Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Gao Style Bagua applications - Yi Zong School - Boulder, CO

Gao Bagua - Hou Tien application setups for straight line Bagua Zhang

        My teacher grandteacher Luo De Xiu - Filmed in Boulder, CO (i am in these videos) 
                           Classes in Gao Bagua at Boulder Internal Martial Arts

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

China Waring States - excavated bronze spearhead and sword

"King Fuchai (reigned 495–473 BC) of the Warring State of Wu was the son of King Helu who had employed the great Sun Tzu as commander. King Fuchai's excavated bronze spearhead and sword are shown here..."

Founds HERE

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Bagua Zhang Master Sun Lu-T’ang by Bradford Tyrey

獅子掌之形 Shīzi Zhǎng Zhī Xíng 
(Lion’s Palm Form/Shape)

Previously I had posted some of the information below but have since added more which can be found at the end of this article. The following information is extracted from my text The Internal Practices of Sun Lu-T’ang in which Madam Sun Jian-Yun [Sun Lu-T’ang’s daughter] provides answers to questions we proposed to her over the years. In this instance she provided a brief, general explanation.
Q: Master Cheng T’ing-Hua taught that the practice of Shitze Bao Qiu (Lion Embraces Ball) was among the most essential baguazhang postures to practice. What is the significance of this posture?
A: Each day my father walked the bagua circle, shaping his body into the posture Shitze Bao Qiu (Lion Embraces Ball). Master Cheng T’ing-Hua taught that this was the manner by which the body rounds like a large ball while the arms round as if holding [embracing] a ball. This is roundness contained within roundness, roundness embracing roundness, unifying with the T’ai Xu (Great Emptiness [Cosmos]). These two roundings interact like the yin and yang, merging with the One [the Tao].
Walking the circle moves the yin-yang to roll and turn within the sphere of the circular path. One’s body must attain the spirit of curvature which in turn leans and presses upon the circle’s center. Both hands zhuan (pierce) to establish their presence with the Tao, this being straightness [piercing] manifesting within the circle’s roundness.
Pointing the way one’s index fingers stir the qi within the Great Pivot [referring to both the core of the circle and the center of the Cosmos being mirrored reflections of each other] which in turn excites the qi of the lower cauldron [the lower tan-t’ien].
Shitze fa (Lion methods) were taught to my father by Master Liu Bin. Grandmaster Tung Hai-Chuan’s disciple, Master Wang Li-Te, was taught the secrets of Lion style baguazhang, who passed many of these methods to Master Liu Bin, disciple of Master Cheng T’ing-Hua
[classmate of Wang Li-Te].
Adding to the basic explanation above is my translation of Sun Lu-T’ang’s writings on 獅子掌之形 Shīzi Zhǎng Zhī Xíng (Lion’s Palm Form/Shape). In class Madam Sun provided us with much deeper explanations and training methods that were passed down only in class to students of senior status. This one posture has just over six pages of teachings to follow that were never published. We had asked Madam Sun if she had ever thought to write a comprehensive explanation on each posture in the Sun arts? She said that such information can only be taught in person from teacher to disciple. Below is just a short piece from 獅子掌之形 Shīzi Zhǎng Zhī Xíng (Lion’s Palm Form/Shape) writings from Master Sun Lu-T’ang.
In the posture 獅子掌之形 Shīzi Zhǎng Zhī Xíng (Lion’s Palm Form/Shape) [it is] as if both hands are 穿 chuān (piercing). However, the right hand [which is] below goes upward as if 畫圓形 huà yuán xíng (drawing a circular shape), the left hand 仍 réng (remains) [below], together [the hands are] as if 抱 bào (embracing) a large round ball, [this is] the 意 yì (intent). Both feet walk and 隨 suí (follow along) as both hands draw [draw a circular shape]. Also, the 意 yì (intent) is that both hands are as if 穿 chuān (piercing), piercing until both hand’s 食指 shízhǐ (forefingers) are 處 chǔ (positioned on) 相對 xiāngduì (opposite) [sides] of the void/empty center of the circle, [this is] the 準則 zhǔnzé (the standard) [by which to practice] as in the photograph.

