At some point, when thoughts are no longer needed for a punch or a kick, amid the effort and repetition the body releases more than simple kinetic energy with each movement. Ill will and feelings, anxieties, fears, desires, sadness are expelled; chipping away at the inner self little by little until there is nothing left. That nothingness --that emptiness --that void is to be sought. At that moment the martial artist can have a clear perception of life itself without perversion. Brief as it may be until feelings and ego return, the glimpses of clarity allow the martial artist to grow and understand the workings of world.
If you could only learn one technique with the three section staff
This would be your best option. Not only does it make a nice spinning movement which is fun to watch and good coordination training, but this is one of the best grip configurations for using the three section staff as an actual weapon. I use this technique (not as a continuous spin) all the time in sparring. It still utilizes the momentum and unpredictability of a sectioned weapon, but the security of having a blocking/attacking weapon in the front hand.
So if you are ever interested in learning the three section staff as a practical weapon, start here:
That's it... that's the real secret. This is your best technique.
Attacks on the Asian community are at an astounding high and growing at an exponential rate. It needs to be addressed, and it needs to be stopped.
Now, I know there are other communities that are targeted based on ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, and political beliefs, but to compare other acts of violence in other communities just to downplay this current situation in this specific community makes no progress. there’s a lot of things that need to be fixed, but That is why I wish to voice my support of the Asian community at this time, in hopes that maybe others will be inspired to do the same, because right now is the time that they need our attention and help.
Attacks against the Asian community in the US have gone up 1900 percent in the last year. That is unacceptable. Attacks by shoving and punching the elderly to the ground, slashing with knives to the face, and acid attacks. Imagine that for a minute…. Picture your own grandma, your grandpa, your uncle or aunt, you own father or mother… shoved to the ground, slashed in the face with a knife…. Just because of what they looked like. How would you feel if you found out a loved one had been killed while out walking in their own neighborhood, going to the grocery store, or riding the subway? That is the reality for the many family and friends of the victims of recent attacks.
These acts are sick, and although I may sound pessimistic, during these stressful times of ever growing tension and desperation, I don’t foresee things calming down anytime soon. That’s why it is so important to start looking out for one another right now. Go and be the person you would want to be there for your grandma, your grandpa, your aunt, uncle, mother or father… To keep them safe and unafraid to do their daily errands and activities.
There are many ways to change this tide of violence, but the first is to recognize and your own racist and stereotypical beliefs and make efforts to un-learn them. No one is more or less deserving of violence and aggression just because of their how they look or speak. Now don’t use this as an opportunity to point fingers of racial injustice elsewhere, because yes, that also needs to be addressed too. You can stop being racist to every community and ethnicity.
It is important to realize that anyone is capable of violence, so just because you don’t look or act like the people committing the crimes doesn’t mean you cannot step in to help stop it when it happens, including verbal confrontations.
Another option is to join community groups that support the Asian members of your community. Sites like www.stopaapihate.org have a number of ways to help, and make everything accessible in different languages: like providing a platform to report incidents of targeted violence and crime, resources like safety tips, and how to deal with discrimination in businesses and restaurants, updates on news and U.S. politics, and of course accepting donations to continue to support the Asian American and Pacific Islander community and stop racism and xenophobia.
I also advise everyone to have a plan in case they are onsite and witness such an attack. Know your emergency service numbers, and practice finding and remembering the addresses of the places you visit. Know how to quickly open the camera on your phone and snap photos or video. Pictures are good but can blur from motion. Stills can be taken from video so it is often times better for identifying. Practice height estimations and remembering clothing and hair color in case you need to identify an attacker. If you carry any first aid like bandages or single use ice packs, be sure they are sterile, especially now during the pandemic.
This type of violence can’t continue. There is no excuse. Until it ends, it is up to us, it is up to everybody to stand up and do whatever is possible to support our fellow neighbors and communities, especially those who are targeted for no other reason than their skin.
