Thursday, December 28, 2017


Tim began training in Kung Fu San Soo in New York at the age of 11. At the age of 23, he moved to Taiwan to study the fighting aspect of internal martial arts, something he had failed to find in the US.

Enrolling at the Taiwan Normal University to study Mandarin for five years, Tim spent his spare time seeking out practical minded teachers, “for methods that were not based solely on brute strength, speed and superior size; I was looking for arts in which the soft could really overcome the hard.”
Among others, he studied He Bei Xing Yi Quan with Xu Hong Ji and his son Xu Zhen Wang as well as Yi Quan with Gao Liu De. In Tai Ji Quan, he studied old Yang style with Chen Zhuo Zhen. In Chen style, he studied Zhao Bao with Lin Ah Long and the old frame with Xu Fu Jin. In Bagua Zhang, he studied Gao style with Luo De Xiu, who also taught him Chen Pan Ling Tai Ji.
In 1985, Tim visited the mainland for the first time. Several years later, he accompanied Dan Miller (who was then publishing the Ba Gua Journal) as his interpreter, meeting a number of well known martial artists. This trip led to Tim studying Sun Style Tai Ji Quan and Ba Gua Zhang with Sun Jian Yun, Sun Bao An and Liu Yan Long in Beijing. He also learned Shan Xi Xing Yi with Mao Ming Chun.
After about six months in Taiwan, Tim entered his full contact tournament.  Though he lost he gained valuable experience and insights which led him to revise his approach to training. From then on, his training emphasized the importance of really mastering fundamental techniques that can be used in a real fight; the importance of being well rounded in striking, wrestling and grappling arts; and the need to spar regularly with skilled, non-cooperative opponents.
A few months after his first tournament, Tim entered and won another full contact competition. The following year, he took first place in the middleweight division of the Asian Full Contact tournament.
In 1994, after 11 years in China, Tim returned to the US. Soon after, he began practising and competing in  Brazilian Jiu Jitsu under Nelson Monteiro, an art which he found complemented his Chinese martial arts experience perfectly.
Tim has also published several instructional books and DVDs. More information can be found at ShenWu 
Here he talks about why the method is more important than the art; the benefits of the traditional methods;  why he emphasizes striking, clinching and then the takedown;  how to use Chinese throws and Xingyi striking drills for MMA;  why Tai Ji Quan is best thought of as a grappling art; why forms used to be taught after you could fight, not before; physicality and specific strength vs technique; how to balance sparring and forms practice; how he got into BJJ and its similarities to the internal arts; BJJ’s usefulness in street situations and sport;  the role of tradition, the ‘laboratory’ of MMA and the future of Chinese martial arts.
So, Tim, what makes a martial art traditional? 
Basically there’s only one thing that makes a martial art traditional, and that’s time, because it’s been around a long time. It just means that whoever invented it lived a long time ago, and over time the new becomes traditional.
You go back 300 years in China and someone was practising a martial art that was even older. He creates a synthesis of the disparate martial arts he studied, comes up with a unifying theory and if his new combined style takes off, a couple of hundred years later it’s become ‘traditional’.  In that sense, every single martial art in existence started off as a mixed martial art. So it depends on how you define the terms.
What we have now is the same thing, but on a bigger scale. For most traditional martial arts you have one guy who was the founder. Modern MMA is different, it’s superior in that it wasn’t founded by any single individual or even small group, it was founded by an almost completely open laboratory of fighting.
One guy could never hope to experiment as much as hundreds of thousands of people can. One person will always be limited to his own environment and his own teachers, his access to instruction; whereas modern martial arts are not limited in this way:  with MMA, thousands of martial artists and fighters got together and actually fought to see what works best.
It didn’t take long to work out what would work, at least in the venue of MMA. Within 15 years it became pretty much solidified. Modern MMA draws on a huge sample of people who are actually fighting one another.
You go back in time and hear stories about who fought this guy and or the other. But who knows the truth? Obviously if said person had students, he most likely had something going on, he likely wasn’t pulling in students without at least some level of success as a fighter. But who knows what his experience really was: maybe he was from some small area, where nobody knew how to fight and he came up with his own thing, was a bit better than everyone else and got famous.  But MMA’s not like that: everyone gets to watch. So there’s no way you can bullshit your way into a reputation.
Another advantage MMA has over traditional arts is traditionally you only had access to what was in your culture. If I live in northern China in 1700 I’m not going to see Muay Thai, I’m not going to see Japanese arts , I’m not going to see Western boxing, I’m going to see Long Fist and Shuai Jiao. There was way less of a sampling of things to choose from. Now you can go on YouTube and in an hour see more types of martial arts in five minutes than anyone back in the day could see if they travelled their entire life.
With the crucible of the entire world fighting and access to video and all this talent and all these styles coming in, it’s on a much bigger global scale. That’s how modern things are: it’s better. You have more access to information.  Traditional martial arts were all ‘mixed martial arts’ at their founding, but with modern MMA there are more scientists on the job and anyone can see it on video.

