt—that is, HURT books. These are gently worn books at around half the price of the original, maybe a small bend or crunch, a scuff; sometimes nothing at all. Often  these books are as nice as the full-price […]

Jan
31
2016

Definitely Not Simple

In China, the length of their history makes the cyclical an unarguable fact. Entire dynasties take their very essence from previous eras. A renaissance movement may start with an unexpected return to the values and skills of those who came before. The trick is to still have those values, at least lying around somewhere. In […]