Showing posts from January, 2011

The enigma of tiger mouth in cat stance

In my article "Xingyi stepping vs. karate stepping" I noted that "after 3 years of blogging I still keep coming across martial principles/methods that I take as self-evident, but of which others might not even be aware". While I'm on this topic, and while I'm on the topic of lessons learned from studying the internal arts (see "You know too many forms"), I thought I'd deal with another topic that I have, for many years, taken as a given - namely the answer to the "engima of tiger mouth in cat stance".

You might well ask: "What is this enigma?" I'll start by explaining that the tiger mouth (tora guchi) is a commonly used technique in Okinawan kata, particularly in the Naha te systems. It usually comes at the end of a mawashi uke (roundhouse block). Sometimes the technique is executed in a sanchin dachi ("sanzhan" in Chinese systems). But more often than not, it occurs in a neko ashi dachi (cat stance).


"You know too many forms"

My recent trip to Taiwan and my preceding discussion about some of the differences between karate and xingyi stepping/punching raise the following question: Why do I study "so many" martial arts? How much is "too much"? Isn't one art enough? Alternatively, if I want to cross-train, why not go the "obvious" route and take up BJJ to complement by "stand-up fighting"?

In my case, I'm not interested in just learning a new skill. I train in multiple arts precisely because I want to improve my existing skills - not because I'm desperate to learn new ones.

I'll try to explain what I mean:

To me, the kinds of differences I highlighted in my previous article are precisely the reason I choose to study the various arts that I do. It is only the differences between the arts that gives me a reason to study them.

I've often been told "you know too many forms". I understand this criticism, but I reject the notion that it appli…

Xingyi stepping vs. karate stepping

When I first started this blog my main objective was to put down on "cyber paper" some of the martial principles and methods that I've taken for granted for many years but which I hadn't seen discussed elsewhere, at least to my satisfaction.

It surprises me that after 3 years of blogging I still keep coming across martial principles/methods that I take as self-evident, but of which others might not even be aware. One of these is the difference between karate and xingyiquan as regards the methods of stepping and punching/striking employed in those arts. Given my recent experience in Taiwan (which involved many, many hours of xingyi practice), I thought I'd start the year with a discussion of just this issue.

My friend and colleague at the Traditional Fighting Arts Forums, Victor Smith recently posted this video of the xingyi lian huan quan form and suggested that it bore a certain similarity to karate. I think he was right:

An example of xingyi's lian huan q…

Another award for The Way of Least Resistance!

I came back from training in Taiwan yesterday to an unexpected surprise: this blog has received yet another award. The Guide to Online Schools has placed The Way of Least Resistance 3rd in the "Favorite Five" of the "The Best 50 Martial Arts Blogs".

They write:"Here you'll find essays examining martial arts techniques from a mathematical/physical perspective.
Why We Love It: Blogger Dan Djurdevic applies an objective, scientific view to his understanding of martial arts, which makes for a very interesting read.
Favorite Post:Really Using Your Kata."Now I just have to get off my rear end and write some more blog entries so as to be deserving of this honour (but please give me a couple of days to recover from Taiwan)!

Copyright © 2011 Dejan Djurdjevic

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Thanks to suggestions from my friends Mohammad and Omar, I have enabled the subscriptions widget which is at the top of the left pane.

Happy new year to all my readers - I wish you all joy and fulfillment in 2011 and beyond.

I hope to make this year a bumper one for blog entries, so keep your eyes peeled! In the next week however I'll be off to Taiwan for training with Master Chen, so please forgive me if things are a bit quiet here.

All the best