Showing posts with label chinese martial arts. Show all posts
Showing posts with label chinese martial arts. Show all posts

August 12, 2015

Pai Da Sticks Available

Going through some old boxes I happened upon about 5 Pai Da sticks that I am selling for $25ea.  These are from China and were brought over by my teacher Mike Martello (RIP) when he taught some seminars utilizing Pai Da sticks for conditioning and qigong.

Via gentle stimulation along meridian lines and one pressure cavities, one can clear blockages and heal minor injuries with persistent usage. If you are interested please send me an email at: [email protected]

Here is a clip of Mike teaching the Pai Da (and so much more) almost ten years ago in New Mexico.  Skip to 5:30 mark for the actual Pai Da segment.  Miss you Mike.

July 25, 2015

Tambuli Media

For those book worms like me there is no better source for Filipinio Martial Arts titles, nor Chinese for that matter, then Tambuli Media, and I am very happy to announce a new affiliation with Tambuli.  For any order placed via the link to your left, or by clicking here, The Ground Never Misses will get 25%! 

So if you are looking to add a new title to your collection, or you have a martial artist with a birthday coming up make sure to use the hyperlink and the rest is taken care of.  Simple.  Check out Tambuli Media today and see what you have been missing.  And check back for some future reviews of Tambuli titles here on the Ground Never Misses. 

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...

Feidor S. Laview, Mike Martello, A Miao Dao, and Respect

Respect is one of the most overused, cliche words in the English pantheon, especially in the computer age.  That is why when folks like Feidor S. Laview and my student Cheryl show such unbridled, honest respect I feel the need to highlight such acts. 

My new Taiji student Cheryl was kind enough to ask if I minded her showing some of what I have taught her to a class of senior citizens she teaches weekly.  I was flabbergasted and humbled by this simple, yet often overlooked request in the martial arts.  Traditionally in most Asian Martial Arts you were forbidden to teach or show what you learned to anyone outside of your training family.  Now days that rule is a bit more lax, but it is refreshing none the less when a student asks out of respect. 
Miss you Mike

Similarly a gentleman I have never met Feidor S. Laview writes the Seagraves Journey, a web serial that has been described by David Schrock as:
“A turbulent, occasionally psychedelic, ride dotted by beautiful pools of reflection.”

As part of his research for Wu Ming, one of his characters whom uses a Miao Dao (a specific long sabre from the Chinese Martial realm) Feidor stumbled across my postings about my old teacher  Mike Martello who was an expert in the Miao Dao.  Long story short Feidor was kind enough and respectable enough to ask my permission to post a nice write up on the origin of the weapon and his research.  Much respect Feidor, and excellent writing!  

Click here to check out his post.

February 16, 2015

The Bible of Ngo Cho Kun - Book Review

Mark Wiley and Tambuli Media have become known for offering titles on a multitude of styles and topics, but it is rare for us to get some a special, personal insight into a project that is so near and dear to his heart.  Though probably better known for his FMA background, Dr. Mark Wiley has been studying Ngo Cho Kun (Five Ancestor Fist) for decades.  Not only is Ngo Cho Kun rarely seen in print format, it is rarely openly taught here in the west.  This translation is an absolute gem for Chinese martial arts enthusiasts the world over. 

Originally written by Yu Chiok Sam under the title "Chinese Gentle Art Complete" in 1917, Tambuli's edition was translated into English by Alex Co, with additional editing and translating by Russ L. Smith and Mark Wiley.  Five Ancestor Fist is a southern Chinese martial that incorporates a wide range of tactics and traditional weapons, and this manual represents the fundamental movements including strikes, stances, kicks, and partner routines.  I am certainly not familiar enough with Ngo Cho Kun to critique the breadth of the art encapsulated in this text, but as an outside reader it certainly seems comprehensive of at least the basics. 

Broken into five volumes, 27 chapters, over 240 pages this text is thoroughly illustrated with clear, concise pictures of what the author is trying to convey.  Again in some of the partner pictures I would have liked to have seen one person in lighter colored clothing to offer some contrast for ease of the reader.  As far as a manual goes this translation is exactly what students look for, it is precisely how I envision a treatise of the systems I have learned.  The Chinese text is offered in traditional hanzi.  Directly below that the authors offer the English translation followed by a series of photographs demonstrating the translation.  Mark Wiley annotates the entire text with pertinent footnotes. 

