Thursday, September 24, 2009

Introduction to Tat Kun Tao

Tat Kun Tou or Tat Kun Tao is commonly mistaken as a martial arts that originated from China, but in fact Tat Kun Tao is actually a martial arts that was founded from the Philippines. Captain Jose Millan Go (Ju Go) from the Barangay community was one of the first few students of the Balintawak master Anciong Bacon.

Grandmaster Jose “Jo” put together practices from schools like Tai chi and other Kun Taos such as Five Ancestors and later created a mimic version of unarmed Balintawak now known as Tat Kun Tao. Grand Master Jo fused the simplicity, and straightforwardness of Balintawak with Tai Chi and other Kun Tao that he has learned over the years.

Not much info can be retrieved by research, the only thing that we have besides the above is that Master Jo was still teaching the art of Tat Kun Tao until he passed away in year 1991 and also his Dojo is still running in Cebu by his students.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Introduction to Yabusame

Yabusame is one of the hidden treasures of martial arts, not much of us have heard of it before and for some NON-Japanese like myself, it sounds more like noodles more than martial arts.

Yabusame is actually an armed martial art, or should I say archery, originated from Japan, it is performed while riding a horse. It all begins from the Kamakura Period. Where it begins from the military is alarmed that their army or Samurais is not good for a long distance battle, therefore the Samurai were grouped and Yabusame started from there. Although the use of bow in the Japan started from 300BC, but it is officially made as a type of martial/battle art only during the Kamakura Period.

During the Kamakura Period Yabusame was used as a military training exercise to keep samurai prepared for war. Those archers who did poorly might find themselves commanded to commit seppuku.

Yabusame is not the only type of Horseback Archery, but Yabusame is only 1 out of the 3 type of Horseback Archery and I have outlined some details for your easy reference.

-Yabusame is the most well-known form of Horseback Archery, and it is held at shrines as ceremony which shoots on 3 different targets.

-Kasagake has different sizes of targets each of which is set at different height, and the archer shoots both ways.

-Inuoumono is not in practice anymore. In the practice dogs were used as targets, so it was practical and effective practice to sharpen horseback riding skill as well as shooting skill but I think that most of us will agree that this act is a bit brutal therefore we are happy that it was banned!

A Yabusame performance starts with the archer dressed as a traditional warrior gallops down a 255 meter long track at full speed and controlling the horses with his knees and shooting 3 targets on the way down. The arrow that is used are mainly blunt and round but experience archer are allowed to use a v shaped arrow.

Image taken from komei-juku.com

Monday, August 3, 2009

Introduction to Pehlwani

Pehlwani also known as kushti is a form of wrestling that is practiced by people in both India and Pakistan. It was inspired and a mixture between Malla-yuddha which is the Ancient form for wrestling in South Asia together with Shastar Vidiya and Mongolian wrestling traced back all the way to the 5th century BC which form the modern Pehlwani.

No pehlwan (Phelwani Practitioner) have not heard of the name of Great Gama, won the World Wrestling Championship in year 1910 and was remain undefeated with only a draw in his whole entire career as a wrestler and even featured in Shadow Hearts: Covenant.

Not much know about this but during the 1960’s, India was ranked among the top 10 wrestling nations of the world and they even hosted the world wrestling championships in New Delhi in 1967. Pehlwans who compete in wrestling nowadays do train in the grappling aspects of other martial arts such as judo and jujutsu. Legendary wrestlers like Karl Gotch went to India to learn the art of pehlwani and to polish their skills.

Milk and ghee are regarded as the most common diet to the wrestlers, other diet includes almonds, chickpeas, apples, wood-apples, bananas, figs, pomegranates, gooseberries, lemons, and watermelons. Orange juice and green vegetables are also recommended for also not all but some pahalwan do consume a lot of meat for it’s protein to help with muscle building. Other diet discipline includes no sour or spiced foods and no alcohol and tobacco.

Allrite, I’m not going to wrestle! Happy reading

Image Taken from: pakistaniat.com

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Introduction to Krabi Krabong

Krabi Krabong is a weapon-based martial art from Thailand, not much know about this art but this martial art is indeed an affective one. Just like other martial arts, Krabi Krabong was featured in movies as well, in James Bond “The Man with the Golden Gun” Krabi Krabong uses up to 20 weapons for combat training, which below are only a few examples:

1. Daab (Sword) Used individually or in pairs
2. NGAU (Spear) Used when riding an Elephant
3. Mae sauk (Clubs) Made from wood or bone to be worn on the forearm
4. LOH (Round Shield) For Defense or Attack
5. Kaen (Medium Shield) For Defense or Attack
6. Plong (Staff) Used for blocking, striking and stabbing.

Krabi Krabong is believed to be around 400 years old but this fighting style is believed to be develop through the Burmese war with Thailand, it was influenced by many types of martial arts put together. Besides weapons, Krabi Krabong incorporates unarmed techniques as well. The empty-handed form is kick-based but also uses pressure points, locks, holds, and throws.

In a nutshell, Krabi Krabong uses a variety of weapons and open hand techniques to beat down it’s opponent. The Krabi Krabong practitioner is skilled at using the above weapons and surprisingly, the name Krabi Krabong comes from two of its weapons, krapi (sword) and krapong (a type of staff). It was said that every single royal bodyguard from His Majesty King Rama IX of Thailand all the while until today’s Thai King are all highly trained experts in Krabi Krabong.

Speaking of Thai Martial Arts, the first think that you might think of is the Wai Kru or the praying session to the god of 4 directions. In Krapi Krabong, after the Wai Kru, the fighters will have a sword dance, which is divided into Single or Double Sword Dance, some of the dances are for Single Sword Dance are: Cher Chy - Fly like the Angel, Dern Phom - Walk like the Lord Phom and the Double Sword Dance are: Suar Talai Heng - Tiger Attack, Horrng Piek huk Bird - with broken wings and Kakabard Cross Swords

Image taken from: aitma.de

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Kendo Terminology

Equipment:

-Bogu: Protective armor used in kendo
-Bokken / Bokuto: A wooden sword used in martial art and kendo training also known as a bokuto
-Dou: Chest protector in kendo. Also refers to the target area covered by the chest protector
-Gi: A training uniform, Upper part of the uniform, Short for keiko gi
-Hakama: A training uniform, Lower part of the uniform, Traditional pleated divided pants
-Katana: A Japanese long curved sword
-Men: Head or Head/face protector which is part of kendo protective armor
-Men Buton: The wing-like sides of the men
-Shinai: A kendo practice sword made of bamboo strips
-Himo: Strings, as on practice uniforms, protective equipment or armor
-Kote: Protective mitts that protect the hands and wrists that are a target
-Sakigawa: The leather tip of a shinai
-Tare: A kendo hip protector.
-Tenegui: A small cotton towel with a wide variety of uses, including to cover the -kendoka's head under the men
-Tsuba: A hand guard on a shinai, boken or sword.

Training Instructions:

-Ashibaki: Footwork
-Ayumiashi: A normal stride or walk
-Hajime: Begin
-Hidari: Left
-Hidari-Do: The left of the torso protector, a target in kendo-Hidari-Men: Left side of the head, a target in kendo
-Hikiwake: A draw (no winner) in a kendo match
-Haya suburi: Striking practice where sword strikes are done quickly while moving towards and then away from the target
-Ippon: One point
-Issoku-Itto No Ma: The basic combatant distance in kendo where one step forward will bring the two participants into striking range
-Kendoka: A kendo student or practitioner
-Kirikaeshi: The repetition of strokes of the shinai, often done as an opening exercise
-Mokuso: Command to close the eyes and begin meditation
-Mate: Wait, pause, stop
-Ma-Ai: Combative engagement distance
-Men Tori: A command to remove the men, or face/head protector used at part of kendo armor
-Migi: Right
-Migi-Do: The right side of the torso protector, a target in kendo
-Migi-Men: Right hand side of the head, a target in kendo
-Mushin: An empty and clear mind: a mind not fixed or occupied by thought or emotion and thus open to everything
-Okuriashi: A sliding step commonly used in kendo
-Rei: Bow
-Sage to: Carrying sword posture, the position used to carry a sword into the practice or performance area
-Seiza: Formal sitting
-Sempai: Seniors
-Sensei: Honorific expression used by students in addressing their teacher or instructor
-Shidachi: The defender in a kendo kata
-Shomen Uchi: A strike to the head
-Sonkyo: A crouching position used at the opening of kendo bouts wherein partners show one another respect before starting
-Suburi: Repetitious practice of basic sword strokes as in kendo
-Tenouchi: Gripping the shinai
-To Ma: A distance of more than one step (in order to strike) from an opponent
-Tsuba Zerai: A kendo technique of closing with the opponent and immobilizing their shinai at the hand guard
-Tsuki: A thrust to the throat that is a target area
-Tsukuri: A pulling action used to off balance an opponent in kendo
-Uchi Dachi: The aggressor in kendo kata
-Uchikomi: Attack practice done repeatedly
-Yame: Command to stop or finish
-Zarei: A bow from a kneeling position

