View Full Version : Would you like to buy some Girl Scout cookies? (May/June 2004)

04-05-2004, 08:37 PM
Alrighty, time for me to do my review of the newest issue of KF/TC magazine. Today was a great day, I got the magazine in the mail AND MY tax return. So I was happy.

SanShou Linking Combinations
Very nice article, albeit too short I thought. Lots of photos, but it seemed the text was too short. Perhaps he should have added another page or 2 to it. Something to remember to look back on if I ever do a SanShou match. I would like to see more by this guy though.

The Secret History of Wushu from Behind the Red Curtain, sorry, like the last issue, this article really couldn't keep me interested, though it was cool to see the photos of Jet Li as a little boy.

Wushu Cave Women...yeah, cool to see like uh Kung Fu on stage, but sorry there Gene. Next page.

Of Tai Chi and Tai Chi Chuan, nice looking article discussing Yin/Yang and philosophy, but it seemed like a PJ wearing Taiji hippy in the park. Would like to see perhaps a little application of what he is doing.

Chen Taijiquan The Ultimate Grappling Art?, nice to see some Chin Na from the art, though I think they could of done without the stage being set up with Lou Reed. I mean, seriously, I almost laughed. You got this guy with a guitar, a woman on the Chello, and an Asian dude doing some Taiji. I think the article should have been titled Chin Na though and not grappling (though that is an argument cause like, yeah, not gonna get into that).

Reclaiming Nunchaku, gotta give him credit for his interesting outfit. But why is it he has to "scream" when he does the stuff? Nice photos, minus the screaming, and nice to see some teaching on Nunchaku that isn't Karate.

Pak Mei Kung Fu, I enjoyed the application photos of the article, and reading the history behind it. Good to see some rare styles of Kung Fu being represented, with so little on the art, it is nice to see how they do there thing.

The Eight Characteristic Powers of Xingyi, pretty much the same on the Taiji article I gave above. Wish it showed some application, maybe he should have done a 2 part article, showing some of the form and application in the first issue, and the rest in the next issue. Not alot of talking, but loaded with photos and captions of it. Leaves the mind have to wonder how it is applied.

Taiji Quan as Self Defense, haven't had the chance to look over it yet.

Tai Chi Brings Peace, see above. Though it is nice to see more females writing into the magazine.

Taiji Push Hands and Combative Principles, no comment as of yet.

Is that Morihei Ueshiba's long lost brother on page 89 in the painting?

Meet Master Lau Ka Sun, looks like a nice interview, though he could of gone without the "yelling" since usually in Wing Tsun/Chun one does not KIAI when they attack. I enjoyed seeing how it describes the ranks in the WT organization and the levels and stuff.

And a hands out to the lovely ladies on page 113. If I weren't such a Pig, I might be interested in one of those shirts. Bad pun, I know, I know, I can be a real Boar sometimes.

04-06-2004, 09:33 AM
After all, it's a magazine, maybe they're just opening their mouth. :eek: Expresssion is always a trade off. Sometimes it seems overdone - but you should see the archives of stuff with no expression. The masters look dead. OK, maybe you shouldn't see that stuff.

As for Lou Reed, did you see Ren on Letterman with Lou (http://ezine.kungfumagazine.com/forum/showthread.php?threadid=23574) the other week? Our May June 2003 (http://ezine.kungfumagazine.com/magazine/article.php?article=318) Lou Reed cover story was pretty controversial, but it got us into a lot of cool places and actually wound up to be a pretty good seller, not so much on the newsstands, but with back issues. It actually opened a lot of doors for us. We're always looking for the crossover, because frankly, if left to just the CMA community, we can't really survive. Thus the Cave Women piece - that's crossover too. Like it or not, that's one direction we can't afford to indulge. After all, it's the art of martial arts, so to speak.

This is sort of a Tai Chi special, specifically a Tai Chi push hands special. Unfortunately, push hands doesn't represent well in photos, since it's such a touchy feely thing. So most of the articles in our Tai Chi cluster are theoretical.

