Displaying posts written by

Ted Mancuso

who has written 363 posts for KaiMen.

Mar
31
2024

Bridging: Engagement in Traditional Kung Fu

Comes a moment in every martial student’s practice when their focus shifts from attaining perfect posture to one effecting meaningful transitions. Or, better to say: There SHOULD be a moment in each martial student’s practice when their intent moves from picture-perfect postures to efficiently applied transitions. Don’t get me wrong: the pre-structure of postures — […]

May
13
2022

The Role of Continuous Movement in Yang Style T’ai Chi Chuan

~Reprinted from T’ai Chi Magazine Millennial Issue, February 2000 At one time T’ai Chi was known as River Boxing (He Quan). The reason is obvious, even to the non-player. T’ai Chi’s smooth, continuous flowing motions move along like a gentle mountain stream turning and tumbling occasionally but never halting its fluid progress. And to make […]

Mar
20
2022

Why Practice the Tai Chi Sword?

If you are learning the art of TC sword, or even just want to appreciate the style, you have picked one of the great martial arts weapons. This double-bladed instrument — whether wooden practice or combat steel — is unlike any other in the Tai Chi arsenal. It encourages direct concentration aligned with movement — […]

Mar
5
2022

Spinning Bagua

When we think of Kung Fu and its long history, we tend to think of its venerable age, lineage, and established methods. But everything in Kung Fu was new once — VERY NEW — and innovative. Responding to environment, population and, most influentially, technology, these impulses sparked revolutionary changes, as well as temporary (and sometimes, […]

Jan
28
2022

All of a Sudden: A Brief Lesson on Speed

Initial Speed is an endless topic. It is a transformation of a moment. Initial Speed leaves your opponent still reacting to what is past. There are endless ways to acquire Initial Speed by eliminating the useless. Initial Speed is a marriage of the extremes. External keypoints may include posture, an alignment of the structure, the […]

Jan
1
2022

QA: The Benefit of Reeling Silk in Bagua

A little while back, we published a short video tutorial on Reeling Silk exercise in Bagua Zhang. We just received a nice comment on it from Lyn, plus a couple of questions… Q: Very interesting little video. The informal style of it made it easy to watch–& a disappointment when it ended! I always tend […]

Mar
7
2021

From Basics to Mastery: Jibengongs and the Bear Palm Gong in Bagua

As we have mentioned (more than once, I’m thinking), I am working on a new book/dvd project on Bagua Gongs, those special exercises that teach by principle and really infuse your practice with the flavor of your style (in this case, Bagua Zhang). The project keeps growing, and looks like it is veering into one […]

Feb
28
2021

Recommended Seminars

As a longtime teacher, I do not get much opportunity to actually be a student myself. So I was delighted to be invited to take a seat (well, take a stance) in Ken Cohen’s recent online zoom class on Yiquan. Cohen Shifu is all that one could hope to find in a teacher; everything from […]

Feb
14
2021

Two Paths, One Road

Praying Mantis Fist (TangLang Quan) is a famous style with a distinctive hand position known as a “Hook.” Although I shouldn’t write “a distinctive,” when, actually, this famous style has TWO versions of the key hand style, each to represent the same special hook shape for the hand. The first and most iconic version starts […]

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 […]