Saturday, 20 December 2014

Happy Holidays, everyone!



A big thank you to my blog readers and to the ones who have purchased my first book.

Having got some long awaited time off work I am going to enjoy my holiday workouts for the 2 weeks ahead.

If you have time to train as well in this festive season- I hope you take full advantage thereof. 


Best wishes to you all and lots of fun training!

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

2 more forms


One of these forms use the leopard fist in my favourite ways. My fingertips (and also those of a lot of people I know) are not strong enough for snake fist and spear hand, but anyone can use a leopard fist. 

In Japanese it is known as "hiraken" or "half fist"


For those of you who need a picture- here's two. This fist's two easiest target areas are the ribs and larynx. From the right position you can also attack the kidneys.

The other form- again has more throws. Two of the techniques in this form deal with a straight push/ punch by grabbing the attacking limb and pulling it in. This is how leg or hip throws can get executed. Three of the other attacks uproot the opponent by seizing on of his legs.

It is already a given that we do not fight in the same way we do kata. This is exercise- not fighting.

It is also a good way to memorise techniques and to work on them while not under fire.

What self defense techniques do you like to practice that are totally banned from competition?  


Saturday, 6 December 2014

Over my dead body!- I will not give up my style of martial art! Even if I lose a fight...

For how many years do you plan to practice your martial art if this is all that it is about?

Brutal as this looks- it is a sport and not real fighting. Preferring to get hit harder and hitting your training partners harder because it is "more realistic" actually amounts to you kidding yourself.


There are a lot of people out there with absolutely no formal training that can do the same thing. What do you really expect to learn from your school?


The poise alone already tells you that these monks learnt more than just fighting.


Knowledge of techniques like the Golden Bell Cover as demonstrated above is disappearing. So also with the more mundane Iron Shirt technique. We can't allow this knowledge, and the abilities it brings, to disappear in history.


Sparring with a Pushing Hands expert is a worthwhile experience. I really hope that the next generation of martial artists will also have the opportunity to do so.


No. It is not real fighting, but it is beautiful. More importantly- it is precious to me and I shall do everything in my power to promote it and to protect it.


Before I start a very long tirade let me tell you a little story about myself. For a very large part of my karate training I was beaten up in kumite practice by people who did not use the technique that we were taught. Even worse- on two occasions, outside the dojo, I was attacked and beaten up by people with absolutely NO training. 

That all changed when I got hold of Bruce Lee's Tao of Jeet Kune Do. Sparring was a lot of fun then. Where my opponents were limited to moving forwards and backward, hitting with straight punches and mostly 2 different kinds of kick I was slipping, ducking and had a variety of punches and kicks to employ- of which the most were not practiced by most karateka over here.

It was great and I felt that I have found the ultimate martial arts knowledge. I just had to do whatever worked. Technique was not really important- as long as I maintained a focussed mind and adapted to the situation.It felt like I knew everything I needed to know. 

Then she blocked my punch one day...

She was Carol (Okay- Chinese name is Chen Yu Chi), a Taiwanese girl about half my size. We had a discussion on self defence and when I asked her to show me how she would block a straight punch she changed the approach to my training forever. She did not bother to sidestep or to move back. Only thing she did was driving her palm into my fist and giving me the jolt of my life as I felt the impact right through to the bones in my forearm.

That, my friends, was when I realised that the old techniques were developed over centuries to be the way they were for a reason. 

Yes- It is difficult to train your body to do some of these things when you are under pressure and yes- there are easier responses as well, but believe me- if you cast aside traditional martial arts training you will lose something that no MMA gym on this earth will ever be able to give you...


Now onto my tirade:

During this week I have read an article about Kung Fu dying in China as the MMA movement grows stronger with each tournament. In a way we should admit that this is something Bruce Lee had brought about all those years ago when he gave the world Jeet Kune Do, but that is not my first thought about Bruce Lee, though.

    In "Way of the Dragon" the staff at the endangered Chinese Restaurant studied karate because they thought that Chinese Kungfu had no real power. Fortunately Tang Lung was there to show them what Chinese Kungfu was really capable of. 

