And from the slow and I mean s-l-o-w mainland video site “youku” comes this nice “Hequandao” clip.

Founded by a young sifu, this style is a blend of Yong Chun White Crane, Wuzu and others.

Hey, why am I explaining? Go visit their site for more info :- www.hequandao.com

A reminder.

May 10, 2009

36w

44

Simple characters left behind by my White Crane elders.

4 words – a life time committment…….

Voice from the past.

March 5, 2009

wangxz1

 

The very fist time I heard the name, Wang Xiangzhai, must have been 35 yrs ago when I was struggling with the rudiments of Fuzhou White Crane.

At that time, in the Fuzhou clan association, many teachers were running classes in White Crane, Dog Boxing, Fukien Tiger,Tai Chi, Xing Yi and DaChengQuan.

Back then, watching the DaChengQuan or Yi Quan, I remember thinking, this can’t be combat kung fu training.

I saw folks standing around or walking zigzaggedly, waving their hands and hitting “arbitrarily”; where are the forms, the 3 stars drills, 4 gates footwork and 5 element hands???

Look, even the Tai Chi trainees were working on bags 3 times their body sizes and pushing one another and slamming into cushion-padded walls.

So what is the deal with DCQ?

Some years on, now a little more adept with White Crane, my teacher spoke about Wang Xiangzhai again and his connection with Southern White Crane. Apparently, somewhere in Wang’s travel all over China to seek Kung Fu experts, he met and spent time with White Crane high hands.

How much did he absorb from this encounter is really anybody’s guess.

Fast forward to the last 10 years; I was in Denver and met Sifu Wayne Welch, a 40 yrs (at least) Pak Kua exponent, and among the many CKF topics shared, Yi Quan again popped up.

Uncle Wayne’s fascination with YiQuan revolves around the mechanics of extended hands’ “fajin” relying on the entire spine’s spiral – pinion and rack principle, so to speak.  

So for many moons, we discussed this and looked at my White Crane fajin  for resemblances.

Can say anything “definite” but Fuzhou Crane, at some points in the evolution, came into contact with “internal” systems and must have imported elements to eventually structure what you see today in  streams like Whooping/Sleeping and to a smaller extend, Feeding Crane.

Been asked on numerous occasions, what are the internal systems that wielded their influences on present days’ Fuzhou Cranes.

Well, frankly, I don’t have enough to make any calls, I have my speculations. …. based on handed down written descriptions.

If you are active in the mainland CKF forum scene, you must have come across this statement:-

 

White Crane is also known, in some circles, as “Minor Tai Chi” or “Xiao Taiji”.

This might baffle some of you but really, at certain levels, it’s hard to separate Tai Chi fighting from White Crane’s.

Mainlanders, and I agree, say it’s in the fajin.

So anyway, here’s an excerpt from the famous Wang XiangZhai’s interview carried in many forums/blogs, that I think requires some careful reading.

Errrrrh, no sweat, it’s in English and for the full article, click on this

here.

 

Interviewer: The different schools of boxing are extremely numerous and their theories differ. Among my good friends there are many who practise boxing. Some of them practise according to books, but none of them has gained any results. What kind of a book should they adopt? 

Wang Xiangzhai: Combat science cannot be divided into schools, and the boxing theory does not have the distinction of Chinese or foreign, and new or old. Do nothing but examine whether it is right or wrong, and suitable or unsuitable, that is enough. At large, the numerous schools of our society, generally take the approach of forms and techniques to learn boxing. One must know that this kind practice is just forgery conducted by the later generations, it is not the original essence of combat science. Even though a few people by chance realise some side-mechanics and one-sided techniques, they have not, however, left the methods and forms after all, so it is without avail in the end. 

As for the writers of the martial arts guide books, they cannot exceed this boundary either. Although this doctrine is very easy to study, it is still not as simple as following others like sheep. Sometimes those who are taught by a famous master who passed the knowledge orally and from the heart, still cannot differentiate between right and wrong after dozens of years. How could these writings then be of any use? In any kind of learning, one should first understand the fundamental principle, and bit by bit intuitively perceive the skills, starting from the basics. In addition to that, one should ponder carefully, making a clear distinction between right and wrong, and proving one’s perceptions by experimenting in many ways. Only then can one move on to study those technical skills.

Family portrait.

February 28, 2009

2

 

This is a pleasant surprise….. A picture to perk up my day….

 

Sent by Stacy (Warwick) Colorado, picture shows Wayne (Hinton) seated and his students. Stacy is on Wayne’s right. You also see Chad and Rich, the 2 who visited me here in Sarawak, in the pic.

 

Wayne is one of my earliest students in the US.

 

In fact one of the first 3 who started when I first taught there – what now? 10 years ago maybe?

 

The other being Chas, now in Seattle and Roosevelt Allen who passed away some 3 – 4 years back.

