Worth checking out? Review this movie for our blog.
I know there’s a lot of haters out there, but I unapologetically like Keanu Reeves. Okay, JOHNNY NEUMONIC sucked ass, but I loved POINT BREAK, the BILL & TED movies, SPEED, the first 2 MATRIX movies, CONSTANTINE, and his dramatic turn in Sam Raimi’s THE GIFT. Last year he hosted an important Documentary called SIDE BY SIDE, which focused on the “Film vs. Digital” debate.
But now he’s going to direct a Martial Arts flick called MAN OF TAI CHI. But wait a minute!!! Looks like the film is already shot, because as you’ve seen above, there’s the trailer (even if it’s just an international one)! This looks very old school…. in an 80’s sort of way (not 70’s). The fights look amazing and the directing looks quite good. Let’s hope it’s better than THE MAN WITH THE IRON FISTS, which I’m sure it will be. Keanu should know what he’s…
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Bruce Lee and Clint Eastwood are both huge icons from the 70’s who have played larger than life characters. But the question is would there be a film big enough to hold them both? In an epic battle between the orient and the wild west. Bruce Lee Vs Clint Eastwood who would your money be on?
By Tony Salzano
Part of being a complete martial artist is knowing how practitioners of other styles think, train and fight. This article will provide an introduction to five popular grappling arts — Brazilian jiu-jitsu, judo, sambo,shootfighting and wrestling — and clue you in as to how you might defeat people who train in them.
The basic strategy of the Brazilian jiu-jitsu stylist is to mount or submit his opponent — by outlasting him, if necessary. He’s almost always superbly conditioned aerobically (to endure a long fight) and muscularly (to prevent the buildup of lactic acid in the muscles when clinching for eternity). He generally is very patient, slim and smart, and often described as “unbelievable on the ground.”
His weaknesses include the fact that he usually trains and fights while wearing a uniform. Without it, he has no extra “handles” on his opponent and loses the…
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SMA Travel and Culture. Discover the temples and traditions of China.
Bruce Lee’s Jeet Kune Do: A Philosophy of Physical Self-Perfection
by David Quigley
It is a safe assumption that almost everyone has heard of Bruce Lee. He was and remains arguably the most famous Asian-American star in the history of film (sorry, Jackie Chan). And anyone who has seen any of his films cannot help but notice his amazing physique, speed, agility, and flexibility. However, what a lot of people do not realize – especially those outside the martial arts world – is that Bruce Lee was a philosopher obsessed with fitness, or what he called, the art of expressing the human body. Indeed, Bruce Lee was a philosopher in every aspect of his life, and focused a lot of his writings on honest self-expression and self-perfection. Even the martial art he developed, Jeet Kune Do (or, the Way of the Intercepting Fist), is in itself a philosophy.
JKD is not ‘Martial Art’; It is a Philosophy
First thing is first, though, and I need to make a clarification, so please bear with me. Jeet Kune Do is not a martial art, per se. It is, as I stated above, a philosophy. Jeet Kune Do evolved over time – from the days of the original Jun Fan Gung Fu Institute in Seattle to his final Los Angeles/Chinatown school – into a fighting system centered on personal expression, simplicity, and personal liberation. The techniques Bruce taught his students changed constantly as he researched different ideas. Therefore the “Jeet Kune Do” of 1968 looked different than the “Jeet Kune Do” of 1970. Jeet Kune Do, therefore, is not a style, but an evolving philosophy, which is important to keep in mind.
Jun Fan Gung Fu (Bruce Lee’s Cantonese name is Lee Jun Fan) is a system developed by Lee, taking aspects from myriad martial arts, but focusing on Wing Chun Gung Fu, western boxing, fencing, Savate, and kickboxing. I am not trying to split hairs here, but I want to make it clear that JKD has techniques in Jun Fan Gung Fu. In fact, Bruce Lee developed an amazing curriculum he handed down to Dan Inosanto at the L.A. school, which shows the depth to which Bruce had developed his fighting philosophy.
