Fu Zhong Wen, Yang Chen Fu, Yang Shao Hao, Sun Lu Tang, Wu Chien Quan, Ma Yueh Liang, Tung Ji Yieh, Chen Wei Ming (below Sun Lu Tang)

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Boxing with Partner drills . Part 2.

If you missed Part 1 (solo training for boxing) click here Part 2: Boxing requires partners for further development of skills. While the bag might be still and not moving, with pad work and glove work you get a better feel of a moving partner and someone hitting back.

focus mitts: good focus mitt work will have the partner hit back with the focus mitts

Muay thai with foucs mitts: hitting back, making puncher more active:

Good boxing demo using focus mitts:

focus mitt drill outs: this is using the fous mitts to drill the partner in a way to increase punch endurance. Punching and not getting tired.

situation sparring: Here we will focus on showing some various ways of "pre-sparring" or sparring with the various themes. example: I go you go. One person hits and other defends and reverse, you hit, other guy defends. This is good for very new people. There is also all defense round vs all attack round. Another version might be both partners only use jab and double jab in a sparring round, or one person uses cross and another person uses hook in a sparring round. the possibilites of creating these themes becomes endless. Partner work videos:
Boxing flow drill- slip weave
Boxing- defense vs jab drill
Boxing- defense vs parry, counter punch
Boxing- speed stacked combo
Boxing- basic mitt combo with defense and counter
Boxing- counter punch combo
Boxing: one for one jab cross hook cover drill
Boxing: jab spar defense drill, one for one, I go you go
Boxing- body punching conditioning
Boxing: medicine ball punching
Boxing: medicine ball body conditioning abs

glove work drills: glove work can mean using the glove like a focus mitt with your partner: example: leap frogging the punch. tap/parry and counter sample:

medicine ball partner conditioning: Medicine ball is a great way to condition the body to take hits, allow the partner to hit your body with the medicine ball. you can do throws, twists, punching etc. sample here:

sparring: now you are ready after some previous confidence building drills. Wear safety gear and do not be afraid to get hit. If you are doing the right conditioning exercises, this will prevent injury. Protect self at all times. Safety is also having someone manage the bouts and coach the sparring guys. Take your sparring to various degrees. Light, medium, and in competition time- hard. use a timer for anywhere from 2 to 4 minute rounds depending on your sport. If you like MMA some rounds go as high as 5 to 10 minutes. sparring clip

Saturday, December 7, 2013

A sample solo (non-partner) boxing workout. Part 1.

Blog on Boxing for health, fun, strength, and self defense. While this is a Boxing only thread, this does not guarantee you will have great fighting skill. There are many types of fighting out there. Boxing trains great footwork, defense skills, and hand punching only. Boxing will not have many answers to a kick boxer's kick, throws and grappling with Judo and Jujitsu guys, and ground/other fighting styles. However the training is intense and time tested in regards to athletic ability for sports and general self defense.

Here is a sample on how to make a useful solo practice if you do not have a partner to train with. In this example the gym here has a few bags: heavy bag, speed bag, double ended bag. However, you can still do many of these without various boxing bags, as you do not want to over emphasis bag work to begin with. It can develop bad habits in stepping, it does have specific uses however that will be mentioned. There is more to boxing than over doing bag work.

Blog: Old school boxing training: Falls Church Va.
Blog: Old School boxing training: Annandale Va.
Blog: Old School boxing training: Richmond Va.

Our next edition (Part 2) click here we will have some partner training with flow drills, focus mitt work, sparring themes, live sparring, and partner conditioning work with medicine ball.

Here is one of the warm ups we do: 15 minutes of hopping bouncing, (more without hands) to get body warmed up. Stepping is everything in boxing and it needs to be constantly refined.

A 1901 book on Boxing: In the book “Physical culture and Self Defense” Robert Fitzsimmons, the author suggests a good exercise to get started- “The first lesson: for your first lesson in boxing do not think of your hands. Jump about on your toes as if you were dancing a hornpipe. Bend the knees and straighten them again. Spring from one foot to the other, forward and back. Bring the left foot forward with a spring from the toes of the right , and do the same with the right foot forward. All this will make you quick and shifty on your feet, which is a most important requirement in a good boxer. When you can jump around like this for 15 minutes at a time without getting tired or losing your wind, and if you do it quickly you will find that it is not so easy as you think, it will be time to learn the way to stand when boxing. Of course, you never stand still. You should always keep your legs moving.”-R.Fitzsimmons

Basic punches refinement: try a few rounds of just warming up your arm with punches: work a round of cross/straight rt. a round of lead hooks, a round of upper cuts, body shot, etc..

Basic stepping with punching: As fundamental as this is, it is critical. It is important to have good coordination of punching with footwork/stepping. there is a science to this. Punches need a ground path from the foot, through the legs, up the spine, and out the hand. On impact the hand transfers force back through shoulder , hips, knee, and foot. It very much has to do with stability when punching. Many times you see a guy over extend a punch from throwing so hard the back foot comes off the ground and the puncher loses balance. These drills, as simple as they are, help with creating a proper foundation for stepping and punching.

