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Tags: blasian, ch'an, Health, Internal training, Kung Fu, Multi-cultural, Praying mantis, tai chi, tai mantis, tao
Categories : catamaran, ch'an, Home, international Marriage, Kung Fu, Misc, mixed marriage, Praying mantis, tai chi, tao, Zen mind
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Tags: archery, ch'an, Internal training, Kung Fu, kyudo, Multi-cultural, Sailing, tai mantis, yachting, Zen
Categories : archery, catamaran, ch'an, kyudo, Misc, Sailing, tao, Zen, Zen mind
Twenty one/Twelve. It was the 21st annual memorial banquet and the 12th memorial tournament. Hard to believe we have been at this for that long. Time passes quickly. Not only is it amazing that long for the events but also that is just a small part of the time we the seniors spent training. For those of us who stay with the training it is a lifetime involvement, a way of life.
The tournament started Sat morning on time close to it. When I arrived my students were already there practicing ! I had four students competing this year. Percentage wise I was told later I had the largest there this year.
The event was smaller this year, more than last. I think there were only 6 schools there. A reflection of the economy. Still it was a nice group. The Tai Chi was the largest section this year. They were still running that section long after the external competitors were done. We were able to disassemble the external ring while the internal section was on break.
I did not get to see all of of my students do their thing other than a small portion as I was the coordinator again of the events. So I stayed pretty busy, but did manage a couple of shots of my crew.
Over all they did well. No one from my group placed but they all finished and faced their fears. That was big. Their competition came from the school where I studied Tai Chi, so they got to work with the master’s students.
Also I noticed there were some changes to the form. With all the judges from that school it did lean things more in that school’s favor. No matter, everyone was happy that they had the experience, and that was what was important, not the wining part. Especially for a first timer.
The tournament started about 9 and I left after getting a sandwich about 12:30. Nice I had the rest of the afternoon to rest. Which is just what I did. I went home and napped.
I arrived slightly late to the banquet knowing how it was in the past. Still I was early 🙂
Once inside I located my table. There was only one vegetarian table this year and the only ones there were my students! That was a surprise. None of the usual veggie heads were there. The dinner itself was weak only four dishes were served 😦 .
They were nothing to write home about. Oh well . Otherwise things ran as normal at the dinner.
The board of directors meeting was on Sunday. As a member I needed to be there. I had planned on going to Kyudo practice afterward…if it was not too late…It was.
Things started out pretty casual. Questions about my trip and all. I got one of my Sihing to do the GrandMaster’s wooden man form, while I video’d. Wonderful, one of the things I want to be sure to practice in Japan. I am organizing my Kung Fu library for training and reference.
After that it was down to business. It got interesting watching the mood change and tempers flare. Along with that came the yelling in Chinese, then Chinglish. After that phased out and things got explained, revised, modified by the end it was one big happy family again.’ The topic of heat this year was weather or not to change the tournaments to every other year instead of annually.
There is a seminar that follows these events. I will not attend this year. 😦 Too many things that call for funding right now. Chan retreat is next week. The Kyudo seminar two weeks after that. all these falling at the same frame and having to take off work is “musugashi” on the pocket. Bummer I have to miss the last Kung Fu seminar for me in the states but, line$ have to be drawn somewhere.
A nice thing is though that Ling Sisuk loves Japan and will come visit once we are settled, so I can get private lesson from him there…sweet or what?!
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Tags: ch'an, Internal training, Kung Fu, kyudo, life, Multi-cultural, Nihon, Praying mantis, shaolin, tai chi, tai mantis
Categories : Japan, Kung Fu, kyudo, shaolin, tai chi, tao
Okkkk, I am behind on posting, if anyone cares, sorry, I have a life…
What a difference a day makes. On Friday evening I was the fresh new lowly Kyudo Nidan, on Sat I was in the role of the Kung Fu “master”. Friday was the end of the Kyudo seminar, Sat was the start of the Kung Fu sessions our 20 th yr. anniversary.