Lee died in 1973, though, and when large numbers of Chinese decided to take up Taekwondo instead of Kungfu we saw a new generation of Chinese who prefered Taekwondo over Chinese Kungfu, but this time with no one to change their minds.

Now we have MMA...

Seriously now- did you really expect not to be surprised after years of training at your school, sparring with pupils who have learnt the same techniques as you and sparring according to the rules of your school, when you got into the ring/ cage/ octagon/ pit against somebody who did not train at your school? It was bound to happen and you know what also did not help? Not practicing a large number of the techniques in your own style, because your own style's competition rules do not allow them!  

But do we dig deeper into 5 000 years of experience to find an answer to the new questions posed to you in your crushing defeat against the stranger from another style? No! It is just easier to blame the style altogether and go take up something easier! 

Trust me- if you are practicing a traditional style like Karate (any style), Kungfu, Taekwondo or whatever else you may do- and you meet an attack along your way for which you have not learnt a response yet- start looking to your katas, forms and those illegal techniques that are not allowed in competitions. 

These arts were initially designed for actual fighting. Competition techniques work because a competition's rules help to make it work. An actual fight, however, has no referree, no illegal hits and nobody to call "hajime" or "yame".   

Karate has had grappling long before MMA was even thought of, Jujitsu- from which Judo was developed- had striking long before the UFC came to be. And Kungfu- well- it protected people, took lives, saved lives and drove out bandits long before us waiguoren even knew it existed.

As for the waiguoren that is writing this post- I'll glady take traditional Kungfu and Karate if the coutries from which these arts have originated want to discard them. A gym with punching bags and hours of sparring and weight training may teach you to fight, but there is more to martial arts than just that.

If you really want to find out what more than fighting there could possibly be you are welcome to contact me at boshoffm3@gmail.com. I'll be glad to tell you. 





Friday, 5 December 2014

The Order Form


Here is the order form.

Fill it out and email it to boshoffm3@gmail.com. You can phone me at 084 799 7030 to check on progress- or if you just want to make sure I am a real person. (hint- just SMS me if I don't answer and tell me you are phoning about the book.)  

Delivery by courier ought to be about 7 days from receipt of your proof of payment.

Thank you for your support. I really hope this book will help you in the same way that the knowledge shared therein has helped me. 



Here it finally is.





The first copies for distribution are finally here. :)

Although I have not yet sorted out availability overseas just yet (I still need to open a Paypal account or something like that), the first copies are ready to go out to the public.

Right now I have them in A4 size for R190.00 each and in  A5 (smaller) size for R 350.00 each.

The order form and information on how to order will be available in the next post. 

Sunday, 30 November 2014

So... What have you been up to?





2 things I have been meaning to do, but never got around to until now were: 1- to design a logo for Wenshiuquan and 2- to record myself doing a traditional kata from Shotokan.

I had a great time training this Saturday and this morning was devoted to an extra long Taijiquan and meditation session.

Stay well and train hard. :) 

Sunday, 23 November 2014

So you've blocked... Now what?


I'm sure a lot of readers will remember how Daniel-San spent days painting a fence, waxing a car,  sanding a floor and lacquering a wall in order to learn how to block. 


Fact is- I loved my blocks as a Shukokai white belt. Despite having been shown the simple slapping block and pressing block for kumite I wanted to use uchi uke and all those other cool blocks.
And yes- I love Bassai Dai too.

Later on (in my case as 1st kyu brown belt) I realised that my obsession with blocking was hurting my karate. Sure- I could deflect blows, attempts to grab me and the odd finger poke at school, but still sucked at kumite.


The main reason for this was simple. Blocking itself does not do much (unless you are a master who is able to break someone's arm with that block- people like that exist!)- Blocking has to be followed by a counter-attack! I'm sure many readers have also come to this realisation early on in their training or were taught this universal truth.

The other truth I wish to share however is the following:

Blocking, ducking, slipping, side-stepping and circling are not meant to get away from an attack, but past it.

In all fights your adversary can leave you alone, attack or defend against your attack. The first option is his choice. The latter two are yours.

