Showing posts from September, 2015

Corner stones of a "softer" method

Introduction In my upcoming seminar on the half hard, half soft art of Hong Yi Xiang, I will be concentrating on various "internal" or "soft" elements - and marrying these with the more familiar "external" or "hard" elements.  I hope to do this by using form - and extrapolating to function.  This should also give participants a good idea of why the heck one should bother with traditional forms or "kata" in the first place. So what are some of these "soft" elements? Well as I've discussed many times before they have precious little to do with qi/chi balls or paranormal powers.  Instead I'm going to cover some of the more subtle, but very useful, skills of grounding, movement/evasion (including footwork) and deflection/interception/entry that are actually quite counter-intuitive at first glance, yet obviously practical and simple at the second: concepts that make sense in a civilian defence environment and even i

Tang Shou Dao seminar in Perth

Further to my recent article about the "bridging forms" of Hong Yi Xiang's Tang Shou Dao , I've decided to hold a seminar in Perth on 4 October 2015 from 10 am to 2.30 pm at the Lake Nenia Retreat in Mundaring (the Honbu dojo of the Academy of Traditional Fighting Arts ). Anyone who is going to be in the Perth region on that day is welcome to attend. If you are a karate practitioner, I hope it provides an added angle to how you see your karate as it has for me.  The "bridging form" component of the Tang Shou Dao system is one of the few Chinese arts that crosses over very well into the Ryukyuan arts (and to my eye seems to be heavily influenced by it). If you are an external gong fu practitioner, this should be right up your alley. If you are an internal arts practitioner looking for something that gives you ideas of practical applications to your art, then I believe this will also be of interest. If you are a more modern combat sports or real

Essential Jo - free download promotion

As some of you will recall, the  Kindle edition  of my textbook "Essential Jo" has been revised to a "print replica", which means readers can experience the Kindle version in the same form as it is in print. The older version has been taken offline. I had been informed that those who had purchased the old version would be able to "update" theirs without cost.  However having bought my own book previously, I note that this is not the case. Accordingly I have arranged with Kindle to offer a free download promotion .  Kindle only allows this for 5 days at a time, so I've chosen from 18 - 22 September 2015 . Apologies to all. Dan

It started as an ordinary Facebook post - but you won't believe what followed...

This morning we filmed an application of the last two movements in taijiquan, "apparent closure" and "cross hands".  As a joke, my students filmed one application with some " hopping " - à la the " fajin fantasists ". I belong to various Facebook martial interest groups.  One in particular is a skeptical internal arts group called The Fajin Project. After uploading the video to my YouTube channel, I posted a link to the group.  The conversation that followed has to be read to be believed! The internet is indeed a strange and wonderful place. Copyright © 2015 Dejan Djurdjevic

Taijiquan application focus: brush knee

Brush knee is one of those central techniques you find in taijiquan - one of its "defining movements", if you will.  Chances are that if you stumble across a picture of someone doing taijiquan, it's either single whip or - or it's brush knee. So I thought it might be useful to run through the ubiquitous brush knee and show some of the varied applications - running from those that people most often use to those that might be more obtuse and even seem "inventive" (but which, I'm sure you'll agree, actually follow the literal form of the technique ). If you want to run through my video at the end of the article, you can.  It goes on a bit.  Or you can just take a look at my brief analysis that accompanies each of the gifs below: The first, and I think most common, interpretation of brush knee is a deflection against a front kick. It certainly does work for that.  In so doing, it uses taiji's " continuing momentum " of which I&

Half internal half external forms: 1

Introduction For a long time I've wanted to do a piece on what have sometimes been termed "bridging forms" - forms that help students transition from the external arts to the internal arts. The problem (or blessing - depending on how you look at it) is that none of the 5 or so "bridging forms" I know are in any sense a "bridge" from anywhere to anywhere.  They are a combination.  They combine features of the internal arts and external arts. That's all. Personally I think this is deliberate.  And functional.  They don't need to be a "bridge" to anything.  They work perfectly well on their own.  They are just a combination of "hard" and "soft".  To think anything otherwise is to imagine that "soft" is better than "hard" - instead of realising, as Chen Pan Ling did, that the best fighter will use an appropriate combination of hard and soft techniques to achieve an optimal result.  In other wo