Sunday, September 27, 2020

Yin Style Bagua Zhang Wang Fu 尹式八卦掌 王敷


Yin Style Bagua Zhang Wang Fu 尹式八卦掌 王敷

Lineage: Yin Fu尹福 -- Yin Yuzhang尹玉章  --Wang Fu王敷

Wang Fu was a student of Yin Fu's son Yin Yuzhang尹玉章

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Xingyiquan Master Guo Yun Shen 1902


"A very rare photo taken in 1902. Li Yaochen of the Cannon Boxing of Three Emperors stands 2nd from the left in the middle row; in the same row, 4th from the left, the old man with white beard, is Guo Yunshen, master of Xingyiquan famous for his half-step Crushing Fist. To his left (5th from the left), wearing a hat, is Guan Nianci. Guan, originally from Suzhou, was a famous master of seal carving - emperor Guangxu used seals carved by Guan. For those interested in chinese zither - Guan Nianci was also the father of Guan Pinghu, master of guqin, whose recording of "High Mountains and Flowing Waters" was taken by Voyager into deep space in 1977. 

This photo is one of the two existing of Guo Yunshen (another, more famous one, was taken during his visit to Taigu in Shanxi). In the rear row standing from the left are Wang Lanting, Wang Haoting, Wang Xianting - three of the "Four Pavillions" (the missing one was Sun Liting) - "Si Ting" - Ting is the character in each of their names and means "pavillion". The first one, Wang Lanting, was not the same person as Yang Luchan's first disciple, who carried the same name." – Jarek Szymanski

Friday, August 28, 2020

7 Star: Qixing Fundamentals - Marcus Brinkman

7 Star: Qixing Fundamentals - Marcus Brinkman
My teacher Marcus Brinkman - Learn Xingyi Quan & Bagua Zhang at Boulder Internal Martial Arts

"various clips which refer to the 7 Star Step, concept, and usage in accordance with Xingyiquan and Baguazhang"


Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Chinese Swords - Miáodāo (苗刀)


Chinese Swords - Miáodāo (苗刀)

"Miáodāo - a long saber? In today's martial arts circles the word is exclusively associated with a large two-handed saber, and only the top example in the above picture would be recognized as a miáodāo. Understandibly so, because the single handed narrow saber, also known as the liǔyèdāo (柳葉刀), gradually fell out of use not long after the fall of the Qing. It got replaced by the iconic niúwěidāo (牛尾刀) that is seen in the hands of every martial artist from the 1930s, and so the only narrow saber that remained in use was the long variety." - Peter Dekker

Read the rest HERE

Thursday, August 20, 2020

Xinyi Liuhe Quan - Ma Deyun explains applications of Danba in Luoyang branch


                    Xinyi Liuhe Quan - Ma Deyun explains applications of Danba in Luoyang branch

"Ma Deyun is one of the leading masters of the less known system of Xinyi Liuhe Quan practised in Luoyang. While the more popular branch from Lushan/Zhoukou has received more attention due to the efforts of the disciples of Yuan Fengyi, especially Lu Songgao, who taught in Shanghai, the Luoyang system has remained relatively obscure and has been taught within the muslim communities of the city only. It comes from Ma Xing, student and relative of Ma Xueli, who was not only a skilful martial artist, but also a well educated military official. While Luoyang system differs from the Lushan/Zhoukou branch, their theory and principles remain the same. On this video Ma Deyun, the disciple of famous Jin Heiyan demonstrates and explains the applications of the key basic method of the system - Dan Ba (Single Seize). 

What makes the video really interesting are the principles of the system behind these simple applications: importance of footwork (old Xinyi Liuhe Quan boxing manual speaks of "defeating all under heaven with the old rooster shape" - Rooster Shape focuses on developing footwork), following the movements of the opponent and adjusting ones stance accordingly (against common idea of xinyi/xingyi as systems with "going through the wall" mindset), fighting in close distance and using the body rather than just hands. 

