Showing posts from 2009

The One Thing

Two years ago I finished learning the movements in the system of Gao Bagua and was very excited to begin my journey of developing. Learning all of the movements is only the beginning of our quest. I have spent all of my recent time refining and perfecting all of the techniques. The sword, spear, footwork, combat, conditioning have all been a daily routine for me in finding my understanding of the art fully. I have mapped out new training techniques and ideas that will revolutionize the way people train or perceive the martial arts. My training has been going very well but progress as always has been slow and steady. I have trained everything that my master showed me. Well, almost everything. There is this one exercise that I just hated practicing. It made every part of me ache so much that I didn't have energy to do the rest of my workout. I have never been a lazy person, but this one exercise just took everything out of me. So every time I have set up my workout schedule for the

Attack the Cold

Today when I woke up and felt how cold the floor was, I was tempted to crawl right back in bed. This is the time that the weather can make us want to change our plans around a bit. "Let's not work out today because its raining." It's hard to push yourself to your goal and it's twice as hard when it's raining. But if we have to be at work or school at a certain time, we can still get up and get there. We all push ourselves for financial reasons, job security or a "secure future." But training is something that is important for the future of our mind and our body. Is our body not as priority as making money? 9 to 5 at a desk and not an hour or two for ourselves. Well I always view the weather as another opponent. The heat, cold, rain and snow are all additional ways to improve our technique. In fact training when the weather is nice, is also the time when our progress is the slowest. These are some training tips for cold conditions. When it's cold

Don't Be Held Back

This is a topic that is a little harder for me to express because the nature of martial arts and life is patience. To grow stronger we must first go through the process of enduring discomfort for a period of time. The longer the time period, the more fruit that can be harvested in the end. Even if we want to become more patient, we must first be tested by situations that will test our patience. Therefore if things are going good for you, it is much harder to develop character. The unfortunate sayings, " No pain no gain," or "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger," are just as true today as they were years ago. On the other hand there is a time when you are no longer enduring and you are only tolerating. Therefore you are wasting time without the benefit of developing character. In fact you can begin hindering your character development with feelings of frustration and disappointment. A friend of mine has been training with a "kung fu master" for the

Make time

Often times I meet people who say, " I want to learn martial arts but I don't have time." I think its funny what we say we have time for and what we don't have time for. If you sleep for 8 hours a day and live to be 75 years old, you have spent 25 years sleeping. I imagine that the majority of us who work 9 to 5 spend another 25 years at work alone. Which means in 75 years of life you have only had 25 of those years to do something for yourself. If you are lucky you will live to see 75 springs. How much of this time goes by being wasted making excuses. I am not saying that everyone has to do martial arts. Martial arts is my path, it's what helps me refine and develop. At the highest level of any expression we can find our worth. In China once a person reaches a certain level of achievement people refer to them as master. It doesn't matter if they started as a martial artist, a teacher, or a cook. The end title is master. Every path that you may choose to be s

Your Weapon and You

In our style of Bagua there are many different types of weapons. The sword, sabre, spear, hooks, deer antlers, staff, double sticks, Guans blade, two sided spear, etc. All of the weapons have there advantages for different situations, as well as different variations. I have seen many masters that carry "special" weapons around to practice, compete, or just show how bad ass they are. My master has always told me, "Real kung fu is all about your weapon." Initially I thought I understood the meaning, but after training for a long time with the various weapons I have deepened my understanding of what the weapon's purpose is. Of course in the times of war these weapons had many places of more obvious use. Choosing your weapons was a matter of deciding what type of strategy that you want to use kill. Disarming, penetrating armor, distance, surprise, or whatever was your most effective tool was the deciding factor. This is actually one of the more surface level und

The Connection Between Kung Fu and Calligraphy

I have heard many times about the connection between the Chinese characters and martial arts movements. This is what actually stimulated my interest toward learning Chinese and gathering a deeper understanding of the "root" of martial arts over ten years ago. I believe it would have been impossible for me to gather such an understanding of Bagua or the internal arts without seeing and understanding the characters with my own eyes. At first glance the list of movements appears to be the explanation of the techniques and how they are practiced or applied. But there are many places where they use "words behind the words" or "meaning behind the meaning." It's almost like trying to decipher a song that Shakespeare and Tupac wrote together. Every year reviewing these scrolls and continuing my training I am able to peel a deeper level of understanding of the words and adjust my training accordingly. Don't worry you don't need to be able to understand


