Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Miaodao Steel Swordplay Presented by Scott M. Rodell & Poney Chiang

Miaodao Steel Swordplay Presented by Scott M. Rodell & Poney Chiang 

Miaodao form. Teacher Rodell, in blue on the left, employs a běng tiāo (繃挑) deflection in a kǎn cut (砍), follows with a circular jiǎo (絞) deflecting into a pi cut, then slips to his left with a jià hù (架護), countering with a jī cut (擊) to the next neck, then circles into a second jī (擊) cut as his duifang responds to his first. These and other techniques, the form and basic cuts of this Miaodao system are covered in detail in a forth coming Online Course due out in early 2020."

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Xingyi Quan Episode - Jing Cheng Wushu

Xingyi Quan Episode - Jing Cheng Wushu 

"Jing Cheng Wushu is a series that ran on Beijing TV in the 80's. Each episode focused on a Chinese martial art style popular in Beijing at the time and featured many prominent older generation practitioners, many of whom have passed away since.
It is a valuable insight into the martial arts and as a record of those older generation of practitioners.Here we present this and have digitized it and added English subtitles as well as other information for the world wushu community to be able to enjoy and preserve."

Monday, November 25, 2019

Xingyi Combat Training Drills - Mike Patterson

Xingyi Combat Training Drills - Mike Patterson

This clip deals with some pad drills that include some of our Xingyi animal movements (horse, bear, cockerel, Tiger, T'ai) and five forces (Pi, Peng, Tsuan, Heng) as well as some discussion and education (for the student) on body mechanics, principles, methods, etc.

Saturday, November 23, 2019

The Fastest Sword (天下第一劍) - 1968 Shaw Brothers - Wu Xia

"The Fastest Sword (天下第一劍) is a 1968 Shaw Brothers wu xia film directed and written by Pan Lei and starring Liu PingThe Fastest Sword (天下第一劍) is a 1968 Shaw Brothers wu xia film directed and written by Pan Lei and starring Liu Ping"

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Xing Yi Quan master Wang Hongchang spear 30 years apart

Xing Yi Quan master Wang Hongchang spear 30 years apart 1990 & 2019 

Xing Yi Quan master Wang Hongchang (王宏昌) perform fundametal methods of Xing Yi Spear (形意枪基本功) . My eldest uncle (Shi Bo 师伯), master Wang Hongchang(王宏昌), now 70 years old, is the eldest disciple of Wang Lianyi(王连义, son of famous Xing Yi Quan boxer Wang Jiwu (王继武). 
Lineage: Li Luoneng(李洛能)---Liu Qilan(刘奇兰)---Wang Fuyuan(王福元)---Wang Jiwu(王继武)---Wang Lianyi(王连义)---Wang Hongchang (王宏昌)

Sunday, November 3, 2019

Chinese bronze sword: Swords of King Fuchai of Wu 2500 year old

The famous 2500 year old Chinese bronze sword: Swords of King Fuchai of Wu.
9 swords of Fuchai were found. Still sharp after 2500 yrs.
Fuchai became King of Wu in 495 BC, defeated King Goujian of Yue (owner of the other famous sword) the next year. He led Wu Army North to become Hegemon of China.
Land of Wu and Yue (Yangtze Delta) we’re home of legendary Chinese swordsmith and swords. Archaeological discovery have confirmed ancient Chinese legends
Found: HERE 

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Xingyiquan, Five Tigers - Marcus Brinkman

Xingyiquan, Five Tigers - Marcus Brinkman
Five Tigers are based on Five Elements, double chopping, drilling, pounding, cannon and crossing fist.
         My teacher Marcus Brinkman - Learn Xingyi Quan at Boulder Internal Martial Arts

Monday, October 14, 2019

Xingyi Five Elements by Hong Yixiang 洪懿祥

Xingyi Five Elements by Hong Yixiang 洪懿祥

"Master Hong Yixiang (1925-1993), founder of the Tang Shou Tao school, demonstrating Xingyi five elements linked form (Wuxing Lianhuan). According to Mr. Kenneth Fish he filmed it in 1975 or 1976, at the opening of Liao Wuchang's 廖五常 son Kungfu school, Yonghe, Taiwan."

