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."

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Chinese Swords and Swordsmanship: Five Tips to Improve Your Jianfa #jianfa #chineseswordsmanship

Chinese Swords and Swordsmanship: Five Tips to Improve Your Jianfa #jianfa #chineseswordsmanship

  • Tip control
  • Do Not Make your Movements Too Large
  • Don’t Step Out Before Your Cut
  • Correct Cutting Intent
  • Train with a Realistic Sword

Monday, March 30, 2020

Bagua Gao Style - Hou Tien Line 3 - Clever hands w Luo De Xiu

Bagua Gao Style - Hou Tien Line 3 - Clever hands w Luo De Xiu 2003? 
I like this clip because it starts with Luo De Xiu demonstrating on me! 
Learn Gao Style Bagua Zhang at Boulder Internal Martial Arts

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Xingyiquan, Tiger Hand Shape (Basics) - Marcus Brinkman

              My teacher Marcus Brinkman - Learn Xingyi Quan at Boulder Internal Martial Arts
Xingyiquan, Tiger Hand Shape (Basics) - Marcus Brinkman

"Tiger hand method "usage" (shoufa), according to body shape, (shen xing)  (shenxing shoufa)"

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Sword Method Required Knowledge - trans.- Scott M. Rodell

Sword Method Required Knowledge
Second of Six Points:


Èr, chū xí dìngshì xū wěn, shāo chí wú ài. Rú xízì rán, jiān jià bù wěn, shūfǎ jué bùnéng gōng. Liànxí chúnshú, jí xúzìnéng shìzhòng. Bùkě huò yú rén yán. Dàn yǐ qiú kuài wéi néng.

2, When beginning practice the fixed stance must be stable, (moving) slightly slow is not a hindrance. Like practicing calligraphy, if the structure (of the characters) is not stable, then your calligraphy definitely can not be refined. If you practice skillfully, then fast or slow you find the right balance. Do not be confused by what people say, that speed equals skill.

Quoted from
Kunwu Sword Manual by Li Lingxiao
trans.- Scott M. Rodell

Monday, March 2, 2020

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Chinese Swords & Swordsmanship: Duanjian, the Chinese Short Sword - Scott M. Rodell

Chinese Swords & Swordsmanship: Duanjian, the Chinese Short Sword

"Scott M. Rodell, noted teacher and authority on Chinese Swords and Swordsmanship, discusses Qing period Chinese Duanjian or short swords. The cousin of the long, full-length jian, these short swords are largely overlooked by practitioners today but played an important role in Qing society. Interested in study Chinese Swordsmanship? Please check out the up coming online courses and sign up for the waitlist at"

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Chinese Jian - Zǐwǔ Sword (子午劍), by Huáng Hànxūn (黃漢勛), 1958 Trans.- Scott M. Rodell