In martial arts it is always necessary to feel out the level of reaction time with your techniques. Sparring has always been the step that is used as sort of a bridge between fighting to make sure that your balance, timing and accuracy are up to par. Everyone has there own rules on whether they wear equipment or strike to the face etc. Controlled sparring should never go passed 80 percent of your effort because then it gets more dangerous for both or all participants. The unfortunate truth is if you have not taken the time to practice all of the techniques to the point they are natural and effecient, then you are just wasting your time. Sparring is the step you take after you want to test your attacks and defenses that are "solid." The sparring will give your techniques timing and understanding but not help with speed or power. Therefore if you begin sparring too soon, you will never have powerful techniques. On the other hand if you never spar you will never know timing or f

Guilt and Progress

In martial arts it is easy enough to see how good we want to be through our masters, kung fu brothers or other inspirations around us. The process of learning a technique well can be an ongoing and sometimes even frustrating transition. But the process of trying to become a better martial artist or individual is a much more severe path that we must journey on. It is good to be able to visualize the warrior that you are trying to become. Whether you are trying to gain more speed, power, focus it can be disheartening to realize how far you are from where you "should" be. This is not unlike the process of chasing a dream that has yet to be realized or the on going pursuit for the house with the white picket fence. The unfortunate side of pursuing after a goal is to give ourselves pressure for the things that we have not yet attained. The pressure then becomes self resentment or even shame which can cause us to quit reaching toward our goal all together. It's funny how many s


My master wrote an article about making training a part of your lifestyle. So that it is never something that you have to get around to because it is a part of your daily chores. It is tricky when you have the world trying to convince you that what you do is a "hobby". A hobby implies that it is something that I should do when I am killing time. Meaning that I have finished all of the important tasks in my day and now I can practice my kung fu or dance or whatever your hobby is. The truth is that your hobby is probably more important for your life than your job. So many become so obsessed with trying to promote themselves in their job or in school that they lose track of the things that actually matter. In fact for many people what you do on the side might be the only thing that gives you any real sense of purpose. What happens when you set that aside and become only your work? You begin to sacrifice the "little things" like: health, joy, time, and family. Its iro

Eight Philosophies of Bagua

I know that I have already listed the different parts of the 8 Trigrams before but have never really explained some of the concepts about what they represent in more detail. I am still working on the book which will include a lot more detail of everything, but I still would like to put a little something something on my blog. The first section that we start from is the Heaven section. It is the simplest yet in a lot of ways the most powerful of the eight. It is direct in its approach and is known as the way of striking. The strikes cover the main focal points of entry on the body. It opens, carries, drags, lifts, pulls, and carries the opponent into an imbalanced position in order to launch a more powerful attack. In a since the Heaven section is also the most honest, where as the Earth section is the most deceptive. The next section is the Water section. Also known as the way of the hands or arms. In this section there are more approaches to deal with being grabbed as well as arm lock

New Class Schedule

Well now that I am settling down in Taiwan again here is the new class schedule. At Guo Fu (Ji Nian Tang) Memorial hall. At 11 am on Tuesday and Thursday. Class should be pretty small which allows more time for personal focus. Stop by and get some Bagua in your diet.

Gao Bagua Masters United

Last weekend we had a great exchange between the two different Gao Bagua lineages taught by my master Wu Guo Zheng and Master CS Tang from Hong Kong. My friend Benard and I helped the two masters to get in contact for this wonderful learning experience. Even though the styles are of the same lineage their are vast differences between practice methods and technique applications. However the main point of each technique was identical. Just as I have said before Bagua practitioners are much like trees because we all choose to grow and develop very differently. But the root of each style is the same which means the fruit is also the same. It was great for me to see another masters ideas and concepts about familiar techniques. I could even see the eyes of my master and CS Tang light up with new ideas after discussing martial arts concepts. It shows that we all need to come together not just for the purpose of learning but also for the purpose of inspiring and motivating. It doesn&#

Fighting more than one, Know your circle

When I was in the university teaching martial arts about 10 years ago. One of the big focuses and concerns was how to fight more than one person at a time. Realistically if you are a bigger guy like myself, no one is going to fight you unless they feel they have the advantage. A weapon, friends or both. So in my experience with self defense I have rarely been in a one one one fight situation. There is always at least one friend hanging out in the background. The first and most important step is a tactic that I take from ninjitsu which is awareness of your surroundings. You have to know how many exits you have, how many exits you can create, what could be utilized to your advantage. Of course when you are in the middle of a fight it is too late to analyze these things. So it should be a habit that anywhere you go you are "counting" your environment. In most cases you will find you can see a potential situation developing before it escalates and your already gone. If you are