Learn Hong's Xingyi 5 Elements at Boulder Internal Martial Arts

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Great warriors are not militaristic. Trans. Scott M. Rodell

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



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 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.
Shàn wéi shì zhě bù wǔ.
Great warriors are not militaristic.
Trans. Scott M. Rodell

Found HERE 

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Nanban tsuba & Asian export sword guards - Mandarin Mansion

For long, "nanban tsuba" literally "Southern barbarian sword-guards" have been a catch-all classification for sword guards for Japanese swords (tsuba), that show foreign influence. 
I became interested in the subject some years ago when I noticed how some of these were not just Chinese in style, but of Chinese manufacture with later adjustments to accommodate their use on Japanese swords. A most fruitful exchange of ideas followed with James McElhinney through his Nanban Tsuba facebook page. He made me aware of the fact that many such guards made it to Japan through gift exchanges related to maritime trade with the Dutch and Chinese.
James McElhinney wrote a much anticipated book about the subject and is in the process of getting it published. Some of the guards that feature in the book are for sale on this page.

Nanban tsuba & Asian export sword guards - Mandarin Mansion

Friday, September 27, 2019

Song military encyclopedia Wu Jing Zong Yao

The Song military encyclopedia Wu Jing Zong Yao says ~

The Tao of using troops is to use Benevolence and Righteousness as the foundation, while using power/authority and strategies as the tool...

武经总要 ~用兵之道,以仁义为本,以权谋为用。

Found HERE 

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Art of the Jian - Trans: Scott M. Rodell


Zhuangzi Wrote,
"The art of the jian 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 jian strikes first.”
-trans. Scott M. Rodell
Found HERE 

Saturday, September 7, 2019

Yang style Tai Chi Chuan - Fu Zhong Wen

Yang style Tai Chi Chuan - Fu Zhong Wen

"Master Fu Zhongwen demonstrating the authentic Yang Style Form with the help of his grandson.
Fu Zhongwen (1903-1994) was a respected Tai Chi Chuan teacher from China. From an early age, he had been a disciple of Yang Ch'eng-fu, and later a family member as he married Zou Kuei Cheng, the great-granddaughter of Yang Chien Hou. Fu Zhongwen had dedicated his life to practicing and teaching Tai Chi. He was voted as one of the One Hundred Living Treasures of China and it was a great loss to the martial arts world and a greater loss to his family when he died in Shanghai on September 25, 1994 at age 92."

Sunday, September 1, 2019

Shuai-jiao (摔角) - Tong Zhongyi

Shuai-jiao (摔角) - Tong Zhongyi

"Tóng zhōngyì (佟忠義) was a Manchu martial artist who lived between 1879 and 1963. He was likely a descendant of the White Banner. He had an illustrious martial career working in security companies, militaries, and as an instructor. He trained in Baoding Shuaijiao and likely also practiced Mongol Bokh, along with Da Liu He boxing, archery, spear, and weight lifting. He wrote a book on wrestling titled 中國摔角用法, or Chinese Wrestling Method, with training regimens, advice, and techniques. In this video we're trying out the 28 throws shown at the end of the manual to give you a glimpse of this man's style."

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Gao Bagua - Three Adjustments, microcosmic to macrocosmic - Marcus Brinkman

      Three Adjustments, microcosmic to macrocosmic, Gao Bagua. The Three Adjustment and their relationship to sensation and sensitivity, body leads mind and mind leads body cultivation methods, xiao-zhoutian and da-zhoutian.

      My teacher Marcus Brinkman - Learn Bagua Zhang at Boulder Internal Martial Arts

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Song Dynasty Patriot Poem - Trans by Akiren Chan

A famous poem by Song Dynasty patriot poet.

《破陣子·醉裡挑燈看劍》辛棄疾 宋詞

醉裡挑燈看劍,夢迴吹角連營. 八百里分麾下灸,五十弦翻塞外聲.沙場點秋兵. 馬作的盧飛快,弓如霹靂弦驚. 了卻君王天下事,嬴得生前身後名. 可憐白髮生!

