Sep
5
2021

Hands and Swords

Practical Qin Na Zhao Da YuanAdam Hsu's San Cai SwordAs promised, we have finally added the two latest great books to our catalogue: Adam Hsu’s San Cai Sword, and Zhao Da Yuan’s Practical Qin Na (translated by Tom Bisio).

A recent customer mentioned that it is not just the books themselves, but the types of books that Plum represents that excite him. We’re prejudiced, but the same kinds of things stir us and inspire us to (hopefully) add titles that really contribute to the Chinese martial canon. These two books are a perfect example.

The San Cai sword book is both beautiful and rich with important content: Hsi Shifu demonstrates the single and the partner routines, as well as usage, and it the perfect companion to his 4-DVD series on this weapon.

And the 3rd volume in the Practical Qin Na series goes deeper than any other book on the subject, including routines and weapons, elements not normally found in Qin Na texts.

Click each image to get more information and to purchase.

Sep
5
2021

Two Great Wrestlers

It’s been 5 years since our beloved cat, Carthage, died. She was 19.

It took a while for the time to be right, but we are happy to announce the new wrestling team of Uxmal (whitish) and Notte (blackish) to Plum. These sisters spend endless hours tussling, rolling, pinning down, chasing, attacking (brooms, mostly), defending and all those thnigs that kittens do to apprehend the world.

In addition to the pure joy they bring to the house, they also add some true martial energy to our day.

 

Aug
24
2021

Forthcoming, and Then Some

A brief pause in our cataloguing work to tell you about a few items coming up that would be here sooner if we didn’t keep pausing to tell you about them…well, you get the picture.

Adam Hsu San Cai SwordAnyway, a little while back we added a gorgeous new Chinese book from Sifu Adam Hsu on Tan Tui, this being the companion text to his remarkable DVD series of the same name. Well, through some diligent investigation, we were able to track down the much-requested companion to his DVD series on the San Cai Sword. Anyway, we’ll let you know when it is available on the site. Should be soon.Practical Qin Na

Another important title is Tom Bisio’s translation of Zhao Da Yuan third and final volume in the Practical Qin Na series. We are really excited about this one; just need a little more time to do it justice when posting it to the site. Also, should be a short wait.

And the project keeping us busiest right now is an oldie but goodie: Plum’s newest book/DVD package on Jibengong Practice in Bagua Zhang. Well, today we agreed to finalize the cover, so I can give you a peek. A little longer off than the above two books, but it is breath-on-the-neck close to being a finished project.

Of course, if you would like to be notified when these come, Click HERE (or, better yet, just check this page, or facebook, or Twitter for the announcement). And if you are just aching to order the first two before we formally announce, click HERE for San Cai Sword book, or HERE for Practical Qin Na Volume 3, which will directly add them to the shopping cart for immediate purchase.

Aug
10
2021

Kent Howard’s Essentials of Bagua Zhang

Thrilled to announce Sifu Kent Howard’s newest book and companion DVD, Introduction to Baguazhang: From Circle Walking to Advanced Practice.

Sifu Howard includes the essentials of any Bagua practice, generously teaching routines while also emphasizing Basics and other lesser addressed topics such as response time in stress situations. His clear instruction already makes him a favorite among Bagua practitioners, and in these latest offerings we find that he is as good an instructor with his own material as when translating Wang Shu Jin, his teacher’s.

Watch his short introduction below, then click here to read more and purchase. (As always, Plum’s got a great discount for the book plus an additional discount for the set purchased together.)

Aug
6
2021

Sifu Sam Chan’s Mantis and Wooden Dummy DVDs

Wing Chun Wooden Dummy Sifu Sam Chan DVDBonk Bo (Beng Bu) Praying Mantis Sam ChanLast week we pre-announced a gaggle of goodies about to be released into the Plum catalogue. Here are the first two: DVDs from Sifu Sam Hing Fai Chan — one on the Wing Chun Wooden Dummy, the other on Praying Mantis Bonk Bo (Beng Bu).

