2016 Christmas Shopping List: Martial Arts Equipment and Long Reads to Get You Through the Winter Months

Kung Fu Tea

Bernard the Kung Fu Elf, training for a spot on the elite North Pole Alpine Search and Rescue team. (Source: late 1940s Swedish Postcard, Authors personal collection.) Bernard the Kung Fu Elf, training for a spot on the elite North Pole Alpine Search and Rescue team. (Source: late 1940s Swedish Postcard, Authors personal collection.)

Its That Time of Year Again!

Welcome to Kung Fu Tea’s fifth annual holiday shopping list!  These are always some of my favorite posts to pull together.  They also serve as a great reminder to continue to make time for martial arts practice and study during the festive seasons.  In fact, training can be a great way to deal with the various sorts of stress that the holidays unintentionally bring.  And Christmas is a great excuse to stock up on that gear that you have been needing all year.

This year’s shopping list is split into four categories: books, weapons (some sharp), training equipment, and items of cultural interest. I have tried to select items at a variety of price points for each…

View original post 2,212 more words

The Immigrant Experience: Asian Martial Arts in the United States and Canada, by Joseph R. Svinth — Kung Fu Tea

***Happy Thanksgiving! This is a day when we commemorate the initial act of European immigration to North America. From that point onward the flow of people and ideas across our borders has never really stopped. As such, it is impossible to appreciate the global spread of the traditional Asian martial arts without studying […]

via The Immigrant Experience: Asian Martial Arts in the United States and Canada, by Joseph R. Svinth — Kung Fu Tea

Research Notes: Foshan’s Kung Fu in 1919.

Kung Fu Tea

Jingwu (Chinwoo) Association Hall in Foshan. Completed in the 1930s, this sort of public infrastructure supporting the martial arts would have been unheard of in Chan Wah Shun's time. The martial arts were deeply unfashionable for most of his teaching career. This, more than other other factor, probably accounts for the small size of his school. Jingwu (Chinwoo) Association Hall in Foshan.

 

 

First, the Important Stuff

Is it possible to approach history without theory?  I think not.  It is the existence of some sort of preexisting story or framework of understanding that we carry around in our heads which tells us that some given source is relevant data in the first place.  Nor are these sorts of “common sense” frameworks usually unbiased.  I have always had a preference for making any project’s basic assumptions known.  Then again, my basic training is in the social sciences rather than history, so there may also be disciplinary issues at play.

Theory has two related functions in the production of history.  It is most obvious to the reader when it is used to interpret past events, or to make causal inferences.  On a more fundamental level, theories also direct our empirical research.  As they spin out new concepts…

View original post 2,085 more words

Training with Nick Osipczak

A review by David Greeves

screen-shot-2016-11-13-at-3-44-26-pmI’ve trained in various Martial Arts for many years, with particular interest in the internal martial arts training, and having traveled to the country of origin for intensive study.

I came across Nick when I was researching for teachers and practitioners who apply internal martial arts training to the art of fighting.

There are many teachers who work with applications of techniques but not necessarily with an in depth understanding of fighting at speed and with power as in MMA and with the experience that Nick has gained.

I first trained with Nick earlier this year for 2 days. I learned more in those 2 days than I have with regular training in external martial arts over a much longer period.

The recent course Nick is currently running was an exceptional experience of learning, awareness and realisation. There are many aspects to this training that you have to be cognizant of and be patient with. You have to understand your body in movement, space and time, its effort and flow, its biomechanical processes and the energetic framework.

If you are new to these aspects they will evolve through the instruction and exercises given.

Nick is a knowledgeable martial artist who explains and instructs with a clear and patient manner and knows when to allow the participant to discover and find how to apply the developing skill.

He works with a clear concise method and framework, from physical to energetic, with attention to body and mind. Internal work takes time to grow and to manifest in the body.

The training course that is offered with close one to one instruction gives the participant an opportunity to delve deeply into their learning and acquiring processes. I highly recommend to all martial artists who wish to understand the art involved in fighting and the process of self discovery of a greater method of awareness and being.

In the years of my training I have not found anyone quite like Nick, he is a unique individual and I will be continuing my journey of discovery under his guidance in the coming years as and when I can train with him.