Once again the Chuk Kai memorial Kung Fu tournament and banquet was being held in the Bay Area. We have the largest concentration of schools in the country. There are schools in Walnut Creek, Alameda, San Jose , Campbell and San Francisco.
Overall with the shrinking of the economy the turn out becomes smaller. Yet we still have a turn out from the Bay Area schools , plus LA, Boston and Washington state school. Not huge attendance but enough to keep us going and feel the love.
As with the last few years I was once again called upon to do the event coordination. This usually keeps me busy setting up what event runs next and which need to be combined due to lack of enrollment.
This year we were down to two rings instead of three. One ring is for internal forms (kata) the other is for external forms and weapons. After all these years we have gotten things running smoothly and with less people we are able to wrap things up by late afternoon. This gives everyone a chance to get a bit of a rest before the evening banquet which is held in Oakland’s Chinatown.
In the years past we have had the tournament for only Tai Chi Praying Mantis schools. After the board of directors meeting on the Sunday following the banquet it was decided to open the tournament to outside schools. Tai Chi schools will be invited next year and follow that the following year with other external schools.
Next year will be my final year attending as a resident. It is my hope to return in 2014/15 with a couple of students from Japan. We’ll see, if nothing else it will be just me.
The banquet this year still managed to have a good turnout, however in the past couple of years there were two vegetarian tables, this year only one and only three of us at it. A small benefit of that was we had as much food as we wanted, and even took a bunch home. It was also the best food section for us veggiesheads.
Even so it would be nice to have the economy improve enough to have more people next year. Still even with the collapse of the economy it is good we are still able to maintain this tradition in honor of the late grandmaster, Chi Chuk Kai for 20 years. That in itself is an accomplishment, with none of the disharmony that has gone down with other Organizations.
On another note but similar I have decided to do some minor study in the art of Aikido. My Kyudo Sensei teaches Aikido also and the class is just before the Kyudo class so it seems like the perfect setup since I will need to be there for Kyudo. A couple of the ladies from the Kyudo class take both. My interest in studying is not about belts or ranking as I will do no testing. I found from watching Aikido classes that a lot of the techniques are the same we use in Tai Chi Mantis with only a slight variation . So I am thinking the practice of Aikido will give me a chance to practice with a partner. My Kung Fu students have not reached the level of training that we can practice together on that aspect of martial study. So I am looking to enhance the principles of “ChinNa” and get some two person practice in.
The next big thing I want to finish here is the beyond combat series. I have the final interview in , I just need to edit it down. The last interview is with Jyozen Sensei a Zen monk and instructor for the LA Kyudo Kai who does Tai Chi Chuan.
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Tags: Aikido, archery, ch'an, Health, Internal training, Kung Fu, kyudo, Nihon, shaolin, tai chi, tai mantis
Categories : Kung Fu, kyudo, Nippon, Praying mantis, shaolin, tai chi
I was on the way to Friday class with Sifu and Fong Sisuk It came to me whilst preparing mentally for the class it is the similar mind set as when doing Kyudo. That lead me to think, really it was more like preparing for Tai Chi Chuan (notice I am using the full name) and how doing Kyudo is not just like doing Tai Chi Chuan but rather doing Tai Chi Sword. Because with Tai Chi Sword not only must have that oneness on connection with your stances ( Ashibumi) , hips, spine, limbs, breath, eyes, (Dozukuri) connecting the flow of those with the sword. It’s position, grip, tip, (Yugamae), a further extension of that blending of oneness, in your movements but use the sword (Yumi). Achieving the San mai itai. The real difference is in those moments of stillness that one has doing Kyudo (yet as in sitting meditation there is still movement within stillness). At least when you are doing it as a group, the Kiza, the waiting time. Realizing of course that doing the Kyudo “set”, Kata it starts when you enter the Dojo floor, not just when you are shooting. I have heard it said by Jyozen-san that the shot, (the kata) starts when you pick up the Yumi/Ya. The Tai Hai is the Kyudo Kata…Hmmm, maybe I’m thinking to much about the seminar (-_-)
These are my thoughts whilst driving to Campbell for my monthly class session. The mind set of doing Kyudo is the same as Tai Chi Sword, different movements to the Kata but the same mind, the same connection to the weapon being held. The same extending of spirit and Chi. Got it! Just more that Zen/Chan stuff.
