DVDs: Old Masters Out-of-print series

This is a fascinating series of rare footage of older martial artists practicing relatively rarely known forms. The editor of this series is Professor Kang Ge Wu. It's important to understand that the actual performances by these masters represents only a small portion of each DVD. The set is then replicated in instructional form by young Contemmporary Wushu students who "walk you through" the movements of each form. Some applications are given. But the main thrust of this series is the rarity of the performances and the forms.
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Rope Dart Kung Fu weaponDVD #24354 Yan Qing Boxing
performed by Chen Fang Qi (born 1905)

First you should know that Mizong=Lost Track=Yanqing. The YanQing Boxing of Chen FengQi comes from CangZhou, one of the centers of Lost Track style. At eight he started training with Chen YuShan. In 1930 he enrolled in the Nanking Guoshu Institute. After graduatingin 1934 he became a teacher there until the Japanese attacked that region in 1937. In this 1983 demonstration—part of China's nationwide martial survey— he is 72 years old. At first one might think the large loose arm movements and the Northern style stances are simply Shaolin, and indeed—since Lost Track originated from Shaolin—that is a valid observation. But Lost Track has not been standardized to a presentation art attempting to look ancient. Actually watching the fast, graceful and loose performance of Chen we are probably watching what Shaolin looked at in its most sophisticated incarnation. A fine presentation, especially for a martial artist of this age.

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Kung Fu masters 2nd Hong Fist

Double DVD#29963 New 2nd Hong Boxing

A classic Hong Fist with the representative arm slapping and foot flicking. Also, somewhat in the vein of Cha Chuan, there is an emphasis on off-timed motion (moves which are not simultaneous). A lot of leg work and pretty tall cranes for a man his age. Zhang’s interpretation is soft and elegant. A long, rather beautiful form.

This set originates from Sun Yuan (three origins) style of the Zhao Men. In the middle of the Qing dynasty Zhang Tian Hu of ZhiLi province taught Zhao Men one branch being San Yuan county, Sichuan and the other ZhiLi Pai.

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Kung Fu masters Bagua Dragon Palm

DVD#29964 Bagua Dragon Palm

Research places the origins of Bagua with Dong Hai Chuan (as we believe due to tremendous research of Kang Ge Wu). It might have started in the Xiang Feng during the Qing dynasty from the Zhus in Zhu’An, Hebei, might have established the general style.

Zhao ZiQiu demonstrates. NOTE: incomplete sections of his performance have a “stand in” to show the missing sections. His performances is very “twisty” and rather good. Zhao’s obviously practiced for a long time. Zhang was born in 1904, in ChongQing, and this film made in 1985 when he was 81. We don’t know the style of BGZ but suspect it is from the Yin family.

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Kung Fu masters Tilong Cannon

DVD#29965 Tilong Cannon

Lin Xuan was born in SanTi county, Sichuan, in 1911. Rising Dragon was created by Ji Ji of Zun village, YongJi county, ShanXi in the late Ming. In the late GuangXu period of the Qing dynasty a Chang’An person from Bao Ding came to Zun village and showed the Ti Long there.

This spry performance resembles nothing so much as a Xing Yi form. Strong and rapid actions are mixed with crouches and standing strikes. Essentially a “road” form done in lines this performance by a man in his seventies is inspiring for its verve if nothing else. Stance work is very fluid with strikes, mostly fist, following one another without pause.

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Kung Fu masters Single Whip Boxing

DVD#29966 Single Whip Jinzhu Boxing

Wang Deng Zhou is an important figure in Sichuan Kung Fu. Born in 1913, he comes from YiBin, Sichuan. Single Whip JiuZhu (Messiah) is from the Sichuan Sheng Men (Living style). The BingYi boxer, Ma DeSheng, established Sheng Men style. Ma was a student of Liu JiaoGu. Ma himself was shorter than five feet tall, small framed and not particularly strong. Therefore he concentrated on quickness, good timing and ruthless technique. Later he incorporated the philosophy of the I Ching and developed his boxing form. From the phrase Sheng Sheng Wei Yi. Sheng style is occasionally practice on poles.

If you ignored him from the neck up your would be hard pressed to distinguish Wang’s movements from those of someone half his age. A nice, medium sized set, done with elan and fluid movement. At one point Wang drops and executes a few casual leg sweeps from the ground. Overall a great performance for a 72 year old man.