 

Looking at the pic and seeing Wayne and his students ……

 

Man, I must be getting old 🙂

 

Maybe I should just take up golf and stop thinking about kung fu – you know pain in every joint the day after ain’t exactly fun when you’re on the wrong side of 40.

 

Errrrhh, maybe not ….. been doing this sh*t for too long now to walk away now.

 

And then you got Neil Young who said something like “gonna keep walking until the pavement turns to sand”.

 

Well, no sand in sight …. yet …..

 

Have a good one folks.

 

When I logged on over at youtube, this clip and a few others, were highlighted….

Couldn’t make out the faces in the clip until I identified the dojo; reminds me of a Tampa Florida dojo I visited last year.

Then, it all came to me – Russ “GojuMaster” Smith demonstrating a series of drills.

I want to add my 2 shillings for the “Pass under” clip.

Russ, depending how you expend energy, the “pass under” could either be “SanJin” elbow-trap or “Babulien” heaven/earth hand trap/throw.

“Leading Cow” which is very widespread in TaiZu also is a “throw” with body shifting.

Love the way you lift your knee into the ribs making it “General Kuan Mounting Horse”.

And your double knife-hand strike is “White Crane playing with water” – the double handed version in Sanjin.

The horizontal elbow after the pass is a nice touch and if you flip your hand after the elbow strike, striking your partner’s back head, and scoop with your lead leg all together – you end up with “Crane Standing by the brook”.

Russ, nice work….. 🙂

Wish I got your energy to put up clips like these.

 

 

 

The awakened Dragon.

January 29, 2009

A gentleman who hardly needs any introduction; for the longest time his works on “Shaolin White Crane” are held to be the standard reference, still often quoted in forums etc….

Dr. Yang is “old school” and in his clips, Pt 2, he states that modern “Wushu” is all postures and no “fight” and that only in recent times, mainland is putting enormous effort in the research and restitution of traditional Chinese MAs.

A view that many elders and I share fully.

During my teachers’ time, in the 70s and 80s, requests came fast and furious from mainland’s “wushu” committees and working groups, all with the same plan; return and help to reinstate TCMA.

Some did take this up but I am also aware of many who turned it down; no wonder, as they have left mainland to escape the communist government in the first place.

These last couple of years, I am beginning to see some exciting works accomplished by mainland in the area of research and documenting TCMA; something that is long past due!

As the birthplace of the arts, the onus is upon them to lead the way in the preservation of this heritage for the generations to come.

The “dragon” is finally awakened and let’s hope it continues to soar to greater heights……

Linking 3 clips here: – 2 by Dr. Yang in which he explains some of the common terminologies used in TCMA and another featuring “Yi Quan” in China; one style that’s left pretty intact in spite of all the political volatility it went thru.

Tensho Goju Ryu.

January 15, 2009

Hey, I know this guy….

Ya, I vaguely remember him from the Penang gathering.

Oh it’s Russ Smith, my comrade in many forthcoming projects.

Really, classy execution of the very “crane-nish” Tensho kata.

Books.

December 24, 2008

Must have mentioned this before somewhere in this blog….. compiling and putting out a book examining major Fukien Boxing systems plus cross fertilization with original Okinawa styles resulting in some of the Karate streams in existence today…

Easier said than done really. Just combing thru old books  based on Grand Ancestor, White Crane and 5 Ancestors is already consuming so much efforts and time. Getting through the “old style” Mandarin can be real murder, if you know what I mean and most of these books are scribed in precisely those old hands.

A couple of scans from 2 books from Ah Teck – first 2 pics are from a Grand Ancestor book and the bottom pic is from a 5 Ancestor in-house not-for-sale publication.

Priceless – to me and the work that lies ahead.

taicho0011

taicho004

taicho005

Taiwan traditional Kung Fu.

December 21, 2008

Something labeled as Circular Limb Crane – love the commentary in MingNam dialect….

Snake fist.

So if I add the 2 above, according to some folks, I should end up with Wing Chun no?

鹤拳道 Crane Fist Tao

December 19, 2008

鹤拳道是一种注重养生技击的南派中国功夫。多流传于厦门泉州、漳州福建闽南一带,并经过华侨传到港澳与国外。正宗的鹤拳道主要来源于永春白鹤拳,再吸取截拳道咏春拳五祖拳太极拳泰拳跆拳道空手道等武学精华.博采众家之长而成,由福建泉州南安洪濑黄良才创立。以”发扬传承中华武学文化,促进全民健身为宗旨”。

A young hybrid Crane from the mainland.

Crane Fist Tao is a mix of:-

¨      Yong Chun White Crane

¨      Jeet Kune Do

¨      Wing Chun

¨      5 Ancestors

¨      Tai Chi

¨      Muay Thai

¨      TKD

¨      Karate

Now if only I can find a clip of this multifaceted system….

Anyway, if you wanna read more, click here.  (in Mandarin)