________________________

David Greeves, is a martial arts choreographer, who also does wire work and harness training. David teaches movement for actors for productions from Opera to Bollywood. Here is a link to his website www.djgreeves.com where you can learn about the training he offers.

Don’t Be a Bully! — Tambuli Media

By Dr. Mark Wiley Bullying is dirty and inexcusable. The cycles of what happens to create a bully, of what happens to make one susceptible to being bullied, and how these interactions lead to substance abuse and suicide later in life, are related to how children are treated and treat others, and how parents raise…

via Don’t Be a Bully! — Tambuli Media

Understanding the Basic Concepts of Anticipation and Application for BJJ White Belts

Every one of us started from the bottom. It doesn’t matter whether we’re in a basketball or a football team, or we practice wrestling or Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, we all go through the similar white belt phase. This is the frustrating part where we learn the ropes, so to speak, and absorb the basic concepts and fundamental movement patterns of our chosen sport. In a way, it can also be said that this is where we paint a somewhat indistinct picture on a blank canvas. Our objective, of course, is to establish a solid foundation for all the things we’ll learn in the future, and everything starts with our mental toughness.

Former UFC veteran and BJJ black belt Vagner Rocha shares that Brazilian Jiu Jitsu regularly entails supreme mental concentration, especially when foreseeing your opponent’s next move and devising your own game plan. Rocha adds how this natural focus helps us not just on the mats, but also in other facets of life. So for us to take things a step further in terms of improving our white belt game, it’s imperative to understand BJJ’s core principles of anticipation and what they actually mean.

In their article on the outline of permutations and combinations, Pocketfruity points out the value of knowing when and how to quickly measure the different outcomes we should be concerned with. According to the piece, as much as our instincts play a huge role in this scenario, we still have to process and assess the number of options for every situation. Applying this idea to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu means it’s like facing a math problem in an orderly fashion, in which the solution leads to a submission or an escape. This notion doesn’t necessarily require us to become a math wiz, but rather it simply suggests the significant role of proper and logical judgment.

The white belt is basically the cognitive stage of our BJJ learning curve, based on a blog post by Infighting. This point is also where we exert most of our attention and energy on the execution of techniques. It still doesn’t come natural, as every movement is linked with our thoughts and each sequence is articulated by our limited grappling knowledge. To put things further in perspective, this phase is where we are like sponges and absorb as much information as we can from everyone and apply it on the mats.

Essentially, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and all the other forms of martial arts, involves assessment, logic, and application. There should always be definitive reasons for every movement, whether we’re shrimping or bridging, or applying or escaping a submission. Throughout this whole process of learning and practicing these basics, we’ll comprehend the importance of effort. Moreover, by knowing how to deal with different scenarios and measure possible outcomes, we’ll slowly but surely feel a more natural sense of flow and sweep our way into the next level.

Meditation on the Tragedy of Confirmity

jqpoyye

With the U.S election upon us this entry seems somewhat appropriate given the respective track records of the two main candidates.

Ultimately the beauty of teaching and preparing lessons brings with it the opportunity for the teacher to evolve and deepen his or her own learning. Reading an article in High Existence I noticed the opportunity to adapt Nietzsche’s lesson on the tragedy of conformity into a positive affirmation I can use during my own meditation class.

This lesson and the affirmation compliments the visualisations I am using with my middle and high school students in order to make them feel more secure grounded and confident, therefore less reactive and more in control throughout the day.

__________________

A traveller asked the wise man. “What attributes are found in every man?” The wise man replied ‘The propensity for laziness and fearfulness.’ They hide themselves behind customs and opinions.’

In your heart you know that you will be in this world only once, there is no second chance. Will you let laziness and fear control your being?

Will you spend your life in fear of your neighbor, in fear of someone who demands conformity and cloaks himself with it?

I am fearless, I am neither lazy nor timid, I do not fear inconveniences and my dealings with my friends display unconditional honesty and unburdened kindness.

Through my actions I reveal my true self. My strength my confidence. I am a unique miracle. I dare to show myself as I am. I will show my uniqueness with every last movement of my muscles, consistent in my uniqueness I am beautiful, and worth regard.

When the great thinker despises mankind, he despises its laziness: for it is laziness that makes men seem like factory products, things of no consequence and unworthy to be associated with or taught.

