Essays, Biographies, Training Manuals and
other writings What
was the world in which Martial Arts was born? How did it grow and
change and turn from simple fighting and combat to a network of concepts,
exercises and explorations that have fascinated peopl for 5000 years.
As Truman said, "The only thing new is the history you don't
know about." And this is even more important for the future of
martial arts. Where will it go in the next century? Essays and history,
from the present and the past we cook the future.
NEW! KL018 Life is too Short for Bad Kung Fu
by Adam Hsu
332 Pages, softbound, English language
Illustrated with photographs, including Sifu Hsu demonstrating Goose Feather Saber
Regular price: $38.95, Plum Price $34.95
Over its 5000 year history, Kung Fu as an art has met adversity.
For instance, 250 years ago it exited the battlefield due to the introduction of “hot” weapons, and in doing so, it retreated from its core purpose. Its shift into civilian life meant that historically brilliant strategies scaled for war morphed into self-defense techniques for individuals; the renowned stamina of soldiers, which required daily regimens for strength training, transformed into individual concerns of health and longevity. Its examination became the work of scholars instead of generals.
Even so, Kung Fu thrived, experiencing intermittent periods of sophisticated growth and attention. Teachers taught—great, and otherwise; students trained—both frivolously and seriously; styles developed; Kung Fu’s myths and legends expanded. Expertise travelled outside of China—mostly through the hands of laborers and cooks who scattered to every country—but also to those foreigners who visited and took up with teachers practicing in their own dusty courtyards. People without previous experience picked up weapons—once battlefield tested, now used for training and entertainment—to carry Kung Fu forward. Information was both shared and withheld. Knowledge was gained, and also lost.
Today, Kung Fu suffers another existential challenge—this one potentially fatal. The combination of new wealth and advanced technology threatens to supplant the traditional power that comes from touching hands. Simply said, as daily existence grows easier, the ability to focus and sustain authentic practice becomes harder.
In this book, world-renowned martial arts teacher and writer Adam Hsu, proclaims his expert reckonings on the state of Kung Fu. For over six decades, he has acted as one of Kung Fu’s greatest proponents and contributors, as well as one of its greatest critics. In “Life Is Too Short For Bad Kung Fu”—his first English text in more than 10 years—Hsu Sifu employs aphorisms, boldly and honestly evaluating Wushu's perilous path toward its questionable future. He focuses on current-day training, teaching and practice, offering harsh criticism as well as genuine solutions. He never swerves from the foundational, millennial idea of basics as Kung Fu’s true power. He is not shy about reiterating their importance, nor about the ways they are disappearing from the traditional curriculum. Like a doctor watching a patient slip away, he is neither calm nor sentimental in his many attempts to keep Kung Fu alive.
There are those whose excitement will lead them to sit down and read this book cover to cover. To our mind, it is better appreciated in small and measured draughts—there is so much to consider—both inspirations and warnings—and the aphorism format is perfect for separating each idea into thoughtful portions.
NEW! KB028 Beyond the Battleground
by Tom Bisio Regularly $21.95 PLUM Price $19.95, 345 pages, softbound, some illustrations,
Another offering of Tom Bisio’s work is this book of " Classic strategies from the Yijing and Baguazhang for managing Crisis Situations.” Here is a compilation and commentary on military thinkers east and west. Among those cited is Sun Zi, Liddell Hart, Tecumseh Sherman, Li Zi Ming, Shaka Zulu, Napoleon, Clausewitz, Boyd and many more. Among other things he includes an interpretation of warfare with the aid of the Yi Jing. Many descriptions of tactics are presented in famous and lesser-known battles showing again and again the heart of warfare which resides in a nexus of deception, psychological insight, creative thinking and a host of requirements to insure the success of strategies. The belief from the Chinese military/martial standpoint is whether defending one person (yourself for instance) or ten thousand the principles are the same, the game. A good compilation, explanation and general reference of this important topic.
