Showing posts with label Shuai Chiao. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Shuai Chiao. Show all posts

February 22, 2015

2015 Chinese New Year With Mike Martello

Miss all of you
Happy year of the Sheep / Goat!  I can think of no better way to celebrate the Chinese Lunar New Year then with my good friend and teacher Mike Martello.  He has been on my mind a lot lately as I was watching an Anthony Bourdain "The Layover" in Taiwan the other night, and sure enough if there wasn't Mike's old training crew under Wang Jie featured!  Then as mentioned in the previous post Feidor Laview brought back some great memories with the Miao Dao. 

Though I know I have posted these clips before, it has been seven years since this film was taken here in Seattle where we hosted Mike a couple of times.   Unfortunately this is the last film I have of Mike and us together.  He died in 2009 prior to returning stateside for another round of lessons.

There is pure gold in these clips regardless of what style you train.  Sadly the majority of us will never, ever reach even a quarter of what Mike attained prior to his premature death.  Study and learn. 

Miss you Mike...

February 10, 2015

Traditional Wrestling Styles

This is not it... click link below
Once again I owe a tip of the hat to Wrestling Roots for turning me onto this work in progress by Yasuyuki Fujikura who is documenting the various wrestling styles the world over.  Unfortunately the majority of it is in Japanese but the link provide pictures and video of some amazing grappling that I am sure you have never heard of.

Once again this proves how integral grappling is for cultured society (obviously not news to anyone with a couple of five year old boys).  Fascinating google map:

Click here to be redirected to the interactive map.

January 11, 2015

Martial Arts DVD Sale

Once again I am cleaning out the closet so to speak of media in which I no longer need nor desire.  It is my hope that you can find a gem in this hodgepodge of titles well over 50% off.  As always shipping and handling is not included.  Email me for further information or questions: [email protected]


"Neckbreaker" vol. I & II - Erik Paulson       $25/set

"The Mount"  - Erik Paulson                          $10

"Tackles, Takedowns, Throws & Counters"   $10
                      - Erik Paulson

"Quick Kills"   - Erik Paulson                         $10

"Killer Chicken Wings"   - Erik Paulson          $10

"Sun Style Taiji - Master Lei Shi Tai's Short Form"    $10

"Muay Thai Kickboxing w/ Rob Kaman
Vol. 2 Clinching and Knee's                            $10
Vol. 7 Advanced Fighting Techniques              $10

"Xande: Instructional Series / 5 DVD Set         $50
        - Xande Ribiero

"Showdown" - Superbrawl                              $10

"ADCC 2001: Over 99kg"                              $10

"Best of ADCC vol. Two"                               $10

"7 Star Beng Bu and Applications" - Pong Lai  $10

"Beng Bu & Knock Downs" - Ray Hayward    $10

"Omopolata Game" - Four Disk Set w/Joao Crus   $25

"Defensor Method Kali"                          set  $45
 - Espada y daga pt 1
 - Knife Tapping
 - 64 Attacks
 - Stick Dumog

 Going old school now with VHS:

"Dynamic Sumo"                            $5

"2003 US Sumo Open"                  $5

"2004 US Sumo Open"                  $5

"Combat Shuai Chiao: 3 vol set       $20

April 27, 2014

New York Shuai Jiao

1930 Tianjin China Wrestlers
L-R: Zhang Lianchen, Zhang Hongyu, Wang Wenhai, 
Pu Enfu, Ma Wenping, Wang Haizheng
Here is an excellent mini documentary on New York's Shuai Jiao Club and senior members Franc Gomez and Mat Gelfand, students of Jeng Hsing Ping.  Shuai Chiao/Jiao is the native grappling style of China and a wonderful martial art that has never reached it's potential here in North America.  The competitions Mat speaks of in Europe are significant because France has a HUGE Shuai community that is VERY good.  As impressive as his China victories.

I loved the stuff Hu Laoshi taught me over the years.  I wish I would have had the opportunity to meet his teacher Pu En Fu (Pu Liu).  Wonderful history there.

