Dec 22, 2011

Advanced Pak Mei: The Nine Step Push

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In this clip Sifu Ringo Lo demonstrates an advanced Pak Mei (Bak Mei or  Bai Mei or White Eyebrows) form kown as Gau Bo Toi (9 Push Step). The theory of Pak Mei goes by numbers such Three Shapes, Four Dynamics, Five Elements etc. Click here to read more.

Dec 15, 2011

Six Harmonies Boxing

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Liu He Men (Six Harmonies School) is a rare branch of Shaolin Kungfu. The six harmonies are:
  1. Eyes go with the Mind
  2. Mind goes with the Qi,
  3. Qi goes with the Body
  4. Body goes with the Hands,
  5. Hands go with the Feet
  6. Feet go with the Hips.
In simple terms, the formula suggests a movement starts from the eyes and ends with the hip. Liu He Men is unrelated to to better known Liu He Ba Fa (Six Harmonies Eight Methods) which is associated with Huashan Kungfu. As a comparison, the Six Harmonies of Liu He Ba Fa are:
  1. Body and Mind combine
  2. Mind and Intent combine
  3. Intent and Chi combine
  4. Chi and Spirit combine
  5. Spirit and Movement combine
  6. Movement and Emptiness combine
In this clip Master Liu Deming shows some some mean applications of Liu He Men.

Dec 13, 2011

A Fighter's Resume

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How would a martial artist's resume look like, or better still, his or her video resume? Martial arts actor and stuntman Dawe Szatarski, who is schooled in Muay Thai, Silat, Ninjitsu and Taekwondo, offers a video resume of his past works. Though the fights are fictional, it's an action packed nonetheless.

Dec 12, 2011

Petite Fighter Kicks Butts

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For our movie break today we present a compendium of Muay Thai techniques with a dash of Jackie Chan slapstick and lots of female power thrown in, all packaged into an action scene from the Thai movie Som Tom. The two lady fighters are the petite Sasisa Jindamanee, Thai Muay Thai junior national champion, and screen sister and street vendor Kessarin Ektawatkul, Thai national Taekwondo champion. Som Tom is literally Papaya Salad, a popular dish in Thailand. [Spotted via Hau Young and Eric Siau]

Picture Credit: DailyTravelPhotos

Dec 11, 2011

Taiwanese Martial Arts: Bajiquan

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When a martial art is choosen to be the martial arts of the imperial, head of state and presidential body guards in China and Taiwan, it must have been tested and found useful. Bajiquan has this distinction in the early part of the 20th Century. A popular art in Taiwan, the second half of this short clip shows some applications. The shoves shown are executed as strikes in actual combat.

Dec 4, 2011

Taiwanese Martial Arts: Hard Kungfu

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After a short break due to martial arts duties, we are back with a two part series on Taiwanese martial arts from the archives of martial arts researcher Eric Ling and the National Geographic Channel. First off, is a clip of an unidentified hard kungfu style with a punishing training regime. Look out for the scary, calloused hand towards the end of the clip.

Nov 21, 2011

Monkey Kung Fu Forms

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We've got a double video feature today. First is a jazzy Monkey Kung Fu form demonstrated by Sean Velas. The jumps and flips you see might be just for show but they can be used for escapes and pounces in combat. Traditional forms sport fewer acrobatics as can be seen in the second video which shows Sean Valas' teacher Sifu Steve Chin doing a Monkey form. Notice the lesser number of jumps and more hand strikes.

Nov 13, 2011

Taekwondo Extravaganza

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It's been a while since we last looked at the Korean art of Taekwondo. This clip showcases a Taekwondo presentation with forms, breaking and simulated fighting, all done with impressive choreography. Some may consider Taekwondo a sport or performing art rather than a martial art. And generally, it is true the sports version takes centrestage but elite Taekwondo schools can certainly mix it with other arts with their super fast and accurate kicks.