My crude English translation of first line :
In my drunkeness, I lit the lantern to admire my Jian sword. In my dream I returned to the army camp,.. the horns blowing

A famous poem by Song Dynasty patriot poet.
Web Map

[for a while, I am going to see the sword in the drunk, and I am watching the sword] Sheen

I am in the drunk, watching the sword, dreaming of going back to the blow camp. Eight hundred miles of moxibustion, strings over the sound of the noise. Autumn Soldiers in the battlefield. The horse made a fast, bow-like Thunderbolt. It is the king of the world, and the name behind it is won. Poor White happens!
My crude English translation of first line :
In my drunkeness, I lit the lantern to admire my Jian sword. In my dream I returned to the army camp,.. the horns blowing

Song Dynasty Patriot Poem - Trans by Akiren Chan

Found HERE  

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Chinese Sword Length - Trans: Scott M. Rodell

一寸長, 一寸強
一寸小, 一寸巧

Yīcùn cháng, yīcùn qiáng
yīcùn xiǎo, yīcùn qiǎo
yīcùn duǎn, yīcùn xiǎn
~Gǔrén shuō

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.

It 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 anear 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

Friday, July 12, 2019

From Combat to Sport: Origins and Development of the Martial Arts by Tim Cartmell

This article looks at the origins of the martial arts in general and traces their evolution from methods geared toward all out combat to those which include sportive competition. Collectively, all of these arts are considered to be “martial” as they deal with methods of attack and defense in a hand to hand fighting situation. But the training methodologies and technique base of strictly combat arts and those of arts which also include a competitive dimension are often quite different. To begin with, it will be helpful to define the parameters of each. Combat arts are concerned with protecting one’s life at all costs. Fights are viewed as life or death struggles without rules or restrictions on technique. The primary motivation in combat is survival. Sportive arts include non-cooperative sparring practices and competitive matches between individuals.  The primary motivation in such contests is to defeat the opponent within a prescribed set of restrictive rules (these rules are normally designed to protect the participants from serious injury). Techniques considered to be too dangerous are forbidden and other protective measures (mats, gloves, padding…) are often employed.
Sportive martial arts training is designed to improve the fighter’s abilities by approximating a real fight situation, although in a restricted format. Competition allows the fighter to test his skills against another, while at the same time providing an outlet for Man’s inherently competitive nature. Combat martial arts training is designed to provide the combatant with the tools necessary for survival in unrestricted, life or death fights. Proponents of both camps maintain their respective training methods are superior for acquiring real fighting ability. Because of this dichotomy in training methods, a central debate often surfaces in which purely combat oriented stylists argue against incorporating non-cooperative sparring drills and sportive competitions while those stylists which include sparring and a sportive aspect maintain non-cooperative sparring and competition are essential if the practitioner is to acquire real fighting ability. Let’s look at the origins of both combat and sport martial art in turn.
Although ritualized forms of combat (most associated with religious functions) appear early on in recorded history, it generally holds true that all martial arts were originally created for the purposes of group and personal combat only. In addition, early “sportive” martial arts competitions differed very little from battlefield combat, often the only difference being the presence of an audience in the former. Famous examples of early martial sport competition which were basically all out fighting affairs (combats) are the pankration in ancient Greece (first appearing as an Olympic event in 648 BC) and the gladiatorial competitions of ancient Rome. In ancient China, sportive wrestling matches allowed striking, kicking and locking as well as throwing. It was not until the Song Dynasty (960-1276 AD) that wrestlers were forbidden to strike and kick their opponent during competition. Similar examples of organized martial competitions with few if any rules can be found in many of the other ancient cultures. In ancient times, the definition of martial “sport” competition could be defined as “combat before an audience.”
If we go back far enough into the history of modern martial arts which contain a sportive aspect, we invariably come to their non-sportive, combat roots. This holds true for the martial arts of both East and West. Popular, modern sport martial arts, including Greco-Roman wrestling, Sumo, modern Shuai Jiao (Chinese wrestling), sport karate, judo, and even modern forms of weapons competition (kendo, fencing) all trace their roots to purely combat arts. Western styles of wrestling originate in methods of close combat from the dawn of mankind. Sumo techniques are derived from ancient methods of combat wrestling while in armor (kumiuchi). Modern, sportive Chinese wrestling is a combination of Mongolian and Han Chinese methods, and originally contained striking, kicking and joint locking techniques. Modern forms of competitive Karate can trace their