August 17, 2010
Again I find myself telling you that no; I am not deserting this blog but that too many things just popped up concurrently making sitting down in front of my computer turned into some scheduling……
Also sadly, my partner’s (for the last 11 – 12 years) elder sister passed away after 2 -3 years of struggle with cancer; all that chemo, radiations, drugs both western and eastern….. I don’t know…..what I do know is that our prayers are with her to go to a better place…..
Then with our new training center seeing good response, we have about 15 new intakes since words got out, Por Suk’s visit to share his Ban Chung Wing Chun – all these took some nifty coordinating from my staff.
Not forgetting that we got to squeeze in some R&R time for Por Suk to be a tourist since this is his first time in Sarawak. Even then, we spent most of the time talking about TCMA.
And when Por Suk revealed that he does a very rare Hung Gar form – “Buddha Crane Palm”, I persuaded him to pose the form for me to shoot…in the middle of a Chinese temple we were suppose to be just visiting….. Must have spooked the other tourists …hahahahaha
I will talk more about this uncommon Hung Gar form and another “monkey cudgel” form that he does – forms that I remember vaguely reading about in some real old books and thought no longer practiced today…..
Once again proving how little I really know ….
Good health to all of you.
July 12, 2010
Okay, it is finally happening – no, not Spain lifting the world cup but me starting a school proper here in Kuching Sarawak…..
After much egging from my boss, we went out to scout for some space and found one that meets our requirements – all 1500 sq feet…..
Not that I am unwilling to teach, you understand but it just that teaching is such a major commitment and I needed to be certain that my schedule allows for this – half baked bread is lousy bread!
So anyway, the school will be operational real soon and guess what – I have invited Cho Gar Wing Chun Por Suk and some local masters to grace our “opening ceremony”; Por Suk has also kindly agreed to spend a couple of days to conduct a Wing Chun workshop at our new premises – a first for Kuching……..
So there you go ….
Got another mainland clip here to share – “Black Tiger Fist” – this must be my 2nd or 3rd northern (ShanTung) Black Tiger clip on youtube.
Quite a bit of controversy surrounding this “elusive” ShanTung kung fu
Just google and you will call up many forum sites with all sorts of arguments presented.
Well like I said many times before, there are plenty of CKF histories and lineages recorded that were passed down in the last few hundred years.
The thing is these are generally manuscripts written in old-hand mandarin and not published for public consumption.
And with many “experts” – if they did not read it in English or see it in a kung fu movie – the style does not exist.
June 25, 2010
Aha, found a clip that illustrates what I was trying to say about “whipping & splashing” jin execution – signature features of orthodox Fuzhou Cranes…..
White Crane elders are constantly reminding me – “No whipping no White Crane”…..
Or commonly expressed as “Body like willow and hands like bullets” – in the old tongue i.e
Love the way how some Taiwanese lines are keeping things so close to the core of classical Crane Boxing according to handed down manuscripts – the ones that are taking me forever to convert……..
Hey hey, it is from Fuzhou to English ….and the Fuzhou portion is already killing me!
June 22, 2010
Love the way this dancer do her stuff – no no no, I am not crossing over to “dancing”.
But just look and see how she keeps loose and focusing “power” only at the end of each move?
Arrgh, the often cited but misinterpreted “inch power” whipping and splashing that characterizes Fuzhou Cranes.
This dancer actually moves according to the way it is explicated in classic White Crane texts.
Coming from a Saolim background, it took me quite awhile to execute my Crane techniques in this manner.
The old Chinese Kung Fu idiom: – “It easy to learn Kung Fu but it is very hard to rectify Kung Fu”…….
Hear hear …..
June 2, 2010
Just in case you can’t find this, click here.
Good to know mainland’s perception of TCMA and Wushu……..
May 23, 2010
So you’re into CKF; you join a school, study basics, move on to forms and 2 man sets, weapons and maybe a little free-sparring and viola, next thing you know, you are now upgraded to be a teacher.
When you branch out, you are expected to adhere to the same route.
I don’t think I am very wrong to say that the above is what you see everywhere these days; 2 – 3 years, a “sifu” is borne.
And folks lament that traditional CKF is watered down and devalued.
Everywhere, you hear misgivings about traditional forms, training methodologies and really, the very heart of TCMA; why bother with the old ways when modern “technologies” are able to whip out better fighters ….. and so the arguments go on and on ….
Sometimes, reading what had been written, I wonder how much of TCMA have these folks experienced?
What they write reveal the shallowness of their actual knowledge of CKF.
Regardless of the style, one of the first few imperative lessons is “train courage, strength and followed by techniques”.
The “courage” portion is mental, emotional and even spiritual and in the old days, a Sifu would test a student repetitively to make certain that “courage” is attained; a good teacher would spare no efforts here and that is why sometimes it takes years in order for someone to even learn techniques and such.
The boldness to take on anyone, any form of pain and still not surrender is something that is glaringly missing in most training today.
I love the way the Japanese puts it “Conquer the fear of death and you fear nothing”.
If you can’t control “fear” – no techniques, tricks and forms are going to be any good.
