This podcast is a re-recording of a talk I gave at the 5th Annual Martial Arts Studies Conference held at Chapman University in Los Angeles, California in May 2019. The event was hosted by Dr. Paul Bowman, and Dr. Andrea Molle. A two day extravaganza of martial arts history, politics, and culture. There is amazing research into the martial arts taking place around the globe today. It was an honor to be a part of this significant event, and contribute in some small way to the Martial Arts Research Network. Below is a copy of the…
A true Mantis Boxing Historical Timeline from the Qing dynasty to the Republican Era. This tool was pivotal in drawing conclusions in my research on the history of Praying Mantis Boxing. Months of investigation culminated and presented in this beautiful chart designed by Bruce Sanders. Now available for your own research or enjoyment.
We had the honor of visiting with Ando from Happy Life Martial Arts in Los Angeles this past weekend. Aside from the great hospitality and amazing company, we had some time for a quick tour of his stomping grounds, as well as shooting a video or two. Here is Coach Holly showing some of her tips for the scissor clip with Sensei Ando!
Dive deep into your martial arts for one week of awesome training over the summer of 2019!!! The first camp of its kind that is designed just for you.
Watch your skills ‘rocket off of this world’ in a concentrated training environment surrounded by teammates and friends, new and old.
Train with one another to learn, improve, and grow your skills like you’ve never seen before. In between training blocks, play challenge games that include capture/hunt & stealth/evasion. Woodland exploration. Learn archery, staff fighting and more.
A critical analysis of the fighting stance we've been using for years. And why I got rid of it.
I recently went through some changes in my teaching and practice. One of these recent changes was in our fighting stance. The reasons for these are many, and too lengthy to explain for these purposes. However, the root of any changes I make are always born of a desire to improve things for myself and my students.
Let’s compare the stance we were using for years, the Monkey Stance, with the…
An Essay on my Early Years in Chinese Boxing Dance
Martial arts forms (kata, tào lù) are more plentiful today than in any time in history. They are widely disseminated in a variety of martial arts schools/styles across the United States, and around the world. A majority of ‘traditional martial arts’ competitions today, are centered around stylists competing with their form of choice. One is hard pressed to enter a school of karate, kung fu; kempo, tae kwon do; or tang soo do, etc. that isn’t consumed by a curricula filled with form after form. Once you complete one form, you’ve earned the ‘privilege’ to learn another...and another...and another.
Years into my training, I went on to scorn these empty shells. For quite some time actually. One reason I held such admonishment toward ‘forms’, was having…
Grasp Sparrow Tail, the one and only. Yang Lu Chan's masterpiece sequence from Qing dynasty Chinese Boxing. This is Yang's Cotton Boxing (miánquán 棉拳), or more widely known as Taijiquan (Tai Chi). The Yang style long form is riddled with this move. I have spent years trying to figure out how this move worked, and it is one of the handful of Cotton Boxing techniques that has continued to elude me. Until now…
“If we need to play all these games with kids to get them to keep coming back to class, then maybe, just maybe, we’re a giant B-O-R-E!!!”
Update - 10-MAR-2019
Below is an essay from May of 2013. After 14 years in Chinese boxing styles, thousands of hours of training, and a year into my journey of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, in 2012 my ideas and approach to the art of praying mantis boxing began to shift. I was not happy with the ‘status quo’, the failure of the art (meaning the methods within forms) to ‘work’ in fighting, and I began to approach mantis from a different angle - a grappling mindset. What you are about to read, is written during this early period in my transformation. Some of this (the history in particular) is incorrect, or incomplete. Later, through further training, research, and sparring, I was able to more deeply develop an understanding of the art. This is the foundation, the beginning of the evolution. I consider this to be when my art truly began. While I could delete this, hide it, or pretend I was never ‘new’, I leave this here to demarcate a point in time on my journey in martial arts. - Randy