A man or woman who does not wish to belong to the masses needs only to cease taking him or herself easily; I will follow my conscience, which flows with strength and shines with confidence.

Adapted from Friedrich Nietzsche Lesson on the tragedy of confirmity

Through a Lens Darkly (41): Three Views of a Young Boxer

Kung Fu Tea

Vintage postcard showing a "Young Boxer" with sword. Early 20th century. Source: Authors personal collection. Vintage postcard showing a “Young Boxer” with sword. Early 20th century. Source: Authors personal collection.


Meeting the Boxer

I recently had the good fortune to meet one of my favorite Chinese Boxers.  I had been stalking him for years.

This early 20th century postcard was probably purchased in Beijing and then mailed to Tianjin on February 5th, 1909.  The card itself was published by J.H. Schaefer’s Kunstchromo, Amsterdam.  While this firm used a number of Chinese images, I have never seen any others dealing with the same model or subject.  Given that this postcard was printed in the Netherlands (or possibly Germany) it seems safe to assume that it was sold all over Europe.

This particular example also seems to have been fairly popular.  Only a small proportion of the postcards printed in the early 20th century have survived.  As a result, many of the images…

View original post 2,288 more words

An Introduction to Wuji Quan

Wujiquan (Chinese (無極拳): Pinyin: Wujiquan; Wade-Giles: Wu Chi Chuan): ‘Ultimate Void Boxing’: Is a rare and Secret Ultimate Void Boxing Skill, and is said to be the Mother Art of Taijiquan; from Wuji comes Tai-ji. The Wujiquan System is composed of 36 ‘Characters’: 18 kinds of natural climatic phenomena, and 18 of Qi applications.

One of the rarest of traditional Shaolin Boxing systems, Wujiquan is also one of the purest of traditional Chinese soft-internal boxing systems(Neijia): being taught to very few in its entirety and only after years of rigorous training and testing for aptitude; it never became widely known, which meant that unlike the better known, Taijiquan, there was no opportunity for the system to undergo the experimentation and mixing with other systems and arts which during recent centuries led to the variety of styles which characterize Taijiquan.

wujiheader3

Wu Ji boxing comes from the “Yi Jing” or ”Book of Changes”. Taiji is born from the state of Wu Ji (complete nothingness, or complete harmony with the universe). Yin Yang, or a single continuous line running from one point across to another, is born from the state of Taiji (Taiji gives rise to Yin Yang). A single line stretching between 2 points gives rise to a surface area or square (Yin Yang gives rise to 4 directions or surface area). A surface area or square gives rise to 8 trigrams or a 3 dimensional cube (4 directions give rise to 8 trigrams or 8 directions).

“Wuji quan” is the martial applications and techniques handed down from Wu’s ancestors.

The Wuji quan curriculum

After students are trained in the elementary level of Wu Ji, two disciplines become the focus, one of which is called Hun Yuan and the other is called Ba Gua Zhang.

The training system incorporates: 

Wu Ji Health Exercise System.

Wu Ji Standing Postures

Wu Ji 12 single movement training

Wu Ji leg and root training

Hun Yuan Discipline ↙       ↓      ↘ Ba Gua Discipline

      Wu Ji’s 18 rules

Hun Yuan Palm (1)    Wu Ji internal strength secret  Ba Gua Palm’s Upper body work/ upper body energy

     ↓

Hun Yuan Palm (2)    Wu Ji medical knowledge skills   Ba Gua Palm’s Root and leg work/ root and leg energy

     ↓

Hun Yuan Palm (3)   Wu Ji Dim Mak or acupoint striking Ba Gua Palm’s 9 cross- pattern footwork

     ↓

Hun Yuan Palm (4)    Ba Gua Palm’s Spirit and energy training

Wu Ji’s methods of diet and nutrition

  ↘          ↓        ↙

      Soft silk palm technique

   Cloud hands palm

   Silk pulling palm technique

   Explosive palm technique

Wu Ji elementary level

The middle-aged and the elderly can also practice the Wu Ji’s Health Exercise System and Wu Ji’s 6 essential guiding principles.