Note: This is an extensively revised edition of his earlier book on warfare.
KW044 Warrior Guards the Mountain Alex Kozma $35.00 Plum Price 31.50
305 Pages, photographs,
350 pages, photographs, few applications
Alex Kozma started in Chinese martial arts at the age of 13. He has spent years in traveling to masters and places. This book, dedicated to his teachers, shows a part of his character that is enthusiastic and perpetually learning. This book is like a guided tour of styles and teachers he knows. Interviews and descriptions include Japanese arts, Pentjak Silat, Muay Tai, Indian arts, Kun Tao Mantis and, in the Chinese arts information on the rarely seen ZiRan Men “Natural Boxing.”
Among teachers he has not only studied but counts many friends. Some names are Dr. Serge Angier, Cheong Cheng Leong, Lu Yaoqin, Paul Whitrod, Steve Benitez, Simon Das, Gerry Tan and others. This is a book of experiences and questions.
His questions span the experience like:
“Can you describe your teacher’s special skills and tell some story of your time with him?” This is pretty much the basic theme of the book with straight forward questions of martial practice on a higher level. The many and diverse answers followed this pattern and gives us a mixed picture of individuals practicing with sweat and tears and an almost religious confidence in the principles behind the practice.
This is a good book not so much about the differences in styles but the similarity of the meta-styles. For some readers it may be too unquestioning, for other it may introduce or re-acquaint them with a higher level of the game.
At last! The story of the first and most influential Kung Fu Associations of all time, the famous Jing Wu.
"Brian Kennedy and Elizabeth Guo have produced a fascinating and thorough work on the real Jingwu Association, providing heretofore unprecendented access to the foundation, training, and culture of this very important and interesting time and place in the history of Chinese martial arts.".
- Tim Cartmell, translator of A Study of Taijiquan by Sun Lu Tang and other books and DVDs on the martial arts
"A spectacular contribution to filling the gap in the early twentieth-century Chinese martial arts and cultural history."
-Stanley Henning, Chinese martial arts historian
Spring and Autumn of Chinese Martial Arts -
by Professor Kang Ge-Wu $14.95 Plum discount 15% or $12.70, Softbound, 108 pages,
The first ! A complete historical reference for Chinese Martial
Arts. This book is written by one of the world's leading experts
on Wushu. Professor Kang Gewu of the Wushu Research Institute
in Beijing has personally traveled throughout China gathering
archeological data and oral histories on this valuable cultural
treasure that is Martial Arts.
book is a vital text for anyone interested in the origins of
such diverse styles as T'ai Ch'i, Shaolin, ancient wrestling
and Qi Gong. It offers a time-line that covers thousands of
years of significant developments in the long history of Martial
Arts. Styles and masters are included by the dozens. The product
of years of research and study. Not to be missed!
No longer available !
me on your Search List
if you ever find this item.
KK004 Kodo: Ancient Ways
Kensho Furuya $18.95 paper, 204 pages
For a few years there were two columns in the martial magazines which were must reads. In many ways they marked the apex of interest in martial practices up to the present. This book, and the one immediately following, are compilations from these two exemplars. The late but remembered Daniel Furuya: abbot, Aikido instructor, Iaido expert was a friendly, profound and dedicated man. This book displays his talent for essay and discusses, from the Japanese standpoint, some of the heartflet mysteries and goals of martial studies. Chapters include:
Training Beyond Limitations
Make Mistakes Correctly
True Learning is Incomplete
The Mystery of Training
Bend the Bamboo, Not the Wind
and many more. An inspirational and thoughtful text which springs from intimate knowledge of not only his subject but, much rarer, his whole subject.
(Sadly, this book is now out of print and we only have a few copies left.)