Overall I must say I am quite happy with Tambuli's "Chinese Gentle Art Complete: The Bible of Ngo Cho Kun."  A professionally edited and presented text on a rarely seen art.  A welcomed addition to the martial collectors shelf. 

Click here to order The Bible of Ngo Cho Kun

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

December 22, 2014

"Wisdom of Taiji Masters" by Nigel Sutton - Book Review

Tambuli has classically been known for being the preeminent publisher of all quality things Filipino Martial Arts related, but there most recent releases are setting the precedent for Chinese Martial Arts texts.  "Wisdom of Taiji Masters: Insights into Cheng Man Chings Art" by Nigel Sutton is the best text to come out of Tambuli's stock and across my desk.  A work well over 30 years in the making, Sutton's book is a perfect last minute stocking stuffer for the Taiji player on your list.

Nigel Sutton has had the absolute honor to train under two generations of Cheng Man Ching disciples and decided to share the insights and philosophies of eight teachers of Cheng Man Ching Taiji: Lau Kim Hong, Lee Bei Lei, Zhou Mu Tu, Ho Ah San, Tan Ching Ning, Dr. Fong Fung Tong, Wu Chiang Hsing, and Koh Ah Tee.  Not only is it unheard of to gain access to such a bevy of teachers, but to record, organize, and eventually publish the insight of these men into their art is a gift unto itself for those of us that would never have the chance to train with even one of these men.

Written with a smooth even tone, Sutton does well conveying the interviews as they were given.  In other words he does not interrupt the flow and context of the information being shared via the teacher, but rather interjects contextual or cultural notes as needed.  I liked reading "Wisdom" because though I was aware Sutton was guiding me through a story (series of stories) his presence was always well in the background, ensuring the spotlight was solely shining on the interviewee.  He allows the teacher to spit his knowledge and leaves a trail of words for the student to continuously ponder on their path, as surely those words will never change in print but their meaning will endure a constant change of meaning.

Any time a task such as culminating a number of interviews and lessons into print form is taken on, one must take great care to ensure the "masters" at hand do not become too grandiose.  Once again Sutton's smooth editing circumvents such masturbatory tendencies and makes for quick reading.  It is fascinating to garner so many different perspectives on the same art from disciples of the same teacher, a testament to the complexity and individuality of the martial arts in general, and Cheng Man Chings Taiji specifically.

Subjects such as push hands, nei gong, weapons, form, etc. are all covered, but honestly it is the actual process of listening to these teachers that is the gift.  You can read about push hands all over the net from a number of people, but very few places can you sit and listen to a teacher convey a story and layout a lesson where you least expect it.  "Wisdom" surprises you left, right and zhong ding! 

Whether or not you are a practitioner of Cheng Man Ching Taiji, or just Taiji in general, I think you will enjoy "Wisdom of Taiji Masters" by Nigel Sutton.  A unique and different perspective on a martial arts book that is well written and easy to read.  Does the text harbor any ancient secret that will make your Taiji better?  Most likely no.  But perhaps a tip, a word of encouragement, or an honest criticism read herein will give you a different perspective on your practice and be the ripple that offers a fresh breath of air igniting your curiosity into the deep art of Taiji.

Click here to order "Wisdom of Taiji Masters"

November 19, 2014

Fut Sao Wing Chun by James Cama - Book Review

Tambuli Media's latest offering by James Cama offers a glimpse into the little seen world of the Leung Family Buddha Hand System of martial arts with "Fut Sao Wing Chun."  A 115 page overview of a little known branch of the Southern Chinese Martial art known as Wing Chun, a system renown for its pragmatic approach to self defense and health.