Great attention is paid to the correct position of the feet, especially the front foot, which "seizes the ground", while the rear one is the engine behind the movement and its applications. It shows how direct yet at the same time sophisticated the system is, and how various skills - coordination, footwork, using body - must be developed first to make its techniques effective." by Jarek Szymanski

For more information about traditional martial arts of China please visit:

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Chinese Swords and Swordsmanship: the Qing Wodao #chinese sword

 Chinese Swords and Swordsmanship: the Qing Wodao #chinese sword

"The Qing imperial regulations, the Huangchiao Liqi Tushi, lists no less than 7 types of Chinese two-handed sabers with long grips issued during the dynasty. In this episode, Scott M. Rodell looks at a rare variant, the Qing period Wōdāo (窩刀). This dao was issued to the Lùyíng (綠營), the Green Braves. 

The Lùyíng were the ethnically Han Army. Manchus, Mongols and some Chinese who joined the Qing cause early on formed the Eight Banners. With the majority of Han people being drafted into the Lùyíng or Green Braves. The Wō character used here is a homonym for the Wō in Wōkòu (倭寇). In that case it means Dwarf Bandit a derogatory term for the Japanese. Here is has the meaning of a small place, or a place where animals live, or a place where a group of bad people gather. So this sword is the Qing take on the Katana. The regulations stipulate that the blade be curved like a Lùyíng Piāndāo  (綠營㓲刀), the slicing saber which is depicted in the regulations with an accelerating curvature, as see on this example. 

Some have mistaken the Wōdāo, this Chinese version of a katana, with the Miáodāo (苗刀). There are however two important differences, the blade and hilt lengths. The Wōdāo has a 31” blade that is balance by the long grip such that it is easy to wield with one hand. The Miáodāo is a true two-handed saber with on average a 35” long blade . While they make look the same in a photo, any practitioner will notice the difference straight away. They are indeed two very different weapons" Scott Rodell.

Sunday, August 16, 2020

Early Yang style Taijiquan demonstrated by Niu Chunming

 Early Yang style Taijiquan demonstrated by Niu Chunming

"The footage from 1960, the first documentary promoting Taijiquan and focusing on one person: Niu Chunming, one of four earliest disciples of Yang Chengfu. Niu followed Yang Chengfu and Yang Jianhou, Chengfu's father, for 17 years. Niu Chunming (1881-1961) of Manchu nationality, was born in Beijing, first studied the art of gardening and osteopathy, but his interest in martial arts lead him to study Yang Family Taijiquan.

Although he became the disciple of Yang Chengfu in 1902 it was Yang's father, Yang Jianhou, who taught Niu. The relation became very close in 1907 when Niu took the post of the doctor for the Capital Fire Brigade, which Yang Jianhou was the honorary coach of martial arts at. In 1914 Niu became the assistant instructor at the Yang family martial arts school in Beijing, also supporting Yang Chengfu when he taught in Hangzhou in 1928. When Yang Chengfu moved further to teach in Shanghai and Guangzhou, Niu continued to teach in Hangzhou, and soon became famous for his skill in pushing hands. In 1956 Niu took part in all-China Wushu Competition, and called by the young athletes who crossed hands with him "Niu the Strongman". According to his disciples Niu's power came from daily practice of dou dagan - shaking the long pole - which he learnt from Yangs. Another skill Niu learnt from Yang Jianhou was point striking - apparently Niu's fingers were so hard he could open a steel can with them. Niu was also a successful TCM doctor, although would often proudly say that he preferred to recommend Taijiquan to cure diseases instead of medicine.

In 1960 Chen Yun, then vice-chairman of the CPC and one of the most powerful people in the country (in the 1980s and 1990s second only to Deng Xiaoping), as well as Teng Daiyuan, the head of the Ministry of Railways, were recuperating in Hangzhou and asked Niu to teach them Taijiquan. Soon Chen arranged a set of still photos of Niu to be taken, and not longer later a documentary featuring Niu and called "Forever Young" was shot in Hangzhou. Only 9 minutes of the documentary have survived relatively intact to these days - this is the video presented here." by Jarek Szymanski
For more information about traditional martial arts of China please visit:   Source:

BIA Note - Bagua and Xingyi Master Wu Meng Xia was also a student of Niu Chunming. Wu was also a student of Bagua master Gao Yi Xiang. It has been suggested that the Tian Gun exercises in Wu's branch of bagua came from Niu Chunming and the Yang style of Taiji and were modified for use in his bagua.