Thanks for your comments again! I look forward to hearing more once you've read some more. BTW, no comment on me getting kicked in the head by Van Do (p 81)?

04-06-2004, 04:03 PM
My thing against yelling is that it works with Karate or Tae Kwon Do, but I have been told by many people who do Wing Chun NOT to yell when attacking, or if you do, use it as a distraction, and not a Kiai. I see lots of photos in the magazine of people who are not yelling, and they look perfectly fine.

And I didn't know that was you getting kicked in the head. :p

But yeah, I understand the crossing over thing, trying to get other stuff. I just tend to skip it over. Now, that play someone was doing a few weeks ago on here with the history of Bak Mei or whatever, THAT I would love to see in theatre.

04-07-2004, 09:05 AM
I understand your point about yelling, but if we take Bruce Lee's lead, that martial arts are the "art of expressing the human body" then yelling can't be disreagrded. And Bruce was the king of the yell.

I find the cross over stuff more interesting, in a way, just because it's more cutting edge. I would love to have done something with that Bak Mei show... in fact, Doug is talking about putting something together for us for the e-zine perhaps. Now we do limit that cross over stuff to small articles (Cave Women was just two pages). Keep in mind that the cross over works both ways - not just for martial artists to open their minds about possiblities, but also for fans of the show to open their minds about martial arts. The whole Lou Reed thing has been a bonanza for that. I mean, really, traditional Chen Taiji on Letterman? Thank you Ren and Lou!

I'm a bit dejected personally about your opinion on the Wushu article since that's a personal tour de force, research-wise (but of course, you have your opinion and I'm happy that you expressed it). So many people say that the commies killed traditional martial arts. So many people don't know what they are talking about. In a weird way, traditional martial arts killed themselves by aksing for recognition and adopting western tournament practices. Think about it - wushu was designed to adapt a Chinese art to the western concept of tournaments. That doesn't really exist in ancient China. In ancient western cities you find tournament arenas like the colesium. Not so in ancient China. This will come more to a head with Beijing 2008, so I just trying to get the story straight, for those who might want to know.

04-08-2004, 12:03 AM
I'll take another look at that Wushu article. I never believed though that Chinese arts were wiped out by the Commies though.

04-08-2004, 10:44 AM
BTW, Gigi just brought in a few boxes of girl scout cookies. Let's see, we got peanut butter, animal cookies and thin mints.

Looking forward to hearing some others chime in on this thread (and thanks for your new tradition issue reviews here philbert, they're really cool.)

04-08-2004, 11:56 AM
It's still not out at Walmart. I'll try again tonight, though.

Hey, I got my state tax return in! I can get a 2Year subscription! yay!

norther practitioner
04-08-2004, 02:09 PM
thin mints

Throw those in the freezer....:D

04-09-2004, 08:07 AM
NP, why is that?

Yeah, I didn't realize I was doing the reviews every time a new issue came out until the other night when I was typing this one up and suddenly like 4 people IM me and are like "What are you up to?" and I told them I'd call them later cause I was typing a review.

And I only like shortbread myself. :D

norther practitioner
04-09-2004, 09:56 AM
Thin mints are the best frozen.. maybe with a little vanilla ice cream.

04-09-2004, 10:59 AM
I liked the new issue, but I'm a Taiji practitioner. Ren Guanyi looks tough in his street clothes

04-09-2004, 01:51 PM
I hate the taste of mints.

norther practitioner
04-09-2004, 08:17 PM
They hate you too.....



We have a fairly combative taiji school... I thought some of those articles were week and repetetive, however I feel that way, 'cause I don't know if I can write a better article, especially at this time..

taiji is underdone.. imho...

Unfortunatly, in some words, I have a really cool teacher, who keeps our options open.... Doesn't fill our heads with that hippy crap, but keeps it out there, in a mystical way.