Friday, December 22, 2017

When you practice the spirit should remain inside, not going out.
Even during combat keep the spirit inside and calm. 
Internally I watch you like a cat. I watch you closely to see what is your next move.
Otherwise, if your spirit is exposed your whole body will be tense.
T.T. Liang
quoted from, “Quoted from Lessons with Master Liang: T’ai-Chi, Philosophy, and Life.” Quoted by Scott Rodell
Found HERE

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Outlaws of the Marsh/ The Water Margin - Classical Chinese Novel

Ming woodblock print showing Outlaws of the Marsh/ Water Margin. Lin Chong defeates Drill Instructor Hong in front of Chai Jin

Monday, December 18, 2017

Xingyi Bear - Marcus Brinkman

Xingyi Bear - Marcus Brinkman

This is my teacher Marcus Brinkman. Beginning and Ongoing classes in Gao Style Bagua & Xingyi Quan here in Boulder, Colorado. Focusing on teaching a method for self cultivation, lasting health and personal transformation.
·        First Class Free
·        Increase Muscle Strength
·        Improve Flexibility
·        Regain Stability & Balance
·        Reclaim Aerobic Conditioning

Reasonably priced - Excellent Instruction - Fun/ Dedicated Training Group 
                                           Check the full website: HERE 

Thursday, December 14, 2017

From Zhuangzi’s Fully Understanding Life (莊子達生 )- Scott M. Rodell

Yǐ wǎ zhù zhě qiǎo, yǐ gōu zhù zhě dàn, yǐ huángjīn zhù zhě hūn. Qí qiǎo yī yě, ér yǒu suǒ jīn, zézhòng wài yě. Fán wài zhòng zhě nèi zhuō.
Betting for clay roof tiles, one is shoots skillfully.
Betting for a belt buckle, one dreads the outcome. Betting for gold, it feels like dying from drinking poison.
One’s skill is the same in each, but each is valued differently,
the outside is heavy.
When the outer has greater weight the inner becomes clumsy.
From Zhuangzi’s Fully Understanding Life (莊子達生 ).
Trans. - Scott M. Rodell

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Why the Shaolin Temple was Burned in 1928 by Adrian Chan-Wyles