Saturday, August 8, 2020

Sun Style Taijiquan in 1978 - Madame Sun Jianyun

Sun Style Taijiquan in 1978 - Madame Sun Jianyun

"Madame Sun Jianyun (1914-2003) was the daughter and main inheritor of Sun Lutang's martial art system, and specialized in its core methods of "three barehand styles three straight swords": empty hand and sword methods of Xingyi, Bagua and Taiji. Sun Lutang, arguably the most influencial martial artist of the internal family, learnt Wu Yuxiang style Taijiquan from Hao Weizhen after being an accomplished master of both Xingyi and Bagua; later in his life Sun created own style of Taijiquan; he incorporated key elements of all three systems he had studied into the body of Taijiquan. Sun style Taijiquan contains the quintessence of his life-long pursuit for perfection on the path of martial arts - which is described by the concept of Zhonghe - Central Harmony, permeating all its methods. This rare video was taken in 1978, when Madame Sun was 64, and is her earliest known complete demonstration of Sun Style Taijiquan. For more information about traditional martial arts of China please visit:"  by Jarek Szymanski

Thursday, August 6, 2020

Wudang Martial Arts Daoist Master Guo Gaoyi

Wudang Martial Arts Daoist Master Guo Gaoyi

"A very rare video of taoist master Guo Gaoyi demonstrating part of Wudang Taiyi Xuanmen (Taoist) Sword. Guo Gaoyi (1924-1996) was the first head coach of martial arts in Zixiao Palace, one of the main taoist temples in Wudang mountains, between 1983 and 1989. 

Born in Shangqiu in Henan province, Guo studied Shaolin styles since childhood. During the anti-Japanese war in 1930 he traveled to north-eastern China where he learnt sword and Taijiquan from Yang Kuishan, a disciple of general Li Jinglin. After his batalion was defeated Guo retreated to the temples in Lüshan in Liaoning province, where he was initiated as a taoist monk. This is where he learnt Wudang Sanfeng martial arts from master Yang Mingzhen. Not much is known about Guo's whereabouts until early 1980s - only that during the Cultural Revolution is was forced to become a layman and return to his hometown - and could "return to Tao" only in 1981. He became a monk again, living in the temples on the White Could Mountain in Biyang County in Henan, where he studied martial arts from Tang Chongliang. Tang studied martial arts Wudang Mountains from Wang Xintang, a taoist master of the Eight Immortals Temple, but also received guidance from famous Wudang abbot Xu Benshan.

When his master passed away in 1983 Guo left White Cloud Mountain and moved to Wudang. In 1984 he became the head coach of the taoist martial arts academy at Zixiao Palace. In 1989 Guo left Wudang and in 1990 retreated to Shennongjia to practice meditation. In 1993 he moved to Nine Palaces Mountain, where he passed away in 1996. Guo was one of my taoist inspirations - the photos of him demonstrating swordplay featured in "Pictorial China" in mid-1980s were one of the reasons that set me on the path and travel to China. Unfortunately when I entered the gate of Zixiao temple in July 1991, Guo was already Shennongjia, in the area the foreigners were not allowed to enter. This part of my China dream has never become a reality and I never managed to meet him." - Jarek Szymanski 

For more information about traditional martial arts of China please visit:

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Taoist master from Laoshan Mountains - Kuang Changxiu

Taoist master from Laoshan Mountains - Kuang Changxiu

"Laoshan Mountains have a special status in China - well known for a story about a young taoist apprentice who seeked advice and wanted to learn the art of walking through walls, a story recorded by Pu Songling in his famous '"Strange Stories from a Chinese Studio". The master in the story was a taoist in Laoshan mountains, and the book itself was written there as well. Master Kuang Changxiu (1905-1993) was such master - a legend in the 1980s already, not only because of his skills in the Taoist art of internal alchemy but most of all in martial arts. 