04-12-2004, 09:10 AM
however I feel that way, 'cause I don't know if I can write a better article, There is no 'try', only 'do' (http://ezine.kungfumagazine.com/about/guidelines.php) ;)

Our freezer is on the other side of our building. If we left the thin mints in there, the phone salespeople and shippers would get them in minutes. Too bad, I like 'em frozen too. Mints and wushu, Philbert, they're good for you. At least, they'll increase your chances of meeting an ORA girl... :p

Ren really wanted to do the street clothes thing. We'll see how that affects our newsstand. BTW, that cover shot was taken by Bette Midler's husband. Seriously.

I got a lot of good comments on the Wushu article at the Berkeley Tournament over the weekend. Of course, there's a lot of wushu there, so they love it. Can't please everyone, so I don't try too. :cool:

norther practitioner
04-12-2004, 10:09 AM
Very cool Gene...

04-12-2004, 03:20 PM
Originally posted by GeneChing
...Mints and wushu, Philbert, they're good for you. At least, they'll increase your chances of meeting an ORA girl... :p

Meh, I am more interested in Margie first, then some of the other ladies in the magazine second. Oh, I read the Wushu article. It was pretty good now that I managed to get through it all, but Wushu isn't my thing. Sure I'll watch it if they get it in 2008.

04-13-2004, 10:12 AM
Thanks for reading the wushu article - even if it's not your thing, it's good to give it a go - did you read part one too?

04-13-2004, 10:37 AM
Hope the new issue is at Wal-Mart when I go by tonight, or there'll be heads a-rollin'!

04-13-2004, 03:47 PM
Yeah I read Part 1 first, then read Part 2.

doug maverick
04-15-2004, 09:52 AM
i liked that article, one because it was good.
and two: because alex richter(a friend of mind) was in there getting beat up, the faces he made cracked me up.

04-15-2004, 10:15 AM
Nothing better than seeing a buddy get beat up in the magazine (at least that's what all my buddies tell me when they see me). Alex seems like a good guy. They prepared their materials very professionally.

04-15-2004, 01:44 PM
finally got my copy! gonna start reading on it here in a minute!


04-15-2004, 03:34 PM
Get more Fukien people to submit (http://ezine.kungfumagazine.com/about/guidelines.php). :cool:

04-15-2004, 04:33 PM
Please forgive me Gene!
But that is one of the worst Mags yet! Sorry! The karate guy in a Kung Fu Mag... Wushu Cave Women come on Gene, As for the As for Lou Reed stuff... I will stop there! Please do not do what IKF likes to do.

I would like to see some stores about some TCMA here in the good old USA and not on SSTK. Do some on the yonger Sifus That are not know that well or something. Mix up the mag so there is not just TC or KF or SSTK. Do some on all of it. O'ya put the girl in the Pro Leg Stretcher. She is much better looking then C, Lee.

Sorry Gene IMHO!

PS. DS, keep up the good Art work! Nice Ninja vid too! lol

04-15-2004, 05:45 PM
Gene, dude . . . I was rather disappointed. Sorry, I guess Tai Chi ain't my bag.

Also, their seemed to be a surplus of Wushu this time. Now, I've NO experience with Wushu, but I've worked out with some sport karate guys, and done a few tournaments, and let me say that anything which claims martial art but functions as a performance art pizzes me off. Just call it a dance and I'd be happy. Plus, I wouldn't have to read about it so much in this otherwise super-cool magazine.

Loved the Xingyi article, though. You know, quite a few of those pictures looked very similar to techniques in Isshinryu's Seiunchin set . . . :o

Anyway, more Hsing I, more Fukien, more fun!

Oh, yeah . . . the numbchucks guy seemed a bit off to me. I think he needed a whuppin'.

I was talking to Okinawan_Lohan a while back, he said he was working on a two-part article covering the transference of Fukien White Crane and Lohan Quan techniques to Okinawa. And I think he was working on something covering the power-generation similiarities between Xingyi Quan and the Shuri (including Tomari) districit's Di. But, haven't heard from the dude in forever.

04-16-2004, 10:09 AM
Thanks for your input, guys. We really appreciate it, even if negative.