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Kung Fu masters 8 punches on poles

DVD#29967 8 Punches on the Poles

Huang Rui Mu was born in Sichuan in 1917. His performance was filmed in 1985 at the age of 68. During the late Qing an armed escort working for Wu PeiFu was named Jiang ZhengNan. Jiang studied Shaolin then fled to Sichuan for refuge. While he was there he passed on this powerful form in the NanChuan region.

This is indeed a powerful form. Very simple at first it proceeds in lines up and back. The movements slowly transform from almost Karate like actions to Pigua like sweeping arms. There is a lot of arm conditioning and a surprised drop to a cross legged sit. Movements are large and distinctively Long Arm. There is an odd emphasis on single arm actions, at least for a Northern style form.

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Kung Fu masters Descending 5 Tigers

DVD#29968 Descending 5 Tigers Xichuan

This is another form of the Sheng Men school. It was also developed by Ma De Sheng.

In this performance Wang shows a forms with sophisticated double hand moves, stomps, retreats and turns. Almost southern at times, there is an interesting emphasis on monkey hands and turning actions. This would be an excellent fist to self instruct as the angles and movements are very clear. This sequence is mostly based on four corner protection and multiple punch combinations with repeated hand patterns.

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Kung Fu masters Lien Bu Quan

DVD#29969 Lien Bu Chuan Continuous Step Boxing

Most Lien Bu Quans resemble one another at least in the general outline of the stepping pattern. This is a very different animal though it shares some characteristics. The actions are small with retreating cats that then move out to attack. There is a variety of hand actions some of them such as the groin slap common to all types of Lian Bu. Indeed some movements are very similar but the arrangement and order is different. The four directions are emphasized with conservative actions but an occasional broom kick.

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Kung Fu masters Xing Yi Ba Shi

DVD#29970 Xing Yi 8 Forms Bashi

Ma ZhenDai comes from ChongWing, Sichuan. He was born in 1907. He is an important figure in Sichuan boxing circles. In the late Ming and early Qing Dynasties, a boxer named Ji Ji of Zun Village, YongJi County, ShanXi Province is said to have originated Xing Yi boxing.

Ma, who was 77 years old at the time, gives a very respectable performance of Xing Yi Eight Forms Boxing. He even includes the hops, foot switches and the dips into Pu Tui. This is one of our favorite Xing Yi forms with its angle changes and occasional wide sweeping moves and Ma’s rendition is very traditional and very clean.

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Kung Fu masters Taiyi Huolong Palm

DVD#29971 Taiyi Huolong Palm

Lu ZiJian hails from ChongQing, Yongji, Sichuan. He was born in 1893 and is now 115 years old and a famous figure in mainland martial arts. At the time of this survey he is said to have been 91 years old!. The source style, BaguaZhang, was created by Dong Hai Chuan in ZhuJiaWu, Wen An, Hebei in the Qing times.

This is a Bagua Men (a derivative of Bagua Zhang) set, Lu’s specialty, and is from the TaiYi branch which is almost a lost school. This “Fire Dragon Palm” . Lu ‘s movements are amazingly flexible for anyone even approaching his age. This set is relatively linear but is expressive of Bagua mostly in the hand formations. Many double palms actions, body change, small circle walks and continuous hand exchanges. Some parts, if you didn’t know, would resemble a nice soft Northern Fist.

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Kung Fu masters Arhat BoxingDVD#29972 Arhat Boxing

Peng Gao Ji comes from NeiJiang, Sichuan. He learned WuShu as a child and has practiced his whole life. He was born in 1912 and was 73 when this was filmed. This Arhat boxing is distinguished by calm movements and poses which represent the Arhats. During the late Qing a boxer, Yang Zhao Yuan, of Lu Shan Mountain followed his teacher, Shi ZhiPu, to Song Shan Shaolin Temple. After mastering the Shaolin he returned to his home and taught in NeiJiang district.

Arhat boxing is always fast, powerful and direct. This performance contains the splits, jump kicks, one arm push ups, and a strong performance of typical Shaolin timing and technique. This would be a difficult for most people half his age. Peng’s hands and legs are still fast and his movements very direct and correct.

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Kung Fu masters Hong Hands

DVD#29973 Hong Style Hands

Gao ChunHe is from ChengDu, Sichuan. He was born in 1921. He learned from an early age and studied Hong style. This is a key style and form to Sichuan boxing. This style was derived in the 18th year ShunZi of the Qing Dynasty from Zheng ChenGong a Ming general who fled to Taiwan and wanted to restore the Mind. He took the character “Hong” which is from Ming Taizu YuanZhang (Mind Founder YuanZhang) reign “HongWu”. So it is called Hong Sect.

