Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Martial Arts Revolutionary


If you couldn't tell by some of the articles that I have already written I am not a big fan of the pop era. Where to most people it me seem like a harmless fashion it has also indirectly affected all histories and cultures. Everything real is getting eaten away by imagery. Martial arts instructors are often more concerned about the business than the art which is the cause of incomplete or incorrect styles being taught. Thus creating an idea that some styles are ineffective, when in actuality the teacher or students are practicing the movements ineffectively. In the pass it was necessary to hide the techniques of a style and for martial artist to remain low-key in order to survive. Now even at the point of origin for many martial arts the youth is completely uninterested in learning martial arts. Causing a dilution of the styles potency as well as getting mixed together with "demonstration" and "sport" styles losing the truth in the style itself. The only way I see to prevent the decay of these arts is to search the globe looking for all the authentic masters, students and data then present it to the world the way it actually is. Utilizing TV, Internet and technology as tools to save and preserve these priceless treasures. I am currently working on plans to gather all of the arts to make a database of information and martial arts media so that in a future obsessed with technology warriors will still have a place. If you have any info concerning your master and self about the history and whereabouts of your system please send it to taiwankungfu@gmail.com (Systems of all origins are welcome, this is not limited to Kung fu)

Monday, June 2, 2008

Master Wu Guo Zheng  吳國正師父


  Master Wu Guo Zheng officially started his training in Bagua in 1979. At that time his father Wu Jin Yuan was already teaching Gao style Bagua and as a youth Wu Guo Zheng was surrounded by an enriched martial arts environment. For the next 30 years he trained under his father without break in order to take on the responsibility of carrying on his fathers complete teachings. Now Wu Guo Zheng is the head of the Jin Yuan Bagua Association as well as teacher of the arts. He has been teaching for over ten years to his students in both Xin Zhu as well as Xin Dian Taipei. With the responsibility of having to complete his fathers teaching on his shoulders he has taught diligently in order to spread the style of Soft Body Repeating hands Bagua. (Known in mainland China as Gao style Bagua.) When he teaches he explains the purpose of every movement in great detail and often writes articles on how to better your training. He has unselfishly taught to many students the complete system of Pre Heaven, Post Heaven, Weapons along with 12 steps of power that he developed to better the students learning.


You can read his many articles on http://eaglewu7.myweb.hinet.net/.


Unfortunately they are not in English yet but don't worry that is what I am here for. Bringing the East to the Western world.

Wu Guo Zheng and Warren Fox two person set

Me and my master demonstrating the first Gua or Heaven sections applications form. These are the most basic movements of Gao that teach attacking and countering. It's especially good for footwork training and ranging.

Wu Jin Yuan 吳錦園(My masters Father)


Wu Jin Yuan was born in 1897 in Shan Dong China and died in 1993. The country of Shan Dong was saturated with martial arts in order to combat the many bandits that were often prevalent in the area. Because of this there were many authorities or protectors of the area that were knowledged in different styles of martial arts. These created a general feel that all of the families in the area should study martial arts of some kind. The most popular at the time was Shao Lin, Bagua was not as widely known.
Wu Hui Shan an elder who was familiar with the martial arts world for a long time. It is also said that he had practiced some of the martial arts in his own leisure time. Cause of this he wanted to implement this into his own children's development. He had 5 boys and 1 girl who were all involved in martial arts from a very young age. He then organized the prosperous five which was his attempt to involve his children in something different than Shao Lin and other basic martial arts movements. So he tried to find a way to get his life long friend who had currently developed a reputation in Bagua to come home from Tian Jin and teach his children professionally. His friend was Gao Yi Sheng.

Gao was originally from the Shan Dong Province, he had grown up there since he was young. Because Shan Dong was a country area and it was hard to make a living aside from only farming. Many people like Gao fled the poor area with hopes of something more. Gao from a child was already big into the martial arts but after he left he had reached a new level. This is when Wu Hui Shan was able to use his long term relationship with Gao and hire him to be the family's personal instructor. At the time Wu Jin Yuan was about a seven year old boy. Many writers later described the scene of both Wu Jin Yuan and his sister's training as a sight to see. One minute they were training the Bagua spear, then it was the sticks and the staff, and redirecting energy, two person forms etc. It was this way for the next 8 years for Wu jin Yuan. Because his training was daily with out interruptions or other students he was able to absorb the complete system of Gao. When he was 16 he left the village and was to have reached a level of "perfection."

He left to Tian Jin for both reasons of spreading and enriching our system of Bagua. Where he met with masters who taught him Qing Ping Sword. It has four sets and is said to be called Yang Style Qing Ping sword in China today. In 1949 he travelled with the military from Qing Dao to Ji Long. After a couple months the government sent him to Xin Zhu County, Er Zhong where he was stationed until retirement. There were 52 students that were stationed with him in the vicinity and were also into the martial arts. They asked him to teach them the ways of Bagua. You could say this was his first group of students. Later he had a large number of students the continued to come to Xin Zhu for training. He continued to teach them for over forty years. To show their gratitude of his teachings they honored him by calling the system The XIn Zhu Jin Yuan Bagua Association.

Master Wu Guo Zheng and Warren Fox

吳國正師父 和孔太龍

I have had many different teachers in my years of training. Korean, Japanese, Chinese and Americans have helped to guide my understanding of the martial arts. However their is only one person that I will call master and that is Wu Guo Zheng.He has been training Bagua since before I was born and when I came to Taiwan searching for the masters he showed me the door to knowledge. I hadn't heard of him before my arrival to Taiwan, in fact I heard of other masters that I found to be "less than inspiring". The very instant that I felt him grab my arm I was willing to completely let go of everything I learned just to be able to study under him.He is not the kind of master that drags your time along because he is afraid you will surpass him, which is a common trait with many Asian teachers. He says, "I will teach you as much as you can learn." I have been very fortunate to train with him one on one for the past years here in Taiwan. I have learned things that I have always believed to be myth or rumors. I will continue to do everything in my power to honor and share his teachings with the world. Thank you Master Wu.
Posted by Warren


Sunday, June 1, 2008

Kung Fu Family


Luckily for me I was able to see the effectiveness of martial arts from the very beginning. At four years old my fathers rule was that anyone under his roof was to begin training martial arts. (This included my mom...for a short while) Me and my two brothers had to undergoe training that most would say was unsuitable for children. Some days after school we would have to practice a thousand kicks before starting our homework. When I was put against my two older brothers I always felt that I was the weakest. I was slower, less flexable, etc. Though it was mostly due to being younger I tried to find ways to catch up to their level.

I would often say I was sick so that I didn't have to go to school and then stay home to train in secret. It wasn't until a number of confrontations I had at school that made me realize that I wasn't a bad martial artist, I just wasn't as good as my brothers. Who were and still are amazing.
They have also continued their training and development in other styles. My brother Eddie teaches a rare Korean style that is a more completed version of Hapkido that foreigners have been closed off from. He's a model and ex thug that now teaches in Seattle Washington. My brother Aaron is a Wing Chun specialist that has too much natural talent for any of instructors to comprehend. He is the one who introduced me to Bagua which sent me to China and then Taiwan.

My father used to be golden gloves and a Taekwondo fanatic. He made sure that his sons would not grow up to be punks. It was hard when we were young but I am so glad he rasied us this way. I will also pass the blessing or burden of martial arts to my kids. Thanx Pops