Sunday, May 31, 2009

Tian Wu Dao (All martial artists under heaven)

This message is for the members of the Tian Wu Dao or anyone intrested in taking the red pill. As I have explained before martial arts is just a vehicle that can be used to unlock your potential. Of course many other activities can also help you refine and discover yourself but martial arts is the root of the Tian Wu Dao. This organization is designed to gather martial artists together from all different styles in order to learn, develop and preserve the arts. Unlike MMA or Jeet Kun Do the concept is not mix styles but to better learn how to use your style to deal with various scenarios i.e. multiple opponents, weapons and modern day technology. More importantly we focus on the concept of unlocking the hero within. Martial arts without purpose is just as useless as money without direction.

I learned Chinese and came to Asia to further enhance my knowledge and understanding of my art. After gathering information and meeting with many different masters I can see more clearly the direction of my quest and one of the many roles that the Tian Wu Dao are to play in the next chapter.

The problem that all martial artists are faced with whether they are masters in China or beginners in Europe is time. When do we have the time to keep improving and focusing on training if we have families to take care of, jobs to maintain and various pressures from society.
This problem is more dangerous and runs far deeper than most people realize. Martial arts is unique as it is passed in history from generation to generation because it is not something that you can record in a book. It must be learned, practiced and improved. This means that if no one has the time to practice then martial arts will eventually die. My masters son had no intrest in learning martial arts which means if I had not taken the responisbility of passing the style along it would have eventually become watered down and maybe just dissappeared.

The next problem is location, or financial concerns. How do I find a master? How do I pay for it? The desire to train is the first step towards learning but not everyone has the means to jump on a plane and go to the source.

The plan I have has many different parts which would help people on all sides of the spectrum. The first part I will have to do on my own which will be creating a fad through martial arts. Using movies and music to inspire young people to become excited about martial arts like never before. At the same time meeting with all of the masters in Asia and creating a network of information that would place every teacher that was willing on the map. This process of course will take a lot of help from everyone and would be a number of years before completing.

The next part is to establish a Tian Wu Dao training temple. In this dojo I would have all of the masters that I have become close with teach there for a steady generous income. Meaning they would not have to work a job on the side any longer unless they chose to. Giving them enough time to focus all there attention on there students. Creating an environment that the only responsiblity for the master and the student is training. So that the arts could continue on to future generations. At the same time we would set up a scholarship program for people who were intrested in martial arts but financially struggling to give them a chance to learn the arts as well as language. So ideally this temple would become more like a small university.

I don't want to give out any details on exactly how I plan on putting these things together for various reasons. I do want you to know that we are very close now. Because our website is down I felt this was the best way for me to keep you posted on recent events. To those who are intrested in the Tian Wu Dao. You can send me a personal email at
I will happily answer any questions you might have. We are always open to those with good hearts and open minds. In addition I should say that even though our root is martial arts, not every hero is a martial artist. Any skill that you can offer can help us reach the next level.

Warriors to masters,

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

All Challenges Are Opportunities

In one of my previous post I discuss a little about how me and my two brothers were forced to learn martial arts at an early age because of reasons of protection. My father's rule was all of his children will start training at the age of 4. At that age I can tell you I really didn't like martial arts. But the town we stayed at in Ohio was extremely racist. I don't mean racism like he looked at me funny or he disrespected me. It was the kind that you would go into your locker to get your books and find a noose instead. My teachers even hated me in some classes. My family was one of the only black families in the entire town. So that meant for us we were fighting almost every week. I got in my first fight when I was 5 years old.

As we grew older the fights grew more serious. I found myself fighting with as many as 5 at once at times. This whole time training martial arts was only a tool that I used to get to and from class safely. I got used to having to be prepared to protect myself or my friends. It was a burden that eventually became my blessing. I never doubted whether or not martial arts was effective because I was already using it. I would hear people say things like, "High kicks don't work in a fight." I would think to myself but I have kicked so many people in the face.
For many people, martial arts is just a set of theories. But they are filled with uncertainty about there power, speed and effectiveness. Never knowing if what they are learning is truely real or not. Therefore most martial artists who begin at an early age quit before too much time passes.
SO I must be grateful for the racists that attacked me when I was younger. It was the rednecks, hicks and bullies that are responsible for my drive to perfect my technique.
Without them I may have gotten bored by now.