Stance

-Chudan No Kamae: A stance in kendo in which the opponent is faced directly and the shinai is held at the center of the body
-Gedan No Kamae: Stance in which one faces the opponent directly, but the shinai is held with the tip pointing towards the opponent's knees
-Hanmi: Triangular stance, where one foot is in front of the other and where the hips are at a 45 degree angle to the opponent
-Harai Waza: Warding off techniques
-Jodan No Kamae: A sword stance where the sword is held with both hands high above the head, elbows spread wide to maximize vision, one of the basic combative engagement postures in swordsmanship and kendo
-Hasso No Kamae: A stance where the sword or shinai is held at the right side of the head, one of the basic stances (kamae) in the sword arts
-Kaeshi Waza: Deflecting a shinai by using the power of the opponent's strike
-Kamae: Combative engagement postures
-Kansetsu Waza: Joint techniques or attacks
-Kata: A prearranged sequence of movements
-Katsu: Resuscitation techniques
-Nidan Waza: Two step techniques
-Nuki Waza: Techniques that utilize dodge tactics
-Oji Waza: The practice of feints, deflections or parrying followed up with an immediate counter of a technique
-Sandan Waza: Three step techniques
-Sayu Men: Strikes to alternate sides of the men
-Shikake Waza: Catching an opponent off guard and attacking
-Shinzentai: A natural stance
-Suriage Waza: A method of sliding up a shinai (practice sword) to ward off an shinai attack so as to be able to counter attack
-Uchi Otoshi Waza: Practice of striking a shinai (practice sword) down and immediately attacking
-Zanshin: Passive, non-threatening stances and kneeling in such a way as to be always ready to draw a sword indicate the fact that

Other:

-Chikaku: A position of advantage outside of an opponents front foot.
Chu: Middle, or center
-Dan: A category used to describe the rank (black belt or dan level) of an advance practitioner of a martial art
-Dojo: A martial arts training hall
-Hanshi: An honorary certificate signifying a master, usually issued to those who have achieved a ninth or tenth dan
-Hantei: A judgment or decision as in a tournament
-Jin: Tendons or muscles
-Kamiza: A place of honor or deity seat often the front wall of a dojo were there may be a Shinto altar, scroll or picture of a teacher or founder
-Kiai: A shout which can have an incredible emotional impact. To hear the kiai in a kendo training hall is to experience kiai as the unity of body and spirit
-Kissaki: The point of a shinai or tip of a sword
-Kodachi: A Japanese short sword
-Onegaishimasu: A formal way of asking for a favor which in kendo and other martial arts has come to mean, "please practice with me," the wording used (often with a seated bow) to start practice
-Renshi: An honorary certificate signifying a trainer, usually issued to those who have achieved a fourth through sixth dan
-Saika tanden: A point on the lower abdomen, also called the center, considered to be the body's center of gravity and locus of energy
-Shiai: Contest
-Shiaijo: Contest area
-Shimpam: A referee
-Shoshinha: A beginner in kendo
-Tachi: A Japanese long sword
-Taikai: Tournament
-Taiko: A large drum used for signaling in many traditional dojos, such as to call class to order
-Uke: Partner, the person being thrown
-Waza: Technique
-Zen Nippon Kendo Remei: All Japan Kendo Federation

Image Taken from: martialartsfashion.com

Friday, July 10, 2009

Introduction to Tai Chi

Tai Chi Chuan (ultimate fist) is now more famous being practiced for health reasons but it has a long history to start with. Tai Chi Chuan focuses on the flow of the Chi and it was believed that Tai Chi Chuan gain tremendous benefits in terms of health or longevity. If you still wonder how Tai Chi Chuan looks like, go to parks in the morning and if you find a group of people moving in a slow motion routine that’s most probably Tai Chi Chuan.

Most modern Tai Chi Chuan styles can trace their development back to the 5 main traditional Tai Chi schools which is Chen, Yang, Hao, Wu and Sun. Most of us might notice that the Symbol for Tai Chi Chuan is the Yin and Yang symbol, but not much know that it is actually a Taoist symbol which represent fast and slow movements.

Speaking of Tai Chi Chuan, the person that we must not ignore is the Taoist Monk Zhang San Feng back in the 12th century. According to what we understood here Zhang San Feng studied Tao Yin which is the breathing exercises and different martial art forms from Shaolin monastery. But the founding of Tai Chi Chuan is also by accident, where Zhang was looking at a dried Calabash, Gourd (Wu Lou) that floats on top of a huge urn that was used to store water, no matter how hard he tried to knock the Wu Lou, it keeps floating up again and again after sinking and there are not much that was listed on this but as per what was told, it attributes to the founding of the basic movement of Tai Chi Chuan.

Some might think that Tai Chi Chuan is always about slow controlled movements and not much have seen the fast moving movements, It happen back in the Ch’ing Dynasty where after Manchurians has invaded the Chinese Empire, The new emperor saw that Tai Chi Chuan is very well spread in the Country and also those who practiced this martial art are in really good health conditions, therefore he demanded to learn Tai Chi Chuan and it’s secret. But due to the grudges that those at Ch’ing Dynasty hold against the Manchurians, the Masters at that time are not keen in teaching the secrets, but by doing so it will mean death. Therefore the fast pace Tai Chi Chuan was omitted and the new Emperor was taught only the slow paced part. And since the slow movement pace of Tai Chi Chuan started growing and was categorized under Neijia (Soft or Internal) Martial Arts.

Tai Chi Chuan trainings consist of the followings:

Weapons: Jian (Straight Sword) , Tao (Broadsword), San (Folding Fan), Kun (Wooden Staff) Qiang (Spear), those not so famous weapons are Da Tao (Big Broadsword), Pu Tao (Sabres), cane, rope-dart, 3 sectional staff, whip and more...

Sparing: 2 Person Tournament, Sashou

Breathing: Nei Kung / Chi Kung

Image taken from : topnews.in

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Introduction to Iaido

Iaido means the immediate reaction on the metal way or in a direct translation, Iizasa Ienao founded Iaijutsu which later was changed to Iaido.

Iaido is normally often mistaken as a part of kendo or kenjutsu but infact it is a totally different thing. Iaido is associated with the smooth and controlled movements of drawing the blade, with immediate reaction cutting an opponent and removing the blood before replacing the blade back into the scabbard.

Normally students or Iaidoka will use a shinken (unshapened blade) but there are also Dojos that use the real thing on their practices, while new students only uses a boken. The teachings are based on 90% of Katas, please do correct me if I’m wrong, the Katas can have up to a few imaginary opponents but there is no sparing or combative competition for Iaido.

It is quite hard to find a pure Iaido dojo, normally it is shared between Kendo or Akido and even it’s uniform are similliar which consists of Gi and Hakama.

Iaido is very much confused with kendo or kenjutsu and the difference for, Kendo is that kendokas are not taught the techniques of drawing and replacing blade back to it’s scabbard and also Kendo has sparing sessions as well as using Shinai, Boken and Metal Blade. Where else Kenjutsu are normally practiced with a partner in a form of Kata which is quite similar to Iaido except the partner part.

I really like the part of Japanese Martial Arts and the way they show respect to a lot of stuffs like the Dojo and your sparing partner, this image is a normal procedure that was practiced to show respect to the blade before and after practice.


Image Taken from: www.onlinedojo.ca

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Introduction to Hapkido

Hapkido (Hap - Joining / Harmony) (Ki – Internal Chi) (Do – Way) which translate to the way of joining the energy contains both long and close range fighting techniques.

Long Range: kicking, hand strikes
Close Range: pressure point, joint-locks, throws

Hapkido to me is like a son of Jujutsu and a brother to Judo, as Hapkido is like a Korean version of modified Jujutsu. As most Korean martial art lover might know, Hapkido is consider as the great grandfather of Taekwondo which was evolved from Taekyeon.

If you are a nunchuck lover you might love this art as well, Hapkido is one of the few rare martial art that uses weapons such as rope and nunchuks, besides this two other weapons also consists of cane, short stick, staff and sword.

Hapkido emphasize on non-resisting movements and circular motion which is quite similiar to taichi where the are will try to avoid using strength against opponent’s strength but using the footwork and body positioning as an advantage towards the opponent.

The main principles of Hapkido is following the middle way, not like Jujutsu that focus on the soft scale or Taekwondo who focus on the hard scale, in Hapkido, it is a combination of both, from throws and locks to punches and kicks.

