There are many Seminars and martial art events which take place around the country. Especially in big cities like Los Angelas and New York City. The following are upcoming Seminars/Workshops coming up in New York.
1. Free Tai Chi Workshop Friday November 1st with Alex Hing. He has free ongoing workshops every Friday which are held in battery park.
2. Seminar on internal Power in the martial arts
Sunday November 3rd with Kenneth Delves.
10am-1:30pm on Sunday. Cost $50
This seminar will be given at :
HEAVY HITTERS BOXING GYM
2100 ARCTIC AVE
BOHEMIA, NEW YORK ( SUFFOLK, NY)
C/O VETERANS HWAY- NEXT TO APPLESBEE RESTUARANT, NEAR THE ISLIP AIRPORT.
THE HOST WILL BE INTEGRATED FIGHTING ARTS- I.F.A.
3. FREE Weekly Women's "Smash" Self-Defense Class
CHKA - 34 Avenue A, 2nd Floor, New York, NY, 10009 (646) 692-6155
November 5th from 7:00-8:30 pm
Kung Fu Quest is a show which aired in march 2011. The show is great for any martial arts enthusiast interested in learning a little about Chinese Martial Arts. Every episode you will be lead by one of seven host who travel through out China in search of Martial art Masters of different styles of Kung-Fu Wu-Shu. The first episode takes a look at Wudang. You get an inside look at some of their training and life style at the temple.
All the host have some martial arts experience and go to train and learn a little about the specific art of that current episode. You learn a little about the history and basic training regimes of the respective art. Over all I think it is a great show to watch. I myself knowing about the history of specific arts will say to take what they say with a grain of salt. Many systems have many tall tails about the origins of there art which may not be entirely true. Many legends really have no historic evidence to back up the claims. None the less they are great stories which I love to hear. If you haven't seen this tv series check it out. It is on National Geographic.
You can watch it on tv on the National Geographic channel or online.
Studies done by neuroscientists have shown that meditation is not only beneficial but that there are immediate benefits that can be shown just from practicing for a week. Many people try new forms of exercise but sometimes like a diet plan do not stick with it to see the long-term effects. Neuroscientist recently conducted a experiment with fifteen volunteers. The volunteers underwent Mindful meditation for 4 days. They engaged in a daily practice of 20 minutes of meditation. The pain that subjects felt due to a metal plate placed on their right calf was reduced by 57 percent and its intensity by 40 percent. This is of coarse a small study that was conducted and the metal plate placed on their calf was not hot enough to burn the subjects.
When looking at the brain activity of monks they found that there was a dramatic increase in the high-frequency EEG electrical activity in the gamma band (25-42 oscillations per second). What all this means is that they have unique brain waves and more brain activity than the average person. A greater ability to focus their attention, withstand pain, relax the body and change the physical structure of their brain. Overall improved brain function. Meditation is not just important for martial artist as I have written about in a previous blog post but for everyone. While knowing of its benefits is great the only way to truly appreciate it is to actually try some meditation for yourselves.
To read the full article you may click on the following link below.
Neuroscientists and the Dalai Lama Swap Insights on Meditation
Lau Kar-leung (28 July 1934 – 25 June 2013)
Lau Kar-Leung was in the film industry for over 60 years. He is well known for movies he did such as “36 Chambers of Shaolin,” “Eight Diagram poles,” and “Drunken Master 2.” Lau worked as an extra and choreographer on black and white Wong Fei-hung movies before he became well known.
He became famous while working for the Shaw brothers in the 1970’s and 1980’s. He starred in many films as well as directing the choreography. He was 76 years old and will be greatly missed but forever remembered. A Hung Gar master and film star who brought Kung-Fu to the big screen.
Meditation has been around for over thousands of years. It’s an ancient practice utilized by many and rapidly gaining more recognition for its health benefits, especially in our fast paced society today. Well, what is meditation?
My definition is the following: Meditation is an altered state of mind where both the conscious and subconscious mind our awakened while maintaining a relaxed mental state. The meaning and purpose of a meditation practice varies depending on its context.
