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  1. #1

    Question Review of November / December 2008 Issue

    hi
    has any one else noticed that in the
    latter half(after page 67 ) of
    the nov/dec 2008 issue

    that all the colour pages are out of focus (the colours don't line up) ?

    but the black and white part's are fine



    mad4dos

  2. #2
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    Not my copy.
    Simon McNeil
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  3. #3
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    mad4dos - Can you send that back to me?

    Send it to:
    Kung Fu Tai Chi
    40748 Encyclopedia Circle
    Fremont, CA 94538
    ATTN: Gene

    I'll send you a good one. If there's a print problem, I need the examples to show to our printers and demand some restitution.

    My apologies to you, mad4dos. I sure hope yours is the only one.
    Gene Ching
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    Author of Shaolin Trips
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  4. #4
    thanks
    ile do that it might take a few days as im in the UK

    it's mostly affected the adverts any way
    mad4dos

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    Wow - I'm amazed you got it that quickly in the UK

    mad4dos - are you a subscriber or did you pick it up off the newsstands? Since your sending it all the way from the UK, pick out a back issue that you don't have that's not sold out and let me know by PM - I'll toss that in with the new ND2008 issue.
    Gene Ching
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    Review of November / December 2008 Issue

    Well I have finished the issue. I must say it was certainly a mixed bag of articles, as one would expect from a Xingyi special issue. Interesting issue all around.

    A few articles drew my attention in particular and I wanted to discuss them.

    I'll go in order read.

    1)Yiquan.

    On page 20 the author asserts that Zhang Zhuang has direct benefits to fighting skill. This is an often-made assertation of Yiquan practitioners. And yet I have never seen a photograph, a video or even an article actually showing or describing a Yiquan practitioner actually sparring. I have seen many photographs of people doing standing meditation... and really nothing else.

    Now I'm not going to suggest that meditation is useless. I meditate daily.

    I don't do so to become a better fighter. It's just not what meditation is for. So my challenge to the yiquan folks is to provide some sort of doccumented proof that their standing meditation practice really does improve ability as a fighter. It's not difficult to explain. You can do so with pictures.

    2) Harnessing the Power of General Yue Fei.

    Although the Ba Shi picture on page 25 suffers from some typical martial arts magazine silliness (the "I'm going to point at your with my arm perfectly extened for the lock before throwing my punch" picture) the article is, over all, pretty good. It's not anything particularly revolutionary nor does it provide any brand new insights into power generation in Xingyi to someone who has done basic Xingyi training but for somebody just introduced to the art it could be informative. Furthermore I like the poem. Good translation job.

    3) Xingyi's Ground Dragon Canon.

    By far the most interesting article in the issue. I rarely find myself in the position where I have been thrown and my opponent remains standing, largely due to my tendency to pull my opponent to the mat with me if I think he'll get the throw off but, in the event that this fails, I'll certainly attempt some of the techniques discussed in the article and will be interested to determine their efficacy. This article is definately a must-read.

    4) Getting Ahead in Mantis

    Again my issue here has to do with some of the typical martial arts magazine photo silliness and how it correlates with the theme of the written piece as I see a bit of a disconnect. The author makes a pont of discussing how Mantis style can be effective against a larger opponent. The author also provides some photo and textual descriptions of take-down that (I assume) would be usable against a larger opponent. Aaaaand the author even uses, in one of the two sets of photos, a pair of models of considerably different size and weight.

    The takedown / elbow combination depicted on page 69 is, to be blunt, foolhardy. First off the series starts with the larger defender already fully flanked. It's not easy to get this position to begin with in a real fight. Should you get the position you have to execute your takedown quickly or else your opponent will respond with force and you are, well, screwed. Furthermore I find the throat-wrap to be structurally unsound. A man who was taller than me and close to my weight once tried a simmilar technique on me in a match and he got introduced to mister floor by way of a shoulder throw. If somebody lighter and shorter than me attempted such a grapple he or she would probably not even be able to force my chin up.

    The series entitled flanking at the bottom of page 71 is somewhat more effective. In fact I like using a very simmilar takedown... the main difference being that I only use one hand at the chin and put the other on the hip of my opponent to help force them down. Still though the series starts from a pre-flanked position and does not discuss how to pass from a frontal confrontation or a clinch to the point where the takedown can be executed. These omissions make the self-defense information in this article incomplete and rather risky.
    Last edited by SimonM; 10-03-2008 at 12:11 PM.
    Simon McNeil
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    Thanks for your comments, Simon

    I merged this thread with the previous print problems thread of mad4dos. I'm an editor and a little compulsive that way.

