Displaying posts filed under

Article

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 […]

Jan
19
2020

Second Look: Wisdom of the Taiji Masters

Our renewed look at Nigel Sutton’s “Wisdom of the Taiji Masters,” was inevitable. Like a good British murder mystery, there is more to the search and intuition than to the closet full of clues. Despite the wealth of time spent by professor Cheng’s and other Tai Chi students on the secrets and questions posed by […]

Jan
9
2020

Book Review: Adam Hsu’s “Life Is Too Short For Bad Kung Fu”

Traditional Chinese Kung Fu is dying. When it dies it won’t be a homicide but a suicide. Shifus are peddling tricks to kids. Shifus that are preserving Kung Fu can’t find students to undergo the hardship of practice. Students that are willing to undergo the traditional training can’t find a Shifu to train them. Kung […]

Jan
5
2020

Year of the Metal Rat–Jan. 25, 2020 to Feb. 11, 2021

Once again, we delight in posting Narrye Caldwell’s column on the upcoming year, seen through the perspective of Chinese Astrology. Narrye is a longtime practitioner and teacher of Tai Chi, as well as her other pursuits, and has published two books with Plum, “Blossoms in the Spring: A Perfect Method of Qigong” (co-authored with Ted […]

Dec
27
2019

Everything Old Is New Again

“A guy who can stand for two hours is a guy you don’t want to fight.” -Sifu Ted Mancuso Traditional Tai Chi training, back in the day, was markedly different from what is practiced today.  There was considerable emphasis on stance training. Before students were taught a form, they spent countless hours perfecting/holding postures.  It […]

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. […]

Nov
3
2019

Sitting—The New Smoking?

I’m an unabashed fan of old movies, good and bad. The time period between 1930and 1960 holds a particular fascination for me. I enjoy watching the cultural norms as compared to the present day. Men wore wide brimmed hats, married couples slept in separate beds, and cigarette smoking was rampant. Chain-smoking appeared to be the […]

Oct
28
2019

An Interview with Hung Gar’s Sifu Donald Hamby

Here is a wonderful interview conducted by Sifu Pavel Macek, with our friend, Hung Gar Sifu Donald Hamby. Sifu Hamby talks about his roots and the LA Kung Fu scene back when he started in the 1970’s, and some of the qualities and applications of Hung Gar (with a short demo showing usage, at the […]

Oct
17
2019

Drunken Boxing, Chicken Boxing, Duck Boxing, and so on

After our recent article on Drunken Boxing, a friend sent us a Q & A he had synchronistically seen on the subject, from Sifu Mike Sigman. We were not only in agreement with Sifu Sigman, but were also impressed by the way he had handled the question concerning reeling silk in Drunken Boxing, so we […]

Sep
28
2019

Tai Chi: Loss and Gain

  It’s true. The older you get, the more people want to force feed you a philosophy of loss. Everything appears to dwindle, leaving whatever you were gripping to stabilize yourself, a phantom in a shadow.  Sometimes the effect of this “negative advancement” is itself positive and salubrious. But even in positive circumstances this proper […]

Sep
16
2019

The Passing of Brian Kennedy

It is with great sadness that we report the sudden death of Brian Kennedy, longtime practitioner and historian of the Chinese Martial Arts. Although we never met Brian or his wife and writing partner Elizabeth Guo, he was a good friend starting from our wayback days at Plum, when he still lived in Taiwan. May […]

Sep
15
2019

Why We Practice Drunken Boxing

I sit here in a state rare for me: a little drunk. I sip my single serving cautiously, slowly. Both my parents were drunks and their drinking left a bitter taste in my mouth for decades, turning me into a spectator, not a participant—a nurser of cokes, a stretcher of seven-ups—instead of an imbiber of […]

Sep
2
2019

“Baji” vs. “Taiji”—Only “One” “Dot” Different

Here is a new piece by Adam Hsu. This article contrasts two superstars of Chinese martial arts: TaiJi Quan Chuan and Baji Quan, each of them a brilliant martial art, each based on  some profound principles, each a model for understanding Chinese Wushu. Never disappointing, he examines these two seemingly opposed arts and uncovers similarities […]

Aug
12
2019

The Road to Tan Tui (Redux)

A long while back, we created and posted a free series of video tutorials on the famous 12 Road Tan Tui; the series is made up of 14 videos which include step-by-step instruction PLUS applications for each road.  For years, this has been popular on our site, but when we recently reviewed it we were […]

Aug
1
2019

The Mighty Pen

I want to engage you in an activity more often associated with prom nights, small losable keys, and annoying younger brothers—that’s right, keeping a diary. Whether it’s called a journal, a notebook, a workbook or the alluded to diary, it’s all the same. Any martial artist can benefit from this, but for advanced martial artists […]

Jul
17
2019

Q&A: The Yoke Punch in Tan Tui: North and South

Q: I’d like to ask why is there a different alignment of the arms with the Yoke punch as demonstrated in the Tan Tui 12 Road and the 10 Road forms respectfully? In the 10 Road video Sifu gives specific details about the arm alignment (90° in one instance and 135°? In another instance… depending […]

Jul
8
2019

Sifu Hamby’s 4th Gathering: Expertise & Camaraderie, Side by Side

Once again, Sifu Don Hamby has indeed “gathered the masters” in the 4th exhibition of long-studied and highly trained lovers of Chinese martial arts. Watching the skills displayed we are reminded of the power and beauty in this vast art. This well-attended showcase in Monterey Park (Los Angeles), sponsored by the Traditional Chinese Martial Arts […]