Aggression Makes You Lazy

Aggression in practice or sparring matches makes you lazy. This theory might be a bit controversial to some martial artists, but I hope you can see my point by the end of this article, and maybe understand why some martial arts like Taiji or Aikido chose to practice without or with minimal aggression. Also note that, this theory is only meant for training, and not for actual fighting. Watch the video, or scroll down to read the transcript. Definition To begin, let me introduce 3 elements to you, and briefly define them: Aggression = Using brute force to bash, cut, stab as hard and fast as you can, violently in a pumped-up state. Skill = Having the correct posture, using good movement mechani

Video: Basic Forearm Anatomy To Discuss Efforts of Sword Cut Injury

Above is a quick 5 mins video, where I discussed basic anatomy of the human forearm and hand, so as to analyze what kind of effects will a sword cut injury have on a person. To summarize the main points discussed in the video: Flexor Muscles Found on the anterior part of the forearm, the Flexor Muscles are responsible for wrist flexion and finger flexion (closing your fingers). Extensor Muscles Found on the posterior part of the forearm, the Extensor Muscles are responsible for wrist extension and finger extension (straightening your fingers). Effects of Injury Damage to these muscles will result in reduction of your ability to perform its respective functions. Injury to the Flexor Mus

Effectiveness of "Zwerchhau", German Swordsmanship

In German swordsmanship, there is a technique called "Zwerchhau", which can receive a vertical strike and cut horizontally towards the enemy at the same time. Can this technique kill you? What kind of consequences will there be in a real fight? Let's explore. Performing The Technique When the enemy cuts downwards on you, his front one-third of the blade is received by the last one-third of your blade. This gives you a stronger 'leverage' to push his blade aside as you cut horizontally towards his head, as most opponents are likely to resist. For a video demonstration, please look at the YouTube video below. "Zwerchhau" is demonstrated in the first 20 seconds. "Zwerchhau" is clearly an effect

Effectiveness of Cuts to the Forearms

In a sword-fight, the forearm is the easiest place to attack because it is the closest target to you, and attacking it has the ability to neutralize the opponent's fighting abilities. The fingers can also be an even closer target, but they are frequently protected by the sword's guard and attacking it can result in the opponent being unable to use his weapon. Commonly heard at sword sparring or free-play sessions, includes things like: "I cut your forearm, so you can't use that arm anymore.", or something along that line. To see what kind of effects does a blade have on the human forearm, let's analyze a real video for this discussion. WARNING: Do not scroll down if you cannot stomach seeing

Spinning Footwork - Practicality in Combat

Recently, I received an email from someone asking me about the practicality of spinning footwork which he frequently observes in Muye Dobo Tongji (Korean manual based on Chinese martial arts). Is spinning practical in combat? Or is it just for show? I answered him privately, but I thought I can also share it here with everyone. Let's start with a video of a Muye Dobo Tongji demonstration. Observe how frequently you can see the demonstrators spinning around. In modern Wushu, we can observe a lot of very acrobatic & athletic flashy moves. Many times, these moves are invented in modern times to impress the judges for winning competitions and may not serve much practical usage for combat. So we

"Sneaking Steps" - Practicality in Combat

偷步 (tou bu) "Sneaking Steps" is a type of footwork that we can commonly observe in Chinese martial arts. Below is an example from the Chinese WWII Sword Da Dao manual, which is currently the 'youngest' manual on this website, written only in 1933 To perform a "Sneaking Step", let's say you originally had your right leg in front, and left leg behind. Your rear (left) leg then passes from behind the front leg, so your legs end up in a kind-of crossed stance. This is one of the stances that looks more 'flowery', and some people may question the practicality of it in combat. Why would you want your legs to end up in a crossed manner in the combat? Wouldn't that make your movements more awkward?

Did the Samurai learnt unarmed combat from Chinese General Qi Jiguang?

I'm going to share something breaking here that I've just discovered, which may be considered as evidence that the Japanese Samurai learnt unarmed fist combat techniques from Ming Dynasty Chinese General Qi Jiguang during the period that they lived in. First, let's learn about Samurai General Yamamoto Kansuke. You can read more about him in Wikipedia. He was one of the 24 Generals under Takeda Shingen. He lived from 1501 to 1561, and he authored a book called "Heihō Ōgisho" (兵法奥義書). I translate the title as "Book of Military Secrets". General Qi Jiguang lived from 1528 to 1588, and during his time, he authored "Ji Xiao Xin Shu" (紀效新書), which I translate the title as "New Book of Military Eff

Correct Way Of Using The Chinese Long Saber (aka Dan Dao or Miao Dao)

Ever since I uploaded my first Chinese Long Saber videos on YouTube back in 2010, I occasionally receive comments about how the way I perform the movements in the manual is 'not Chinese-like'. I do not exactly know what they meant. Perhaps they are more accustomed to modern Wushu's display, whirling all around the place? I'm not sure. Recently, I shared an old vintage black-and-white video of old masters using a long wooden Staff. I see many instances in this video that relates to how I use the Chinese Long Saber. Here's my comparison analysis and break-down. 1) Horse Stance I use a wide version of the Horse Stance, pushing my lower-limbs' joints to the limits of their range-of-motion. The t

Ineffectiveness of Cuts to the Head

Typically during freeplay sparring practice with swords, we will consider a cut to the head as something decisive which will end the fight. I've long believed that this is NOT true. There is a good chance a person can still continue fighting even after receiving a direct cut to the head. This is because the skull is one of the toughest and strongest bone in the human body, and a sword cannot easily penetrate it to deal direct damage to the brain. Even if you make a thrust, the rounded shape of the skull makes it easy for the sword to slide away, resulting in a cut instead. Furthermore, people do not just stand there motionless for you to thrust or cut at them, especially at their heads. A qu

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