The author, James Cama, offers a brief historic overview of the art before leading the reader through the various aspects of Wing Chun. Subjects such as weapons, empty hand forms, internal healing (nei gung), and two person form are touched upon.  Cama also shows a taste of the self defense aspects that Wing Chun has to offer.   Unfortunately these are mere appetizers to the uninitiated!  Though written decently it almost seems rushed as I was left wanting more details on every aspect; lineage, pedagogy, mindset of a Wing Chun fighter; how to deal with specialists in other methods of combat etc.etc.  A smattering of self defense scenarios are presented but little explanation is offered.  For instance on page 106 the author talks about the importance of controlling the opponents energy in a self defense situation.  But ultimately this is merely a maxim as their is no further details offered nor explanation.

Edited well the photo's are well lit and clear, offering a single angle on the subject in most instances.  The  form stills are solid and clear though again only offering one angle, not multiples. The reader is left yearning for more info and depth unless of course you already practice the Buddha Hand system of the Leung Family.  To those practitioners this book is of the most value since Cama offers the basic forms broken down into over 200 photos as well as the two person set.  A wonderful source of the movements to any student of the art.

The Hei Gong (nei gung) form is also presented (and to the best of my knowledge this is the first time it appears openly in print).  A strong, powerful healing set that combines breath work with dynamic movements and mental acuity training. 

One is left feeling as if there must be a follow up volume diving into more details of such a rare art, but that desire is overshadowed by the sad fact that James Cama unexpectedly passed on the day this title was in fact published. A legacy cut short for sure but none the less one cemented in the foundation of time with this text as a treatise to his past for the students of the future. 

Fut Sao can be purchased by clicking here

August 12, 2014

Dit Da Jow - Healing Bruises & Contusions with Traditional Chinese Liniments

Traditional Dit Da Jow / Tieh Da Jiu, often translated as either "Fall - Hit Liniment" or "Iron Strike Liniment," is a traditional Chinese herbal remedy used to help heal contusions, bruises, sore joints etc.  Because of the nature of the liniment it became synonymous with martial art schools and groups, and over time each family developed their own specific recipe for both the herb content as well as the methodology in which it was brewed.

In general the herbs help to facilitate blood flow and the movement of lymph through the injury.  Some recipes (such as the one I offer) bring lots of heat to the injured area.  These elements combined help to speed along recovery and shorten the injury time.

My experience with Chinese medicine is limited to the many amazing healers I have met in New Mexico, and the 500 or so hours I took at Natural Therapeutic School that covered general principles and theory.  I have studied some Tui Na (Chinese massage) and have been taught many various things from my friends in NM that were DOM's, but I cannot say I can prescribe anything so the following should be read with common sense and the knowledge that I am just some schmuck babbling on a blog that you happened across one lazy Tuesday afternoon.

My introduction to jow and its usage came via the Chinese martial arts and my first CMA teacher Dug Corpolongo in the Burque, NM.  Dug has an eclectic approach to the arts and it was via him that not only did I learn the basics of CMA, but also I owe a debt of gratitude for influence on me spiritually in regards to my future in Chinese Philosophy and Religion at university.  Dug knows a fair amount about herbs and massage and he was kind enough to impart his knowledge and info onto me through the years.  His friends Kurt Saenz and Phil Romero also shared their knowledge of traditional Chinese healing methods learned in guan's across Asia.  Many martial artists were also healers of one sort or another, so the knowledge of how to hurt and heal is not as cliche as one would sometimes assume!  Kurt and Phil learned from their respective masters Augustine Fong and Hawkins Cheung respectively.

The list grows for me in New Mexico as I was very tied into the CMA community which was small and many students were also students at the various acupuncture and healing schools (we had up to 6 at one time in a 120 mile radius around Albuquerque!!).  So jow recipes and talk got thrown around quite a bit, and quite frankly none of them were bad, but nothing to get excited about.

Then I met Mike Biggie via Steve Cottrell one day while competing at Tony Yangs Wu Tan Invitational in Akron, OH.  As a gift Mike gave me a bottle of his latest batch of jow and it was amazing!  I had some serious bruises from getting hit on my ribs and his jow healed it up within 3 days!

