Academy Holiday Hours

weaponsThe Academy will be closed from Saturday, Dec 24 through Wednesday, Jan 7, reopening on Monday, January 9 for all classes.

At this time of year, we can’t help but reflect on how much our fine students and teachers mean to us. This has not been an easy year for many people, and again and again we find that sometimes, just coming to class, being part of the Academy community, helps. Thank you.

We look forward to a new year, new opportunities, new seminars and classes, and new ways to practice!

Ted, Linda, Narrye and Debbie

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New Classes & Seminars

BirdsJan20141forweb3Click HERE, or the image above, for more
Upcoming

~Core Tai Chi For Health (Free!) One Sunday per month, for dates and registration
~Heart of Qigong Thursdays, 9:30 – 10:30, for more, and to register
~Four Corners of the Circle: The Core of Bagua Zhang For more information
~Tai Chi Health & Structure, 3 mo class Sept 7 – Nov 30, for more, and to register
~To see our ongoing classes For more information

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Adam Hsu Linking Fist

Linking Fist from Adam Hsu’s popular children’s text.

We are happy and proud to teach one of the best beginning Kung Fu forms:  Sifu Adam Hsu’s Linking Fist. This combines elements of traditional practice with modern methods of instruction. The entire form is 16 movements with not one repeated. These take you through kicks, punching patterns and crucial stance training. A great beginner’s form!

For a glimpse of the set, go to  Sifu Marie Anthony’s Cupertino Kung Fu school.

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The Circle’s Four Corners: 4 Wk Class in BaguaZhang

BaguaSemJan2014e Bagua Zhang, one of the last traditional Chinese martial arts, is almost always spoken of using superlatives; it is a ‘genius’ art, the ‘best’ for health, the ‘last word’ in martial usage. Why is this?

Developed in the 18th century, it was taught only to teachers who had mastered other arts. These teachers were able to learn and contribute to the art as they passed it on, and much of what we teach at the Academy comes from the original founders and their well-defined lineage.

This 4 week class will introduce you to Bagua through its core moves and principles, incorporating both its martial and health aspectsFundamentals of Bagua Zhang. Short routines, exercises and loops will be taught, and you will learn to move your arms, your feet and, most importantly, your waist, the key to this art’s brilliant health regimen.

Instructor Ted Mancuso is a well-known and -respected Bagua teacher around the world, having published several top-selling books and DVDs on the subject. With over 45 years of experience, his students benefit from a practiced hand and a keen eye (and wit!) in his classes. Opportunities for open Bagua classes at the Academy are limited; this is a perfect class if you want to discover BaBaguaSemJan2014ggua and its unique treasures. Beginners encouraged, all levels welcome.

Saturdays, 11:00 – 12:30, July 9 – 30

Click here for more information, and to register.

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Fifty

Today I celebrate fifty years in the martial arts.50_3b

It has been long enough now to seem natural that it became my fate or, at least, a “way of life,” as everyone calls it. People ask me what could possibly be the attraction. I have to tell the truth and admit that I always believed that some human activities are as linked to us as the appetites 50_2band emotions we consider define a human being. It is true that, through historical changes, the aliens among us have warped some of these foundational approaches. But activities like dance, story-telling, religion, philosophy, love and celebration are all “arts” in ways that pre-date the commodity market we presently call society.50_1b

It is true that all too often “the winners write history” suggesting to us that the answers lie in understanding what came before written history. The next great empire will be built on the sands of still unexploited cultures where ancient insights (that really are insights) may be bulldozed beneath the machinery of necessity. It is in times like these we need tend to those things that the future may see as “useless,” things like kindness, contemplation, harmony.

Fifty years is a blink compared to these timeless pursuits.

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Your Lineage or, Keep Practicing That Punch

We couldn’t resist posting this clip here for a number of reasons:

  1. Here, at the biggest Baji Quan (Baji style Kung Fu) convocation in the world, your great-grand teacher, Liu Yun Chiao, is honored with everyone in the hall doing the same exercise we do here at the Academy
  2. The teacher chosen to lead all these students and instructors, many generations of practice, is your grand teacher, Adam Hsu (Hsu Ji).
  3. The front line of this grop is crowded with famous instuctors of this art.
  4. Here, at the Academy, you are part of a hands-on tradition from many generations.

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Core of Kung Fu Class Starting in June

Good news! Our 6 week class on Kung Fu training starts Monday, June 6. Incorporating the famous Linking Fist First Form created by Master Adam Hsu, this class is the perfect way to start or deepen your Kung Fu training.

What makes this class special? Instructor Ted Mancuso has been teaching Chinese Martial Arts for almost 50 years, and brings not only his knowledge of the art, but his decades of experience teaching it. This means that basics, how to learn, how to practice, and foundational information are, among other things, all part of the class experience.

The Linking Fist Form is your first step on the authentic road to Kung Fu.

Click HERE for details on and registration for the class.

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Hello from Wales

knightDear Students,

I hope everyone is practicing and having a good time. Many schools go through a re-calibration when the head-instructor is away. But this is actually an important time in martial training, when students are face to face with one another instead of relating through the teacher. I hope the consequence is kindness, cooperation and camaraderie.