Fighting more than one at a time

When I was in the university teaching martial arts about 10 years ago. One of the big focuses and concerns was how to fight more than one person at a time. Realisitically if you are a bigger guy like myself, no one is going to fight you unless they feel they have the advantage. A weapon, friends or both. So in my experience with self defense I have rarely been in a one one one fight situation. There is always at least one friend hanging out in the background. The first and most important step is a tactic that I take from ninjitsu which is awareness of your surroundings. You have to know how many exits you have, how many exits you can create, what could be utilized to your advantage. Of course when you are in the middle of a fight it is too late to analize these things. So it should be a habit that anywhere you go you are "counting" your environment. In most cases you will find you can see a potential situation developing before it escalates and your already gone. If you are r

Fox's Online Tutorial

I just set up my new website with the assistance of my good friend we call Knight. The website organizes things a little nicer than the blog does and later I will use both the blog and the website for new articles. In a couple of months I am setting up a very detailed on line training program so that those intrested in the art but can't find teachers can learn movements from the basics to advanced techniques. The only thing that will be needed is your own motivation to take you to the next level of understanding the art. This we you can stay armed and prepared even if you live out in Louisiana or where ever. It won't be for a couple months since I still have to take care of some little things while adjusting in Taiwan but feel free to check out the site now and I will be sure to keep updating new articles on both sites. Keep training and learning.

Real fights and "Complex movements"

Here in my time in the states I have found most people believe that the concept that the simpler movement is the most effective movement. That many movements take to long or are too complex to remember in a real fight when your full of adrenaline. It is true that in a fight you don't have much time to think about a movement or you will freeze. However this has nothing to do with the complexity of the technique, but rather its related to how familiar you are with the technique. Also don't believe that when your adrenaline kicks in you will become some kind of werewolf with no mind at all. In fact you must always be keenly aware and mindful of your surroundings at all time. Where is your opponent? How many people might get involved once it begins? Where are my exits? How can I use the environment to my advantage? These are all things that must be immediately evaluated before your fray begins. As for which techniques are going to be most effective, it's going to be the techni

Fox doing the Six Connecting Kicks or Six Harmony Kicks

This is a small clip from a demonstration from a while back. This style is a part of our system of Gao Bagua as a supplement to teach kicking. It is known that you cannot understand soft style until you have first learned hard style. Otherwise your movements we be empty. So this lineage has many other styles that have been adopted in order to emphasize certain techniques that later could be attached to your Bagua learning. We most often use Baji, Seven Star Palm, Wu Dang Fist, Five Elements, Six Harmony Kicks, Crouching TIger Sword, Six Harmony Sword, Strange Spear, Gao's Staff, Double sticks, Qing Ping Sword etc. All of these systems are not part of our system of Bagua but all teach fundamentals needed to understand the nature of combat. I know that a lot of people don't like forms because they believe it is some sort of performance but that is not what it is designed for. Think about any form as being the ABC song. We have to learn it when we are young so that we don't fo

Master Wu Guo Zheng Doing Preheaven Demo

This is a demonstration from a few years ago with my master showing a few movements from the preheaven set. Watch for his alignment of structure and how he seemlessly transfers power from his legs to his body to his hands.

Bagua Seminar in Seattle Before I Leave

I have recieved a lot of emails from individuals that wanted me to teach them or open a school in the Seattle area. Before I leave I would love to at least provide an opportunity for individuals who are intrested to learn a major section of Gao Bagua. I am going to offer lessons for those who are dedicated from the 22nd of June untill the 26th of June in the Seattle area. I will teach the complete Heaven section which includes 8 post Heaven movements, foot work, applications for combat and Pre heaven movements. For those who have an intrest in Bagua this will be a great opportunity to begin your training. For others who are more experienced it will be an opportunity to advance your skills. All individuals with good attitudes are welcome. It will be 5 days filled with a lot of information so is it is recommended that you bring something to take notes or video record. Classes will be held for 2 hours and the total price will be 50 bucks. Making classes 5 dollars an hour. I will decide th

Questions about the Arts?

A lot of the post that I place on my blog are based from questions that people have about training or anything. If anyone has any questions about anything (hopefuly martial arts related) I will be more than willing to place it on my blog for the benefit of everyone who might have the same questions. Thank you guys for your support, its appreciated.