Multiple blocks are good if you can manage them, but trying to go through a real fight by seeing how many attacks you can avoid is asking for trouble. Any altercation has to be stopped at the earliest opportunity possible. Harmless opponents can be subdued with a throw and arm lock or just an arm lock. More dangerous opponents should be incapacitated with something more severe.
In order to reach this objective you do not want to have to move back into range after an attack has missed and another attack is already on the way. Yet- you do not want to be a sitting duck either.    

Another purpose of a defensive technique is to set the opponent up for your attack. The opponent is open for attack at that exact moment when he is either busy launching his own attack or just before he launches the next one- or before he recovers from the last one. Your block should help you to create these openings and to use them.

For more info on how to train to use these tactics you are welcome to email me at boshoffm3@gmail.com or to just comment to this blog.

Enjoy your training. :)

Saturday, 15 November 2014

What will stances help you? More than you think...





Somehow the first thing that seems to disappear when a style goes full-contact is traditional stances.

Yes- I also know the story where Bruce Lee punched the martial arts master and told him that he does not pull or push. Some of you may have seen that as a master's blessing to let go of an odious part of your training.

Well- fact is: MMA has taught us that punching and kicking only gets you so far. (I am still not a fan of MMA, but you can learn a great deal from watching MMA fights.) Further I trust that many will agree with me that the adversary that is probably going to test your self defence skills is not necessarily going to be in your weight class. Further- not all attackers punch, kick or swing a weapon at you. Many will push, grab and maybe even pick you up.

In my post on footwork I have already touched on the subject on how stances help us move faster in a fight. What else do stances do for us?

1. First of all- proper stance gives techniques power. They enable us to hit harder and to push and pull our opponents- even if they are heavier than us.

2. Then they also reduce the amount of targets available.

3. They provide secure footing- whether it be on a slippery surface or an uneven one.

4. Lastly (or last I can think of now) they assist the proper channelling of qi into techniques.


Okay- I admit that not all these benefits (if any) are obvious benefits of using traditional stances, but that is because stance training to me goes beyond knowing the Japanese/ Chinese/ Korean name of the stance and making sure your toes point the right way.

You have to practice the stance with the job it has to do in mind. Whether it be moving forward, sideways or back, punching, throwing, escaping a hold or something that I cannot think of you have to be sure that you will get the job done. 

Many of you already practice a martial art and have been taught the proper way to perform these stances. I do not feel the need to elaborate thereon here. If anyone reading this blog is not studying any martial arts yet, but is nevertheless curious about the difference a stance can make they can message Marthinus Boshoff on Facebook or email me on boshoffm3@gmail.com.


Train well! 

O! I remembered one more benefit! Stance training strengthens the legs!

:D      

Saturday, 8 November 2014

A look at footwork.

For the light, mobile fighting stance which is mainly on the balls of the feet we can thank Western Boxing and Bruce Lee.  


This may not be the popular fighting stance in your dojo, but Chinese fighters did very well using it.


And we have teachers saying that you can't move fast enough from this stance...

I remember my days as a white belt (and even up to Brown Belt) obsessing over my footwork. Like many karateka we were taught a fighting stance that did not feature in any of our kata. Legs were kept bent and ready to spring forward, but we never leapt towards or opponents- or maybe we did, but very very low above the floor...

At the time I made a point of retreating very quickly, but when the time came to counter-attack I was not so quick at reaching my target. Also- I often got hit on my way to attack.

By the time my fighting improved, however, my opponents found themselves getting hit while they have not yet even finished attacking. They found my attacks to be quick and my withdrawals equally speedy. 

The reason behind this was simply a change in fighting stance. 

Despite what you are being told and how you feel, the distance you need to move in a fight is no further than the space between your feet in a full forward stance. If you feel the need to do more your timing is out- or your opponent's reach is enhanced by the length of his limbs or a weapon. In the instance of an opponent with enhanced reach, however I'd rather take two steps toward him than trying to reach him in a single lunge.

