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Happy "Niu" Year! 2021—Year of the Ox!
February 8, 2021
To Chinese, this most important celebration of the year is known as "Spring Festival" (春節; pinyin: Chūnjié). It is a time of family reunion. Family members gather at each other's homes for visits and shared meals, most significantly a feast (年夜飯; pinyin: niányèfàn) on New Year's Eve (除夕; pinyin: Chúxī). In Chinese societies, people may take weeks off from work to prepare for and celebrate this holiday. With about 3 billion passenger trips over the 40-day travel season, it is described as the world's largest annual human migration.
Cultivating Observation—Caring for Others
November 23, 2020
"The great learning of the Dao is to pursue comprehension of the bright De (i.e., the manifestation of the Dao) and to influence other people until the ultimate goodness can be reached. Once you know, then your mind is steady without doubts. When the mind is steady, then you are able to acquire calmness. When you are calm, then you find peace. When you are at peace, then you are able to ponder. When you are able to ponder, then you gain. All objects have their initiation and ending and all matters have a beginning and expiration. If one knows the beginning and the end, then one is closer to the Dao."
2020: Enter the Rat! The First of the Twelve Chinese Zodiac Signs
January 20, 2020
The Chinese year 4718 begins on January 25, 2020. According to the Chinese zodiac it will be the Year of the Rat (鼠年 - “rat year”; pinyin: shǔnián). 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. The year 1 on the Chinese calendar corresponds to the first reign year of the legendary Yellow Emperor (黃帝; pinyin: Huángdì), who is said to have invented the calendar during the 61st year of his reign.
Theories of Yin-Yang and Kan-Li 陰陽、坎離之理論
March 4, 2019
To practice qigong accurately, you must not only understand the theory but also the correct methods of practice. Knowing the theory correctly places a clear and accurate map in your hands leading you to your goal in the shortest time. Without this map, you may take many years to find the correct path.
Subtle Clarity—Yin and Yang Lao Tzu, Translation and Commentary
February 25, 2019
It is clear that in order to expand something, it must first shrink. It is the same when you want to weaken it: first you should strengthen it. In order to reduce it, you must first build it up. Also, in order to take it, first you must give. This is the theory of yin and yang, which always balance each other.
The Dao of Kung Fu - 武道 - 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.
Violence: What Everyone Needs to Know About Fighting - August 2, 2009
According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, men commit about 80 percent of all violent crimes in the United States, serious stuff like homicides, rapes, robberies, and assaults. Men are twice as likely as women to become victims of those same violent crimes, except for rape.
Never Surrender - June 16, 2009
The goal of self defense is not to win a fight, but rather to avoid combat in the first place. After all the only battle you are guaranteed to walk away from unscathed is the one you never engage in. Taking a beat-down can seriously mess up your life, yet winners have consequences too.
Spotting an Adversary’s Tell - April 27, 2009
In more than twenty years of working stadium security I have witnessed, interceded in, stopped, or prevented well over 300 fights. Yet in all that time I have only been sucker-punched once. I didn’t like it much, but obviously I’ve managed to avoid repeating that mistake by taking it upon myself to pay close attention and learn from the behavior that precedes violence.
Mob Violence Is An Eruption With No Warning - February 17, 2009
Gang violence gets a fair amount of copy in the media. But another form of violence is mob violence.  Mob violence rises up, explodes, and then recedes.
Occasionally Hollywood Can Actually Teach You Something - January 5, 2009
Recently I watched "Felon", a movie that makes some realistic and valuable points about self-defense. In most jurisdictions a person can only resort to deadly force to escape imminent and unavoidable danger of death or grave bodily harm.
Growing Up Wudang, part 2 - 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.
Growing Up Wudang - 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.
Zhang, San-Feng and the Ancient Origins of Taijiquan (References) - November 21, 2008
The origin of Taijiquan is a controversial issue. Some trace Taijiquan to the Chen family in the 1600's and others trace the art further back to Master Zhang, San-Feng. Both are correct. And neither of them created Taijiquan.
Taijiquan Yin Yang - 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.
Taijiquan Yin Yang - 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.
Wuji - The State of Emptiness - 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.
Wuji - The State of Emptiness - 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.
The Meaning of Taiji - 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.
Meditations on Violence - May 22, 2008
People are weird. They have an almost infinite ability to learn and communicate. At the same time, this amazing ability is used as much for fantasy and entertainment as it is for information and survival. Take, for example, the rhinoceros and the unicorn.
A Brief History of the Chinese Martial Arts - 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.
A Brief History of Qigong - 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.
YMAA 25 Years - February 6, 2008
On October 1, 2007, YMAA celebrated its 25-Year Anniversary. There were many phone calls, letters and emails of congratulations.
Xin and Yi: Two Minds - 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.
Martial Morality - 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.