Here at the frontier, the leaves fall like rain. Although my neighbors are all barbarians, and you, you are a thousand miles away, there are still two cups at my table.

Ten thousand flowers in spring, the moon in autumn, a cool breeze in summer, snow in winter. If your mind isn't clouded by unnecessary things, this is the best season of your life.

~ Wu-men ~

Saturday, July 29, 2023

Kung Fu: the Hidden Art

Below is a series of six videos which comprises a documentary on Kung Fu, from it's beginnings as a military art to modern times.


Wednesday, July 26, 2023

Vintage Video of Cheng Man Ching Taijiquan Demonstration 1966

Below is a grainy video of a demonstration at Springfield College MA. The Professor demonstrating grab escapes, slipping punches, sticky hands, rooting, neutralizing, and Fa-Jing. Master Liang in the role of M.C. and translator.

Sunday, July 23, 2023

Isshinryu Karate and the Way of Water

Below is an excerpt from a post that appeared at Okinawan Empty Hand regarding the imagery of water in the study of Isshinryu.The full post may be read here. 

Any homeowner knows that water always wins. Be water, my friend.


Isshinryu no Megami & Water

Mizu []

In the symbol of Isshinryu, the goddes is in water, the ocean, which is the life giver to the earth and all that inhabits it. 

“The dragon ascends from the water into the sky or heaven, and stands for heaven.” - Advincula 

It has been stated the goddess of Isshinryu has nothing to do with water and I have to disagree because the figure used is represented by the goddess of water that has been set in the patch to symbolize a goddess for the isshinryu system of the empty hand. The mizu gami as to water symbolizes the fact that all life on earth under the heavens comes from several sources to include the all important “water” that all life must have to exist.

As we can easily perceive in what follows, water is the life giver giving birth to the mizu-gami and Tatsuo-sama who gave life to Isshinryu and thus gave life to the roll of the gami as megami or isshinryu… which, due to Tatsuo-sama’s deep belief and practice of sumachi and knowledge/understanding of the Chinese classics like the I Ching influenced and guided him to study and “change” his karate creating, giving birth to, isshinryu or one heart school of karate!

Everything of heaven and earth of the universe requires “water,”that gives birth to the myriad of things as taught in the tao of the tao te ching, I ching and the teachings of Chuang Tzu, Lao Tzu, Mencius as well as Chuang Chou and others resulted in the creativity of Tatsuo-sama’s Isshinryu karate-do!

The Codes of Karate can also be found in the Isshin-ryu patch.

1. A person's heart if the same as heaven and earth. Dragon (heaven) overhead and tiger (earth) in the headress.

2. The blood circulating is similar to the sun and moon. The dragon which leaves the water and flies overhead to return to the sea. The never-ending cycle.

3. The manner drinking (inhaling) and spitting (exhaling is either hard of soft. Open hand and fist of the Megami.

4. A person's unbalance is the same as a weight. There is a balance of the yin and yang in the symbol.

5. The body should be able to change directions at any time. The dragon flying overhead is Tatsuo who looked at change in a positive light.

6. The time to strike is when the opportunity presents itself. This again is represented by the opened and closed fist, to strike only as a last resort.

7. The eyes must see all sides. Represented by the stars or teachers who light or guide the way.

8. The ears must listen in all directions. Megami is alert and listens. Listening leads to knowledge and understanding.

Be your true nature, being like (the nature of) water!

  1. Water is like heaven and earth;
  2. Water flows fast and water flows slow;
  3. Water seeks all sides and water seeks all places;
  4. Water senses all possibilities and water seeks all possibilities;
  5. Water seeks balance in all things;
  6. Water stands in stillness and reflects like a mirror;
  7. Water becomes rough and hides the calmness beneath its surface;
  8. Water understands its purpose and water symbolizes the great tai chi;
  9. Water goes with it’s true nature and water does not fight its nature;
  10. Water can be contained and water always finds its path to freedom;
  11. Water is undeterred and water can erode granite;
  12. Water is a primary concept of the I Ching.

Water is:

  • Soft yet powerfully hard;
  • Natural yet easily directed;
  • Detached yet flowing with nature;
  • In short, essential to life.

To be like (the nature of) water, is to be in the flow like (the nature of) water.

Water always keeps moving, even still waters are being revitalized from waters deep; springs, rains, and snowmelts.

Water benefits all, it remains in the lowest places (seeks its own level), and overcomes all obstacles and barriers. Water is the symbol of Tao or “the way.” Water forms into the shapes and voids of all things.

Thursday, July 20, 2023

Yang Chengfu: Comparisons of Four Disciples' Forms

This is an interesting video. 

From top left, clockwise: Fu Zhongwen, Dong Ying Jie, Zheng Manqing (Chen Man Ching), and Yang Zhenduo (son of Yang Chengfu and grandfather of Yang Jun). Fu Zhongwen, prominent disciple of YCF, sets the pace here; all the others are slowed down or sped up to sync with his steps. Of course, CMC only had the short 37 form, so not all of his movements are here. Others shortened some parts of the form so occasionally these videos fade out momentarily.


Monday, July 17, 2023

Wednesday, July 05, 2023

Sunday, July 02, 2023