This performance by a 64 year old shows great strength. Hong is much like Shaolin and indeed another name for Shaolin is a different character “Hong” This boxing is very extended and self admittedly based on force overcoming force. Bid powerful moves and also some classic postures. Discontinuous action with strong poses.

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Kung Fu masters Dalian Boxing

DVD#29974 Dalian Boxing

Peng YuanZhi was born in 1910. He comes from ChengDu, Sichuan. During the Qing dynasty Ma ChaoZhu, fleeing the Imperial Court, took Henan Shaolin Kung Fu into Sichuan.

This form, shown at age 75, uses many short hand motions. Typical are cover hands, flower hands, willow leaves. The stance is medium high with back dodging footwork. The form is relatively short and fairly easy to learn and generally addresses the four directions.

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Kung Fu masters Huanjinzhuang Boxing

DVD#29975 Huajinzhuang Boxing

Yang TianYun comes from NeiJiang, Sichuan. He is a leading player of Sichuan Panbomen. HuaJinZhuang belongs to the Pan Bo School of Kung Fu. This “Level Strike” form emphasizes speed and technique. Its footwork is light and flexible. It attacks by drawing.

This boxing uses a straight quick lifting kick interspersed with covering hand motions and dropping punches. There are plenty of side steps and tight small hand strikes. Some grappling actions are intermixed with a series of drop punches. The hands are completely withdraw when kicking. The moves are tight and short armed in general. The conservative movements correspond to the fact that this boxing was practice on tall poles.

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Kung Fu masters Huadashi Boxing

DVD#29976 Huadasi Boxing

Zhang ShaoBo is from ChongQing City, BaXin County, Sichuan. He has practiced WuShu since childhood. This form belongs to the SanYuan branch of the Zhao style of Kung Fu. SanYuan refers to the area where this branch was taught. This school claims origins in the Song Dynasty over 1000 years ago and from the founder of that Dynasty, Zhao KuangYin also known as TaiZu. During the middle Qing period, Zhang TianHu in ZhiLi brought Zhao boxing to SanYuan in ShanXi and Sichuan. This divides the style into SanYuan and ZhiLi branches. Both schools have an emphasis on leg actions, quick steps and sharp eyes.

This form is Long Fist with stretched postures, high kicks, slapping hands and loose actions. The movements bear an obvious resemblance to #22963 of the same style. This is more advanced with Dog style kicking, dropped stances and large circle movements. Zhang is a stylish performer.

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Kung Fu masters 6 Harmony Boxing

DVD#29977  Six Harmony Boxing

Yang WenZhang was born in ChongQing City. He learned Kung Fu as a child and has practiced ever since. It is said that before the Tang Dynasty an eminent Shaolin Monk traveled to Emei Mountain, Sichuan, bring with him the Shaolin technique. The monks there combined this with the local skills and developed a new method. For a while it was called the Monk School. It has an unusual posture with the head held upright and the T-stance rather than the Horse as a base.

Yang shows this Emei style with its very conservative hand actions and tight elbow. This is Shaolin but very short with straight punches followed by kicks . Double hand actions are common as are attacking palms. Footwork is tight and slight with angular adjustments every few moves. A good range of short arm technique which is unusual.

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Kung Fu masters Wusong Boxing

DVD#29978  Wusong Hands

Gao ChunHe is from ChengDu, Sichuan. He was born in 1921. He learned from an early age and studied Hong style. This is a key style and form to Sichuan boxing. This style was derived in the 18th year ShunZi of the Qing Dynasty from Zheng ChenGong a Ming general who fled to Taiwan and wanted to restore the Mind. He took the character “Hong” which is from Ming Taizu YuanZhang (Mind Founder YuanZhang) reign “HongWu”. So it is called Hong Sect.

This Hong Form also shows the traditional strength of the style. Hong uses open flapping palms and dropping punches with strong stances and definite hand changes. This form adds the drop and uppercut strikes. Much foot stomping to add power to the hands. An easy one to learn because the movements are so definite.

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Kung Fu masters 6 Harmony Xing Yi

DVD#29979  6 Harmony Xing Yi

Lin Xuan was born in SanTi county, Sichuan, in 1911. Rising Dragon was created by Ji Ji of Zun village, YongJi county, ShanXi in the late Ming. In the late GuangXu period of the Qing dynasty a Chang’An person from Bao Ding came to Zun village and showed the Ti Long there.