Born in 1905, he studied many Shaolin related local Shandong styles since childhood. At the age of 26 he became a taoist monk of the Jinshan (Golden Mountain) branch of the Complete Reality School. Since then he studied taoist meditation methods, medicine and martial arts from Kuang Zhenjue, his uncle, a taoist master and a disciple of Li Shiqing, a teacher of Wudang system. He referred to the martial arts system as Laoshan school of Wudang Boxing; it focused on kicking techniques which Master Kuang excelled at and hence was nicknamed nicknamed "Kuang the Flying Legs". His internal skills were also legendary - he could spend a week without food and sleep, in the state of deep meditation. Master Kuang was also a famous doctor, and worked as a physician when forced to becoming a layman during the Cultural Revolution. He wrote many books - on medicine, martial arts, Qigong/meditation - as well as novels and stories. I was lucky to meet Master Kuang in July 1991, stay overnight in Laoshan's Taiqing Palace, and watch the impressive demonstrations of martial arts. The system seemed very authentic and the skills very impressive; it was not a random collection of routines as is the case of Wudang, but a well organized system. I wonder who carries the tradition now, apparently Master Kuang taught many disciples. 

The video is a part from the 1984 BBC documentary series "The Heart of The Dragon" called "Believing", one of the best productions showing real China in early 1980s, second only to earlier Antonioni's work." - Jarek Szymanski

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Grandmaster Wang Ziping 王子平

Grandmaster Wang Ziping 王子平

"Wang Zi-Ping (1881--1973) was a Chinese-Muslim practitioner of Chinese Martial Arts and traditional medicine from Changzhou, Cangxian county, Mengcun, Hebei Province.He served as the leader of the Shaolin Kung Fu division of the Martial Arts Institute in 1928 and was also the vice chairman of the Chinese Wushu Association. Wang was known for his mastery of Cha quan, Hua quan, Pao Chuan, Bajiquan, and Tai Chi Chuan. Wang developed "Quan Shr Er Shr Fa" (Twenty Fist Method) as well as "Ching Long Jian" (Green Dragon Sword)."

Monday, July 20, 2020

Sword Rhyme Song - Wu Shu’s Jiàn Jué Gē - 劍訣歌 - Trans. Scott M. Rodell



Long weapons have a wooden shaft,
(for) short weapons the arm is the shaft.
With long weapons, advancing and retreating,
the spirit is in the hands,
(for) short weapons, moving forward or back requires footwork.
The feet must be cunning like a rabbit, your body (fast) like the wind,
(then) the three foot (sword) can disable the spear.

- Trans. Scott M. Rodell
quoted from
Wu Shu’s Jiàn Jué Gē
(Sword Rhyme Song, 劍訣歌)

Saturday, July 18, 2020

The Drunken Boxing Podcast #014 - Tim Cartmell

The Drunken Boxing Podcast #014 - Tim Cartmell

"Today's guest is Tim Cartmell who is a well-known pioneer within the Chinese martial arts most notably within the styles of Xingyi Quan, Bagua Zhang and Taiji Quan. He started with Kung Fu San Soo at a young age and moved to Taiwan at the age of 23 to pursue further studies in the Chinese martial arts and he studied with people like Xu Hongji and Luo Dexiu. He also traveled to mainland China to study these arts and spent time with Sun Jianyun, Liang Kequan, Mao Mingchun and others. During his time in Taiwan he competed numerous times in Sanshou full contact matches and attained numerous first places.
Tim returned to the USA in 1994 and soon after he started studying Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and achieved a black belt in the art. He has authored numerous books on the Chinese martial arts including translations of essential books on the arts." Tim Cartmell's Website:"

