I've had some
with martial arts. My first formal schooling was in Tae Kwon Do in the
years 1975-1977. Then, I moved from New York State to Houston,
Texas in 1977. After
that I had a brief stay at one school, about 6 months, but I still
settled in my home and couldn't afford it. Then I started in a
martial arts school in January of 1986. I left the school in
of 1996, after 10 years and one day, for various reasons. Master Maing
Yul Jung was my teacher.
Correcting my position--1986 Presented with certificate--year unknown
During those 10 years, I was shown many aspects of the Chinese martial arts. In 1988, I
went to Kaohsiung, Taiwan to compete in a full-contact and forms
I didn't win, but I had a great time, not counting the 12 minutes or so
I lost when I got a good fist to my head. The image below, Figure 00, is a picture of most of
the team at the airport. I'm in the front row, kneeling, 2nd from the
right. Master Jung is in the suit and tie.
figure 00. The team at the airport
Some pictures of Kaohsiung in 1988 follow.
figure 1. figure 2. figure 3. figure 4
figure 1. This was the view from our hotel room.
figure 2. This was where the tournament was held.
figure 3. We had just gotten there. Nothing was going on yet. I can't believe I weighed in at 154lb to make my weight
class. That's me.
figure 4. I'm in the uniform with the red trim. Not long after this, I took a hard punch to the back of my head. I lost this
fight, and was out of the fighting competition. The referee is in the red shirt. (Update 2017)--- I was able to get a copy of my fight on video!!
So here is a video clip of our team as it enters the arena. And here is a video clip showing my very short fight.
figure 5. figure 6.
figure 5. The end of the tournament. Our team placed 3rd overall. There were 20+ teams there. After the awards, we were approached by members of other teams, view of whom spoke English. Everyone wanted souvenirs, ans since all we had with
us were our uniforms, we all exchanged clothes. There was a lot of pointing and laughing and trading, with everyone trying to find a near fit. The entire trip was a fine experience. The green arrow is pointing at me. Standing on my left is a member of
one of the teams from Taiwan.
figure 6. My certificate from the tournament. I didn't place in fighting or forms competition. The certificates are shown in the previous picture in front of the trophies.
I practiced hard and often, but I was not a first rate martial artist (not even close). Even so, I enjoyed practicing what I learned. I feel it is very good exercise, and I am happy while I'm doing it. There are "external" martial arts, and "internal" martial arts. I don't intend to go into the differences at this time. I was taught a mixture of long fist and shaolin external martial arts as well as tai chi and pakua, which are internal martial arts. Image LONGFIST 1 (below) shows me doing some practising during lunchtime at work, back while I was still a student. The other two images are more recent, taken at a park where I like to practice.
LONGFIST 1 LONGFIST 2 LONGFIST 3
Along with doing forms, there are various technique drills that are practiced. These are done using whatever part of the body, or attack, or defence, one is working on. There are drills using kicks, punches, and other techniques. The idea is to become accustomed to delivering force quickly. These drills can also be used to build stamina.
Besides doing "technique drills" there were various other exercises that I was taught which develop strength, flexibility, and stamina. Generally I was taught to do some loosening and stretching exercises before I would do a series of headstand exercises.
The last headstand position in the series is a lift from a "single-base" headstand to a "forearm stand". (figure 14)
figure 14 "Forearm" stand figure 15 Walking on hands
Besides these "yoga-style" stretching exercises, I was also taught various gymnastic exercises. All of this was to increase stamina, flexibility, and strength; attributes that a good martial artist should possess.I was 29 years old when I entered the school, and did not have a natural ability to do these exercises. However, I learned, and performed as much as I could. Combative martial arts should familiarize students with ground contact, in the event of a student being thrown, perhaps, or even for use as part of offensive technique. We did various rolls, as well as various other types of gymnastics. Advanced students did flips and "no-handed" cartwheels (not me, though!) We were taught to walk on our hands. I found this exercise fun, and still try it now and then. Figure 15 shows me walking on my hands around the same circle I used for some of the pakua exercises.