Cross Pattern Tiger Blocking Fist

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Nice monochrome video of Choy Li Fut's Sup Ji Jit Fu Kuen (Cross Pattern Tiger Blocking Fist) form as performed by Niel Willcott of UK.
Although known as a Southern system, Choy Li Fut has its origins in both Northern and Southern China. The system’s founder, Chan Heung had three teachers, two from the South and one from the North. Choy Li Fut is one of the few kung fu styles that is strongly influenced by both Northern and Southern Chinese kung-fu, combining the long arm techniques of the South with the quick agile footwork that characterizes Northern China’s martial arts.

Nov 6, 2011

Silat Pulut: Silat vs Capoeira

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Many martial arts have stylized two person training-cum-competitive drills such as Wing Chun's Chi Sao and Taiji's Push Hands. In the same vein, Silat has Silat Pulut, a slow motion fighting exercise. Generally conducted with light or no contact, it doesn't look too interesting to the uninitiated but for those who can discern the techniques been executed, though without contact or violence, it is a joy to watch. In this Silat Pulut clip, a Silat practitioner, in all black, takes on a Capoeira opponent. Very nice. [Spotted via]

Picture Credit: Carf

The Last Swordsman

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Martial Arts has survived war, suppression and time. But it now faces its greatest challenge: modern contemporary living. Sidelined as anachronism, no one seems to be able to find the time or motivation to put in the hard practice to realize the art. This is true for most ancient traditions including Indian ones.

So, to round off our coverage of the Punjabi martial arts of Shasta Vidya, we have Nidar Singh, said to be the last living master of the art. The video itself focuses on one of Shasta Vidya's most exotic weapons: the Chakra or spinning disk. Used as a projectile, it has the advantage of a continuous edge compared to the single sharp point of a dagger or arrow. This 45 minute video also touches on the rarely seen battle field martial art.

Related Posts: The Blind Swordsman
Picture Credit: BBC

Oct 29, 2011

The Blind Swordsman

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Following our previous post on the Indian-Punjabi martial art of Gatka, we have today a  video of blind swordsmanship. A Gatka swordsman is first blind folded, spun around to disorientate him, and, despite being sightless, the swordsman then goes on the make precision cuts on vulnerable targets, including grazing a young girl's eye lids.

Related Post: Punjabi Iron Shirt

Oct 23, 2011

Punjabi Iron Shirt

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We've previously covered a number of Indian martial arts here at Daily Kung Fu including Silambam, Kalaripayattu and others. Here is another one, Gatka, the martial art of the Sikhs who hail from the Punjab state in Northwest India.
Gatka is based on the correct use of a vast array of hand-to-hand weapons. The foundation of the art is the Panthra which refers to the form, coordination and method for moving the feet, body, arms and weapons correctly, in unison. The movement requires equal and simultaneous use of both hands and makes one ambidextrous. This basic movement is followed when using all weapons and imparts impeccable balance to the practitioner.

Gatka is normally taught with rhythmic accompaniment, and the object is to achieve fluid, natural and flowing movement, without hesitation, doubt or anxiety. All the movements including attacking and blocking methods are all based upon the positions of the hands, feet and weapons during the Panthra dexterity exercises.
This fun video, while it doesn't specifically refer to Gatka, shows Sikhs demonstrating their version of body armour.

Spotted via Gulshan Devnani. Quote and picture credit: Sikhwiki.

Oct 21, 2011

Royal Armouries: Reclaiming the Blade

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Next up is an art which is not much in the limelight as far as martial arts interest goes. In this clip, a member of Royal Amouries of UK recreates techniques from medieval sword fighting manuscripts. Some of the moves may look puzzling to contemporary martial arts practitioners trained in Eastern blade arts. But this may be explained by the fact the Western sword is sharpened only in the last third of the blade and the swordsman wore gauntlets.

The art of Western swordsmanship probably went into decline with the advent of firearms. The title Reclaiming the Blade alludes to this fact. The demonstrator himself, John Waller, learnt Escrima, before taking up Western swordsmanship. Thus the moves you see could be a medieval sword techniques interpreted through Escrima eyes.