Why the Shaolin Temple was Burned in 1928 by Adrian Chan-Wyles

Translator’s Note:  This is an English translation of the original Chinese language text entitled ‘1928冯玉祥为何命石友三率部下火烧少林寺’ – which can be rendered into English as ‘Why Feng Yuxiang Ordered Shi Yousan to Burn the Shaolin Temple in 1928’.  This is an authoritative Chinese historical text, the factual content of which, appears far and wide across the Chinese language internet.  In the West it is often stated that the Shaolin Temple suffered destruction under the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) – this is incorrect and is not found within Chinese academic sources.  The photographs of the Shaolin Temple from 1920 not only record Qing Dynasty accolades for the temple, but clearly show that the temple buildings, statues, library and other structures were not only intact – but also centuries old with no signs of repair either recent or historical.  A second misconception prevalent in the West is that the Shaolin Temple was destroyed because its Head Monk – Venerable Miao Xing – sided with the Warlord Cause.  Again, this is incorrect.  The Venerable Miao Xing did indeed join the warlords, but he was killed in fighting in early 1927 – and the Shaolin Temple was not destroyed until over a year later, in 1928.  Although Buddhist assert a ‘karmic’ connection between the actions of Miao Xing and the burning of the Shaolin Temple, in reality these two events are not militarily connected.  The third misconception in the West is that ‘warlords’ destroyed the Shaolin Temple.  This appears to be an attempt by Republican propaganda sources to distance the Nationalist government of China from its act of destruction of an iconic, national and cultural treasure.  The attack on the Shaolin Temple has been perceived by many as a direct attack on the heart of Chinese Buddhism itself, by a pro-Western regime that was on very friendly terms with missionary Christianity in China, and there is some merit in this view.  The Nationalist government had pursued an aggressive policy toward both Buddhist and Daoist monastic institutions (premised upon the dubious idea that these groups owned or possessed excessive or undeserved wealth), the incumbents of which were either banished out of their temples to an impoverished existence in the countryside, or involuntarily defrocked and returned to lay life.  Temples were either destroyed to clear land for modern buildings, or converted into non-spiritual usage.  Monastic lands were confiscated and turned into farms, or used for other activities.  Although perceived as ‘progressive’ at the time, this policy was not applied to the Western, Christian missionary groups, their established churches, or their congregations of Chinese Christian converts.  The leader of the Nationalist Movement – Chiang Kai-Shek – was a committed Christian convert, as was his subordinate Feng Yuxiang.  The Shaolin Temple was destroyed because of a deliberate anti-Buddhist policy pursued by the Nationalist regime in China.  Venerable Miao Xing joined the Warlord Cause – because the warlord faction was often traditionally minded, and respectful toward religious institutions – therefore the warlord faction did not, and would not have attacked the Shaolin Temple, as every Buddhist knows that the killing of Buddhist monks attracts the most dire of karmic retributions.  Where the confusion on this matter originates is in the fact that Feng Yuxiang had once been a member of the Warlord Cause before defecting to the Nationalists.  His subordinate – Shi Yousan – although historically renowned for his duplicity and ease of changing sides when it suited him, nevertheless was a loyal follower of Feng Yuxiang in 1928 – and it was his troops that attacked and destroyed the Shaolin Temple under the direct orders of Feng Yuxiang himself.  However, this entire incident occurred because of the actions of Fan Zhongxiu – another ardent Nationalist who was on friendly terms with the Shaolin Temple.  He had ‘invaded’ the Dengfeng (and other) areas of Henan province that were under the control of Feng Yuxiang.  This resulted in two Nationalist armies fighting one another for dominance in the Dengfeng area – with the Shaolin monks actively deploying in military formation outside of their temple to confront the forces of Shi Yousan.  Feng Yuxiang interpreted these actions of the Shaolin monks as ‘taking sides’ against him, and ordered Shi Yousan to kill the monks and burn the temple to the ground for daring to resist his political (and military) power in the area.
​ACW 4.3.2016

Many people still believe that the Qing Dynasty also burnt the Shaolin Temple, but this is not historically correct.  In fact the exact opposite is true, as is obvious from extant historical records, that the emperors of the Qing Dynasty were very concerned and showed respect toward the Shaolin Temple.  This can be seen by the fact that they authorised the writing of plaques praising the temple, and on occasion even visited the temple in person.  During the 15th year of his reign (1720), the Qing Dynasty Emperor Qianlong (乾隆) visited the Shaolin Temple, where he spent the night in the Head Monk’s room.  Whilst there, he composed a hand-written poem and authorised the engraving of a stone tablet.  The fact that the Shaolin Temple flourished under Qing Dynasty rule can be seen from the paintings and inscriptions that exist on the inner walls of the White Gown Temple (白衣殿 – Bai Yi Dian) or ‘Guan Yin Temple’ - situated in the grounds of the Shaolin Temple.  This demonstrates the high esteem with which the Shaolin Temple martial arts were held in Qing times.