On the topic of selling out, you know, that's actually the goal of our magazine. We want to sell out. And FWIW, Lou Reed's issue was the only issue to sell out in 2003. I think what you really mean is keeping true to our integrity. For that, we are still locked into just doing CMA and all it's variations. That is inhibiting - it means we can't advertise a lot of stuff (our parent company Tiger Claw (http://www.tigerclaw.com) makes most of it's income off TKD and we don't advertise any of that) nor can we carry outside ads that are non-Chinese. As a business venture, keeping true to CMA is tactically foolish. But we do the best we can. This issue did emphasize a lot of Tai Chi and it's part of a campaign to for advertisers and our newsstand presence. We shifted our name from Kungfu Qigong to Kung Fu Tai Chi with our Sep/Oct 2003 issue (http://ezine.kungfumagazine.com/magazine/article.php?article=377). This was for two reasons - 1. because no one could pronounce or spell qigong, not even our printers and distributers (and we are worth tens of thousands of dollars to them so you'd think they'd get it right) and 2. because we wanted to move more into the Tai Chi market. This issue was sort of a flagship - we are courting Tai Chi people. For balance, we did keep some hard style, etc. in there and just because it's us, it mostly about push hands theory with almost all the authors being push hands champs. I think Gigi addressed what we were doing with it well in her publisher's note. We've done soft style issues before, and will again, but we will balance with hard style stuff.
As for the two most controversial pieces, the nunchuk one was run because it was from a Taiwan perspective. It sort of plays on preconceptions since it's a take on the effect of Bruce Lee in Asia. He's been doing well in traditional tournaments over there - go figure. The Cave Women piece was only a two-pager so I'm surprised it got such a reaction. I firmly beleive wushu has a role in live theater - and this was so painfully artsy I couldn't resist. Also it gave us an excuse to put some women in the magazine and not have to resort to doing "profiles" :p

04-17-2004, 04:09 PM
Originally posted by GeneChing

Thanks for your input, guys. We really appreciate it, even if negative.

On the topic of selling out, you know, that's actually the goal of our magazine. We want to sell out. And FWIW, Lou Reed's issue was the only issue to sell out in 2003. I think what you really mean is keeping true to our integrity. For that, we are still locked into just doing CMA and all it's variations. That is inhibiting - it means we can't advertise a lot of stuff (our parent company Tiger Claw (http://www.tigerclaw.com)

Re: Yeah, like Richard Mooney and empty force healing! Alright!

:p http://ezine.kungfumagazine.com/magazine/article.php?article=138

04-17-2004, 04:12 PM
We shifted our name from Kungfu Qigong to Kung Fu Tai Chi with our Sep/Oct 2003 issue (http://ezine.kungfumagazine.com/magazine/article.php?article=377). This was for two reasons - 1. because no one could pronounce or spell qigong, not even our printers and distributers (and we are worth tens of thousands of dollars to them so you'd think they'd get it right) [/B][/QUOTE]

:mad: :mad: :mad: :eek: :p :rolleyes:

04-17-2004, 04:13 PM
I think most of the posters of these forums consider themselves "above" reading Kungfu magazine.

04-19-2004, 10:14 AM
....KungFuMagazine.COM (http://www.kungfumagazine.com) to be exact. ;)
We will always push the edge of the envelope where we can. There will be failed experiments. But we don't apologize for that - we revel in it. :cool:

04-29-2004, 02:21 AM
Finally got hold of the latest issue.

Bit of a mixed bag really. Not because of suject - it's always interesting to read about the 'internal' styles - but because of some of the self promotion going on. Though as Gene has pointed out before unfortunately the mag depends on 3rd party contributors.

One article that stood out for me in this regard was the Wing Tsun interview. The way that the interviewee blatantly referred to one of his interviewers in the 3rd person sense by saying he was a really good teacher symbolises what I hate about most UK martial arts mags.

If any contributors are reading this, I'll just reiterate that I still really miss the days when the mag had a lot of impartial historical articles, or first hand accounts from people who had learnt off the masters of old.

