Displaying posts tagged with

“kung fu”

Oct
22
2019

Life is Too Short For Bad Kung Fu

Yes, it’s true! A new book in English by Adam Hsu. If this were Hollywood, Sifu Adam Hsu’s new book, “Life Is Too Short For Bad Kung Fu,” would be the tell-all on everyone’s reading list; not because it is gossipy—he names no names—but because it fulfills its promise to reveal the good, the bad, […]

Oct
15
2019

Three Fighting Stars: Xin Yi, Chang and Gong Li Quan

                All three of these new Chinese texts—on Xin Yi Liu He, the ancient Chang family style, and Five Ancestors boxing—demonstrate applications that give a good sense, in each case,  showing them as pragmatic and functional. The Gong Li Quan is one of the styles that comes under […]

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 […]

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 […]

Jun
16
2019

System, Not Style

We are pleased to offer this presentation—long overdue by us—of Di Guoyong on Xingyiquan, Sifu Di’s systematic explanation of that deeply loved and appreciated style, Xing Yi Quan. Contained in these three volumes is a full roster of forms along with comprehensive descriptions, from  basics all the way to weapons forms and partner practice. We […]

Mar
24
2019

How to Make Friends With 60:40 Stance

We have been practicing and discussing how to make friends with 60:40 stance in our recent community classes. This is where 60% of the weight is on the back leg, and 40% is on the front leg. Often the most uncomfortable or difficult to understand stance, where many students are just bearing it until they […]

Jan
19
2019

Speed and…uh…Timing

I tell my students over and over to “go fast, but don’t hurry.” In the martial world, too early can be as bad as too late. After all, how long do you want to wait for the plane to land? On the other hand, who wants it to arrive maddeningly early? Timing is a necessity. […]

Dec
23
2018

Personal Practice

What is a practice? What can it do? Practice is not just a workout. It is a recognition of engagement at that moment. It records, immediately, every nuance expressed in your story, laying those tiles piece by piece. Often, workouts sidestep the mind and can barely be remembered by dinnertime. From practice we recall the […]

Nov
27
2018

The Sophistication of Simplicity

Earlier today, I had the opportunity to work with a group of beginning Tai Chi students. A few hours later, I met with another group of students in my advanced Tai Chi class. Now, relaxing at the dusty end of the day, I realize that what I had taught to these two classes was essentially […]

Oct
29
2018

The Cinematic World of Hong Kong: The Heritage of Hung Gar

Sometimes a book comes along dealing with a topic in which you thought you had little interest. Then you open it and—wow!—it reciprocates to open up a world for you. Lingnan Hung Kuen: Kung Fu in Cinema and Community is one of those books. It looked like a nice gift item. But once we got […]

Oct
24
2018

The Lightest Touch, the Heaviest Load

Kung Fu hides many of its secrets in terms of opposite qualities such as fast/slow, open/close, light and heavy. But don’t let the words obscure the story. The names are significant, but it’s their entwined relationship that holds the real stash. Take heavy and light. In the martial arts community, especially the Chinese branch, there […]

Oct
21
2018

Bak Sil Lum Sash Event

Today there are nine new Black sashes in the martial art of Bak Sil Lum (Northern Shaolin) style. At an event hosted by Sifu Scott Jensen a contingent of his senior students were awarded black sashes, a solid rank requiring years of training. Each candidate demonstrated skills, starting with a set from the empty-handed division […]

Sep
9
2018

Speed: Unpunch & Unkick

The following simple techniques will drastically improve your martial speed. My confidence in this teaching tip stems from the fact I have used it so many times and it always delivers.  It is based on a key concept in what people call “reptile response,” or conditioned reflex; in other words, actions that are hard-wired to […]

Aug
28
2018

Listening to the Wind: On Internal Practice

About a week ago I asked my Tai Chi class if they ever get bored doing the form. They unanimously answered “No,” their explanation being that the form always provides new material to concentrate on, things to master. This suggests that the act of repetition can be either boring or freeing, and leads me to […]

Jun
27
2018

A Gathering Indeed

Friday, we drove south, over 350 miles to Monterey Park, in Los Angeles, in answer to Sifu Don Hamby’s invitation to attend his 3rd Annual Kung Fu Gathering of the Masters. Despite expectations based on decades of tournaments and events, we could not have anticipated what we encountered once the drumming started. Sifu Hamby, widely […]

May
16
2018

Family Resemblance

I’ve been asked to judge at the annual Tiger Claw tournament this coming weekend. One of the things unique at this event is that it will feature, in its traditional column, not one, but TWO, Shaolin divisions. This is particularly significant because, for the first time, these two competitions will offer double examples of true […]

May
13
2018

Coming Events

Plum will be travelling in May and June to a couple of kung fu tournaments: 10th Annual Tiger Claw Elite Kung Fu Magazine Championship, May 19-20, 2018, San Jose, California This year’s 2 day event will feature a NEW EXTERNAL DIVISION dedicated exclusively to Songshan Shaolin — the Kung Fu directly from Shaolin Temple alongside […]

Mar
27
2018

Tutorial: Tai Chi Tips, Stepping

If you’ve spent more than 5 minutes at Plum, you know how highly we prize basics as the foundation of good movement. ‘Stepping’ in Tai Chi, is one of those fundamentals that you might learn on the first day of class, and which you might be refining well into your advanced practice. We prepared a […]

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 […]

Oct
31
2017

George Xu: Pioneer

Normally we reserve these weblog spots for a quick teaser, and designate the product pages for fuller reviews. However, since the works of George Xu often attract our special attention, we thought that this time, with his new DVD on Reeling Silk Energy, we would post our more in-depth interview along with our usual product […]