I know that this sounds a bit hokey, but it took me a long time to see that harmony—such as I’m talking about—is not just some passionless dream. Harmony requires dynamic rather than static balance. I don’t know that “character” can be trained, but I do know that it exists and often martial practice can reveal its grain and color.

It’s my hope that we get strong enought to remove some armor, rather than just  polish it.

Be back soon,

Sifu

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Seven Experiences of Martial Training

Nowadays, everyone seems to want a practice. But the fact that martial arts practice has a path all its own may result in some disappointment to those seeking a casual gym-style experience. Such deep practice can render unexpected results. The art establishes a special relation to the body, leading to some confused feelings. I thought that it might be a benefit for students to recognize some signposts on the journey. Phases like those below do not follow a given sequence but, with the proper amount of practice, they will come.

art_seven_61.Great Expectations
You may find that in the first few months you make strange mixtures of advancement . For instance, you are quite fast but your left hand seems to have its own brain.

art_seven_32. Bruce Lee Resurrected
More permanent progress will occur when you just wake up one morning and discover that, overnight, you have become 300% better than when you turned in. Was it a magical night? Did you drink ancient Shaolin herbal formulas? Martial progress is rarely a straight march. Skills develop at inexplicable moments. Do not to worry about keeping up to the new standard.

art_seven_73. Skills Don’t Always Help
Martial skills are many and deep. For some Continue reading

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Interview with Grandteacher Adam Hsu (Added parts 4 & 5)

Screen Shot 2015-10-13 at 10.38.00 AMAdam Hsu is one of the top Kung Fu teachers in the world. He is also one of the “grandparent” teachers at the Academy, having taught both sifus Linda and Ted.

In this series—the first THREE parts now posted—he begins an in-depth conversation on the meaning of true Kung Fu.

Update: Parts 4 & 5 Now available

 

Want to watch on youtube?
Click HERE

Want to watch on our affiliate site (plumpub.com?)

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

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Slow Learner

tedrelaxingNext October, I will celebrate my 50th year in the martial arts.

When I started studying, I had no idea or plan to make this a lifetime practice. I joined up for the same reason a lot of 16 year olds do: I was getting bullied at school and I wanted to learn some self-defense. Wait— you mean it took me 50 years to learn to defend myself? Am I just a slow learner, or did I find something else to keep my interest all these years? Honestly, the answer is “both.”

I had learned all the self-defense moves I’d ever need by the time I was voting age (it was 21 back then;) Continue reading

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Martial Basics: Not What You Think

art_basics1Everything starts with basics. And when you are young and/or just beginning a long term study of expertise, whether your taste runs to the piano or the basketball hoop, there is always a sentinel line of basics to be crossed before you get to the “good stuff.”

But the surprise—slow and sometimes disappointingly painful—is that there is no end to the study of basics. When you have learned the most exotic parts of some discipline‑let’s be obvious and say martial arts, for instance—and mastered the strangest weapons, you will put them away, at least for most of the time, and return to basics.

Continue reading

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Wang Zi Ping

Of course, part of martial arts learning resides in traditional choreographed forms. We at the Academy, take this one step further and teach classical forms for two people (partner routines) such as the San Cai Sword.

In the film clip below, long-lived and famous Muslim Kung Fu teacher Wang Zi Ping instructs some young students in traditional combat, then performs the Golden Dragon Double Sword form that he invented. Enjoy this vintage film.

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The Passing of Rod Oka

Rodtg2Rod Oka, long time student here at the Academy, passed away on the third of this month. He had been fighting pancreatic cancer for about a year.

During his time with us he had studied Shaolin and Tai Rodtg1Chi. In both arts he brought a combination of martial spirit and good humored comradeship. He literally raised the spirit of a class just by attending. While training to refine his martial skills, he was a long-time master of puns, funny ideas and questions about how much damage could be done to students Rodtg4other than himself.

Rod was fearless in volunteering his fellows to improve the classes overall knowledge. Many times he would suggest, “Could you show that arm wrench on Harvey (or Robert, or whomever). Being of Japanese ancestry he preferred to be known as “The Craw”, somewhat confusing since Rob spoke perfect English as his first language.RO1

Rod was one of those people who evinces kindness, concern that is as immediate and pure as mountain water. His air of respect for the art, his fellow students and himself was a constant addition to our community.

Speaking for myself, Rod Oka was the kind of student that makes a teacher want to go to class.

I won’t say he will be missed because I think he will be with this school, always.

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Martial Arts and Feng Shui

mafs3Traditional kung fu schools are not known for being pretty. Most martial artists can report a long history of working out night after night in basements, garages, parking lots, and warehouses. I taught my first Tai Chi class 30 years ago in a high school cafeteria. My current Tai Chi sword class meets on the basketball court at the park, which we often share with local kids shooting hoops. None of these places would make it into the coffee table books that highlight model feng shui homes—you know the ones, with their cascading water features, peaceful gardens, meandering paths, and elegant front doors. Continue reading

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