I have never been a fan of technique application articles for the sole reason that I don't believe in being able to learn a martial art from a magazine. That's what martial arts teachers are for. While showing techniques can give some insight into how other styles operate, I believe that such things can be illustrated far better and in a more interesting context in other ways.

04-29-2004, 08:56 AM
Thanks for chiming in. I think you might be looking at a lot of those old articles through rose-tinted glasses. True impartiality is very difficult to achieve - it's akin to being free of ego. But clearly, most submissions are overly self-promotional. Such is the nature of the beast (but you should see some of the stuff we reject :rolleyes: )

As for technical articles, your opinion is very interesting since most of our readership have specifically asked for more technical material. I understand your point about learning, but I personally disagree. You can learn from anything. Every teacher, every article, every bit of martial arts knowledge, they are all just doorways. You can't learn anything from a doorway unless you go through it. Now obviously, it helps when some one like a human master tells you exactly how to go through it. But the ancestors learned from primordial doorways, like watching snakes and cranes, clouds and gods, expressions of power in nature. This is a much more difficult way to learn then having a human teacher, but not outside the realm of possibilities. Personally, I try to learn something from everything I experience, even if the lesson is just how NOT to do it. That's actually the most valuable of all. Research indicates that the main difference between an expert and a novice is that an expert does not explore as many fruitless pathways, whereas a novice will waste a lot of opportunities by following dead ends. It can be very self-limiting anytime you say you can't learn from something.

Well, that was a bit of a rant. ;) Thanks again for your comments everyone. I know my reactions probably appear defensive, but what do you expect? I truly enjoy these threads because at least I know some one is reading us here. :cool:

04-30-2004, 12:55 AM
LOL, nope, no rose tinted glasses. I quite often go back and re-read a lot of them. :)

I understand what you are saying about learning from everything, and it is true that some insight can be gained from technical articles. However, especially with Chinese martial arts, there can be many minor details that are not conveyed through the articles that can make or break a technique. Further, many Chinese styles rely on sense of touch as well. Something that cannot be learnt without proper instruction.

But mainly I find the technical articles to be written in a very dull way! Technical yes, but some of them seem to be on the level of a car manual in terms of writing style. And on top of that many seem to take the most basic parts of a system and end up repeating themselves over several pages. Often I find I have read 3 pages of nothing.

This is why I suggested that perhaps there was another way for writers to tackle the technical issue. Perhaps placing the techniques in historical context, or combining such step by step approaches in an article that gives a detailed history of the style, or particular master of a style. This way there would be some real meat to such a piece. Rather than, as is often the case for me, the article is so technical it would only be of interest to practitioners of the style being written about. Further still I have personally never been a fan of 'technique A defeats technique B' style instruction. As we all know the real world isn't that perfect!

IMHO I find pure instructional/technical articles to be much like bad film reviews. Instead of commenting on the qualitiies of the film the writer will just describe each event in the film. So I find such articles to be lacking in imagination on the writers part. I will concead that one technical article I liked was the one by Adam Hsu. He took his own knowledge of the styles he knew, but wrote a technical piece that applied to all martial artists, as well as giving something for people to think about. That is the kind of thinking that is needed if technical articles are going to become more prolific in the magazine.

Now I know that some people didn't like that article (although I also know that some reasons for that were politically based more than anything), but at least he tried to approach such an article from a different angle and enabled people from all styles to understand what he was saying.

04-30-2004, 02:19 PM
...it's not technical articles that you dislike so much as boring articles. Well, I certainly respect that. FWIW, the article that I would consider the most technical - Ayron Howey's Sanshou piece (http://ezine.kungfumagazine.com/magazine/article.php?article=486) - has garnered the most compliments so far. Go figure. That one was just three linking combintations - very sparse - but some people like it that way.

The one thing that we all have to consider is that CMA is an immense field. We try to cover all the bases as in depth as possible, which means that there's almost always going to be something that's not in your area, unless your a real CMA freak. However, it may well be exactly what another CMA person might be interested in. At least we don't cover TKD...;)