Bradford Tyrey

Found HERE 

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Startling Rainbow Sword Art (Jīng Hóng Jiàn shù, 驚虹劍術) by Yin Qianhe (尹千合) Trans: Scott M. Rodell


Liànxí wǔ jiàn, yúfēn wéi liù gè jiēduàn,
yī, liàn xíng: Jí gè shì xíngtài zīshì,
èr, liàn mǐn: Jí dòngzuò mǐnjié línghuó,
sān, liàn lì: Jí qìshì lìliàng,
sì, liàn shén: Jí quánshénguànzhù,
wǔ, liàn yì: Jí jiànshù xiàolì shǐyòng,
liù, liàn huà: Jí rónghuìguàntōng, yě jiùshì bǎ xíng, mǐn, lì, shén, yì, huà liù zì rónghuà wéi yītǐ, liàn zhì jīng chún, bùdú kě suíyì biǎoyǎn, érqiě yìngyòng yùrú.

The practice of wielding a sword is divided into six stages-
One, practice form, each posture with the correct bearing, attitude and power,
Two, practice agility, movements quick and versatile,
Three, practice power, with a formidable presence and strength,
Four, practice spirit, concentrate, sending it through (the body),
Five, practice mind intent, effectively employing the sword art,
Six, practice transformation, fusing together (the movements) linked continuously,
this means that, form, agility, power, spirit, mind intent, and transformation, these six are fused into one.
Practice to perfection, then one will not only be able to exhibit it as one wishes, but also apply it effortlessly. 

Quoted from Startling Rainbow Sword Art (Jīng Hóng Jiàn shù, 驚虹劍術)
by Yin Qianhe (尹千合) Trans: Scott M. Rodell

Commentary and notes:
As many authors of this period and earlier periods, Yin’s writing follows a classic theme, in this case a common theme in daoist cultivation. That theme involves form, qi, shen and transformation.
The first line uses the term wǔ jiàn (舞劍). Wǔ can mean dance, but also means to wield or brandish. If it were jiàn wǔ, that would be a sword dance where the sword was a being used as part of the dance, not as a weapon.

For stage two, the author explains one’s movement should have the quality of Línghuó (靈活). This compound is often translated as nimble or flexible. And certainly it has that mean here. Línghuó, however means more than simply being limber. Línghuó also means that the jianke is able to adapt quickly in a lively fashion. So in this context is it translated as versatile.
Concerning power the author uses a compound that is difficult to translate, qìshì (氣勢). Qìshì has the literal meaning of an imposing manner. The problem with that translation in this context is that the jianke trains to exhibit a calm exterior that is devoid of any indication of his or her intent. In plain language, you don’t want the duifang to know what you got. Adopting an “imposing manner” would be quite in conflict with that spirit. The author is however addressing a phase in the swordsman’s training, not the quality of mind in actual free swordplay. When learning how to generate power, how to cut with authority, it might very well be useful for practitioners developing their skills to adopt a powerful presence.
Again, as many times in the past, Poney Chang’s input was invaluable. The image of the swordsman is of Dōngfāng Màn Qiàn (東方曼倩) a poet of the Western Han.

Startling Rainbow Sword Art (Jīng Hóng Jiànshù, 驚虹劍術)
by Yin Qianhe (尹千合) Trans: Scott M. Rodell

Found HERE

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

The Pairing of 八卦掌 Bāguàzhǎng and 摔跤 Shuāi-Jiāo Methods

"Part 1: The Pairing of 八卦掌 Bāguàzhǎng and 摔跤 Shuāi-Jiāo Methods

The accompanying page is from Taiwan Wu-Lin Magazine nearly 20 years ago. During that time I was in Beijing and one of the staff at Wu-Lin had asked me if I could send information that showed applications regarding drawings shown in a 1936 book mentioned below. I sent him the materials needed and the next year I saw the results published. I would like to share several of these pages with you this week, with full credit given to Wu-Lin Magazine. 

A young scholar of martial practices named Yan De-Hua had the opportunity to study Baguazhang with Zhou Yu-Xiang, one of Cheng Ting-Hua’s most distinguished students known for his expertise in striking and throwing. As Cheng was adept in throws, it was quite natural to see old publications over the years from Cheng’s students that focused a good amount on Chinese throwing methods that Cheng had studied in northern China near 保定 Bǎodìng, Heibei, a region famed for unparalleled 摔跤 Shuāi-Jiāo (Fall-Tumble [Thrown Down and Tumble]), known there by its colloquial name 快跤 Kuài-Jiāo (Fast Tumbling [Fast Throwing]). 