Here is video from nearly 50 years ago of Jeng Hsing Ping demonstrating various throws from Shuai Jiao:

A few years later, on a concrete floor this time (been on the receiving end of those ones... ouch!):

April 13, 2014

Kawazu Gake (Leg Entangled Throw) - Another Illegal Judo Throw

Here is a beautiful example of Kawazu gake (Leg Entangled Throw) which is classified as a side sacrifice throw and categorized as one of the four Kinshi waza (illegal techniques).  Keen eyed observers will notice the similarities of Kawazu gake with Shuai Chiao's (Chinese wrestling) "Leg Twist" technique.  Many teachers hold this as a "secret" technique in Chinese martial arts for no good reason. 

Techniques such as this fascinate me as they span the martial spectrum with no regard to "styles" nor "systems."  Riding high purely on principle.  Shame on Judo for making it illegal!  

I guess this is an illegal throw because to make it effective one must drive the opponents head into the ground.  As with many "illegal" techniques I find it silly.  We cannot continue to make techniques illegal simply because our opponent refuses to accept a fall!  Imagine if we made Uchi-mata illegal because of the propensity of destroyed knees.  Is the throw intrinsically dangerous?  No.  Not at all.  But when your opponent/partner resists... well... the knee loses.  Cause for a ban?  No.  Not at all.  

Also found in Sumo under the same moniker:

Leg Twist from Shuai Chiao as demonstrated by John Wang's students:

February 8, 2014

2013 Yixing Shuai Chiao Championships

Thanks to Wrestling Roots for this stellar find they shared on FB.  An absolute clinic on Shuai Chiao (Chinese Wrestling) is put on at the 2013 Yixing Shuai Chiao Tournament. Shuai Chiao is one of the oldest existent martial arts practiced worldwide today.  A wonderful art and sport of which I have had the pleasure of training with some of the greats including my teacher Hu Xi Lin (student of the great Pu En Fu AKA Pu Liu), Dave Pickens, John Wang, and David Lin.  A great art if you can find a good reputable teacher.  

 It is rare to see Shuai executed so crisply and cleanly by BOTH opponents, and there is a lot to learn from this video so grab a note book and start studying:

November 23, 2012

Book Review: "Taiji, Xing Yi, and Baguaquan Throwing By Way of Our Modern Masters" by Mark Small

Mark Small has been training in the traditional Chinese martial arts for over four decades and has combined his understanding of the "internal" arts, with his training in Shuai Chiao (Chinese wrestling) in the writing of his first book, "Taiji, Xingyi, and Baguaquan Throwing By Way of Our Modern Masters."  Broken into seven chapters over 100 pages, Mark includes an extensive glossary and lineage charts in his self published text, that is furnished with photos of old masters as well as technique breakdown of various movements from Xing Yi, Bagua, and Taiji.

Mark makes a valid attempt to combine the metaphysical aspects of the Chinese martial arts with modern combative stand up grappling, and overall I think he gives an honest effort regarding a subject matter that is near impossible to convey in English.  Starting off with a short chapter explaining the basic foundation of internal energy, upper-middle-lower dan tien (he defines these as energy centers), and how the masters of old applied this theory.  My first observation is the reader is inundated with foreign, complex terms right from the get go, so the glossary comes in handy for sure. Subject matter such as silk reeling, rooting, "dragon body" posture, etc. are quite diverse and intricate topics and Mark tries hard to convey the metaphysical classical texts in a modern combative context.

Honestly these subjects and topics are intricate and detailed enough to warrant texts of their very own, and while Small offers an introduction to these principles, it is cursory at best and I fear the absolute beginner picking up this text would be lost within a nebulous maze of verbiage.  In one breath "bio mechanics" is mentioned, but then the reader is quickly whisked back into metaphysical talk.  Fort example from chapter three:

"Let the nei jia principles and tactics needed for throwing your opponent pertain in your bio-mechanical interpretation of his intrinsic energies at the moment you intercept his force, and spiral with it, neutralizing him along changing radii and curves.  Your silk reeling dragon body  will then allow you to press into your bowed arms from your body's core, as you squeeze yourself into your opponents space or body shape.  Turn your dragon body as he turns his body to avoid being neutralized or counterattacked by him."  

