Know your numbers.

December 19, 2007

Time to know the 12 girls better – right, not in the biblical sense!


Really got to see them “live” someday……


Like I said earlier, personally, I think “Sanchins” could be traced all the way back to Shaolin Luohan training methods.

Old texts recorded the concept of “3 rights/straights” referring to keeping the head, upper body to be maintained straight and not tilted or bend in anyway. The buttocks to be tucked in and the feet positioned to keep the body upright.

Sink chi to dantien and all strikes driven by chi and controlled by breathing in the swallowing and spitting actions.

Depending on which styles, muscular tension fluctuates according to requirement. However, most all styles teach opening/closing of the dantien area in clear manners.

And just like in Karate, this is tested by punches or kicks.

Got a clip here describing the above – the explanation is in Mandarin.



Wow, looks like I stirred up some hornet nests with my “One man’s meat” entry….

I’ve been called many things since I started posting on the internet; anything from archetypal to arrogant and every now and then, someone would call me a “racist”. 

So okay, I am Chinese and if by writing about Chinese cultures and traditions makes me a “racist”, so be it – don’t worry be happy.

Got a couple of mails calling me a “sell-out” since the aforementioned entry in this weblog – why are you championing “modern” Wushu, they all yelled? 

Well what can I say? Drunk maybe …. Maybe not……

Let me try this “fourth door” approach here:-

Got a clip here, without a shadow of a doubt, modern Wushu, performed by one time “Nan Quan King” of China, He Chiang (spelling?).

Can we all agree that:-

  1. He is not fast.
  2. He is not powerful.
  3. He is not crispy with his movements.
  4. He lacks “Saat” or “kill spirit”

And most importantly, all the pow, sow, kwa, chien, tiger palms and kicks we see him do are strictly cosmetic.

Anyone can take one of those from the performer and walk away “undamaged”?

C’mon let’s all have the same opinion here; it’s the season of peace and goodwill.

Merry Christmas and no more “nasty” mails from anyone! 










December 18, 2007

In both Goju-Ryu, which I practice, and Uechi-Ryu (a close cousin), many of the same sayings exist about San Chin (Three Battles):

  1. Sanchin is of primary importance
  2. Everything is in Sanchin
  3. Practice Sanchin every day

In these systems, Sanchin appears to be a “basic” form, containing (on the surface):

  1. Stepping in a short, basic stance
  2. Forward-facing posture with both hands guarding the middle
  3. Punch or thrust
  4. Grab and pull
  5. Circular block and double palms
  6. Specific breath coordination
  7. Particular posture and muscular tension

But, looking deeper, you’ll see more:


  1. Shoulders down
  2. Back straight and chin down
  3. Elbows close to the body
  4. Punching / Thrusting technique (elbows down)
  5. Block on return punch / thrust
  6. Pulling in and down
  7. Coordination of breathing and technique

Lower Body

  1. Weight evenly distributed
  2. Groin protected
  3. Knees protected
  4. Aggressive, circular stepping technique
  5. Smooth movement, without bobbing up and down
  6. Controlled stepping, keeping the entire foot flat, sliding and searching with the foot.
  7. Each step is initiated by contracting and pulling the foot in, and expanding out to the next step.  This assists in defending against foot sweeps, and helps in attacking the attacker’s root.

Unified body

  1. Concentration of energy from ground into punching technique.
  2. Slow technique gives the student the time to think and self-correct structural and technique problems.
  3. Sanchin Testing (“Shime”) varying from body conditioning to assisting the performer in awareness of parts of the body not locked.
  4. Sanchin breathing assists the user in exhaling when attacking, and reserving a small amount of air that
    keeps the user from having the wind knocked out of them if struck.

Seeing the little bit I saw of the arts represented in Penang and Kuching, I have to say there is a fair amount of similarity, not necessarily in the shape, but certainly in the intent of the form.



“To excel in kung fu, find it in San Zhan”.

Okay, how many times have I heard this from all my teachers?

I think it’s easier to count the number of times they did not stress this.

3 rights/battles/advances permeate many Southern Fukien styles and Okinawa/Japanese karate.

The “beginning and the end” of many White Crane lines and nothing else is taught until all the qualities are accomplished according to laid down standards.

So with so many versions, which is the earliest?

Theories and speculations abound and the jury is still out…to put it mildly…

Personally I think we should be examining initial Shaolin “swallow and spit” methodology and “3 rights” which are taught in both northern and then later, southern Lohan systems.

And for Karate folks looking for connections, this next clip from “Fuzhou Whooping Crane” should prove interesting. Not usually done these days, this form is known as “Tiger Crane 3 Battles”, the fist represents the tiger and the open-hand, the crane.

So over to my Karate blog-buddy ……

Aha, wasn’t anywhere near my laptop yesterday and that’s why there is a lapse in entry; was out saving folks displaced by the crazy floods….

Nah, just kidding – I was more like … out shopping. Found this fantastic little place downtown carrying some really neat DVDs; titles like “Tribute to Stevie Ray Vaughan”, “Led Zeppelin’s The Song Remains the Same” etc etc…

So I grabbed those 2 – burn a small hole in me pockets but hey, it’s my birthday today… a little indulgence is very justified.

Guess what I was doing yesterday? Playing those DVDs ……

Now to continue with where I left off the last time; “Lien Gung”, got a clip here taken from Shuo Jiao training. They don’t really do the conventional “forms” but spend a great deal of time with their “ji ben gung” and equipments.

The rest of the time, they work in pairs honing techniques.

Imho, this should be the prototype for all TCMA training.

Remember, it’s my birthday so don’t shoot me if you disagree.

There is this unending discussion about TCMA training and “forms” and this big divide about paradigm…

Throughout my whole CKF life, “forms” are the centerpiece. However, this is not to say that they are the ends because in the periphery, equally if not more important, are “gung” training.

“Training Kung Fu and not train gung, you end up with NOTHING” – I think everyone appreciates that.

So how much are we devoting into this gung training should be the more relevant question. Anything from stretching, hardening, san shou (sparring) to spiritual training, CKF is a compete package.

Forms must be supplemented with all the above and not simply a storage of stringed techniques.

Personally, every time a form is done, it is the sum total of all training starting with “Ji Ben Gung”.

A good form performance exhibits everything….





12 girls ….

December 14, 2007

This is another band that I listen to a lot; sometimes playing throughout the day in the back. 

Love the erhu, pipa …..heck love all 12 of them… 

One time, I even got one of their pieces as my cell phone ringtone….



One man’s meat …..

December 14, 2007

Errrhhh, just found out they’re discussing a couple of youtube clips I posted over at KFO.

So basically we got folks unhappy with me labeling one clip as Hong Jia or Hung Gar.

Well, I am just labeling it the way it’s announced in the footage; the lady voice introduced that exponent as Hong Jia. 

So …..

Yes, I do think that performance is biased towards “modern” Wushu but still, I like the delivery; fast powerful and very focused. 

In fact, I kinda like most of the pioneer “Wushu” – you still see some traditional elements plus all the new fancy stuff done, in some cases, seamlessly. And if I pay no attention to all the aerial acrobatics and gauge them according to “fast, power and ruthless” yardstick, I think they are actually good – by any standards.

I was talking to a Wushu friend recently and he, jokingly, said “TCMA is modern Wushu done sloppily”.

Well, it’s all a matter of perspectives, don’t you think?






Kitaro-Symphony of the forest

December 13, 2007

Watch this:-



Someone wrote:-


Remember: The yesterday was never. Tomorrow will never come. This day will last forever. Enjoy the moment and celebrate the eternal life. I am the moment – eternity.


Eeerrhhhh, so right!