Sifu Chan is best known on Plum for his excellent series on the under-represented art of Jow Gar Kung Fu. His DVDs always offer comprehensive information, including applications, which are not always that easy to find. In the new Bonk Bo Mantis DVD for instance, along with those applications he offers front and side views, plus slow and moderate form execution. The Wooden Dummy DVD pairs moves on the device with Chi Sau applications.

Click the images above to go to the sale pages. And, oh! If you buy two or more of any of Sifu Chan’s DVDs, there is a 10% discount.

Jul
29
2021

Coming Soon!

We are in our typical state of “too much coming all at once,” so we thought we’d offer an appetizer of what to expect in the next few weeks. We’re already getting questions about a couple of these, so consider this your official update. And, of course, as soon as we post this, more will arrive…

Tid Sin Kuen

The official Plum printing of Sifu Lam Chun Fai’s exquisite book on Hung Gar’s Tid Sin Kuen (Iron Wire Fist) is finally on its way. We hope to see it in about one week, and will definitely announce it when it arrives.

Sifu Kent Howard has just released his newest book, “Introduction to Bagua Zhang,” with a companion DVD to follow, hopefully, in a couple of weeks. With any luck, we will have the book in our catalogue within the week, but if you want/need your copy now, just click here. Book is $18.95, discounted at Plum to $16.95. We’re just writing the review and description now, so stay tuned.

We will be adding two DVDs from Sifu Chan Hing-Fai, whose Jow Gar DVDs we have represented at Plum for a while. The two new ones are on Bonk Bo (Beng Bu) Praying Mantis, and the Wing Chun Dummy. More to say about these when we post them.

And, continuing in our ever-growing Chinese language library of important texts, we have a stack that is making its way through the Plum cataloguing process. Here are some of the tantalizing front covers:

Dai Style Xing Yi

White Crane

Li Hanzhang’s Martial Arts and Cross-body Training

Xin Yi Liu He

Baji Quan

Shaolin Acupuncture Points

Even MORE on the way, but we’ll keep that for the next post!

Click HERE to reserve any of the above

Jul
24
2021

Paul Koh Interview Part 3: Present and Future Approaches to Kung Fu

This is the third in a four-part interview with Sifu Paul Koh, who has just released a series of beautifully designed books on traditional forms.  Sifu Koh was gracious enough to grant Plum an interview, which turned out to exceed our expectations in terms of length and depth. Since the interview is lengthy, we decided to print it in 4 successive parts—this being the third—but for those who want the read the entire interview as a whole, without waiting for the separate parts to appear, you can download it here.

“Kung Fu In A Minute” looks like a great idea; how does it work, and how is it working?

KUNGFUINAMINUTE, oddly enough, was inspired by a YouTube channel that I had stumbled upon in regard to teaching and learning Cantonese called Cantonese in a Minute. This young man would pick a word or two, but most likely one word, and expound on its meaning, its usage and its application in everyday situations. I found it extremely useful and entertaining as well as educational, and I said, that sounds like a great idea. Why don’t we try to emulate something like that and tailor it for Kung Fu where we can take a movement, a technique or a series of techniques from a form and distill it into its functionality, which seems to me the most difficult aspect that most students have, just like the Chinese language or Cantonese is difficult for the Westerner to comprehend because it’s not written in an alphabet or syntax that they have familiarity with or capacity to understand. Read more →

Jul
7
2021

Paul Koh Interview Part 2: On Masters and More

This is Part 2 of a 4 part interview with Sifu Paul Koh, who has recently published a series of beautifully designed books on traditional forms. Although we know Sifu Koh to be a thoughtful teacher and good writer, we were delighted by the unexpected depth and breadth he applied when addressing our questions. Since the interview is lengthy, we decided to print it in 4 successive parts—this being the second—but for those who want the read the entire interview as a whole, without waiting for the separate parts to appear, you can download it here.