Shadow boxing and jump rope. Shadow boxing is done for a few rounds at warm-up time. We also do a few more rounds of shadow boxing after doing some heavy and speed bag work to train punching after having done hard hitting and speed bag/ hand speed work. This should change the way you throw punches, especially after you start getting tired. When training Shadow boxing, you need to cleverly put your combinations together, visualize the opponent coming at you with striking, use defense and offense, and regulate your breathing.

jump rope- jump rope is much like the hopping drill but will train fast feet. there are many stepping patterns to try: Ali's, high knees, butt kicks, skier, mini-lunges, double unders, etc. this is to build strength and endurance in legs and breathing.

Structured heavy Bag rounds- now it is time to work on those basic punches on the Heavy bag. Do a round of jabs, double jabs, triple jabs. Do a round of just cross, same with hooks, and body punches. Keep moving around and don't stand in the same place. Since most people are right handed, I suggest to move to your right a majority of the time, as if avoiding getting hit by their right handed power shot. Unless the guy is south paw (left handed) move to your left. A heavy bag give you a chance to really put power into the bag so hit hard, hit really hard and get used to it. Do a strike that will make someone respect you if they mess with you on the streets.

Freestyle Heavy bag rounds- now put all those basics together and have fun. Make yourself tired and get used to continuing when you are tired.

Speed bag- speed bag trains hand speed. there are several hand technique patters. basics are the x pattern, hammer fist/punch, punch, hammerfist, backfist. single rebound, double rebound, etc. Single rebound:

Regular speed bag:

double ended bag- this will train your head movement as this bag/ball will hit you back as it is very fast. Do a few rounds on it. you can go freestyle or drill specifics. This example is continuous punching:

Shadow box again: I mentioned earlier and want to re-emphasize, do some shadow boxing after doing bag work. You should notice a big change, especially after speed bag work.

Closing warm-down with Calisthenics, Abs, stretching: Some sample exercises that have dynamic stretching, abdominal work, push up variations, and stretching while still warm.
stretches: a very much neglected part of training. We do stretching to strengthen and protect the muscles, increase range of mobility, and develop elasticity.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

2006 Archives: Pre-fight training, throw research, Pai Dai gong- hit conditioning, stretching, 2009: fight club.

Pre-fight training in a small room, too small for sparring, should of been outside. Gloves worn backward for extra padding.

Non-compliant push hands

Taiji technique research takedowns and techniques
Taiji root training, Pai Dai gong- hit training of Taiji and Shaolin.

Stretching: get your stretching on you lazy sons-of-b$%#@es. tired of hearing about how you Taiji guys don't need it.bullshit.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Compliant and Non-compliant training

There has been a lot of discussion of what compliant and non-compliant training is on several forums. Basically it is this.... there is training with cooperation where you might be teaching something and the other person is a partner, there is no threat of injury and you are both cooperating to achieve a goal or understanding of a technique. Then there is non-compliant training where you test your objective and technique vs. a resisting opponent who in turn is allowed to use techniques against you. The issue arouse because there are way to many Youtube clips of teachers able to demonstrate techniques on the following types: a man teacher able to easily apply a technique on a girl, a teacher easily defeating his student, and many other suspect clips that claim to be showing some devestating martial arts demonstrations starring friends.

Here are some samples of my own compliant and non-compliant training in push hands and sparring:
Straight up sparring: here I visit a school's open sparring night (these are not my students) and I spar non-compliantly with group at a medium pace. Nobody is out to "kill" each other and I even take some good hits. There are at least a half dozen schools that have open sparring. This school was nice enough to allow video taping of sparring. Video taping of sparring is an excellent way to evaluate yourself in what good and bad things you are doing.

Non-compliant push hands- we are testing each other. One of several park groups in the DC area that has push hands gatherings. David was nice enough to allow some video taping (circa 2007):

Non-compliant push hands

I have done many sport competition fights from the years 1996 to about 2009. You can't get any more of a non-compliant person than someone wanting to win, especially with it legal to try to knock you out. In all, I did around 7 or 8 full contact sport fights,record (4 wins, 2 loses, 1 draw). Defended myself in a few street altercations as well. I did about a total of 8 push hands matches in various national competitions (U.S. Koushu, USAWKF, AToC). Each event full contact and push hands were challenging, but on amateur level. I was never a full time instructor with a school who fought, I was a I.T. guy with a passion in martial arts. I am pretty disappointed in many of the full time martial arts instructors out there who never had the guts to try their hand at full contact fighting. I was lucky enough to get these two fights on video from an opponent and promoter.
Lei Tai raised platform fight- lost by points. 1:30 timed rounds.

San Da fight in Ring- Draw. 3 x 2minute rounds.

here is another compliant Taiji chen push hands drill- reviewing the pattern used in Chen Taijiquan. It is compliant and co-operative, in no point is there a challenge or need to "defend"

another example of compliant training where we are reviewing some of the push hands techniques and patterns to understand the nature of the lesson and exercise.

Here is an example of a drill going from cooperative to free play. here I am showing the structure of a drill and how it can become "freeplay"

Da Lu compliant training- working the pattern with a partner, no need to shove and push and try to overbear the partner since that is not the goal here.

Complaint takedown training, a training in technique and how it works, not in a resisting scenario but to understand mechanics.

Sparring non-compliantly with a resisting opponent where it is 'fair game' to hit anywhere. These are not students but open sparring with boxers, muay thai, kung fu, and MMA athletes.

