Archive for May, 2010


Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on May 31, 2010 by shadowsamurai

I walk towards the highest point on the hill. My hands fill my grey oversized tracksuit bottoms, while the hood of my black top clings to my head. The wind catches it and creates a pocket of air, but it doesn’t fall away; the breeze feels crisp against my skin. The peak of the hill draws nearer. In the fading light some blades of grass become grey, others have a bluish tinge. The smell however remains faithful to my memories. My pace shortens. I hover above my seat on the ground. Before I sit, I look out at the sky line, the panoramic scene is immense. Lights illuminate the ground, creating a glowing yellow aura which surrounds it. It beams with intensity. I think of the people. I think of their problems and their worlds. How each of them has their own spectrum of reality and how a culmination of their realities builds the light that grows around the city. My fears and my doubts become trivial in comparison.

Then I sit up on the grass with my knees up. I can faintly hear the hustle of the city in the distance. Cars horn, sirens sound. The city is alive. It has a breath, it has a united voice.

I start to roll a cigarette. I don’t smoke, but tonight I will. The tobacco is slightly wet. I tear it into the sheet, roll it and then light it. My elbow falls to the ground and I lean back. As I blow the smoke out of my mouth I look up to the sky. The sun is setting. Its crown has just dipped below the horizon. The sky is filled with purples and oranges, with streaks of cloud interrupting the vision like thick brushstrokes of a paintbrush. The other side of the sky has blackened. The oranges, to purples, to blues, to blacks bleed into each other seamlessly. The blackness brings with it pinholes, which behind bare brilliant whiteness. I blow more smoke up into the air. I contemplate my insignificance. Our insignificance under the sky. My goals, my aims become meaningless. My roll-up finishes, I flick it out of view.

I sit back, supported by both elbows. My minds workings quiet. I hear my breath. Time passes as I absorb my surroundings. I get up. I pull the hood back over my head and walk back into the light.

Growing Young

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on May 30, 2010 by His Dark Side

“A true maverick, Aubrey de Grey challenges the most basic assumption underlying the human condition — that aging is inevitable. He argues instead that aging is a disease — one that can be cured if it’s approached as “an engineering problem.” His plan calls for identifying all the components that cause human tissue to age, and designing remedies for each of them — forestalling disease and eventually pushing back death. He calls the approach Strategies for Engineered Negligible Senescence (SENS).”

Burst Training

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on May 30, 2010 by His Dark Side

“Short-burst interval training — often with 15-, 30- or 60-second bouts of all-out activity followed by a brief recovery period — has long been a part of the regimen for elite athletes. And now, fitness professionals say, it’s gaining popularity with recreational exercisers who are tired of their usual, monotonous endurance workouts and looking for ways to save time.

A recent article in the trade journal for fitness instructors and other professional members of the IDEA Health and Fitness Association highlighted short-burst training as a “new frontier” in the fitness field.”

An introduction to Burst (or HIIT) based training;

Video on burst sprinting on treadmill;

Article on how to do Burst Training;


Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on May 28, 2010 by His Dark Side

Preying On Your Insecurities

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on May 27, 2010 by ctkwingchun

So very not cool – yet so very typical.  I just saw it again on the local Wing Chun forum: “I, and only I, have the real Wing Chun.  And by the way, you don’t.  But I could teach the real Wing Chun to you – just buy my XYZ.”

When I first opened my Chinese medicine clinic, I used to sit in it alone a lot.  No phone ringing, no e-mails, no appointments and no clientele.   The demons in my head started gaining ground: maybe I had made a terrible choice, maybe I should pack it up, maybe there’s something else I could be doing.

I would open up the supply-shop newsletters and there it would be – staring me right in the face!  If I purchase this piece of equipment, or bought this book on practice management, I could be just as successful as the guy or gal who wrote it!  I could increase my PVA (patient visit average)!  My OVA (office visit average)!  My ROI (return on investment – in this case, returning clientele)!

…but in the end I, and only I, already have everything I need.  I already have the ‘real Wing Chun.’  Be careful.  They’re preying on your insecurities.

Quantum Gung Fu Theory

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on May 27, 2010 by His Dark Side

In the eighteenth century, a man named Bishop Berkeley claimed that objects can only exist because people are there to see them. This proposition has some support in quantum theory which suggests that what is being observed, only becomes manifest due to the very fact that it is under observation. Up until the point that it is being observed, it is in a state of flux, existing as pure potential. Therefore without an observer being present, that ‘thing’ cannot be said to exist.

