Chinese martial arts

Tear Down the Monkey

Tear Down the Monkey

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…

Essay: Rise from the Ruins

Essay: Rise from the Ruins

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…