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