Zuìgāo yuánlǐ zé biànhuà wúqióng, hū kāi hū hé, shōu bì rúyì, zhānqiángùhòu, zuǒyòu xiāng pàn, gāo lái dī tiāo, dī lái gāo diǎn, wú zōng kě zhuī, wú jì kě xún, tiāndì guó qīn shī wǔháng bìng jì, ruò tàijí zhī bāoluó, rú liùhé zhī fàngzòng, jiàn bùguò nǎo, zìgǔ yǐrán, wú yǐ jiàn zuò dāo zhì yí fāng jiā zhī xiào, hòu zhī xuézhě qí miǎn zhī zāi.
The highest principle is limitless variation. Suddenly opening, suddenly closing, sealing closed as one likes. Attentive forward and back, left and right. (Attacked) high, (respond with) spring cut from below. (Attacked) low, (respond with) pointing cut from above. (Leave) no track that can be chased, no trace to be sought. Heaven and earth, country, family, and teacher (representing the five elements), work together, as the taiji principle embraces everything, is as the six directions are unrestrained. The jian does not pass over the head. Since ancient times, this was already so. Using the jiàn like a saber will cause learned men to laugh, students are encouraged to study properly.
Quoted from the Zǐwǔ Sword (子午劍), by Huáng Hànxūn (黃漢勛), 1958
Trans.- Scott M. Rodell
Notes and Commentary-
In the first line, biànhuà wúqióng is translated as limitless variation. A more common and literal translation might be transform or change endlessly. Given that an essential element of jiànfǎ is versatility, especially the ability to adapt effortlessly to changing conditions, applying a wide variety of techniques and strategies, limitless variation fits the context. The lines that provide responses to receiving blows from above and below, mention two basic cuts common to different systems of jiànfǎ. When receiving a high line cut, the text gives tiāo as the response, and provides diǎn as an answer to a low line attack. Given that are other possible responses to both actions from one’s duìfāng, the author likely chose these examples to stress one common strategy in jiànfǎ. That strategy is to open a door, i.e. invite an attack, then allowing the duìfāng to make his or her intention clear, intercept that action with a cut to the sword arm. Zhuāngzi describes, "The art of the jiàn is to deliberately expose a weakness, giving the enemy the impression they have the opportunity to attack. Your hand moves after the enemy, but your jiàn strikes first,” (夫為劍者,示之以虛,開之以利,後之以發,先之以至). Concerning leaving no track or trace for your duìfāng to follow, if one gives up oneself and follows others, there is no track for the duifang to find and follow.
More than one classic of jiànfǎ ends with a line mentioning that wielding the sword like a saber would cause laughter amongst the immortals or learned men. Two examples are the Tàijí Jiàn Gē (太極劍歌) and the Hòu Jiàn Jué (後劍訣). By mimicking these classics, Huáng Hànxūn, author of the Zǐwǔ Sword, is demonstrating his knowledge of these earlier works.
The name of this sword system is an interesting choice. Zǐ and wǔ refer to two of the twelve times of the day, namely midnight and noon, and imply an ebb and flow between yin and yang. This idea fits nicely with the manner in which the jiàn is wielded. Zǐwǔxiàn (子午線) also refers to the central line of the body which the swordsman looks to control with the way he or she deflects and cuts.


Thursday, February 13, 2020

Li Bai learns Swordsmanship - By Bernard Kwan

"This is an interesting little article by Hu Nan written in the 1980s for Wushu magazine. I know nothing about the author's background but the article was relatively well written and provided many interesting snippets about Li Bai, the famous Tang poet and thus I am happy to share this here with my readers, particularly given my fascination with the sword. I have supplemented it with some additional information which I deemed interesting and it has somewhat evolved into my own composition.  

The sword is considered a short range weapon in wushu, easy to use and useful in close combat. The sword originated in the warring states of Wu and Yue and reached its apogee during the Tang dynasty and was termed the "Lord of the hundred weapons" 白兵之君 or the "Master of the hundred weapons" 白兵之師. In ancient times the weapon was used for war, self defense and for training the body. From the Spring Autumn period and the Warring States until the end of the Qing dynasty, swords were worn by the officer class as well as the cultured gentry. Indeed many common folk also had the interest to learn the sword and demonstrated a mastery of both literature and the marital arts. The relationship between the poets and was also a close one and there were many poems through the ages that praised the art of the sword. Amongst them, the poet Li Bai had studied the sword from his days of his youth and was skilled in the art of the sword.

Li Bai studied the sword as a child, and he woke up at the same time as the birds to practice, and trained until both his eyes shone with spirit, and his body was strong.  His first teacher was his father Li Ke, who was an unemployed literati who kept a famous Longquan sword in his house, which was a family heirloom.  Unfortunately, he was not a good teacher and did not have a refined technique, so in 724 to continue his study of the sword, he received the Longquan sword from his father left his relatives and moved to Shandong to study under the famous master General 裴斐. Under the tutelage of a famous master and due to his own hard work, his sword work showed great improvement. The sword was his constant companion and source of inspiration. :「寧知草間人,腰下有龍泉」

Li Bai had the greatest respect for knight errant swordsmen, and his poem 《俠客行》 was a poem in praise to the life of a swordsman. And in it he showed his respect for the life of a martial hero and his distaste for power and authority. He would visit friends and look for teachers everywhere and by the time he had acquired of the sobriquet of being  one of the "three ultimates" of the Tang Dynasty he was already a master swordsman will a very high level of skill, having studied under the legendary  Hermit Zhao「趙處士」. Thus he exemplified the famous line "五嶽尋仙不辭遠 一生好入名山遊"  from his famous poem 《庐山谣寄卢侍御虚舟》, "I do not find travelling the five sacred summits to look for saints to be far, my life is devoted to travelling the famous mountains." and he wrote many poems praising the beauty of his native land at this time.