All the exercises that I show above are examples of "external" kung fu (kung fu is a term meaning "applied effort"), and "external" martial arts. These work the muscular and skeletal systems, and improve cardiovascular functions, stamina, and physical power. There are also "internal" martial arts and kungfu. These are more subtle in approach. Although the same parts of the body are used for these exercises, diligent practice of these exercises can increase precision, and focus intention of the same movements. Also, a different type of stamina can be achieved. Consider the exercise known as "push-ups". Doing a rapid number of pushups in a short amount of time (say 20 in 2 minutes) can cause certain physical changes over time. Doing a slow number of pushups (for instance, say, one per minute, with constant resistance) over a period of time (say 20 minutes), while using the same muscles, bones, and so on, will still cause a physical change. This is an oversimplification of the differences between the two, but I feel it is a good illustration.
I was also taught some exercises in various internal martial arts. (The images below show some examples, or click on that link or this link to get to the page.)
TAI CHI CHUAN TAI CHI CHUAN TAI CHI CHUAN
PA KUA ZHANG PA KUA ZHANG
People who are expecting some major spiritual truth to appear by practising these arts, for the most part are going to lose their money, and possibly be disillusioned and give up this exercise entirely. People who wish to generally improve their health, and perhaps do something enjoyable, and who apply themselves to these exercises, will get their money's worth if they practice diligently and often. In most cases, any exercise is better than none at all. And, any exercise that one enjoys is exercise that will be done repeatedly.
People who want to learn self-defense quickly, on the other hand, need to concentrate on those skills. Learning "push hands" will not teach anyone any applicable martial skills in any timely manner. I'm sure there are those who'd want to argue this point. Everyone has an opinion. I can say that I've never seen anyone even attempt to use any kind of "push hands" in a full-contact tournament. Since most altercations on the street are "full contact", I'd say that is a good concept to consider. There are some good "self-defense" schools out there. Some of these are very good in teaching awareness of surroundings, and threat assessment, as well as dealing with the threat situation without panic. Some states have legal concealed handgun carry. People of smaller stature, who are not physically strong to start with, might better spend their money on a legal weapon, and training on how to use it. The classes required for licensing in THIS state also cover threat assessment, non-violent conflict resolution, and awareness of one's surroundings.
I am the person in these pictures and video clips. I am far from being an expert, as should be obvious. I do really enjoy my practice, however.In July of 1999 I had to get knee surgery due to injuries from a car accident. As a result, I've lost some function of one leg, and so may not be able to do ALL of the exercises I used to do.
As of 2004, the knee hasn't improved much, and there has been some
to the hip as well. That certainly puts a kink on my practice schedule!
As time has gone on, I've had to curtail
quite a bit
of this activity.
March 17, 2008--GOOD NEWS!! I've had my hip replaced in 2005. Now, I can do a lot of what I used to. For now, mostly "internal" style. Some demonstrations can be seen on my internal martial arts page. Details of the hip replacement, and subsequent healing can be seen on this page. From this point, I am happy that I can still walk at all. For about a year I could barely walk at all (and that was before the surgerya). Then it was at least a year after the surgery before my leg felt right. So, the ability to do anything is fantastic for me.
As shown below, I'm posting the occasional video or picture as a record of what I can still do. What follows will be in reverse-chronological order, with the newest stuff at the top (or immediately below this sentence.) It is helpful to remember that I stopped all formal learning in 1996. Well...it is helpful to me. It's interesting to see what has changed over time. So...starting with material at the bottom of the page (filmed in 1993) there are "snapshots" through time until now (today is 7/27/2017). Can you imagine doing *anything* for over 20 years?
July 27 2017-- On good days I can walk pretty well; and on bad days---I can't
walk so well. This was an ok day. I 'm trying to figure out a way I can
do these external forms without being too painful. I feel that I can
get some use out of them.
So, this is my ninth form, done "old guy style".
Hand Form #9 Old Guy Style (wmv)
---and...here are some basic technique drills I did on the same day. Once again; "old guy style".Elbows (wmv)
July 22 2017-- On good days I can walk pretty well; and on bad days---I can't
walk so well. This was an ok day. I 'm trying to figure out a way I can
do these external forms without being too painful. I feel that I can
get some use out of them.
So, this is my second form, done "old guy style".
Hand Form #2 Old Guy Style (wmv)
August 10 2015-- I'm 59 years old. And that's all I have to say about that. Oh...and here are some exercise clips.
