May 29, 2011

Shaolin Lock Flow

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Further to the mention of locks in the previous post, we have an illustrative video of a Shaolin lock flow. Lock flow refers to the fluent transition of one lock to another. Why change locks when a lock should, well, lock? Among other reasons, a lock change may be needed when the initial lock is countered or broken. Watch as Master Ho Fu-Shyong of Taiwan demonstrates lock flow in the art Rou Chyuan Do (Art of The Soft Fist), Master Ho studied under Grandmaster Tong Jin-Long, a master of Northern and Southern Shaolin.

Strikers may question why go through the bother of locking an opponent when striking is a quicker, cleaner conflict decider. One reason is locks offer a less violent resolution, sort of like the Taser offers a non-lethal alternative to the gun for law enforcement officers.

Related Posts: Tai Chi Throwing, Amazing Silat Grappling Counters
Image Credit: Kung Fu Library

May 28, 2011

Tai Chi Throwing

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Chen Style Taijiquan is known for its sophisticated locks, take-downs and throws. It has also sophisticated counters to these techniques. In this double video clip, Master Chen Bing, nephew of famous Chen style Taijiquan Grandmaster Chen Xiaowang, demonstrates some neat throws on a much larger opponent. He is probably doing this by 'borrowing' his opponent's momentum and adding a sharp burst of his own.

Picture Credit: American Chen Taiji Society

May 22, 2011

Nasty Short Range Butterfly Knives

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To complete this series on Double Knives, we have an interesting video of a "shorter" use of the Wing Chun Butterfly Knives (Bat Jam Dao) which is more in keeping with the basic principles of Wing Chun: simple and direct. Demonstrated here by chief instructor David O'Donnell from Wing Chun Australia, whose lineage comes from Sifu Chu Shong Tin, one of Grandmaster Yip Man's reputed four senior students.

Related Post: Hung Gar Butterfly Knives vs Spear

May 20, 2011

Hung Gar Butterfly Knives vs Spear

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In the previous post we showcased Vietnam Wing Chun's flashier version of the Butterfly Knives (Bat Jam Dao) as compared to Ip Chun's version. This "long fist" usage of the Buttefly Knives is more in common with Hung Gar and Choy Lay Fut. To demonstrate this further, this clip shows Butterfly Knives being used against a spear in the Hung Gar tradition. A impressive display and in the next post we will show an equally interesting "short fist" version.

Related Posts: Ip Chun's Butterfly Knives, Vietnam Wing Chun's Butterfly Knives

May 17, 2011

Vietnam Wing Chun's Butterfly Knives

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Same style, Wing Chun, but a totally different Butterfly Knives form. This form looks more like how other styles do it including Hung Gar and Choy Lee Fut with its large expansive moves. Admittedly, this is the Vietnam Wing Chun branch which is radically different from its China cousins, but nonetheless, it's still Wing Chun.  See how other schools and styles do the form quite differently from Ip Chun.

Related Post: Ip Chun's Butterfly Knives

May 15, 2011

Ip Chun's Butterfly Knives

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The previous post provided a brief glimpse of Wing Chun's Butterfly Knives form. (Butterfly Knives Chinese name is Eight Cut Knive and is transliterated as Bat Jam Dao or Bart Cham Dao).

In this post, Grandmaster Ip Chun shows the full Butterfly Knives form of Yip Man's Wing Chun lineage. Though grainy, it is one of the best Butterfly Knives form we have come across. Note the fluency of execution and the relaxed snapping power. Wing Chun's version of the Butterfly Knive form is quite unlike those found in other Southern Shaolin styles, all which wield the Knives as if they were long broadswords with lots of twirling.

Even within the Hong Kong Wing Chun lineage, there are considerable differences in the Butterfly Knives form between schools. One possible explanation is the Butterfly Knives, until recently, were a closely guarded secret. Wing Chun practitioners who did not get to learn this form before they leave their schools, and who later opened their own schools, had to patch together a form based on what little they saw or borrowed from other styles. Grandmaster Ip Chun's form looks the real deal according to independent observers.

Picture Credit: Wing Chun Life

Applications of Wing Chun Butterfly Knives

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We have previously seen demos of the longer double broadswords then moved on to Cold Steel demos of the cutting power of the shorter double Butterfly Knives (Bat Jam Dao). In this clip, Sifu Evangelos Vasilakis shows how the Butterfly Knives can be applied against a stick and another set of Buttefly Knives. [Lineage: Yip Man > Wong Shun Leong > Gary Lam > Evangelos Vasilakis]

May 14, 2011

The Lethalness of Butterfly Swords at Close Range

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This is an update of the Cold Steel Butterfly Knives video shown in the previous post. It's much more 'commercial' and covers some of ground as the previous clip but the interesting part is towards the end where the video serves up a chilling demo of how lethal the Butterfly Knives (Bat Jam Dao) can be when used in tandem at close range.

Related Post: Combat Double Swords

May 11, 2011

The Cutting Power of Butterfly Swords

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How effective are double broadswords as edged weapons in combat? Well, we have a clip today of what their more compact cousin, the double butterfly knives, also known as bat jam dao, can do to simulated examples of live opponents. Fighting with weapons take combat to a whole new level...

May 9, 2011

Real Double Sword vs Spear

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Here's a more realistic depiction of how double broadswords might fare against the spear. It's an overwhelming win for the double broadswords. But do note the following caveats:
  • It is actually a bo (japanese long stick) against double sticks.
  • The bo is shorter than a spear, is more rigid and does not have a sharp point.
  • The wielder of the bo does not seem to have skills to counter an in-rushing opponent with shorter weapons.
It does illustrate though, without proper training, once an opponent has got inside a longer weapon's range, it is quite difficult to deal with. But let not this video prejudice the spear, if used properly, the spear is like a gun (in fact, the chinese word for the spear is the same for the gun).

Related Post: Japanese Katana vs Kali Twin Machetes

May 8, 2011

Double Broadswords vs Spear

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In the previous post, we showed a double broadsword (sabre/saber) form. Here we expand on how double broadswords could be used in combat, albeit in a public performance setting. The demos look impressive but do not illustrate how a real fight between a lancer and swordsman might look like. If you look closely, the swords are used only singly alternating between the left and right ones - the full double barrel firepower is not brought to bear most of the time. The spear is also twirled more than it is jabbed or flicked, and the swordsman never steps in to take full advantage of the shorter reach of his swords against the spear.

Photo Credit: Jow Ga Shaolin

May 7, 2011

Piquaquan Double Broadsword

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A young lady demonstrates a Piguaquan double broadsword form. We have selected this particular clip because the form is done slowly thus allowing viewers to better follow the moves. In practical terms, using two swords, while doubling the firepower, double also the danger of self-inflicted injury. Beyond the whirl of blades, notice how the performer doesn't use both swords at the same time and keeps the non-wielding hand away from the sword wielded by the other hand.  [Spotted by: Kean Chong]

May 1, 2011

Daily Kung Fu

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Finally, a post worthy of our blog name: Daily Kung Fu. What's good about Kung Fu if it can't help you in your daily life?

Via: Kung Fu Magazine