 

In your time, you have studied with some great Masters. How do some of those early experiences compare with how you teach, and students learn, today?

Yes, I have had the honor and privilege to be taught by some of the best Kung Fu masters. It’s a humbling experience because trying to live up to the quality of their skill level and teachings has always been something in the forefront of my mind. The early experiences training with these masters has definitely left an indelible mark on me in many good ways and in some not so good ways. Training with these Sifu was thrilling and exhausting at the same time because the requirement that they established for the aspiring student to achieve is high quality and pristine execution of every single movement that I found, as a youth, so exacting, so particular, so focused and disciplined almost in a perfectionist kind of way that I couldn’t wrap my mind around it. That did leave a big impression on my teenage mind, and it’s carried over and never left. It’s a yardstick that I use to measure myself and my students by and I routinely fall short of it. This attitude of trying to perfect one’s technique is one thing towards your own personal training, but does, in this modern day and age, make teaching more difficult, because, as some would say, you can catch more flies with honey than vinegar. I understand this concept, but, for me, not having that hardcore, old school challenge put in front of me may not have allowed me to get to the stage that I am today. Now, I do see the value in it. That old school mentality had a purpose. It ensured that those that learned and learned properly would be able to maintain it and have it for the remainder of their life, and those that couldn’t, would be weeded out. It’s very plain and simple. Kung Fu is a very unique art that cannot mass produce high level practitioners as other arts do.

I feel that the old school training is more about diamonds in the rough. The concept of Kung Fu training was aptly explained to me by one of my teachers using this example. How do you create a diamond? Lots and lots and lots of pressure over a really long period of time, and then, a lot of those presumed chunks of coal that go through that pressure crack and never make it to the diamond stage. Even those that make it to the diamond stage have to go through the selection process of clarity, color and carat. Once all those parameters are met, then you still have to get cut, polished and set. So, from a pile of rocks, how many of them actually end up becoming a real, full-fledged diamond that is worth millions? Very few. That’s the process which students learning Kung Fu go through. You can come back to me and say, well, wow, if that’s the case then why should I even bother? I’ll just go do something easier. And you have that choice, but that’s the crucible that we were put through. Every class was rough. Every class was hard. Every class, you were sweating buckets, and the higher you rose in rank and ability, the more you got crapped on. In every class, you had to asset your willpower. Never knowing that severity of discipline coming from a relatively loving homelife was a shock. There’s much to be said about that discipline and getting that in certain formative years leaves quite an imprint on you. Read more →

Jun
27
2021

Southern Kung Fu Makes An Entrance

Five Element FistSouthern Shaolin Tiger Claw: Principles of the TigerSouthern Shaolin Immortal Crane FistFierce Tiger Iron Hammers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fu Jow Pai Sifu Paul Koh has just released 4 new titles, and we are excited!

These new books are beautifully done, and add English language instruction to the Southern Kung Fu canon, which is always in need of traditional material. The books, all found HERE, cover Tiger Claw Principles, an Immortal Crane routine originally from the late Sifu Paul Eng, Five Elements Fist, and, possibly, the first book in English on the Iron Hammers. Each book also details basics and qualities associated with their respective subjects.

In anticipation of the books, we asked Sifu Koh some questions, and his worthy replies (see below for the first part) will roll out in 4 parts over the next few weeks. Don’t miss this!

Jun
27
2021

Interview with ‘Fu Jow Pai’ Sifu Paul Koh, Pt. 1

When we learned that Sifu Paul Koh was setting off on a new publishing venture, to bring out a series of beautifully designed books on traditional forms, we asked if we might interview him, to expose a few more of our Plum followers to his Tiger Claw system. Although we know Sifu Koh to be a thoughtful teacher and good writer, we were delighted by the unexpected depth and breadth he applied when addressing our questions. Since the interview is lengthy, we decided to print it in 4 successive parts—this being the first—but for those who want the read the entire interview as a whole, without waiting for the separate parts to appear, you can download it here.

