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Brief History of Liuhebafa: Water Boxing
July 15, 2019
The origins of Liuhebafa, also called Water Boxing, can be traced to the Daoist sage Chen Tuan (A.D. c.871-989) also called Tunan and Fuyaozi. Chen is a mystical figure whose advice and perspective was sought by Chinese emperors during the period of the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms (A.D. 907-960) and at the beginning of the Song Dynasty (A.D. 960-1279). In addition to Liuhebafa, he is credited with the creation of Taiji Ruler exercises, qigong and neigong systems that are still practiced today, and a form of Dream/Sleeping Daoist Yoga. Let’s take a look at the life of this fascinating figure. In (A.D. c. 871 an unusual boy, often called a child prodigy, was born into a wealthy and high ranked family surnamed Chen. This child was called Tuan. His parent’s estate located in Sichuan province was quite large and dotted by ponds and crossed by streams. Young Tuan was very much attracted to the water and could often be found walking or playing by the ponds or streams.
Krav Maga Control and Disengagement Strategies for Social Violence
July 8, 2019
A moment of anger leading to violence can cost you everything, literally.  When facing the specter of social violence – a confrontation you can avoid and escape – how do you best opt-out? How do you walk away without feeling emasculated or that you blinked first? Ultimately, how do you disengage convinced that it was his lucky day? Emotional regulation is mental krav maga (and any other well reputed martial art.) Mental regulation, in the face of insult or provocation, may be the most difficult tactic to learn and execute.  Despite any indignation or effrontery, you may experience, it behooves you de-escalate yourself, deconflict and disengage.  In short, nothing but your ego requires or drives you to return a hostile stare/gesture or aggressively respond to verbal insults.
Water Style for Beginners (Liu He Ba Fa) Part 2
July 1, 2019
Water style incorporates the qualities and strengths of the three internal styles of Taiji, Xingyi and Bagua, yet it is in a class by itself, a unique form of internal martial arts. Its movements are sometimes high, sometimes low, sometimes fast, and sometimes slow. These movements resemble floating clouds and flowing water that is sometimes calm, sometimes surging. Ba fa means Eight Principles. They are Qi (energy), Gu (bone), Xing (shape), Sui(follow), Ti(lift), Huan (return), Le (rein in), Fu (hiding).
Water Style for Beginners (Liu He Ba Fa) Part 1
June 24, 2019
Chinese martial arts are the essence of Chinese civilization. Several thousands of years in the making, it has developed into two major styles-namely internal and external. Both styles are again divided to include countless different styles. Among the internal styles, the best known and most popular are Taiji, Xingyi, and Bagua. However, there is yet another profound school of internal art known as Liu He Ba Fa, sometimes called 'Water style' or ‘Water boxing’ passed generation to generation for more than a thousand years to a select handful of gifted students with exemplary courage and moral character. As a result of this closed-door system, Liu He Ba Fa has emerged into the world veiled in mystery.
Bagua for Beginners
June 17, 2019
Bagua Zhang, Taiji Quan, and Xingyi Quan are known as three major internal martial arts styles in China. Bagua literally means "Eight Trigram" and Zhang means "Palm." The original name of Baguazhang was Zhuan Zhang, which means “Turning Palms.” This refers to the way the art is practiced—moving around a circle, turning the palms in various ways.
Kung Fu Nuns - February 7, 2011
The nuns at the Druk Gawa Khilwa Nunnery in Nepal train kung fu each day in the early morning. A few years ago, several Vietnamese nuns were asked to visit the nunnery in Nepal to teach Kung Fu there. Another Drukpa nunnery in northern India has expressed interest, and the Vietnamese nuns will go there to teach as well.
2011:  The Year of the Rabbit! - 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.
Why Meditation is Important in Martial Arts - January 24, 2011
To reach the full potential as a martial arts practitioner, you must begin by training your mind. One way to accomplish this task is through sitting meditation. Through meditation your awareness, calm, and focus will increase. These are all very important factors in martial arts.
The Standing Eight Brocades Qigong: Exercises 1, 2 & 3 - January 17, 2011
The standing set of the Eight Pieces of Brocade Qigong is more popular than the sitting set, so there are more versions of it. You should not worry about which version is better or more accurate, because the basic principles are the same.
The Sitting Eight Brocades: Exercises 1, 2 & 3 - January 10, 2011
It has been nearly one thousand years since the Eight Pieces of Brocade were created. It does not matter which version you are training, the basic principles and theory are the same, and the goal is consistent. Remember that the most important thing in the training is not the forms themselves, but rather the theory and principle of each form, which constitute the root.
