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Frauds, Fools, and Fighting-the dark side of Qi in martial arts. 

No touch knockouts. Pressure points fighting and Dim Mak. Sending a foe flying several feet back in the air with not so much as a flinch.  In the peeling back of he mysteries of Qi, let’s start with the low hanging fruit. The extraordinary claims of Qigong. Qigong (also spelled Chi Kung pronounced “Chee gong”)…

European and Asian Martial Culture: Free Download!

Greetings all! It’s the holiday season here in the USA and this Thursday is Thanksgiving. Our national day of thanks and getting together with friends and family. This year, we martial artists have something to be very thankful for! The text of “Martial Culture and Historical Martial Arts in Europe and Asia” is a new…

Zombie killer #1: the Han Ji

Happy Halloween everyone! It was asked of me a while ago, what my go to weapons for a zombie apocalypse. I thought it would be a nice piece for the Halloween season. So here we go. First off, this wile about cold weapons, not fire arms or other weapons like projectiles, bombs, and flame throwers.…

Do you believe in Qi? 

This question has been the elephant in the room here for quite some time. I have not dared to address it in any real sense as talk of Qi tends to muddy the already confused waters. But, it is time to talk about the most controversial topic in Asian martial arts today; the existence of…

The Fist Verses of Qi Jiguang (Redux)

At times I go back at my previous translation work and try to update them with any new information or insight I have had since my last attempt. This was one of the first translations I published and I thought I would give it a little spruce up and tighten the edges. There are a…

Katana to Dao part 3: Men of Letters, Arts of War

The Ming Dynasty (大明 1368 to 1644) is a fascinating time period in history. So much change happening on the global stage, the effects of that change have had huge ramifications for people living in the Ming Dynasty and the events happening in China had wide ranging effects on world at large. For Chinese martial…

TPLA/ASL lightsaber rules: short tips

Greetings all! The following are a few of our recent training and rule set tips form our channel. Check them out for some quick information on the rules and tips to help you create fun and exciting bouts! While one handed combat is the norm, two handed technique can be very effective! Salvo: One of…

Lightsaber Combat!

It’s been a while since I posted anything lightsaber related. So, to remedy that and to start to gear up for our 10th anniversary this August, let’s look at some sample matches in the ASL/TPLA rule set. A little disclaimer: The space used is our class room space. We are playing practice bouts to give…

Taijquan or Tai chi Chuan: code switching and martial art  

I read a nice article today by Gene Ching, of Kung Taichi Magazine Fame, over on the YMAA website.  He speaks about the confusion that faces westerners in the naming and language issues that are present in Chinese martial arts, highlighted by the term Taijiquan. Or Tai Chi Chuan. Or T’ai Chi Ch’uan. Or how…

Li Tianji李天骥: Wudang Sword Methods

Like it or not, the continued existence of Chinese martial arts through the later part 20th century is largely due to modern Wushu. Many deride the modern sport as being a corruption of traditional martial art, trading substance for flash. And it is true, the current level of the sport is very far removed from…

Resurrected: The Song Zhan Ma Dao宋 麻扎斬馬刀-Lk Chen Review

A legendary weapon that many were named after, the true Song Zhan Ma Dao is a mysterious and elusive beast. 6 pounds of steel, approximately 4-5 feet long, used in the wars with the Steppe Empires, and associated with the Great General Yue Fei. The name has been applied to many weapons in the past…

Gentleman’s Sword by Jin Yi-ming-君子劍-金一明

The Chinese Longsword has had a long history. But it is a sporadic one. It seems that while the jian its self has enjoyed an almost continuous place in the halls of honored weapons, the two handed sword waxes and wanes in and out of popularity through the years. The Han dynasty(202 BC – 9…

Katana to Dao: Part 2-Qi Jiguang

(please see part one here: Saber and Coin) In 1523, two tribute fleets from two rival Japanese seafaring clans arrived at the port city of Ningbo寧波 in North Eastern China. The coastal city had been designated the port of entry for all Japanese tribute missions and was the one place the Bakufu-幕府 of Japan could…

Heavenly Horse Dao: Experiments and explorations

Until recently, for martial artists and history buffs, many of the weapons used in the Han Dynasty were out of reach. The oceans of time between their use in the military and society and today, the ravages of age and complete lack of surviving training manuals or any written material documenting their use or training…

A Sketch of a Master: Ma Yue

A few days ago, my Sifu Ma Yue celebrated his 62nd Birthday. So, in a belated birthday post, I thought I would repost my sketch of my esteemed teacher from a few years back. Enjoy! Ma Yue is one of the few teachers that is educated and skilled in the academic, performance, sporting, and traditional…

Some Sword reviews!

Greetings! As we slip into the holiday season, it would seem a good time for reviews. LK Chen has been producing some pretty nice weapon reproductions at affordable price points of late and getting all of us sword nuts in quite the excited mood. Recently, we have been treated with some dao from the Ming…

Katana to Dao part one: Saber and Coin: The Japanese Sword in the Ming Dynasty

During the Ming Dynasty (大明1368–1644), China minted coins that it sold and traded throughout the Asian world. These coins, very familiar today as “Feng Shui/I Ching” coins, were accepted currency in much of the south East Asian world. The popularity as being a relatively stable form of currency accepted in many locations lead to an…

Gabriel Chin: 1920-2005

Today would be the Centennial birthday of Gabriel Chin, my teacher and mentor in Yang Taiji and Qigong. It has been 15 years since his passing. I have been historically very private with my thoughts during times when he is memorialized. I have never been good at this sort of thing. But for the occasion,…

Xin You Dao in Wu Bei Zhi:辛酉刀法武備志

Often, when we speak of ancient martial arts and how it was used, we speak of swords and blades and other melee weapons. In China, there is of course a long history of swords and sabers. From the dueling culture of the Han (202 BC–220 AD), through the development of advanced metal working techniques through to…

Shield: Wubei Zhi 牌:武備志

In the massive military encyclopedia from China, the Wubei Zhi武備志, there are many contributions from other works and authors. Principle among these is Qi Jiguang. Mao Yuanyi included many sections from his works. Even taking works of authors Qi himself appropriated (copyright is not a concept that is valid in this discussion as it was…

The Mystery of the Hidden Hilt Dao

In 1983, in Guyuan, a tomb of a General named “Li Xian” 李賢(504-569 AD)was uncovered in Guyuan, a Northwestern City in China known for its long history and connection to the silk road. the area boasts many treasures from those times. Its museum has a collection of not only Chinese artifacts from the days of…

Form V (Part 1): Shien

There is little real informative material left on the Shien Form. But Shien was said to have been created from more conventional styles. The formula for Shien is divided into two aspects: The Lesser Krayt and Greater Krayt. The Body belongs to the lesser and the head and eye of the greater.  The Lesser Krayt…

S-words: Ge 格 Parry or Block

Continuing the examination of the Four Words in Chinese swordsmanship brings us to the character Ge 格. To block, arrest, impede, obstruct, deter, halt, hinder, intercept, parry. The seemingly simple idea of stopping something from hitting you by placing something else in the way has 10,000 permutations, 10,000 synonyms, and 10,000 interpretations of what it…