KUNG FU - General

Below is a collection of books of many descriptions: self defense, forms, exercise, practice: all showing more faces of this fascinating art.

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Plum Flower Pole style Kung Fu

KG003 The Green Dragon
Four Images/Four Directions Form Volume 1:
by Jonty Kershaw
$24.95, 144 pages, softbound,

Teacher Jonty Kershaw has produced one of the first books in English with a set from the Kun Lun system. Though rare outside of China, Kun Lun is a large system like Shaolin, with many branches. Kershaw teaches from a Taoist perspective and this form, which he learned from Jason Baaht, is a short and relatively simple introduction to the Kun Lun curriculum. It makes use of a lot of sweep blocks, as befitting the dragon arts. The pictures are a bit small but give enough for instruction. Every page has a “footwork box” for stance and weight distribution. There are no applications because Kerhsaw states that he did not want to encourage that one dimensional idea that every move in a form is representative of limited, specific technique.


Xing Yi Internal Strength

KS002 The Science of Internal Strength
by Zhang Nai Qi
Translated by Marcus Brinkman

$24.95, 72 pages

This is a translation of a book originally published in 1933. It is a thin but very interesting volume: essentially an essay on the practice of internal arts. Most books in the martial field are instructional but there are a few such as Adam Hsu's and Daniel Furuya's which are reflective, based on an self-awareness of the nature of practice. This book is one of the best we've seen attempting to explain the rationale of standing practice, relaxation, internal studies etc. It originally garnered some ire from that other outspoken group, the Yi Quan members. But many of the ideas have been adopted since its initial publication. Still, there is much fresh and honest material here.

Excerpt: "In fact, the so called dan tian is neither a point of concentration or a point of tension. Disciples of the Tung Shan sect, while in sitting meditation concentrate upon the area between the eyes, therefore their dan tian is between the eyes. For others who practice cultivating qi and internal strength boxers who concentrate upon the tension of the abdomen, it is therefore located below the navel...."

See our "second look" review here



Plum Flower Pole style Kung Fu

KF002 Five Ganzhi Meihuazhang Techniques (Plum Blossom Fist)
Wang Zhi-Zhong
$15.95 209 pages, softbound

Printed in Hong Kong this neat little book is EN FACE, that is, both Chinese and English versions are represented. Not only a nice set with clear illustrations but a good book for those wanting to improve their martial translation skills.

"Ganzhi Meihuazhuang (Plum Blossom Pile Boxing) is one of Chian's ancient boxing schools. It had its own unique style and attack-defence art. According to senior wushu masters, previously Meihuazhuang was practiced on stumps. In line with routines, several hundred stumps, each for one step, were planted on a rectangular ground. Stumps were heightened as practitioners improved their skills."




Muslim style Kung Fu

KW030 Wushu among Chinese MUSLIMS
by China Sports Editorial Board
184 pages, softbound, illustrated

This is probably the first book translated into English on the Jiao Men (Cha) group of Kung Fu branches. The books starts with a short introduction to the history of Muslim versions of Kung Fu. Next is a section on Wang ZiPing then on Zhang WenGuang. This is followed by three sets and an exercise section illustrated. The first, simply titled Zha (Cha) boxing is in reality a version of Road #4. The next is a 10 road Tan Tui (Spring leg). Third follows a 20 exercise section developed by Wang ZiPing himself. Finally there is Yong ZhanQuan of "Boxing for the Brave" which is composed of kicks, strikes and grabs and has some simple applications thrown in for good measure.



Fan Zi Kung Fu Kao Shou Boxing

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KK001 KaoShou FanZi Quan Kung Fu
(Cuffed Hang Tumbling Fist)
By Wen JingMing
$15.95, 215 pages, Illustrated, Soft bound

First of all Fan Zi or Ba Fan Shan is an old and respected school of Kung Fu. It is also "well married" in that it has been teamed to other significant styles through the ages. Two of these would be Chuo Jiao (Penetrating Foot) and Ying Jiao (Eagle Claw) both of which have added Fan Zi to become hybrids. This particular form of Fan Zi goes back in one form or another to Qi JiGuang the famous general who was a martial arts connoisseur. The hands are held together as though manacled for most of the set. This book also discusses the "flavor" of Fan Zi and then, for the final section, gives many forms of usage especially emphasizing the cuffed hand position. A good clear text with a learnable well organized set and many applications. See the Chinese version of this text.



Wu Song Breaks Manacles

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KW021 WuSong Breaks Manacles
Kung Fu
By Cai LongYun

WuSong has long been one of the favorite characters out of the Chinese Heroic novel: Water Margin (also known as "Outlaws of the Marsh" and "All Men are Brothers"). WuSong is escorted by official guards but, even though manacled, defeats his opponents and escapes. He is also famous in the novel for fighting a tiger. WuSong Breaks Manacles is a single person form. There are well known and popular multiple opponent versions where the player has to fend off attacks by armed assailants. Much of this form is demonstrated with one hand grasping the other wrist as though the hands are cuffed. As a figure from Water Margin WuSong actions might relate to Liang Shan style or MiZong, though the author of this book was a specialist in Hua Boxing. Clear illustrations and instructions.

Click HERE to see another text on this form, in both Chinese and English, and with a VCD!