Coughs, Colds, Breathing Problems - January 3, 2011
The ability to breathe freely is crucial to the practice of the martial arts. Here are some combinations that can help with breathing problems due to a recent cold or hay fever. Note that a commonly accepted guideline for exercise during a cold or the flu is the “neck up or neck down rule.”
Comments on Hojo Undo from Okinawan Karate Masters - December 27, 2010
Since I began traveling to Okinawa in 1984, I have been privileged to meet many great <em>karate</em> teachers over the years. Some have had a worldwide following, while others have not, but the majority of them have had something in common—their sincere love for the fighting arts of their homeland and their willingness to share what they know.
Taiji Ball Qigong for Health and Martial Arts - December 13, 2010
Since taiji ball qigong is a combination of internal elixir (nei dan) and external elixir (wai dan) qigong practice, the health benefits of taiji ball qigong can be divided into two parts, the internal and external side. Taiji ball qigong is a soft-moving meditation. Through this meditative training, you will be able to concentrate and focus your mind at a higher level.
Fundamental Moving Patterns of Xingyiquan - December 6, 2010
We will begin this discussion by introducing the most basic stationary posture of Xingyiquan, the three body posture (San Ti Shi). This posture is also commonly called the three power posture (San Cai Shi) or Taiji posture (Taiji Shi).
Tai Chi Intervention for Fibromyalgia - November 29, 2010
Over the past eight years I was given the opportunity to collaborate with Tufts School of Medicine researching the philosophy of Tai Chi and its effects on both arthritis of the knee and Fibromyalgia. I was asked by one of the researchers at Tufts School of Medicine to design and implement an intervention for both debilitating diseases.
Between Awake and Asleep - November 22, 2010
Most Eastern arts seek ways for the practitioner to spend more time in a deeply relaxed state, that is, with a meditative mind. This deep level of meditation is an essential step for achievement in all Eastern disciplines.
The Value of Practicing Sequences - November 14, 2010
As a martial artist goes through training, they will encounter many years of practicing sequences. A sequence, (Quan Tao), is a continuous flowing routine made up of a number of defensive and offensive techniques. Japanese systems often call this a Kata (or literally: "form").
Two Qigong Categories: Medical Qigong for Healing and Martial Qigong for Fighting - November 8, 2010
In ancient Chinese society, most emperors respected the scholars and were affected by their philosophy. Doctors were not regarded highly because they made their diagnosis by touching the patient's body, which was considered characteristic of the lower classes in society.
Practice Any Time, Anywhere - November 1, 2010
Consistent daily training makes all the difference in achieving your rank. Because there is so much to learn and everything builds from kihon, it is important to make a commitment to try to learn something new about your martial art, no matter how small, every day.
Daoist Breathing Improves Pushing Hands - October 25, 2010
As an instructor at the YMAA School in Boston, Mass., my students often ask, &ldquo;How can my pushing hands get better?&rdquo; We all want to get better. Many people spend a lot of time looking for some facet of the art that they have missed or a trick to shorten their path.
Ancient Short Weapons - October 18, 2010
Short weapons can be divided into two classes based on length. Very short weapons measure less than two Chi (approximately two feet). Often they are no longer than the distance from the hand to the elbow. While short weapons range in length from two to five Chi.
Good Herbal Habits - October 11, 2010
Are you still reading, still thinking about trying herbs? Have you decided you&rsquo;re willing to take responsibility for your own herb use? Here are some good herbal habits; habits that will help keep you safe.
Daoism and the Sword (道教和劍, Dao Jiao He Jian) - October 4, 2010
Many people wonder why martial arts are practiced by religions like Buddhism and Daoism that teach about compassion and humility. The idea of a warrior monk seems contradictory because in people’s minds the martial arts are linked with violence.
Pilgrimage to Wudang Mountain - September 27, 2010
During the summer of 2010, my family and I brought several students along during our annual trip to Wudang Mountain. Bringing students to the mountain is one way to pay our respect to the origin of the Wudang arts.
What a Martial Artist Should Keep in the Medicine Chest - September 20, 2010
Injuries happen in the martial arts. Most martial artists have a first aid stash: aspirin or something similar, ice packs, bandages, some kind of muscle rub, and perhaps power drinks to boost energy. Western herbs can make a valuable addition to this stash.
Interview with Kris Wilder, Nicholas Yang, and Rory Miller about "Crossing the Pond Martial Expo 2010" - September 13, 2010
YMAA Publication Center supported the inaugural "Crossing the Pond Martial Expo" held Aug. 14-15 in Seattle, and Aug. 21-22 in Coventry, UK. This expo brought together six well-known and highly-skilled instructors of martial arts and self-defense.
