Well, to be honest, I was paging through the website recently and I noticed that there were a few posts that have somehow gotten lost.
Being the Webhead, SEO guy that I am, I realized that’s not very cool.
Plus – being that one of the things that had gotten lost was a video of a demonstration we’d done waaaay back in 2013 for an Atlanta Chinese New Year (CNY) celebration for one of our Martial Arts brothers’ schools, well…
We couldn’t just let that go, could we? No!
So here we are, August 12th 2016, posting up a video that was recorded back in 2013…lol
Anyway, what’s in the video?
The Kung Fu Community of Atlanta
To put things in perspective here, obviously the year was 2013. The month was February (as tends to happen for Chinese New Year :P). And the occasion? Well it was our dear friend, Sifu Gary Mitchell’s, Chinese New Year Kung Fu celebration.
Sifu Gary has been a friend to our school (and the people involved) for a long time, so we would surely not miss this opportunity.
We’ve actually been working together to produce enjoyable, yet informative Kung Fu entertainment with them for awhile now.
Decatur Martial Arts Academy Rocks
Usually Sifu Gary has his celebrations at his own pretty awesome Kung Fu school. But this year, he held it at the Decatur Martial Arts Academy, Head Instructor: Claude Sullivan. Mister Sullivan has been a mainstay in our little Decatur martial arts hub for quite awhile. Anyway, he was nice enough to let Sifu Gary throw his party here. So all of us whom Gary was nice enough to invite, showed up at his Decatur Martial Arts Academy and were pleasantly surprised at not only the huge space, but also the friendliness and brotherliness… Nay – the family-feeling that we all vibed from him.
Sometimes, in martial arts, although you’d imagine we’d all be buddies, due to the obvious similar interests, well…Ego, Greed and more can get in the way.
But none of us caught any such vibe from Master Sullivan.
Instead, it was nothing but a positive Martial Arts Community thing. We felt welcomed.
After we finished being jealous at their amazing and beautiful large space, we all begin to focus a bit more on what we came to do: Show the world our lil stuff (hey! we’re not immune to ego & greed!).
PATHS Atlanta Northern Shaolin Kung Fu Demo – 2013
Keep in mind, I am no video editor. Now, granted, I have kinda roped one of my Northern Shaolin Kung Fu students into becoming an assistant, and he should be helping me with this kind of stuff, he’s not quite there yet.
And he wasn’t even around back in 2013!
So the video is kind a janky. 😛 It starts off like right in the middle of action and continues. There’s no prologue, no introduction. No explanation. And no nice music or musical accompaniment to the Kung Fu. But oh well. I think you might dig it anyway. 😛
When the video starts off, you’ll see four of us doing a group rendition of one of our very first introductory materials, 五步拳 or Wǔ Bù Quán. The name of this form basically means "Five Stance Fist." This, because, there are literally five Kung Fu stances (not really the same as Wushu Stances but of the same seed) that are kind important to learn and are focused on in this form. At least, that’s the idea, anyway. But obviously as you watch it, you will see more than five stances and even more cool are the harmonized hand movements with them. It turns the whole thing into this neat little package of Kung Fu Awesomeness.
But seriously, Wu Bu Quan is a very modern creation, invented in the last century. You can find many, if not most, modern compulsory and competitive 武術, Wǔ Shù (or literally Martial Arts, yeah I know, it’s confusing) training curriculum. And…Oddly enough, you can find it in many Northern TCMA (Traditional Chinese Martial Arts or Kung Fu, as the West calls it) styles.
Since many different styles and schools have adopted the movements into their introductory levels of Kung Fu training, there have been adopted many different transitional movements and other tidbits of differences. But, in general, it’s still the same form. The stances are there. The basic form idea is there. Some get pretty martial – executing the application of the martial combatives in their mind as they perform the movements, and some are just interested in the aesthetic quality of the movement put together.
For example, check out the below shots!
So yeah, in this short bit of the opening of the video, you have me and four of my students doing Wu Bu Quan. I’m the guy in the fancy outfit and boots. The others are my students.
