Saturday, 1 December 2018

Last post for the Year

So we have arrived at December...

The closing time for my office is near, I am looking forward to some time off and for once- we as a family can get together for Christmas and put the work and issues aside.

I was actually wondering what I was going to write about.

This week, however, one martial artist has gotten a lot of attention from me.

Meet Chintya Candranaya!

Image result for chintya candranaya

Now- I know I always said that I prefer Kung Fu and Karate, but this lady has just managed to get me sold on Pencak Silat. Where with Taekwondo I often looked and said "That looks so much like Karate..." I have come to see a huge amount of similarities between Kung Fu and Silat.

One of the internal exercises that Chintya does in her video on shin conditioning actually looks like an exercise from Shaolin.

Image result for chintya candranaya

Image result for chintya candranaya


I don't know about Chintya's healing factor, but she seems to have an adamantium skeleton. She bends blades, roundhouse kicks really hard objects with her shins and strikes metal poles into bends with her hands and wrists.

Image result for chintya candranaya

Image result for chintya candranaya

Still- she is really pleasant and comes across as a very friendly person in her videos.

Like D K Yoo she uses attackers that come at her while wearing padding and motorcycle helmets. You can clearly see that she can topple men larger than her with her kicks and that her punches have real power.


https://youtu.be/5jCH4imwoIE


So- Silat is defeinitely a martial art that I will be looking into in the years ahead. I think a lot of Muay Thai and MMA fans would also love it.

As many of you know by now- I may be taking a break from blogging during the holidays, but not from training.

A special treat that may or may not happen during these holidays, though, is that I will be trying out my first real-life Yoga class.

If you are committed to a dojo and there is no class for the holidays, you might also want to take that of time to try out something new.

Whatever you do, I hope you all have a blessed festive season and a prosperous new year waiting for you!


Train well!




Saturday, 24 November 2018

Function and Form


Hi, everyone

Recently I have made the fat gathering around my waist my enemy and have kicked my training into high gear to burn as much of it as possible.

That is one of the things for which a style with punches and kicks is good for. Personal trainers tell us that to burn fat we have to use as many muscles as we can and focus on large muscles rather than just the limbs. Well- those high kicks don't just come from the legs...

In fact- even a simple punch involves the use of other muscles than those of the arm.


It was in this heightened enthusiasm that I have decided to shift my focus away from things like turning my leg so that my roundhouse kick hits with the flat part of my instep rather than the edge of the foot on the big toe's side and move it towards hitting and kicking hard and on time.

Well- one of the main effects of doing that is that you get faster and strike harder, but the other is that one's technique just does not look as beautiful.

This seems to be an inescapable truth for us.

I love Kungfu and spend a lot of time on it. I have to admit, though- the only time I saw kungfu moves look as beautiful and crisp in a fight as they do in forms was in a movie.


Image result for wushu

Image result for wushu

Image result for wushu


So- what if people moved in forms as if they were really attacking and defending? Ummm well... I reckon it would look something like Kyokushin katas.



Image result for kyokushin karate kata

Image result for kyokushin karate kata

Image result for kyokushin karate kata


If you are training by yourself this is something that you have to keep in mind. If your plan is to just learn as many forms as possible and do them perfectly- then stay out of fights.

I have a couple of katas that I do for training and the blows in each of them can break bones. These katas won't win a gold medal at any tournament, though.


Related image


Likewise- I can focus on things like foot placement, the distance between my elbow and ribs and get a medal, but I won't dare be bothered with this kind of stuff while fighting.

Keep well and train hard!

I notice now that I am already at the second last post for this year!

What ever shall I write about next week? :D


Saturday, 17 November 2018

Finally! The Iron Shirt!

"He who knows how to live can walk abroad
Without fear of rhinocerous or tiger.
He will not be wounded in battle.
For in him rhinoceroses can find no place to thrust their horn,
Tigers can find no place to use their claws,
And weapons no place to pierce.
Why is this so? Because he has no place for death to enter."

-Tao Te Ching- Chapter 50


In all forms of conditioning in Chinese martial arts the Iron Shirt is at the core. 

Body conditioning in boxing and Western Karate is what we regard as external exercises. To the monks of Shaolin and the priests of Mount Wudang, however, the Iron Shirt is an internal skill.

This means that in the old traditions toughening the body to fight was not just a matter of doing a specific set of physical exercises, but it is also a matter of cultivating the right state of mind and spirit in order to take blows in a fight without being impeded.