Wu Ji’s five-animal boxing forms (Wu Qin Xi) including:

Head rotations, Crane drinking, Wolf observes all directions, Hen sleeps and Ape reflexes.

Wu Ji’s 32 body building boxing: in addition to the 5 aforementioned animal forms, it also includes: Opening the trunk energy and internal splitting energy.

Wu Ji Standing Postures (for juveniles)

Leg and root training and energy/power training (for juveniles)

Wu Ji intermediate levelwuji-becomes-taiji

According to one’s body condition, there are two disciplines. The Ba Gua discipline is for those who don’t have high blood pressure, and includes:

Upper body work/ upper body energy work

Root and leg work/ root and leg energy work, 9 cross-pattern footwork and Spirit and energy training (more information can be found in the form treatise).

The Hun Yuan discipline’s foundations are based on internal energy. The first set of Hun Yuan Palm, the second set, the third and the fourth can be found in the form treatise.

Internal applications and techniques

  1. Internal secrets: internal elementary training methods.
  2. Dim Mak or acupoint striking (please refer to the Form treatise).
  3. Medical knowledge skills:

Martial artists should be aware of proper diet and nutrition and watch what they eat and what their meals are composed of. Internal applications and techniques are practiced by both schools – Hun Yuan and Ba Gua.

  1. Wu Ji’s 18 rules are the main applications and techniques of Wu Ji’s internal skills. Internal skills can also improve the practitioners’ external skills.

In the beginning, people can work on their internal power by means of external exercises. When they get to a certain stage with their internal energy work, they should then focus on working on their internal skills and energy to improve their external skills.

_____________________________________________________________________________________

无极拳简介

无极拳来源于易经,(无极生太极,太极生两仪,两仪生四象,四象生八卦),它是吴家的祖传拳法。祖先吴岐仙所传,到我这辈已有6代。我爷爷不会拳法,是我太爷传给我父亲的。再往上推称吴岐仙是谁传的无法考证。

无极拳分为初级阶段拳法、中级阶段拳法和高级阶段拳法,还有共同学习的内路拳法。

无极拳的图解

无极拳初级练完后,可分为两大派,一派是浑混元派,另一派是八卦派。

无极健身拳

无极架子拳

无极十二单式

无极腿工

              混元派↙       ↓      ↘八卦派

                无极十八则

 

            混元掌(一)    无极内功秘诀  天门八卦掌

              

            混元掌(二)    无极医道术    地门八卦掌

               

            混元掌(三)    无极点穴术    九宫八卦掌

               

            混元掌(四)    无极武德学说  神门八卦掌

                           

                 无极善饮术

              ↘        ↓       ↙

               棉丝掌

云盘掌

丝旋掌

幻影掌

1      无极初级拳

1     中老年人可学习无极健身拳

1         无极健身六崇诀

2         无极小五禽戏:匀首、鹤饮、狼顾、雉睡、猿伸

3         无极三十二健身术:以上五种外、干疏、内搓等(见健身篇)。

2  无极架子拳  适合青少年

3  腿法、功法  适合青少年

2      无极中级拳

根据个人的身体情况,分为两大派系。走八卦派的,适合没有高血压的人。天门、地门、九宫、神门详见拳谱。

混元派是在内功基础上进行的。第一套混元掌,第二套、第三套、第四套详见拳谱。

3      内路拳法

1、内功秘诀:内功初级练法,内功层次划分,九言真经之一、之二、之三,最后为九阳真经。

2、点穴术(见拳谱)

3、医道术:摔打受伤的拿法、药法

4、善饮术:练功人吃什么、配餐等

内路拳法是两大派共同学习的。

5、无极十八则是无极内功拳术的主要拳法,用内带外。练拳人开始都以外功代内功。放拳练到一定阶段,内功大增,就要以内功代外功。

Spirituality in the Traditional Martial Arts – Between History and Theory — Kung Fu Tea

“There is a problem with the study of martial arts similar to that identified by Markus Davidson in the case of “spiritual studied”: many of the scholars involved in the topic are themselves practitioners and their work betrays a normative apologetic agenda…As practitioners themselves these scholars have tended to underplay certain […]

via Spirituality in the Traditional Martial Arts – Between History and Theory — Kung Fu Tea

StudyMartialArts.Org

%d bloggers like this: