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