Oct 20, 2011

Dragons Forever

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Kung fu doesn't just mean martial arts, its wider meaning is superlative skills acquired through diligence. Not too long ago, kung fu movies had real kung fu with real kung fu masters in their cast. Nowadays, however, kung fu movies are all special effects and martial arts dilettantes. The gulf between the old school of hard knocks masters and the present generation of kung fu thespians are enormous. But thanks to YouTube, we can still partake in some good old fashion kung fu action. This one, Dragons Forever (1988), starring Jackie Chan and his kung fu brothers and fellow Peking Opera School graduates Sammo Hung, Yuen Biao, Yuen Wah, and directed by another brother, Corey Yuen, is one of the finest.

Spotted via: Sifu Hiu Chee Fatt

Oct 19, 2011

Wing Chun Nerve Strike

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This is one of the better demos of Wing Chun closed-in fighting and combat trapping. Demonstrated here by Sifu Chung Kwok Chow on Bobbe Edmonds who is a martial arts master in his own right. Towards the second half of the video, Bobbe Edmonds is stunned by a nerve strike, hence the title of the video. Can you see the strike and where it landed?

Oct 16, 2011

Applications of Shaolin Steel Jacket

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In the previous post, we showed Shifu Yan Lei demonstrating Shaolin Steel Jacket which is similar to Iron Shirt and Golden Bell. But how would this skill be actually used in combat?

Muay Thai boxers are known for their ferocious round kicks. Many who challenge them have their legs taken away. Or their breath knocked out by body kicks. Muay Thai kicks are so fast, low and powerful that it is difficult to see let alone mount defenses against them. So how could they be defended against? An answer is demonstrated here by Shifu Yan Lei.

Related Post: Shaolin Steel Jacket

Oct 14, 2011

Shaolin Steel Jacket

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After an intermission of a couple of weeks to handle Martialcamp - more on this in later posts - we are back to regular programming.

This week, we present one of the most impressive Iron Shirt demonstrations we have come across on the net. Demonstrated here by Shifu Yan Lei, a Shaolin lay disciple; his version is named Shaolin Steel Jacket. Iron Shirt or Steel Jacket skills can be used defensively and offensively, Defensively it is not dissimilar to the tank armour in function - it is a secondary line of defence, the first line is not to get hit at all. Offensively it is like using the said tank to ram unamoured targets such as cars.

Picture Credit: Shaolin Europe

Sep 25, 2011

Ninja Cat and Other Wins

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It has been quite a while since we last featured "Wins" at Daily Kung Fu. Here's one today - as a reminder that there is a lot of kung fu out there. So take a break, go out, get some sunshine and meet some ordinary and extraordinary folks.

Related Posts: One Chance in Life 1, One Chance in Life 2

Sep 23, 2011

The 7 Fighting Principles of Eagle Claw Boxing

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Eagle Claw Boxing or Ying Jow Pai uses the hands like the talons of an eagle to grip, manipulate, lock, crush, throw and strike an opponent. It differs from the Tiger Claw in that tearing and raking is not emphasized. This clip is a good introduction to The 7 Fighting Principles of Eagle Claw Boxing from the school of Grandmaster Leung Shum. For those who can't catch the Cantonese phrases spoken by the demonstrator, the seven principles are:

1. Jow Da, Cum Na
  • Jow Da: Using the fingers to make a claw grab the opponent's hand tightly then punch immediately.  Being able to use short distance power is essential.  Jow da should be practiced all the time so that anytime you claw, a punch will follow as an immediate reaction.
  • Cum Na: Cum na is locking an opponent so that he cannot move.
2. Fun Gun, Chaw Quat
  • Fun Gun:  Eagle claw fingers should be made hard like steel and used like pliers.  When using a claw, the fingertips should be placed over the joint, vein, or pressure point. The finger power should be strong enough to break a vein. Twist and separate the muscles, tendons, and ligaments
  • Chaw Quat:  When using eagle claw locking techniques, the position of the hands and pressure used should be such that they can dislocate and break joints and bones.
3. Dim Yut, Bye Hei
  • Dim Yut: Dim Yut, or Dim Mak, is using a finger jab to strike an opponent in a vital pressure point to cause series harm. Strike pressure points and inflict pain.
  • Bye Hei:  The claw should be strong enough to block the flow of an opponent's blood or chi, or to stop his breathing.  Seize the throat and arteries to stop the breath, blood flow or chi.
4. Cow Wai, Saw Fung
  • Cow Wai:  When an opponent punches, claw and press the arm to either break it or to lock him so he can't move. Use his power to lock him. Lock and break in one action.
  • Saw Fung:  Control an opponent with fast, smooth blocks and "Jow Da" so he can't get in a strike.  Prevent him from using any technique. Lock and control in one action.
5. Sim Jim, Tong Na
  • Sim Jim:  Use twisting body movements together with blocks to avoid being it.  This principle calls for the use of twisting, jumping, and dropping to the floor. Twist, jump or drop away from an attack.
  • Tong Na:  Use jumping movements when fighting such as jump kicks. Incorporate jumping techniques with fighting.
6. Diu Cow, Fing Law
  • Diu Cow:  Control an opponent at all times.  This can be done with the use of smooth blocks and "Jow Da, Cum Na."
  • Fing Law:  Use pushes and pulls to make your opponent lose his balance.  When an opponent punches, block and use soft power to push him away.  You can push and then pull in, or pull in and then push away.
7. Noi Sup, Chung Dit
  • Noi Sup:  When an opponent punches and your block is not fast enough, use the body movements to absorb the blow, such as shifting back.  The waist must be very smooth, moving like a snake.
  • Chung Dit:  Chung dit involves the use of floor techniques and learning to fall softly.  when you are pushed, swept, or thrown, you should be able to land softly so you don't get hurt.
Edited and reprinted from:

Sep 18, 2011

The Secret Shaolin Temple - Part 2

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The previous post covered Peter Owen-Jones introduction to the hidden monastery, community life and a question and answer session with a resident monk. In this second portion, he discovers Shaolin medicine, a novice nun, brotherhood and Zen.

Related Post: The Secret Shaolin Temple - Part 1

Sep 17, 2011

The Secret Shaolin Temple - Part 1

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Weekend is here and we have a cracker of a find for readers. This gets our vote as the best Shaolin documentary we have come across from East or West. There's much more to Shaolin then is portrayed by popular media as advanced fisticuffs.

This video is abstracted from the BBC documentary, Extreme Pilgrim, where an English vicar Peter Owen-Jones traveled to the Northern Shaolin temple to find out more about its philosophy and practices. But he didn't find anything there noteworthy of his search.

Upon further enquiry, he managed to locate a secret monastery deep in the mountains where renowned Shaolin fighting monk Shi Dejian has secluded himself. Watch this first of a two part series.

Sep 11, 2011

Art of the Japanese Sword

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This is a clip on Tenshin Shoden Katori Shinto Ryu (Tenshinshō-den Katori Shintō Ryū) which is reputed to be Japan's oldest and most traditional sword school and considered the pinnacle of classic Japanese martial arts. This Ryu (tradition) is the source from which many classical Japanese martial arts have evolved.

The term Tenshin Shoden Katori Shinto Ryu is derived from:
  • Tenshin Shoden means "Heavenly Ordained"
  • Katori refers to the traditional shinto temple situated in Katori city
  • Shinto is the traditional religion of japan
  • Ryu means tradition, style or school

Tenshin Shoden Katori Shinto Ryu nartial curriculum:
  • Iaijutsu (sword-drawing art)
  • Kenjutsu (sword art)
  • Bojutsu (staff art)
  • Naginatajutsu (glaive art)
  • Jujitsu (flexible art)
  • Shurikenjutsu (throwing blade art)
  • Ninjutsu (espionage art)
  • Sojutsu (spear art)
  • Senjutsu (tactics)
  • Chikujojutsu (field fortification art).

References: Tenshinshodenkatorishintoryu,  Sugino Ha

Sep 10, 2011

Showdown: Capoeira, Karate, Muay Thai, Taekwondo

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How do the kicks of four major martial arts styles compare in speed and force? National Geographic's Fight Science puts Capoeira, Karate, Muay Thai and Karate to the test under scientific conditions. Or as scientific as reality TV shows can be. But it's pretty good watch. You may be surprised with the results. Though the subtitles and text are in Korean the narrative and dialogue is in English.

Related Post: Tiger Kungfu vs Real Tiger

Sep 4, 2011

Qinggong: Balance and Light Feet

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The Qinggong (Gravity Defying Kung Fu) shown in the previous post looks more like Ninja skills than what is traditionally considered as Qinggong which covers more than just scrambling up walls. This next clip shows some traditional Qinggong training exercises, namely:
  • Weighted Hopping
  • Balance Brick Stepping
  • Balance Basin Stepping
In the last exercise the basin is first filled with sand or earth which is then slowly removed. When the basin is full of sand it is easier to walk on the rim without tipping the basin over but with lesser and lesser sand, keeping balance while stepping gets increasingly difficult. Thus, Qinggong is also about extreme balance and having light feet. It is not related to flying kicks, as shown in the photo above, and flying swordsmen as popularized in movies.

Related Post: Qinggong: Gravity Defying Kung Fu

Sep 3, 2011

Qinggong: Gravity Defying Kung Fu

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Qinggong (Gravity Defying Skill) is a skill in Kung Fu which is said to allow a master to jump up to and down from high walls. There is debate whether this is a fictional ability created by authors of martial arts books. From what we understand it is or was a real deal which has been lost. Contemporary displays of Qinggong, as is shown in this clip, is impressive but it might not be the Qinggong of yore. The Qinggong shown in this clip has a Western counterpart - Parkour.

Related Post: Parkour and the Art of Moving

Sep 2, 2011

Iron Monk: The Prequel

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In fact, prior to his involvement in Iron Monk, Shifu Shi Yan Zi and his students made an amateur video titled Enter Shaolin which tells of a gang victim seeking refuge at the UK Shaolin Temple. All campy fun, towards the end Shifu Shi Yan Zi kicks the daylights out of the whole bunch of yobs. One might say it looks kinda unrealistic but wait - watch the second video shown below the first - you might not think its unrealistic after all. [Note: watch the first video followed by the second.]

Related Post: The Iron Monk

Sep 1, 2011

The Iron Monk

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We haven't run a movie trailer here for sometime, so here's one today: Iron Monk. Starring Shifu Shi Yanzi, a real Shaolin monk who runs the UK branch of the Shaolin temple - both sanctioned by the northern Shaolin temple in China. The trailer description says no wires or CGI were used in the action scenes, so the action seems a bit tamer than what one might be used to from over-choreographed kungfu-on-steriods movies. Interesting watch though and the synopsis sounds promising:
A fierce new Triad boss arrives in London’s Chinatown to find his profits have tumbled. The cause? An enigmatic Shaolin Monk has turned people away from drugs and prostitution; his guidance is now their ‘protection’. The Triad try and force the Monk to leave but years of meditation have given him incredible kung fu skills. The Monk soon finds himself fighting to save not only his life but also the values he holds most sacred. 

Aug 31, 2011

Bajiquan Combat

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In the previous post, we saw an impressive demo of a Bajiquan form. Bajiquan itself is reputed to be the martial art of choice of imperial and presidential bodyguards in China and Taiwan in the first half of the twentieth century. How might a fight involving bajiquan look like? In this clip Bajiquan Master Liu Lian Jun trades blows with a student in a simulated fight. The video is blurry but the action is fast and furious.

