My background in Chinese martial arts is varied and diverse. I have been lucky enough to study with some of the best teachers working, both famous and unknown. My first art is Taijiquan, which my teacher Gabriel Chin learned from the Yang Ban Hou lineage. Later I studied Wushu with Ma Chao of the Beijing… Continue reading An Overview of Ma Shi Tong Bei Training
The Chinese arsenal is full of strange weapons that defy explanation. There is an amazing array of strange and unusual weapons for every mood. Especially blades. There are so many ornate and bizarrely shaped bladed weapons it's hard to keep track of. Many of these are first recorded in the 1800’s or later, so arguments… Continue reading Liujiao Dao 鹿角刀: the “Deer Horn Knives”
This blog is about a few rather disparate subjects. I am careful not to claim mastery or expertise in any of these, just experience in the field. My language experience is from my days in professional interpreting. So I approach the linguistic questions from that point of view. The historical questions have always been asked… Continue reading Perspectives: Traditional and Historical Martial Arts
The Four Words as discussed in the previous installment, form a sort of conceptual base from which to build a system of sword fencing. Although, it has been pointed out by many, that much of modern swordsmanship is lacking in a foundation like the one laid with the Four Words. Esteemed writers and teachers often… Continue reading S-words: Xi, to wash
Master Ma Yue leads the TPLA group through the basics of Duan Bing The weekend of February 23-24, we had a special event here. My teacher, Master Ma Yue of Ma Family Tongbei, came in to town to teach a group of individuals the basics of the game of “Duan Bing” or short weapon combat.… Continue reading Duan Bing with Master Ma Yue
The Wubei Zhi 武備志 by Mao Yuanyi contains the oldest record of two handed sword use in the Chinese literature. Not only is it the oldest it is one of the very few pre-Qing Dynasty document detailing the use of the straight sword or "jian"劍. The bulk of this text consists of 24 entries for… Continue reading Ju Ding: Raise the Cauldron
Below is my translation of the 24 stances of longsword found in the Wubei Zhi (武備志). I continue to work on and improve my translation and interpretation for ChaoXian Shifa(朝鮮勢法), and the challenges of translating old texts like this are myriad. But I enjoy the effort. Figuring out the changing meanings for words in their… Continue reading ChaoXian Shifa: Korean Stances-The Art of the Chinese Longsword.