This Xing Yi set has much running and turning. There is a t least one road of almost nothing but spinning. This is old Xing Yi where each line is a different basic from Chicken stepping to double palms. While Lin’s performance is not necessarily impressive it gives a real feel for the simplicity and directness of the style.

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Kung Fu masters Bagua San SHou Sword

DVD#29980  Bagua San Shou Sword

Wang ShuTian, born in 1918, Wang is a retired professor of WuShu from the Chengdu Sports University. He is a well known WuShu educator.

Wang is rather obviously a professional Wushu coach. His movements are not only very refined but wide open and educational. Is interpretation is performance oriented but with much skill and elegance. His timing is highly refined and though one might have trouble seeing this as specifically a Bagua saber it is nonetheless a very nice rendition of saber work. A completely professional performance by a 67 year old man.

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More masters of folk Kung Fu. The concentration here is on traditional training methods
common to almost all classicl Kung Fu styles.

Rope Dart Kung Fu weaponDVD #24251 6 Hammer Spreading Peach
Liu Shi Jie NOTE: An elderly teacher (76) he studied through his youth with Li De Shan, Iron Arms Li Shu (Ci School) and under Wong Rang Chan (Shun style) for ten years.

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Two person routines are different from two person forms. In this old traditional approach the elderly teacher shows the movements and subtleties of “bridge work” that is to say, forearm to forearm skills. This represents a stage in evolution of Kung Fu before two person forms were created and it’s worth a moment to talk about this: two person exercises are learned as marching patterns which the practitioners can then rearrange in any combination that interests them; a much more dynamic format than a fixed partner set. This form is composed of two short roads with demonstration and explanation of the classic movements such as blocking and kicking. Bordering on the primitive, it is a nice series for group classes and friendly practice. Everything very clear and large.

Rope Dart Kung Fu weaponDVD #24252 Wrist Set
Liu Shi Jie NOTE: An elderly teacher (76) he studied through his youth with Li De Shan, Iron Arms Li Shu (Ci School) and under Wong Rang Chan (Shun style) for ten years.

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Subtitles

Capture technique. This one begins with a short two person form focusing completely on wrist locks then teaches the form broken down. This Chin Na practice form is short but it is continually in contact, sticking to both opponents, with tight coiling actions of the hands. When broken down there are a lot of extra movements and approaches demonstrated. Even though the students are not used to being on camera and the teacher is in his mid seventies this actual short Chin Na form is superior to many we see for its efficiency, stickiness and lack of silly set up moves.

Rope Dart Kung Fu weaponDVD #21038 Immortal Intent Boxing
Liu Jin He, fifth generation inheritor

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This is a life work for this man. He studied under three top traditional instructors melding their information into his style of Immortal Fist. In this part of his legacy he takes many of the standard exercises every does mindlessly like arm swings and shows the meaning and usage of these basic and fundamental movements as arm whipping, shaking limbs, His perspective is Chinese, not modern, and he explains basic movements within the context of qi movement and other traditional concepts. He shows moves like Butterfly Flies, Grind the Pan and Cloud Hands (in case you thought it was only a Tai Chi move). Many recognizable core exercises done in a unrecognizable way. No applications.

See immediately below for more on this rare style.

Rope Dart Kung Fu weaponDVD #21039 Eight Immortals Boxing
Liu Jin He, fifth generation inheritor

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First: you should know that this is NOT the Eight Drunken Immortals style, a much more common branch. Based on the Eight Immortals of Chinese mythology, we have here a complete system derived from Shaolin. What we also have here is an exhaustive historical example of Kung Fu, the folk art. Sifu Liu is passing on the essence of his system through this DVD by coming right out and showing the entire unified structure of the Ba Xian Quan as a fighting art.

We are seeing more  and more of this as the traditional styles are going begging for inheritors. Truly a shame. In this case the style is a beautiful series of graduated exercises which start as what one might call vigorous Qigongs and progress easily and rapidly into defense applications. Form is not emphasized, though it is demonstrated. This DVD is about fighting skill. Though Liu is older and not necessarily in the best health, his mastery of his style still shows through. The Chin Na is forceful and definitive, the striking oblique and sophisticated. This is a real survey of a style which may not be long for this world.

Read about this rare style.