One benefit of all meditation is relaxation and some people practice and focus on just relaxing the body and mind. For the martial artist Relaxation is just the beginning. Especially when you talk about internal martial arts where one must learn to control and move the internal energy. Meditation also allows a person to clear their mind, relax and better focus at the current task at hand. Everyone from the martial artist to the executive at work can benefit from this.
Meditation has helped me personally in many ways. From clearing and relaxing my mind to relieving back tension, focusing energy for breaking in martial arts and even stopping my daily cravings for coffee everyday. And these are just a few of the benefits I have experienced.
Meditation helps with the following:
The following are links with further information on the health benefits of meditation.
Meditation: A Simple, fast way to reduce stress.
Meditate to Create
The unique brain anatomy of meditation practitioners
In legendary Chen Village, everyone is a martial arts master, using their powerful Chen Style Tai Chi in all aspects of their lives. Lu Chan has arrived to train and learn Tai Chi, however the villagers are forbidden to teach Chen Style to outsiders. They do their best to discourage him by challenging him to a series of fights. Everyone, from strong men to young children, fight and beat him using their Tai Chi. Watch the movie to find out how he wins their favor and learns Chen Tai Chi.
While most of the story is fabricated Lu Chan is a real historical character who traveled to Chen village and learned Tai Chi from Cheng Chang-Hsing. The movie is interesting and different in a way I can not explain. It has great action and is comical. The way the film was shot is what I found interesting and different. On a scale of 1-5 I would give it about a 3.5. 4 would be the highest. A great film which came out in 2012. You can stream it live on Netflix as well.
I think it is great promotion for Tai Chi Chuan. Some of it is not all realistic for Tai Chi. For example, jump kicks. However, it is a movie. Great for a Kung-Fu Movie night!
I started watching Kung Fu movies at around age 5. From than until now this is one of my favorite martial arts films. I always enjoyed martial arts films with great martial arts being executed, which packed a lesson as well.
This movie was a remake to Bruce Lee's famous, Chinese Connection. And a successful remake. The film is set in the early 20th century in Shanghai International Settlement. The film starts with Chen Zen (Jet Li) as a Chinese student studying at a Japanese university and engaged to a Japanese woman. He shortly after gets news of his Martial arts Masters death. Chen Zen (Jet Li) ends up going to avenge his masters death by the end of the film. To defeat the Japanese martial artist he has to learn to adapt his fighting. There is also the idea of hard vs soft in the film. Yin and Yang which you see with his final battle.
The below clip is of Jet Li dueling with his more senior Kung Fu brother at the Jingu Wu School of their late master. Jet Li is in my opinion is one of the best Modern Wu-Shu actors to date.
In my very first blog post I talk about the meaning of Wu Shu but explain that the term is meant to represent modern or exhibition Wu-Shu. So what happened in the History of Chinese martial arts to force a change in chinese martial arts? Why modern Wu-Shu and Traditional. Well below is a great article short and sweet about Wu-Shu and its beginnings.
The below article is courtesy of Al Case at FreeMartialArtsOnline.com
The Sad Tale of Wu Shu and the People’s Republic of China
Are You Learning this Tragic Wu Shu!
To learn Wu Shu is the same as learning Jujitsu from Barack Obama. Or maybe Goju Ryu Karate from William Jefferson Clinton. Or, maybe…Kung Fu as taught by Nancy Pelosi!
You may think I am having a little fun with you, but there is a dark underbelly to all this. When the government decides to take over a business, you see, it tends to destroy, corrupt and confound that business. And I am talking any government, and any business, and specifically the martial arts
Kung Fu, for instance, thousands of years old, has been spreading long life, health, good physical conditioning, and some of the best darned self-defense in the world. Then along came Chairman Mao, and the death of Kung Fu was at hand. The vehicle used for the destruction of the one of the greatest arts the world has ever known was called The Cultural Revolution.
During the Cultural Revolution Mao decided to kill off elements of society that he deemed dangerous, or corruptive, or whatever. Thus, the population was carted off wholesale and killed, 70,000,000 of them. If you were intelligent, talented, or stood out in any manner, you were dead.
