Displaying posts filed under

Training

Mar
23
2017

Special Kung Fu Training Equipment

Here’s another in our series of inexpensive, mobile, customized kung fu training equipment. Here’s the pic of the “training pole”. I use it for staff, sticky hands and punching through the rings, left low, right high and right low left high. It’s ABS 3″ pipe concreted into the bucket with a threaded connection (for removal) and […]

Mar
19
2017

Random Circles—The Synergy of Taiji Quan

by Jason Tsou and Art Schonfeld By necessity, there are many levels of martial arts training. A person must develop foundational work before he can go on to more advanced work. One essential training method often overlooked today is that of Random Circle training. While this is not the highest level of training, it provides […]

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 […]

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
20
2016

Three Classic Training Texts Translated

Published anywhere from 50 to over 80 years ago, here are translations of Kung Fu books emphasizing applied technique and training. We now offer Iron Thread from Hung Gar, one of the crowning forms of this style. Then there is the popular text on “Shaolin training methods,” which has been reprinted over and over for decades. […]

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
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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Jan
22
2016

The Basics

Jack Yan has emerged as one of our more favored writer/translators. His exhaustive series on the teacher Chen Zheng Lei has brought a lot of attention to this branch of the art, and his own series on Tong Bei is a welcome addition to what is otherwise a very under-represented field of texts and DVDs. […]

Dec
28
2015

Instructors Notebook (INB) #28: About Knees

They may tremble. They may protest. They may also be right and you should listen to them. Obviously I’m talking about your knees, not your parents. Other parts of the body politic should be heard from once in a while but the knees are of special concern to anyone who would like to keep them […]

Dec
11
2015

A Modest Proposal

Through much experimentation and some little research I have come to an opinion about martial arts, all martial arts. Nothing too radical, but the catch is that I feel this should be universal and it is hard to convince such a contrary crowd as my cohorts about anything universal. I propose, simply, that every style […]

Nov
20
2015

“If I could just interject one thought here…”

For the umpteenth time I am re-designing the basics practiced at my school. This may come as a surprise to people for a couple for reasons. I know that there are styles which have probably taught the same basics for decades, even centuries. I used to study at a school that taught two distinct and […]

Nov
7
2015

Deep Practices

Learning Kung Fu can be a unique experience or, if you are not paying attention, it can be just another subject with the same tired educational template thrown over it. By a “unique experience” I do not mean the kind advertised on vacation posters. I mean an experience that shoots through your veins and hovers […]

Oct
2
2015

Slow Learner

Next October, I will celebrate my 50th year in the martial arts. When I started studying, I had no idea or plan to make this a lifetime practice. I joined up for the same reason a lot of 16 year olds do: I was getting bullied at school and I wanted to learn some self-defense. […]