Category Archives: Martial Arts Training

Too Many Masters – by Ken Fish
The following article originally appeared in a 1991 edition of the Pa Kua Chang Journal. A friend of mine recently asked me how many Pa Kua and Hsing-I teachers there were in the U.S. today. A tournament promoter thinking of holding an internal martial arts tournament, he was visibly confused by my answer. “Three, maybe four Pa kua teachers, perhaps four or five Hsing-I teachers. In China maybe a couple dozen of each.” When he regained his composure, my friend began to reel off the names of teachers whose names or articles regularly appear in...
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The Five Elements and Your Kung Fu Practice – Part 1
Ah Yes, Springtime! From the Chinese philosophical concept of the five phases of energy evolution, we are entering into the wood phase. It is the time when the earth is in renewal -- the time when plants come to life, animals start the mating process, and humans begin to explore their outside natural surroundings after their long hibernation during the cold winter. It is an energy of expansion (upward-outward), rising, growth, birth, and creativity.  It is a time when the yin/yang earth energy is more in balance. The temperatures are...
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Breathing Exercises For Martial Arts and Health
Breathing, fundamental to all bodily processes and also one of the first autonomous actions we take after we leave the womb... Can you think of anything more paramount? You can survive 3 weeks without food, 3 days without water and 3 hours without proper shelter on a snowy day (according to Google) but how long without air? 3 minutes? Reportedly healthy people can hold their breath for up to 2 minutes. The Guinness World Record for holding breath is for 20 minutes 21 seconds. Given that's more of an anomaly, let’s say with a little...
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In Search of Snow Tiger Kung Fu – An Interview With A Snow Tiger Instructor
Although kung fu systems can be secretive, esoteric and sometimes virtually underground, few are as mysterious as Snow Tiger. So notorious was the style, that you still hear whispers about it. There is very little information about the art online and my own research seems to generate more questions than answers. With many of the instructors from long ago now deceased, I was more than excited to interview someone with instructor experience. Greg Hatza is the Shifu of the Chinese Boxing Academy in Catonsville Maryland and a former teacher of Snow...
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Laws You Need To Know When Carrying A Knife For Self-Defense
"When seconds count between living or dying, the police are only minutes away.” - Phillip Van Cleave Carrying a knife is an age-old and treasured pastime.  I can still remember how I felt when my father bought me my first pocketknife procured from a local hardware store.  Hours on end were spent whittling and imagining its seemingly unlimited uses ranging from camping and fishing chores to every day tasks, it was the beginning of a right of passage. Unfortunately, if you enjoy carrying a knife today there are myriad laws you...
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