The release if the arrow is the Tai Chi Fajing ( power strike) of Kyudo.
Once there at the school I joined in the conversation about dealing with a much larger opponent. Sisuk empazided the importance of making the person fight your fight. Part of the higher levels of training is “sizing” up your opponent. Understanding his weak point and his strong points and using those weak points against him/ her. We, he said are Mantis a little small insect. We have to use our mind to fight, to control our adversary. Part of that control not only comes from physical control but mental control as well. Praying Mantis is a complex art , Tai Chi Mantis is even a higher complexity.
Another point covered was the use of the elbow and forearms . The Mantis is a multi jointed insect do not restrict your thoughts, actions to just use of hands.
The rest of the time was spent on some technical aspects of some movement and some comparisons with Aikido on controlling. Sisuk again stressed that the higher level of our art was about control and the compassion of control to end a conflict over pounding someone to death or submission. Training is about controlling ourselves first, then the other person. There is a saying from the Tao Ching something like. Mastering others takes wisdom, Mastering ourselves takes Strength.
At one point while we were eating or almost there Sifu said “to be good with Kung Fu, you have to learn it, then forget it”. I have heard this “meaning” before but the first time in this context, this setting, so it clicked into several things all at once, Music, Kyudo, Ceramics, Sailing…
All is Chan, Chan is all.
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Tags: Aikido, archery, Buddhist, ch'an, Health, Internal training, Kung Fu, kyudo, life, Multi-cultural, Praying mantis, tai chi, tai mantis, Zen
Categories : archery, ch'an, Kung Fu, kyudo, Praying mantis, shaolin, tai chi, Zen
My plan for the day which was Friday, included a trip to the archery range to shoot with Sensei, then down to my Shifu’s school for Friday Fu night with the fam.
First stop was at the range for some Kyudo 28 meters. I had not worked with Sensei for several months due to my schedule and the travel distance (read as gas prices). I was feeling fairly comfortable with my shooting form so I was not nervous. I told him I was still working on my Tenouchi as my biggest challenge. He gave me some correction on that, and also thought my built up wrapping was too built up.
We shot 20 arrows for the afternoon, his game was off, due to a cold, so I beat him with hits by one arrow. Another pointer he gave me was in Daisan I was over too far to the left but corrected myself by the time I was in Kai. I should be pointing at the target in Daisan (second Aim) . The other thing was keep some bend in my arms as my arms go over my head before Daisan.
Otherwise he thought I had made improvements in my form from the last time he saw me. He said I’m not sure what you are doing, but keep it up because you are improving…yeya! Everything is Kyudo, everything is Chan, everything is Kung Fu, everything is training, the world is our Dojo.
I also find out that only he and I are attending the seminar this year in MN, everyone else backed out, timing or money reasons. It does not effect me, but there will be no class-spirit pump up. That will have to wait until next year when Northern CA hosts the seminar. At that time hopefully I will be going for my San-Dan and my final test in the states. There will be another from my Dojo also testing San-dan at that time. The others will be going for Shodan. It should be fun and importantly a lot cheaper with no airfair or hotel cost to deal with…just before we leave for the open ocean…Yeya!
I missed Kung Fu last month, I had too much going on. This time I was heading there no matter what, the Kyudo first plan was because I was going to be in the area so I could save on travel and ga$.
I arrived to find the group going through a set of books brought back from Hong Kong. These book were done by one of the 8th generation who has many many many Tai Chi Mantis films on You-tube. He put together a group of books on the Tai Chi Mantis system. One, book three in particular dealt with the History, Philosophy and traditions of Tai Chi Praying Mantis. It has lots of old pictures of Sigung through the years, and shots of the old temple where he was a young monk, along with forms and info. There was also a picture of the Tai Mantis logo I designed for one of my old schools. This book is on my must have list. It is mostly in Chinese but there are parts in English. This for us Tai Chi Mantis players is a monumental work.