He was not afraid to fight and he stated "when I was fifteen, I was fond of swordplay, and with that art I challenged a few great men". Before the age of 20 he had killed a number of men during his wild youth in Sichuan.  「少年學劍術,凌轢白猿公」. Even though he calmed down as he was older, when he visited the capital Changan when he was 30, he was once surrounded by a bunch of gamblers and he chased them off with his sword with the help of one of his friends, showing no sign of fear, demonstrating his proficiency with the sword.    

He left behind many beautiful phrases praising the sword that are still quoted today. 「安得倚天劍,跨海斬長鯨」、「願將腰下劍,直為斬樓蘭」represented his desire to obtain military honors, fighting for his country. 「彈劍作歌奏苦聲,曳裙王門不稱情」、「知音不易得,撫劍增感慨」,represented his setbacks, when he could not serve his country in face of military defeat. 「起舞拂長劍,四座皆揚眉」、「醉來脫寶劍,旅憩高堂眠」,showed his disdain for riches and power and hthe importance he placed on freedom. 「撫劍夜吟嘯,雄心日千里」、「冠劍朝鳳闕,樓船侍龍池」reflected him chasing his dreams and his romanticism. In these poems, the swords were contained within the poems and the poems were contained in the swords, reaching a plane where swordsmanship and poetry were fused together, representing Li Bai's soul, dreams and burden.「長劍一杯酒,男兒方寸心」"With a longsword and a cup of wine, only then does a man have a heart".

There is also a marital arts set called Tai Bai Jian that is still extant today that is used to commemorate Li Bai. 太白 or "Great White" was his courtesy name." 

by Bernard Kwan FOUND HERE 

Saturday, February 1, 2020

2018 Shuai Jiao Nationals | Guang Wu Shuai Jiao

2018 Shuai Jiao Nationals | Guang Wu Shuai Jiao

"Some highlights from the 2018 Shuai Jiao/Shuai Chiao Nationals in Ohio. Students of Guang Wu Shuai Jiao competed very well and exhibited nice technique. "

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Bagua Zhang Elbows - Gao Style Bagua w Luo De Xiu - Yi Zong School

Bagua Zhang Elbows - Gao Style Bagua w Luo De Xiu - Yi Zong School

"Elbows and so much more! Yizong Gao Baguazhang's 5th post- heaven line. ... The 5th line teaches so much more than striking and blocking. It contains short and long bridging theory, distance and contact points for change, folding, cutting, chin na, grappling defense, throwing set ups and so much more!"

       My Teacher's teacher - Learn Gao Bagua Elbows at Boulder Internal Martial Arts

Friday, January 17, 2020

Xingyiquan’s Tai Xing with Yizong Bagua’s Master Luo De Xiu

Xingyiquan’s Tai Xing with Yizong Bagua’s Master Luo De Xiu 

"Tai Xing is one of the longer and more complex animal forms of Hebei Xingyiquan. It contains an arsenal of techniques and strategies. Usually Tai Xing is translated as Phoenix, but is also referred to by other names such as ostrich and hawk. At our fall seminar, Master Luo explained that considering the animal shape’s tools and tactics, Tai Xing more aptly referred to the intrinsic nature of a type of vulture indigenous to northern China where the art developed."

                            Learn XingyiQuan Tai Xing at Boulder Internal Martial Arts

Monday, January 13, 2020

Xingyiquan Tiger.. interception fundamentals, based on Metal, Water and Wood Elements - Marcus Brinkman

My teacher Marcus Brinkman - Learn Xingyi Quan at Boulder Internal Martial Arts
Xingyiquan Tiger.. interception fundamentals, based on Metal, Water and Wood Elements 

"This is a short introduction to Xingyiquan 5 Tiger...particularly according to "handshape" and its relation to creating contact points and interception strategies. These are considered 7-star variants of the Five Elements. The handshapes make contact through the ulnar and radial edges of the arm. and in general apply long spiraling wind-ins that begin at the edges of the hand and end with a 7-star shoulder, elbow or body collision. The following corresponds to the first of the Three Tigers Metal, Water and Wood"

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Chinese Swords & Swordsmanship: Jian - Historical Reality - Scott Rodell

Chinese Swords & Swordsmanship: Jian - Historical Reality 
Scott M. Rodell, noted authority on Chinese Swords and Swordsmanship, cuts through the common misconceptions and dojo-lore surrounding Chinese swords, presenting Qing Jian (double edged straight swords) in their historical context using period examples. #chineseswords