After years of practice Yan De-Hua had decided to author a book that would clearly show and preserve for future generations the Bagua methods that he had learned from Master Zhou. After three years of writing and drawing he published his book in 1936 with the title ‘Wall-Breaking Shaolin.’ I knew several old Bagua teachers, including Madam Sun Jian-Yun (Sun Lu-T’ang’s daughter), who had known Yan and explained why he used ‘Wall-Breaking Shaolin’ as the title instead of one with Baguazhang in it. Yan had explained that Baguazhang was a relatively unknown martial art to most of China, but Shaolin Boxing was familiar to most. In 1936 China was under aggressive military campaigns by Japan. News and daily pamphlets were being spread by the Japanese military telling that the Chinese people were weak both mentally and physically and needed proper leadership by Japan. Yan, one of many boxing masters, decided to strengthen China’s spirit by writing boxing manuals that not only taught methods of self-defense but also provided inspirational stories about the skills of Chinese boxing masters. Yan had explained that Baguazhang was a relatively unknown martial art to most of China, but Shaolin Temple Boxing was familiar to most as an art with mysterious powers that Chinese monks shared with the rest of China. In such, Yan decided to attach the name Shaolin along with the Chinese boxing term ‘Wall-Breaking’ which refers to fighting methods so powerful that each could break through a stone wall. 

Part 2: Continuation of this article coming next. More pairings of 八卦掌 Bāguàzhǎng and 摔跤 Shuāi-Jiāo applications along with the changes of the book’s title made by Yan De-Hua over the years. 

Special Note: Many of you have asked if I was planning to publish Yan De-Hua’s book in the near future? Yes, I am. I realize that many people have already translated Yan’s book, but I working on a thorough translation that explains the hidden, often unknown aspects of each of Yan’s techniques as passed down by several of Yan’s disciples. I should have this book available around April of 2019. Please let me know if you are interested as this may help to motivate late night writing."

Bradford Tyrey

Found HERE 

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

5 Essential Double Sticks Escrima Drills

These 5 essential Double Stick drills are a must know when it comes to training your Filipino Martial Arts

Monday, October 8, 2018

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Xingyi Quan - Standing Practice - Developing Inner Force - Sun Lu Tang

Developing Inner Force Through 站立樹樁 Zhànlì Shù Zhuāng (Standing Erect Tree Stump)
The following was written by Sun Lu-T'ang's disciple, Jue Hau. His photo appears below.

站立樹樁 Zhànlì Shù Zhuāng (Standing Erect Tree Stump) mimics the ability to stand as if the rooted stump of a tree that stands erect, straight, yet pliable like a 樹苗 shùmiáo (sapling). Standing practice requires that one’s natural desire to move be restrained as if holding back on the reigns of a horse that is about to gallop. Movement is generated by the activity of 氣 qì. To gather qi from heavenly sources [those forces which are active] beget the natural transmutation of movement. Master Sun Lu-T’ang, like many Chinese boxing masters, taught that standing practices are the original methods that the Immortals employed to feed their ethereal bodies. Not being of mortal flesh their need to feed upon the qi of Heaven and Earth is resolute. Standing among the mountains and clouds the Immortals inhale harmonious vapors [qi] and exhale turbid remains [turbid qi].
The way of the Immortals is a pure path to follow. They beckon all to adhere to their practices. Master Sun said that such methods were taught to him by his master, Guo Yun-Shen. Master Guo was said to have learned the ways of the Immortals by monks who live in the region of Huang Shan (Yellow Mountain), where the Immortals often come to play and feed. They are often observed standing in various poses during the early morning when dew begins to form. Their standing is without a single stirring motion, yet onlookers speak of the Immortals having a frost [a glistening-cloudy glow] gathering about them. I asked Master Sun what is this frost? He answered that it is the light from the other side. I did not understand his meaning at that time and he would speak no more about this until years later.
I always asked my master many questions, though he gave few responses at first. I learned from his example that questions and responses are not without merit, though it is attaining an answer without having asked a question that must be sought. The answer often shows itself before the question is asked. This is the way of true learning. In standing practices I followed the methods taught by many; stand and absorb the qi, quiet the spirit, and seek to transform. To seek was my undoing, as it has been for many. Master Sun said that Master Guo taught that the action of seeking is as motion, both are the Great Inhibitors. His meaning is that in standing practices one must stand within a pool of stillness that has no ripples of thought, for thought brings forth seeking answers and accomplishments which inhibit the purity of one’s intent. Therefore, to accumulate qi and internal force one must not seek accumulation. To find stillness within one must not search for stillness. To search is the action by which transformation is abated. Empty the kettle, then it can be filled. To understand that which Master Sun has spoken on is to have taken the initial step into the practices of standing.
Standing requires that one become like a 李樹 lǐshù (plum tree) that is weighted with its fruit. Heavy, steadfast, and blossoming with essential vigor, this tree represents yang jing (generative force) within one’s body. To stand in the presence of Nothingness [the absence of mindful activity]) is to stand with the Tao.
Written and Translated by Brad Tyrey - Purchase his books HERE 
Found HERE 