The physical exercise itself can take a couple of different forms. In Shaolin Kung Fu and Taijiquan this wire brush that is held by Sifu Yan Lei in the picture below is a good start. All areas that you are able to reach on the body is hit with this brush. As you become able to take harder blows you would naturally hit yourself harder. 

I don't have a wire brush like that, so I have always been using my knife hand and fists to toughen the ribs, abdominal muscles, sternum and chest muscles. I also gently punch my brow, sides of my face and jaw to get used to receiving face punches. The thing you don't want to do to your head, though, is shaking your brain. So- if you feel you are giving yourself a headache, you are hitting too hard. What you are going for is to feel pain that is only skin deep.

With the rest of the body, however, you want to work your way towards receiving hard blows.

Image result for iron shirt kung fu

I have had my ribs broken once during a full contact Mu Sool class. It was just plain embarrassing... Second time was during a Karate class.
Image result for sanchin testing

Doctors tell you that it takes about 6 weeks for this kind of injury to heal and in some cases the damage can be permanent.

Still- you can't do martial arts training without this kind of contact. Whether you are doing Kung Fu, Karate, Taekwondo or Kickboxing you are going to receive hard blows.

With the body you are looking for 2 types of conditioning: toughening the abs and hardening the sternum and ribs. While the first concern for many of us may be getting winded by a surprise kick the thing that can cost you six weeks out of training is that kick that cracks or even breaks your ribs.

After recovery from the second fracture I have started to drop a 6kg kettle bell on my stomach and chest 10 times once a week. This is done while lying on my back. With my stomach it started out from half and arm's length away and has now progressed to a full arm's length. With my chest I have started a centimeter away. Now I am at 3/4 of an arm's length. The changes took place over about  3 years...


Image result for goku shot by bulma

Something that I would definitely recommend is practicing Judo Ukemi (breakfalls) if you have a mat. A body that is tough enough to fall is definitely tough enough to take punches and kicks. At least its bones are.

That is it about what you physically do to train your body to become like armour. Now- very importantly- I have to tell you what has to happen on the inside- the part that somebody won't be able to see by just looking at what you are doing.

I think lots of Karate people will agree with me that it is one thing to take a blow during a conditioning drill and another to receive one during a fight. The reason for that is that many of us tense up the necessary muscles when we know the blow is coming. Now- trust me- the answer is definitely not walking around with tensed pecs and abs all day.

The answer lies in something much more balanced.

For one- you are not going to hold your breath. While you remain ready to receive a blow you should still be breathing. How your body must be while you are breathing is another thing...

Aikido students will know of this: When your wrist is grabbed, clench your fist and try to escape. Managed to do so? Okay- those who did not- you actually got your wrist grabbed by someone who is actually stronger than you. Try it again, but this time- open up your hand. Straighten those fingers and focus on letting blood and energy flow into your hand. I am sure that the person holding your wrist will feel the difference...

Now- get someone to grab you in a strong bear hug. Plant your feet and now get your whole body to do what your wrist did when you opened up your hand.

I have done this a couple of times and these days a bear hug from behind only means to me that my assailant was stupid enough to occupy both of his hands while leaving his ribs open to a merciless assault.

This is why we train...


One of the biggest benefits of this form of readiness is that it lets energy flow throughout the body to all the limbs and as a consequence- your posture also improves. The tensed-up, hunched over posture we find with boxers and MMA fighters (who most likely got it from the boxers) takes its toll on the body over a prolonged period of time and a lot of people who do this are often seen walking around with hunched backs and shoulders outside the gym.

In Wu Style Taijiquan (and Wenhsiuquan) the Iron Shirt as what I have described above is the state in which the body starts the Taiji form. In some styles of Karate (Definitely Shukokai and Kyokusinkai, but some time ago JKA Shotokan did not do this...) this is the state in which the body enters when you go into the Yoi posture and it is maintained throughout the kata and whenever you are in kamae.

Mentally it is a state of being ready to receive the blow, but not waiting for it. It is also the state in which one attacks.

An advanced form of the Iron Shirt is the Golden Bell Cover which enables the body to deflect attacks from bladed and piercing weapons. I am not going to cover that and have definitely not trained in it to be honest. Still- it is an awesome skill...


This is the last post on conditioning now. Hopefully, next Saturday, I will have a fresh idea of what to write about. To all of you who read and follow this blog-

A BIG THANK YOU!