Friday, July 10, 2020

Dai Family Xinyiquan - 1985 - Early Footage

Rare footage of early Dai Family Xinyiquan from Qi County, the cradle and until now the center of the style. The video features two famous disciples of Dai Kui: Ma Erniu (1906-?) and Wang Yinghai (1926-2012), as well as Gao Xiquan (1948-2017), son of Gao Shengzhen (another disciple of Dai Kui). Apart from the common parts of the system - Five Elements Fists and Ten (Animal) Shapes - less known methods are also presented, including the famous Three Fists, Seven Canons and Five Shoulder (Strikes), as well as a few very rare routines.
Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the demonstrations are differences in the signature movement of the system - the Body Method. The core method of Dai style is the Squatting Monkey exercise, which trains Contracting and Expanding (Shu-Zhan) of the body. While Gao Xiquan presents very standard - clear and obvious - Body Method which most of the practitioners nowadays display, Ma Erniu's body shows hardly any Contracting and Expanding. Sun Yemin, Song style Xinyiquan practitioner and a researcher of the history of Xinyi/Xingyi, who spent many years in Shanxi in the 80s, speculated that Dai Kui had probably changed the training methods of the family system after working as the martial arts instructor for Yan Xishan's army in Inner Mongolia. The main change was done to the Squatting Monkey exercise - making the range of the movement bigger. This could also explain why Contracting/Expanding is not very pronounced in Xingyiquan of Li Luoneng.
While this is only speculation, there is general agreement that Ma Erniu's method is very valid - and Ma was very respected in Qi County. On another note: Ma Erniu was famous for his hard power - while the general principle in Dai Family practice is to release power (use hard power, so-called "fast power"), he could release power with each movement. This was apparently linked to the fact that he began his studies of Dai style Xinyiquan very early, as a boy, and never married. Please note the footwork of Wang Yinghai - this was his signature skill. Wang was famous for his footwork, Ma Erniu - hard power, Wang Buchang - for shoulder strikes. According to oral stories told in Qi County, Dai Kui passed the family system not to just one disciple, but instead taught one skill to each of them.

More information about Dai Family Xinyiquan: Dai Family Xinyiquan - The Origins and Development: Dai Family Xinyiquan - Technical Characteristics: Please note that the explanation on the soundtrack not always point at the movements that are performed at the moment, hence I provided the above details for easier navigation. For more information about traditional martial arts of China please visit: Source:

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Chen style Taijiquan - "A Journey to the Hometown of Martial Arts" - 1979

"Perhaps the earliest documentary released in the PRC promoting Chen style Taijiquan - "A Journey to the Hometown of Martial Arts". Shot in 1979 by Henan TV Station, a few months after Deng Xiaoping had written the famous calligraphy "Taijiquan is good!" for the delegation of Japanese parliament (Nov 1978), it tells the stories of Chen Wangting creating Taijquan, Chen Zhaopi leitai fights and Chen Fake making the family style famous in Beijing.

Apart from Chen stylists such as Chen Xiaowang, Chen Zhenglei, Zhu Tiancai, Wang Xi'an, Chen Lanru, Chen Suying, Chen Chun'ai, experts of other branches are also shown in short demos: Lu Gaoming (Yang style), Ji Liangcheng (Wu Yuxiang), Li Bingci (Wu Quanyou), Sun Jianyun (Sun). And you just can't forget the lovely makeup of Chen Xiaowang playing the role of Chen Zhaopi, his main Taijiquan teacher... Subtitles have been added to the video - which was a very frustrating process - not only the soundtrack is not synchronized with the video, but also because it is not complete. Whenever it was possible the subtitles are synchronized with the voice over, but in some parts I decided to add them where they should actually be - so that the viewer can see the name of the performer when s/he actually appears on the video. I also added some additional information [in the square brackets].

There are some obvious errors in the original narration - early Ming dynasty began 600 years ago, not 300. Chen Lanru (the older lady with halberd) was second in Kaifeng leitai, not first (she lost to her cousin). Taking into consideration that the movie was a pioneering attempt made only three years after the Cultural Revolution, and two years before the groundbreaking "Shaolin Temple" was shot - this time in cooperation with the experienced Hongkong filmmakers - it is still interesting to watch. I apologize for the quality, but this is the only version I was able to find on the internet. I will gladly replace it with a better one, when I find one." by Jarek_Szymanski

For more information about traditional martial arts of China please visit:


Monday, July 6, 2020

Chinese Weapons - Scott M. Rodell

"Weapons are used to neutralize the enemy. If they are not well made and sharp, it's as if one is empty handed." General Qi Jiguan quoting the Song military encyclopedia the Wu Jing Zong Yao — with Scott M. Rodell.