If you were a school teacher, wore corrective lenses, or had written a book, you were dead. If you spoke against communism or played the violin, you were dead. If you knew Kung Fu, you were dead.
Once the Revolution had run its course, the country began to rebuild, in the image of Mao. Funny thing, as China tried to catch up with a world that was still possessed of talent and intelligence, it discovered that there was a lot of interest in this thing called Kung Fu. Unfortunately, they had a problem, as they had killed off Kung Fu.
So, what does a government do when it has killed a martial art, and then found that it needs it? Simple, you hire a few coaches and have them make up some stuff. So they hired a bunch of coaches, the ones who hadn’t known enough Kung Fu to be killed off during the revolution, read any manuals that survived the book burnings, and make up some martial arts all on their own, and they called it Wu Shu.
They were particularly intent on making sure that the Kung Fu didn’t have anything harmful in it. You don’t want people able to actually do the thing for self defense. Heck, you don’t want them having a real Great Revolution!
This article is courtesy of Al Case at FreeMartialArtsOnline.com
With that said I want to make it clear that I still have an appreciation for Wu-Shu. I don't personally believe they totally killed Kung Fu in China but severely diminished the amount of qualified teachers. Modern Wu-Shu in my opinion focuses more on the artistic side of martial arts than on the martial. This is evident in the short clip below where you can clearly see a 2 man sparring set done for performance. When it comes to acrobatics they are king.
I saw this video this week and loved it so much I thought it was worth sharing. To see a baby move like that would be cool. It is an amazing video and I think something any martial artist would get a kick out of seeing. And the 3d animation is spectacular. Don't piss off this baby!
Hurricane Sandy was a tropical cyclone that devastated many parts of the Caribbean, Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern parts of the United States. On October 28th 2012, New York City began to feel the wrath of this storm as it entered the city.
When I lost power in my building where I live I expected it could happen as I live close to the water. I also lost water in my building. I prepared myself freezing my milk and juice and other items as well as buying canned goods because I don't even keep canned goods in my cabinets just because I prefer not to eat them. But canned goods have a place in everyone's homes for storms like this one. After the storm left its trail of destruction I had no water and no electricity. I had a battery operated radio as my only connection to what was going on outside of the NYC blackout. My baby son had enough milk for two days but by Tuesday I knew I needed to find more for the next day.
I had to walk down 23 flights of stairs in the dark, which I did with ease as I looked outside with my wife and son for something and found nothing. I walked my Wife and son safely up 23 flights knowing I would have to go back out to find milk and a couple more items. Many elderly people were in the building who had trouble getting about. More surprisingly were younger people who had trouble climbing those stairs without taking a break or gasping for air.
I walked from around Chambers Street to 58th street looking not just for anything but specific food items one being milk like Horizons Organic Milk that is sold in single serve containers. This milk is shelf stable meaning it will not go bad if not refrigerated. I must have made eight different stops at deli's mostly till I found a supermarket open. And I found the milk eventually as well as other food items. And I made it back home the same way I came and up 23 flights of stairs again. Now you may be thinking to yourself, well why didn't you take a taxi? Well I had $10 dollars to my name and had to find a bank because $10 dollars may only get me to 14th street. I thought of everything except extra pocket cash, learned my lesson. I found a bank first and went hunting for what my family would need. Now what in the world does this have to do with martial arts?
I tell my little story not to complain, but because I had too and it was okay for me. My body could handle it because I stay active. And I attribute my active lifestyle greatly to kung-Fu and the training. Some would say big deal you are crazy for doing all that, others say they can do it. Well fine! Yet I thank God I have the ability to do that because in life many things can happen and sometimes you can only prepare so much. And I saw once again how important it is to have your health at such times. And it was a time that I was grateful that my family didn’t get hurt and proud of my years of hard work and training. Thanks to Kung-Fu I could walk to the Bronx if I had too. And an important part of Kung-Fu is longevity. It Saved me at least $40 dollars on transportation. I lost around $80 dollars in spoiled food, which becomes an added expense anyway. And I wouldn’t think twice about the walk because my body could handle it when pushed to what some would consider extreme limits.
"Perfection is sometimes found in imperfection"