After reviewing some of the book, we got down to some practice. Fong Sisuk took questions on the differences between 7 star Mantis and Tai Chi Mantis and point out some of the differences. Some being, 7 star is built on straight line movements and principle, it is also more striking in nature. Tai Chi Mantis is more angles and circular. Tai Chi Mantis is also built around controlling the opponent. Rather than striking or knocking them back so they can possibly attack again, Tai Chi Mantis keeps them in close, so they can not escape. In a way it keeps more to the Buddhist principle compassion, Tai Chi Mantis can end the fight by controlling, trapping, grounding the attacker so the fight will not continue, where 7 Star would end the fight, by killing or maiming the attacker. An important statement made by Fong Sisuk was in training we train to control ourselves. You can not control other until you first can control yourself. This is an important principle in traditional Martial arts. Eng Sifu teaches us both 7 star and Tai Chi praying mantis as well as Northern Shaolin for our roots. One can not just start out training Mantis without the groundwork, proper foundation.
Another subject talked about during our eating time was WuShu vs Traditional KungFu. Nothing is wrong with WuShu Fong Sisuk said however it is not the same as TKF. One of the main things is it lacks the culture and the spiritual principles of Traditional Kung Fu ( TKF). These were taken out of the training by the communist on purpose.
Another topic spoke on is how the current true masters are lamenting the fall of interest in traditional Martial arts. Also how many are claiming to be masters but are just posers. How hard it is to find students who are willing to put in the time and effort to learn and carry on the arts. Many many parts, principals, techniques and much culture is being lost with the new generations. Not just here in the states which is doing well compared to Hong Kong. Many of the Old Masters fear for the future of Chinese Traditional Martial Arts.
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Tags: archery, Buddhist, ch'an, Health, Internal training, Kung Fu, kyudo, Multi-cultural, Praying mantis, shaolin, tai chi, tai mantis, tao, Zen
Categories : archery, Kung Fu, kyudo, Praying mantis, shaolin, tai chi, tao, Zen
The second part of this series is a visit to the Logan school of Shaolin and speak with the Rev Shifu Steve Baugh, head Sifu (and Abbot of the Temple) of the Lohan School of Shaolin in Las Vegas. Shifu Baugh’s Chan lineage is from the linage of Hsu Yun. His Kung Fu linage is among others, The Five Animal System of Ark Wong and the Northen Shaolin lineage of Wong Jac Man along with the Praying Mantis linage of Chi Chuk Kai.
Shifu Baugh is another classmate of mine from our days with the Northern Shaolin Tai Mantis school formally in Torrance, CA. under Doctor Kam Yuen. He like several of our advance class already had prior Martial Art training before joining our school. Everyone like and respected him.
As it turned out another of our classmates was also in town. He runs the Tai Mantis school in San Bernadino.
He was in town with his student for the Lion Dance seminar that was being held at the Lohan School, so it was like a mini reunion with the three if us.
In this interview Shifu Baugh and I went into his office so we had much less background noise. Most of the his student were taking a seminar on upgrading their Lion Dance Skills so there is a small bit drumming going on at one place.
Otherwise this is a clearer interview and we were not rushed. Because of this the Shifu was able to really relax and speak. Some things I wanted to ask he just covered in his informative narrative. I’m sure you will find this as interesting as I did.
The pictures on this video are not that great but it is about the audio not the pictures 🙂
Check out other videos from the Lohan School of Shaolin on Youtube.
The next interview is this series will be hopefully in May with Jyozen-san. A Zen priest, in LA. He currently studies Tai Chi from my Shaolin Linage Family, he is also a teacher of Kyudo, with a past background in Karate.
Pray for Japan, pray for the world…
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Tags: Buddhist, ch'an, Humanity, Internal training, Kung Fu, life, Multi-cultural, Praying mantis, shaolin, tai chi, tai mantis, Zen
Categories : ch'an, Kung Fu, Praying mantis, shaolin, tai chi, Zen