Flying away for the holidays this year, or staying home and just letting your fantasies take flight?Whatever your plans, you’ll have time to eat all the cookies you can get your hands on during the annual break at the studio. This year, the studio will be
CLOSED starting Sunday, December 22, and will
OPEN again on Monday, January 6.
From all of us to all of you, have a safe and warm holiday with those you cherish, and we’ll look forward to starting up the new year together again.
• Emphasis on correct posture and form for health, balance, and vitality
• Authentic martial structure for strength and flexibility
• Move like you’ve never moved before!
Wednesdays 6-7 pm New Class starting: January 8, 2020
$65 per month, or $165 if paying for full three month course in advance
Academy of Martial Arts 1570 Soquel Dr. (Across from Dominican Hospital)
Taught by Narrye Caldwell, Doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine,with 30 years Tai Chi experience. Narrye is a Licensed Acupuncturist with over 20 years of clinical and teaching experience. She has a private practice in Santa Cruz and is on the faculty at Five Branches University.
For the first time, the Academy adds an 8 week Tai Chi Straight Sword class to our revolving workshop menu.
If you are intrigued, in general, by the straight sword—it being one of the 4 grandparent weapons—or have been specifically wowed by the elegant yet effective Tai Shi Sword routine and usage, this series will introduce you to the basics, and of course teach you an authentic routine.
Yes, it’s true! A new book in English by Adam Hsu.
If this were Hollywood, Sifu Adam Hsu’s new book, “Life Is Too Short For Bad Kung Fu,” would be the tell-all on everyone’s reading list; not because it is gossipy—he names no names—but because it fulfills its promise to reveal the good, the bad, the ugly, the disappointing, the heartbreaking, and the inspirational. It’s all here.
In over 300 pages of aphorisms accompanied by short essays, Hsu Sifu examines the current state of Kung Fu and, true to his nature, honestly discusses both the ongoing challenges facing Chinese martial arts as well as some well-considered solutions. Just about anyone practicing traditional Kung Fu today has a sense that the body of Wushu is not as healthy as it once was. Sifu Hsu’s diagnosis is that of a thoughtful doctor with decades of experience, and an unwavering goal to bring the patient back to health.
We at Plum proudly announce this new publication; we are once again honored to produce and publish Hsu Sifu’s works. And for those in the know, this book is illustrated with 20 photos of Sifu Hsu demonstrating the rare Goose Feather Saber, as well as him practicing with the spear.
Order through November 15, and receive a 10% discount off of Plum’s regular price.
We have just added a new 6 week class, starting April 25, to our very popular Tai Chi for Health Series.
This one’s for intermediate students, those who have completed the short Tai Chi set at the Academy (or the equivalent).
Co-taught by Narrye Caldwell, inestimable teacher of the Academy’s beginner Tai Chi For Health class, and Sifu Ted Mancuso, director of the Academy, it will focus on reviewing and refining the Yang Tai Chi short set, plus introduce simple push hand engagements and two-person loops.
Last Sunday, I got a double-treat: my teacher, Adam Hsu, is in town for a couple of weeks and I had the opportunity to not only see and spend time with him, but to make his Long Fist Kung Fu class available to my own students, most of whom had never met him. Of course, there is always a bit of trepidation presenting your students to your teacher: will they look good to another and more experienced eye? Will my teacher take me aside and, without sarcasm, ask what the hell I have been teaching them? Will my students look at my teacher’s instruction and wonder what the hell I have been teaching them? Will they like him more than me? OK, admittedly, not all of these are mature concerns, but, even after 50 years, it would be a lie to say they don’t exist.
I won’t keep you in suspense: my students filled me with pride as I watched them working out with vigor, trying new things while applying themselves even more intently to the familiar ones. They followed routines they had never seen, exercises they had never attempted, angles they had never considered and, of course, lots of training we practice weekly at our Academy. Each was beaming at the end of the two hours.Continue reading →
Join us for the Kung Fu Tai Chi 25th Anniversary Festival and tournament in San Jose on May 19-21.
We don’t get out much—certainly not as much as we would like—but this year we are showing up to celebrate Tiger Claw’s Anniversary, by attending the festivities, including the Grandmaster’s demo on Friday night, the Saturday and Sunday tournaments, and the 8th annual WildAid Tiger Claw Championship on Sunday. Plum’s entire crew (yes, all three of us!) will have a table with some of our exclusive books and DVDs, and we hope to meet face-to-face with you—our customers, readers and friends.
Of course, the weekend itself will bring its own excitement. Tiger Claw is well-known for their professionally-run events. Additionally, Kung Fu Tai Chi is pleased to announce its cooperation with the International Wushu Sanshou Dao Association (IWSD) as they are celebrating their 30th anniversary this year. Finally, this year’s Friday night performances will highlight a special roster of traditional masters, many of whom do not perform regularly.
If you are in the area, or thinking of travelling to visit, drop by and see us.
A demonstration and workshop on the fine art of choking was a change in schedule for the Saturday morning Kung Fu class last week. Black sash instructor, Mike Gruber—highly knowledgeable about Kung Fu, and an expert Judo player—opened the class, demonstrating basic chokes and strangles (not the same thing). He explained that knowing how to execute chokes would render them much less worrisome for the recipient.
At first everyone looked around, nervously, to see who would volunteer to be the first victim. But, once we started practicing the clear and safe instruction offered by Mike, everyone breathed easier. Next we pulled the mats out and worked anti-choke defenses from the ground. As predicted, key moves using the ground to neutralize chokes boosted confidence, not to mention effectiveness.
A good presentation is made great by clarity and simplicity, and Mike showed a systemized presentation increasing, for teachers as well as students, their knowledge and tactile experience with this valuable martial skill.
Year after year, Narrye Caldwell’s annual Chinese Astrological analysis has been one of our most popular and requested topics. We are happy to once again offer it here.
All Chinese wisdom traditions, including medicine, divination, astrology, and feng shui, are systems of pattern identification that guide us in adapting gracefully to change. A world in flux is assumed; it is the one constant feature of life. Astrology is best viewed as a tool to discern where we are in the shifting cycles of time so we can adjust our expectations accordingly and therefore, from the Chinese point of view, cultivate longevity by not wasting our qi trying to swim against the current.
Last year’s current schooled us all in crisis management as the Fire Monkey’s erratic impulsiveness and dramatic flare produced an unprecedented bit of theater in American politics. Continue reading →
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!
Today I celebrate fifty years in the martial arts.
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 and 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.
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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