That being sad we all have to face difficulties. Although they may be very different situations, all of the challenges present us with an opportunity to grow stronger. Family problems, addictions, money etc. What is it that challenges you? What is your excuse for not becoming the person you have always wanted to be? There is no situation that cannot be overcome. There is no battle more important than the one within. Be grateful for your challenges, for they are what forge you into a true warrior.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

He teaches Tai Chi, Bagua and Xing Yi?

I remember when I first began searching for a Bagua master I found many teachers that told me they taught Tai Chi, Bagua, and Xing Yi. The three internal styles of China all in one conveiniant classroom. I was so impressed with the concept that it became something that I thought I could do myself. When I met my master Wu Guo Zheng I asked him if he had learned the other styles aside from Bagua. He told me a various number of styles that he practice which included Tai Chi but said he didn't have time to focus on them because there was too much Bagua.

A short history of development of the Bagua principles. In the beginning there is Wu or nothingness. The idea that nothing is consistant because everything is always changing. This was a concept developed from the Yi Jing which later developed into Yin and Yang or opposing forces. I am not going to go into too much detail into any of these concepts because they are far to vast for my little blog. But I want to notice the numbers. The Yin and Yang later developed into the three principles: Heaven, Earth and man. The three principles lead into the four directions: North, East, South and West. The four directions lead into the 5 elements. Water, Metal, Earth, Fire and Air. The five elements lead into the Six Harmonies being North, West, South, East, Up and Down. The Six harmonies lead into the seven stars. The seven stars lead into the 8 trigrams or Bagua. Bagua lead into the 9 palaces and on and on.

All of these concepts are also a part of Bagua. Some of the movements or even the warm ups incorporate movements from the six harmony kicks, the form of five elements, and we usually practice the seven stars with the deer antlers. These concepts are so vast that they could stand alone as a complete fighting system. For example it is said that the seven stars was originally a system that seven warriors used a formation designed after the stars to fight as a team. Each of them all using seven different weapons all covering each other. Because they fought in this formation they were able to fight against thousands of warriors at a time.

In our system of Bagua we use these different systems to learn and develop into different areas. Obtaining as many advantages as possible for combat. Not to mention the system of pure Bagua alone is too much to learn in a lifetime. So when my master explained this to me, I began to understand the impossiblity of learning all three systems. Unless a man has three hundred years and no job, he can never obtain so much knowledge. From working with the masters of the different styles in Fu Zhou, Taiwan, and in the Shaolin Temple. I was able to see that Bagua is no bigger than Tai Chi. In fact all of the styles contain an almost endless amount of information. But not every style is fully intact for various reasons. Meaning that someone could believe he has learned all there is to learn about Xing Yi but his training is only beginning. This is why humility is so important as we grow from warriors to masters. As soon as you think you know everything, you stop learning.

So when I asked my master how someone could claim to know all three internals he told me it was most likely they know a lot of one style and a little of the other two. Or a fair amount of all three styles. But there can be no person who has mastered all three. Especially in modern times.

Friday, May 1, 2009

The Gao Bagua Map

This is a map I designed to visually see as much of Gao Bagua at once as possible. Sorry I had to write it in Chinese cause it was the only way to make it fit together. (Later in my book I will write an English version). Even though this is a rough draft it is easy to see the complexity of the system. There is a lot of information I had to strip out of this just to make it more simple. I was fortunate enough to be able to have a master such as Wu Guo Zheng who taught me in such great detail and completeness. However I think this is not the case for most of the masters out there. With Bagua I find it is crucial to have a good amount of knowledge of the movements in order to be effective. If you have a teacher that is only showing you partial explanations, then there is a good chance you could be thrown out of balance and maybe even suffer from injury. On the other hand masters will never teach completely to half ass students. Just like this chart there is a "living" balance. Every movement has a counter, opposite, or can be combined with other movements. Making a map can make it much easier to visualize.