Three types of fighting stance exist. Below is a brief discussion on the benefits and drawbacks of each:

1. Light even-weighted stance:

This is the kamae we find in sports karate, the light, bouncy stance of the boxer and the bouncy fighting stance that we see in competition Taekwondo from time to time. Users of this stance tend to drive off the rear leg to shoot towards their targets. They also do not remain static, but are constantly moving to confuse their attackers.

Arguably- the mobility, speed and reach cannot be denied, but my number one reason for not liking this stance is the lack of control it inherently displays. If you want to know what I mean- try fighting with it on a slippery surface. You'll find yourself doing the splits in no time. Another reason I don't like it is that it's is very vulnerable to grappling attacks and sweeps as it is really not stable.

Tip from me- if you encounter a bouncy opponent the best time to hit him is that brief moment in which his bounce is at its highest point. :D 

This way of fighting also uses a lot of energy. It tires one out.


2. The single weighted stance:

In kungfu we talk about the tiger stance and false legged stance, but other variations exist in other fighting arts as well. 

The stance works by having the body's weight in one foot while the other is kept light. This foot is usually moved in the direction the fighter wants to go before he shifts his weight onto it. We actully find this way of movement in a lot of known katas. Muay Thai fighters use a stance like this to enable them to launch quick front foot kicks.

Why I like to use this stance is that it enables swift movement when it is needed, but gives you control over your own momentum. You can use this stance to fight on a slippery surface.

The only drawback of having your weight on one leg is that it is not the best position from which to strike. It is basically asking to be swept, thrown or pushed off balance...

You may want to start from this stance to get into striking range, but you do not want to be in this stance when you are already there- or when your opponent has come within range...

Xingyiquan exponents might argue that the following step- which entails shifting body weight onto the leading foot and taking it off the rear foot enhances the power of one's push or punch. They would be right, but bear in mind that if such a strike misses an alert Aikido exponent or Jujutsu fighter you will find yourself in trouble.


3. The flat footed stance.

Weight distribution may be 60/40 either way or 50/50. This type of stance is found in all known katas and forms in martial arts.

It is the stance in which you want to be at the very moment you hit your opponent. Throws, joint locks and pushing also rely on the stability provided by this stance. 

I like the balance this stance provides. 

The drawback of this stance is that it feels heavy and you can't "fly like a butterfly" as Muhammad Ali would have it. The power it provides, however, is what makes this my choice of stance for the street. 


Now- Wenhsiuquan does not use that bouncy ball of the foot method of getting into and out of fighting distance or to sidestep- so how do I do it then? The answer is simple: If I need to move quickly from a long stance I simply move into a short stance. That means for instance that if I a in a forward stance and have to avoid a straight punch I just shift weight onto my rear foot to land into a cat stance and slap the fist aside. Now- to counter in that moment after the fist has missed its mark, but before a second attack can follow I extend into a forward stance again to shoot my own fist into its target.

Even in the Tao Te Ching is written that one is not strong when standing tiptoed. This universal law is demonstrated well enough in footwork.

With what I told you here you ought to be able to not only move backwards and forwards, but also to sidestep. I'll just mention that I would not sidestep if a simple hip rotation will also cause an attack to miss its mark. :)

If you have any questions about this way of fighting you are welcome to ask me at boshoffm3@gmail.com.

Train well! :)        


It is almost ready




The first sample of my first book on Wenhsiuquan came fresh from the printers yesterday. 

Although I am very excited to see an actual printed copy I have to make sure that the book that goes out to the public looks like the type of thing I want to release into the world. This is about my martial art after all...

In due time I'll post the link to a separate page on which the book can be ordered. At the moment I am certain that it will be available in South Africa. Because I have no PayPal account- or know of any other way to receive money from overseas yet- availability overseas is going to be very limited.

Instead of writing about the entire style in one go I have decided to first write a separate book on each aspect that I feel deserves specific attention.This first book is about pulling and pushing techniques. That means it will explain the mechanics of throws and joint locks amongst other things.

Other books to follow are going to be about kicking and striking, blocking, meditation and mental fitness, qigong and lastly training methods. 