In 1928, China was undergoing many battles involving the Republican Government and warlords.  At this time, The Republican (and Christian) warlord Feng Yuxiang (冯玉祥) [1882-1948] ordered his subordinate - Shi Yousan (石友三) - to attack and destroy the Shaolin Temple situated on Mount Song, Henan province.  This destroyed the Devaraja Hall (天王殿 – Tian Wang Dian), the Great Hall of Heroic Strength (大雄殿 – Da Xiong Dian) i.e. the ‘Main Hall’, the Dharma Hall (法堂 – Fa Tang), the building housing the Bell Tower (钟楼 – Zhong Lou), through burning.  As around 90% of the ancient Shaolin Temple library was also destroyed, a large number of precious Buddhist sutras were lost, together with texts that recorded the history of the Shaolin Temple itself.  This destruction of books included very rare texts recording various martial arts styles (and related subjects) either practiced in the temple, or known as existing in other places.  The consequence of this Republican attack on the Shaolin Temple was that a great Buddhist treasure was lost to humanity, forever.

Therefore, it can be truthfully stated that Feng Yuxiang – whilst making use of a Republican Chinese military force armed with modern Western weaponry -  inflicted the most ruthless and efficient campaign of destruction upon the Shaolin Temple.  This being the case, it is historically important to assess ‘why’ Feng Yuxiang decided to take this action.  The answer is simple and straight-forward.  The then Head Monk (i.e. ‘Abbot’) of the Shaolin Temple was named ‘Miao Xing’ ()[1891-1927].  At a time of highly destructive, internecine fighting between military forces of the different factions of the Republican Government, and between the Republican Government and the various warlords that still controlled parts of China, the Head Monk Miao Xing took the decision to side with the warlord Wu Peifu (吴佩孚) [1874-1939], whose forces were operating in the Henan area.  He took this decision in an attempt to secure the peace and harmony of the Shaolin Temple and its inhabitants.  This was not only a theoretical taking of sides by Miao Xing, but was a practical decision to take action, as he physically volunteered to join the forces of Wu Peifu – who immediately promoted him to the rank of regimental commander (团长 – Tuan Zhang).  Feng Yuxiang and Wu Peifu had once been allied warlords – until Feng Yuxiang deserted Wu Peifu at a vital moment on the battlefield.  Miao Xing’s decision to break the neutrality of the Shaolin Temple and side with Wu Peifu, eventually brought destruction down upon the temple by Feng Yuxiang – who was now the sworn enemy of Wu Peifu. 

In the July of the 15th year of the Republic (1926), the (Republican controlled) Guangzhou Revolutionary Army (also known as the ‘National Revolutionary Army’) began its Northern Expedition to wipe-out the warlord powerbase in north China. During that September, Feng Yuxiang announced his intention to change sides, and defected from the Northern Warlord faction.  After this he (and his men) were immediately welcomed into the ranks of the Republican armed forces, and deployed against Feng’s previous allies.  This led Wu Peifu to join forces with Zhang Zuolin (1875-1928) with the intention of attacking Feng Yuxiang – but this warlord’s offensive was defeated by the Northern Expedition forces.  In the spring of 1927, Feng Yuxiang attacked and secured Xi’an, before joining with the Northern Expedition forces to attack Henan.  In the meantime, the Shaolin Head Monk Miao Xing – who was in command of the 1st Regiment – was ordered to move his men firstly to Zhengzhou, and then to Wuyang (both in Henan).  On March 6th, the forces led by Shaolin Head Monk Miao Xing clashed with those of Republican Commander Ren Ying Qi (1892-1934), and during this battle, Miao Xing was killed – he was 37 years old.  In June the body of Miao Xing, after being identified by his disciples, was transported back to the Shaolin Temple for burial on the northeast hillside of the temple grounds.