That being said and on top of all of his martial creativity, Bruce Lee was obsessed with self-perfection in all aspects, including the physical. Fitness was (obviously) very important to Bruce. What records we have of his regiments show his amazing fitness level, understanding of the human body, and his desire to be physically capable in every aspect. He even had very specific equipment pieces built to develop power and speed for specific techniques. One needs only to talk to a few of his students to hear stories of his almost super-human strength and speed to know that his constant training and development paid off. This is a lesson every martial artist should heed.
Nevertheless, I frequently see massively overweight martial artists who are unable to execute their techniques correctly. Too often these martial artists rely solely on their training (whatever that may be) for their physical fitness, and the results are often dismal. For this reason, fitness is an important aspect of JKD training. The art itself requires a certain level of physical fitness to be able to perform many of the techniques. In other words, training the art is not enough; one must develop the physical attributes necessary to be able to pull off the techniques in real-time, with speed, strength, and accuracy. In testing my students, I require a physical fitness portion, which consists mostly of pushups, pull-ups, bag work, and plyometrics in addition to the rigors of the test itself. I have noticed that this addition to my tests has not only improved my students’ fitness level, it has also increased their ability to perform the techniques more fluidly, with more power and speed. In effect, it has increased their ability to honestly express themselves.
In this article I’ve focused on the most basic of introductions to Bruce Lee’s amazing martial art and its relation to fitness.
Following in the footsteps of Miyamoto Musashi
In honor of Miyamoto Musashi and his inspirational Go Rin No Sho (The Book of 5 Rings) the following information is for those wishing to visit Japan and various significant Miyamoto Musashi sites of interest. The following is his post with a little added extra information by me.
One of the best general resources is the Japan National Tourist Organization website at http://www.jnto.go.jp/ That being said, some of the places which martial artists may want to visit are very much off the beaten track and require a lot of searching online, questioning friends and strangers (a visit to any local dojo for help is highly recommended) and help from a local tourist office or bus station. Japan has very low crime, and its people are usually very helpful, so you will eventually get to where you need to be. Please be very respectful to everyone you deal with. For specific directions to the Reigando Cave I suggest getting to the Kumamoto City bus terminal / station and asking (you can write in English if you don’t speak Japanese and can’t find an English-speaking person). This site is also helpful: http://www.manyou-kumamoto.jp/contents.cfm?id=292
The Reigando Cave (霊巌洞) is basically a small cave in the mountains close to Kumamoto city. It is on the grounds of the very old Unganzenji temple (雲巌禅寺), and it was here, in this cave, where Miyamoto Musashi was said to have written his treatise the Go Rin no Sho (五輪書) in the early 1640′s. Here is a link to a relevant blog http://kenshi247.net/blog/2011/06/20/kendo-places-11-musashi-no-sato/ and here is a youtube link so you can have a look at the cave. Although this gives a good idea visually of how the cave looks. I really feel that you have to visit these places to feel the connection and the sense of peace. Its all about being truely there. That is after all why we enjoy traveling and why it can be a catalyst for awakening.
These links are for Ganryu-jima. – “Ganryūjima (巌流島, (formally Funajima 船島) is an island in Japan located between Honshū and Kyūshū, and accessible via ferry from Shimonoseki Harbor (下関港). It is famous for the duel between Miyamoto Musashi and Sasaki Kojirō. The small island was named for its boat-like appearance, and later became to be called the Ganryū kenjutsu school Kojirō had founded” (wikipedia)
During Golden Week (May 3-5) a small festival is held in honor of the epic duel fought between the legendary swordsmen Miyamoto Musashi (author of the Book of Five Rings) and Sasaki Kojiro known as the Demon of the West. They met in 1612 on the island which is now known as Ganryujima and when the duel was over Kojiro lay dead and Musashi was victorious. The actual details of the duel are debatable but the legends of it are very persistent. It’s said that Musashi purposely arrived late, unwashed, and carrying a wooden sword he had carved out of an oar on the way over – all of this to unnerve his opponent. Kojiro is said to have struck first but failed to cut Musashi down. Musashi smacked Kojiro on the head killing him or in the some versions finishing him off with a blow to the ribs.