My main objective with these books is what I have had with this blog as well- to make martial arts knowledge available to those who seek it. Anything I withhold from my books or from my blog is intended to be passed on to students who wish to study long enough under me to develop these skills.

Keep well and enjoy your training.

Any questions about Wenhsiuquan, martial arts training or self defence can sent to boshoffm3@gmail.com.

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Goodbye to an extraordinary person

Wolfgang Goldner

I moved to Nelspruit with my parents in 1995.

Back then we were 17. Back then as well I was fanatic about martial arts. On my second day in school I found Wolf giving a someone a quick demonstration of his techniques.

Now- there will always be karate kids that get made fun of. I think it is safe to say that nobody would have dared to take this guy lightly...

At the age of 17 his speed and technique was lightyears ahead of that of his peers and even those older than him. In 1995-1996 he was definitely the one guy that you would not have been able to beat up.

Although Wolf had the ability to literally kill a grown man with his bare hands- he was one the least aggressive people I know. Not that it helped much- He still scared the living shit out of me.

Wolf never told me what style he practised, but what he showed me was that a lot of black belts out there are not ready to face an opponent like him. Inwardly I am grateful for the fact that the mugger, drunkard or sparring partner one might face is most likely not going to be as strong, fast and skilled as he was. Whenever I would feel complacent about my training the thought of facing this guy spurred me on to train harder.

After finishing school in 1996 I have not heard from him again.

Today, however, I was informed of his untimely and unexpected passing.

Rest in Peace. You will live on in our hearts and memories.      

Friday, 31 October 2014

These plasters work!



Many traditional kung fu students know about this or that medicinal ointment or treatment for those injuries commonly associated with training.

I am currently nursing a cracked rib. Rib fractures don't really have any quick remedies and unlike limbs, ribs can't be put in a cast.

These plasters I got from my friend, Chen Feng (She and her husband Chris helped me with my book, remember?). It's been 2 days since I have put them on and I am now able to laugh without pain and to cough with minimal pain. I breathe and move normally now. I am going to keep this up for the week to come and report back.

Remedies like these that use menthol and camphor stimulate the body's circulatory system which in turn helps to relieve pain and facilitates recovery. It works especially well on sprains and bruises.

Anyone interested in this product or other Chinese health products (or massage therapy) can contact Feng Chen on Facebook. She is based in my hometown, Nelspruit, South Africa.   

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Warning to others who want to join a karate dojo these days



Did anyone read my post about how I once left my Shotokan dojo and went on to study other stuff? Well... to sum up anyway before I continue this post I got fed up with the entire school here at the time after a grading in which I got failed while I watched others with much less skill get their black belts.

Now- here's the story of my return to Shotokan and my departure from it for good:

It was early in 2014 when my sensei from back then came back to Nelspruit after a long absence. A long enough absence for me to learn Jeet Kune Do and a whole lot of cool stuff and to develop my own style which I have come to treasure.

Now Sensei Roelf was quick to ask me to take up karate again. And I agreed and soon found myself showing up for the first couple of classes in which I was to reacquaint myself with kihon and kata that I have unlearnt over the years. Not kumite, though. Nobody touches my way of fighting!
If you want to teach me a better way to fight- then face me!

From month 1 I had to hear that I was to grade the next month. Grading fee nowadays is 
R 1 050.00!This- I will tell you is not money that I leave lying around all over my home! 

Missing this grading due to illness (those close enough to me knows what had happened), I had waited out a month to recover again and go back to class. This while continuing to pay the R 250.00 class fee which I later heard I was the only one paying!

Well- one of my class-mates- actually an instructor I respect a lot- became a Sandan- and another fellow 1st kyu got his Shodan grade. Judging by his skill level I deemed this grading a piece of cake...

Well- I was back and had the persistent reminder of a coming grading and a syllabus to know- so there was no time for self defense lessons, skill development and those things...
Noooooooooo... Now it was more importantto make sure my hikite was pulled back far enough, my toes pointed down when I did ushiro geri and many related stuff...
Anyway- my legs got a good workout!