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Cheng Style Bagua Zhang Master Xu FanCeng 程式八卦掌 許繁曾

Cheng Style Bagua Zhang Master Xu FanCeng 程式八卦掌 許繁曾

Xu Fan Ceng is student of Cheng TingHua's son Cheng Youxin. This video is demonstrating "Covering Hand Palm"
董海川(Dong HaiChuan) --- 程廷華(Cheng TingHua)---程有信(Cheng Youxin

Friday, September 14, 2018

Xingyi Quan - Sun Lu Tang - Bradford Tyrey

鬆鶴三體式 Song He San-t’i Shi 
"The attached drawing comes from Sun Lu-T’ang’s earliest version (1912) of his published book 形意拳學 Xingyiquan Xue (The Study of Form-Intent Boxing) which was later revised and republished in (1915) using photos of Sun Lu-T’ang. 

Pine & Crane Three Embodiments Posture

The Chinese character 體 (t’i), according to period dictionaries during the time of masters Guo Yun-Shen
and Sun Lu-T’ang, means: the whole body; a frame consisting of many parts; substance; essentials; to
embody; a solid; a partition; completeness. The character (體) is composed of two radicals: bone [the human skeleton] and sacrificial vessel. These meanings will help you to understand Madam Sun’s response. As she of fine painting methods, she explained this written character according to its two
radical parts, and to the teachings of her father and Master Guo. Therefore, 三體式 San-t’i Shi can, in part, be translated as: Three Embodiments Posture; Three Substances Posture; or Three Essentials Posture. It is safe to say that collectively, these three translations of 三體式 will bring you closer to understanding its inclusive meaning. I have chosen to use ‘embodiment’ as the fore fronting translation based upon clarifications presented by both Madam Sun and Wang Xi-Kui (Sun Lu-T’ang’s disciple). The meaning of Pine and Crane as part of this posture is explained below as passed down and taught within the Sun family by Sun Lu-T’ang’s teacher, Guo Yun-Shen.

‘三體式 San-t’i Shi (Three Embodiments Posture) embraces more than the tip of the nose, tip of a finger, and tip of a toe, the 三 san (three) which form a ‘single alignment.’ These are not the only three tips that are aligned, there exist both the upper and lower and front and back, each containing three tips that are to be aligned during xingyi boxing postures and sets. Beyond such tips exist further teachings essential to San-t’i Shi as well as all postures. To begin, one must understand 伸展 shenzhan (to stretch). 伸展 Shenzhan is the unity of both 伸 shen (to extend) and 展 zhan (to spread outwardly) in a manner that evokes forward extension with sideward spreading like the wings of a 鶴 he’r (crane). Both physical actions are slight, yet their intent is great. When these two actions unify 伸展 shenzhan becomes the ability to ‘stretch’ in a manner strictly adhering to ‘extending’ and ‘spreading.’ However, 不用力 buyongli (no physical exertion) must be followed. The practice of xingyi boxing must be done so in a relaxed manner physically. Internal softness with only the appearance of external strength is essential. Once attained then the skill of 撞擊 zhuangji (ramming strikes) fuse within all hand and foot attacks. This is one’s ability to have each hit contain the force of a battering-ram, each possessing 擊力 jili (striking power) able to collapse a wall built of stone. Such must be coupled with 突擊 tuji (to suddenly attack) without warning and with great ferocity that must not be seen upon one’s face.

三體式 San-t’i Shi (Three Embodiments Posture) must also 收縮 shousuo (receive-withdraw). This is beyond the simplicity of contracting the body at times, it is the ability to 收 shou (receive/collect) one’s Spirit, gathering it inward so that purity of thought can attend only to 體 t’i (the embodiments) being practiced. Among such embodiment skills to attend to is the internal manifestation of 盤繞 panrao (to coil around [to coil around a thing]). 盤繞 Panrao, though externally applied like a dragon or snake coiling and wrapping upon its prey, it is the original essences of 盤 pan (coiling [to coil around/entwine a thing]) and 繞 rao (winding [to wind through or around a thing]) that must be separately understood, practiced, enhanced, then unified within one’s being. When they are unified their harmonious force resembles the churning of the Cosmos, having no equal. To practice in this manner one’s essential 氣力 qili (vigor) shall be enhanced and 長壽 changshou (longevity) shall be without hindrance. Hence it is said such practice of 三體式 San-t’i Shi (Three Embodiments Posture) shall produce 鬆鶴遐齡 Song He Xialing (Pine & Crane Long-lasting Age). These are but part of 三體式 San-t’i Shi practices.’