In the main principles of Hapkido, it is alter broken down to another 3 principles which is

1)Hwa (Non-resistance principle) – Not hitting back when attacked, but used it’s momentum towards one’s advantage

2)Won (Circular movement principle) – Using opponent’s power to redirect the power back to himself

3)Yu (Harmony Principle) – Just like a flow of water, when we try to cut the water, the water will move and wrap around the blade to sink it

Hapkido derived from the Jujutsu system that was taught by Master Choi Yong Sul (1899-1986) who brought the art back from Japan, and adding additional Kicks and Striking techniques to make Hapkido whole. Later Master Suh Bok Sub who is one of Master Choi’s first student opened up the first dojang/dojo known as Hapki Yu Kwon Sool Dojang which later the name was changed to Hapkido

Master Kim Moo Hong who is another of Master Choi’s student who plays an important role in the history of Hapkido developed many other further types of kicks used in Hapkido today. Also Master Kim founded the Korean Hapkido Association and later merge the association with groups of Hapkido practitioner lead by Ji Han Jae and Myung Jae Nam to form the current Republic of Korea Hapkido Association in 1973.

Master Ji Jan Jae who is also the trainer for the bodyguards of Korean President Park Jung Hee. Master Ji incorporated kicking and punching techniques from “The Traditional Style of Korean Martial Arts” Also with the support of the Head of Security Forces, Master Ji later founded Dae Han Hapkido Hyub Hwe which is also know as Dae Han Hapkido Association which was later merged with Master Kim and Master Myung’s Association. And if you are interested to check our Master Ji’ moves, you can check out Bruce Lee’s movie called Game of Death which Master Ji co-starred in.

Master Myung Jae Nam is the founder of Korea Hapki Association also know as Hangook Hapki Hwe which was later merged with Master Ji and Master Kim’s association that formed Republic of Korea Hapkido Association. Although not much are written about Master Myung, but he is a very influential person in the world of Hapkido. It was till later where Master Myung decided to breakaway from the Hapkido Association and focus on promoting a new style that he created known as Hankido

Image taken from: upload.wikimedia.org

Sunday, June 21, 2009

From The Pros - Tai chi

Name: Mark Small

Type of Martial Arts: I practice taijiquan or tai chi chuan as well as hsing I and baguaquan. When combined as in practices of lo he ba fa, the Fu family systems, or Chen Pan Ling's composite forms classical literature refers to them as nei jia ---internal martial arts.
My current teachers, Shou Yu Liang of Vancouver and Chen Yun Ching of the Republic of China have ranked me as a black sash. I'm a 5th generation Yang Family and 1st generation Ling Yun Pai sifu.

Years of Training: over 40 years.

How You Started: I began in the Bruce Lee craze of the 1970's. My first Yang Family style teacher was Master Choy Kam Man of San Francisco who's father, Choy Hok Pang was the first teacher sent by Grandmaster Yang Ching Fu to teach in America. A also trained in Chen Pan Ling's taijiquan in the early 1970's because it had more expressive spiraling energy and martial import. This composite form allowed me a quicker grasp of hsing I and baguaquan. I also practice Sun style and the compulsory 42 forms.


Why this martial art is good: The internal arts of China are well rounded. There is something for everybody. Though popular when practiced for improving health, taiji in particular has a sport application called push hands or tui shou. This amounts to sensitivity training for close range grappling. When used for self-defense or fighting more whole body techniques that include shuai or throwing are used. This is called san shou. Health, sport, and self-defense are graduated plateaus in Chinese philosophy and a well rounded teachers trains and can relate lesson from all three areas.

Advice to Newbies: Beginners who are serious about practice can best learn from a number of teachers and particularly from those that utilize classical principles such as connecting, interpreting, issuing, and returning an opponent or partner's intrinsic energy. Taijiquan, literally known as the "grand ultimate fist", combines straight line with circular movements in sophisticated combinations to respond to the initiative of a partner or opponent, never in a reactive manner. That way you use their weight, balance, and energy to make them feel like they are defeating themselves. Solo form practice compliments partner training. Visualize someone to engage with in front of you during solo form practice. Conversely, when engaging with an opponent move from the empty state known as wuji that comes before the separation of yin and yang in your body. Develop your whole body as your fist (chuan or quan). From Yang Family practices sense a contra-lateral yin and yang separation that links your left side leg with your right side arm and visa versa. Taijiquan always uses two hands and when one part of your body moves subtly and internally, every part of your body moves --- I tung chuan tung. Loosen your joins to do this ---song, as all taiji is gentle or looks effortless to begin with.

From The Pros - Muay Thai

Name: Kongnapa

Type of Martial Arts: Muay Thai

Rank / Belt: 4 times Rajademnern Stadium Champion (Thailand) & 7 times World Champion (USA)

Years of Training: over 23 years experience

How You Started: Its kind a funny how I started, I was 15 and they have a festival in my hometown and they have a competition in muay thai so I enter and won, friends and families told me its natural for me. so I moved to Bangkok and join Phetnoi Gym, I train with them for 11 years. I won my 1st professional fight while i was training with them, that’s where I got my titles Rajademnern Stadium Champion. I got my world titles here in the US. I also fought for Team Chod Thai (amateur Thai Team for the country of Thailand) where we travel around Asia and compete for the country.

Why this martial art is good:
It is use back in the early times, call Muay Boran, it was taught to all the militaries to use it as a weapon without a weapon, where you only use your hands, legs, knees & elbows. Muay Thai have so many techniques, beside using your limb, you also use speed, eye coordination, & mind to defeat your opponent. Muay Thai is a stand up fight, a fair fight. People around the world are adapting Muay Thai more and more, rather for self defense, fighting in the ring or cardio workout. I think its great for self defense.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Introduction to White Crane Boxing

There are 2 styles of White Crane Boxing where one is originated from Fujian, southern part of China, known as the Fujian Style of White Crane Boxing, just like Wing Chun, this martial art was founded by Fang Qi Niang, a female martial artist from Fujian. Not like other martial arts where there are focused on all long, medium and close range, this style is designed and focused mostly on close range fighting.

Fang Qi Niang’s Father is a martial artist of the southern martial arts from China, and since young Fang has been studying the martial arts form, it was when Fang saw a crane nearby when she was doing her chores, afraid that the crane might disturb, Fan tries to chase the crane away by using a stick.

No matter how hard she try, she cannot hit the crane, instead the crane counter her attacks. Fang later studied the crane’s movement on dodging and counter attacks and combined with the styles that she has been practicing since young and founded Fujian style White Crane Boxing.

The White Crane Boxing style has a massive influence in other styles of martial arts like the Five Ancestors Fist and Karate that not much of us might know. But if we refer back to the Kata forms like Hakutsuru or Kyusho in Karate, the influence would look quite obvious. It was believed that it was brought into Japan from tea merchants that brought the style in from China to Okinawa.

The original style of White Crane is no longer practiced in modern days like now but it has evolved into 4 main styles over the time, these styles are Sleeping Crane Fist, Crying Crane Fist, Eating Crane Fist and Flying Crane Fist.

Another style of White Crane boxing is originated from Tibet, that was brought into China by Sing Lung, a Tibetan Monk and he taught all his martial art knowledge to two of his main student Wong Lam Hoi and Wang Yan Lam. And the linage was carried down by Wong Lam Hoi.

And Wang Yan Lam who was the eldest of the Ten Tigers of Canton, exchanged knowledge of this White crane style with Master Wong Kei Ying who is the founder of Hong Kuen. and it was later mixed with the Tiger Fist to form Tiger Crane Paired Form Fist and the Five Element techniques.

Tibetan White Crane Boxing was founded by monk Adatou born in 1426 and he was the founder for the Martial Arts called Lion’s Roar. It happened one day during Adatou’s meditation he was distracted when an ape was fighting with a crane when he is in Tibet. And later he founded the style of Tibetan White Crane Boxing and later taught to Monk Sing Lung.

Image taken from: taichikungfulondon.co.uk

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Introduction to Judo

Judo which stands (JU = Gentle) + (DO = Way) was originated from Japan in the 19th century. The reason why it is called the gentle way is because of its feature such as throwing, grappling, locks or executing a choke, not like other martial arts where the focuses on hitting it’s opponent. In Judo it does have Thrusts, Strikes and Weapons and used for Katas but it is not allowed to be used in competition or practices and also Judo uses the opponent's strength, weight and momentum against the opponent itself. As most of the “Non-Judo” practitioner might think that it this art is quite similar to Sambo and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu but in fact, Judo is like the grandfather to these arts as these martial arts are developed due to the spread of Judo to worldwide.