KL010 Lone Sword Against the Cold Cold Sky $24.95, Plum Price: (10%) off-= 22.45
Without a doubt one of the finest series of writing ever to appear in English on the art and practice of Kung Fu. These essays and articles will become a permanent part of your reading and thinking about this complex, beautiful and highly effective art. Adam Hsu expresses opinions and displays research that challenges and re-thinks the common cliches. At the same time he offers real solutions for the "Kung Fu mess", and methods for people even without proper instruction to improve and deepen their arts. These writings span almost two decades and are the cream of the work that helped to make Adam Hsu an internationally recognized and respected teacher.
a monthly column that appeared for fifteen years in several Kung-Fu magazines,
the Record is now collected, updated and expanded. It is loaded with important
concepts, tips on training and philosophical insights into the practice
of true Kung Fu. A major book by one of Kung
Fu's most significant thinkers. This is a book that discusses what so
few people in the martial arts talk
of: the meaning and soul of the art. Enjoy!
scholar and a great teacher, Adam Hsu, is outspoken and thoughtful. Of
late he has almost become controversial but that could not be avoided.
Mr. Hsu has a impeccable background. College professor in Taiwan in Chinese
Classical literature he is a third generation Kung Fu practitioners. In
addition his status as one of the primary disciples of Liu Yun-Chiao and
the editor of Wu Tang magazine lend his voice authority. His opinions
are strong, but informed. We have heard many criticize but never substantially
disprove any of his views. You, too, may disagree but Adam Hsu's straightforward
honesty contributes just as much as it debunks. Definitely a book that
will make you think.
and Reality of Kung Fu styles
Role of form in Kung Fu
Internal Training, is it necessary?
Kung Fu Mind, Multi-dimensional Mind
Counterfeit Kung Fu
Adapting Western Methods to Kung Fu Take
me to a review of this book
Martial Arts Teaching Tales
by Pascal Fauliot $12.95, Softbound, 117 pages,
the back cover:"True
martial arts should never be confused with simple combat techniques.
Rather, martial arts area a way than an individual, after a long and
difficult apprenticeship, can gain a profound understanding of the true
nature or reality and one's place in it. Over time the apprentice discovers
the laws governing subtle forces of life and realizes that their mastery
is only possible after one has mastered oneself. "He who has mastered
the Art doesn't use his sword: he compels his adversary to kill himself."
This quote from renowned sword master Tajima no Kami perfectly expresses
the paradoxical nature of martial arts teaching in China and Japan.
teaching stories are moral fables; in fact, they have nothing to prove.
Their purpose is actually to inspire questions and insights that will
aid the student to achieve self-realization.Most of the stories in this
book are based on actual events in the lives or martial teachers who
have achieved legendary status. The almost superhuman abilities of some
of the masters described here are evidence of the secret powers that
can be wielded by those whose martial arts training is not simply the
learning of physical techniques but involves mastering subtle energies
of mind and body. Master of the art of archery Kenzo Awa could hit the
center of a target even when shooting in total darkness. Assailants
of T'ai Chi master Yang Lu Chan found their blows did more damage to
themselves than to their would-be victim. By reading - and comprehending
- the tales in this book, we can acquire the same essential knowledge
that these masters had - that extraordinary forces are within the grasp
of those who have achieved inner peace and self-mastery."
is our belief that every one interested in the history of
Tai Chi Chuan, and really the history of Kung Fu in general,
should be familiar with the writings of Chang Nai Zhou.
It will not change significantly anyone's practice but it
will show a key point - one we often make along with other
instructor's - and one that may indeed change one's attitutdes
substantially. This key point is that Tai Chi, for instance,
is in no way divorced from the general history of the Chinese
Martial Arts. It is simply another branch of that history.
Nai Zhou was a scholar who worked around 1750. He not only
practiced martial arts but left key writings on the subject.
In this book Mr. Wells, a highly educated and knowledgeable
writer, has translated Chang's work and added commentary.