Note from Bradford: The character 鬆 song means to loosen and relax. However, it also refers to a Pine tree which is symbolic of long-life and often the wisdom that comes with a long lifespan. 鶴 He is the character for Crane, also symbolic, in this case, for longevity. Paired, 鬆鶴 Song He refers to a person who will live as long as the Pine and Crane nestled among the Tao.

Further information on 三體式 San-t’i Shi and related teachings by masters Guo and Sun are found in my books under Bradford Tyrey."

Found: HERE

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Kunwu Sword Manual by Li Lingxiao (昆吾劍譜, 李凌霄) Translated by Scott M. Rodell

Advice from the Kunwu Sword Manual by Li Lingxiao (昆吾劍譜, 李凌霄)


Yī kě chuán zhī rén bù chuán, shī rén. Bùkě chuán zhī rén ér chuán, shī jiàn. Rú rèn rén bù zhēn, níng shī rén wù shī jiàn. Zìgǔ jiē rán, fēi wúbèi zhī lìn yě.

If there is someone that the art can be transmitted to, but it is not, that person is lost. If someone who can not receive the transmission is taught, the sword art is lost. So recognize the people who are right. Rather lose a person than lose the sword art. Since ancient times it was always this way, it is not our generations stinginess.

from the Ten admonishments for the Sword Art Translated by Scott M. Rodell

Found HERE

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Martial Wisdom from Tim Cartmell

"Looking to ancient Chinese shamanistic fortune telling for martial wisdom is the equivalent of reading the prophecies of Nostradamus to try to figure out how to get out of a headlock." - Tim Cartmell 

Quote from: 

Tuesday, September 4, 2018



Those who know do not talk. 
Those who talk do not know.

Keep your mouth closed. 
Guard your senses. 
Temper your sharpness. 
Simplify your problems. 
Mask your brightness. 
Be at one with the dust of the Earth. 
This is primal union.

He who has achieved this state 
Is unconcerned with friends and enemies, 
With good and harm, with honor and disgrace. 
This therefore is the highest state of man.

56th Verse - Tao Te Ching
Gia Fu-feng and Jane English

Found: HERE

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Swordsman vs. Arrow- Sword Cuts Speeding Arrow

Swordsman vs. Arrow- Sword Cuts Speeding Arrow

"Speed is one of the five essential elements of Chinese Swordsmanship (Jiànfǎ, 劍法). Cutting an arrow in flight is the ultimate test of a Swordsman’s skills. The Japanese refer to this skill as Yadome no jutsu (the military study of arrow cutting or blocking), considering it an indicator of superior martial prowess. Scott M. Rodell, director of the Great River Taoist Center, draws his jian (sword) slicing an arrow shot at him from just over 15 meters away. Traveling at 70.2 mph (113 kph) the arrow flies 51’ (15.5 m) in .48 of a second. Drawing his jian (sword) from the scabbard, his Liāo cut (撩) sliced it neatly in two."

Monday, August 27, 2018

Chinese Jian/ Sword - Chen Wei-Ming - Sun Lu Tang

"This is a wonderfully clear photo taken from an original glass negative of Chen Wei-Ming, first official disciple under Master Sun Lu-T'ang and later a disciple under Master Yang Cheng-Fu. This photo shows Chen Wei-Ming posing in the posture Immortal Points to the Path [the Way] from Yang Family Style Taiji Sword. I describe this posture and the complete sword form, complete with his old photos, taught by Chen Wei-Ming in his book that I translated which is available at Amazon Books. I thought that some of you would love this beautiful and historic photo to hang on your wall for inspiration."
Bradford Tyrey  Found: HERE 

Friday, August 17, 2018

Dao de Jing Chapter 68 - Trans. Scott M. Rodell

Dao de Jing Chapter 68, Great warriors are not... 


Shàn wéi shì zhě bù wǔ.
Shànzhàn zhě bù nù.
Shànshèng dí zhě bù yǔ.
Shàn yòngrén zhě wéi zhī xià.
Shì wèi bùzhēng zhī dé.
Shì wèi yòngrén zhī lì.
Shì wèi pèi tiān gǔ zhī jí.

Great warriors are not militaristic.
Great soldiers do not get angry.
Great conquers do not gloat.
Those good at managing men are humble.
This is called the virtue of non-contention. 
This is called the strength of using men.
This is called the highest manifestation of accord with heaven.

Trans. Scott M. Rodell  - "The above painting is of the Daoist Sword Immortal, Lu Dongbin. For more information, please see:"

Found: HERE