1st Stick Form (wmv)
August 2, 9, 12 2014-- I'm
58 years old, so I don't move like a youngster. . That just comes with
the territory. This week, I've shot these clips. I also shot clips of
my internal forms, and
those are on the other page.
1st Stick Form (wmv)
April 13, 2013-- On weekends, or with enough free time, I've been running/walking 1/1/2 - 2 miles, then doing pushups, then a number of exercises to straighten my spine. After that, I still do some form work. Here's what I filmed today (with some on the other page).
2nd Hand Form video 6.3mb
9th Hand Form video 4.8mb
Stick form video 4.3mb
September 03, 2012-- I'm still doing what I can. Now I've been running/walking 1/1/2 - 2 miles, then doing pushups, then a number of exercises to straighten my spine. After that, I still do some form work.
2nd Hand Form video 8.6mb Straight Sword Form video 9.3mb
August 08, 2012-- I'm still doing what I can. Now I've been running/walking 1/1/2 - 2 miles, then doing pushups, then a number of exercises to straighten my spine. After that, I still do some form work.
Stick Form video 6.8mb
June 09, 2012-- I'm still doing what I can. Now I've been running/walking 1/1/2 - 2 miles, then doing pushups, then a number of exercises to straighten my spine. After that, I still do some form work. Regardless of how they look, I'm still doing these 26 years after I first started learning them.
June 06, 2011-- I decided to try doing one of the spear forms that I was taught. Over all these years I would still practice one of them, so here it is. I'm quite a bit over 50, I have a fake hip, and a few other odds and ends. So, I'm not doing full body extension, and not leaping very high...or far. I'm still trying for some fluidity, and a bit of quickness, though. So here are some spear form clips: Here's the full spear form filmed at at normal frame rate (wmv 6.2 mb); and then full spear form filmed at at 210 fps (slow motion) (wmv 40.2 mb). I had to place the camera back far enough to catch the entire form, and include the length of the spear. Then in an effort to appear larger in frame, I moved the camera closer, and filmed segments, then edited them together. Here's the edited spear form filmed at at normal frame rate (wmv 6.2 mb); and then edited spear form filmed at at 210 fps (slow motion) (wmv 42.7 mb). A few comments here: First. I may have left off some parts of the form (it's been a while since I've done it, and may have forgotten some.) Second, I did this form many times today; to refresh my memory, and because I goofed some "takes". I've done enough rolling for a while.
June 04, 2011-- Bolstered by my recovery, and still experimenting with filming myself, I did the straight sword for the camera. So here are some clips: Here's part of the sword form filmed at at normal frame rate (wmv 7.7 mb); and then part of the sword form filmed at high frame rate (slow motion)(wmv 51.7 mb).
May 28, 2011-- I had bit of a scare on May 18th. I didn't feel well until Friday, May 27th. But, everything turned out ok. Besides doing the exercise in general, doing forms can serve as a test of recovering mobility, balance and stamina. Today, I did some internal forms, and these two external forms. I decided to film myself with the high-speed camera. It felt good to be back to normal. Here's the stick form filmed at at normal frame rate (wmv 5 mb); and then part of the stick form filmed at high frame rate (slow motion)(wmv 26.3 mb). And this is part of the sword form filmed at normal frame rate (wmv 3.9 mb); and the same form filmed at high frame rate (slow motion) (wmv 21.5 mb).
August 14, 2010--This
is the second external hand form I learned. I'm not as flexible
(or as light) as I was when I learned it, but I've aged a bit since
then. I don't practice the external forms much, but I do like to do a
few of them.
August 16, 2008--This
is the second form I learned for the straight sword. Not all straight
sword forms are Tai Chi forms. This one is not. I like some forms more
than others, and as my
practice time became limited I would only practice the forms I liked
(and that I could still do).
August 11, 2008--I'm
now a few years past 50; and my new
hip is about 3 years old. I left my martial arts school in 1996; about
12 years ago. I attended the school for 10 years from 1986-1996. That
means that I learned some of my material over 20 years ago. I practiced
as much as I could, until the hip and knee problems mentioned above
prevented me for about 3 years. I still practice, although my schedule
has changed quite a bit. Today, I did some exercises, and some
forms--and which I made these videos from. I'm linking to them here as an
example (especially to the younger folks) of how this type of exercise
can help preserve one's health. These aren't exactly the way I learned
them. So what? 12 years or more have passed since I learned them by working with a teacher. I am happy that I can still do the
exercises, and that I can remember them with some work and by
consulting my various records. Don't take your time in a
martial arts school for granted. Document your practice any way you
can. It can only benefit you later.