roots to older combat styles of Okinawa and Southern China. Judo is a compilation of earlier combat ju-jitsu styles (and, in fact, remains a complete combat art today, which includes striking and kicking as well as grappling techniques; the majority of practitioners, however, focus only on its sportive aspect in training). So, if all martial arts (including older, sport oriented martial arts) were originally combat methods, where did the schism between pure combat training and the types of training used in modern sport styles occur, and why? Sportive competition evolved from what can be termed the “controlled sparring practices” of the combat martial arts. Most of the ancient combat styles originally contained little if any non- cooperative sparring or competition. Techniques were trained cooperatively in a form or “Kata” format. At various points in the development of some of these arts, different types of sparring drills were developed in order to allow the combat martial artist a relatively safe method of honing his skills against a non-cooperative opponent. Early forms of sparring were aimed at improving combative skill, and although they were non-cooperative, they were not necessarily “competitive.” The goal of this type of training was to increase the chances of surviving an actual life or death encounter, and not to “win” the match per se. But the natural competitive tendencies inherent in human nature eventually demand an outlet, and combat sparring drills became martial sports competition. For warriors and soldiers, the ultimate test of martial skill is in the kill or be killed “competition” of battlefield combat. After months and years of training, warriors long to test their skill. When there are no wars to fight or enemies to kill, the combat trained fighter begins to modify technique in order to compete with others in a non-lethal format. Sport competitions becomes both a test of skill (although in a limited sense) and a safe outlet for aggressive competitive urges. Martial sports competition is born. The kinds of sport martial arts that evolved were limited by their parent combat arts (technical base) and the cultural milieu in which they were created. For example, a combat art based on grappling techniques will naturally evolve into a wrestling based sport. The type of costume popular at the time of the arts inception will also have a great influence on the rules of the sport (hence the use of the gi in judo, the mawashi belt in sumo, the jacket in shuai jiao…). Concerns for safety also require further modifications and the addition of protective gear (padding, gloves, mats…). Martial arts which seem to contain techniques irrelevant to actual combat situations in the modern world can be understood by analyzing them in the context of the time and culture in which they were created.
In modern times, what are the major differences in training between purely combat oriented styles and styles which include sportive competition? There are, of course, many similarities, but the major difference in training is the emphasis placed on forms or “kata” training (including solo and paired practice) and absence of competitive sparring in the combat oriented styles.  Obviously, if a technique is designed to be lethal it cannot be practiced “for real” on a workout partner. In the absence of sparring or non-cooperative drills, there are basically only two ways to develop martial skills, namely, through forms practice and cooperative training with a partner.
Forms are designed to allow the practitioner to develop the physical skill and coordination necessary for the application of techniques on another by going through the relevant motions in the air. Training with a partner in a cooperative manner allows the practitioner to actually go through the motions of a potentially lethal technique on another without causing injury. Such paired practice must always be cooperative to a great extent for safety reasons and blows must be “pulled”. Practitioners of the martial arts which train for sportive competition also drill techniques in the air (akin to form practice), but the heart of their training involves free sparring with a non-cooperative partner. Some of the modern derivatives of more ancient, purely combat styles which now include sportive competition will have aspects of both types of training, which are practiced separately. Judo, for example includes sportive, freestyle, non-cooperative sparring with techniques considered to be non-lethal, while reserving the practice of more dangerous techniques to paired, cooperative forms training. The modern form of Chinese “San Shou” (which is a combination of Western boxing, northern Chinese kicking techniques and the throws of Chinese wrestling), Tae Kwon Do, Russian Sambo and several styles of Japanese karate also have separate training methods for combat and sport. Finally, some older methods of combat martial art were modified into competitive sports so that they might survive into the modern world in some form. Modern Western fencing is one notable example. As no one in the modern world duels to the death with swords, older combat sword methods, although greatly limited in scope and application, have evolved into their modern sportive counterparts as their only means of surviving the transition into modern times.