The Dojang—A Safe Haven During 9-11 - September 6, 2010
On September 11, 2001, I was employed in New York City at a job that I would soon vacate in favor of teaching martial arts professionally. On that tragic but stunningly brilliant morning, I stood on the corner of Fifth Avenue and Nineteenth Street watching the destruction of the World Trade Center unfold before my very eyes.
Ancient Chinese Weapons - August 30, 2010
A country as vast as China encompasses many types of terrain. Whereas deserts and high plateaus cover the northern territory, mountain ranges dominate the west. The southeast coast and central zones, favored by the Chinese for thousands of years, are lush and warm with many lakes, ponds and rivers.
About Junbi Undo—Part 2 - August 22, 2010
"Lift things properly, hit things with care", this maxim should be at the forefront of your mind when embarking upon the study of traditional Okinawan hojo undo. Find your limit with each tool and exercise, and then carefully and methodically push that limit further and further. In doing so you will learn much about yourself and who you really are.
About Junbi Undo—Part 1 - August 16, 2010
In an Okinawan karate dojo, warming-up exercises are known as junbi undo, preparation exercises. Within many Western schools of karate today, the warm-up exercises often have little in common with the mental activity that follows, neither do they always relate particularly well to the physical demands placed upon the specific muscle.
Form as a Vessel for Tai Chi Principle—Part 2 - August 9, 2010
Once enrolled in my class, she was all over the place swinging her arms as if dancing to imaginary music (fine at home, perhaps, but not in Tai Chi class). This woman completely lacked structure, but more significantly, she lacked any desire for structure or willingness to consider its merits.
Form as a Vessel for Tai Chi Principle—Part 1 - August 2, 2010
When the average person thinks of Tai Chi, the image that I expect most often comes to mind is one of some person or persons practicing a slow motion Tai Chi form sequence. This is quite reasonable given Tai Chi&rsquo;s usual portrayal in the various media.
A Month at the YMAA Retreat Center - July 26, 2010
I lived and trained at the YMAA Retreat Center for the month of March 2010. Close to the end, Dr. Yang asked me to write something about my experience there. Now, sitting in a café in my beautiful hometown in Germany, I think about the time spent there.
Seize the Opportunity with Chin Na—Part 2 - July 19, 2010
A Chin Na expert must also know how to escape from an opponent's Chin Na control, and be able to counterattack and reverse the situation. To escape from an opponent's control, you must master several techniques in addition to those explained in the previous section.
Seize the Opportunity with Chin Na—Part 1 - July 12, 2010
Chin Na literally means "seize control." Chin Na covers a wide scale of defensive and offensive techniques, from very fundamental hand grappling to the very advanced Dim Mak. The fundamental techniques can be learned by any martial artist or even by someone without any martial arts experience.
The Differences Between San Shou Shuai Jiao and Other Styles of Wrestling - July 5, 2010
Technically speaking, the foundation and basic principles of San Shou Shuai Jiao are based on traditional Chinese wrestling (Chuan Tong Shuai Jiao) and adapted for combat training. San Shou Shuai Jiao techniques and principles are very simple, effective and—most important—quick.
Thwarting Terrorist Bombing Through Awareness—Part 2 - June 28, 2010
Awareness of timing has to do with the time of day during which terrorist attacks are most likely to occur. Terrorists are very conscious of media attention, timing attacks carefully to achieve the highest possible level of public impact.
Thwarting Terrorist Bombing Through Awareness—Part 1 - June 21, 2010
This article was written right after the bombing on the London transit system in 2005 and was published in Neth Publications. It is just as timely today with the recent bomb threat in New York City in April 2010. Although some of the statistics are five years old, the core of the article tells you that awareness is the key to survival...
A Sudden Dawn - June 14, 2010
This epic historical fiction novel, A Sudden Dawn, opens in A.D. 507 with a young Indian man named Sardili, born of the warrior caste. Sardili gives up a promising future as a soldier to become a monk and seek enlightenment.
The Original Shaolin Monk - June 7, 2010
The Shaolin Temple is regarded as the birthplace of Zen and Kung Fu—the first place in history to combine the training of a warrior with the spiritual practices of a monk. The beginning of this unique tradition is attributed to the monk Bodhidharma (Da Mo in Chinese, Daruma in Japanese) who visited China as a Buddhist missionary around A.D. 520.
