Meet the Author: Christopher Bates talks with Gene Ching (YMAA) about Taiwan history and martial arts (video)
November 27, 2023
Translator and martial artist Christopher Bates talks with Gene Ching about Taiwan history, and the oppression and poverty experienced there post-World War Two. This is also where YMAA founder Dr. Yang, Jwing-Ming was born and lived until college. They discuss various Taiwanese martial arts styles and their overlap, including Shaolin White Crane (Bai He), Xingyiquan, Baguazhang and others.
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.
Meet the Author: Augustus John Roe chats with Gene Ching (YMAA) about mythical martial artists (video)
November 18, 2023
Augustus John Roe is an author, linguist and instructor of traditional Vietnamese martial arts of the Bửu Sơn Phật Môn Quyền lineage. Since the mid-2000s, he has lived and trained in Asia. During this time, Augustus has worked on numerous television shows, books, magazines and academic projects documenting local cultures and martial arts practices.
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.
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.
Set Up Precepts—Knowing Contentment Translation and Commentary - November 22, 2021
"The Dao De Jing is also referred to as the Lao Zi. It has been interpreted mostly by scholars instead of qigong practitioners. However, it is evident that the entire book was written based on Lao Zi’s, (476–221 BCE), personal qigong experience, especially spiritual cultivation. In order to acquire the real essence of the Dao De Jing, we must interpret it from a qigong point of view. Only then we will see the origin of Lao Zi’s thinking." - Dr. Yang, Jwing-Ming
Fighting Range Strategies - November 15, 2021
If you cannot overwhelm the attacker and end up temporarily disengaged facing him, you should keep moving to prevent becoming a static target and to camouflage any additional tax you must unleash as you launch into retzev. (Retzev is a Hebrew word that means continuous motion.) In short movement from movement is more difficult to discern then movement from a stationary position.”
Working Together: Tai Chi Fit for VETERANS - November 8, 2021
Renowned tai chi advocate David-Dorian Ross brings his innovative Tai Chi Fit program to help veterans cope with common issues like depression, PTSD, addiction, and chronic pain. Through this program, veterans can receive free tai chi instruction and certified instructors can be compensated by the VA. This elevates tai chi instructors, officially recognizing them amongst other health and wellness professions
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.
Give your Children Options - October 25, 2021
“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go...” —Dr. Seuss
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.
Wu Tai Chi: Distinguishing Between Different Tai Chi Styles - October 16, 2021
As Master Chenhan Yang releases his fifth instructional Tai Chi video with YMAA, Staff Writer Gene Ching looks at what his latest offering brings to Tai Chi enthusiasts who might be unfamiliar with Wu Tai Chi.
Anatomical Targeting Strategy: Works for Both the Attacker and Defender - October 11, 2021
Keep in mind that you don’t want any type of fighting chess game; instead, the goal is to eliminate any and all of his future counter-movement and counterattack capabilities. In other words, achieve checkmate with your first or second optimized combative as soon as possible.
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.
General Differences Between Buddhist and Daoist Qigong 佛家與 道家氣功之不同 - September 27, 2021
Often Qìgōng practitioners are confused by the differences between Buddhist and Daoist Qìgōng. Both share the same fundamental theory and similar practices….The main emphasis of Buddhist Qìgōng is on becoming a Buddha, while Daoist Qìgōng focuses on longevity, enlightenment, and spiritual immortality.
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.
Autumn: Seasonal Nourishment to Strengthen Our Immune System - September 13, 2021
As summer passes into autumn, the energy of Earth transforms into Metal, as related to fall. During the Metal phase, energy begins to condense, contract, and draw inward for accumulation and storage, just as the crops of summer are harvested and stored in autumn for use in winter.”
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.”
Sun Tai Chi: Rise and Shine - September 2, 2021
Gene Ching, YMAA Staff Writer, takes a look at Master Chenhan Yang's Sun Tai Chi DVD from the perspective of a Sun Tai Chi practitioner. Gene studied under Grandmaster Sun Jianyun, the daughter of the founder of Sun Tai Chi, Sun Lutang. Master Yang propounds a modern form of Sun Tai Chi while Gene practices the traditional form.
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
Dealing with Obstacles in Tai Chi - August 23, 2021
Students of any Teaching often lack the tools to make refinements to what they learn. Such a process requires critical thinking, analytical skills, perseverance, and knowledge of other arts such as science, mathematics, philosophy, etc. Henry Ford said: 'If you need a machine [or tool] and don't buy it, then you will ultimately find that you have paid for it and [still] don't have it.' A similar truth holds for tools for learning Taiji.
Some Martial Applications in Taiji Pushing Hands - August 16, 2021
The Thirteen Postures, (are derived) according to the theory of five elements and eight trigrams. They are the thirteen total jings of pushing hands. There are not another Thirteen Postures. The five elements are advance, retreat backward, beware of the left, look to the right, and central equilibrium. They can be interpreted by dividing into internal and external.
Situational Awareness for Kids - August 9, 2021
Natural disasters and medical emergencies occur without warning and can cause a significant amount of fear and confusion in a young child. We adults must take the time to explain what constitutes an actual emergency and work with our children to create step-by-step plans for how to react in those situations.
Olympic Karate: A New Martial Art Enters the Ring - August 2, 2021
Martial arts history happens when karate is introduced at the Tokyo Olympics. Among the 33 overall different sports this year, karate is part of a special group of martial-based Olympic sports. This includes archery, boxing, fencing, judo, modern pentathlon, shooting, taekwondo, and wrestling (some also include the track and field event of javelin, and the winter sport of biathlon.) Despite their global impact, most Olympic games are of Western origin. The outstanding Non-Western games are the martial arts: judo, taekwondo, and now karate. The Olympic karate events will begin on August 4th and run until August 8th, 2021.