Taiji technique research takedowns and techniques

This is a video with a friend visiting whom i met from a forum and we are doing a free play using Baguazhang and Taijiquan Tui shou and Rou shou techniques. Here we test each other various techniques:

In the same light here is a co-operative (compliant) workout using a specific form of Baguazhang, a pattern and two person technique training drill.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Interview with Mike Graves: Tai Chi Chuan Fighter who fought in England and Europe

Interview with Mike Graves: I first met mike on Facebook in the Internal martial arts forum. Mike posted one of his fights on his profile, I was pretty amazed. some fights-

fight 2-

Q: Where does your Taiji fighting background start? Who were all your teachers? what lineage do you represent?

Mike: I started training T'ai Chi Chuan in early 1995 with Bob France, an instructor of Cheng Man Ch'ing and Traditional Yang Style from Master Chu King Hung of Master Yang Shou-chung lineage (Yang Cheng Fu eldest son). Looking for Pakua Bob France passed me on to David Nicholson, who quickly told me to forget Pakua and focus on my T'ai Chi (in his words "You're T'ai Chi is crap"...lol). He also had studied with one of Chu King Hung students, Ray Wilke, as well as with Chu himself. From Dave, I practiced Traditional Yang and 24 Modern form, which we all learned from Professor Li Deyin, nephew of the creator, Li Tian Ji; here I need to point out Dave's instructor at the time was Mr. Richard Watson (17 year indoor student of Chu King Hung), who founded the Longfei Taijiquan Association of Great Britain and the organization I belong & represent. Also from Professor Li, Master Wang Yanji, (student of Li Tianji and Niu Sheng Xian), I learned Sun Style Taiji and 5 Elements of Xingyi and basics of Pakua... All of my core tutelage was from David Nicholson primarily, and intense studies and private lessons with the others as well as summer camps, seminars and training sessions.

Q:In all your fights I notice that you quickly engage the opponent and kind of smother all their attempts at striking and win the take down. was this part of the strategy in your school?

Mike: Not necessarily a strategy, as much as, not being that experienced & not knowing what to expect, per se...tried to adapt to what was presented & “no strategy” was more the concept...a bold step I suppose in hindsight...A classmate, Adrian Izzard & I would go to a boxing gym in York, England and do a bit of sparring with the guys there and that's how the crowding was noted as a possibility, but also, we had a concept..."take his root..." Dave would say. So that meant, take his root…pick him up slam you've taken his root, pull his leg from underneath him, take his root... use ward off to "peng" him away, you've taken his root...and then the follow up was, now see how they respond...

Q: did you guys train any specific taiji striking or more take down? did you have a wrestling or boxing background at all?

Mike:For Taiji striking, we came out of a heavily pushing-hands based training; lots of drills, conditioning exercises, stretching, theory and practicum from that theory. Ensure that it works, how it works...striking was really basic, which again in hindsight, was unfortunate, because I wasn’t a good puncher, like with jabs and hooks, boxing type...I had no other background in fighting, except movies, lol, before I started Taiji; this was at 25 years old...

Q: what is your fight record? amateur and pro. Did you compete only in England or did you get to travel around? what other countries have you trained or competed in?

Mike: My overall fight record was 5-3 (I lost two pro fights); the intent wasn't actually to fight more than one or two fights period, just to get the experience of fighting someone who doesn't know you or train with you coming at you without regard. And then to only apply Taiji principles, fail or succeed; not kickboxing or any other style of fighting which could be easily adapted for the San Shou & full-contact environment! The only reason I did full contact pro fights was because I was asked by someone, (can't actually remember the name at the moment, who ran the British team at the time) to participate in an San Shou event being held in London, on TV (Eurosport), he liked my throws and things that you've seen from my videos on YouTube; my instructor actually said no, "...he's not making a career of it...". After some deliberation over a few weeks, we talked & thought it would be a good opportunity to represent our perspective of Taijiquan for combat. For that event I fought twice; won the first and lost the second for the championship, to a Romanian fighter. I only competed in the UK in San Shou/Full Contact; my other competitions were primarily form and push hands. We would travel to mainland Europe and compete, we had an annual trip to Utrecht, Holland, just south of Amsterdam; this all happened in a span of about 3 years. I returned to the U.S. in 2001. I did a bit of training in Australia, Alice Springs in the outback. There, I actually trained with some Aikido and Eskrima practitioners; we did an exchange. They were practicing Taijiquan (Traditional Yang) but wanted some insight & details, so in exchange they showed me some Aikido and Eskrima (this was only a little over a three week period though). They were impressed that they couldn't throw or off balance me with their Aikido...a nice experience...I've only done pushing hands, here in the U.S.

Q: What parts of Taijiquan training do you think has helped you the most?