Perhaps this serves as an important lesson for Gung Fu folk. Up until the point that their skill is being observed (preferably by a competent opponent), their “skill” exists as nothing more than potential. For true skill to be asserted, it has to have been witnessed first hand by someone acting as the observer.

This not only suggests the futility of single man forms and drills but also of the entire notion that a person has skill, when no attempt has been made for that skill to be demonstrated, hands-on, against someone willing to serve as a critical observer. Skill only exists when it is applied against someone.

Koan Sound – Blessed

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on May 26, 2010 by ctkwingchun

Deathwish, Dying Wishes

Posted in Uncategorized on May 26, 2010 by ctkwingchun

Passion = Results

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on May 25, 2010 by ctkwingchun

Passion equals results.  I used to be so passionate about my work.  It didn’t matter how many clients I had, how many times they would return or how much money they spent.  It wouldn’t matter if they needed a front AND a back treatment…maybe even some cupping and moxa.

Nowadays, I find myself counting money, clients and time.  Nowadays, it’s just not fun anymore.  I’m on autopilot.  A slave to the establishment I created.  I created this empire, now I must cater to it.  Rent, phone bill, clients, Massage Therapist, Naturopathic Doctor.

I need a spiritual boost.  I kick in the ass in the right direction.  I’ve lost my intuition that is so important to me.

Don’t get me wrong…I have more than most.  In fact, I have a lot.  It’s just that I feel my creative energy being stifled.  And I know just who’s to blame.

Simultaneous Attack and Defense

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on May 25, 2010 by ctkwingchun


Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on May 24, 2010 by shadowsamurai

The Empire Needs You

Posted in Uncategorized on May 23, 2010 by His Dark Side

Definition of a Fighter

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on May 22, 2010 by His Dark Side

“A competent adversary will be able to initiate attacks, feints, and draws. He will punish you for telegraphing your moves. He will cover up or ride the shot, and sometimes he will avoid or evade it completely. He will in some way clinch or tie you up and even take you down, ground and pound you, choke you out, or break an arm or a leg. That’s what a fight is. It isn’t what you want it to be according to some idea you’ve dreamed up. It simply is.

A fighter needs to have a destructive mindset with skills to match.  He must be goal-oriented, task-focused, mentally tough, physically durable and conditioned.  He needs a solid and adaptable defence, including being elusive, deceptive and unpredictable.  He has to be  always mindful of his and his opponent’s every single move in order to be able to anticipate what’s going to happen next, rapidly adapt to any situation and be able to instantly respond  in a decisive and purposeful way to a cue from any position in both synchronized and  broken time—this means having a great sense of  timing,  distance appreciation, dynamic balance, and reactive speed/power and accuracy.  Force development and application has to fit within all of that, and in the end it’s only a  part of the fighter’s game.”

Steve Morris

(Why I’m About) Backyard Wing Chun

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on May 21, 2010 by ctkwingchun

“Teachers who do elect to push students toward the single hard training experience that they are likely to encounter during their lives seldom have successful commercial schools.” – Jesse Glover

Chi Sao; Phases of Understanding

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on May 19, 2010 by His Dark Side

Level 1 Mechanical Phase
Purely mechanical phase, used to learn the correct lines for the three shapes; tan (spread), bong (redirect) and fook (subdue). You work the rotating motion of the arms (luk sau) with pressing (bik) power.

Level 2 Striking Phase
Striking level. Basic hand shapes are converted into strikes. Strikes are introduced as drills. Footwork involves basic advancing (biu ma) and turning (juen ma).

Level 3 Root Phase
Where you develop good angled footwork (toi ma), root and balance. The root in particular gives rise to greater power in the arms, allowing you to experiment with breaking the opponents balance using such things as pushing and pulling. You experiment with various ways of stepping and sinking and lifting the hips (kwa) for power.

Level 4 Experimental Striking Phase
Where you develop free and spontaneous hitting.  Striking is not limited to hands, but includes strikes from clinch/dirty boxing, knees and elbows.

Level 5 Positional Control Phase
Where focus is no longer on hitting, but on positional control of opponent. The idea is to exert complete control over the opponent, removing his ability to attack. You do this by controlling his limbs, controlling his balance and remaining in a position of dominance. You are rooted to the spot and your ability to uproot, turn, redirect or hold the opponent appears effortless.

