Two Person Soft Styles

Two Person Soft Styles

Martial artists tend to fall easily into two camps - the athletic, muscled, hard stylists, and the peaceful, calm and unassuming soft stylists. Well, if you're one of the first, time to open your eyes and see what you're missing! If you're already firmly wedded to the soft-style, this month's videos and article are especially for you, taking a close look at how the principles of absorption, deflection and redirection feature in two person exercises. Read more

Two Person Soft Freehand Pattern

Two Person Soft Freehand Pattern


These two female practitioners, who also performed a soft two person sword pattern released with this video, show how the principles of a soft-style can be applied in practice. We often see examples of pushing hands - semi-competitive freeform exercises used to apply simple principles in a 'real' environment. This pattern, however, contains a large number of different principles of deflection, absorption and redirection, each of which could form the basis of a pushing hands exercise. Filmed in December 2003. View clip

Cai Xing Sheng Pushing Hands

Cai Xing Sheng Pushing Hands

Master Cai Xing Sheng and student practice pushing hands in the courtyard of the Zi Xiao hall on Wudang Mountain. They show a range of different pushing hands that reflect the athleticism and expansiveness of Wudang style - firstly, the stances often sink extremely low to the floor, and then Cai and his student demonstrate pushing hands at extremely close range, literally using their bodies in place of their hands. When Cai or his student sense the advantage, they capitalise immediately with a sudden displacement, lock or throw. Filmed in May 2005. View clip

Wudang Seniors Pushing Hands

Wudang Seniors Pushing Hands

Two senior masters demonstrate their pushing hands and remind us all of the importance of a young mind! Kung fu is practised for many reasons, but ultimately, we all feel the benefits of continuing health and vitality as we grow older. Part of the reason is that exercises such as pushing hands keep our minds alert and playful. These two masters can't resist showing off for the cameras, and proving that they can still compete even into old age. Filmed in September 2004. View clip

Two Person Soft Sword Pattern

Two Person Soft Sword Pattern

In this pattern, the two female practitioners demonstrate an exceptionally rare soft-straight sword pattern. The essence of the straight sword is to use soft to overcome hard as the blades are often light, flexible and agile. This is especially true when using a 'Yin' or female sword. The two practitioners show a myriad of ways in which the body and sword can be used to divert attacks - sometimes this is through circular deflections, other times it is through movements of the body to dodge the blow. In some movements, a counter-attacking movement is used to neutralise the opponent's attack even before it has started. Filmed in December 2003. View clip

Silver content

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    Baji Quan is a well known style in Northern China, but there are still many disagreements over its precise origins, not least whether it is a Daoist or a Shaolin Buddhist style. The article and videos in this issue tries to resolve these arguments by taking a closer look at the patterns of this style and the events in China at the time it was created.

  • Issue 16 : 10 Animals Xing Yi

    When we visited Shanghai in April of this year, we met with local master Chen Ke Qiang, who has studied 10 Animals Xing Yi since childhood. He showed each of the ten animal movements in sequence, explaining with examples how each animal principle could be used for fighting.

  • Issue 15 : The Spear and Long Range Weapons

    The Chinese martial arts culture is rich in having thousands of weird and wonderful weapons. Among them the spear, the weapon of the hunter and the warrior, holds a place of honour. Read on if you want an introduction into this world.

  • Issue 14 : Discovering Wu Tai Chi

    The Chinese government recognises five official tai chi styles. Of them, Wu/Hao style is by far the least known in the west. It features ultra-compact movements with a distinct focus on internal power and practical martial applications. Wushu Scholar was lucky enough to be introduced to this amazing style by a master with close connections to China's most famous tai chi families.

  • Issue 13 : Xin Yi vs Xing Yi

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  • Issue 12 : Traditional Mian Quan

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  • Issue 11 : The Art of Chinese Swordplay

    The sword is known as the King of Weapons in China, Japan and in the West. In fact every advanced civilisation throughout history venerated the weapon as the embodiment of the heroic ideal.

  • Issue 10 : Five Fuzhou Crane Styles

    This month\rquote s Silver Issue looks at the five Fuzhou Crane Styles and attempts to introduce some of their differences and similarities in a very brief outline. Why is this important? Simply because the Crane System is not only one of the most widely practised in the modern day, but it is one of the oldest and has had tremendous influence over the development of many other styles of Southern Kung Fu \endash Wing Chun is but one example - and also of Okinawan Karate. Flying Crane, Shaking Crane, Sleeping Crane, Eating Crane and Calling Crane - each of their names captures a particular characteristic of the style. Read the article first and then watch the videos and try to pick out these key distinguishing characteristics yourself.

  • Issue 9 : History & Martial Arts of Emei

    Conceived in the lush, semi-tropical environs of Emei mountain, the martial arts of the Sichuan province have come to be collectively known as Emei wushu. Yet unlike many popular kung fu styles, the history, methods and masters of Emei wushu have for many years been closeted away from the western world.

  • Issue 8 : Kicking and Flexibility

    An old phrase runs something like this - "Train your legs twice as hard to get them half as good as your hands". Kicking done properly is inspiring and frightening, but relies on a massive amount of flexibility. This month's Silver article explores the basics of kicking, the difference between performance and power, and why Chinese martial arts (and masters) used to demand that students 'eat their toes' before being taught.

  • Issue 7 : Chen Tai Chi - An exercise of perseverance

    The original style. A family secret kept hidden for over 300 years unleashed on the world only in the last 50 years, Chen tai chi has become a hallmark of excellence in tai chi circles.

  • Issue 6 : The Daoist mysteries of Qingcheng

    Locked away in the misty mountains of Sichuan, a rare style of Daoist kung fu has developed in secret, known only in the martial arts community as "the Robber's Style".

  • Issue 5 : Natural Boxing Fighting Strategy

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  • Issue 4 : The Muslim Master

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  • Issue 3 : Shaolin Kung Fu

    Shaolin Kung Fu is the most famous and celebrated name in the world of martial arts. This Silver Issue seeks to dispel some myths about it and establish the real legacy of the monks from Shaolin Temple and the influence they have had in the development of other Chinese styles of Kung Fu as well as their place in the modern world.

  • Issue 2 : The Martial Arts of Wudang

    The Wudang Mountains are one of the most sacred places in China, the centre of Daoist Religion. The mountains are said to be home to numerous immortals and throughout centuries famous scholars, warriors and even Emperors would make a pilgrimage here to learn the secrets of the Dao.

  • Issue 1 : Water Margin Editorial

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