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


-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


-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


-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