Stretch and headstand supported handstand pushups head supported handstand
video wmv18mb video wmv 4.5mb video wmv 3.8mb
These are just basic stretches and so on. The headstand into the forearm stand are still fun to do. The supported handstands on the tree help build strength.
2nd handform beginning 2nd handform again 9th handform beginning 9th handform
video wmv 7.8mb video wmv 5.3mb
These were the 2nd and 9th "external" hand forms that I learned. I only knew them by number, and over time, my teacher would change the order of the forms. Thus, my first form might be someone else's 3rd form--or some other number.
1st stick form beginning 1st stick form strike 1st stick form poke that's a springy stick!
video wmv 6.3mb video wmv 4.8mb
This was my first form for the long stick. I bought this stick during the trip to Taiwan (mentioned at the top of the page), in 1988. I don't know what kind of wood it's made of , but I've had this stick for 20 years. It's the same one that I use as a walking stick on the nature trails.
My stances are not as low or as long or wide as they used to be. Also, I've edited out various tumbling moves; and I don't perform side kicks anymore. My mechanical hip does NOT have the same range or style of motion as my original one did. I see no need to push that hip to its limits. Think whatever you wish about the technique...I am happy I can do these exercises at all. About 4 years before these videos, I could barely walk--and that was with a lot of discomfort.
(UPDATED 5/24/2015) I've upgraded these video files. The upgraded files are shown in the list immediately below. Most of the videos were filmed sometime around 1999. It would have had to be before July 1999, when I had my knee surgery.
|long fist 5.mp4|
|long fist 5.wmv|
|long fist 6.mp4|
|long fist 6.wmv|
|long fist 9_slow.mp4|
|long fist 9_slow.wmv|
|long fist 9 fast .mp4|
|long fist 9_fast .wmv|
(Updated 01/19/2014) -- Sometime over the last few years, I have discovered more about the Chinese martial arts taught by Master Jung. He never explained much about this, various online sources, and from some of his later students have given me some hints. There is a Korean term pronounced in English as something like "Shippalgi". This usually means "18 Traditional Weapons" or "18 Traditional Martial Arts". Some sources say that these are based in Northern Shaolin Kung Fu. I have no idea of the connection between my teacher and any "direct lineage" of this Korean variant of Chinese martial arts. But, there has been some interest by fellow students of Master Jung. Because of this, I've updated my old video clips (mostly shot around or before 1993) and put them online-even though they are in poor condition. When I was taught, I was rarely given any history of the forms, or any names for them. Even now, after all these years, I'm curious about some of their history. As the clips after 2000 show, I still do a few of the forms, though (at least through 2013).
(UPDATED 10/22/2014) I've found some of the original tapes, in good condition! So, I've upgraded many of the video files. The upgraded files are shown as such in the list immediately below. Most of the videos were filmed sometime around 1993.
|STICK FORMS upgraded!||BROADSWORD FORMS upgraded!||STRAIGHTSWORD FORMS upgraded!|
|long fist 1.mp4||long fist 6.mp4||long stick 1_demo1988.mp4||broad sword 1_field.mp4||straight sword 1 field.mp4|
|long fist 2.mp4||long fist 6slw.mp4||broad sword 1_test1988.mp4||straight sword 2 field.mp4|
|long fist 3.mp4||long fist 6_later_ver.mp4||broad sword 2_field.mp4|
|long fist 4.mp4||long fist 6_later_ver.wmv||broad sword 2_field_slow.mp4|
|long fist 5.mp4||long fist 7.mp4||broad sword 3 field.mp4|
|long fist 5slw.mp4||long fist 7slw.mp4||broad sword 3 field slow.mp4|
|long fist 8.mp4||broad sword 4 field.mp4|
|broad sword 4 fieldslow.mp4|
to go back to the home page of this....this....whatever the heck I'm