All my content, including archival, will be available on line!

While I still have a TON of material in over 10 DVD’s available on AMAZON, the time has come when a lot of people just don’t buy physical DVD’s anymore. So I have finally decided to make ALL of my material downloadable / watchable on line.

Beginning today, material will begin to appear at Furthermore, much of the material will be re-edited; if you bought the original DVD you will find bonus footage, much of it from the archives and/or the “lost DVD” set which was never released.

Eventually, I will also upload on here all the material that is sitting on my VHS and needs to be digitized. This will include rare footage of Chan Tai San and footage from the fight vault.

Once again, beginning today, material will begin to appear at

The pivotal moments in the history of Chinese martial arts

Perhaps one of the greatest ironies of Chinese martial arts is that perhaps the most pivotal moments in its history and development are not to be found in the thousands of years of Chinese history but rather in the rather short period of less than three decades between the Boxer Rebellion and the War with Japan. The Chinese martial artist was almost univerally rejected by society, while confronted by foreign methods (Japanese Judo and western boxing) and modern approaches to physical training (the so called military gymnastics and the modern physical education movement).

Practical application was still a consideration; in urban areas, in the training of military and police, and ultimately on the battlefields of the War with Japan and the civil war. Of course, the context of application had changed. Some chose not to abandon practical application, while others exited the period having all but abandoned the idea.

Men such as Chang Dong Sheng (常東昇) and Chan Tai San (陳泰山) camed of age in this period, trained by those who had trained in a period before these considerations. They fought “for real”, pursued careers in branches of the military, and also embraced “sport” or “competition” which had been introduced by the Guoshu movement and it’s sponsored events. Chan Tai San certainly spent time in the modern sports apparatus of the Communist mainland, but he was a link to a period before it and largely disconnected from it. Chang Dong Sheng transplanted to Taiwan, which provided a different context for the development of his methods.

In my estimation, these are the “missing links”. They are the small cracks of light in the larger malaise of those who abandoned practical application, embraced the fantastical (ironically re-embracing the nonsese of the Yi He Quan!), or want to obscure.

A tangled web indeed

Sometimes, if you look closely in the background, you see things, like me at a major Chinese martial arts event from the past.

According to records Chan Tai San kept, which were surprisingly meticulous, he taught over 5000 people after arriving in the United States. He was friendly with the heads of four of the major schools in new York’s Chinatown and in the beginning he taught out of those schools. So he taught a lot of people with various martial arts affiliations. That is also why he did not initially set up a school, most of those training with him were not technically his students.

That people who trained with Chan Tai San, both as direct and indirect students, are still around and active in the martial arts world should really come as no surprise. Nor should it come as a surprise that many people came to train with his direct students when they began teaching.

But yet, I think some people would be shocked to learn that many of the people active in the NY area either trained with me at some point, or were trained by someone who trained with me. Those people probably don’t realize that the martial arts world has always been a tangled web, incestuous and complicated.

I’ve been filming stuff more than a decade now; a new “thing” in the martial arts world. So another thing you might notice if you look in the background is that “critics” often strangely (not so strangely really) appear in the background of those training sessions, seminars, tournaments and fight venues. Or, to borrow a quote…..

And all I can say is….

Conditioning and heart

I’ve posted this before, a “survival round” I do at testing for my intermediate students. Some carry on about how it’s sloppy, etc. But if you haven’t done it, you really don’t know how hard it is. Also, to quote a famous Chinese general, the practical is not pretty and the pretty is not practical.

A more technical explanation of this sort of training;