Showing posts from 2014

The Art of Dying

The importance of routine training can not be overstated when it comes to the development of any skill. Some people say ten thousand hours makes you a professional, yet many of the skills that are of the greatest value do not fit into any profession. In fact the development of our character is immeasurable and shouldn't be compared to things as superficial as finance. To train self-defense, is to dawn the cloak of confidence and well-being, but it might as well be an invisible cloak as far as modern society is concerned because we tend to go unnoticed. It doesn't matter if the lifestyle we aim for is visible, it still requires the daily dos of training that can be hard to fit in after 8 hours of work. Of the small percent of martial artists that are able to maintain their training through the unpredictable and often inconvenient surprises of life, we must make a plan to ensure the progress of our direction. There are so many moving pieces that must be continually adjusted

Jonathan Bluestein's Research of Martial Arts

 Jonathan Bluestein's Research of Martial Arts is a book I would recommend for veteran martial artists and beginning martial artists alike. It follows Jonathan's many years of experience and really captures the important details of martial arts styles, training, external and internal ideologies, weapons and much more. This book almost reads itself when you pick it up, connecting invaluable information with a lifetime of experience. I found that this read was very enjoyable as it took time to touch on many of the complex ideas of martial arts, but explained them in a way that is friendly to the reader. The material is also very enriched and can be used as an encyclopedia of martial arts information (I will surely keep coming back to it for my own research). It contained information of styles from all over the globe and gave a very comprehensive understanding to all of their differences. I also loved how the book got into the details of training both externally and interna

The Harvest

Even in my earliest days of training I had always pondered on how to present my art to the world in a fashion that could be comprehended by the masses. The idea of teaching others to wield the skills that had saved my life dozens of times became an obsession of my own subconscious. Part of me has always believed that our purpose of existence is to share the harvest of our personal development. I seek to pass martial arts to the next generation not because I believe it is more valuable than any other gift, but because it is the seed of my blessing.  Years before people had heard of the term "MMA," I had already been training for more than a decade. At the time it seemed obvious that blending the martial arts was likely to be the most effective manner to take out an opponent, especially if the fray took place in the ring. I fought with fighters of every style on a weekly basis in order to strengthen the metal within my art. It wasn't long before I was joined by a gro

Realistic Training VS Choreographed Movements

Lately there has been a stream of videos popping up on the internet showing realistic violent events,  warning against choreographed martial arts movements. These videos are certainly eye opening for those who have never been in a real altercation, but at the same time they are possibly misleading to how effective martial arts actually is in a real combat situation. Being a person who is an experienced martial artist and has used it in life threatening situations dozens of times throughout the course of my life, I felt it necessary to say a word or two on this topic that might help people understand how to use and train their martial arts effectively. First let me remind you that the generations before us were not idiots. They lived in a time of continual war against countless odds, which lead to the development of martial arts. Because they were in a warring period, there are many obvious factors that they didn't need to explain, that people today may not be aware of. All of

Racism: The Invisible Sword

I remember being in a classroom with my peers in the early years of my youth. I would sit and try to understand the lesson the teacher was showing me when I suddenly would find a note on my desk saying, "Were going to kill you after class nigger." Fortunately due to the grace of God and my martial arts training, they were never successful. The environment that I grew up in was the best teacher for learning how to fight against seemingly impossible odds at times. It may seem like a harsh way to grow up, but I am grateful for the tactics that I was able to learn without taking any real severe physical damage. However even in such a racially imbalanced environment, I had lots of good friends who were not minorities. In fact over the course of my life, I have had literally hundreds of white friends and many who I would call brothers. So throughout my life I have maintained healthy relationships with people of all races. The truth is we are people and we basically all de

Mind Body and Soul Connection

Some people say the best workout comes from repeating a single movement thousands of times and others use a duration of time to indicate they have finished a good workout. We can make progress through training forms, sparring, hitting a heavy bag, research or even meditation, but how can we know how much progress we've made? Everything becomes evident given enough time, but the results of most training can't be seen by the eye for at least weeks. As you gain a  deeper understanding of many skills you will discover that mamy forms of development can never be seen, but only felt. Progress is the ever elusive objective that can fill your heart with joy when it's present. It can also leave you at the end of a workout feeling not as competent as you wish to be. If I could put a time lapse on my life you would see the different dojos and schools that I've trained in. You would also witness hundreds of people of all kinds coming and going like the tide as the days turned

Interview About Life in Taiwan For Minorities

This is an interview I did about five years ago with Daniel D. Zarazua about life in Taiwan. He is finishing his new book that will present what life is like in Taiwan for different minority groups. It's a good read and gives details about what life is like here.

Bagua Tactical Training (playlist)

Bagua Tactical Training (playlist) This is a list of some of the vids for easy watching.

Bagua Two Man Offense Practice RJA 孔有有

Growing Pains

Sorry for such a long and in many ways inexcusable delay since my last post, but I have been trying to find the timing for my next attack. No matter what style I practice, I've always been a counter fighter at heart. Life being the most evasive and elusive opponent can make my counter attacks that much more unpredictable. In this particular season, I'm forced to observe and refine while I map out my strategy for a long awaited objective. The recent year and a half has been Xing Yi season. Learning the energy and strategies of Xing Yi has been a daily chore that can be both pleasant and very irritating. Although continually practicing Xing Yi directly enhances my Bagua, just as Taichi and many of the others styles that are on my plate. Yet I feel that Xing Yi is really just not my cup of tea. I don't believe that it is any less effective than Bagua, or I should say I don't feel any style is less effective than any style. Everything in life is just a matter of wheth

Training Program

               Yesterday I was teaching my kung fu brother about combat and how to use the 64 palms in a real combat scenario. Like many practitioners he was able to understand the movements well in a practice situation, but real speed and force changed the reality of how a technique is actually applied. When I attacked him, he retreated into pure instinctive reaction and was able to defend himself (more or less), but didn't use a single one of the 64 palms. When he attacked me, I also retreated into my raw instincts and reactions, but I always stopped his attack with the most appropriate palm strike. "How are you doing that?" He asked me confused as I helped him up from the floor. "It's all about programming." I explained knowing that his career was related to computers. "Programming?"  He asked again wondering if he had heard me correctly. I then began to explain to him this metaphor as I went through the 64 movements. "The