During March of the 17th year of the Republic (1928), with Miao Xing already dead - Fan Zhongxiu (who had been a lay-disciple of Heng Lin [恒林] the former Head Monk of Shaolin and also the teacher of Miao Xing) out manoeuvred Feng Yuxiang’s ‘National Army’ in Henan, and took control of Gong County and Yanshi County.  However, these areas were soon recaptured by Shi Yuosan (石友三) [1891-1940] – a loyal subordinate of Feng Yuxiang.  After this, Fan Zhongxiu turned southward and attacked Dengfeng County – establishing his command centre in the Shaolin Temple itself.  Shi Yousan took his army southward in pursuit, with the intention of driving Fan Zhongxiu and his men out of the area, but when he reached the Shaolin Temple – he was met by a force of armed monks (who had decided to support Fan Zhongxiu because of his connection with the former Head Monk Heng Lin, and by association – Miao Xing).  In the ensuing battle around 200 monks were killed (nearly all those resident at the temple at the time) and the resistance of the Shaolin Temple was broken.  The following morning, Feng Yuxiang’s National Army was in complete control of the Dengfeng area.  Brigade Commander Su Mingqi (苏明启) ordered a sergeant to have his men soak the temple in kerosene and then set it alight.  This destroyed the Devaraja Hall, the Main Hall, the Dharma Hall, the Bell Tower, the Temple of the Sixth Patriarch (六祖殿 – Liu Zu Dian), the Kinnara Temple (紧那罗殿 – Jin Na Lou Dian), the King of Hell Temple (阎王殿 – Yan Wang Dian), the Dragon King Hall (龙王殿 – Long Wang Dian), the Fragrant Store Kitchen (积厨 – Xiang Ji Chu), the Storeroom (库房 – Ku Fang), East-West Meditation Hall (东西禅堂 – Dong Xi Ch’an Tang), the Imperial Throne Room (御座房 – Yu Zuo Tang) and many other places.  All was put to the torch to vent the anger felt by Feng Yuxiang and Shi Yousan toward the monks of the Shaolin Temple for daring to resist their political power in Henan.  This is the true story of how the ancient Shaolin Temple (which had stood for over a thousand years, and was a building of immense historical importance) became doomed to its own destruction and reduced to mere ruins.  When the Head Monk joined the Northern Warlords he became directly involved in worldly matters, and this was interpreted as a violation of the Vinaya Discipline that all Chinese Buddhist monastics are sworn to uphold without exception.  It is believed that because the Head Monk Miao Xing violated the Vinaya Discipline, the resultant negative karma produced cost him his life, and led directly to the destruction of the Shaolin Temple.  After this, the Shaolin Temple was managed by a pure and simple monk (originally from the Hui Guo Zhen area of Gong County) named Zhen Xu (1893-1955).  His lay-surname was ‘Li’ () and he came from South Village (南村 – Nan Cun) in Lu Zhuang (鲁庄) Township, situated in Gong County, Henan province.  He (and others like him) only protected the Mountain Gate ( – Shan Men) and nothing more.  After 1982, the Shaolin Temple was fully repaired and re-developed to serve as a centre for international cultural exchange.  This has become one of its main functions that ensures that it now survives in the modern era.  All the inner temples, rooms, library and other places have now been reconstructed so that the ancient Shaolin Temple shines with a renewed vigour.  