Related Post: Four Hundred Pound Bajiquan
Picture: Blackdragon

Aug 30, 2011

Four Hundred Pound Bajiquan

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Bajiquan (Eight Polarity Boxing) is noted for his 'explosive' power. Watch as Master Liu Shang Peng expresses this explosive whole-body power in a crisp performance of Bajiquan's first form, the Small Baji. Interestingly, a study by Stanford University researchers has found that a Bajiquan master can muster some 400 lbs (180 kg) of force in his strikes. Imagine a very fat person jumping high up and landing on one knee on an opponent's chest / flank / head.

Related Post: Bajiquan: The Bodyguard Martial Art

Aug 29, 2011

Secrets of Kung Fu Feats Revealed

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Wing Chun Sifu Leung Ting reveals how 'super human' Kung Fu feats are carried out. Neither illusions nor tricks, these feats are nevertheless not as 'super human' or extreme as one may perceive at first glance. The feats demonstrated in this clip are:
  • Smashing bricks over head
  • Jumping high onto abdomen
  • Stroking red hot iron chain
  • Drawing a sharp knife over body
  • Withstanding chop from a sharp sword.
The techniques to perform these feats are said to have originated from Vagabond Kung Fu and require skill and practice for them to be performed safely and correctly. So don't try this at home - there are more to these techniques than what is shown in this video.

Spotted via: Kung Fu Magazine

Aug 21, 2011

Javanese Fighting Arts

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Continuing with our Silat theme, we have a clip of five Silat styles from Jakarta, the capital city of Java and Indonesia. The exotic names of the five styles are:
  • Mustika Kwitang: Legacy of Kwee Tiang
  • Syahbandar: The Portmaster's Art
  • Tiga Berantai: Three Chains
  • Pusaka Jakarta: Jakarta Heritage
  • Permata Sakti: Magic Gem
Silat offers a different perspective of Asian martial arts which, in Western media, is dominated by Chinese styles. These two martial traditions look somewhat similar but are very different in practice. [Footnote: Kwee Tiang is a name of a Kung Fu master who learnt Silat and founded Mustika Kwitang.]

Related Post: Cerulit: The Sickle Shaped Machete of Java
Picture: Khalfiah Gayong

Aug 13, 2011

Cerulit: The Sickle Shaped Machete of Java

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The sickle is an ancient agricultural tool that is used throughout the world for harvesting crops. As with many agricultural tools, it can be weaponized, such as in the Japanese Kama. Much less well known is the Javanese Celurit as shown in this short clip. Its radically inward curved blade is in the antithesis of outward curved weapons such as the Persian Shamshir. While the Shamshir is meant for slicing, the Celurit is designed, in part, for raking.

Aug 12, 2011

Secrets of Wing Chun Sticky Hands Part 2

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In Part 2, Sifu Oliver Grams shows more Chi Sau or Sticky Hand techniques including one-beat attacks, elbow control, redirection, angling, Chum Kiu pivoting and centre line attacks. Another informative, ground breaking clip on previously secret or lesser known techniques of Wing Chun.

Related Post: Secrets of Wing Chun Sticking Hands Part 1

Aug 9, 2011

Secrets of Wing Chun Sticky Hands Part 1

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Thanks to Youtube, many previously closely guarded martial arts secrets are now made available to the public. In this first of a two part post, Wing Chun Sifu Oliver Grams demonstrates lesser known techniques of Chi Sao or Sticky Hands and their applications to close quarter fighting. An absolute gem, the material presented here has not been seen thus far in public domain by Daily Kung Fu. [The video starts slow but gets better from the minute mark onwards.]

Related Post: Sticky Hands of Wing Chun

Aug 7, 2011

Can This Child Fight?

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A young student of Grandmaster Wang Xi An rolls out a superb demonstration of Chen Taiji's opening set.

Can this boy fight with what he demonstrates? Yes, if he has been taught key combat principles. As you can see in the video, the young lad can already express focused power. He just need to strike at the right places to be a handful for even semi-trained adults.

 It can be easy and yet very hard to teach a child, kudos to Grandmaster Wang for having taught a young boy to this level of fluency, it must have required a tremendous amount of attention and patience.