Now- the grading approached. I got my form and with the date of the grading- 25 October 2014- 2 days away I was to get another surprise:

"ACTUALLY YOU MUST BE THERE ON THE 24TH AS WELL!"

Seriously now- on a Fiday?!! I am to travel in work time after getting leave on a 2 day notice?! Just exactly what are you people smoking?!!!

But, hey! It gets even better-

I manage to get accepted for the grading in spite of me not having attended the R 300.00 gashuku that Friday and am as excited and ready for action as I ever was. Met some really cool people and...

Wait- another surprise! I simply MUST write a R 900 exam NOW!!! before I grade...

Well... I breathed deeply- kissed R 900 goodbye and wrote the exam in record time which I actually passed! (I don't mind failing the referee's exam, because I never liked competition much anyway...

Now- exam done and R 900 spent and me smiling outwardly while cursing inside "can we grade now?" I finally get to the grading part...

My grading consisted of kihon (I actually love it), kata (always been fun) and lastly kumite (something I had spent a decade of developing WITHOUT the help of any of Shotokan's instructors).

Well according to a minority on the panel it went like this...


Thank you for at least SOMEBODY acknowledging hours of exercising, months of getting beaten up and a decade of rebuilding my broken confidence to come and take this grading again!

As for those who had this to say (or who just failed me):

(for some reason I just can't get this image rotated into position so please just bear with this outraged individual...)

I want to say: I have come to the conclusion that we have irreconcilable views about karate...

But I am not done yet!
At the end of the grading ceremony I get called aside and told that I was to receive my Shodan certificate with no grading and at no extra cost IF I attend another gasshuku in February (date yet to be announced at the last minute probably) in Durban which, to readers from abroad is about 500 km from my home town.  

Anyhow- I think I am done with this type of karate.

Anyone ith similar stories are welcome to reply.



      


Friday, 17 October 2014

Dealing with long weapons using kicks.


Most martial artists know that an opponent using a long weapon like a staff, baseball bat or sword is at a disadvantage as soon as you have managed to get past the weapon itself and close to him.

Most of us are more comfortable with using our hands to manage the weapon and stepping past it to get to the opponent. Most adversaries would most likely expect you to do that as well...

Now the major advantages of using a kick like the crescent kick I am showing in the sketch are the following:

1. It uses a limb more powerful than the arm;

2. It leaves both hands free to attack;

3. It opens up a path for you before you bring your body in range;

4. It gives you the element of surprise on your side.

To me- a weapon that is held poised and pointed toward me is a bigger threat that one that is being swung. A swinging weapon can be timed and often clears the way for you to move in by itself. A poised weapon, however, is a trap! The crescent kick is a good way to clear it away before you get close enough for that punch.

Of course- some of us would follow up the crescent kick with a side kick instead of a punch. 


Enjoy your training! 

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Warm-up exercise for roundhouse and reverse roundhouse kicks


I like having my legs as available as weapons as much as my upper limbs are. In another post I will show some defences against weapons that rely on quick feet or light legs.

This warm-up exercise is a great way to get the legs ready to deliver some powerful explosive kicks, 

Start in a horse stance and step into a cross-stance. The leg with which you have stepped forward is now the supporting leg. Now from whichever side of your supporting leg the other leg's foot is resting, swing it over in a wide arc through an imaginary target at head height. The supporting leg is firm and the swinging leg is relaxed. The kicking foot should now come to rest at the other side of the supporting foot- to shoot of in another high, wide arc to the other side.

Repeat about 10 times each side and switch legs.

Real kicking would require you to tighten the kicking leg's muscles at the moment of impact. This exercise has none of that as it is meant to loosen the limbs before training.

Let me know how it works for you. :) 

Saturday, 4 October 2014

Stretching the body with Qi




I really pity those of you who train with an instructor who does not teach anything about Qi!

The one big difference between Wenhsiuquan and Jeet Kune Do is that Qigong is expressly part of Wenhsiuquan's training regimen. 

Last week I have learnt a really cool training method from Wu Style Taijiquan. I must admit that the writer of the book actually gave a lot of complex information that I have still not digested, but one really cool technique did find its way from the pages into my morning work-out's warm-up.