The founder Kano Jigoro was a son to a Shinto Priest and government Official, Kano was a student of Jujutsu back in the late 1870s and after mastering the art of Jujutsu Kano start to develop techniques like kata-guruma and uki goshi back in 1880s, and with new ideas on developing the art of self defense Kano went to study his art of evolved jujutsu with a few students in a Buddhist temple which the place is later known as Kodokan. The art at that time was known as Kano Jiu-Do which later changed to Kodokan Jiu-Do and finally known as Judo at this age.

If we were to talk about Judo, besides the founder Kano Jigoro, all of us in Martial Arts Asia gives the highest respect to Keiko Fukada, 9th Dan and it made her the highest ranking women in the Judo World, born in 1913 who is the direct student of Kano Jigoro, the Keiko is still teaching Judo up to date. Yes, there is no typo error here, she should be 96 this year and the coming Judo camp will be on July 24-26, 2009 in San Jose and yet she still still actively teaching Judo.

Judo Primary focus is on nage-waza (throwing) and ne-waza (groundwork), I have listed a simple break down on the list of techniques to help us to understand more on the techniques.

nage-waza (throwing) is divided into 2 categories which is tachi-waza (standing techniques) and sutemi-waza (sacrifice techniques)

1. tachi-waza (standing techniques)
- te-waza (hand techniques)
- koshi-waza (hip techniques)
- ashi-waza (leg techniques)

2. sutemi-waza (sacrifice techniques)
- ma-sutemi-waza (thrower fall backwards)
- yoko-sutemi-waza (thrower fall sideways)

ne-waza (groundwork) is divided into 3 categories

1.kansetsu-waza (attacks against joint locks)
2.shime-waza (strangleholds)
3.osaekomi-waza (pinning techniques)

There are seven official forms of kata that are recognised by the Kodokan:

1. Randori (Free practice)includes of 2 two different kata:
1a. Nage no Kata (Throwing forms)
1b. Katame no Kata (Grappling forms)
2. Kime no Kata (Old style self-defence forms)
3. Kodokan Goshin Jutsu (Modern self-defence forms)
4. Ju no Kata (Forms of "gentleness")
5. Itsutsu no Kata (The five forms)
6. Koshiki no Kata (Ancient forms)
7. Seiryoku Zen'yō Kokumin Taiiku no Kata (National Physical Education kata)

However there are also other katas that is not recognized by Kodokan with other focuses.

Weight Divisions, are to separate both the parties to have a equal advantages over each other, the divisions are as below

Men
Under 60kg
60-66 kg
66-73kg
73-81kg
81-90kg
90-100kg
Over 100kg

Women
Under 48kg
48-52kg
52-57kg
57-63kg
63-70kg
70-78kg
Over 78kg

Judo is firstly seen in the LA Olympics in 1932 where the founder Kano Jigoro and about 200 students gave a demonstration, and Kano passed away before seeing Judo being officially taken in as an Olympic sport in Tokyo Olympics in 1964 for men and in 1988 for women.

For this posting, we would not talk about it’s belt and grading as it varies for different countries, we’ll leave it for another time and we hope you have enjoyed reading so far.

Image taken from: ultimate-judo.com

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Introduction to Silat


Silat began spreading in the seventh century AD but there are no records on its origin. However, it was acknowledged as a Malay Martial Art although there are influences by the Chinese and Indian cultures as well as other ethnic groups. Silat was used as a combat art as well as a folk dance when the Muslim spread through the Malay archipelago in the fourteenth century. It was developed in Brunei, Indonesia and Malaysia as an art to liberate themselves from the Colonials such as the Dutch and the British.

In the West Sumatra silat was known as silek and was the oldest men's tradition to perform the Minangkabau folk dance of randai. In Malaysia and Brunei, one form of silat known of silat pulut and silat cakak.

There are many forms of silat such as Pencak, Cekak, Sendeng, Keris Lok and Gayong Fatani and Gayong. It would be quite difficult to list out the official type of silat, as there are at least 150 types of silat but out of these types of silat, Silat Melayu is consider one of the few oldest forms of silat.

Most of the silat schools have few objectives and the most common one is “The art of knowing one self’. Silat consists of 2 forms, the soft and the hard which is also known as Flower (Bunga) and Fruit (Buah). Flower is normally used to confuse the opponent where Fruit is the strike and each schools will have both form applied in their martial arts but it really depends on the amount of the focus.

Image taken from: tuina.com.au

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Dojo - Chinese Internal Nie Jia

Country: USA
Town: Asheville, North Carolina
Kwoon's (Dojo) Name: Lung Shan Taiji / Hsing I / Bagua Gong Fu
Type of Martial Art: Chinese Internal Nie Jia styles
Contact Person: Laoshr Mark Small
Contact Number: 828-285-2929
Email: msmall@main.nc.us
Website: www.main.nc.us/mtndragon

Introduction to Sumo

Most of us will have this perception that oversized people do not do martial arts but it is not the case. In Sumo it is a battle of strength where one wrestler will attempt to force their opponent to fall or to go out of the dohyo (circular ring). Sumo is a very unique type of martial art where it is one of the few that has rituals before the competition like Muay Thai.

Originated from Japan, this sport is considered as a Modern Martial Art although it has been around for many centuries. Sumo Wrestlers are to stay at the heya (training stables) where the wrestlers have to strictly follow tradition like the dress code, and even the hairdo.

It was back in the Edo Period in Japan that Sumo started as a form of entertainment or for warriors to find an alternative source of income. The official tournament started in Tomioka Hachiman Shrine back in 1684 and the tournament rules has been changing since.

Professional sumo tournament are organized by Oyakata, which is formed by former sumo wrestlers. Oyakata are members of the Japan Sumo Association and Oyakata are the only trainers that are accredited to teach Sumo officially to new wrestlers in their training stables.

There are few levels for Sumo Wrestlers unlike other Martial Artist where they obtain a belt/rank and get to keep it. For sumo, it solely depends on their performance. Even if they reach the top division, the sumo practitioner need to work for it keep the title or they will be downgraded to a lower rank. The thing that interests me most is their salary range. I found this range in wiki. It was shocking but at least you know know how much these big guys earn a month (as of year 2006) excluding the additional income that they can make 6 times a year in the tournaments.

Yokozuna: $24,500 USD / Month
Ōzeki: $20,400 USD / Month
Sanyaku: $14,800 USD / Month
Maegashira: $11,300 USD / Month
Jūryō: $9,000 USD / Month

According to the rules the amateur tournaments are divided into the following weight classes:

Male
Lightweight: Maximum weight of 85 kg
Middleweight: Maximum weight of 115 kg
Heavyweight: Above 115 kg
Open Weight: Unrestricted entry

Female
Lightweight: Maximum weight of 65 kg
Middleweight: Maximum weight of 80 kg
Heavyweight: Above 80 kg
Open Weight: Unrestricted entry

Image taken from: talesfromanopenbook.files.wordpress.com

Monday, June 1, 2009

Introduction to Muay Boran

Muay Boran or Ancient Boxing is the Great Grandfather of Muay Thai. There are a few styles of Muay Boran developed from the different regions in Thailand. These styles are known as Muay Thasao (Northern Region), Muay Korat (Eastern Region), Muay Lopburi (Central Region) and Muay Chaiya (Southern Region).

Muay Thasao – Emphasis on speed in their kicks and punches.
Muay Korat – Emphasis on the Power of the Blow.
Muay Lopburi– Emphasis on technical movements.
Muay Chaiya– Emphasis on posture and defense. And focus a lot on Knee and Elbow Strikes as the focus are more towards a close body combat.

Surprisingly to say, most of the teachers of Muay Boran are Buddhist monks. It reminds me the comedy called Hot Shots where the main actor was living in a Buddhist Monastery and doing kickboxing and instead of using a glove, they used a cloth to bind their hands to reduce the risk of fracturing bones. Going back further in history, the fighter would dip the binding with resin and broken glass to produce more stunning and deadly blows. These Monasteries or temples held Muay Boran competitions during festive occasions since all Thai man are expected to be ordained as a monk for a short period in their lives.

Traditionally, after completing training in Muay Thai, a student will be taught Muay Boran when reaching an advanced level, but this is no longer the case because most of the moves are banned in professional Muay Thai as it can cause serious damage or even death. In Muay Boran, everything goes and even a kick to the groin is allowed. Therefore there are not many schools that are willing to teach this art of self defense.

Muay Boran techniques focus on the damage each blow can affect the opponent and strongly emphasize using powerful knee and elbow techniques. Each blow to the opponent should be at full force to knock the opponent down on the ground.

