Displaying posts written by

Ted Mancuso

who has written 354 posts for KaiMen.

Dec
7
2020

A Perspective on Chi

More than 50 years have gone by since I began studying martial arts. In those Bruce Lee and Chuck Norris dark ages, all of us who practice Kung Fu knew of this thing, “Chi” (vital energy). Few of us suspected it would ever become so widely known outside the training halls. Of course, “known” and […]

Nov
26
2020

Tai Chi Is the Fastest Martial Art

Q: OK, I’m intrigued—what makes Tai Chi the fastest martial art. A: Of course, we have to first admit that speed is relative, but let’s come back to that. There are some very simple reasons that Tai Chi is so fast and, really, being the “fastest martial art” isn’t all that big a deal. But […]

Oct
31
2020

Bagua Zhang’s Ji Ben Gongs—Plum’s New Project

    Here is a short interview with Ted Mancuso, Plum’s director, on his upcoming book/DVD project. Covid slowed us down, but now we are back at work again, and hope to have this finished in the new year.  Q:    Your new book is on Bagua Zhang Gongs. What is a Gong? Ted:     In […]

Sep
17
2020

Instructor’s Notebook: The Art of Forgetting

 If there’s an art to forgetting forms, then I am a master. I’ve forgotten entire systems of martial arts. Remembering didn’t seem as crucial during the early days of my career, in the flurry of Kung Fu training that let everything Chinese be associated with martial arts. During that time, a plentitude of people teaching […]

Jul
29
2020

Better With Age

After class the other day my student Harvey, who has studied with me for more than 15 years, asked me a pointed question: “How and why does a longtime practitioner maintain his or her interest in studying Tai Chi?” This caught my attention immediately, because he asked me to consider it from the advanced study […]

Jul
2
2020

Chang Gong

Whether you are the ancient hermit of the Dark Forest or a week-in week-out practitioner, martial training always rewards perseverance with increased skills you have gathered and accumulated like rain. Skills like these come mostly from just hanging in there and that’s the reason they stay in the shadows, unnoticed. The results of CHANG GONG, […]

Jun
6
2020

Stretching For The Art

 You’ve finished your workout and the idea comes to you: why not stretch a little? It can only help, right? But immediately your brain floods with questions: How important is it to stretch? If I have just worked out, is stretching necessary? Which is the best for me and, even more importantly, which should I […]

May
20
2020

Practiced Intent

Internal martial practice is an important step to deepening and improving your kung fu. In this video, Sifu Ted Mancuso demonstrates and teaches a short exercise learned decades earlier from Sifu Wing Lam, for developing and incorporating intent into movement. Following the instruction is an interview with Ted, where he further elbaorates on these concepts. […]

May
17
2020

Telescoping

This guy has a huge jaw! A damned big jaw. By far, the largest jaw I’ve ever seen. At least, that’s what twirling around my brain as I face my sparring partner. Of course, the truth is that his jaw—in real life—is just average size; but in my imagination, his jaw has an appetite of […]

Apr
28
2020

Why I Like Bagua

Everything is spinning crazily. The fact that facts are scarce does not prevent them from flying at us, relentlessly.  We spend our hours looping and diving, just to keep upright. In times like this, Bagua sounds just about right. It is no wonder that people recognize that Bagua is the truth-speaker of a relatively untruthful […]

Apr
24
2020

Kung Fu Training: You Always Hurt The One You Love

Over my years of teaching martial arts, I’ve had quite a good time explaining some of the more obscure switches of Kung Fu’s winding pathway: the splits, front and side; gyrating and rolling children, long past their bedtimes; and the fine art of setting things on small altar stacks, then crushing them. And that is […]

Apr
21
2020

The Simple Art of Breathing

This simple method of breathing works well for people practicing Chinese martial arts, Chinese medicine, meditation and what is commonly referred to as Qigong (Chi Kung). We call it simple, but it is also profound; as it relates the physical act of inhalation and exhalation with the mind’s intent, keeping a special focus on a […]

Apr
11
2020

Copper Whiskers

    This is an article about one of the great weapons, a weapon that has been employed in real combat but which is also considered an instrument of beauty and style. People react variously to a two-edged straight sword; some see its performance as art. This is rare. Traditionally, scholars wore a straight sword […]

Mar
30
2020

Beng Jin: Kung Fu’s Hidden Skill

Here’s a new short video on Beng Jin (Beng Energy) that we created for our local sequestered students. If you are a Tai Chi student, you have most likely heard your teacher lecture on this special quality, and are undoubtedly practicing this right now! But Beng Jing exists in all styles of Kung Fu, and […]

Feb
19
2020

A + B = PUNCH

I woke up thinking about a property in math: that between any two points on a number line*, there are infinitely many points between them. Now, I know I have used the scary word—“math”—but if you are still with me, let me go on and give you the second part of my morning thought: that […]

Feb
2
2020

How To Change (A Tire)

  Last night, driving home from teaching, my mind filled with ideas, I cut too sharply on a left turn, and bumped over a curb. The mishap arrived with an explosion of sound, followed by a consistent galug-galug-galug as I limped through the last two miles of my trip. My wife, Debbie, and I have […]

Dec
20
2019

1984

I’ve been going through some boxes, unearthing photos, notebooks, old patches, and all manner of things from my 50+ years in the arts. Here’s a poster from one of Brendan Lai’s famous expos. It was a time.   Among those present: Cliff Look, Shek Kin, John Leong, Marc Singer, Mok Poi-On, Lee Koon-Hung, Ping Chow, […]

Dec
11
2019

Instructor’s Notebook: Tiger Hook Blades

INSTRUCTOR’S NOTEBOOK The life and death of our art depends on the Quality of shared knowledge we maintain. Proper teaching informs the student while educating the teacher.  Confucius told us that “wherever a few are gathered, I have a teacher.” As we see, all faces of Kung Fu offer a deep well to draw from. […]

Nov
25
2019

Spear Learning

Some of my articles come directly from what is taught at my school that day. One of my favorite spear training exercises is “Ghost Shakes Body” (also called “Lan Na Zha”), and when I saw some students practicing this the other day, it reminded me of the extensive usage catalogue each weapon carries with it. […]

Nov
13
2019

Ferocity and Accuracy

Every Kung Fu style has its Yin and Yang attributes: open/close, light/heavy, soft and hard. But not all complementary pairs are oppositional. A good martial artist can also be both fierce and accurate—how is this accomplished? Accuracy brings to mind a controlled, almost intellectual state of mind—that is, a state of mind, not of heart. […]