Articles | YMAA
FREE Shipping $70 Over. (US Only, Conditions apply)    |   50% Off* Books, eBooks, & Videos. Exclusions apply.

The Shaolin Temple and the Shaolin Diaspora
November 27, 2023
With the Abbot of Shaolin Temple visit to California in November 2023, Staff Writer Gene Ching ruminates over the distinctions between some Shaolin styles of Kung Fu practiced around the world and the curriculum propounded at the original Shaolin Temple of China today
Good Retribution of a Kind Heart
November 20, 2023
It’s easy to talk about righteousness. Living it is difficult.
Myths, Legends, Archetypes and Stereotypes in Martial Arts
November 13, 2023
While both myths and legends possess an undeniable appeal, transforming mundane truths into powerful stories, these tales also serve a martial function.
Inductive vs. Deductive Learning in Karate
September 11, 2023
“It is a common fact―and mistake―that someone, who supposes his/her knowledge being insufficient, chooses to study “broadly,” i.e. to study another related subject, instead of deeper penetrating the subject at hand.”
Commercialization Turned Karate-Do Into a Commodity
August 21, 2023
In the early 1980s the unique selling position of Japanized Karate-Do (with Shotokan as its prototype) was well established and further initiatives focused on stabilizing its market position and its organizational structure which was remarkably successful in both preserving its Japanese identity and protecting copyrights and financial interests.
Learning to Bite: Karate-jutsu and Karatedo in Women's Self-Defense Training - - August 7, 2023
Unless in military combat, it looks like males have game-like rules of engagement that ultimately dictate dominance, but, in contrast, women fight male attackers not to dominate but to survive.
Preserving the Legacy of Two-Person Forms in the Chinese Martial Arts - July 31, 2023
In the wake of Michelle Lin & Quentin Lopes chat with Gene Ching about their new "Barehand vs Staff Sequence", Staff Writer Gene Ching explores the legacy of two-person training sequences in the Chinese martial arts.
Wing Chun is Alive and Well - July 17, 2023
The new China had turned its back on the glorious past. But the martial arts were a part of that past that could not easily be destroyed.
Your Sensei Corrects Your Errors and Blunders-Your Mistakes You Need to Correct Yourself - July 3, 2023
To correct mistakes, something has not just to be modified, but habits have to be completely unlearned before something new can be learned.
The Modern Misconception of Karate’s ‘Not to Attack First’ Principle - June 19, 2023
Karate’s sacred principle should be rephrased into ‘karateka aim at not to attack first, but they may move first’, when a not yet physical attack is underway as a clear indicator for an immediately following use of physical force.
Japanization of Okinawan Karate to Create Cultural Homogeneity within the Nation of Japan - September 12, 2022
Because Karate is such an essential pillar of an autonomous Okinawan subculture, its Japanization from Karate-Jutsu into Karate-Do became the mainland’s priority not just for militaristic purposes, but also to create cultural homogeneity across the nation.  
Why my Lianbuquan is Different from Yours - July 25, 2022
There are countless kung fu forms across innumerable schools and lineages, but sometimes different schools share the same form. While reviewing the Shaolin Long Fist Kung Fu Complete Collection, YMAA Staff Writer Gene Ching discovered some overlapping forms between his Northern Shaolin tradition and YMAA’s curriculum and discusses the shared roots and divergences.
The YMAA Kung Fu Curriculum - April 18, 2022
This is Dr. Yang, Jwing-Ming's official YMAA External Arts Curriculum, which outlines his recommended order of study for Kung Fu students.
Itosu Anko Sensei’s Motivation to Teach Karate to Kids - April 4, 2022
Stressing Karate’s possible use for supporting Japan’s armed forces was Itosu Sensei’s pragmatic strategy to secure sufficient funds for his educational campaign by tapping into Japan’s funds for its militarization―whereas the final and underlying goal of this educational campaign was not to create the raw material for the nation’s military forces, but something different, something nobler.
Some Thoughts About Karate Class - January 24, 2022
Regardless of your physical condition when you begin your training and in spite of the hurdles you’ll encounter during it, strive to keep in mind that you are, underneath it all, an athlete. We all are, by virtue of 300,000 years of evolution.
Peaceful Minds Through the Study of Lethal Okinawan Karate? - January 17, 2022
Through building up physical and mental strength, inappropriate overcompensating and aggressive tendencies lessen and eventually even vanish, since traditional karate training creates new self-definitions of capability and new self-perceptions of being able to successfully defend oneself and others. Unavoidably, self-confidence and courage eventually will improve and reduce feelings of inferiority.
Where Cobra Kai Fails the Martial Art - January 3, 2022
The staggering success of Netflix's Cobra Kai has brought renewed attention to the martial arts, especially karate. Anyone who bore witness to when The Karate Kid premiered in 1984 can recall the impact it had on the global popularization of martial arts. The film attracted a massive influx of new students and a tremendous boon to awareness, as well as to the economy. Cobra Kai has improved how the martial arts are depicted in the show with subtle clarifications that only the most discerning martial artists might appreciate.
Traditional Karate Is Okinawan Cultural Heritage - December 13, 2021
Outwardly, the two societies are integrated, but the Okinawan people have proven masterful at the remaining cultural differences and attaching new importance to them genuine Okinawan karate being one of those cultural symbols.”
Socio-Cultural Reasons for “Takeover” Attempts to Integrate Okinawan Karate into Mainland Japan’s Budo Philosophy - November 29, 2021
“Japan’s militaristic and nationalistic attitudes before WWII and its strategies to establish an Olympic sport after WWII explain why the mainland took over Okinawa’s unique fighting art.” Hermann Bayer, Ph.D.
Seven Aspects of Kihon - November 1, 2021
There are, however, a few key qualitative generalizations to be made about virtually all techniques. As you enjoy class training in kihon (technical fundamentals), you’ll want to continually check the following seven preliminary items to ensure they are driven deeply into your muscle memory.
The “Japanization” of Okinawan Karate in Mainland Japan - October 18, 2021
Japanization” changed many techniques of genuine Okinawan karate radically, and the essence of the original, Itosu-based style, which is self-protection, was lost in its transition from Okinawa to mainland Japan.
Encouragement - October 6, 2021
As you bow onto the dojo floor, wake up to all that is around you. Strive to maintain that consciousness until the time you bow off the floor for the night. Your awareness should be at its utmost when you are practicing your techniques.
Karate is For the Rest of Us - September 20, 2021
There is a public perception of adults who practice karate, borne no doubt of the movies our local multiplex presents us. America's favorite entertainment medium is the province of young athletic people who, in their quest to make right through might, produce skilled strikes that land accurately, rendering perfect unconsciousness in every opponent, and enable our hero to emerge uninjured after battling many wrongdoers. We in the practice know better.
Did Genuine Karate Originate in Okinawa or in China? A Contribution to Historic Reasoning in Martial Arts History - September 6, 2021
Applying a comparable argument, an existing Okinawan martial art with its clear intention and purpose of self-protection integrated foreign (here: “Chinese”) knowledge and skills as a useful improvement into its existing system, into its existing idea, its existing concept and intellectual framework.”
What is Karate? - August 30, 2021
"...since karate training has stressed humility and overcoming oneself as fundamental principles from ancient times, even though one may not be aware of the development, it contributes substantially to the polishing of character."—Master Gichin Funakoshi from Rentan Goshin Karate Jutsu, 1925