Learning a new style

Recently I had someone ask me if learning martial arts for so long makes it easier for me to pick up a new style. His thought was that developing different muscles through time would allow an individual to pick up another style faster than the average person. I'd have to say this is unfortunatley for me never really the case. Granted if the style that you are changing too is related to the previous style you study such as Taekwondo to Hapkido. Then the transition is very smooth because all of the ideas are the same but Hapkido provides more movements. However if you have learned Ninjitsu and are transitioning to Wing Chun then it can actually play against your learning. Its the same as a gymnist switching to swimming. Even though he is used to exercise and hardwork he will still have to make a major adjustment mentally before understanding the new movements. He will even have to untrain some of the muscles that now are a hinderance. When I first met my master Wu Guo Zheng I had alr

Sorry about the delay

Well I know I was planning on working in the crossfit Gym with my good friend Morgan but there has been a change of plans. Because of financial reasons I won't be able to settle in the states for too much longer. I will be heading back to Taiwan to take advantage of some new opportunities that will lead to the construction of the University. I feel that it is better if now I just do seminars from place to place in order to find which place is best suited for me in the future. In the meantime I will return to teaching classes in Taiwan along with training with my master Wu Guo Zheng . After I get a little real money and see exactly where this economy is heading I will be able to make better decisions on where to teach. In the meantime if you are in my area I am more than glad to help you out in anyway I can. Also I should mention I will be back and forth through America quite often to teach many of the Tianwudao so send me and email and maybe we can work something out.

Don't Leave Empty Handed

This is an article written by my master which had three different sections. The first section focuses more on the technical movements of the way of the hands. Snatching hand, capturing had, dropping hand etc. Though there are many methods to getting to the point that we can grab our opponent, more is needed before we can control him. This is the section I decided to translate which is part two: Strengthening your grip. Written by Wu Guo Zheng Translated by Warren Fox Grabbing, strictly speaking is the meaning behind not leaving empty handed. It doesn't matter if you use the leading palm, inside lead, dropping palm, taking palm, snatching palm, capturing palm etc. All of these hand techniques are related to grabbing. Simply put, after grabbing your opponent the power is placed at his hands. You can take him left to right, up to down or front to back. This is the standard method of grabbing. So all of the techniques mentioned above capturing palm, dropping palm, taking palm all come

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 directio

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 protec

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 Yi

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. E

Training in Difficult times

I find even when training becomes a part of your life schedule. It becomes very difficult to keep a focused mindset when other priorities in life jump out at you. Especially in these days when things are down. The economies down, spiritual awareness is down but fear is up. Yet it is at these times when it becomes most importat to strengthen ourselves. Kung fu means time and effort. And when times get harder effort gets harder. I know the body can only withstand so much. As we age our body's begin to break down, injuries last longer, etc. Though internally it is an opportunity to magnify our power. This is why it is important to always learn to "focus" our minds. When we practice our qi exercies, it helps us to clean our spirits from the inside out. Also it can help clear away bad spirits that may attach to your life. Things that we might see as bad luck that occur in our lives from time to time is not always a coincidence. Its often times a battle that were not even aware

新竹縣錦園八卦掌研究協會 Old Demo Fox With the Guan Dao

This is a little demo I did for Our Bagua XinZhu Association. It's nothing special but I am not sure if I have any videos of me with this weapon yet. Just found it in my Kung fu brothers youtube account.

The Spearhand Offense

Written by Wu Guo Zheng 吴国正 Translated by Warren Fox 孔太龙 Original Chinese Document: Lets talk about the spearhand in terms of attacking. In all of the 25 different footwork movements whether its approaching, dodging, coiling, stepping or hand movements, at the end of every technique is a spearhand to launch the attack. As for practicing with the deer antlers, the most important function is the "spear" technique. Just as the first hand blocks, the second hand "spears" or we can also say pierces through. Of course there are many other changing hand movements and attacks but the one with the most energy is the spearhand. I must say that most martial arts practitioners today are nothing like our predecessors. Before they would practice martial arts as a means of life or death. Now the times have changed and martial arts has also changed. Everyone has put down the weapon practice and mostly focuses on empty handed techniques. But to pra

The Spearhand Defense

Written by Wu Guo Zheng Translated by Warren Fox Original Chinese Version: In Bagua there are many different uses for the spearhand. Almost every technique involves the spearhand, especially in the Post Heaven movements where it is used extensively. What is the reason for using the spearhand so much? To put it simply its because the spearhand's special trait is that it is simultaneously an attack and a defense. In all of the martial arts forms every movement and technique is either an attack or a defense. In Bagua the spearhand is both, which is why it is used so extensively. Because the spearhand is so crucial, were going to look into the best timing and method to apply it. First lets discuss the use for defense. In the area of defense the spearhand is practically our armor. An opponents straight punch, back hand, chopping palm, peeling palm and the single handed crashing palm all can be redirected with the spearhand. Also at the moment of redirect