A lot of info in that little paragraph that is never really clarified throughout the text.  Mark goes into some partner exercises from there which offer sound fundamental drills.  This in my humble opinion is one of the better chapters albeit too short!  Partner drills are sadly overlooked in the Chinese martial arts and true and honest sensitivity exercises often turn into weird ego contests that eventually are ruled by strange dogma.  Here Mark offers a progressive series of four exercises as a primer for getting into the actual throws and take downs that dominate the remainder of the 35 pages.

Chapter seven on the 37 throwing applications from the internal arts is a great chapter showcasing applications from one of the least respected grappling arts.... Taijiquan!  Comprised of 80% grappling and counter grappling techniques, most people think of Taiji as being a goofy, crystal rubbing, tree hugging meditation, Mark shows that to be rather inaccurate of all practitioners.  Teaching a variety of throws and takedowns, Mark also corresponds the pic to the principles found within the book which is INCREDIBLY helpful!

The pic's are black and white but Mark is savvy enough to ensure his partner is in contrasting colors so that readers can easily discern whats going on (a common mistake by authors).  The photo's are cut out which gives a rather flat / one dimensional view of the movement, but overall I think the photo's are clear enough to convey the movements and technique.

Overall Mark Small gives an honest effort with his first book, which could have benefited from some honest, objective editing.  Kudo's to Mark for tackling a subject that most would not dare, and I feel this is a step in the right direction for Chinese martial artists in regards to dissemination of information.  Far too long have we kept principles and theories "secret" for no good reason.  Way too much info has died with past secrecy.  Part of dispelling this issue is writing and producing material to get to the mass public.

So on Black Friday why not actually support a small business for once, as this book would be a perfect stocking stuffer for the martial artist in your life!

"Taiji, Xing Yi, and Baguaquan Throwing by Way of Our Modern Masters" can be purchased for $30 by clicking this link. 

November 19, 2010

Excellent Shuai Chiao!

Here is video of the 2005 Shuai Chiao King competition.  Beijing's Gao Yu vs. Shanxi native Yun Linchun.  Both are "kings" of there weightclass.  Excellent demonstration (read: schooling) of Shuai Chiao competition.

July 21, 2010

1930 Shuaijiao in Tianjin - Pu Enfu

Here is a great picture of a group of Shuaijiao practitioners in Tianjin China circa 1930. Many thanks to my bud William in the great white north who sent me the link.

From L - R:
Zhang Lianchen, Zhang Hongyu, Wang Wenhai, Pu Enfu, Ma Wenping, Wang Haizheng
There are not many pictures out there of Pu Enfu (1911-1986), one of the best wrestlers of his time, and here we find a pic of a young Pu (third from right) who was my teachers (Hu Xi Lin) Shuaijiao coach in Beijing! He would have been no older than 20 at the time of this snapshot.
I have compiled all the info I got from Hu in an article entitled "Threading a Needle in a Flash of Lightning" in the Aug. 2006 issue of 'Kung Fu Tachi' magazine. You can also

find this article on my website's article page.

A younger Pu Enfu (also Pu Liu) on the right.


January 6, 2010

Shuai Chiao (Chinese Wrestling)

My friend Michael Ashwix has his Shuai Jiao site/blog back up and going. It is a great resource for all things Chinese martial arts related, but specifically on the art of Shuai Chiao / Jiao, or Chinese Wrestling. Michael is an excellent source for all things Shuai related, being a student of the infamous Li Bao Ru, and his blog has always had interesting articles and clips. Lets hope he keeps on top of it and continues to post on a regular basis.