It goes like this:

Standing in an upright posture (yoi for the karate people), feet flat on the ground, shoulders relaxed, and so forth (Taijiquan people know the drill...) you begin to stretch your neck upwards so that all the vertebrae have a space between one another. This is not done by straining, but rather in a relaxed posture and while breathing slowly.

 Just by doing that I have already felt a surge of Qi course through my veins. Not quite the same as flexing all my muscles and yelling until I am bathed in a halo of fire and my hair turns white, I suppose, but awesome nevertheless. Those of you who have just made your acquaintance with Qi may be happy enough with this, but I immediately went on to do something else:

The next technique was called, very simply, but still aptly, "Lengthening the limbs with the imagination".

Now- Wu Taijiquan's high stances and techniques are not something I would choose to practice, but hey, I love my high kicks! So- after learning this technique I immediately applied it to my splits! Instead of visualising the muscles softer and longer I actually imagined my legs growing longer! Now THAT really does wonders! In no time I ended up a lot more limber and kicking for the skies!

I am still not as flexible as Chloe Bruce, and really also do not want to be. Still- the increased flexibility I have gained is welcome. I really see no point in kicking beyond your own head's height (and in earlier years some fighters would not even bother going beyond their own waist-level) and I would therefore not spend too much time training to do so. If you, however, want to be the next Chloe Bruce (no- I do not mention Jean-Claude van Damme in my posts) then I hope this tip is of at least some help.

Enjoy your training!

Sunday, 28 September 2014

How were we meant to fight?

Mixed Martial Arts is actually ancient. Even karate came from combining techniques from different styles. Taekwondo even more so.

Bruce Lee is well-known for pointing out that a style is a mere crystalisation of what is actually real. Let's face it- real fights are chaotic and each traditional style attempts to find order in this chaos.

That is why I am convinced that Jeet Kune Do was not developed by asking "what works?", but rather- "How were we meant to fight?"

Bruce Lee made no mention of Qigong in his Tao of Jeet Kune Do. I get the idea that he did not like it much...

When I developed Wenhsiuquan I did not want to abandon what I trust in a quest for formlessness. This was because form gave me efficiency. The question I asked when selecting my style's techniques was: "How will my energy best be utilised?"

It is for this reason that the techniques of Wenhsiuquan do come from different styles, but at the same time also belong together. The one easily flow from the other and any one of them can be launched from a fighting stance.

Another important element all these techniques share is that jing is easily channelled through them. This means amongst that the minimum amount of effort is used to hit as hard as possible- and to move as quickly as possible.

Train hard. :)

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Dealing with a face punch.

Martial art sports that use percussive techniques will always have punches to the face. Many participants believe that punching an opponent in the face will give them the advantage they need.

Fact is, however, that the head is a smaller target and easy to get out of harm's way. The amount of body movement necessary to evade a face punch is much less than that needed to move an entire body.

One of the advantages of ducking and slipping is that you stay within range for counterattack while being out of danger for that moment.

For advice on how to perform ducking and slipping techniques you are welcome to email me at boshoffm3@gmail.com.

Friday, 19 September 2014

A kick is a stance with the hips just tilted a little...


Hello, everyone. While I am training like mad at the moment- and loving it- I thought of those guys my age who do not kick so high anymore. While a lot of people (like the Thai boxer below) can take a split, tilt the hips a bit and then have a high roundhouse kick a lot of us cannot split that far.

Is all lost then? Short answer- nope! 

I know Shukokai people will not accept this and Shotokan people can act as if they knew this secret for a long time (because they did!), but here is my tip for that jodan mawashi geri:

See the sketch?

You notice the front stance? Yes- that is not a Shotokan front stance, but it will do (you guys can't hog the spotlight here). Notice how far your back leg can stretch just because the front leg is bent?

Now- bending the supporting leg and aiming your kicking hip as high as it goes (yes- we aim with the hips and NOT the knees!) let that kick shoot out. 

Pretty cool, huh? 

This means that as long as you can stand in zenkutsu dachi you will also be able to do a high roundhouse kick.    


Train hard!