Nicholas Yang Interview

Nicholas Yang, son of Dr. Yang, Jwing-Ming, is currently director of the YMAA (Yang’s Martial Arts Association) Retreat Center’s operations, programs, and publications. Located in Miranda, California, the Center’s purpose is to preserve traditional Chinese Martial Arts and culture and to provide training that adheres to the highest standards and principles. The interview covers Nicholas Yang’s background and early training, and his experiences competing in martial arts tournaments. He discusses the challenges and drawbacks of competition, and the characteristics of a high-level performance. He shares his views on MMA and his hopes for the future of Chinese Martial Arts.

Improving Your Skill Through the 24 Standards

The Si Ji - Four Attacks, Ba Fa - Eight Methods, and Shi Er Xing -12 Forms, collectively known as Er Shi Yi Yao, are presented in this article as the 24 Standards. These are at the core of understanding the psychophysical requirements for Northern Long Fist Kung Fu but can be useful for all Chinese martial arts styles. Alex Kwok provides an historical background and offers a detailed analysis of each point which, if implemented in your training, will help increase your understanding and performance, especially in Chang Quan (Long Fist).

Hong Jia’ s 12 Bridge Hands

Every Chinese martial arts style contains certain fundamental skills that serve as the structure for building its defensive and offensive concepts. The 12 Bridge Hands of Hong Jia (Hung Gar in Cantonese), by Calvin Chin, is an intrinsic aspect of the system. This article reveals through photos and explanations the details of executing each Bridge. The work provides a window to understanding some of Hong Jia's principal fighting strategy and skills.

Shuai Jiao’s Gripping & Tearing

Shuai Jiao, Chinese Wrestling, predates many of the Boxing Forms and is an essential part of Chinese martial arts. Part of the fundamental aspects of Shuai Jiao skills are the gripping and tearing skills which are instrumental both for initiating a throw or sweep and defending against and thwarting an opponent's attack. This article on Shuai Jiao provides a threshold to more advanced practice.

Di Guoyong on Xing Yi Quan

Xingyi Quan, one of the major internal styles, is regarded an effective and practical fighting system. Di Guoyong, one of the principal founders of the Beijing Xingyi Quan Research Association, is internationally recognized his knowledge and skill in the art. In this revealing interview, all aspects of the art are discussed in detail. From building a solid foundation through the practice of Zhang Zhuang (Post Standing) and Santi Shi (Trinity Posture); to the more subtle aspects and guiding principles; and the concepts of Fajin and whole body power; the interview provides many guideposts from which to increase your understanding and elevate your practice.

Fanzi Quan: Overturning Boxing

Yue Zhang provides an introduction to the origins of Fanzi Quan and explores its development as an effective fighting system. Elements of Fanzi Boxing can be found in many Northern Chinese martial arts styles such as: Chuo Jiao Fanzi (Poking Foot Overturning Boxing) and Yingzhao Fanzi (Eagle Claw Overturning Boxing). The important characteristics of Fanzi Quan are swiftness, turning, and symmetry. It is the skillful interpretation and use of these features that makes Fanzi an influential and effective fighting system.

Ma Style Bagua: An Introduction

Lin Li, a 7th generation lineage holder in Ma Pai Bagua Zhang, discusses basic principles and body work for stationary stance training in Ma Style Bagua. The characteristic stances include the horse stance, 4/6 stance, and Ye Zhang stance. The concepts of Zhi Ji Gong Fu (Know Self Gong Fu) and Zhi Bi Gong Fu (Know Opponent's Gong Fu) are described as well as the idea of Xi Kong Gai Nian (awareness of space and time in fighting). He also traces the connection of Ma Pai Bagua Zhang to the Yijing and The Art of War.

The Central Martial Arts Academy

This article provides an in-depth look into the Nanjing Guoshu Guan, from its fledgling idea of overcoming the image of "sick man of Asia," to its official establishment in 1928. It prescribed a formal martial arts curriculum, established a program to publish martial arts books and periodicals, and organized a national training and testing system. The Academy was the most ambitious martial arts organization of its time. It brought together the cream of political and military leaders and many of the most prominent masters of the era. The Academy was far ahead of its time in promoting the ideals and spirit of Chinese martial arts.

Liu Xiaoling Interview

Liu Xiaoling has trained with some of China's most accomplished masters and is renowned for his expertise in several styles such as Xingyi Quan, Bagua Zhang, Taiji Quan, Liuhe Bafa and Tongbei Quan, among others. In this revealing interview, we explore his early training in martial arts and move on to questions about his knowledge of essential principles of different styles. Important concepts are explained such as the essence of the Santi Shi posture in Xingyi, the concept of whole body power, "Go out as alert as a cat, and step back as if drawing a silk thread," the driving concept in Tang Ni Pu (Mud Gliding Step) in Bagua. This is truly an in-depth look at a master and his art.

Taiji Plum Blossom Praying Mantis

Zhenshen Wang provides an in-depth look into the history and lineage of Hao Style Praying Mantis. Two of the principle techniques: Pi Chui - Chopping, and Beng Chui - Smashing, are explained and demonstrated in detail, along with theoretical points such as the proper use of footwork and body work. The author explains how diligent partner work is necessary to master these techniques. Illustrations and variations are provided, and the concept of Yin and Yang as it applies to Gongfu applications is emphasized.

Shen Family Martial Arts Heritage

Regarded as China's First Shuai Jiao Family, this article traces the history from Shen Fang, who served as Pu Hu in the Qing Imperial Palace, to his son, the renowned Shen Yousan, undefeated in countless Shuai Jiao matches and celebrated as "Yi Chen Bu Zhan" - Not soiled by a speck of dust (meaning his body never touched the ground). Reviewing the Shen Family Martial Arts Heritage, Alex Liu discusses the contributions of the Shen family and the Hui Zu Muslim ethnic group to Chinese martial arts training. It includes an interview with Shen Yousan's 4th son, Shen Dezhong, and covers Shuai Jiao as well as other martial arts styles practiced by the family.

Wushu Nationalism

This article traces the evolution of the Huo Yuanjia story as it was first popularized by the Jingwu Athletic Association and the martial arts novelist Xiang Kairan, and later by the Hong Kong and Chinese film industries. Patriotic and commercial impulses drove these different actors to appropriate and expand Huo’s story, resulting in a popular narrative that symbolizes China’s struggles in the 20th century. The author, Dr. Jason Halub, Professor of History at the US Military Academy at West Point, skillfully distinguishes myths from facts, and legend from actual history.