Mike: For me, things are so married. Without the form I wouldn't have been able to grasp the applications, which feed my pushing hands, which helped my fighting overall...as an isolation, there were a ton of drills we practiced, very accurately, repetitive, heavily principle based (visualization, breathing, coordination, yin and yang, etc. the gamut) hammered in...it always started rough and ugly but once it all click it was a nice as a form. Speaking of drills I will need to give some credence to Vincent Chu, son of Chu Gin Soon, and Rob Poyton, also in the UK (most noted nowadays for his Systema, which I dabbled in too). Vincent kind of bridged the gap between pushing hands & fighting. One night at Rob Poyton's during a party, in Rob's garage...I was beat down by Vincent in what I thought was going to be some run of the mill pushing hands. I expected to be tossed about and pushed & pulled...but he was smacking & hitting me all over the place and then explaining with broken English and re-positioning what he was doing, what I was & wasn't doing and how to? Bing, eye-opener...I've heard others say, "Oh, he doesn't teach that stuff over here"...we got a lot of conditioning drills from Vincent and fighting sets, a lot of which I've since forgotten. Not because it wasn't worthy, just not anyone to practice with once I got here (here, being San Antonio, Texas). Phew! so to answer the question it would probably be the principles because you can apply them to so many things.

Q: what is your current view on the current state of taijiquan as a martial art?

Mike: My current view of the state of Taijiquan as a martial art is that it's not in good representation for what it has been described to be, a martial art. The best thus far in recent years was the Chen vs the Muay Thai fighters; it was good but we all know what we really want to see; representation of the "amazing" Taijiquan. What most see as relevant is when you represent your art without excuses, i.e. "oh I had on gloves", "I can strike the vital points", "there are too many rules", a plethora of excuses emerge, but we are not short of talk about how great the art is and what can be done. I consider myself low on the totem-pole in regards of being a representative, I will always do my part, but I'm not that person to take a pounding day in & day out in a ring. So from that perspective, I do understand but I'm also not a member of any major families. One would think there would be one, that would say (pardon the language), but "Fuck it, I will show them" and put the mystery to rest. That was the mindset we had. We were confident it would work and if it didn't, it wasn't the art, it was the person. I don't appreciate all the talk of who has the "secret transmission" and if you don't have it, you're never going to be able to achieve any true level of skill. There's a lot of people on the internet that are Masters, Grand Masters, indoor disciples but with very limited skill. They talk in abstract terms and pundits listen and watch in awe; but look at the typical Taiji practitioner, middle-aged, not very athletic & somewhat easy to impress. And they become the cheer leading squad and some go on an ego ride at the expense of the art. I would just say, don't hide behind the stories or legends of the past, you do it, show that it's still relevant!

Push Hand clip- similar to Wing cChun "oh my Striking Hands...that kind of comes from some of the pushing hands from Vincent Chu...adapted with my experience and Dave's concepts...some training I got in boxing...so a myriad of influences, key though was redirect and attack, collapse and attack, uproot and attack.."-Mike Graves

Q: What is your opinion of the talk on tui shou (as a means to an end), fa jins, and other mysterious "qi power" and such for fighting?

Mike: Tui shou can be quite good to grasp many of the fighting concepts, but definitely not a means to an end, a connecting piece. What I know and practice of Fa Jin, it is functional and useful, and at times, devastating! I don't think it is mysterious, but I do think a lot of what is presented as Fa Jin or proof thereof is a crock. Again, it goes back to if you can do it, then do it. Don't tell me about it or create some isolated situation where you're doing it under established circumstances...Vincent Chu did some things on me and I wasn't a willing subject, not bouncing uncontrollable but definitely shifting me away and I know I wasn’t thinking about attacking and if I was to try and attack I would be in a horrible position. Some of the things on videos online I can do, so I know it's not mysterious, but it's also not the "...barely touch and person flies away from you..." stuff (maybe my skill is just piss poor). It's truly annoying though and makes us look like buffoons, because when it comes to fighting and applying it to the "high level", no one seems to be able to do it or try it...I have seen some Taiji folks fighting in full contact bouts, but they picked up other arts and only use a small portion of the concepts of Taiji; so no confidence in the principles... I always thought that I had a bit of success with the little skill I had, so those who were more skilled and renowned should fair way way better than me...so to me the so-called fa jin bouncing people away is cool to show foundation, coordination, root, etc. but now show it in a practical sense, when someone is punching, kicking, shooting, whatever...I've been in these situations, outside of the ring as well, again with success...I just don't see myself as a high level practitioner so I wish for that person to step up...until then I will do what I can from my platform to ensure what I show is legit... As for researching whether it exists, I think it needs to be better defined, that is, the mystery of Fa Jin and the "qi power"...too many definitions and confusing ideas of what should be the end result...if you look at my video my best example of me attempting any semblance of fa jin is my push and the punch at the end. The punch because of the technique I was introduced to, if you want warm fa jin, they should bounce away (push, sort of), if you use cold fa jin, they shouldn't be able to stand (the punch); that was the basic concept. Nowadays, it's so far fetched and doesn't deliver with the claims, which is shameful. I can go on with this stuff for ages...lol...
Oh, now, get this if you look at some of the videos of Vincent Chu, Chu Gin Soon, and Chu King Hung...the stuff is psuedo...I know it's not legit but, at least I know first hand Vincent can do some powerful stuff and Chu King Hung can also, as told to me by a David Nicholson, who, please believe me, is not a tag-along, he calls it as he sees it...thus the reason we trained really hard because he was trying to obtain it like a madman and I was his guinea pig, along with my senior classmate Adrian Izzard...this Adrian (6'2" close to 200 or so pounds) in China in park with this amazing Tai Chi guy pushing hands...