It means a lot to me to see people taking interest in the things I enjoy so much in this life.


Stay well and enjoy training!





Saturday, 10 November 2018

Toughening the shins and forearms


Some of the benefits of martial arts training remain hidden until that moment when something unexpected happens and you find yourself handling it much better than how you used to in the distant past.

One such benefit revealed itself to me when my shin bumped against a chair in the dark one night and the chair said "ow!". Okay! Okay! :D The chair did not say anything. It just moved a bit, but I was fine. This- however- did not come cheap and there is no shortcut to it, I am afraid. If you are considering starting with this type of training when you are 40 I'd say you will find yourself disappointed.

The conditioning of my shins was an investment I have started making back in my early 20's and the actual toughness, which amongst others include the ability to kick a broomstick in two, only showed up during my mid 30's.

That's not all, though. Who's ever blocked a mae geri (front kick) with gedan barai (lower parry) during Karate class and had your training partner hopping around on one leg?

By now you probably know that Kung Fu and Karate are just about my favourite martial arts in existence, although I have a huge love for grappling arts like Aikido, Taijiquan (you knew it is mainly grappling, right?) and Jujutsu.

In striking arts like Karate, though, the first thing many of us realise when we start sparring is that our bodies weren't made for the abuse dealt by fighting.   Sure- that is what we get reminded of in the dojo on a regular basis. Some of you who just learn moves off the internet and avoid contact situations until you are in an actual fight learn this kind of thing first hand when you actually have to fight.

We as humans tend to shield ourselves with our forearms when we know blows are coming. Us trained humans use these limbs to deflect or redirect blows directed at us. Still- these limbs can get injured and even worse- fractured...

Chinese masters will tell you the importance of including lots of fish in your diet for strong bones. You can take that to heart. I am glad not to be lactose intolerant and make sure to get in enough milk as well, because let's face it- the exercises that I am about to discuss here don't strengthen your bones, they actually damage them. The strengthening comes from the time you use to let these bones rest and recover. Your body then replaces the broken bone tissue with stronger tissue that will be able to take the strain. Still- it needs materials, like calcium and phosphorus with which to make that tissue, so your diet is really important.

Apart from the diet, your Sifu would most likely prescribe something like this as well.

Image result for kung fu liniment

Liniments like these are by no means a magic potion that knits bones together faster, but rather a blend of herbs that help blood circulation in injured areas and ease pain. I will admit, however, that it does help making the discoloration disappear faster.

Many people don't even bother to use these liniments, though, and I am sure in most cases people don't even know about them or- even IF they know, they are not able to find them.

Now- the first exercise for toughening forearms so that they can block a fair amount of punches to keep you in the game is simple.

It is something we call ...

                                                              ...SPARRING...

I am not kidding here. Thing is- in martial arts like Karate you find that the senior students have really tough forearms. Well... what do you expect to happen with years of blocking people's blows, having your blows blocked and let's not mention those ippon kumite sessions in the senior classes...

Still- if you want to focus on that particular body part and rather do an exercise that does just that-

here you go...

 Image result for forearm conditioning kung fu

Chinese Kungfu students know this as 3 Star Blocking. The concept is as simple as it is effective. Partners pair up and hit their forearms against one another using the blocks Karate people are used to doing in their katas.

Teachers advise that the point of impact should be that bony part of the forearm right at the point where the muscle starts. I have often seen and heard people saying that you have to block with the muscular part of the forearm. I say- sure- it probably hurts you the least that way, but I can tell you somebody is less eager to hit you again when his arm got a decent knock from a piece of hardened bone...

This exercise is really worth it. 

But okay- some of us train alone.

No problem...

Image result for forearm conditioning kung fu

I love this exercise. The pole, stick or iron bar could be one of a number of things we find in the yard or at the gym. Those bar bells at the gym? Remove the weights and you got something to use. Okay- some of the toughest among us can keep the weights on, but you have to be able to shoot it up into the air...

This exercise- which I really have no name for- is done by laying the bar across both forearms and then using a slight bend of the arms and a twitch to launch the bar into the air. You then catch it with the forearms and let it roll back to the elbows where it can get shot back up again to repeat the sequence. Not only does it help develop strong bones in the forearms, but it also helps develop that fast twitch action which we use in our punches.

