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Articles: History and Philosophy

The Art in Martial Arts

The Art in Martial Arts

John Donohue, Ph.D., July 28, 2014

For many practitioners, the phrase “martial arts” doesn’t do a particularly good job of encompassing the complexity of the systems we study. There is also a certain oxymoronic tension between things martial and things arty and serious trainees often prefer to emphasize the physical efficacy of these systems. More >>

Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year "The Year of the Wooden Horse" Interview with Dr. Yang, Jwing-Ming

Barbara Langley, January 27, 2014

Most non-Chinese people (Westerners) call the Spring Festival 'Chinese New Year.' The 2014 Chinese Spring Festival falls on January 31 continuing through February 6. According to the Chinese zodiac it is the Year of the Wooded Horse. In Chinese Five Element theory, Horse is in the Fire group, which is the strongest fire animal in twelve zodiacs. More >>

Credits:  Nagasaki Lantern Festival by JKT-c. 2007.03.01 Perm. GFDL

The Traditional Way to Celebrate Spring Festival or Chinese New Year

Zhou, Xuan-Yun, February 4, 2013

Daoist monk Zhou, Xuan-Yun grew up in a small village, Liu Gang Zu, in Henan Province with about 100 residents. The following are his memories and comments about the Spring Festival. More >>

2012 Year of the Dragon

2012: The Year of the Dragon!

Milan Vigil, January 23, 2012

The Chinese year 4710 begins on January 23, 2012. According to the Chinese zodiac it will be the Year of the Dragon, the most auspicious of the twelve zodiac animals and the only one that is a mythical creature More >>

[Image: Milan Vigil]

2011:  The Year of the Rabbit!

Milan Vigil, January 31, 2011

The Chinese year 4709 begins on February 3, 2011.  According to the Chinese zodiac it will be the Year of the Rabbit, which is associated with peace. 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 >>

2010, The Year of the Tiger - Happy Chinese New Year!

YMAA (author), February 8, 2010

The Chinese year 4708 begins on February 14, 2010, the year of the Tiger, with its association to bravery. This year, the date has special significance since it also happens to fall on Valentine's Day, making it a doubly auspicious day to celebrate in the West. More >>

Zou Xuan Yun in Mabu

The Dao of Kung Fu - 武道

Zhou, Xuan-Yun, October 15, 2009

Religion is full of paradox, and Eastern religions are no exception. One of the most compelling paradoxes is that Eastern religions (Buddhism and Daoism) are closely linked with the martial arts. More >>

Xuan Yun

Growing Up Wudang, part 2

Zhou, Xuan-Yun, December 17, 2008

It wasn’t until my third year at Wudang that I started to find the training interesting, and started to train harder because I was genuinely interested in it. More >>

Zhou Xuan Yun

Growing Up Wudang

Zhou, Xuan-Yun, December 9, 2008

When I was in fourth grade my grandfather fell ill, and because we needed money for hospital bills, I had to leave school. I worked on our farmland, helping my family plant corn and cotton. More >>

Ying Yang Symbol

Taijiquan Yin Yang

Dr. Yang, Jwing-Ming, August 5, 2008

Yin and Yang are opposite (i.e., relative) to each other instead of absolute. That is Yin can become Yang and Yang can change into Yin. Yin and Yang can be exchanged mutually depending on the observer’s Xin and Yi. More >>

Wuji - The State of Emptiness

Dr. Yang, Jwing-Ming, July 30, 2008

Wuji (無極) is a state of emptiness or simply a single point in space. There is no discrimination and there are no polarities (or poles). According to Yi Jing (i.e., Book of Change), originally the universe was in a Wuji state. More >>

The Meaning of Taiji

Dr. Yang, Jwing-Ming, July 18, 2008

Taijiquan (Tai Chi Chuan) is an internal style of martial arts that was created in the Daoist monastery of the Wudang mountain, Hubei Province. More >>

A Brief History of the Chinese Martial Arts

A Brief History of the Chinese Martial Arts

Dr. Yang, Jwing-Ming, March 7, 2008

The beginning of Chinese martial arts probably started long before history was recorded. Martial techniques were discovered or created during the long epoch of continuous conflict between humanity and animals, or between different tribes of humans themselves. More >>

A Brief History of Qigong

Dr. Yang, Jwing-Ming, February 28, 2008

It is known that the Chinese art of Qigong has a history that goes back over 5,000 years, though only a few historical documents exist today. Qigong can be roughly divided into four periods. More >>

YMAA Studio

YMAA 25 Years

David Silver, February 7, 2008

On October 1, 2007, YMAA celebrated its 25-Year Anniversary. There were many phone calls, letters and emails of congratulations. More >>

The Yi Leads the Qi

Xin and Yi: Two Minds

Dr. Yang, Jwing-Ming, January 1, 2008

If you are interested in learning Taijiquan, you must understand Yin and Yang, and their relationship with Taiji. Without knowing the theory and the Dao, your Taijiquan practice will be limited to the external forms and movements. More >>

Martial Morality: Master Yang learning Qi Men Jian with Grandmaster Li, 1970

Martial Morality

Dr. Yang, Jwing-Ming, December 6, 2007

Martial morality has always been a required discipline in Chinese martial arts society. Teachers have long considered martial morality to be the most important criterion for judging students, and they have made it the most important part of the training in the traditional Chinese martial arts. More >>

Brocade

Traditional Chinese Tai Chi and Kung Fu Silk Clothing

David Silver, October 17, 2007

Traditional Chinese silk clothing has a long history, dating back to the 27th century BC. Once the skill of spinning silk, or sericulture, was discovered, the Chinese made silk exclusively for 3,000 years without divulging the secret of the process and it was a valuable commodity for trading. 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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