Displaying posts filed under

Weapons Work

Apr
23
2020

Shaolin Sheltering: Weird Weapons

Among the first commandments for stifling COVID-19 is ‘do not touch your face’. This was extremely difficult for me. Spring is allergy season. It makes me cough and sneeze, and the last thing I want to be right now is a coughing sneezing Asian. What’s more, my nose is always itchy. To keep from scratching, […]

Apr
17
2020

Special Knowledge

              This week we offer an unusual mix aimed mostly at more advanced information, each in its respective art. For instance the many insights of Yang style Tai Chi Chuan performed by Lin MoGen are embodied in an unusually relaxed and natural version that takes over an hour to […]

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 […]

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. […]

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 […]

Feb
13
2019

The Righteous Blade

INTRODUCTION You grip the Kuan Dao but you haven’t lifted it yet. Something is different here. The blade is thicker than a saber and yours may have more edges; at the butt end, the metal or wood shaft may be capped with bronze. Your Kuan Dao looks fierce as well as heavy, the kind of […]

Jan
24
2019

Change Is Good: Sifu Jack Yan’s Book/DVD Packages

Plum has represented Sifu Jack Yan’s book and DVDs on Tong Bei Quan, Whip Stick, and Eight Immortals Sword for several years. Sifu Yan’s excellent instruction is clear, his English text well-written, and his teaching generous. Initially, there was one book containing 3 forms, pointing to 3 separate DVDs. Now Sifu Yan has re-packaged each […]

Dec
14
2018

How Legends Grow

After 5000 years, an ocean of rumor and a mountain range of myth still proscribe the land of Kung Fu. And the stories that most attach themselves are often related to the origins of weapons. Not every weapon has a backstory and a legend. But the folk stories that accompany weapons—believable or not—range from the […]

Nov
30
2018

Two Times Three, But Who’s Counting?

Our offering today centers around “two”—a triplet of Chinese texts each with a special relationship to the number.  The first of these is a text recommended by Adam Hsu, on the rare “Wild Goose” saber, a cross between a saber and a straight sword. This unusual weapon balances perfectly the special features of both types […]

Jun
18
2018

Triple Irony

Martial artists always have something to do. In my case I have been reconstructing and improving my weapons skills—at least, I hope so, considering the practice put in. It can be a slow process. It’s tough enough to fight through the quirks of each weapon. You also have to overcome the tendency for former ghostly […]

Mar
5
2018

What’s Old is New: 3 Traditional DVDs

Despite the fact that Plum has built a catalogue containing almost 4000 books, dvds and vcds (!) we are actually quite picky about our products. We review a lot of material, choosing only what we believe will add to the martial conversation. So imagine how pleased we are when we are able to offer three […]

Jun
7
2017

Liu Xiao Ling’s Presentation of Wu Tai Chi Sword

Pound for pound, Liu Xiao Ling is one of the most popular teachers on our site, especially considering the small number of DVDs he has produced from his wide range of styles and systems. The reasons are simple. His movements are accurate and simultaneously explicit. He contends himself with the “internal” arts such as Qigong, […]

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 […]

Apr
14
2017

Kung Fu Saber: The Tiger Leaps

A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away, Plum pre-announced our newest book/DVD package by Ted Mancuso on the Kung Fu Saber. Needless to say, it took us just a bit longer to produce these than we expected, but we are thrilled to say, THE SABER IS HERE! This is the third in […]

Aug
26
2016

Expand Yourself

Just in the final stages of the book I’m writing on Kung Fu Saber. I had an insight about why I’m fascinated by weapon’s work. Below is a rounding out of some of these thoughts. I’ve mentioned a few times that I have a slightly different idea about the relation of weapons play to martial […]

Feb
26
2016

Second Look: Quick Whip Stick

In re-reviewing a DVD from one of our favorite teachers (Deng Fu Ming) we noticed something we had missed the first time around: his DVD on  Sun Taiji Partner Practice contains an added clip at the end, a beautiful and somewhat sophisticated whip stick form. It is a complete demonstration, but without instruction. This is […]

Nov
27
2015

Introducing Sifu Porf Jou

On our last trip to Taiwan, Sifu Adam Hsu introduced us to Sifu Porf Jou, martial arts teacher. We had long been interested in him, since we saw both teachers sharing some pages on YouTube. Now we are happy to announce that we are adding Sifu Jou to our list of top teachers. Like George […]

Nov
4
2015

Why the Saber?

Ted Mancuso’s next book for Plum, adds the third to his four-book sequence on Kung Fu’s primary weapons. Saber can explode your understanding of the more advanced weapons. A firm grounding in the “4-S” (spear, sword, staff and saber) actually helps in your empty hand practice. Even more than some of his earlier books, Ted […]

Nov
2
2015

“Why The Saber?” Video

Oct
14
2015

Adam Hsu Interview, Part 2

Learning “true basics” is at the core of Kung Fu. In this session, Part 2 of our interview, Adam Hsu talks about communicating and the practice of Kung Fu Weaponry. Want to watch All (Parts 1-8) on youtube? Want to watch Part 1 on this site? Want to watch Part 3 on this site? Want […]