  Image result for forearm conditioning kung fu


If you are fortunate enough to have a wooden dummy like this you have absolutely no problem working those wrists...

Now- let's talk about the shins...

Image result for shin conditioning for muay thai

I guess that Jean Claude Van Damme has made sure that many of us will never forget this kind of thing...

If you want to kick trees, though- you do it at your own risk.

If you have not noticed yet- your shin has a fleshy side and a bony side. You will need to toughen both, but I'd say the bony side needs it more, because that is the part that hurts the most when it gets hit.

I have taken the approach of killing two birds with one stone by using my knife hand to hit the fleshy part while hitting the bony part with my knuckles. That is me, though...

If you want to use something other than your bare hands you can use this...

Image result for shin conditioning for muay thai

No, Bam Bam! You don't whack your legs with the rolling pins! You roll the pin over your shins. Glass soda bottles also work really well.


Also- if the bodybuilding guys at your gym are not busy with it- you can borrow this again...

Image result for shin conditioning for muay thai


I can't really say how long it will take you to see results, but in my case it took about a decade. The thing is- people have different strengths, weaknesses, talents and body types.

Still- martial arts training is never a waste of time!

Join me next week when I talk about body conditioning with a most expected and essential mention of the famed Iron Shirt technique of Shaolin Kung Fu!





Saturday, 3 November 2018

Conditioning the fingers


Hi, everyone!

I am back and ready to give you my latest blog post.

We are still on conditioning and this is the last part of the hands that I am going to discuss, namely the fingers.

Kung fu seems to take unarmed fighting really really far in that its techniques do not only include punching, striking, kicking and throwing, but also grabbing and tearing.

Techniques like Tiger Claw and Eagle Claw are known to rip chunks of flesh from an opponent. In less extreme cases a limb gets rendered useless due to the damage it does to muscles.

What Kung Fu and Karate have in common where fingers are concerned is that both these martial arts have in their arsenals techniques that involve striking or thrusting with the fingers.

This is just about the point where I sometimes think that these martial arts may be taking things too far. One would think that having fists, palms and elbows to strike with would be enough, but fingers...?

Nonetheless- the striking of vital points on the body with a part of the body smaller than the fist makes a lot of sense to students of Kyusho and Snake Fist Kung Fu. The fingers as they naturally are, however, do not make really good weapons, so a fair amount of conditioning is needed.

Here are some of the exercises that I have identified as excellent ways to strengthen the fingers:


1. Thrusting into sand


Image result for finger conditioning for kung fu

This is still a trusted and safe way to strengthen the fingers for strikes and thrusts. A bowl or bucket of dry sand is the only equipment you need. You can thrust your spear hand/ snake fist into the sand or just claw into it by digging the fingers into the sand with the eagle claw. After a year of doing this you are likely to be able to strike an opponent's solar plexus quite hard with the fingertips with a reasonable result. I know of people who could even bruise ribs with fingers conditioned with this exercise.


2. Catching a concrete/ cinder block:

Image result for finger conditioning for kung fuImage result for finger conditioning for kung fu

I particularly love this exercise. Not only does it help you develop a really strong grip, but it also helps making your hand nimbler and trains the catch/ grab reflex that one uses in defense (blocking, trapping and immobilizing) and attacks (eagle claw grabs to targets like the throat).

3. Taming the Tiger

Honestly I do not do so well on this exercise. This is finger push-ups that are done on all 5 fingertips of each hand pushing into the ground in the Tiger Claw form. What I don't like about it is that the fingers, especially the thumb, tend to bend under your weight, causing you to press down with the flat parts of the finger joints instead of the fingertips. I personally prefer to lean against a wall supported by my fingers. It still puts a strain on the fingers, but does not bend the joints as badly.



4. The jar gripping exercise

In traditional Okinawan Karate as well as its predecessor Toudi we find the weight training tools known as mi-ichi or strength stones. In Shaolin we find ceramic jars with a similar shape. What both these training tools have is a shape that allows for one to pick them up by the top with the fingers. Once picked up the hands are then rotated by the wrist joint to swing the jars in circles.

While this exercise develops strong fingers as well as wrists I have found that the strengthened bones also make for a harder fist.


5. Sand bags

These bags need not be very big. In fact- I have only seen small ones like the ones in these photos below being used.

Image result for finger conditioning for kung fu

Striking these bags with the fingertips may not feel like a big deal at the beginning, but will start showing results after a year.

