It’s all good ……

December 3, 2007

Russ and me posing on an “Iban” bamboo bridge in Kuching.

So before any of you reading folks go thinking “oh no, we are reading those 2’s emails”, let me just jump in and say; anything but. 

I got to know Russ some 3 – 4 years ago through a MA forums, exchanging materials on Karate and White Crane, as it is, we are both seeking for explicit connections between the 2. 

And like I have always maintained, to achieve that, you got to have both sides of the story – not superficial brushes but the inside scoop… 

Visiting his website resource library is enough to convince me that this is one very dedicated seeker. 

So we talked on-line until we met up recently in Penang and decided to really work together, hopefully, to shed some light into the subject that has, personally at least, haunted me for a while. 

This weblog is just a beginning of our many collaborations discussed and over time, we will announce the rest.





An Introduction

December 3, 2007

Ok, so this may seem odd to some, but this isn’t Eric speaking…It’s Russ.  Russ Smith.  Eric and I thought it might be fun to put our heads (and efforts) together on this blog.

I understand that you probably only know me from what Eric has mentioned about me here, so I’ll start by filling you in on who I am, what I do, and why it would be that Eric and I would end up on the same blog here in Cyberspace…

The first thing that is probably important is that I am a “Karate Guy”…I’ve been training in Goju-Ryu karate for over 20 years now.  Like Eric, I’m extremely passionate about the martial arts.  I use my vacation time to travel for training, and my spending cash for training, books, and videos.  I created a website where I have shared information and videos about Okinawan Karate for over 10 years.

Since I’m passionate about the martial arts, the natural thing for me has always been to look beyond my immediate training to better understand the evolution of my art as well as the development and makeup of other arts.  I like to use the term “research”, but please understand that when I say that word, I mean it from a practitioner’s perspective, not purely and solely academic.  I would prefer to be on the floor training, but when I am not, I am reading what I can get my hands on.  I’ve gone so far as to study how to read Japanese and Chinese to ensure I have enough to study.

Anyhow, what I am hoping comes across is that I am just a guy who really, really enjoys the martial arts and is on a journey to learn, and share with the good friends I meet along the way.

I’ll fill in more soon, but I’d like to leave you with a glimpse of me doing something, just so you can get a feel for the (new) person on this side of the keyboard.

The middle path.

December 3, 2007

Right, for most of us “traditionalists”, we are, by and large, quick to put down competition Wushu as cheap imitation of the real thing.


Views come as hard as “giving real kung fu a bad name” and the list goes on.


Yes, I do have my disagreements with performance routines; the ones that give absolute no concern to martial qualities except to look good in front of the judges and audiences but having the opportunities to watch these athletes train behind the scene; the blood, sweat and tear in the process has taught me one thing – it’s just as demanding as any form of fighting training.


The forms are the same but the intent could be somewhere else and I am not that quick these days to judge them using my objectives.


Truth is, I find it easy to teach them traditional methods given the fact that they are so nimble already.


And as I look into the future of CKF, I see a moderation of the 2 camps meeting at some midpoint.


To draw more youths into TCMAs, there must be a hook somewhere. Training strictly to fight might not be the strongest motivation nowadays.


Training to look “cool” like in skateboarding, street hip-hop dancing and BMX thrashing is everywhere.


I see competition Wushu in that same genre.


So the challenge is for traditional Wushu to be innovative to inject new blood…….