Saturday, July 4, 2020

Fundamental alchemy for Santi-Shi (Three Bodies Posture)

Fundamental alchemy for Santi-Shi (Three Bodies Posture)

               My teacher Marcus Brinkman - Learn Xingyi Quan at Boulder Internal Martial Arts
Fundamental alchemy for Santi-Shi (Three Bodies Posture) - Marcus Brinkman

Thursday, July 2, 2020

History of Kung Fu Fighting

"Sanda 散打 is a Chinese combat sport that has been around since 1979. We're using the term Sanda to refer to the modern iteration of the sport. A similar term Sanshou 散手 is often used interchangeably with Sanda, but Sanshou is usually more broad in its application and can refer to more than just the combat sport of Chinese kickboxing, so we will use Sanda here. In this interview translation and analysis, we have one of the first Sanda fighters and the first Sanda National Team head coach talk about the founding of Sanda and some of its intricacies and initial challenges. This interview is mindblowing because it sheds some light on the influences of Sanda. We have one of the first Sanda fighters talking so candidly. The guy's name according to the video is Qian Ren Biao. "


"A history of kung fu fighting! NSW. The good, the bad and the ugly. Those who could fight, those who didn't fight, those who THOUGHT they could fight. 1954 Macau Chan Hak Fu vs Wu Kung Yi, Kung Fu vs Muay Thai matches 1921 to 1974, South East Asian Cup, Kuoshu Lei Tai in the 1920's and 1930's. Chang Dongsheng, Hong Yixiang, Chan Tai San, Wang Zi Qing, Zhao Dao Xin, Zhu Guo Lu. Truth is not black and white. There are no easy answers."

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Chinese Swords and Swordsmanship: The Dragonfly Cut by Scott Rodell

Chinese Swords and Swordsmanship: The Dragonfly Cut by Scott Rodell

"The known as the Dragonfly Cut for sideways figure 8 shape the blade carves, it recognized as a demanding test of a swordsman’s speed and accuracy. Not only must the second cut be fast enough to sever the target before it drops out of range, it must be delivered at precisely the right angle or it will be flung aside instead being of cut. Drawing his jian Scott M. Rodell delivers two quick Pi cuts to a bamboo stalk."

Saturday, June 20, 2020

Chen style Taijiquan - Chenjiagou 1984 - Early Demonstrations by the Big Four and others

Chenjiagou 1984 - Early Demonstrations of Chen style Taijiquan by the Big Four and others

"Probably earliest footage of nowadays four most famous experts of Large Frame of Chen style Taijiquan from Chenjiagou: Chen Xiaowang, Wang Xi'an, Zhu Tiancai and Chen Zhenglei. Disciples of both Chen Zhaopei (Large/Old Frame) and Chen Zhaokui (Large/New Frame), who went through dedicated training and later have been representing the village martial art in China and around the world. The video is unique as it shows demonstration of complete routines

The video shows not only empty hand routines but also weapons - spear, sword, broadsword, halberd. It also includes very interesting demos of Small Frame as well as Large Frame by a less known practitioner.

It is interesting to see the personal touch of each practitioner in his demonstration - relative hardness of Wang Xi'an, softness of Zhu Tiancai, fluidity of Chen Zhenglei (the unusual movements of his head draw attention too), and good balance of softness and connection of Chen Xiaowang. The demo of Small Frame with its smooth transformation between movements is also very distinct."

Monday, June 15, 2020

Saturday, June 13, 2020

Xingyiquan (Xingyi) Legend Xue Dian

Xingyiquan (Xingyi) Legend Xue Dian

Xue Dian, one of the best masters in Xingyi history, created his own style of Xingyiquan and Xiang Xing Shu around the 1930s in Tianjin, China.