Push-hand of Master Yuanxing vs British Hypo-heavyweight Four 老六路袁興推手 www.youtube.com 袁興先生早年與英國次重量級推手第四名交流視頻 袁興,生於上世紀六十年代,北京人,畢業于北京大學醫學部(原北京醫科大學),早年隨形意名家李耀亭先生學習少林、形意等拳術,八十年代開始隨汪永泉--孫德善之首徒高友 臣先生(石匠高)練習京城皇族王府體系的楊式老六路太極拳,其間又經該體系隱士指點, 加之二十多年酷愛武術悟修...

This is Master Wang Yanji (I studied Yang 24, Sun Style, Hsing-I, Pakua and pushing hands with him)...he's also a member of Longfei Taijiquan Association based in Sweden.
形意拳传统套路鸡形 Xingyiquan Chicken performance by Master Wang Yanji. 王燕基, The Tiger form as taught by Master Li Tianji and Pro.Li deyin.

And you've probably seen this one, but this is David Nicholson and I working on peng and the "fa jin" concepts: Dave Nicholson & Mike Graves Tai Chi Chuan (Taijiquan) peng (ward off) training drill. A demonstration by David Nicholson and student Mike Graves in Scunthorpe, England of Taijiquan peng (ward off) and fajing (fa jing, fa jin) energy. This is a new one from a few months back of me working with a Choy Li Fut group who practice Taijiquan (they wanted more martial understanding)...

Practicing a Fa Jin Drill Chu King Hung... http://www.itcca.org/site/content/org/Master_chu_king_hung_20050809020307/index

ITCCA International Tai Chi Chuan Association | Master Chu King Hung | www.itcca.org

Vincent Chu... http://www.gstaichi.org/english/vincentChu.php

Gin Soon Tai Chi Chuan Federation www.gstaichi.org

• Today My school site is, www.longfei-taiji.co.uk
Tai Chi helps promote good health by balancing the body's structure and its function. Benefits include Relaxation, De-stressing, Strength and Peace of Mind.
Some info on me on page two: http://www.longfei-taiji.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/Longfei-Newsletter-1999-Vol-2-Issue-1.pdf

on the second page here... http://www.longfei-taiji.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/Longfei-Newsletter-1999-Vol-2-Issue-2.pdf

Not something that I coined but have said that I went through the "Harvard" School of Taiji...lol...we had a lot of exposure to great people and material...some standardized and other traditional...

Q: i think we have talked about Dj'ing on occasion, who were your earliest influences? I grew up in the 1980's break dancing era. I think i have had more concussions not from fighting, but from soccer, competition skateboarding, and break dancing. Old school we had LL Cool J, Run DMC, EPMD, Stetsasonic, Eric B and Rakim, BDP (I met KRS One once), Beastie Boys, etc.

Mike: Wow, earliest influences pretty much matches all those you mentioned above actually, very East Coast based hip-hop, all the way up to the Wu Tang, Biggie, Jay-Z era...(when I DJ'd I met Public Enemy, Naughty by Nature, hung out back stage with the Beastie Boys for a bit, so down to earth, and a slew of others)...KRS-One has always been my all time favorite hands down,period!...from there I started branching more & more to what is coined as "underground" hip-hop; J Dilla, Madlib, MF Doom, etc., but still maintain the staples, old school artist...it all really influences my fighting style per se, even to this day...it's rhythmic, that's what had always attracted me to Chinese Martial Arts, the old Shaw Brother's Production, and then coming up in the early hip hop era, with break dancing and acrobatics; keep in mind some of the major actors where as Opera Performers or trained under those tenets...So it seems we came in the same era, I'm originally from North Carolina, but haven't lived there since I was 17; went to England at 18 due the Air Force (thank you!) where I later began my Taiji training on my second tour there.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Chen Taijiquan vs Muay Thai Sept. 28, 2013

Ok just watched them. The rules looked like no elbows or knees. I saw some of the chinese fighters getting saved by ref a few times. I thought i saw some bad decisions. The Chinese throws probably scored high. I saw some good thai throws. props to those Taiji guys not scared to get in there and pressure testing fight skills under a set of rules.

Chen Tai Chi VS Muay Thai
1. http://v.youku.com/v_show/id_XNjE1MTM5ODAw.html

 2. http://v.youku.com/v_show/id_XNjE1MTYzNzgw.html

3. http://v.youku.com/v_show/id_XNjE1MTQ2NTY0.html

4. http://v.youku.com/v_show/id_XNjE1MTIyODg0.html

5. http://v.youku.com/v_show/id_XNjE1MTE2NDUy.html

Monday, August 12, 2013

"Grasp the Bird Tail", "4 Square" and other training comparisons in the Yang Family, Zheng Man Qing, and other Yang Taijiquan variations

Last update to this page 8/31/2013

While this post seems to 'bash' Zheng Man Qing/Cheng Man Ching...it really concludes that there are some excellent qualities he did actually have. It is really an analysis of the "Yang style" curriculum and what some are doing and what others are not. I never met the man, so I can not make a judgement, however I show positive and negative aspects. His legacy continues with great teachers as William CC Chen, Ben Lo, Huang Sheng Shyuan, Liu Xiheng, Robert W. Smith, and others. With teachers of that level, I conclude he had a level of gong fu that is worthy of talking about.

