Feb 28, 2011

Awesome Kung Fu Family

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Kung fu has a long tradition of being handed down within families. On one hand, it must be exceedingly difficult to raise willing and able children-disciples generation after generation and through times of peace and war. On the other hand, only through the intensive tutelage afforded by a parent-child relationship could the more advanced aspects of kung fu can be taught. In this interesting clip, a father demonstrates iron-body skills on his sons/grandsons/juniors. No parlour pull-back-on-hitting tricks here; senior really follows through with his strikes.

Feb 27, 2011

Chen Style Hunyuan Taiji Form and Applications

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We have a double video post today. Master Li Lairen, a senior disciple of Grandmaster Feng Zhiqiang, first gives a fluid demonstration of the Chen Taiji's Erlu (Twin Road) form. This is followed by an application clip by Master Li. Do click on the link to Grandmaster's Feng biography - it's quite a read - it explains why his style of Taiji is branded Hunyuan (Circular). A training secret revealed:
Although martial arts are about fighting, one should not think about fighting during practice. The fighting skill comes naturally after a certain time of correct practice. [Ed: So true]
Related Post: Chen Taiji Combat Application, The Secrets of Taiji Soft Power

Feb 24, 2011

Tiger Kungfu vs Real Tiger

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National Geographic came upon the idea of testing animal-inspired kungfu against the actual animals themselves in a series titled 'Fight Like an Animal'. The animals featured in the series were the tiger, snake, monkey and mantis. In this clip, the strike of a tiger kungfu practitioner is compared against the actual strike of a tiger. Though the series itself is geared more towards popular entertainment, there are some interesting takeaways: 1) Combat focus: The tiger wins this by a mile (despite what is concluded by the observers in the video clip). 2) Tiger claw ripping: Lethal technique. Not shown is the multifarious, versatile use of this hand formation.

Photo Credit: National Geographic
Related Post: Tiger Kungfu

Feb 18, 2011

Weekend At The Movies: Undisputed 3

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Over the years, kungfu movies from the East have degenerated into semi-fantasy, overly contrived, fly-by-wire productions lacking in punch, skill and imagination. Thankfully, Western producers have taken up some of the slack with movies such as Undisputed 3 which tells the story of a prisoner fighting his way to freedom against other inmates. Beautifully filmed, the crisp techniques on show include those from Muay Thai, Mixed Martial Arts, Capoeira, Kick Boxing and a dash of de jour Kungfu flips.

[Update: The original Undisputed 3 video can't be embedded, so we are showing Undisputed 2 instead - less slick but rawer!]

Feb 15, 2011

Kungfu Publisher vs Taiji Master

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Zhaobao Taijiquan is a lesser known style of Taijiquan (Tai Chi Chuan) whose lineage is said to be older than Chen Taijiquan, which is popularly considered the oldest Taijiquan style and the progenitor of the Yang, Wu and Sun Taijiquan styles. In this clip, Gene Ching, the publisher of Kungfu Magazine pits his skills against Zhaobao Taijiquan Master Wang Chang An.

Feb 12, 2011

Essentials of Drunken Boxing

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Drunken Boxing is a kung fu sub-style found within a variety of kung fu styles. Readers who have seen the staggering moves of Drunken Boxing in movies or demos might wonder how these 'uncoordinated' movements can properly be applied to combat. In this ground breaking video, Shifu Neil Ripski reveals how the circle is utilized in Drunken Boxing as found in the Ba Ying Quan (Eight Shadow Fist) style. The clip, though all narrative, is totally riveting.

Spotted At: Kungfu Magazine
Photo Source: Red Jade Martial Arts
Related Post: Eight Shadow Boxing's Natural Fist

Feb 9, 2011

Eight Shadow Boxing's Natural Fist

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Have a look at this interesting video of a Ba Ying Quan (Eight Shadow Fist) training drill named Natural Fists. From the YouTube description:
One partner stands with eyes closed, when he opens them the second partner throws his fastest, hardest punch or technique which is then dealt with by the practitioner.
Looks like a good way to train reflexes under combat pressure.  Also watch out for the nifty counters.

Related Post: Combat Applications of Ziramen Natural Boxing

Feb 3, 2011

Rabbit Kung Fu

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The Chinese Year of the Rabbit commences on February 3rd 2011. For mark this occassion, we have clip of a courageous rabbit taking on a snake. At first glance, the odds seems stacked against the fluffy mammal but the rabbit managed to manifest its inner Bugs Bunny in this thrilling fight. There is no Rabbit Kung Fu per se in martial arts, as far as we know, but the hopping techniques are reminiscent of Monkey Kung Fu. Seldom seem in public, these hopping and pouncing moves are effective combat techniques, as demonstrated here by our intrepid bunny.

For extra fun, here are the predictions for each 'animal' for the Year of the Rabbit by Master Yap Boh Chu, son of Kungfu and Fengshui Grandmaster Yap Cheng Hai. If you are not sure what 'animal' sign you are born under, check here.

  • Rat You will enjoy good fortune this year. However, beware of cheats and heed advice from true friends.
  • Ox A slow start to the year. Be patient as your luck will change later. You will meet cheats but someone from the opposite sex will assist you. Beware of friends who are insincere. Avoid legal actions.
  • Tiger Not a good year, particularly mid-year. Abstain from major undertakings. Your arrogance can get you embroiled in legal issues.
  • Rabbit Luck will arrive in the second and third quarter of the year. Persevere and you will overcome your difficulties.
  • Dragon A roller-coaster year. Do not let a good beginning mislead you into being complacent. Avoid legal issues. Be courteous and humble in your dealings.
  • Snake  A good start to the year. Exploit good opportunities but avoid big ventures. Abstain from excessiveness. Mid-year brings a bad stretch. A prominent person will help you through bad times.
  • Horse You will enjoy good luck throughout the year. Beware of attracting someone from the opposite sex who may ruin your business and reputation. Be honest in all dealings to maintain good luck.
  • Goat You have Heaven’s blessings and will enjoy good fortune. Reap your profits but brace for a downturn. Maintain peace and avoid legal problems.
  • Monkey Your fortune is stable but you may have health problems. Beware of thefts and cheats.
  • Rooster Maintain your position. Not a year to extend your plans.
  • Dog Start afresh and learn from past mistakes.
  • Pig Persevere with a clear conscience to tide over the year.
A more detailed coverage of the above is available here.

Related Posts: Fengshui Grandmaster, Year of The Tiger
Photo Source: Giant Rabbit

Feb 2, 2011

Yang Taijiquan Combat Applications

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Yang Taijiquan (Yang Style Tai Chi Chuan) is widely practiced as a health exercise. The forms are usually done slowly leading many to wonder how this art could have martial origins and whether it can really be used in combat.

In this clip Dr Yang Jwing-Ming demonstrates Yang Taijiquan applications with several examples of coiling, harking back to the legend that Taijiquan was inspired by a duel between a snake and a white crane. Dr Yang is not related to family of the founder of Yang Taijiquan, Yang Lu Chan.

Applications alone are insufficient to upgrade common Taijiquan to combat Taijiquan, other essential ingredients include speed, power, stances, body structure, breathing, proper tutelage, and last but not least, ardous training.

Related Post: The Secrets of Taiji Soft Power