Dojo - Ling Yun Pai

Country: USA
Town: Asheville, North Carolina
Kwoon's (Dojo) Name: Lung Shan Taiji / Hsing I / Bagua Gong Fu
Type of Martial Art: Ling Yun Pai
Contact Person: Laoshr Mark Small
Contact Number: 828-285-2929
Email: msmall@main.nc.us
Website: www.main.nc.us/mtndragon

Nunchaku - Kata

For Nunchaku users, the art of it’s kata one has to perform the basic techniques that is pre arranged in a sequence movement targeted to hit an imaginary opponent with the nunchaku. The Kata is not only about movement but also about how the practitioner execute it’s movement perfectly with the perfect posture and spirit. Hope the find the above Nunchaku Kata interesting to you…

Sunday, May 31, 2009

From The Pros - Chi Gung

How many types of Chi Gung are there?

Well, as for styles of chi gung (qigong/ ch'i kung) there are thousands, known and unknown, as it is an ancient and diverse art. Basically they all come down to one of the following, or a combination of the following:

1) Chi gung for health maintenance, regeneration and longevity; I call this "Wellness Chi Gung
2) Martial arts chi gung'- this can be sub-divided into the internal (soft, esoteric) styles and the external (hard, exoteric) styles...which exist on a continuum, not in conflict with each other.....so, Hung Gar Kung Fu uses many external martial chi gung methods, but also soft; tai chi chuan uses mostly soft/ inner martial chi gung methods, but can also use hard methods (fighting/sparring isn't always soft!)
3) Spiritual chi gung - these are inner meditative methods to clarify and raise our spirit; also to embrace and learn to embody higher virtues and principles (compassion, wisdom, harmony, balance, confidence, etc...)....it may or may not be religious, that is up to the practitioner...the art of Usui Reiki Ryoho is one of the best and most effective yet simple forms of spiritual chi gung out there, orginating with the great teacher, O-Sensei Mikao Usui...

So, basically, all chi gung methods fall somewhere within one of these categories; some are very comprehensive and complete systems; some are very narrow (like 'medical chi gung')....chi gung can be simply defined as, 'working with the chi/ life-force' the goal being to achieve whatever the intention of the style/ art is....chi gung must always be practiced with respect for all life, never for selfish or negative purposes- dedicate all to the highest good of all...

Classically, in China, chi gung came from and was influenced by these sources: Taoism, Buddhism, Chinese Martial Arts, Chinese Medicine, ancient Chinese Shamanism.

What types of Chi gung are you teaching?

I teach all of these, 'wellness chi gung,' 'martial chi gung (inner and outer, soft/hard),' and 'spiritual chi gung.' My methods come from my 23 yrs. of experience with a very diverse group of teachers, including 17 yrs. full-time with my teacher, as a lineage disciple.

Why is internal chi good for those who practice martial arts?

well, quite simply, there is no getting away from 'internal chi' so if we can learn good methods which will allow us to be in tune with our life-force/ chi and learn how to work with it- not against it- everything we do in life can be enhanced; including our martial arts practice.

Are there any martial arts that use chi?

As I stated in answer to the previous question, there is no getting away from chi! So, yes, all martial arts use chi- everything that lives, breathes, and exists- all creation- is chi of one form or another, constantly and endlessly transforming....now, some martial art styles and traditions/ lineages realized this long ago and have developed methods to work with the life-force/chi in many, many ways....the names of the styles and their reputations are not the real thing- the student needs to find a teacher who has learned these methods and is willing to share them....in this day and age there is no good reason for secrecy, for the vast majority of chi gung methods....see if the teacher exhibits the qualities he/ she is teaching (and keep in mind we are all human, perfect/ ideal standards are hard to reach!), is she/ he healthy? strong voice, good posture, etc....or, can they fight, if it is a martial chi gung art....are they loving, compassionate, and insightful if it is spiritual chi gung?

How does chi gung work?

Well, the exact answer depends on the type of chi gung method/ style it is...but basically what they all have in common is this: as living beings we have life-force (chi, prana, ki, breath of God, mana, etc...); the Cosmos/ Universe is also a creation of life-force, untold and limitless forms of energy....the life-force of the Cosmos and our life-force interact....so, in chi gung we learn methods which are designed around this simple, natural but often-times overlooked fact....it is like the nose on our face, or the fish in water- so completely natural that we forget about it...with good chi gung training we learn to make use of the natural gifts we have been born with, and to maximize them for our health and longevity, and many other purposes, such as: art, business, harmony in family and community, sports, martial arts, and so many others....

What / Where did chi gung originate?

Chi gung actually pre-dates human civilization, going way back to the beginnings of our race....so, the most ancient lands and cultures: China/ Asia; India; the Middle East; Africa, this is where chi gung originated....the Chinese and Indian cultures, being so old and having an unbroken history, is where chi gung and yogic methods were the most highly developed; they then spread outwards everywhere that people went and are....the situation today is quite interesting as all of these methods are blending and new methods are being created at rates never seen before...it is very important that the essential principles and concepts are preserved as this process unfolds....this way the art of chi gung will stay alive and pure, not be diluted into some fake, cheap, and unwholesome imitation...(like McChi Gung!- stay away!)...

Who can I contact if I wish to know more?

There are links on my website to excellent sources of info, see http://www.reikibutterfly.com/. also, I would recommend the book, 'Harnessing the Power of the Universe' by Dr. Daniel Reid, it is a well written, easy to read, and comprehensive introduction to all of these things I have talked about...

Thank you!

Michael S. Fuchs, Sifu
www.reikibutterfly.com
Facebook: Michael s. Fuchs

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Introduction to Jodo

Jodo also known as jojutsu is a type of armed martial arts that uses short staffs called that is called jo which is about 3-5 feet long. This art is focused on Defense especially against sword and not that much on the Attacking side. There are 2 branches of Jodo called Koryu and Seitei Jodo and now this are very famous among Japanese Police and was refered as keijojutsu (police stick art)

Jojutsu is an exclusive martial art of the Kuroda Clan until the early 1900s, then the art was taught to the general public. It started back to the late 16th Century, where assassination and murder is common in Japan at that time. The Founder Muso Gonnosuke was a warrior who had trained in several Martial Arts school as well as a Shinto Priest training in bojutsu or the art of long staff. Gonnosuke is also a legend that is always compared to Miyamoto Musashi (also known as Sword Saint) as both are undefeated in battlefield.

Gonnosuke is believed to challenge Musashi twice which he won the challenge the 2nd time after Gonnosuke took up concepts from spear, halberd, staff and sword he developed what eventually became known as today’s JoJutsu. After Gonnosuke won the match against Musashi his reputation grew overnight and started to teach his art of Jodo. It is also where further refinements came and over the centuries his students added in other weapons and forms to form a complete school of combat.

Image taken from: hugin.demon.co.uk

From The Pros - Taijutsu

Name: Graham Clunan

Type of martial arts: currently studying Bujinkan Budo Ninpo Taijutsu, (other arts I've played with include, Karate, taekwondo, jujutsu, aiki-jujutsu, muay thai, taichi, etc.....)

Rank: Shidoshi

Years of training: In the Bujinkan 16 years, in total officially 23 years (unofficially its 28.)

How did you start: it started with family members who did Karate teaching and training me at home because i was officially too young to join a Dojo, when i was old enough i joined a Karate Dojo and it went on from there, i tried a few other arts while continuing to train in and progressing very well in Karate until i was invited to the Ninjutsu Dojo my friends had joined. My first lesson changed my outlook on everything i had previously learn't, as i continued to train i had major personal conflicts between the training and naturally began using my newly learn't Taijutsu instead of the drilled and conditioned 'Style' i had been doing all my life. i made a decision and left all my other martial arts.i still cross train now and again, but my outlook is now from a Bujinkan/Budo point of view, so really i guess i don't actually train in anything else anymore! a butterfly can't become a caterpillar once its changed!

Why you think this art is good: This art is so diverse, We use the bodies natural movement, we don't have rules and if we do we usually break them!, if there ever was a box we think out side of it, when you think you've learn't something from this art...another facet emerges!

Advices for newbies: Don't take advice from anybody, Don't trust anybody who says this Martial art is better than that art, do a martial art that works for you and that you enjoy!

I don't claim to be a pro, I'd be very cautious of any instructor who does.

From a Ninjutsu point of view, be careful with what information is being bounced around, especially on the Internet as a lot of it is incorrect and misleading.

Questions are good, question everything, cross reference things from reliable sources, ask your instructor, senior grades from other Dojo, if still in doubt- directly from the Honbu.

Find a good instructor who is also a student, a teacher who never learns shouldn't be teaching. they should "go to the source" (i.e. train in Japan regularly, trains and shares information with people who go to Japan regularly ,etc)

Budo is all martial arts, but not all martial arts are Budo.