Image result for finger conditioning for kung fu

I have taken to hitting a normal heavy bag with a snake fist as seen in Shaolin Kung Fu and a Spear Hand like the one used in Shotokan's Heian Nidan and Heian Sandan.


Strong fingers are not a requirement in most of the modern martial arts styles that get taught these days. If you feel like developing this skill in any event- you really do not need to rush it. Or rather-
You SHOULD NOT rush it. Rather start out too lightly and gradually work your way up to harder training. The thing is- regular practice that is kept up over a long period of time will always give much better results than training that gets interrupted by fractures that need to recover.

With that having been said I wish you all a good week and good training!




Saturday, 20 October 2018

Conditioning the Palms

Image result for iron palm training

One of the first differences between Kung Fu forms and those of Karate that I have noticed when I got into Kung Fu was the use of the palm.

In Karate we have a descending hammer fist strike, an inward knife hand, knife hand thrust and a straight punch and of course a palm thrust or teisho tsuki.

Go through the Kung Fu styles derived from Shaolin and Wudang and you find that they have a straight forward palm strike, a downward palm strike and an inward palm strike.

Image result for iron palm training


I guess the palm of the hand is about as central in Kung Fu, especially Wudang Kungfu, as the fist is in Karate.

Interesting to note- while the traditional fighting styles of the Ryukyu are known to have the te (hand)- suffix Chinese martial arts can be found to have the suffix quan(fist) or zhang(palm).

The most well-known palm style is Baguazhang (Eight Trigram Palm) of Wudang.

Image result for neji eight trigrams

Yes, Naruto fans- such a style really exists....

Also- while in Karate we have known tameshiwari (breaking) demonstrations using the knife hand, fist, foot, elbow, forearm and thrusting palm, Kungfu is known to have its Iron Palm breaking demonstrations which do not necessarily use the palm in a thrust, but rather with a slap or strike.

 This difference is key if you want to know how to condition the palms.

Sure- you can use the Red Sand method that I am not going to discuss in detail here. (Simple reason is I don't use it and the means with which to practice it, which would be a large wok-like container filled with iron filings over a fire to heat the filing to the red colour, are not readily available to us all.) 

A nice way to start is with this exercise called "Lohan Kicking Oranges". Your legs get a good stretch from this one while your palms gt kicked with the shins.



In Karate we have forms that contain a roundhouse elbow strike into the palm. Doing this movement repeatedly ought to have the same effect. In Wudang Taiji forms we see the palms getting hit with the back of the fist or the bottom thereof. I do a lot thereof after my punching bag workouts.

Fortunately the palms are quite tough, so not so much caution is needed when moving on to harder objects like tree trunks or wooden poles as you would with a closed fist.

For this reason self defense teachers often recommend that one attacks the face or head with the palm rather than the fist.

Training the palms can also have an internal aspect to it. If anyone is interested in learning about it they can ask me in the comment section of anyplace where they see this post.

It is not uncommon to find Chinese martial artists completely devoted to palm techniques almost to the conclusion of everything else. The reason for this is that the palms are the first place through which students of these arts learn to channel force.

  Image result for ryu hadouken


Related image

This is where the inspiration for the ki blasts seen in anime comes from as well.

Still- it is good to know what kind of force you are training for. Slapping the surface of water for prolonged periods of time will develop a toughness in the skin and flesh of the palm and would help to develop a slap or strike that can unleash a lot of explosive power.

Thrusting blows against a tree trunk not only gives one the ability to send someone flying back with a single push, but also toughens the bones of the forearms. This eventually makes these bones less susceptible to fracturing if you fall.


That brings us to the end of today's post.

I just remembered that I have to tell you in advance that next week will not have a post. I will be away for the weekend to celebrate the wedding of my younger brother. :D


The weekend thereafter, though, will have my post on conditioning fingers.






Saturday, 13 October 2018

Conditioning the fists





Hi!

Thanks to the good response last week's post had I am happy to give you the follow-up on that.

Since I got a suggestion to start with hands I decided to break that up into three parts, being one for knuckles, one for the other parts of the hand that we use to strike and then lastly, developing the type of grip that is an attack in itself.

Those of you who do boxing most likely know that the reason boxers wear gloves have nothing to do with hurting the other guy less. I mean come on! Get serious! Why would a sport where you can win by knocking the other guy out care at all about making punches less painful...? :D

The reason why boxers wear gloves is that a person's skull is actually very hard and can actually break the bones of the hand when you hit it with your fist.