Zheng Man Qing (ZMQ) is a well known disciple of Yang Chen Fu (YCF), yet his system of Taijiquan is missing an extraordinary amount of drills and trainings that are common in its mother system of Yang Taijiquan. While he popularized Taijiquan in Taiwan and USA, his system is more well known in the free world and often considered by most the standard complete form of Taijiquan. I am not sure why I often get so much backlash from ZMQ players when I try to present training techniques and drills that are used by the Yang Family system. As someone who started ZMQ Taijiquan in late 80's and continue to practice, I am starting to get annoyed with the level of close-mindedness the ZMQ community has toward their root system. I suppose, since if it did not come from ZMQ then it isn't in Taijiquan right? No. ZMQ's Taijiquan is a simplified version of Yang Taijiquan's Long form. The ZMQ short form has 37 postures and is missing a great deal of many Long form postures. For example: Part horse Mane, Needle at Sea bottom, Turn and strike series/White snake spits tongue, Strike Tiger left and right, high pat horse, open Fan, and a few others were excluded in ZMQ's short form.

Fan through Back:
Part Wild horse Mane
High pat Horse
Needle at bottom of Sea
Turn and strike

Zheng Man Qing's short form and push hands-

Yang Long Form

Masters and Teachers on why ZMQ students to should learn from the source:

1. Da Liu, a student of ZMQ says in his book, at page 2 of 'T'ai Chi Ch'uan and I Ching', Da Liu says: "The long form of the Yang school has 108 different postures. It is like the Yangtze River, long but gently flowing. It lasts fifteen to twenty minutes when fully comprehended. The professional T'ai Chi student should learn this form. The short form, which is recommended for the average student, is much easier to learn, comprising about fifty forms and taking from seven to ten minutes to perform. It is good for the office worker and for people who wish to improve their health and can be practiced two or three times a day." (from Yang Family forum)

2. Regarding Yang family comments on Cheng Man-ch'ing, Fu Zhongwen stated in an interview published in Inside Kung-fu, April 1993: "Cheng Man-ch'ing is probably the most famous taijiquan teacher in America. I knew him when he came to Shanghai to study with my uncle Yang Cheng-fu. He was a very great artist. He was very interested in learning and practicing taiji tui shou (push hands), which he did quite heavily with Yang Cheng-fu and all those around him who were the most skilled...Cheng Man- ch'ing was legitimate, and now it is important for his students and other North American practitioners to research where 'they first drank the water.' The traditional methods of the Yang family style must be preserved..." The preceding excerpt from Fu Zhongwen's comments is most pertinent to the current discussion, but he went on to say that he felt that he saw differences in the way the short form and long forms were done.(from Yang Family forum)

Fu Zhong Wen and son Fu Sheng Yuan

3. Lastly, my first taste of Taijiquan came from a local teacher in Virginia Beach named Larry Mann, who taught the ZMQ's Short form and hosted Ben Lo seminars. He was the first to tell me, "The short form comes from the Long Form. Yang Zhen Dou is teaching a seminar up in Washington D.C., I suggest all my students go and learn this form from Yang Family inheritor Yang Zhen Dou" He then proceeded to hand out a flyer for the event.

I think a big major problem of this is due to ZMQ being a much later disciple of Yang Chen Fu in the early 1930's before YCF's untimely death, and not getting all the training and lessons as YCF's sons and relatives had received. The following drills I demonstrate come from the lines of Yang Zhen Jie (oldest surviving Yang family member) and Fu Zhong Wen (nephew of Yang Chen Fu).

Tui Shou and other differences:

1. 'Grasp the Birds Tail', various single hand, double hand, and moving step partner drills (first 5 minutes of this video)is one of the first partner trainings a novice person who learns the Yang long form will learn. It contains the essence of the applications so that when the person trains in the solo form and does the "Grasp Bird Tail" series of movements, they are aware of how to use and visualize the intention on the core movements of Pung (Ward off), Lu (Rollback), Ji (Press), and An (Push).

2. Four Square Tui Shou in the Yang System (starting at beginning of video)- Four square is another understanding of the energies of Pung, Lu, Jie, and An in a fixed pattern for Tui Shou. The fixed pattern contains the essence of the 4 core/square movements and trains the practitioner to understand the energies of:

Teng Jing (listening energy): the ability to feel precisely the direction of the push on contact.

Nian Jing (adhering energy): the ability to stick and keep in contact with your partner.

Hua Jing (neutralizing energy): the ability to neutralize the force directed towards you.

Lian Jing: (Continuous, connected energy). the ability to be connected in order for your reactions, to any attack, to follow the principle that as soon as your opponent moves.

Mian Jing: (Cotton, soft energy). the ability to use sensitivity that you achieve enables you to detect even the slightest changes in the movements of your opponent.

Sui Jing: (following energy). the ability to follow if the opponent steps either back or forwards.

Bu Dio Ding: Never loose contact and avoid using force against force.

Fa Jing (explosive energy): the ability to project your own chi and throw your partner away.