From the Pros - Tai Chi

Name: Michael S. Fuchs

Type of Martial Arts: Five Formed Fist Shaolin Chuan Fa, Tai Chi Chuan, Filipino Kali

Rank / Belt: Chief Instructor

Years of Training: 23 Years

How You Started: always interested in martial arts and related arts, since I can remember, read books and stuff as a child about martial arts, wrestling and sports; saw movies, tv about martial arts (Bruce Lee and David Carradine mostly)...by age 20 was very sick (high blood pressure, arthritis, depression), got going to be healthy, but also wanted to learn all sides of it...luckily I chanced upon a great teacher and was with him for 17 yrs. full-time.

Why this martial art is good: This martial art system is wonderful because it is extremely diverse and comprehensive, it contains various sub-systems and styles, if you stay with it you can become a very complete and accomplished martial artist...from internal to external, long-range to short range, striking to grappling, empty hand to all weapons...also the inner healing and meditative arts it has...principles, concepts, traditional philosophy, etc....very well constructed, and well rounded Shaolin traditional system..

Advice to Newbies: find a good teacher, listen well and practice hard, then live the art and try to use it to help you with all things in your life....be a positive force in life, that is what the arts are for...not destruction...:)....the real art is practiced in life, not just the kwoon or dojo...life is the dojo!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Introduction to Shaolin Kung Fu

Most of us have heard of Shaolin Kung Fu, and there are also a lot that has mistaken that there is a typical type of Martial Art by the name of Shaolin Kung Fu. In fact, Shaolin Kung Fu is referring to a vast collection of Martial Arts and served as a base where the modern martial arts evolve from.

There used to be a saying in China back in the ancient days that Martial Arts around the world (the world that it refers to is China only) came from Shaolin. Martial Arts like Wing Chun, Hong Ga are all samples of martial arts that were taught to the Grand Masters from Shaolin.

The most famous Kung Fu Monk from Shaolin that most Chinese might know is “Dat Mo” or Bodhidharma, It was believed that Martial Arts in China is divided into 2 categories, the External Martial Arts and the Internal Practice (Qi Gong) and most of the credits on the internal practice goes to “Dat Mo”. It was believed that while in his stay in Shaolin Monastery, he has been staring at the wall for 9 years and at the end of the 9th year, a hole was found on the wall that he has been gazing but we cannot find further proof of that. Huiguang and Sengchou in the other hand is credited on the growth of the External Martial Arts, Both of them are Martial Artist before they were ordained in the monastery and they were reported to be the first few monks that is in Martial Arts.

Most of us might think, aren’t monks not suppose to fight? Or aren’t monk suppose to be holy schmoly? This is a misconception of a lot of people, monks learn Martial Arts to defend themselves and they take it as a practice to train endurance, focus and for health purpose. It started even back in Tang Dynasty (618 - 907AD), Monasteries are being attack and robbed from bandits and pirates, pushed around by the governments to seize their lands and so on, and these monks are doing nothing more than just defending their place. Therefore the culture stays with the monastery and it has become a daily routine for the monks in Shaolin to practice Martial Arts.

Image taken from topic.chinaa2z.com

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Introduction to Hong Kuen

Most chinese educated friends might know about the name “Wong Fei Hong” but not much might know that Wong Fei Hoong is the most famous practitioner for Hung Kuen Kung Fu.

Hong Kuen is a Chinese Martial arts style from Southern China that was developed from the roots of Shaolin Kung Fu. Hong Kuen was initially developed for military purposes and by focusing on the value of it’s school which includes courage, perseverance, and discipline this value have not waver since then till now.

The Founder, Master Hung Hei Guen who was a tea merchant by trade who was associated as one of the Ten Tigers of Shaolin developed the style throughout his life, but Hong Kuen started to manifest when Master Hung was being an apprentice of the Abbot of Shaolin Monastery. The most famous fist known till now is the tiger and crane fist that represent both hard and soft energy. Where one is focused to attack and the other focus on defend.

Hong Kuen’s stance is based on the 5 basic animals, which most people that is interested in China’s Kung Fu might know about, the styles are dragon that employs powerful punching techniques, snake focuses on speed and attacks on vital areas to take down their opponents, leopard can attack difficult reachable weak points of the body that are hard to reach, tiger and crane which was mention earlier uses the hard and soft energy.

Master Hung had many disciples in this life during the spreading of this martial arts and it spreads widely due to many are trying to rebel during the Ching dynasty in the south part of China. The Legend started when Master Hung had an apprentice by the name of Luk Ah Choi who is a Manchurian based in Guandong, where he refine the style further in reach out to even more practitioner, one of Master Luk’s student Master Wong Kei Ying who is also the father of Master Wong Fei Hong.

Many have said that it was not easy for martial arts to be taught to apprentice during the time of Master Luk, and stories was shared that the masters will be going around together with opera troupes to spread the art. And it was brought to another whole new level when the martial art was passed to both Master Wong Kei Wing and Wong Fei Hong.

Just like Wing Chun, Hong Ka practitioner also practices to use weapons in their practices like Butterfly Knife, Spears, Broad Sword and many other weapons but not all of the branches teaches the same as some are more focus on selected stance or type and the schools up to date is still refining it’s techniques therefore there are also variations like Black Tiger Fist, Taming the Tiger and many more was founded along the way.

Since the founding of Hong Kuen there are also many well known masters and many modified or more refined versions, masters such as Miu Tsui Fa and Fong Sai Yuk are also plays an important role to spread this martial art.

Sorry, as we cannot manage to get a good image for Hong Gar Kuen or Hong Kuen, we have to just pick an image from the net, image taken from wongfeihung.com

Dojo – Filipino Kali

Country: USA
Town: Newington, CT
Dojo's Name: Butterfly Martial and Healing Arts
Type of Martial Art: Filipino Kali
Contact Person: Sifu Mike
Contact Number: N/AEmail: reikibutterfl1@yahoo.com
Website: www.reikibutterfly.com

Dojo – Tai Chi

Country: USA
Town: Newington, CT
Dojo's Name: Butterfly Martial and Healing Arts
Type of Martial Art: Tai Chi Chuan
Contact Person: Sifu Mike
Contact Number: N/A
Email: reikibutterfl1@yahoo.com
Website: www.reikibutterfly.com

Friday, May 15, 2009

Introduction to Adithada

When people talk about kickboxing it is always about Muay Thai, some do speak of MMA and some Bokarto, even I was in a shocked when there is a request for me to write about Adithada as this is consider as type of martial art that not much people know about.

It was actually my honour to be able to share a bit about Adithada and a big thanks to the data research team. Adithada is a type of Martial Art that was founded approximately 2000 years ago according to sources, we believed that this form of martial art have a certain influence to the art of kickboxing.

This art was founded in the southern part of India and considered as a preliminary practice or the empty hand of southern Kalari Payat practice. Adithada allowsthe Martial Artist to prepare themselves in years of training before they start training with weapons in Southern Kalari Payat School / Style.

Like most of the martial art, The name of Adithada actually represents the whole essence in it’s martial art, Adi (Hitting) and Thada (Blocking) describes the whole meaning of this martial art itself. Adithada is largely practices in Southern Kerala and Northern Sri Lanka. And this martial art’s main focus is on Grappling, Striking and Pressure Points.

The practitioner uses their Fist, Legs, Knees, Elbow and Forehead in the practices, and it sound quite similar to Bokarto’s style or Martial Art, and since this martial art was founded so long ago, there is no trace back to it’s original founder, for those who have more detail in this art, please do contact us.

Image taken from: martialartslibrary.net

From the Pros - Ninjutsu

Name: Ric Hurst

Type of Martial Arts: Bujinkan Budo Taijustu, Ninjutsu, Judo, Tai Chi

Rank / Belt: 3rd Dan Black Belt

Years of Training: 22 years

How You Started: It was a crazy

Why this martial art is good: Ninjutsu, This martial art is beyond most if you understand it!

Advice to Newbies: Dont be easily impressed! Any one who is a public teacher usually has there own reasons for being one! Only a hand full of Martial arts teachers are the real thing. A real teacher will be able to influence you more than you may realise so tread very carefully, Martial arts can be a very dangerous thing in the hands of those that lack wisdom.

Dojo - Jeet Kune Do

Dojo's Name: Tommy Carruthers
Type of Martial Art: Jeet Kune Do
Contact Person: Ian Hunter
Contact Number: N/A
Email: mynamelouie@yahoo.com
Website: tommycarruthers.com

Introduction to Ninjutsu

Ninjutsu is known as the art of endurance / perseverance/ patience, the Chinese and Japanese characters for Nin (忍) in Ninjutsu is a combination of 2 other word which is sword (刃) on top of the heart (心). There are a lot of movies or animation out there that brought the art of Ninjutsu to the public like American Ninja, 3 Ninjas, Shinobi, Ninja Turtle and Naruto.