 

Is Bo Law Kung Fu a branch of Fu Jow Pai? If so, what is the relation of Fu Jow Pai to other Southern “Hung” styles?

Bo Law is my name that was not only a translation but also given to me by my teacher. It’s actually rather significant because the term Bo can be translated into something precious or a treasure, and Law translates into an arhat or a disciple that preaches the message, so it’s very suitable because it’s my task to preach this treasure of an art that I’ve been privy to. Traditionally speaking, the separate mo gwoons, many of them are named after their teachers. People often misunderstand, thinking the name of the school is having something to do with the system or style being taught. It’s just a name, like Gold’s Gym or Equinox Gym. In the Chinese tradition, many times they will put the Sifu’s name and call it “Joe’s Kung Fu” or “Tom’s Kung Fu.” In this instance, it’s the same. So, the name of the school is Bo Law Kung Fu, but since my early teens, I’ve been training exclusively in the Hung Family System and the Tiger Claw System. A lot of people make that mistake thinking that Bo Law Kung Fu is some kind of an offshoot, but BLKF is the name that represents my school. I teach the Kung Fu that was taught to me by my teachers. Too many people get caught up with systems and styles and names and lineage, which are all fine and well and necessary to a certain extent, but in the end, it boils down to the same thing. These different systems and styles are paths of enlightenment that should serve to awaken the individual martial art student and take them to a certain level of realization. Read more →

Jun
21
2021

Tid Sin Kuen, Almost HERE!

Tid Sin Kuen (Iron Wire Fist) Lam Chun FaiTid Sin Kuen (Iron Wire Fist) is one of the hallmark ‘internal’ forms of the Hung Gar system, and we were excited when we first started representing Sifu Lam Chun Fai’s beautiful text on our site a few years back. Lam Sifu, son of Lam Cho, has produced three fine books in his lineage, Hung Kuen Fundamentals and Kung Kuen Training (all available on Plum).

The Tid Sin Kuen book has been out of print for at least a year but, happily, has found a new publisher in Plum, and will return to our shelves in about 2-3 weeks. This version, unchanged in content, will have the added advantage of a downloadable video demonstrating the sounds made when practicing Iron Wire, rather than the inserted DVD, allowing easy playback no matter where you are in the world.

Of course we will announce the arrival of the book on Kaimen, but if you would like to be notified in addition, just click here.

Of course, this is just the start of a great season of new additions at Plum; we’ve got a new batch of colorful books from Paul Koh (plus an exceptional interview); some unseen gems from China (including texts on Shaolin, White Crane, and Xin Yi Liu He); and, of course, our newest Plum project on Bagua Zhang. It’s going to be a good summer at Plum.

May
28
2021

Li YaXuan’s Legacy: A Beautiful New Book

Li YaXuan

Legacy of Grandmaster Li YaXuan

We have a few more new books to announce in the next few days, but this one, The Legacy of Grandmaster Li YaXuan, is so beautiful we thought we would give it its own space. Lionbooks has released a comprehensive collection of writings from Yang Style Taijiquan Grandmaster Li YaXuan. Lionbook publisher, Liu KangYi, is a collector himself of martial texts, and is well-known for the quality, attention to detail, and loving care he puts into each title. Even at that, every once is a while he surpasses himself.

Lionbook’s earlier titles on Li YaXuan are all well-done, and included interpretations from Master Li’s daughter and son-in-law. This new collection is a compilation of Grandmaster Li’s own writings.

We have a limited number of copies, but will get more soon if we run out.

 

May
13
2021

Two Great New Books

We’re working through a tall pile of new Chinese books, and here are the first two:

Kung Fu Fighting Technique

Chen Family Martial Arts Experiences

Chen YiMing‘s Chen Family Martial Arts Experience takes a geometric look at fighting stances and approaches. We’ve seen a few books over the years that include some aspects of this, but this all-color text is dedicated, start to finish, with analyzing fighting technique.