Yang Zhen Dou and Yang Jun of Yang Family
Yang Jun video on Push hands

3. Four square in the ZMQ system is called "Sui Zheng Tui" video (Starting at :29 sec) : this is totally different and modified from the previous version and not seen or found in other Yang Family style. Tung family,Fu family, Yang family, none of these families who studied with Yang Chen Fu practice this variation:

4. Da shou or striking hands video before Tui shou there was "striking hands" partner drills that used striking and parrying similar to "step-parry-punch" and other sections of the Long Form. These are flow drills that are not seen in many styles of Taijiquan. A private video is available upon request on my Youtube if you have a Youtube account.Find me there and send a request.

5. 88 two man fight set (Partner san shou) and Fast frame forms- these are controversial forms even for the Yang family today. It is widely practiced by people who studied with the Yang family. Yang Chen Fu was said to have teaches a Long form and Long fist fast form. Chen Wei Ming's book on Yang Long boxing fast form. Tung family teaches this, Chen Wei Ming, fast forms are in the Imperial Yang Taijiquan system and Wu Jian Quan's Taijiquan system. My ideology on the 88 two man set and fast frames is based on the Tibetan mandala, "Pacify, Enrich, Magnetize, Destroy." My interpretation is this: Pacify: be a skeptic and question it. Enrich- learn it and make distinction, find usefulness. Magnetize- learn all you can from it, digest the knowledge, go deep and make it a part of your gong fu. Destroy- let go of it, you have gotten as much as you can from it, it is contrived and not true free fighting, it is a tool and the tool has done its job, move on. Book containing the 88 two person set translation: Chen YanLin student of Tian Zaolin (disciple of Yang Jianhao and Yang Chen Fu)

Some benefits from Fast forms and the 88 two man set:

1. They teach varying speeds, stepping patterns, various Jings such as listening, adhering, following, etc.

2. Many traditional kung fu system have two man fight sets to train qualities and attributes of the system. The 88 two person set is no different containing attack and defense, counter, qin-na, anti qin-na, timing, distance, bridging, and other fighting attributes.

3. It makes for a beginner a great start before going into real sparring, it trains lines of attack that you can not get from push hands and moving step push hands. see previous blog post: 25 lines of attack.

4. Yang Tai Chi was originally taught using various speeds. A real fight is fast, you have to train to move fast. The Taiji classics say, "If my opponent moves fast, be fast, if opponent moves slow, follow slowly."

Tung family Fast Set video

Wu Jian Quan's Fast set video

6. Solo fajin, and linear step work: this was taught in our school when I was with Weiqi a disciple of Fu Zhong Wen founder of Yongnian Taiji Association, I have also seen this practiced in Yongnian group in Thailand and in China. Basically it is taking a single movement and repeating it with linear and angle stepping.

Fu zhong Wen fajin video

Fu Sheng Yuan fajin video

7. Da Lu- 4 corners is the only similar training set that is similar in the ZMQ and Yang system, there is not much difference in the training between these two drill. Some slight variance, but in essence the same.

Da Lu video sample video:

8. Warm-ups and stretching sets- there have not been many ZMQ schools that do warm ups, stretching, and other basic gong training. The ZMQ school does however have a strong standing training using the form for holding and molding postures, but standing training is common in about all Taijiquan schools. ZMQ's student Huang Shen Shyang of Malaysia who was a well know white Crane boxer also had a 5 loosening exercises. I also blogged on ZMG teaching some basic drills 5 Commitments and 8 ways to assist in Taiji short form but they are not considered warm-ups or stretching.see video

Yang Family warm-up sample video:

Huang's 5 loosening exercises video

James Fu Tai chi warm-ups video

9. Moving step push hands, Yin/Yang push hands and circular stepping push hands: this is practiced in many places but I have not trained this at ZMQ schools. They train a whole lot of fixed step push hands but not moving step. The first video shows some more of the patterns and moving step. However this video should be much clearer. (see around 6:00 for moving step and 6:50 mark for yin/yang and circular yin/yang).

The solo Broadsword and Spear set along with the two person Spear set is also excluded from ZMQ's Taijiquan.

Taiji Saber/Broadsword video

Taiji spear/pole basics video

10. Yang Taiji Straight sword- The Yang family, Fu family, Tung family, and others all pretty much have the same Straight sword (Jian) form. This is good. Each might have very slight differences or variations, but the names and choreography is nearly the same.

Zheng Man Qing's straight sword form video-

Yang's Taiji Straight sword video

11. Sword play- fixed set and freeplay: some schools of Taijiquan have a paired set that teaches sword play techniques similar to the 88 two man set. ZMQ had freestyle sword play with wooden swords at his school These are both very good in training some of the usefulness and techniques of the sword.

Taiji sword paired set (sometimes called Wudang swordplay) video-

ZMQ and student with sword freeplay video

12. Tui Shou competitions and San shou fighting competitions: Here is a major difference in the ZMQ and other Yang groups have. There are more Tui shou and San shou top athletes of the ZMQ school (in particular William CC Chen's and NYC schools) willing to compete and fight in National and International Tui Shou and Lei Tai/San Shou fight events that out shine anything Yang, Fu, Tung and other Tai Chi groups have done.Some of the top players have been william CC Chen's students and kids: Peter Ralston, Tiffany Chen, Max Chen have been on USA San Shou team and Lei Tai teams. Others Tui Shou competitors include: Mario Napoli (who won in Chen village), Avi Schneier, Mike Pekor, Lenzie Williams, David Walls-Kaufmann,Josh Waitzkin, to name a few (many others). I have not seen many other Yang family or other groups really show much of a showing at major competition events.Other notables: John Signarello of CK Chu's in NY and Patrick Brady of Little River Tai Chi center have both won Lei Tai championships on numerous occasions.