Many of Chang's writings are so similar - and predate -
the Tai Chi Classics that there are those who believe Chang's
work may have been the forerunner for Tai Chi's acknowledged
Bible. Contained within this text we have:
Towards a martial philosophy
Chang's writings: Nourishing Central Energy
Chang's writings: Martial Defense
24 Word theoy
Rising and Springing Explained
addition the original illustrations, charming and basic,
are reproduced along with pictures of living members of
the Chang family performing and some other correlative historical
works. Overall a major volume on a crucial part of Chinese
martial history. Marnix Wells has done a fine job. If he
had not, some other translation of this text would necessarily
be in our libraries. Chang's work is that important to grasping
the general schema of Wushu.
310 pages, softbound, photographs and illustration
DYNASTY GENERALS WROTE THEM, Qing Dynasty soldiers studied
them, Republican-era warlords pondered them, Shaolin monks
consulted them, bodyguards and sports coaches took lessons
from them - and they still line shelves in bookshops across
China. They are training manuals, the do-it-yourself guides
to Chinese martial arts.
martial arts masters of the past created special training
manuals with text and images, sometimes themselves appearing
in the illustrations. These manuals now provide an invaluable
glimpse into how various martial arts were practiced in
the period spanning the mid-seventeeth through the mid-twentieth
centuries. Along with biographical portraits of thirty of
the most influential masters, Kennedy and Guo provide contextualizing
information on the history of martial artists and martial
arts, how Chinese martial artists made a living, the Imperial
exams, and the place of the Shaolin Temple in Chinese martial
arts history. Beautifully designed, and illustrated with
hundreds of photographs and drawings, this book presents
a multifaceted portrait of Chinese martial arts and their
place in Chinese culture."
Brian Kennedy, an attorney, has practiced Chinese martial
arts since 1976. His previous books, published in Chinese,
include Witness Examination Skills and American Legal Ethics.
This is his first martial arts book.
Elizabeth Nai-Jia Guo is a professional translator and
practitioner of qi gong and hatha yoga. She has translated
a wide range of books into Chinese, including titles on
church architecture, the history of science, and criminal
law. Together, Guo and Kennedy write a regular column for
the magazine Classical Fighting Arts.
- The Truth of Chinese Martial Arts
Wang Xuan Jie
$22.95, English 98 pages, photographed, softbound, wrap cover $34.95, English 98 pages, photographed, hardbound
little volume (around
5 1/4 X 7 1/4) is
the "other" book in English by Wang Xuan Jie, and much
more difficult to find. Wang is the "youngest" and favored
disciple of Wang Xiang Zhai: the creator of Da Cheng or Great Achievement
boxing. Wang Xiang Zhai, was himself a student of the famous Xing
Yi boxer, Guo Yun Shen. He definitely had a mission in life. He
wanted to revivify Chinese martial arts which had taken many blows
to the ego from Japanese and Western opponents. He cut right to
the core of the problem by criticizing many "outmoded"
training methods, especially the practice of forms. He also wrote
a number of scathing editorials critiquing numerous aspects of
WuShu. He tried to simplify the art but keep the Chinese character
with its strong emphasis on internal training. Da Cheng was developed
which later became Yi Quan, a very popular style at the moment.
is a bit of concern in the Wu Shu community that the many victories
claimed by the Da Cheng group are somewhat exaggerated since there
are said to be records of open matches with Da Cheng teachers losing
in, for instance, Shang Hai. (We're hinting at research projects
here more than criticizing styles. Anyone who doesn't known about
the exaggeration rampant in Chinese martial arts is, indeed, new
to the scene.) Be that as it may, many of the DaCheng criticisms
are well-founded and interesting. If you think forms, set techniques,
and many other aspects of Chinese martial arts have never come
under the critical light that people like Bruce Lee shone, you
don't know the history of the art. This book is illustrated not
by line drawings but photographs of Wang himself demonstrating
the methods of practice for the art. Wang was designated by the
Founder to be capable of passing on this art.