Southern Shaolin 5 Elements 8 Directions Stick

Southern Shaolin 5 Elements 8 Directions Stick

Traditional Southern Shaolin 5 Elements 8 Directions Stick is one of those books that we love: first, a good stick book is always welcome, but this one is very generous with its photos and instruction.

Coming soon: Li YaXuan!

 

 

 

May
8
2021

A Brief Lesson on Reeling Silk Energy in Bagua Zhang

In this short response to a video sent to us by Steven, a Bagua student, Ted Mancuso briefly describes one of the most—if not THE MOST—important elements of Bagua Zhang: reeling silk energy, or Chan Ssu Jin. Reeling silk energy is in the DNA of all of the traditional Chinese martial arts, but is particularly evident and promoted in Bagua Zhang, with its continuous circling movements.

Sorry for the background noise and sound quality—we filmed this spontaneously after watching Steven’s excellent video.

 

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Apr
27
2021

Master Cai Haikang’s Leg Techniques of Bagua Zhang

Master Cai Haikang Leg Techniques of Bagua ZhangQuick announcement:
For those awaiting the return of Master Cai Haikang’s Leg Techniques of Bagua Zhang, it is back! And, at this time, we appear to have the last copies available; the publisher is trying to decide whether or not to reprint, so the stack at Plum is limited.

More good stuff coming soon (hint: Tid Sin Kuen is returning soon, along with…well, you’ll just have to check back!)

(Click image to order)

Apr
20
2021

Last Chance

Plum has been in business for more than 25 years and, of course, with almost 4000 products we have amassed a cacophony of styles, teachers, and the occasional who-knows-what. While most items go through our cataloguing process, there are some (ok, several boxes worth) that for, whatever reason, never make it to the site. In most cases, these are either items that are no longer available, or stock is too intermittent to maintain consistently; sometimes, they are quality items that just do not speak to us! In 99% of the cases, there is only one copy (or one set) and then they are gone. If interested, act quickly.

We will try to update this post by adding new stuff and subtracting sold items, as often as we can.

Enjoy!


Demonstrators/Teachers: Liu Zhen Hai and Shi Xing Sen

This is a series of 10 VCDs called Authentic Shaolin Boxing Martial Arts Series. Among these 10 disks are Pao Quan, roads 1-3; Five Altar Sword, all performed by Liu. The VCDs performed by Shi are (all Shaolin) Black Tiger Boxing, Praying Mantis Boxing, Health Patterns, Mei Hua Spear, Feng Mo Stick, Five Tigers and Sheep Saber. All 10 VCDs are, of course, in Chinese only, but are highly instructive, even to the non-Chinese speaker.

The set of 10 VCDs (reg $79.50 /LAST CHANCE PRICE $45)

Click the image BELOW and it will be added to the shopping cart. Of course, you can add other items from our site! We have only 1 complete set and one sample set; we have two of the middle set.

 

 


Demonstrator/Teacher: Chen Er Hu.
This is a series of Chin Nah and San Shou movements derived from Chen Style Tai Chi. Every movement is shown from a number of angles. We have three different configurations of this group:

The set minus #4 in the series—6 boxes/7 DVDs (reg $108 /LAST CHANCE PRICE $65)

A ‘sampling’ of 4 boxes/4 DVDs (reg $64 /LAST CHANCE PRICE $35)

Sifu Chen gets right to the heart of the matter showing sweeps, pushes and other take downs. This series of self-defense applications shows the relationship between Tai Chi Push Hands and Tai Chi San Shou. Principally these should “feed one another” in that the separate applications are aided by Push Hands method of blending them into spontaneous action and, of course, the applications give you some idea of what is happening in Push Hands.

Chen is a strong man and he goes through A LOT of applications filmed from different angles. As always much of the Chin Nah is classic but there is more throwing and the flavor of Tai Chi is retained. While the DVDs do graduate somewhat in complexity of movements they are roughly equally in difficulty. Bring a mat.