Image result for kung fu iron fist conditioning

Besides that, fighters in the China and Okinawa of old knew very well what the value was of having one's bones harder than those of your adversary. Sure- a punch in the chest can wind a guy, but what if it can separate the sternum from the ribs and disable him right away... That would be like being... I don't know... a living weapon, right?

Image result for kung fu iron fist conditioning


On the more compassionate side of things, a warrior monk would use the ability to disable an adversary with one punch to end the fight before it escalates to the point where someone might or have to get killed. I mean- you can get the picture...

Guy attacks monk, monk punches the guy once to make him fall down on his back- probably too winded to get up right away. Monk says "Buddha bless you" and walks away...

Guy still lives and has gained the knowledge that it is a bad idea to mess with monks.


Whatever your reason for wanting an Iron Fist- you have to understand that it does not come overnight. To be frank- I can dent oil drums and break ceramic tiles now, but still can't break bricks- and I have been at this for 16 years now...

I have taken a look at the methods used by Karate and Kung Fu and have come up with these guidelines that can be applied to more than one style, type of equipment and environment.

1. Toughening the skin and the bones:

Weird as this may sound, Kung Fu seems to be more concerned with hardening the bones than the skin on the knuckles while Karate is famous for its knuckle callouses.

Which of the two you are training for really depends on how you apply contact to the knuckles.

Guitar players do not normally have deadly spear hand fingers, but we know that the findertips on their non-dominant hands have really thick layers of hard skin. These fingertips are the ones pushing the guitar's strings tightly against the fret board for long periods of time on end.

Similarly, push ups on the knuckles do not produce any impact or shock for the bones to absorb, but they do tell the skin on the knuckles that it is going to need to get thicker to keep protecting the bone underneath.

Any kind of impact should start out with padding. In Karate we have the makiwara. I have found that a normal punching bag actually works really well. I am especially fond of a heavy bag.


2. Gradual progression:

Shaolin's Iron fist has these steps:

1. Knuckle push-ups

2. The telephone book/ several layers of cloth/ paper against a wall (yes- the telephone book is quite a modern addition to an age old training method.)

3. Sand bag.

4. Bag filled with iron ball bearings (about the size of buck shot pellets. Come on!- Otherwise you might as well go punch a kettle bell!)

5. Trees, wooden posts and whatever else you feel you can take.

Now- different people have different rates of healing, so an exact time period for each step can't really be set for everybody. To be safe, however, I'd say that a year of continuous training at each step ought to do before progressing to the next.


3. Don't start with putting your body behind the punch.

This is a huge mistake when it comes to conditioning. Sure- it is good technique for kata and fighting to put the hip into it and to drive the fist right through the target. I can guarantee you, however, that if it comes down between you and that tree trunk about which one is going to break it will not be the tree trunk.

Still- introducing a fair amount of impact to the fist over time will build up to the point where a couple of hard objects can be hit at full power without injury. One needs to have patience, though.


4. Take time for the bone to heal.

I give my hands a space of 6 days in between to heal. The process of hardening bone acutally involves making small cracks in the bones (yes- that is what happens when you punch stuff!) and then letting those cracks seal up again with stronger bone tissue. Chinese ointments or medicinal wine that get applied through the skin after submerging the hands in warm water serve to help the body's natural healing process. If you do not have these things submerging the hands in warm water still help a lot and open hand qigong movements help prevent arthritis from setting in at a later stage.

Believe me- that shaking in your fingers after a session on the makiwara or wooden dummy is a sign of nerve damage.

Relax, though- keeping the hands and fingers loose and flexible with massage, stretching and whatever other means will ensure that your hands remain good for more things than just hitting.


I know we don't all have wooden dummies or punching bags, but these guidelines can be applied to whatever you may have on hand where you are.


Now that today's post is done with I also would like to thank Martial Arts Forums for having been the primary forum on which my blog posts got shared. I don't really know when this shutdown is coming, but when it does I will still be going strong under my Facebook and Twitter accounts. Something tells me the Wenhsiuquan Facebook page is long overdue anyway...

Dan Djurdevic, Jackie Bradbury, Randy Brown, Silatku Keluarga Hasdi, Colman Fink and Sensei Ando- I know where to find you out here on the internet. :) I really hope to hear more from all of you.

Until next week- Keep on training!