Mario Napoli winning in Chen village: video

Max Chen (William CC Chen son)highlight video

John Sigarello of C.K. Chu's Tai Chi (.45 sec, 1:45, 2:00, 3:09, 5:41 of video)

Patrick Brady of Little River Tai Chi video

Author of this article, Matt Stampe Lei Tai, San shou, and Push hand clips (ZMQ, Fu family (Yongnian Taiji), Yang family association member):

13. Pai da gong: Limb and Body conditioning/warm down solo and partner drills- I have only seen this done in our class that was handed down from Fu Zhong Wen. I have not seen this anywhere except in a Shaolin class (that was done much harder) and in a Pakua chang class which was done entirely differently. In the solo set one lightly to heavy palm hitting the limbs. There is a partner set of hitting the arms, shoulders, thighs, hips, and more. I had a video somewhere of me performing some of these solo and with a partner.

14. Taiji Qigong, Massage,and meditation exercises- Back when I studied with Xianhao Cheng we had some Qigong sets that were done using "Golden Bell" breathing. we were told to abstain from sex as much as possible (was told this when I was 18 when training in Taiji and Qigong) and we did a particular qigong set that was supposedly done in the Yang family tradition as taught in Hangzhou China.

When I studied the two man 88 partner "San shou" exercise at Qi Elements school of Taijiquan and Massage, I took up learning massage. I had already done Chinese acupressure massage with my first teacher Wilson Pitts, a student of Amy Tseng. Back then, I was told that many of the younger students of Taijiquan, had to use Tui Na massage on many of the Instructors and Senior students to learn the meridians used in Traditional chinese medicine (TCM). The student had to learn the pathways that qi travels, and understand the cavities, joints, bones, sinew, and muscle attachments sites. At Qi Elements, my teacher Sifu nancy Bloomfield, a student of C.C. Liu of D.C.'s Chinatown, taught a massage style called "Taiji massage" in where you use Taiji when you massage someone on a table. That is, using push on the limbs and back of a patient.

The only meditation I have learned is a visualization using standing meditation that was taught by Fu Qing Quan, Fu Zhong Wen's grandson. This is very similar to some of the standing meditations used in the art of Yiquan. I have learned some sitting meditations in Pakua chang. There was also some standing meditation in the ZMQ's style with concentration of 20 cycle breathing at the tan tien while holding wu ji, embrace tree, and other postures.

Old pictures of Tui Shou and Da Lu.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Spotlight: Tai Chi fighter Nick Osipczak UFC veteran

found this on Rumsoakedfist.org forum he is def a new member of our IMA hall of fame at IMA "hall of fame" unofficial website
Nick trains in England and is a veteran UFC fighter. He teaches 24 form Taijiquan and feels that Tui Shou or "push hands" is a benefit to his stand up grappling game.

teaching Taijiquan:

see more at:Raised Spirit website

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Cheng man Ching's: 5 commitments and 8 ways

My friend has been corresponding with a gentleman who studied with Cheng Man Ching and had trained in Taiwan and NYC.

5 commitments:
1. stand in root, bone line balance.
2. Stand at edge of a precipice.
3. Be reluctant to act, learn from losing.
4. Continuously soften your touch.
5. Do Not reposition the hands.

Professor CMC’s 8 ways: solo exercises for push hands.
1.      Plying the Oar- loose orbital movement relating to the posture, push, while transferring weight from front to back.
2.      Chasing the clouds- (only have commentary) wave hands clouds. when you turn your hips there is a tendency to pull the rooted foot off the bubbling well and towards the edge of your foot or heel. Chasing the cloud practice is important because the root is strengthened by coupling moderate turning with careful positioning of the central channel through the bubbling well.)
3.      Walking in the stream current: walking with or against an imaginary current develops continuity in movement and pliability in stepping. This practice is excellent for recovering from ankle injuries where the supporting the body where weight on one foot has become troublesome.
4.      Walking on thin ice- Walking with the feet parallel relates to the posture “repulse monkey” but advances forward while using an empty step. This helps develop sure footedness and opens the lumbar area.
5.      Standing at edge of a precipice: borrowed from the posture White crane, this motionless exercise presents an opportunity to deepen the root and build reliable 100% balance on one foot at a time. Lift hands and play guitar can be used as well.
6.      Riding the wind- similar to diagonal flying, this exercise introduces a movement that prepares you to contact opponent under his armpit or at the side of his ribcage.
7.      Setting the sail: this exercise is borrowed from Fair lady weaves shuttle. It is intended help loosen the waist and integrate the whole body movement from a carefully focused diagonal attacks. Be careful to keep the leading arm, which guards the temple, soft and relaxed at the shoulder.
8.      Wearing the moon on your head- keeping the head softly balanced above the root helps lighten movement and improves the ability to make use of relaxed dispassionate observation. (all previous postures 1-7) integrate top of head with bubbling well.