Feng Yuxiang can only be held in high regard, if his motives and behaviour are not analysed properly.  For instance, he ordered the attack on the Shaolin Temple (which resulted not only in the death of the monks, but also the wholesale destruction of the ancient temple and all its invaluable contents) as part of a general attack upon Buddhism which was not a one-off event.  This was an incalculable loss to Chinese (and world) culture, not only for Buddhism but also for martial arts and traditional medicine.  It was a wanton act of destruction that must be perceived for what it is.  Furthermore, a year earlier in 1927, the devout Christian Feng Yuxiang had Buddhist monks and nuns expelled from the temples in Henan and driven into the wilderness, and he had the Daxianggou Temple (大相国寺 – Da Xiang Guo Si) turned into a market-place.  This was part of his province-wide policy of the persecution of Buddhist monks and nuns.  This was in fact a country-wide policy of persecuting Buddhist temples carried-out by the Republican (or ‘Nationalist’) government of China, which saw Buddhist temples and monasteries forcibly acquired and turned into schools, almshouses, libraries, or places of entertainment.  The success of Feng Yuxiang’s anti-Buddhist policies in Henan were viewed as so important by the Republican government, that it initiated similar campaigns attacking Buddhism all over the country.  This inevitably led to a system-wide decline of Buddhism at the time throughout China.  When viewed from this perspective, the destructive actions ordered by Feng Yuxiang against the Shaolin Temple are clear to discern.

The Shaolin Temple was destroyed because of Feng Yuxiang’s personal aversion toward Buddhism, probably motivated partly by the fact that he was a devout Christian convert, and partly from the fact that the Republican government tended to associated ‘tradition’ with backwardness, and possibly resistance to its rule.  This mixture of personal prejudice, religion and political power led directly to Feng Yuxiang’s destruction of the Shaolin Temple and murder of its monks in 1928.


Sunday, November 26, 2017

Fundamentals of the Wudang Sword Method - trans by Scott Rodell

Xīn kōng Gē
Gē yuē. Shǒuxīn kōng. Shǐ jiàn huó. Zú xīn kōng. Xíng bù jié. Dǐng xīn kōng. Shēn yǎn yī.
Song of Empty Mind
The song says
With palm empty, the sword is lively.
With the center of the foot empty, the footwork is nimble.
With the topknot empty, the entire body is one.
Commentary and Notes: This short “song” describes the body once one is free from premeditated action. Simply put, when one is not predisposed to use a certain cut, one is free to cut in any manner. Likewise, when one is not planning on stepping here or there, one will freely move anywhere. When one is not thinking ahead without attachment to a certain action of set of rules, but “empty” in the moment, one is free from dogmatic actions, and can clearly see without the filters of habit and prejudice moving with true freedom.
The topknot refers to a daoist hairstyle where long hair is wound up into a knot that sits atop the apex of the head, held in place by a peg. “Keeping the topknot empty” means not hanging the head, inclining the body forward, nor titling the head back, so that it is pulling the body backward off balance.
Quoted from-
Fundamentals of the Wudang Sword Method - Selected Translations with Commentary from a Manual of Chinese Swordsmanship
This and Rodell Laoshi's other books can be found at-

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Fundamentals of the Wudang Sword Method Trans by Scott Rodell


Liàn jiàn gē
Tóunǎo xīnyǎn rú sīlìng.Shǒu zúyāo kuà rú bù qǔ.Nèi jìn cāngkù dāntián shì. Jīng qì shén dǎn xū chōngzú. Nèiwài gōngfū qín xiūliàn. Shēn jiàn hé yīfāng chéngdào.

Song of Sword Practice
The mind is like a commanding officer.The hands, feet, waist, hips, are like the troops.Internal power is stored in the dantian.Jing, qi, shen and courage must be abundant.Internal and external skills must be practiced diligently. Then the body and sword become one achieving the dao.
Commentary and Notes:
In the last line of this verse, the term chéngdào (成道) can have a wide breadth of meaning. For those genuinely engaged in this sort of work, the concept of chéngdào should be clear. One possible alternative translation of this line is, “With body and sword becoming uniting, one achieves illumination.” Within Buddhism, chéngdào can express enlightenment or illumination.
Not that one is correct or better, rather perhaps not all are familiar with the meaning behind chéngdào. Reaching a state where the body and sword have united as one carries with it more than the idea of achieving great martial skill. Arriving at this state also bring with it a clarity and understanding of the world and the manner in which forces interact. In other words, there is a special understanding that comes from achieving great skill
If one wished to translate this line in a more common vernacular, it could be rendered, “with body and sword becoming one you get it.”