Now I know this type of post tends to invite arguments in the comment section, but don’t prove to the world that you aren’t racist by your comments. Instead prove it through your own actions. I would however encourage anyone to share other organizations like www.stopAAPIhate.org in the comments so we can help each other help our friends in the Asian American and Pacific Islander community.
#stopasianhate #stopracism #supportAAPI
No matter where you learn it, though each style may word it differently, the energy expended in combat is the same when performing a singular technique. Whether a punch, kick, or throw, if the body is coordinated at the single moment of execution, the speed, the feeling, it is all the same.
* This is a repost from my Tumblr originally posted June 2016
2021 started with a big jump as I just went live with a second YouTube Channel. Yes, a second Channel. On the creator side, it is a bit daunting as I am starting from scratch with 0 views, 0 comments, 0 likes (or dislikes), and 0 subscribers. However, I feel it to be necessary to bring the right content to the right people.
You see, I've been looking at release schedules and topics and I have noticed that although there are viewers that enjoy the variety of topics I post, there is a very large imbalance when it comes to the frequency of Kung Fu and Tai Chi video releases. So on one end, if someone is only subscribed to me for kung fu content, they will skip a week when a tai chi video shows up, or if they subscribed to me for Tai Chi content they have to wait to upwards of a month between videos, and that had to change!
Here it is:
Tai Chi with Sifu Kuttel
What can we expect from both channels?
My main channel will continue the weekly video schedule with releases on Thursdays however, all the content will be Choy Li Fut related. For 2021 our focuses will be: Kung Fu Combo, 3 Section Staff, 2 Section Staff, Staff, Gim (straight sword), and some stretching/Choy Li Fut footwork +/Forms videos too.
Tai Chi with Sifu Kuttel will be exactly that, with a 3 video per month release schedule and new videos posted on Tuesdays it will bring more content to the Tai Chi viewers without having to wait through the kung fu videos. The Tai Chi Channel will have Tai Chi Connection, At Home Tai Chi Training, Tai Chi Fan, Tai Chi Flute, and Tai Chi Jian techniques and training.
So although it is starting over from scratch, I think it's the right step in bringing consistent content for lovers of kung fu and tai chi, and the best part is for those who enjoy both, you get two videos a week! And if you are a part of my Patreon, with new videos every Wednesday, you'll have 3 videos a week and no repeats!!!
So feel free to check out the new channel and let me know what you think!
One of my favorite concepts when it comes to knife fighting is “De-fanging the snake,” which like it sounds means you don’t need to fear the bite if it ain’t got fangs. How it translates into knife fighting is, take away the opponent's knife and you gain the advantage.
The basic way of De-fanging the snake is to attack the knife hand. Infact, most people will go as far to say that the fight is pretty much won once the hand has been hit. So after last Mondays visit to the ER and a handful of stitches later (get it?), I would like to revisit this concept with a bit more experience in the field.
*Now I have to put a disclaimer out as this was only my experience and each situation presents a completely different set of variables so it could go any which way depending on the severity of the cut/s. I took a direct and full force stab to the hand that went clean to the bone, though no tendons, ligaments or major veins were severed so I came out of it very lucky… 5 hours later…
I recall hearing about how once the hand is cut, it will bleed out quite fast and the body will go into shock, there’s a good chance that the tendons and nerves will be damaged and the knife will no longer be able to be held resulting in a quick shifting of advantage. For me that was not the case, I was able to put my knives away, step out of class, clean up the wound (which wouldn’t stop bleeding), change out of my uniform and walk home to try to super glue it up (which didn’t work) before feeling any signs of going into shock. Infact, I never lost any dexterity throughout the situation, and shock made me feel a little queasy at its worst. I ended up using a rubber band as a makeshift tourniquet, wrapped it with a paper towel and drove myself over to the ER, pissed off at the whole situation. Now as the ER is famous for, I spent the next 5 hours waiting on stitches so I had plenty of time to think this over. And here’s what I concluded:
Yes, the concept of de-fanging the snake is sound. However, you cannot treat your training like point sparring or tag with the first strike automatically winning. You must keep the long term of the exchange in mind and continue to follow through in combinations rather than single movements. Use caution as if it could end with one strike, but should you make contact, continue your advance until victory is certain. Do not waste the effort it took to close in by withdrawing prematurely, rather use your advance to your advantage. If you are not for or competing in a point match, move cautiously and in combinations and keep my experience in mind… and never misjudge your distance.
