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Latest Articles

The Karate Science of Wrist Rotation

J. D. Swanson, PhD, February 27, 2017

I was reading through one of my martial arts group news feeds the other day on Facebook, and I stumbled across a question posed by one of the members. The question was based on the fact that, as we all know, a block is not a block, but rather a receiving technique. With this in mind, he questioned the application of blocks and their ability to serve as deflection techniques, and moreover how the rotation of the wrist at the actual point of impact plays this role. More >>

About a Real Fight

Dr. Yang, Jwing-Ming, February 20, 2017

Before you get into a fight, you must first ask yourself a few things: Is this fight necessary? What is my motivation in this fight? What are my chances of winning? What will the consequences be? More >>

Fighting Physics: The Mechanics of the Staff

Chris Hall, February 13, 2017

Physics is one broad brushstroke of a topic! If we got technical, we could talk about how the atoms of the staff and the arrangement of the wood fibers along its length give the staff its unique characteristics, capabilities and combat effectiveness. More >>

Sumo: David vs. Goliath

Andrew Zerling, February 10, 2017

In Malcolm Gladwell's very popular book David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants, the author deeply explores the lessons behind the three-thousand-year-old Biblical story of how the small young David defeated the giant warrior Goliath. More >>

Simple Drills Worth Knowing

Rory Miller, January 30, 2017

The following are important things, some little, some major, that lend themselves well to simple drills or exercises. Backing up is almost never the answer. Unless you are excellent at reading and remembering tactical terrain, you might not know what or who is behind you. More >>

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 >>

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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