Click the image you want to purchase and it will be added to the shopping cart. Of course, you can add other items from our site! We have only 1 complete set and one sample set; we have two of the middle set.

 

 

 

 

Apr
14
2021

Tai Chi Training Secrets: How Do You Practice Martially, When You Are By Yourself?

A recent letter from one of our favorite correspondents, Gary Shapiro, put the question: “We spoke about how practicing taiji with the martial aspects in mind enhances it’s health effects. So— how does that work?  Can one practice “martially” solo? (and how?).”

In our newest video, Sifu Ted answers this and offers some training tips for integrating martial aspects into Tai Chi practice.

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Apr
1
2021

Young Forest, Traditional Skill Northern Shaolin Vol. #2

Wing Lam on Northern Shaolin (Bak Sil Lum)Plum is experiencing a plentiful Spring this year, starting with the reappearance of Sifu Bow Sim Mark’s early works; then the masterful new edition on White Crane from GM Lee and Master Bernard; and now the long-awaited second volume of Shifu Wing Lam’s compendium on Northern Shaolin (Bak Sil Lum).

Although there is much here to gain for any traditional Chinese martial artist, Northern Shaolin practitioners in particular will be pleased to see discussions and names for the ten traditional hand sets, not to mention several weapons routines. There are also sections on techniques and methods not commonly known.

We applaud the influx into martial literature of the teacher sharing more personal insights and approaches. Youtube can deliver 10,000 performances, but the more intimate thoughts and details inherent in a lineage are still relatively absent. Books like these are welcome and needed.

To get a more comprehensive look into this book, CLICK HERE for the Table of Contents.

 

Mar
28
2021

NEW! Authentic White Crane Kung Fu Book

In traditional Kung Fu, we often talk about the shape of an Art, although that shape cannot always be easily defined. It might include a short list of specific qualities, a couple of hard-won principles, certain approaches to its qigong, methods learned from its secret songs…It is elusive and typically closely-held. The experienced eye might detect it when it is present, but it is uncommon to know its many aspects.

Which is why we are especially excited to announce the arrival of the new book on Flying Crane Kung Fu from Grandmaster Lee Joo-Chian and Master Lorne Bernard. Grandmaster Lee, who died in late 2020, has given the Kung Fu world a real treasure: a generous look at the elements that make up this family system, one of the original branches of the White Crane system. He and Sifu Bernard have gone to the heart of the style, telling the old stories and offering insight into this traditional martial art, from breathing patterns to staff fighting techniques. They have included the formulas and verses that were previously secret, the songs that tell how to think about an art. The photographs alone are worth the price. It is truly a remarkable work.

We could go on, but you can read more HERE, as well as get a good look at the breadth and depth of this book through its Table of Contents.

Highly recommended!

Mar
21
2021

Sifu Bow Sim Mark

I believe that I first saw Sifu Bow Sim Mark perform at Brendan Lai’s 1984 All Master’s Kung Fu Demonstration in San Francisco. Those were the pre-pre-youtube days and, other than pictures of her in the Kung Fu magazines, I had never seen her movement.

I—along with the friends who accompanied me that night to watch one incredible master after another—never forgot the feeling of seeing her on stage doing Fu Style Tai Chi Chuan, and a beautiful sword set: flower in her hair, elegant, powerful, spirited, martial.

When Plum started, her books were some of the few early entries in our catalogue but, as time wore on, they became more difficult to access. Now, we are so happy to announce that they are back in stock, along with many titles that we were never able to get (for instance: Broadsword, Dragon Fan, Combined Internal Chuan, and a terrific collection of Basic Wushu Exercises). These are the original first and second edition texts. Sifu Mark is generous with the number of her photos and most, although written in english, carry the Chinese characters for the names and instructions for the moves, as well as other parts of the text.

We hope to expand the collection if more become available, but for right now, check out the 8 titles we have just added. We have a very limited number of Rooting Pine Chi Kung books, but hope to get more in the future.