After a slight confused shuffle of where everybody is suppose to be, we moved on to…
Lian Bu Quan
A group demonstation of 練步拳! 練步拳 or Liàn Bù Quán, more popularly known by its Cantonese counterpart, Lin6 Bou6 Kyun4 or other improper, yet popular Cantonese romanizations like: Lin Po and others, is also an introductory form for us in Northern Shaolin. Its name means "Connecting or Linking (but with this character, we call "Training") Steps." It comes after the Wu Bu, but Tan Tui comes into play between it and Lian Bu. Confusing, I know. But there it is. It’s a fairly short form, as TCMA or Traditional Chinese Martial Arts forms tend to go, but is one without the flash of a lot of advanced forms. It has the get-ready-and-go mentality for preparing people for battle; short, easy and direct martial tactics that simply work. And drive up the Centerline. So three of us demonstrate that form and then we move on to the bunt.
The Bunt! Or Short Strike 😛
短打 or "Short Strike," oddly enough, is NOT one of our introductory forms. Not, it’s actually the first form one learns within the Ten Classical Core Handsets of Northern Shaolin Kung Fu! So we have a partnered set of Tun Dah (popular yet incorrect Cantonese Romanization of Duan Dah) next.
Just so we don’t lose you…Introductory material contains Wu Bu Quan, shown in the form, among other things. Then they move on to Animals (not shown in the video), then on to Tan Tui (not shown in the video), then on to Gong Li Quan (not shown in the video), then on to the actual Ten Core. And the first form there? Duan Da! 🙂
Are we there yet?
Then there’s a whole bunch of clapping. I don’t blame them; I’d want us to be done too.
But we ain’t.
A Test of the Tui – Tan Tui
Next in the video is an unusual situation. We have one of our fairly new students perform 彈腿, Tán Tuǐ, known as "Springing Leg (or thigh)," due to the nature of the kicks involved and the single kick that is repeated frequently. But, of course, there is more to it than that. It’s actually considered somewhat of a Grandfather in our system. Why? Because it holds so many of our movements, transitions, principles and more, in esteem. One could study just this form for years and still come out the other side being a Kung Fu Master.
Anyway, this guy performing Tan Tui is a new student and has learned only a fraction of its secrets. I gave him some guidelines, told him to do just a few repetitive movements from the form and let’s see what he can do. He did fine. Not an outstanding job, by all means, but the fellow made us look good. Oh! And he did indeed learn some things 😉
And then the clapping begins again.
Oh God! When will they ever finish???
I tap a student on the shoulder and let him know that he’s up.
Two of them walk on stage and begin to perform the…
Northern Shaolin Kung Fu Two Man Application Form
I really don’t like the name of this form and believe there might be a better, or at least prettier, name out there. Because this is not the only way we dance. Not with opponents, anyway. I mean we have applications and work them to the bone on almost every form we have in the system! And then for demonstrations and tournaments and whatnot, we have plenty of forms. Heck – even in the progression of learning the Northern Shaolin Kung Fu system itself, one tends to learn several different sets that are choreographed fighting movements basically. Some of them are empty-handed, like this one, but some have weapons in one or both of one or both partners’ arms.
Anyway, these two cats had only learned this form for a few months before demonstating it here. It’s decent. 🙂 Hey, but at least you see your school T-Shirts! 😛
Straight to the Sword
After this, I grab my straight sword and head into the demonstration to perform one of our 劍 straight sword sets. This one is called the "Dragon-Shaped Sword."
Or, at least it should be.
What I mean by this is I got a little nervous and flubbed up the form something terrible! lol But I pulled it off without anyone realizing it.
The Closing of the Kung Fu
Next I set down the sword, walk backwards, signalling for my students to come in towards the center. And we bow to the center.
We turn around, bow to the VIPs at the table, including Master Sullivan, Master Holland (Taijiquan teacher in Atlanta), and to you, and then, fortuitously, towards Sifu Mitchell himself, as he comes on stage at the end to get his kids in place for another amazing Kung Fu demonstration.
And that’s what you got.
I do hope you enjoyed taking this little walk down memory lane with ys, as I surely have. And I hope you’re reading this because you are either a Kung Fu fellow (brother or sister) or considering becoming one.
If you are considering becoming one, reach out! We won’t bite.
Even if you are not interested in the Kung Fu styles we teach (Northern Shaolin and Xing Yi Quan), it’s okay. No pressure. If you’re curious about another style, we will point you in the right direction. "You may be interested in that other stuff, but you sir, will study with us" is not really something we are into.
We’re all searching for that void-filler. We all live life. We all know Kung Fu can help with pretty much most things.
But not every path up the mountain is as nice as the next. At least to us.
Do Life, my friends.
Do Life. And Do Kung Fu.