Shuai has a long and interesting history within the Chinese martial arts. Arguably one of the oldest wrestling systems still practiced today, much myth and fantasy surround the art in it's various manifestations. To try and categorize each school is silly, as China contains hundreds of various ethnic tribes from all corners of the world and it seems that each ethnic group brought their own grappling methodologies to the table. Depending on where in China ones teacher learned will dictate the flavor or style of Shuai Chiao, but ultimately it is all the same in principle and function. Each "school" brings their own favored methods and / or techniques, but since all of us are human we are restricted to the same basic mechanical laws of physics.

All systems of Shuai use the Da Lian jacket, which is similar to a Judo gi, but tighter across the chest, with shorter sleeves (usually only covering the biceps), and a more open chest. This changes little in terms of efficacy, because of the jacket Shuai brings some unique grips into the game.

In general the rules are the same as Sumo (which can be argued derived from Shuai Chiao), first to touch anything other than your feet to the ground...losses! For this very reason sacrifice throws are not common place. The Chinese NEVER formulated a comprehensive curriculum for ground grappling, so their is no "pulling guard" nor ground grappling. Many consider ground grappling to be akin to "rolling in the dirt like dogs." Though it has become fashionable for Shuai schools to now "find" the lost ground techniques of the Chinese martial arts.

I have been very fortunate to train Shuai Chiao with some of the best in North America! My teacher Hu Xi Lin was a student of Pu Liu (Pu En Fu), one of Beijing's most famous coaches and wrestlers! Hu has incorporated many various throws and take downs into his Mantis and free fighting. Unfortunately the overwhelming majority of what he has taught me has been based off of strikes, not using the jacket and grips. This has left me with a weakness in my jacket / gi game, though I am starting to work out the kinks.

I have also been privileged to train with some of Chang Tung Sheng's top students who migrated to America over the past 30 years. Chang was one of the most famous wrestlers of the 20th century, nicknamed the "Iron Butterfly" Chang produced many champs who settled here in the US. I have never trained with Jeng Shing Ping, but if I ever get the opportunity many say he was possibly better than Chang himself! Here he is in his younger days demonstrating on hard concrete!

Dave Pickens is another great source for Shuai in the US. Living in Texas (we won't hold that against him), Dave is one of the most open, nicest guys you will meet in the Chinese martial community. Dave does a lot with local charities, as well as being instrumental in spreading the art of Shuai Chiao throughout North America.

It has been said that David Lin has the best Shuai in country, and from the couple of times I have had the pleasure to train with him I could not argue. Though I have never sparred with him, David has thrown me a time or three and he is very solid in his technique! He has produced some tapes/DVDs and a book, look for reviews in the near future.

John Wang has also taught me a lot of Shuai Chiao, and again you will not meet many nicer than John. He is very humble about his origins, yet contains a wealth of knowledge in regards to Shuai Chiao theory and technique both with and without the jacket.

Though severely outdated this is a great site for info on mainland styles of Shuai.

There are a handful of DVDs and books on the market today, and some are better than others, but overall few are worth the money. Michael Ashwix has been working on a translation of his teachers text on Shuai Chiao, but as of this writing there is no word on when the project will be complete. As the days tick by early in 2010 I will put up more when I find quality stuff regarding Shuai. Meanwhile I hope you enjoy the above clips.

Train Hard. Train Smart.

July 7, 2009

Taiji IS for fighting

Unfortunately here in the west Taiji has a reputation for being some sort of meditative silliness used to get in touch with your cosmic side, not an actual martial art (as it was created). Here is a clip of some Zhao Bao Taiji (a Chen derivative) that shows form, push hands, sparring, and actual throwing techniques (REAL push hands). The narrator mentions that students should be proficient in the basic fighting techniques within 6 months, and are ready for competition within a year of starting their training. This is contrary to what many purport here in the west that it takes years, if not decades, to become proficient in using Taiji's principles in live combat. Notice the HEAVY emphasis on throwing and the clinch range. I must admit their mitt work needs some improvement, but hey, at least they are doing some!