Feb 15, 2013

The Way of the Warrior: The Samurai

Although titled The Samurai Way, this episode actually covers a possible art of a Samurai, Katori Shinto Ryu. The term Samurai itself refers to a military class of people during Japan's past.

The martial art of Shinto Ryu is unrelated to the  more well known Japanese art of Karate. It is said to be pure Japanese art which traces its founder to the 14th century Japan. This particular episode is well worth watching, as it covers a number of unique topics.

Jan 19, 2013

The Way of the Warrior: Kung Fu

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This next episode of Way of the Warrior is on the topic of Kung Fu. Specifically, it covers Hung Gar with additional segments on Wing Chun and its derivative, Jeet Kune Do.

The Hung Gar segment features Sifu Chan Hon Chung (1909-1991), a 2nd generation disciple of Wong Fei Hung. For his contribution to Chinese Martial Arts, Sifu Chan was awarded a medal by Queen Elizabeth II in 1973.

[Viewer's Note: Don't get turned away by the movie cuts at the start, the episode starts in earnest from 2:08.]

Photo: Hung Gar Czechoslovakia

Jan 11, 2013

The Way of the Warrior: Kalari

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Next in this special series from BBC's excellent Way of the Warrior martial arts documentary from 1983 is the rare Indian martial art of Kalaripayattu. Centered in the Indian state of Kerala, Kalari is divided into three broad categories:

Northern Kalari places more emphasis on weapons than on empty hands, the use of full-body oil massage closely associated with Ayurveda

Southern Kalari emphasises empty-hand techniques, medical treatment is identified with Siddha, the traditional Dravidian system of medicine distinct from north Indian Ayurveda.

Central Kalari is practiced makes use of many steps practiced on floor paths known as kalam, and its techniques emphasize lower body strength and speed.

Jan 3, 2013

The Way of the Warrior: Shorinji Kempo

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We're back in 2013 with a new site layout and a kickass documentary series! In our opinion, the best martial arts documentary in English, The Way of The Warrior was produced by the BBC in the 1980's. This series is unsurpassed in its depth, sensitivity and breath as compared to 'Reality TV' or 'Celebrity Host' type of martial arts documentaries which are commonplace now.

The first of an eight part series presents Shorinji Kempo. Literally meaning "Shaolin Temple Fist Method", Shorinji Kempo, is a branch of Japanese martial art founded by Doshin Sho in the years following World War II.

Viewer's Guide: This episode and the series as a whole start slow and pick up speed from there.

Sep 15, 2012

Modern Warriors

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After a break, we have a cracker of a documentary titled The Modern Warrior. This film features some of the most prominent martial artists from the 1980s through to the new millenia giving practical, succinct views and advice on martial arts and combat. These are masters, fighters and practitioners who have gone through the grind. You may not agree with all that is said, but overall this is excellent survey of the state of martial arts in the Western world circa mid-2000s. [Note: the film starts slow and builds up speed from there.]

[Update: the original The Modern Warrior video has been removed from YouTube. In its place we present a short music video featuring Western Boxing, maintaining the theme of  'Modern Warriors'.]

Jul 1, 2012

Clarity and Intent in Martial Arts Forms

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It's common to see Choy Lee Fut's (other spellings Choy Lay Fut, Choy Li Fut) forms being executed forcefully these days often sans clarity and grace. This Buk Sing Choy Lee Fut demonstration by a Choy Lee Fut master in China takes a more genteel route. Once could discern the techniques and intent more clearly. Buk Sing is a branch of Choy Lee Fut which is known for its small number of forms, less than five, as compared to mainstream Choy Lee Fut which can have dozens of them.

May 15, 2012

Choy Lee Fut's Ching Jong: The Balance Dummy

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Here's a rather nice demo of a Choy Lee Fut wooden dummy form By Sifu Mark Whelan. Unlike Wing Chun which is uses only one type of dummy, Choy Lee Fut has more than ten. This particular one is the Ching Jong or Balance Dummy because, as the video will show, it is used for training moving side to side, up and down, in and out. Sifu Mark Whelan is a disciple of Grandmaster Chen Yong Fa, the great great grandson of Choy Lee Fut's founder, Chan Heung.

Related Posts
Choy Lay Fut Wooden Dummy
The Eighteen Dummies of Choy Lee Fut

Apr 30, 2012

Ultimate Weapons: Assault Rifles and Accessories

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Moving up from submachine guns, this week's series is on assault rifles and accessories.
  • LWRC M6 PSD: Originally designed for the Navy SEALS, the LWRC M6 PSD is capable of penetrating soft armor and hard barriers.
  • Ferfrans SOAR: An assault rifle designed as an improvement of the M16A1, AR-15 and M4 rifles
  • CornerShot: Allows its operator to both see and attack an armed target, without exposing the operator to counterattack.
  • M32 Grenade Launcher: A semi-automatic grenade launcher that can fire all 6 rounds in less than 3 seconds!
  • The Simon: the SIMON rifle grenade is capable of breaching any type of door!
  • The Beowulf: Snap the Beowulf .50 Cal receiver on an M16 platform, and watch the large .50 caliber ammunition make mincemeat out of motor vehicles.
This will be all for Ultimate Weapons for now, normal kung fu programming to resume in our next post.

Picture Credit: Cornershot

Apr 21, 2012

Ultimate Weapons: Submachine Guns

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This week's series is on submachine guns, which combines the automatic fire of a machine gun with the cartridge of a pistol.
  • FN P90: NATO wanted a new type of personal defense weapon, and they received the P90, a sub machine gun for the future.
  • Knight's PDW: Highly mobile and portable for stealth operations, the Knight's PDW is a reliable compact system
  • Heckler & Koch MP7: Smaller than a conventional submachine gun, the MP7 A1 is capable of rifle-like effectiveness.
  • Uzi: The Uzi is a family of Israeli open bolt, blowback-operated submachine guns.
  • Magpul FMG9 The Magpul FMG-9 is a prototype for a new generation of folding submachine guns
  • Heckler & Koch G36: The compact folding G36 is built for close-quarter combat in tight spaces and underwater missions.

Notes: The G36 is an assault rifle, grouped here as a comparison. The previous two Ultimate Weapon posts have been edited to provide clickable links and more vivid thumbnails. Photo Credit: IMFDB

Apr 14, 2012

Ultimate Weapons: Artillery (Part 2)

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Continuing our coverage of Discovery Channel's Ultimate Weapons documentary, here are the other 4 artillery weapons featured:
  • NLOS Cannon: With the power of computer networking and hybrid engine technology, the NLOS Cannon offers stealth and accuracy in a lightweight platform.
  • PzH 2000: Combining precision engineering with 8rpm, the PzH 2000 is a lethal highly-automated artillery system.
  • Stryker MGS: A lightweight mobile gun system, the Stryker MGS is perfectly adapted to the modern battlefield.
  • Dillon Aero: The Dillon Aero Gatling Gun is capable of pumping out 3,000 shots per minute! Though no a cannon, it is almost cannon-like in the the quantum of output.

Note: The Dillon Aero is a heavy machine gun, grouped here for its firepower.
Photo Credit: Defence Review