Level 6 Metaphorical Phase
The unraveling level, where the object is to develop character traits such as tenacity, perseverance and courage. The struggle to overcome adversity within the paradigm of Chi Sao is used as a metaphor for overcoming adversities  in life.

One Helluva Good Podcast

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on May 18, 2010 by ctkwingchun

This podcast is from Iain Abernathy on Kata.  It is a great talk about how Kata were created and their true purpose based on principles.  Whether a Wing Chun practitioner or a Karate-ka, I think this podcast applies to all styles alike:

Gung Fu Is As Cool As F*ck

Posted in Martial Arts and Training, Strategy and Psychology with tags , , , on May 15, 2010 by His Dark Side

I JUST WANT TO SET THE RECORD STRAIGHT. Gung Fu is as cool as f*ck. No doubt.

When I hear a Wu Tang joint, or watch a kung Fu cinema clip, i’m glad I trained Gung Fu and not stuff like Judo, Karate, TKD or MMA. Not to belittle those arts at all. Whilst I have tonnes of respect for stylists from many different backgrounds, nothing hits the high notes on the cool scale quite like Gung Fu does. I’m not here to debate about which art or style if more effective or blah blah blah. Gung Fu, for all its cheesiness is in, just like nerds, geeks and breakdancing are in.

Kung Fu cinema brought us such legendary movies as 5 Deadly Venoms, 36 Chambers of Shaolin and the Prodigal Son. It showed us the diversity of Kung Fu fighting styles by pitting Mantis against Snake style, Buddha Palm against Eagle Claw. The fights were meticulously choreographed and the story lines simplistic, silly and brilliant. We were introduced to Jet Li, Jackie Chan and Donnie Yen. Kung Fu cinema was, and continues to be, as cool as f*ck. With more recent movies such as Crouching Tiger and the superb Ip Man, Kung Fu cinema has crossed boundaries, becoming a global phenomenon.

Bruce Lee was a Gung Fu dude and he was as cool as f*ck. His name is synonomous with Gung Fu 70’s retro cool. He is easily as cool as Che Guevara or Jim Morrison. When Bruce jumped onto our screens, he was representing old school, classic Gung Fu cool; overcoming adversity, oppression of the Chinese and protecting the ideals of his Gung Fu school.

When Meth, Raekwon, ODB and Ghost took the mic, they were the hottest damn rappers on the planet and Wu Tang was the greatest hip hop collaboration. Wu Tang sampled heavily from Kung Fu films and their rebel style of all out attack spitting was lyrical Kung Fu. They were as cool as f*ck.

What Is Your Reality Tunnel?

Posted in Uncategorized on May 13, 2010 by His Dark Side

No Respect (or Your Kung-Fu Is No Good Here)

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on May 12, 2010 by ctkwingchun

“Traditional Martial Arts

What do those three words conjure up in your mind?  What image do they paint?  Perhaps you envision Shaolin monks, or Karateka all lined up shouting Kia!

Recently, I had a discussion with a fellow Wing Chun practitioner.  He was lamenting over the fact this a co-worker of his (who practices Mixed Martial Arts) showed no respect for Traditional Martial Arts.  That he wore T-Shirts that said “Your Kung-Fu Is No Good Here.”  …that the MMA guy didn’t get ‘it.’  What the hell was ‘it?’  ‘It’ meaning, well, what Traditional Martial Arts are all about.  That he was always in a sport mentality and that was his downfall.  And it got me thinking (other than what the hell was TMA about then): What is it that we do, as TMAists, that would actually garner respect from someone who pressure-tests themselves all of the time?  …hits focus mitts and heavy bags and pushes their cardio limits?

Maybe the people who aren’t in the know and even us TMAists get all romantic about TMAs themselves.  I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with some of the other attributes that creep up due to hard training, but if that MMA practitioner could just take the roof off the club and see what we were doing he’d have just cause for the case his T-shirt was trying to make.  We did so many drills that trained bad habits.  We chased hands.  We played slappity slap games.  And finally, when it came to the Chi Sau, there were people who wanted to hold my wrists and stalemate the engagement.

No respect for TMA?  Me neither.  Oh well.  At least my heavy bag understands.

Law 29

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on May 11, 2010 by His Dark Side

Plan All the Way to the End

The ending is everything.  Plan all the way to it, taking into account all the possible consequences, obstacles, and twists of fortune that might reverse your hard work and give the glory to others.  By planning to the end you will not be overwhelmed by circumstances and you will know when to stop.  Gently guide fortune and help determine the future by thinking far ahead. (Robert Greene)

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