Ninjutsu was traced back all the way to the 14th century feudal Japan with the war during Iga Province and Kōga of Japan, Samurais warriors that fought in the “actual” battle while shinobi are used as Spies, Assassin, and Thief. Ninjutsu is an art that should be taught to a shinobi in the ancient days but in this modern age it is taught to the public. During the ancient times, the male ninjas are known as Shinobi or Ninja where the female ninjas are known as Kunoichi. Although both practice the art of Ninjutsu but the focus is different.

Ancient Shinobi’s training can include techniques of gathering information, techniques of not being detected, avoidance, misdirection, disguise, escape, concealment, archery, medicine, explosives, and poisons.

There is a total if 18 different skills/disciplines that will be taught to a shinobi and it depend on them to choose the skill that they prefer to master.

The 18 Discipline:

1. Seishin-teki kyōkō – A Technique where one refine their mind and soul, Where a practitioner form a mindset to push the body to the limit allowing them to accept pain during training and actual battle.

2. Taijutsu – Unarmed body combat that teaches the practitioner to break / snap bones, striking on weak points of a human body, understanding the posture and how to fall without injuring one’s body, Striking patterns, Throws and Locks.

3. Kenjutsu – The art of sword fighting which is the same technique that Samurai uses. Kenjutsu is also considered as the mother of Kendo.

4. Bojutsu – The art of staff fighting, techniques involve are slashing, swinging, and stabbing with the staff. On Modern day Bojutsu is associated either with kobudō or koryū budō.

5. Shurikenjutsu – The art of throwing shuriken, in traditional Japanese martial arts of throwing shuriken. Shuriken comes in 2 forms, Bo-shuriken which is a straight metal spike which looks like a small iron chopstick but sharp the one that was used by Naruto is a Bo-Shuriken. The other one is a Hira-shuriken, which looks like a flat star with approx of 3mm in thickness and 10 - 12 cm wide.

6. Sōjutsu – Or known as the art of spear, The first design which was brought in from mainland China and was later modified to what it is now.

7. Naginatajutsu – The art of naginata, Naganita looks like a sword attached to a pole / wood staff. This are most seen in battlefield in the Ancient times where mostly used by soldiers and warriors.

8. Kusarigamajutsu – This style of fighting uses weapon is quite unique and it is normally used by Shinobi only The Kusarigama is made up of the Kama, a wooden handle with a curved blade on one end that look like a sickle. The Kusari, a chain attached to the Kama and a small Iron weight on the other end that allows the user to swing the weapon.

9. Kayakujutsu – The art of handling explosion, Sorry as I cant manage to write in more details regarding this as there was not much information.

10. Hensōjutsu – The art of impersonation and it is not like what you see in Ninja Cartoons. Hensōjutsu is an Art of disguise / impersonation where the shinobi will be doing a role-play to avoid being spotted and blend in well with the crowd by appearing as a farmer or priest and ect. Hensōjutsu is a specialized art for kunoichi as the chances of being suspected is lower. And for those who are well trained in this art, it is believed that they can even impersonate others in terms of appearance.

11. Shinobi-iri – The are for stealing and silent movement, this allows the shinobi to enter enemy’s terittory without being spotted

12. Bajutsu – The art of horse back riding and battle on horses.

13. Sui-ren – The are of water, water can be used in many ways, examples are like making boats or rafts and how to control the raft without being spotted, weakening bridges, poisoning water source, hiding in water and finding water in unlikely places.

14. Bōryaku – Tactics / Strategy to assist influence to the opponent.

15. Chōhō – secret information and it was one of the duty of the ninja were spying, it is like the ancient CIA

16. Intonjutsu – The art of escaping, basically Shinobi will be tied up during the training and was expected to escape from it.

17. Tenmon – The art of understanding and using the weather towards the advantage of the Shinobi.

18. Chi-mon – Known as modern day geography to assist the Shinobi’s escape or Sabotage.

I’m not sure on current subjects that the current Ninjutsu schools are teaching at the moment but according to sources, the dojo’s focus towards the practitioner are more towards Taijutsu, Kenjutsu and other armed discipline.

Dojo - Karate

Country: USA
Town: Vero Beach, Florida
Dojo's Name: Oslo Karate School
Type of Martial Art: Karate
Contact Person: Pauletta Zeran
Contact Number: N/A
Email: N/A
Website: http://www.verobeachkarate.com/

Country: USA
Town: New Braunfels TX
Dojo's Name: Black Belt Leadership
Type of Martial Art: Karate (Soryu)
Contact Person: Sensei Jesse Lussier
Contact Number: 830-606-6318
Email: lussierkarate@sbcglobal.net
Website: http://www.nbkarate.com/

Country: USA
Town: California Town
Dojo's Name: Paso Robles Dojo's
Type of Martial Art: Traditional Okinawa Shorin-Ryu ShorinKan Karate & Kobudo
Contact Person: Sensei David Rogers
Contact Number: 805-239-3232
Email: senseidavid@karateshorinkan.com
Website: www.karateshorinkan.com/

Dojo - Jiu-Jitsu

Country: USA
Town: Vero Beach, Florida
Dojo's Name: Oslo Karate School
Type of Martial Art: Jiu-Jitsu
Contact Person: Pauletta Zeran
Contact Number: N/A
Email: N/A
Website: www.verobeachkarate.com

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Introduction to Jeet Kune Do


JDK or more known as Jeet Kune Do if a philosophy developed by my Idol Mr. Bruce Lee, it was named in year 1967 after Master Lee merged in all his training from different schools to form Jeet Kune Do and he taught all his student the philosophy in developing this Martial Art which focus on simplicity, directness and adaptation to free the fighting style from limitations due to different styles of martial art.

Basically Jeet Kune Do is a school that focus on “The Style of No Style” Jeet Kune Do also focus on the centerline of both the opponent and the practitioner which was adopted from Wing Chun. This basically allow the practitioner to Attack and Counter at the fastest speed possible additional to Wing Chun The footwork of French Fencing plays as one of the main pillar for JKD as it is all about speed additional to it the exercise and punches taken from American Boxing. All this 3 is the “Core Pillar” to JKD with additional of mixtures from other styles of Martial Art.

Unfortunately to say the actual Martial Art that was opened by Master Lee was closed approx 2 years before his tragic death. All the rest of the Jeet Kune Do schools now are opened by Master Lee’s apprentices. JKD which was split into 2 Groups are Jun Fan Jeet Kune Do and Jeet Kune Do Concept Schools Jun Fan Jeet Kune Do are opened by Masters like Taky Kimura, Jerry Poteet, and Ted Wong where these Dojos claimed to teach only what was taught by Master Lee himself and encourages it’s practitioner to develop their styles from there through their abilities.

Where else the Jeet Kune Do Concept Schools has another approach where Masters like Larry Hartsell and Dan Inosanto strive to continue Master Lee’s philosophy of individual self-expression. Where the style that was taught continued to evolve up to today and the students evolve and grew with the school.
No matter which school you choose to join, JKD’s practitioner has 4 combat ranges which was evolved from different schools, the ranges are kicking, punching, trapping, grappling and all have to be practiced equally. Because all of the school focus on one same philosophy which is the “Style of No Style”

From The Pros - Taekwondo


Name: Ebony Washington

Type of Martial Arts: Taekwondo

Rank/ Belt: 1st Dan Black Belt

Years of Training: 5 years

How You Started: Well, I have always wanted to do Taekwondo since I was in 1st grade. It looked like fun and it was so cool. I had joined in 1st grade, but for some reason I never went back. I wasn't even a white belt yet though, but I knew I loved it. Years later, when I was 12, my little brother who was in 2nd grade, got a notice from his school that he brought home. It was a pamphlet for children interested in Taekwondo in our area. I was so overwhelmed and grateful. I honestly believe that that was a sign from God. It's like it came to me, like I was meant to do it, and it really was because I'm still in it now. I'm 17 now and I'm planning to stick with Taekwondo as long as I can walk! I love it. It's like no words can describe my passion for it, and honestly...I think I'm obsessed with it. It just means so much to me. Each time I got a different rank I felt so achieving and accomplished. BUT nothing beats the day I got my black belt...that was the happiest feeling on Earth. In Taekwondo when I leave my dojo, I feel so much power inside of me, and so energetic. I feel like I can punch a hole through a wall of break 5 pieces of wood. It's an amazing feeling.

Why this martial art is good: I think this martial art is good because it really teaches you to be focused and how to use your strength the right way. It also makes you very flexible and stronger. Taekwondo is the art of the fist and foot. I think that Taekwondo really focuses on that. Especially in our forms, and free style sparring. It also helps you with self defense.