What are the relative strengths and weaknesses of purely combat as opposed to competitive sport martial arts training? The most obvious strength of combat martial arts training is that its technique base contains techniques designed to save the fighter’s life in mortal combat.  Techniques are not concerned with scoring points but with incapacitating an opponent as quickly as possible. Another advantage of combat training is that the technique base is generally (but not always) more well-rounded than that of sportive martial arts. This is because sports have rules, so sport martial artists train to fight within certain boundaries. In actual combat, there are no rules, so the more developed combat arts normally include techniques for dealing with the range of situations likely to occur in a real fight. The techniques of combat martial arts will not be limited to certain areas of the body nor will they rely on using the opponent’s costume. Combat martial arts techniques are often designed to take advantage of the “element of surprise” which is absent from sports competition.  The disadvantages of training in purely combat oriented techniques is that these techniques can never be practiced as they would “for real” (an important exception is throwing and grappling techniques, most of which can be performed as they would in an actual fight, provided the falling partner knows how to breakfall and lands on a soft surface). Potentially lethal striking techniques must always be controlled for reasons of safety. Consequently, techniques of this type must be practiced on cooperative partners. Ultimately, the practitioners of purely combat oriented arts (especially if they have limited real fighting experience) may be at a loss when confronted by a determined opponent who fights back. Absence of experience against non-cooperative opponents often leads to a lack of spontaneity when techniques miss or are met with resistance. Finally, practitioners of arts which do not include sparring are are often unfamiliar with the experience of being struck or taken down unexpectedly, or of dealing with a tremendous aggressive force.
Originally, the controlled sparring practices of combat based martial arts were designed to address the very weaknesses in training listed above. The sport martial artist spends a great deal of time learning to apply his or her techniques against a non-cooperative opponent (who is also a trained martial artist). Sparring becomes a “laboratory” in which practitioners test their abilities.  Those who spar, through trial and error, discover which techniques work for them and the best ways to set up and execute their techniques against an opponent who is fighting back. These fighters become used to physical contact, real aggression and learn to deal with the rapidly changing circumstances which occur in a fight. To the practitioners of sportive martial arts, sparring and competition are viewed as a relatively safe means of developing the attributes useful in a real fight.
The major weakness of sport oriented martial training is that by necessity, the technique base must be limited. Certain target area and techniques must be excluded for safety reasons. Even in those arts with a sportive aspect which include separate training methods for potentially lethal combat techniques, very often the practitioners tend to over focus on the sportive competition (as it seems more relevant to the training, there are frequent chances to participate in sports competition while street fights rarely, if ever occur) and neglect the formal combat training aspects of their art. Sportive arts which allow striking, although allowing the fighters to exchange full power blows, are limited in target area, and may train the competitors to base their combinations on unrealistic reactions. And the necessary addition of gloves and/or protective padding may result in unrealistic reactions to being struck. In addition, practitioner may begin to focus on “scoring points” at the expense of realistic technique (techniques which score points in competition may be inadequate to incapacitate or control an opponent in a life or death fight).  Finally, if the sparring practice requires a special environment (mats, a ring…), clothing or equipment (a gi, padding, gloves…), the fighter may be at a loss when fighting in an unfamiliar (street) environment in street clothes.
The essential point is not to criticize particular methods of training nor make value judgments based on isolated strengths and weaknesses, but rather to look at the various martial arts and their training methodologies from a broader perspective. It is important to understand the origins of the various arts and the logic behind their respective methods of training and techniques. From here, the martial artist can make an informed decision as to which methods of training will help them achieve their individual goals. The more well-rounded and experienced fighter will always have a decided advantage over the less well rounded and less experienced fighter. Once you understand why and how you train, and the relative strengths and weaknesses of the various techniques and training methods available, you will be able to design the most relevant and efficient training program for your individual needs as a martial artist.
Found HERE 

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Water Margin fighter Xu Ning

"Japanese Edo print of Water Margin fighter Xu Ning. Wikipedia ~ He was the martial arts instructor of the Gold Lancer Unit in the Song Imperial Army, where he trained his soldiers to use the unique hooked lance. Highly respected by his colleagues and other jianghu figures." Thomas Chen - found HERE