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Aug
15
2017

A Martial Stance

Plumpub is a site for traditional Chinese martial arts practitioners, and in this guise it is “not political.” We assume that our customers and readers come from all positions on the political spectrum and are, thankfully, brought together in community by a shared love for the art. To pointedly decry white supremacism, naziism, and other […]

Aug
9
2017

The Taiji Ruler System

Every once in a while, we at Plum discover, to our embarrassment, that an article that appeared in our old weblog somehow managed to escape the transition to WordPress. This one by Rich Mooney is a classic, not to mention a generous and concise discussion of the Taiji Ruler in practice. We (re)represent it below. […]

Aug
4
2017

Muslim Kung Fu: The Fist of the Bodyguards

Comment: Of the over 700 articles and opinion pieces on the martial arts I’ve published, this one on Muslim Kung Fu has probably gotten the most reactions. Letters and question from all over the world have flooded in. There is a lot of interest there in Jiao Men, Islamic martial arts. Here is the first […]

Jul
21
2017

Who Are You?

A foundational idea of western culture, a platform for all our perfections and trials, is the Psychological Self (PS). It is constructed of qualities supposedly as solid as building blocks. It is the motivating force behind much of our fiction and all of our worries. Many of us have been conditioned to see the PS […]

Jul
7
2017

A Poem About Yue Fei, Martial Genius

One of China’s greatest culture heroes and intimately linked to Chinese Martial Arts (Guo Shu), Yue Fei was betrayed even as he rescued the empire. 岳鄂王墓 赵孟頫 鄂王坟上草离离, 秋日荒凉石兽危. 南渡君臣轻社稷 中原父老望旌旗. 英雄已死嗟何及, 天下中分遂不支. 莫向西湖歌此曲, 水光山色不胜悲.   The Tomb of Yue Fei by Zhao Meng Fu On Yue’s tomb the grass grows luxuriant, The autumn sun […]

Jun
28
2017

The Cane, Practical Self Defense

Our Shaolin Cane DVD has engendered more questions and reactions than almost any other DVD we developed. This article focuses on those questions, partially in the hope that this weapon—which some people  actually rely on for self defense—grows in popularity and improves in technique. Let’s first recognize the diversity of the instrument. It’s more than […]

Jun
18
2017

Structure and You

Martial arts comes from a long period in human history when the closest correlate to scientific thinking was pattern identification. This was a time made wondrous with the rules of magic, codes and ciphers, ritual and ceremony. For example, I think this act of pattern recognition is much more significant when talking about the animalistic […]

Jun
14
2017

Daniel Mroz on Tao Lu: Formal Movements from the Martial Arts

 Here is something wonderful. Daniel Mroz, an associate professor in the Theater Department of the University of Ottawa and also a longtime friend, correspondent and Plum customer presented a lecture at last year’s Martial Arts Studies Conference in Wales. The subject of his engaging talk is Tao Lu, the martial art routine we call set […]

Jun
9
2017

Wubeizhi Koujue Translation

For those scholars out there, working with and admiring the General Tian’s Wubeizhi that we introduced just at the end of last year, we got this exciting email today from the co-author, David Nisan. He writes: I send today a short discussion on the General Tian Wubeizhi’s illustrated section and a partial translation of the […]

May
31
2017

Mina at the Kung Fu Tournament

The noise in the Kung Fu tournament hall never lets up. The waves of brass and drumming rolled along the ceiling fabric only to crash against an opposing wave of raucous sound from the opposite direction. To me, it vibrated like someone in leather and beard revving a Harley directly between my ears, but I […]

May
25
2017

Plum Attends Its First Tournament

Well, we had a great weekend at the first tournament/demonstration we’ve attended in years (and our FIRST as PLUM representatives). Friday started with a nice spread in the patio of the gorgeous and refurbished California Theater in downtown San Jose. The place was a-buzz with so many well-known teachers, such as Lily Lau, David Chin, […]

May
16
2017

Appreciation: Double Swords, Flying Blades

There is at least one weapon in Kung Fu practice that is generally taught only to women. In fact, I have never—that I recall—taught this to a male practitioner. Leaving aside the irony of a male teaching a “female only” weapon (I’ll discuss how THAT works at the end of this article), I think it […]

May
5
2017

Meditation’s Secret Treasure

Meditation’s Secret Treasure, by Steve Strasnick, is the story of someone who was not already indoctrinated with mystical assumptions, who did not bring a cosmology (at least, not a religious one) to the table. Yet, he found himself  “Awakening to the Mystical World,” despite his feeling about himself that he was not “inclined” in that manner. […]

Apr
8
2017

Who is Your Audience? Martial Consciousness

Martial arts can be a mirror. Like Alice, I stick my hands out and they sink into the loking glass.  The nature of martial arts encourages looking inward, staring outward and trying, somehow, to get audience and self-perception to agree. It’s important to know just who and what you are looking for. It’s important to […]

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 […]

Feb
24
2017

The Hidden Power of Kung Fu Slapping

Can you explain the reason some styles like Tong Bei Quan and Kenpo use so much slapping? A fellow martial artist recently asked me about this. Little did he know was that I used to lecture obsessively on this subject to black belts and teachers. Even now, I still incorporate some of this technique in […]

Feb
10
2017

Coloring in the Picture: Bubishi and Hakka styles

The Colorful Bubishi… We now carry both the Bubishi and the new Lion Books, General Tian’s Wubeizhi, with painted figures. This special copy is unlike all other copies presently known. In an amazing confluence of facts, we just happened to read the following footnote in Patrick McCarthy’s Book on Bubishi: … According to Mr. Yoza […]

Jan
17
2017

Year of the Fire Rooster–January 28, 2017

Year after year, Narrye Caldwell’s annual Chinese Astrological analysis has been one of Plum’s most popular and requested topics. We are happy to once again offer it here. All Chinese wisdom traditions, including medicine, divination, astrology, and feng shui, are systems of pattern identification that guide us in adapting gracefully to change. A world in […]

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; […]