[Spotted via Michael Koh / Taiji Secret Movements]

Aug 2, 2011

I Liq Chuan: A Soft Hakka Martial Art

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When one thinks of Hakka Kung Fu, one normally associates them with seemingly 'hard', ferocious styles like Southern Praying Mantis and Pak Mei. And when one thinks of the 'softer' practices of push hands, one thinks of Tai Chi Chuan.

But there is a 'soft' Hakka art which practices push hands like exercises.. I Liq Chuan (Mind and Strength Fist) founded by Grandmaster Chin Lik Keong of Malaysia is an amalgamation of Hakka and Northern arts.

In this clip Grandmaster Chin explains the finer points of what is termed as spinning and sticky hands in I Liq Chuan to Daria Sergeeva, an I Liq Chuan instructor from Russia. Note Grandmaster Chin's gentle instruction (in Hakka) and the importance of fine details in being able to uproot an opponent.

Aug 1, 2011

Trees vs Machine Guns

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Can a machine gun cut down a tree? The Mythbusters crew checks out three different machine guns in the order of increasing firepower:
Enjoy our two-video post on automatic gunnery.

Jul 24, 2011

The Reality of Martial Arts 2

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While the previous video showed raw brutality, this one has a bit more art. So to round up this series on reality martial arts, we go back to competition bouts to show how fights can pan out in real life. Except for the last bout which looks kinda staged. [Spotted via: David Bunny Tan / Muayfit]

Related Post: The Reality of Martial Arts 1

Jul 23, 2011

The Reality of Martial Arts 1

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Today we are having a closer look at the reality of fighting. Not the romanticized version many hold from watching movies, but the brutality and violence of a real fight. Though these shots are from organized bouts, these are real enough. Real street fights may involve less powerful blows as compared to those coming from trained professionals as seen in this compilation, but will likely feature more opponents, chaos and weapons, less readiness and there's no referee. [Spotted via: David Bunny Tan / Muayfit]

Related Post: Street Fights 2
Picture: Kinemapoetics

Jul 19, 2011

In a Fraction of a Second

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Continuing our reality series but on a more constructive topic, we have always said that science and technology is Western Kung Fu. No matter how much one trains, it's pretty hard to fight a M16. Science and technology can also be used for beneficial purposes. As shown in this video, it is sometimes applied so well it can looks like magic. For reference, the tool is SawStop. [Spotted via: Fakhruddin Mohamed]

Jul 17, 2011

Street Fights 2

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This compilation is even more violent so be warned. But it does illustrate two essential martial arts principles: distancing and staying on your feet. As you can see from the first part of the video, many victims allow their aggressors to come within range and got sucker punched. One possible solution: raise your guard, covertly or overtly, when danger approaches. Staying on one's feet allows one to defend, fight or run. Conversely, being thrown puts one in a serious mobility disadvantage. This may explain why traditional martial arts placed such great emphasis on developing a strong stance.

Related Post: Street Fights 1

Jul 16, 2011

Street Fights 1

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Since we are on the topic of street/bar fights, here's more. Notice it's not nice to be on the losing end of fights because the hurting keeps on coming even when one is down, unlike sports fighting where the ref jumps in at the first sign of trouble. Thus, the art of street fighting, which traditional martial arts focus on, is very different from that of sports fighting or sparring. In what way? For starters, one has to punch really hard and accurate, in other words, back to the basics. And one has to be really alert for sucker punches, as seen in the previous video, and the last fight in this video.

Related Post: Fight at the Pizzeria

Jul 15, 2011

Fight at the Pizzeria

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Here's another reality video. Youtube used to bar these videos or require registration to view them, but these videos can be educational so it is good that Youtube allow open access.

The video shows a many-to-many bare handed combat situation. The action is from the 0:00 to to 1:35 mark in this 2:36 min video. Watch the video first and then read the rest of the commentary below.

