Category Archives: Articles

How to Memorize a Kung Fu Form

Forms are pre-arranged sequences of martial movements. The trouble is that you may not have any experience memorizing sequenced actions. Here are a few tips for making this a pleasant learning experience.

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Taiwan Tales #4

The metro that links Taipei’s diverse neighborhoods rolls and wriggles many times a day, stuffed with people. There is an old Chinese saying that, “If I don’t know you, you don’t exist.” This allows a person to maneuver through the … Continue reading

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Training and Training: Shifu Sweats!

There’s training and then there’s training. In Kung Fu there is a kind of training that so challenges the way of thinking AND the body that people successfully ignore it for years and even decades. So begins Shifu’s newest article, … Continue reading

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Taiwan Tales 3

  Taiwan is a country on the precipice of its future, politically and culturally. If nothing else this makes for surprise moments. Our 9th floor room has a balcony; rather than waste space, it is overgrown with plants, Daoist rocks … Continue reading

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Taiwan Tales 2

In Taipei you eat at a lot of restaurants. Rather than “fine dining” we often sit down to meals of local, humble and utterly delicious food. Where Sifu Hsu, also a confirmed foodie, escorts us you would never find otherwise. … Continue reading

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Taiwan Tales 1

We’re here, safe and sound. And already working out. For those of you who we’ve made work hard in class you are vindicated. It’s already very warm here! The first move of Baji Quan about to explode. It wouldn’t be … Continue reading

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Five Elements Seminar

Click image above and it will take you to page where video will load. May take a minute!   Here’s a very condensed version of our Five Elements Xing Yi Seminar (6 hours become 3 minutes). Everyone did a great … Continue reading

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Learning a Bagua Move

Thanks to Nick and Ikuyo for allowing us to film this lesson.

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Tai Chi Campfire Tales

The art of T’ai Chi is the art of consciousness. The slow, fluid movements of the art gradually blend with the flow of the mind and reveal things often buried in the silent forests of our minds. Most people associate … Continue reading

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Tai Chi, A Marriage of Yin and Yang

People know Tai Chi as a slow, gentle and graceful dance. It’s only natural to assume that its famous health benefits arise from its meditative nature. But history tells another story. It is a story of a marriage made by … Continue reading

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Tea Time with Marcus McDonough

For any who has seen Marcus McDonough’s work at the Academy, it will come as no surprise that Senior teacher John Ottenberg recently awarded him the rank of Black Belt in an open ceremony at class. Marcus is a talented … Continue reading

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Sunday Seminar: The 8 Bagua Animals

Last Sunday was another of the Academy’s open-lesson programs to introduce the Chinese martial arts to a wider audience. This seminar—open to Academy students—was attended by Phil, Michael, Cecy, Taylor, Kirk, and also new non-student friends.  Additionally we had the … Continue reading

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Spirit Training

Can martial arts be martial arts without a spiritual component? The answer is “probably not.” Those people who only have interest in how effective it is as self-protection or kick-ass, of course, have a right to their opinion. But I … Continue reading

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What Do We Mean By “Martial”?

People get the wrong idea: when they hear “martial arts” they assume tournaments and grudge matches in caged environments. By the same token, they look quizzically at the ninety year old lady who proudly proclaims that she studies a martial … Continue reading

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What’s the Point of Lineage?

In modern times people tend to have much less sense of their ancestors and their origins. We are a mobile race and change often causes attrition to our beloved objects, our collected memorabilia and even our treasured emotions.

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