YMAA Taijiquan Lineage - May 31, 2010
Thanks to a recent reunion between Dr. Yang, Jwing-Ming and his first Taijiquan teacher, Grandmaster Kao, Tao, we now know the complete lineage of YMAA's Yang style Taijiquan in more detail. The most interesting discovery is that Yang, Chengfu, who is famous for teaching the health aspects of Taijiquan to the public, also had indoor disciples who trained the martial side of Taijiquan.
Visiting Korea: Land of the Morning Calm - May 24, 2010
Having traveled to Korea on several occasions, I feel strongly that experiencing the culture of this vibrant nation firsthand is the way to fully understand the roots of taekwondo. In doing so, practitioners can make a geographical and historical connection with their physical training while sampling the unique heritage of the Korean people.
Qigong Can Help Heal Arthritis - May 17, 2010
Over the last four thousand years, Chinese medicine has developed many of its own methods to treat arthritis including Qigong exercises, acupuncture, massage, and herbal treatments.
May is National Arthritis Awareness Month - May 10, 2010
According to The Arthritis Foundation, arthritis is one of the most common diseases in the United States. Rest, exercise, eating a healthy, well-balanced diet, and learning the right way to use and protect your joints are well-known keys to living with any kind of arthritis.
Understanding Traditional Yang Style Taijiquan - May 3, 2010
In order to analyze the traditional Yang Style Taijiquan sequence, it is necessary to understand how martial sequences are created and the purpose they serve. Taijiquan is not a dance or abstract movement. A proper understanding of the root of the art will help you practice more effectively.
History of Yang Style Taijiquan (Tai Chi Chuan) - April 26, 2010
When he was young, Yang, Lu-chan went to Chen Jia Gou in Henan province to learn taijiquan from Chen, Chang-xing. Chen realized that Yang had great potential and taught him the secrets sincerely.
YMAA participates in World Tai Chi & Qigong Day April 24, 2010 - April 19, 2010
It’s open house across the world, beginning in New Zealand, when World Tai Chi & Qigong Day will spread time zone by time zone across the globe through 60 countries and across six continents. There will be events in cities, towns, and villages world-wide embracing wisdom from all cultures of the world.
The Importance to Your Health of Deep Abdominal Breathing - April 12, 2010
The all too common tendency to breathe in a manner that is shallow, or constrained, is one of the great banes of modern man. Habitual shallow chest breathing is a major precursor for cardiovascular problems, not to mention respiratory problems, as well as a host of other health issues.
Kung Fu Wrestling: Shuai Jiao (摔跤) - April 5, 2010
Shuai Jiao is a Chinese fighting style with over 4,000 years of history. It specializes in countering against punching and kicking, using defense as the offense. Shuai Jiao is commonly used for short range fighting and throwing down an opponent.
Grandmaster Li, Mao-Ching (李茂清) - March 29, 2010
Grandmaster Li, Mao-Ching (李茂清) was born in Qingdao city (青島市), China, on July 5, 1927. He first began training martial arts in 1934 when he was eight years old, under the instruction and guidance of his father and his cousin Shang, Huan.
My Experience Training at YMAA - March 22, 2010
I have been training at the YMAA School in Boston, Mass. for Kung Fu for over seven years. I am 13 years old. I am currently in the third of ten ranks in the adult Shaolin class, meaning I have three stripes. I still remember the first class that I attended when I was only 6 years old.
Wicked Words that May Kill You - March 15, 2010
While sticks and stones can break your bones, your words may actually kill you. They can also save your life. Having to be right despite the cost, reacting indignantly in the face of a threat, or insulting an adversary often guarantees that a conflict will escalate to violence.
Sanchin Kata - Ancient Wisdom - March 8, 2010
The true history of sanchin kata is lost to time. Many will claim they know the true and correct history of sanchin kata, but factors such as where one chooses to begin and end can create one of many versions of the same history. The goal is to achieve a better understanding of sanchin kata through the mechanics, history, and applications of the kata.
For a busy schedule—Qigong short forms - March 1, 2010
The practice of qigong can be very flexible so that it can easily fit into your particular lifestyle. Qigong practice will help you to reach a more carefree state and approach your inner being where healing and prevention begins.
Ancient Chinese Traditions Preserved; Retreat Center Invites Community - February 22, 2010
Nestled in the hills above Salmon Creek west of Miranda, the YMAA Retreat Center is possibly better-known throughout the world than it is in Southern Humboldt. Dr. Yang hopes to change that by reaching out to the community, inviting residents to participate in training and sending his students to teach others in local schools.