Now for those of you whom are unfamiliar with Mike Biggie, well you really have not studied your North American CMA history because he has been here since the early 70's.  Known for his devastating Choy Li Fut, Mike's mistress is Northern Mantis.  Namely HK Seven Star!  As a "hobby" Mike has studied Chinese herbs, only Chinese herbs, for as long as he has trained CMA.  He has no degree.  He does not treat people.  But he has collected recipes, studied the various qualities of combining herbs, and treating various ailments of his own for over three decades!  To say he knows a thing or two is quite the understatement.
Luckily Mike and I are basically from the same stock and hit it off quite well.  As a matter of fact he is one of the few "old timers" I stay in touch with.  And it is through him that I get my herbs for the recipe I have (story for another time about the recipe I have from the mid 1800's).  I also learned Iron Palm technique from him, and he has taught me a lot about liniments, jows and herbs as well.

This liniment is perfect for anyone who does any kind of contact sport!  I have had friends use it on their kids bruises from soccer and football.  My mother used it for arthritis.  I use it in recovery from serious injuries.

I just found a batch that was prepared in the fall of 2004, and has been untouched since.  It is some of the best jow I have ever come across and I am getting rid of the last little batch I have.  Limited amounts are available so email me if you are interested: [email protected]

4oz Bottles $40 + S&H

8oz Bottles $75 + S&H

Again email me if interested: [email protected]

Train Hard, Train Smart!

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:

February 1, 2014

Happy New Year of the Horse

Happy Chinese New Year!  What better way to celebrate the year of the Horse then with this AWESOME clip of footwork and movement (qualities of the horse) my friend Dave Teetz shared from Greg Nelson.  All of my students MUST watch this video and study his movement as this is precisely how you should shadow box!

Eat lots of dumplings and may the year of the Horse be fruitful and healthy for you!

For those interested I teach Chinese Martial Arts (Taiji / Bagua / Xing Yi / Mantis) privately and would be happy to talk to you about taking 2014 by the reigns by learning some martial arts and getting in shape!  Hit me up at 206-941-3232 or [email protected]

October 15, 2013

San Shou Lei Tai Fights From Taiwan Circa 1986

Thanks to my broski William for sharing this clip of San Shou Lei Tai fights from Taiwan circa 1986.  San Shou is not a style per se of Chinese martial arts, but rather a rule set of full contact kickboxing.  Different organizations have varying rules but in general all strikes are allowed (minus head buts) as well as takedowns and throws with no ground fighting.  Many traditional artists will train San Shou as well as their respective art.

So enjoy this video and if you are interested I wrote down some basic observations after it:

  • The round kick is absent from the traditional Chinese Martial Arts, yet it is one of the most prevalent attacks used in this video.
  • Those with straight strikes scored faster and in general hit harder.
  • Those with wild swinging strikes still hit really, really hard!  You must respect the strike even if it is sloppy.
  • Notice the clinch is absent here.  This may be due to some governing bodies restricting clinch time (limited to 3 seconds), or banning the clinch position all together.
  • Because the clinch is restricted, the majority of throws we see are quick sweeps and fast knockdowns (kao die).
  • Dropping your hands doing some crazy Bruce Lee type shit gets you hit! 

October 2, 2013

Mike Martello Babu Tanglang (Eight Step Mantis)

A short clip of Mike Martello training Babu Tanglang (Eight Step Mantis):

What can I say mi amigo... seems like yesterday you were locking me up in the living room.  You left too early yet somehow I feel you may have been late to the party.  God damn I miss you!

August 11, 2013

Tim Cartmell Interview with AWMA -"True To The Original Directive"

My friend and teacher Tim Cartmell of Ace Jiu Jitsu was recently interviewed by Asian World of Martial Arts (AWMA) and offered some interested insights into the martial realm as well as sharing this video clip.  I've said it once I will say it again, Tim is one of the most underrated martial artist / instructors alive today.  relatively unknown.  An amazing competitor whose eye for detail is eerily perceptive, Tim is one of the martial arts best kept secrets! 

"In actuality, there is no ‘Internal/External’ dichotomy, nor even separate ‘styles’, there are only individuals moving and fighting.  Labeling movement and fighting skills as ‘styles’ is just a convenient way of organizing types of training and technique.” - Tim Cartmell

To read the full interview click here!