Quoted from -

Sunday, November 19, 2017



"The world imagined by Chinese writer Jin Yong is one which celebrates loyalty, courage, and the triumph of the individual over a corrupt and authoritarian state—carried out by no less than heroes who fly through trees and deliver deadly blows to their enemies with a single finger.

It’s a world familiar to many readers of wuxia (martial-arts related fiction) writer Jin Yong, a pen name for Louis Cha, the best-selling author in the Chinese-speaking world. Though Cha’s fantasy worlds rival J.R.R. Tolkien’s every bit in creativity, breadth, and depth, his works remain relatively unknown to English readers because of a conspicuous lack of translations. Now his Condor Trilogy (1957),arguably the most celebrated of the 93-year-old writer’s works, is finally getting translated into English." 


Friday, November 17, 2017

Ten Admonishments for the Sword Art (劍箴十條) - Kunwu Sword Manual Translated by Scott M. Rodell

Yī jì dé zhēn chuán, yòu xū hányǎng xìngqíng. Tǎng yù wúzhī zhī tú, wàng jiā jī biǎn; zhǐ kě lìng qí yīshì hú mí, bùbì yǔ zhī jiàoliàng.
Upon obtaining the true transmission, one must have self restraint. If one encounters an ignorant person, don’t rashly ridicule (him), only just allow him a life time of muddled confusion, it’s not necessary to have a contest with him.
From the Ten Admonishments for the Sword Art (劍箴十條)
from the Kunwu Sword Manual (昆吾劍譜)
by Li Lingxiao (李凌霄)
Translated by Scott M. Rodell

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Chinese martial artists ordered to stop organizing their own bouts

Chinese martial artists ordered to stop organizing their own bouts.

"China’s top sporting authority has banned kung fu practitioners from organising unauthorised fights, calling themselves “grandmasters” and creating their own styles.

The directive, issued by the General Administration of Sport on Thursday, bans a total of eight practices and follows an intense debate across the country prompted by the humiliating defeat of a tai chi master by a mixed martial artist in April.

Many questioned the merits of traditional martial arts after the fight, in which the founder of “thunder style” tai chi was defeated within 10 seconds by the MMA fighter.
In the directive, which aims to tighten regulations on martial arts-related activities, the General Administration of Sport said practitioners should “build correct values about martial arts”."

Read the rest HERE 

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Chinese Sword - Ming Dynasty Jian

"Ming early 1400s palace personnel with their Imperial issue Jians. The white handle on the bottom Jian is definitely rayskin wrapping." Chinese Sword - Ming Dynasty Jian 
Found HERE 

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Test Cutting ~ Essential Practice
Test cutting is essential to the understanding of swordsmanship. Forgotten for a time, its revival is a key to the renaissance of the Chinese Sword Art. Test cutting provides the necessary context to understand the different cuts, quick and precise to long and powerful. It teaches intent, helping the student to understand aligning the cut, cutting itself and control of the follow through. It gives meaning to movements in the sword forms which are otherwise abstractions. It aids the practitioner in understanding how to move and apply power from the whole body and not simply the arms. For these reasons, and others, Chinese swordsmen made “grass men” out of the materials on hand to develop and refine their sword work.
Looking at this from a different context, drawing a bow for strength training has been a part of Chinese martial tradition for hundreds of years. But no matter how long one has drawn bows, no matter how heavy the draw weight of those bows, simply drawing the bow does not make one an archer, let alone a master archer. Shooting arrows at a target, hitting it, is what makes one an archer. This is true regardless of whatever benefits the exercise of drawing has provided. One can simply not be considered an archer without shooting. That is what the weapons is designed for.
The sword, whether the jian with its three edges, the tip and two sides of the blade, or the dao, with its single sharp edge, is designed to cut in various ways. Just as one who has never loose an arrow at a target can not sensibly be called an archer, one has has never used a sword to do what it is designed to do, be named a swordsman (jianke). If one has never used a tool to do the job it is designed for, one can not be called an expert in its use.
~Scott M. Rodell
Found Here:

Sunday, October 22, 2017

A Sword’s Sharpness – trans by Scott Rodell

Bǎojiàn fēng cóng mólì chū.

A sword’s sharpness comes from polishing.
– Chinese idiom. trans by Scott Rodell

Friday, September 29, 2017

Tai Chi/ Taiji - The Exact Clear Method - Translation by Scott Rodell

Tàijí zhǐmíng fǎ (tàijí quán shǐyòng fǎ, Yáng Chéngfu)
The Exact, Clear method in Taiji
quoted from Yang Chengfu’s Taijiquan Applications, trans. Scott M. Rodell


Yòngjìng bùduì, bùyòng lì bùduì, mián ér yǒu gāng duì;
diū bùduì, dǐng bùduì, bù diū bù dǐng duì;
zhān bùduì, bù zhān bùduì, bù jí bù lí duì;
fú bùduì, zhòng bùduì, qīng líng sōng chén duì;
dǎn dà bùduì, dǎn xiǎo bùduì, dǎn yào zhuàng ér xīn yào xì duì;
dǎ rén bùduì, bù dǎ rén bùduì, jiāng dí zhì xīnfú du

Using internal power is not correct, not using muscle strength is not correct, soft but with hardness is correct;
to lose (contact) is not correct, to resist the flow* is not correct, to not lose contact and not resist is correct;
to stick is not correct, to not stick is not correct, not too close not too far is correct;
floating is not correct, sinking is not correct, agile and spirited, loose and sunk is correct;
being bold is not correct, being timid is not correct, being courageous with the mind finely focused is correct,
hitting people is not correct, not hitting people is not correct, the rival controlled so that he’s heart submits is correct.

Some Notes and commentary-
The title of this brief treatise is difficult to render into nice sounding English. The literal idea is that these words clearly outline the correct way to practice taijiquan. Douglas Wile chose to translate the title as, “The Method of Achieving Perfect Clarity in T’ai-chi.”
In the second line, I translated the character dǐng as “resist the flow.” It could also be translated as butting, as in banging one’s head forward. The meaning of dǐng here is to move in opposition to the direction of force. The idea of this line being that one should listen to the duifang and neither resist his or her actions or pull away dodging them, but rather to join with the action’s momentum using it to one’s own advantage. The third line reinforces and adds detail to the previous line pointing out that simply sticking to the duifang is not correct. There is an optimal distance for any set of techniques. One has to be at the correct distance in order to effectively apply the techniques trained in taijiquan. The phrase, “bù jí bù lí,” is a common expression in vernacular Chinese simply meaning, “not too close or too far.”

Monday, September 25, 2017

Chinese Swordplay (Jianfa) - ~ Scott M. Rodell

"A common problem with beginners' swordplay is concentrating on strategy before mastering technique. This is like discussing chess strategy before knowing all the pieces and how they move to take other pieces. New students search for a trick to winning. However without technique fully mastered and incorporated in one's mind-body, they lack the ability and tools to change when their trick fails them. Likewise, if their duifang has a trick of strategy they do not comprehend, they have no way for responding to unexpected situations. This is the error of putting strategy before technique in the study of swordsmanship. Before thinking about strategy, students of swordsmanship must study each cut, mastering them one at a time." ~ Scott M. Rodell (trans & commentary)

Tuesday, September 19, 2017