The guy in the dark T and cap got into a fight and was sucker punched. His two buddies came to his rescue just in the nick of time twice when he was about to get a real bad beat-down. He started confidently but where did he go wrong? Well, he got distracted by someone trying to enter the pizzeria and he didn't punch the guy closest to him once his other opponent got out of range.  But great team work by his buddies in the nick of time otherwise he would have been a seriously hurt.

Related Post: MMA vs Real Life

Jul 10, 2011

MMA vs Real Life

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But hey, don't let us talk up MMA too much and this clip shows the reason why.  MMA is optimzed for one-on-one, bare-handed, competition fighting with safety rules. It's still a pretty mean art but there's whole wide world out there. [Thanks to Aaron Boey for the heads-up.]

Related Post: MMA vs Kungfu Part 2

MMA vs Kungfu Part 2

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This next clip is not quite MMA vs Kungfu but it's close. Henan TV organized a competition between Shaolin monks and foreign fighters (Henan is the province in which the Northern Shaolin temple is located). This fight is between monk Yi Long and US Muay Thai boxer Adrien Grotte. Many locals expected the Shaolin monk to walk all over Grotte given Shaolin's almost mystical reputation, but in fact Grotte won. This caused a furore in China as many had an impression Shaolin monks are invincible. Is Shaolin Kungfu an empty shell as some have alluded to? Perhaps not, winning and losing is just one way of looking at matters. The video commentary is in Mandarin.

Related Post : MMA vs Kungfu Part 1
Picture: One Inch Punch

Jul 9, 2011

MMA vs Kungfu Part 1

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Lots of traditional martial arts have trouble dealing with Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighters. Yet, they do not think highly of the new boys in town, considering them upstarts. The feeling is mutual, MMA fighters don't think too highly of traditional martial artists too, regarding them as practicing fossilized arts. Of course, these are general characterizations, we won't go into a detailed analysis here.

But on a practical, mundane level, make no mistake about it, MMA is a formidable one-on-one bare hand fighting art, compared to traditional martial arts. There are at least two reasons for this, Firstly, the art emphasizes both striking and grappling in equal measure, perhaps more so the latter. Secondly, MMA fighters train hard, as you can see in this video. Training is Kung Fu, just as much as fancy techniques. [Note: some profanities in accompanying song.]

Picture: MMA Training Talk

Jul 3, 2011

Hung Gar's Esoteric Wooden Dummies

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Not to be outdone, some lineages of Hung Gar have sophisticated Wooden Dummies as well, not dissimilar to Choy Lee Fut's. Though it might be assumed that this common use of Wooden Dummies point to a Southern Shaolin origin, the Dummy is not utilized in Fukien or Hakka martial arts, or in Northern Shaolin. In fact, this particular lineage of Hung Gar might have assimilated the Wooden Dummy from Choy Lee Fut. Whatever the origins, this rare video shows how seldom seen Wooden Dummies being use in training. This video is from the Munich Kung Fu School of Sifu Alan Baklayan who studied under Sifu Buck Sam Kong.

Related Post: The Eighteen Dummies of Choy Lee Fut

Jul 1, 2011

The Eighteen Dummies of Choy Lee Fut

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The wooden dummy is popularly associated with Wing Chun but it Choy Lee Fut which has not one but eighteen wooden dummies. But first off we have a clip of Master Jose Fernandez, a disciple of Grandmaster Chen Yong Fa, working the Ching Jong (Balanced Dummy). This is followed by rare pictures of six exotic Choy Lee Fut wooden dummies compiled by Plum Blossom Federation under Choy Lee Fut Master Wong Doc Fai.

Related Post: Choy Lay Fut Wooden Dummy

Jun 27, 2011

Amazing Demo by An Old Master

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The kung fu level of old masters from the pre-war generation are vastly different from what remains as kung fu today. Watch this video of a senior citizen master performing a form (though the title states Bagua it might not be so) which is reminiscent of break dancing. The interesting portion is the first 1:05 minutes where the first master - this video is a medley - shows fluid grace and power in executing a strenuous form. They don't make them like this anymore, this is a memory of a bygone era.