*This is a repost from my Tumblr originally posted October 2015
The old way that push hands is typically taught is as a chain of techniques, each as a counter to the last technique. An intricate strand of countless responses in neutralization, redirection, and counter pushes. Each response is logical to the specific situation, although as consequence to the increase of consecutive situations, the earlier techniques become buried and forgotten. Often times similar responses to advances are standardized to one response, and all others discarded as less useful.
Such is life, we tend to find ourselves dealing with chains of situations, choices and options by defaulting to the responses and techniques that more often work for us based on our experiences and outcomes, whether they are the best for us or not.
Sometimes the convenient response is all we need, but there are times we should seek to address the situation as unique as it presents itself. To specifically, impeccably, deal with it. Maybe we can better ourselves and others with a calculated approach, but then again, maybe it should be more simple than that.
* This is a repost from my Tumblr, originally posted Sept. 2016
Enjoy your meal, and don't forget to workout!
You can download the GIF or PSD file over at the Teaching Resources page.
Invest yourself to more than something you “do” twice a week.
Allow yourself to become frustrated, stagnant, and hit ruts, but always find a way to overcome them, they are but obstacles on the journey and sometimes it takes a shift of perspective to get around them.
Make friends and training partners, but do not let the absence of either hinder your progress.
Learn the skill of how to practice effectively on your own, away from the school.
To study is more than mindless repetition at various speeds.
Keep your head in the game when you work out and save distractions for later.
If you are going to take the time to do something, do it as best as possible.
Time is precious, especially the few moments you get for yourself.
Trace your roots, find out where your art came from. You’ll begin to see why you do things the way you do.
Be respectful of other styles, though someone else’s technique is not the way you learned, it does not mean that it is incorrect in that persons school.
Rather than making judgements from watching brief moments of other arts, do your research. Read up on other arts, you will find out why they focus on specific material and what concepts they are training.
Use competition for learning, see how you handle under pressure and against different skill sets and training methods.
You are not in a race, so do not compare yourself to others.
Be patient with beginners, everyone was a beginner at some point.
Be patient with beginners with other backgrounds, you know which ones, they are just trying to be acknowledged for their prior achievements.
You are not as good as you think you are, never stop improving.
Be mindful of other students, you do not know what they are going through at that exact moment in their life, and don’t expect them to know what is going on in yours either.
Never be afraid to ask a question, but first seek the answer out yourself.
Understand that there is going to be a counter to a counter to a counter…
Where there is movement, there is vulnerability, there will never be a perfect technique.
There will always be a “what if” when learning a technique but you need to get a solid grasp of the basics before pursuing tangents.
Be the martial artist that others look up to.
Skill is not in what you wear, be unquestionable in your ability whether you have a belt on or not.
A year will not make you a master, foundations are best built over time. Be patient and enjoy the process, you will still have “aha!” moments even after decades.
Always go back to the basics, most answers can be found in the fundamentals.
Explore your art, and translate it beyond the scope of punching and kicking, applications can be found in most any aspect of your life.
Never ever stop learning.
*This is a repost from my Tumblr originally posted December 2015
Ging Lai - Respect
The kung fu salute or ging lai is a symbol of respect within the martial arts. Here's an animated GIF I created that you can feel free to use on your social media by either downloading from this post, or sharing directly from https://tenor.com/view/gif-19245866
Have fun, and respect!