I think I have explained part of this before but Bagua is so complex that it is essential to make a map that is visual. Once you have learned all of the movements is when the learning actually begins. It is a university of knowledge and the only way to become good is to have a major. In Gao Bagua we start from the Heaven section located in the South East Corner.Then we move clockwise to the South being section two, South West is section 3 and so on. On the very outside is the Pre Heaven or strengthening movement. There are eight strengthening movements which each strengthen 8 Post Heaven or application techniques located on the inside. On the inner most part of circle is written the 24 different footwork movements. There are actually 25 but the 25th one represents constant change. So if there was a location for it, it would be in the middle.

Heaven Section (South East Corner) The Way of striking

蛇形順式掌 Snake's Flowing Palm (Pre heaven)
1. 開掌Opening Palm
2.捧掌 Carrying Palm (offering palm)
3.扽掌 Yanking Palm
4.探掌 Searching Palm
5.捩掌 Twisting Palm
6.挑掌 Choosing Palm (Selecting Palm)
7.蓋掌 Covering Palm
8.纏掌 Wrapping PalmSection

Water Section (South) 手法 The Way of the hands
龍形穿手掌 Dragon's Piercing Palm (Preheaven)
1.截掌 Intercepting Palm
2.藏掌 Hidden Palm
3.砍掌 Chopping Palm
4.削掌 Peeling Palm
5.二掌 Two Palms
6.虎掌 Tiger Palm
7.奪掌 Snatching Palm (Robbing Palm)
8.環掌 Surrounding Palm (Looping Palm)

Mountain Section (South West) 卸法 The Way of Diverting
回身打虎掌 Tiger's Turning Palm (Pre Heaven)
1.穿掌 Piercing Palm
2.搬掌 Moving Palm
3.接掌 Catching Palm
4.攔掌 Hindering Palm
5.停掌 Stopping Palm
6.翻掌 Flipping Palm
7.走 Stepping Palm
8.轉 Spinning Palm

Thunder Section (West) 身法 Way of the Body
燕翻蓋手掌 Swallow's Reversing Covering Palm (Pre Heaven)
1.推掌 Pushing Palm (forcing palm)
2.托掌 Supporting Palm
3.帶掌 Taking Palm
4.領掌 Leading Palm (Guiding Palm)
5.沾掌 Staining Palm
6.連掌 Repeating Palm
7.隨掌 Allowing Palm (Following Palm)
8. 黏掌 Sticky Palm

Wind Section (North West) 肘法 The Way of the Elbow
轉身翻背掌 Spinning Backward Palm (Pre Heaven)
1.蹲 Crouching Elbow
2.盤 Capturing Elbow
3.墜 Falling Elbow
4.頂 Peaking Elbow
5.衡 Measuring Palm (Weighing Palm)
6.挫 Obstructing Palm
7.疊 Stacking Palm
8.鑽 Drilling Elbow

Fire Section (North) 腿法 The Way of the Legs
擰身探馬掌 The Searching Horse's Twisting Palm (Pre Heaven)
1.趨 Quick Stepping kick
2.踹 Sweeping Kick (Trample)
3.擺 Outward Kick
4.掛 Hanging kick
5.踢 Lifting Kick (Raising Kick)
6.截 Intercepting Kick
7.蹚 Drifting Sweep (Wading Sweep)
8.撞 Crashing Kick

Earth Section (North East) 進法 The Way of Entry
翻身背插掌 Reversing Body Backward Stabbing Palm (Pre Heaven)
1.掖 Tucking Palm
2.擠 Pressing Palm
3.雕 Statue Palm
4.攞 Splitting Palm
5.崩 Collapsing Fist
6.闖 Breaking Palm
7.扣 Hooking Palm
8.攀 Climbing Palm (Pulling Palm

Lake Section (East) 走法 The Way of Stepping
停身搬扣掌 In Place Hooking Palm (Still Hooking Palm)
1.搗 Pounding Palm (Stirring Fist)
2.狸 Fox Palm
3.吸 Attracting Palm
4.跨 Cross step Palm
5.搖 Trembling Palm (Shaking Palm)
6.閃,三 Lightning Palm (Triple Palm)
7.橫 Horizontal Palm (Crossing Palm)
8.竄 Scurrying Palm