So folks, if your training revolves only around forms, light sparring …… you are missing the bigger picture ….really…..
Here’s another mainland compilation clip – stick from various styles.
May 17, 2010
Ooookay, it’s that time again – answer emails…..
Firstly, again, allow me to apologize to those who have written in with invitations to be friends over at youtube and facebook etc etc..
Like I explained before, I am just about able to cope as it is; juggling my time doing this and that and the last thing I need is to commit to something I cannot upkeep.
Many emails received asked for specific articles in old magazines, video clips and info about schools and Sifus; I would try my best to oblige.
Someone wrote in to ask whether I subscribe to the theory that CKF was influenced by her neighbor India.
Well, for as long as I could remember, many elders before me spoke of the extraordinary relationship between India and China through the early ages; written documents attest to this.
I guess for most folks, looking at contemporary Indian fighting arts, they find it difficult to reconcile the 2 countries’fighting art forms.
I recall a Saolim elder telling me that to see the connection, you got to concentrate on the stick arts; they are telling movements to relate the 2.
Got a mainland clip here that might just do that; no background info but apparently a northern form. Something that you would expect to see Chuo Jiao, Sanhuangpaochui and Shaolin exponents do.
Reminds me of something from the “crazy” stick series ………
May 14, 2010
Another hectic week just zipped by …. The year of the Tiger is proving to be more “vigorous” than I first imagined.
Well, this is good …. It’s always better to be busy than idle …so say so many folks around here.
And this past week had been made “busier” with the visit of my Zhou Jia (Jow Ga) sihing, Peter Lum, from Penang.
He was supposed to travel with Por Suk (Cho Ga Ban Chung Wing Chun) but Por Suk had to change plan last minute; one of his students bought tickets for him to go to China….
Well anyway Peter stayed with us in the new house so it was 4 days of kung fu talks and discussions of projects plus meeting with my boss, kung fu folks in Kuching and some sightseeing / shopping squeezed in.
This being his virgin trip to East Malaysia, we wanted him to experience as much as possible; life in East and West Malaysia are really 2 totally diverse matters.
You just go to hands on both to know what I mean.
4 days are just barely adequate to scratch the surface, so Peter is scheduling on coming back …. With Por Suk.
In the meantime, I will be building a “mok chong” or “wooden dummy” using “belian” …one of the hardest “iron wood” known to man.
I will be working my knives techniques on the dummy … what are you thinking you dummy hahahaha….
May 10, 2010
Okay okay I know, this is supposed to be a Kung Fu blog and I should stay the course ….. but please remember also that “all Kung Fu and nothing else makes Eric a dull boy” … duh !!!
However, Kung Fu is a big part of my life and I don’t drift far, a little diversion now and then but still it is the “comfort zone” that I am comfy with.
Got another clip here to share – Yong Chun White Crane’s “8 parts”, to me, a signature form for them after Sanchiem; a “forcing the 4th gate” form since they don’t do any “angles or corners” battle form per se.
Maybe and this is a big maybe, latter days’ Fuzhou Cranes “4th gate” form is inspired by this form; it is really hard to ascertain particularly since no proper chronology record exist.
Talking to both Yong Chun and Fuzhou Cranes elders, nothing clear cut resulted …..
Then of course you got “Grand Ancestor” or “Tai Chor” Boxing and the consensus is that this is a much older system and if you inspect their paradigm of training, you’ll find :-
- Sanchiem – connecting sky, man and earth or in other tongue, absorbing into the earth and rising to the sky power trajectory.
- 4 doors
- 5 gates
- 8 methods
Looks like all these are swimming in the same water no?
Another account that I’ve got from a White Crane elder around here is that “8 parts” refer to the 4 major wrist and elbow manipulations – this then put the form closer to what Wing Chun folks preach…..
This White Crane veteran has his fair share of touching hands with White Crane experts of most lines and really, I cherish everything he has got to share with me; you should see some of the classical hand written/illustrated manuscripts that his teacher left him – priceless!!!
Back to the form in the clip, the performer appears to be much “harder” that the earlier YCWC clips that I posted. This kind of delivery makes it easy to see why many in the Karate world are now claiming association to YCWC as reported in the many websites and magazines out of the mainland.
So which is the right execution? Well, if you ask me, they are both “right” – go back to the White Crane classics and you’ll find recorded in no uncertain terms, that White Crane is “half hard half soft”.
Sinking into the “Dantien” and sinking into the earth produce different energies and appearances….
To sink into “Dantien” you keep your legs tight like in your typical “hourglass” stance whereas sinking into the earth calls for the legs to stay “springy”.
Well, more on this topic over time …. Let me find more clips to demonstrate what I mean.
May 2, 2010
Another email received :-
“hi, i’m shervmen loi from malacca. i had visited your blog. you had done a very good job in trying to preserve traditional wushu. here in malacca also i can tell you that traditional wushu has been sidelined just to make way for the development of modern wushu. traditionalist like me were not many nowaday in malacca. i specialized in the seven stars mantis boxing under the lineage of luo guang yu. i had started my own blog since january 2010. here is the address, http://melakawushu.blogspot.com“