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Latest Articles

2017: The Year of the Rooster!

2017: The Year of the Rooster!

Milan Vigil, January 23, 2017

The Chinese year 4715 begins on January 28, 2017. According to the Chinese zodiac it will be the Year of the Rooster (雞年 - “rooster year”; pinyin: jīnián). The Chinese calendar is lunisolar (not purely lunar). Months begin with the new moon (when it is darkest.) New Year's Day usually falls on the second new moon after the winter solstice. More >>

Footwork and Figure Eights with a Staff

Footwork and Figure Eights with a Staff

Joe Varady, January 18, 2017

Footwork is essential to hitting your opponent without getting hit yourself, which is really the whole point of staff fighting. The general rule on footwork is to keep your body weight balanced over a stable, but fluidly mobile base, staying light on the balls of your feet at all times. More >>

Michele Lin

YMAA Student, Michelle Lin, Earns Role in Assassin’s Creed Movie

Gene Ching, January 9, 2017

Occasionally someone asks, "What’s the point of competing in Kung Fu tournaments?" Well, it might just land you a role in a major Hollywood motion picture. But not just any movie, this is the worldwide launch of a potentially massive film franchise, based on a globally-successful videogame brand, and starring Oscar-winning and A-list actors. More >>

MMA Champion, Lyoto

MMA Champion, Lyoto "The Dragon" Machida, Incorporates Sumo into his Fighting Style

Andrew Zerling, January 5, 2017

A prime example of how a MMA fighter has incorporated sumo into his game is former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Light Heavyweight Champion Lyoto "The Dragon" Machida. He has a strong sumo background, but his primary style is traditional Shotokan karate. More >>

Easy Training Equipment for Staff Fun

Easy Training Equipment for Staff Fun

Joe Varady, December 5, 2016

Here is your opportunity to become the "Lord of the Rings" (sorry, I just couldn't help myself!). Training rings allow you to develop accurate, penetrating thrusts as well as circular techniques used in manipulation of an opponent's weapon. They are useful for training both staff and spear. More >>

The Importance of Posture in Taijiquan

Dr. Yang, Jwing-Ming, November 29, 2016

Since taijiquan is an internal qigong martial style, correct posture is essential. Incorrect postures can cause many problems: a tight posture can stagnate the internal qi circulation, wrong postures may expose your vital points to attack, and floating shoulders and elbows will break the jing and reduce jing storage. More >>

Combat with the Staff: The Moment of Truth

Joe Varady, November 25, 2016

It is not unusual for sparring with the staff to feel awkward at first. There is a big difference between doing drills with a partner, and the chaos of combat against a non-compliant opponent who is trying his best to hit you. Stick with it. More >>

Tai Chi for Women

Helen Liang, November 18, 2016

Tai chi originated in China as a martial art, and has been known for centuries as a mind-body practice that brings practitioners fitness, health, and wellness. More >>

Sumo: A Case Study in Size vs. Technique

Sumo: A Case Study in Size vs. Technique

Andrew Zerling, November 7, 2016

Sumo is the fusion of honored ritual with unbridled power. Even in a combat sport like sumo, where great body mass and girth are often winning factors, superior technique can overcome size and strength. More >>

Evaluating Drills—Part 2

Rory Miller, October 31, 2016

I get especially annoyed with weapons. Unarmed defense against a weapon sucks. Never, ever, ever practice dying and do not train to be killed. The stakes are too high to blindly imprint a habit, even a habit as simple as handing a weapon back once you have disarmed someone. More >>

Evaluating Drills—Part 1

Rory Miller, October 24, 2016

I'm not a big fan of most drills. There is a fine line, but conditioned reflexes are crucial in a fight and habits will get you killed. Conditioned reflexes are things you do without thinking about it. They are essentially trained flinch responses. If something suddenly comes at your eyes you WILL do something: block, move your head or, at the very minimum, blink. More >>

What is Staff Fighting?

What is Staff Fighting?

Joe Varady, October 17, 2016

The staff has been a common weapon among the many cultures of Earth since ancient times. Over the ages, humans have used this basic weapon for self-defense and for contest. More >>

Experience Tai Chi Fitness

Experience Tai Chi Fitness

David-Dorian Ross, October 10, 2016

Tai Chi Fit is a unique workout that I have developed after decades of traditional tai chi (taijiquan) practice. It is an effort to make tai chi more fun and accessible, while making your fitness more graceful and holistic. It’s a ride along the wave of your inner power, like surfing on your own life energy (Qi). More >>

The Hidden Roots of Karate and Jujitsu

The Hidden Roots of Karate and Jujitsu

Andrew Zerling, October 5, 2016

This article will discuss several martial arts to illustrate how different looking martial arts are apparently closely related and how the idea of hidden historical roots applies to many martial arts. First the origins of karate and Okinawan sumo will be explored. Then the root of jujitsu will be uncovered. More >>

DRILL: The One-Step

Rory Miller, September 26, 2016

The one-step arose as a useful accident. Many years ago I was reading George Mattson's The Way of Karate and I completely misunderstood his description of ippon kumite. More >>

Videos and Podcasts...


Episode 1

Episode 1.
Chinese Martial Arts Definitions

Episode 2

Episode 2.
Retreat Center Interview PART 1

Episode 3

Episode 3.
Retreat Center Interview PART 2

Episode 4

Episode 4.
Northern and Southern Chinese Styles


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