And if you do pass through Shimonoseiki to get to Ganryu-jima, I recommend that the more adventurous of you try the “fuku” or Japanses blowfish. It’s the famous fish which can kill if not prepared properly, and rumour has it that chefs have to be specially licensed to prepare it, and that they have to try a piece every time they make fuku.
The Incredible health benefits and uses for lemons.
- If you are a lemon lover and use it daily, be happy! The juice of one lemon gives you one-third of your day’s total quota of Vitamin C.
- Olive oil + lemon juice = strong nails! Rub the concoction on your nails for a few days and see the results—your nails will shine with good health.
- Rub the cut half of a lemon on your lips at night, and wash off in the morning. No more chapped lips!
- Squeeze lemon juice into plain yogurt and massage the back of your hands and your arms with it for a smoother, brighter complexion. Lemon is also a natural cleanser, so it gets rid of bacteria and germs lurking on the surface of the skin.
- Lemon juice mixed with rose water and a little honey can be applied to acne-affected skin twice daily. The solution clears up acne and brings radiance to skin.
- Feeling anxious or unhappy? Sprinkle a few drops of lemon oil on to a clean handkerchief, and inhale. The oil will quickly replace the negative energy with positive feelings and fresh focus.
- Got a sore in your mouth? Squeeze some lemon juice into a glass of warm water and swirl this around in your mouth for about a minute. Repeat twice daily for at least three to four days. The antibacterial properties of lemon will heal the sore. You can also use this water for gargling if you have a sore throat.
- Lemon’s incredible benefits for your oral health don’t end here! If you have garlic or spicy breath, drink lemon-spiked water for instant fresh breath.
- Lemon tea calms an upset stomach, flushes out toxins, and rejuvenates body and mind.
When traveling to Buddhist temples why not prepare yourself and learn about Buddhist temple etiquette?
While traveling its important to be respectful of other cultures and traditions. Being, humble and modest were travel is part of the journey to greater levels of awareness. We hope this information will be helpful to any www.StudyMartialArts.Org students wishing to pay their respects at the Shaolin Temple or any other Buddhist Temple they may visit on there journey.
Below are some top tips.
- Take off your shoes and hats before entering. There will almost always be a sign outside of the temple pointing visitors to the designated area for shoes and hats. The many pairs of visitors’ shoes clumped together will tip you off.
- Cover your shoulders. Since it gets very hot in Asian countries during the summer, many tourists forget to cover their shoulders and legs before entering places of worship. One way to plan ahead is to dress in layers and bring a scarf or shawl along, no matter where you go. When visiting temples, capri pants and long skirts are preferable to shorts, although men can sometimes get away with wearing long shorts.
- Stand when monks or nuns enter. Just as you would stand to greet someone in any formal setting, try to remember to stand up when a monk or nun enters the room.
- Ask permission before taking pictures. Make sure it’s okay to use your camera, especially when taking photographs inside a temple with statues. If you do take pictures, it’s always nice to leave a donation.
- Use your right hand. When handing a donation (or anything else) to a person, use your right hand.
- Don’t point. Instead, if you wish to point something out to a fellow traveller, use your right hand, open, with the palm facing the ceiling.
- Don’t touch Buddha statues. Remind your kids before entering not to touch or climb on top of the Buddha statues.
- Don’t touch Buddhist monks, especially if you are female. Women are not supposed to hand items to monks, either. Men who need to hand something to a monk, or take something from a monk, should try to use their right hands.
- Don’t turn your back to Buddha statues. You may notice people walking backward away from the Buddha. Follow their lead, turning around only when you are a few feet away from the statue.
READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE http://www.bbc.com/travel/blog/20110616-travelwise-religious-tourism-etiquette
Shaolin Kung Fu is technically speaking the martial arts system of attack and defense movements that uses forms (series of moves combinations:套路 taolu) as a basic method of training. Both the moves and their combinations are based on Traditional Chinese Medicine’s theory about the working of the human body. The cultural and spiritual aspect of Shaolin Kung Fu comes through its essential roots in Chan Buddhism, the first belief shared by practitioners. This is especially the case in regards to wisdom and strength; for wisdom, the Buddha Puti Damo (left) is worshipped to and for strength, the Buddha Jin Na Luo Wang (right) is taken refuge in.
A Typical Day For a Shaolin Monk
Early at five o’clock every morning, the monks of the Shaolin Temple arise with the striking of the gong. They join together to start the first morning class of the day, lasting for 90 minutes. At 06:40, monks mindfully join a line in the Zhai Tang (place where the monks have food) to have breakfast. Before and after the meal, monastic chanting is carried out. Every monk has his own alms bowl with food in it and is not allowed to leave anything uneaten. During this meal time, everyone is to keep silent. Between 08:00-09:00 the monks study Buddhism where dharma learning is taught to cultivate knowledge and wisdom. Between 09:10-11:30, there is study time to practice Kung Fu at the back of a nearby mountain., Lunch is then taken afterwards at 11:40 in a similar manner to breakfast, some grand masters and scholastic monks however do not eat lunch in order to enter fully into their monastic life and study. Afternoon training time then takes place between 14:00-17:30. After a short rest, members of the temple go to the monastery for evening chanting which lasts an hour. The final part of a day is a 45 minute meditation period followed by a period for self-study that lasts until the sound of the bell again at 21:30 which signals the end of the day.
Shaolin Kung Fu’s Nine Steps of learning:
1. 结缘 Knowledge: In various ways, begin to know about Shaolin Kung Fu and the Song Shan Shaolin Temple 2. 仰慕 Admiration: Feel moved by the sprit and character of Shaolin Kung Fu and so be naturally energised towards it. 3. 抱负 Ambition: Start to plan your life again after the feeling of your heart and making the decision to learn Shaolin Kung Fu. After setting a specific goal, set your mind to realize that ambition in your lifetime. 4. 痴迷 Enthusiasm: Make a self-affirmation of the goals chosen and pursue with a one-pointed determination of love and dedication. 5. 行动 Action: Adapt your goal to specific courses of action and start to practice Shaolin Kung Fu. This will be a hard learning process. 6. 认识 Understand: Come to rational knowing and the cultural connotations of Shaolin Kung Fu. 7. 信仰 Faith: Start to transform rational understanding into a deeper understanding about Buddhism. Shaolin Kung Fu is considered one way of learning Chan Buddhism (and so named “Wushu Chan”). 8. 感悟 Awareness: Practice Shaolin Kung Fu from a deeper self belief enabling practice to become not just a goal but an effective path to becoming aware and realising the essence of Buddhism. 9. 见性 Nature: From learning Shaolin Kung Fu, develop a full understanding about wisdom and strength, see the truth of life and the universe.
Master Shi Yan Jia
Master Shi Yan Jia (Wei Shifu) is a 34th generation Shaolin Disciple of the current Shaolin Temple Abbot the Venerable Shi Yong Xin, came to the Shaolin Temple to learn Shaolin Kungfu from the age of 8 years old and stayed there for a further ten years. He is currently ranked at level 7*. He has 8 years of experience in teaching Kung Fu to international students from all over the world and giving performances to many people. In the 1st national Shaolin Kung Fu competition Master Shi Yan Jia was awarded first place in traditional Shaolin Fist form and Shaolin Spear form. At the 9th Sports Meeting in Henan province, he also won first place for his Shaolin Staff routine, and in the championships of Zhengzhou, he came first in the Traditional Sword form category. Master Shi Yan Jia is the headmaster of Qufu shaolin kung flu school. The school has only recently relocated to Shimen mountain near the historic city of Qufu (eastern Shandong Province), hometown of the great Chinese philosopher, Confucius. If you would like to find out more about his school visit www.studymartialarts.org or Skype: studymartialarts.org for a free consultation on your martial arts trip to China.