Advice to Newbies: Take Taekwondoo. I guarantee that you'll fall in love with it just like I did.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

From The Pros - Bokarto


Your Name: Antonio Graceffo

Type of martial arts: Bokarto, Muay Thai Boran, Boxing, Kuntaw

Your Rank / Belt: Black Belt

Years of Training: 31 years

How you started: I started training when I was 11 because I was very small and got beat up at school. So I started training with H. David Collins, he taught American Empty Hand Fighting, which was basically kick boxing with a kung fu background. From there, I went on to work with pro-boxing coaches. I boxed in the military. I had 45 fights and won 44. I went on to train for several professional fights but only had two pro fights, both in Asia. In 2001 I moved to asia and have been training nearly full time ever since, moving from country to country, training with different masters.

I host the web TV show, Martial Arts Odyssey, where I travel from country to country training in martial arts. Unlike the shows on Discovery channel is that my show is about my real life. These are real masters and they are people I really train with. I have lived in about ten countries in my life and we have filmed martial arts odyssey is about six or eight countries.

Why you think this martial art is good: the best martial arts for striking are Khmer boxing, Muay Thai, and western boxing. They are simple, practical martial arts that teach you to strike and to get hit. Kuntaw, Yaw Yan and Bokarto are arts that include some ground fighting and grappling. I am not an expert in ground fighting, MMA or BJJ is better for ground fighting. But it is good, if you like striking, to start with a boxing or kick boxing art and then use something like Kuntaw or Bokarto to transition into ground fighting and then go get real training in either wrestling or BJJ.


Other Advice for the newbies: It doesn’t matter what art you train. Just train hard. Train every day. Don’t drink alcohol, don’t smoke, don’t use drugs. Don’t commit crimes. Train with as many masters as you can, but train seriously with each one to the black belt or brown belt level. We will start the posting this soon and for us Bokarto is an art where not alot of people have heard of it, it would be good if we havecolums like this to intro to the new people

Antonio’s website http://speakingadventure.com/

Karate Uniforms



There is no clear guideline on the uniforms that a Karateka wears, some wear white and some black, and also the arrangement of the belt differs from schools / dojo.


Referring to Shotokan Karate Belt Structure from Sensei Robert, the colours start from:


White

Blue

Red

Orange

Yellow

Green

Purple

Purple with 2 White Stripes

Brown

Brown with 2 White Stripes

Brown with 2 Red Stripes

Black (Dan and above)

those with different schools and different colour structure, please inform us...


Thanks

Dojo - Wing Chun

Country: Philippines
Town: Angat, Bulacan
School Name: B&A White Tiger Kung Fu Academy and Fitness Centre/Wing Chun-Jutsu Martial Arts School
Type of Martial Art: Samut Sari Wing Chun/Jutsu
Contact Person; Sifu Robert Bridges
Contact Number: 09286968203 (Philippines) 904-667-0146 (United States)
Email: kungfuman74@yahoo.com
Website: Under Construction

Country: UK
Town: Hemel Hempstead
Dojo's Name: Wingtsun Hemel
Type of Martial Art: Wing Chun
Contact Person: Chris Watts
Contact Number: 0780 983 9527
Email: chriswatts@wthemel.co.uk
Website: www.wthemel.co.uk

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Introduction to Wing Chun

Wing Chun or Yong Chun translates to “Forever Spring” is a 2 type Martial Art which has both close-range body combat and armed combat (Butterfly Sword and Long Pole), and the most famous Practitioner in this Martial Art is none other than my idol Mr. Bruce Lee which founded Jeet Kwan Do which compromise a mixture of few martial arts.

Most of the martial arts is named after the style they carry like the art of punch and kick or the art of sword except Wing Chun. Not all are familiar with the name Wing Chun Yim, but she is the Great Grandmaster of Wing Chun, legend says that Master Yim learns about martial arts from a Buddhist nun, Ng Mui from Shaolin due to a challenge from a local warloard and if Master Yim loses the challenge, she will be forced to marry him. And of course she won the challenge, and later she marries Bac-Chou Leung, and Master Leung was Master Yim’s first disciple and Master Leung was the one who named the martial art using his beloved’s wife’s name Wing Chun.

Wing Chun’s style of Martial Art is well known for it’s speed as it’s attack are targeted towards the straightest possible path to hit it’s opponent. I guess that is the same guideline that Jeet Kwan Do follows. I’m not trying to be bias here, but “most” female have less force than male Martial Artist when it comes to attack, therefore Wing Chun which originated from Master Yim focus on perfect timing on both the stance and movement to defeat the opponent rather than using force itself. Therefore Wing Chun is suitable for people who is weaker in strength as muscles and strength are not a requirement in this martial art.

Instead of having a big set of biceps, the art of Wing Chun believes that the winning chances will side the person with a better structure or stance. Wing Chun also trains the practitioner about being aware of their own body movement to maintain body balance so that one can recover quickly after avoiding an attack.

Chi Sao or sticking hands is most seen in Chinese Martial Arts Movies as this practice is used to develop the reflexes in Wing Chun. This practice help the practitioner to understand it’s opponent’s movement and to both attack and counter their opponent’s movement precisely and also to learn how to trap it’s opponent from moving into another attack.

Image taken from: davydoom.com

Monday, May 11, 2009

Introduction to Karate


Karate-do in Kanji, means the way of the empty hand, most of us when we think of the Art of Karate, we should relate more to the movie Karate Kid (1984) or Mr. Miyagi's Wax On and Wax Off. Karate began as a common fighting style among the Ryukyuans from the Ryuku Island. There are a lot of influence of Chinese Martial Arts in Karate from the White Crane and 5 Ancestors school of martial arts. This happen in 1392 where both Japan and China had a Cultural Exchange program and both countries shares knowledge of Science and Arts.

Karate become more popular during 1429 with the Policy of Banning Weapons by King Sho Hashi. The main focus of Karate is an art that uses Punch, Kick, Knee and Elbow to hit the opponent, but other techniques like Knife-hands, Grappling and locks are also taught in some schools.

For any Karateka, the name Grandmaster Anko Itosu (1831 – 1915) should ring a bell, as he is considered as the Grandfather of Modern Karate, it is because of Grandmaster Anko Itosu the art of Karate was introduced to Public Schools in 1901. Grandmaster’s other attributes are including creating many other forms that is used is most of the Karate Schools. Also he had trained many other famous masters including Kenwa Mabuni and Motobu Choki.

Due to there is too many types of Kata, there are 2 different Federation that recognized their own style:

World Karate Federation (WKF) - recognized by International Olympic Committee
- Gōjū-ryū
- Shitō-ryū
- Shōtōkan-ryū
- Wadō-ryū

The World Union of Karate-do Organizations (WUKO)
- Gōjū-ryū
- Shitō-ryū
- Shōtōkan-ryū
- Wadō-ryū

Additionals for (WUKO):
- Shōrin-ryū
- Uechi-ryū
- Kyokushinkai
- Budōkan


Image Taken from shotokankarate.co.nz

Dojo - Kenjutsu

Country: Spain
Town: Colmenar ViejoDojo's
Name: Bushido Colmenar
Type of Martial Art: Kenjutsu
Contact Person: Luis Marquerie
Contact Number: 635964581
Email: luismarquerie@yahoo.es

Dojo - Iaido

Country: Spain
Town: Colmenar Viejo
Dojo's Name: Bushido Colmenar
Type of Martial Art: Iaido
Contact Person: Luis Marquerie
Contact Number: 635964581
Email: luismarquerie@yahoo.es

Dojo - Aikido

Country: Spain
Town: Colmenar Viejo
Dojo's Name: Bushido Colmenar
Type of Martial Art: Aikido
Contact Person: Luis Marquerie
Contact Number: 635964581
Email: luismarquerie@yahoo.es

Country: Serbia, Europe
Town: Belgrade
Dojo's Name: Aikido dojo ARENA
Type of Martial Art: Aikido – Traditional Aikikai
Contact Person: Nebojsa Oklobdzija 4th Dan Black Belt
Contact Number: +381638032728
Email: office@aikido-beograd.com
Website: www.aikido-beograd.com

Dojo - Kendo

Country: Spain
Town: Colmenar Viejo
Dojo's Name: Bushido Colmenar
Type of Martial Art: Kendo
Contact Person: Luis Marquerie
Contact Number: 635964581
Email: luismarquerie@yahoo.es
Website: N/A

Country: Denmark
Town: Aarhus
Dojo's Name: Soryukan
Type of Martial Art: Kendo
Contact Person: Roberto Sarno
Contact Number:+45 27 28 32 11
Email: robsarno@hotmail.com
Website: www.aarhuskendo.dk

Taekwondo - Taegeuk

Taegeuk is the Kata for Taekwondo, these images are taken from choisuta.com, I hope this can be a good help for those who needed these information.
Thanks