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Chinese Swords & Swordsmanship: Taking the On Guard Ready Stance

Chinese Swords & Swordsmanship: Taking the On Guard Ready Stance

Chinese Swords forms start with the Jian, or a Dao, out of the scabbard held in the left hand. This at attention stance is a sort of half ready posture. From this position the weapon can be brought quickly into action. In the video we look at the technique men at arms employed to quickly move from this at attention stance into a ready stance as well as the structure of the correct on guard posture.

Monday, June 1, 2020

Saturday, May 30, 2020

China - 1913 Sword Competition - Scott Rodell

China - 1913 Sword Competition - Scott Rodell


At that time, the traditional swords were made of iron and steel
In order to participate in the county competition, (swordsmith) Shen Tingzhang forged a special. This sword was sharp and beautiful, easily cutting through three copper plates, swords made by other contestants cut through two pieces.
Shen won first place, being was named "Jian Kui.”

Translation by Scott Rodell

Found HERE 

Saturday, May 2, 2020

Chinese Swordsmanship with Scott M. Rodell

Scott M. Rodell 一寸長, 一寸強
一寸小, 一寸巧
One inch longer, one inch stronger
One inch smaller, one inch (more) skillful
One inch shorter, one inch closer
~ an old Chinese saying

This is an old martial saying that seems to originate at least in part with General Qi Jiguang who wrote, “Short weapons cannot intercept long weapons, one inch longer is one inch stronger (Duǎn bù jiē zhǎng, yīcùn cháng yīcùn qiáng, 短不接長,一寸長一寸強).” In general, the phrase addresses the difference between long weapons, such as spears, and shorter weapons, including swords.

In terms of sword work itself, this may be interpreted in another manner as~
If your sword cuts are an inch longer, they will have more power. However, if they are an inch smaller, that is more skillful. Then the distance to the duifang is an inch shorter, and you are an inch close to land a blow.

This describes the evolution every diligent swordsman moves thorough. At first, one tends to rely on power. Further training brings refinement leading to one’s movements becoming smaller, tighter, and thus quicker. Deflections are then only as big as needed and the sword isn’t swung at the duifang’s body in general, but at a small, exact target. This compacting of one’s technique changes the timing of actions so that your sword ends up moving closer to the target even as the duifang is attacking. Thus the distance to your target is shorter though the starting distance has not changed.
Note that the last word in this saying, xiǎn, is typically translated as danger in common vernacular Chinese. It can however also mean to be near as in a near miss or a close call.. The overall structure of the saying is one where a specific condition leads to a improved result. Following that structure, the distance being an inch shorter, places the swordsman in a better tactical position, one inch closer to landing his or her blow. Certainly, that is also a more dangerous position (for both swordsmen). However, if one has deflected properly, leading the duifang’s weapon into a void while maintain tip control, so that one’s sword is aligned with its target, then in this dangerous position, there is a strategic opportunity.

~ Scott M. Rodell

Found HERE 

Saturday, April 18, 2020

Chinese Spear Sparring - Daqiang

"The Pike was used by the ancient battlefield phalanx. It is one of the weapons that appeared quite early. It was used on the battlefield for a long time. In the Ming Dynasty (1528-1588 A.D.) Qi Jiguang authored "The New Book of Ji Xiao" and "Practice of Military Training", which described in detail the experience of the formation of large guns and the training of troops. In the Qing Dynasty (1610-1694 A.D.), Wu Shi wrote "The Arm Record", which recorded the skills and comparison records of various folk gun skills. It was the earliest prototype of the big gun competition and confrontation. Taiwan has been holding a big gun competition since 2002."

Friday, April 3, 2020

Yangjia Michuan Taiji Jian - Testing Out the Zha Method

Yangjia Michuan Taiji Jian - Testing Out the Zha Method

"A short video demonstrating the applications of a the movements, Testing out the Zha Method. Up, Down, Three Swords The Technique is Complete from the Yangjia Michuan Taiji Jian (楊家秘傳太極劍) form. Thanks to Poney Chiang for acting as Scott M. Rodell Laoshi's duifang, Tig Fong of Flying Knee Films for his masterful camera work and editing and 276 Sterling Studio for the use of their amazing studio."