    As for the 'martial arts magazine silliness', I feel ya. At the heart of the issue is that martial arts are dynamic and print is static. It has created a tradition of attempting to represent something dynamic via static snapshots, something that goes back to our ancient texts. That has grown into what I call the 'errors in time' which is exemplified by excessive counters to a straight punch that just hangs there. In real time, the straight punch doesn't hang there so. No one does that. It's always retracted. Such techniques require the master to get off two or three counter techniques in one tempo of the adversary. Now, a skilled master can actually do this sometimes, especially against an adversary of lesser skill. Of course, it looks funny when shown in photos. But therein lies one of the great misconceptions of kung fu vs. MMA and other such ring sports. Fight sports assume both fighters are skilled and equally matched. Kung Fu does not. Many kung fu tactics are based on trickery - on catching the adversary by surprise on the street. That just doesn't happen the when you step in the ring or the cage. When you step in the ring, both fighters are ready.
    Gene Ching
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    And that is certainly a valid response to the "Power of Yue Fei" article.

    However I don't feel that necessary excuses some of the tactics demonstrated in the mantis article. The fact is that an untrained opponent of greater size and power will probably try for a clinch. Flanking from clinch thus becomes an important technique to teach to people learning kung fu. Showing a pre-flanked throw and stating that it demonstrates flanking is thus a bit of a problem. And that is in the sequence with the sound throw. The sequence I made reference to on the first page of the article is one that would be very unlikey to work... unless, perhaps, you were considerably larger and heavier than the person you were attempting to perform it on.

    And that is the inverse of what the article suggested, in text, as an advantage of mantis - the ability to effectively fight a larger, heavier opponent.
    Last edited by SimonM; 10-06-2008 at 10:53 AM. Reason: inverted my own meaning accidentally
    Simon McNeil
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeneChing View Post
    I merged this thread with the previous print problems thread of mad4dos. I'm an editor and a little compulsive that way.

    As for the 'martial arts magazine silliness', I feel ya. At the heart of the issue is that martial arts are dynamic and print is static. It has created a tradition of attempting to represent something dynamic via static snapshots, something that goes back to our ancient texts. That has grown into what I call the 'errors in time' which is exemplified by excessive counters to a straight punch that just hangs there. In real time, the straight punch doesn't hang there so. No one does that. It's always retracted. Such techniques require the master to get off two or three counter techniques in one tempo of the adversary. Now, a skilled master can actually do this sometimes, especially against an adversary of lesser skill. Of course, it looks funny when shown in photos. But therein lies one of the great misconceptions of kung fu vs. MMA and other such ring sports. Fight sports assume both fighters are skilled and equally matched. Kung Fu does not. Many kung fu tactics are based on trickery - on catching the adversary by surprise on the street. That just doesn't happen the when you step in the ring or the cage. When you step in the ring, both fighters are ready.
    glad to see more xing yi articles in the mag gene, as everyone knows xing yi is my drug of choice, and it has been for five years. i know your studing it also gene, is that why we're seeing more xing yi? its getting more and more popular in the states

  10. #10
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    I have been quite interested in Xingyi within the sphere of my limited contact with it. It's a lot of fun to play and, linearity of attack aside has a few very effective footwork patterns that I was happy to learn. I also fully support the inclusion of more Xingyi articles in future editions.
    Simon McNeil
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    Be on the lookout for the Black Trillium, a post-apocalyptic wuxia novel released by Brain Lag Publishing available in all major online booksellers now.
    Visit me at Simon McNeil - the Blog for thoughts on books and stuff.

  11. #11
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    why we're seeing more xing yi

    The special issues come about totally organically. I seldom ask freelancers to produce articles on a particular topic. This is because if a freelancer fails to deliver, I'm left holding the bag, so to speak. It's not like I can penalize them for not fulfilling their promise.

    What really happens is that I'll look at the articles I have in our queue for possible publication and the theme just emerges. With this issue, most of the pieces were in place. I only requested one and that was the one from Jake Burroughs. Jake and I had discussed the possibility of doing a xingyi special before, so I knew I could tap him. I knew his expertise and I felt he was trustworthy to deliver by deadline.

    I do believe that our organically-grown specials are a barometer of the state of the art in America. It's not hard stats, but the very phenomenon of me receiving more articles on the same subject is a symptom of some kind of trend. What's more, I get a second validation with issue sales. However, I don't get a sense of how well an issue does for months after it comes off the newsstand. That's just a weird inefficiency of the magazine industry. An issue doesn't close for a year. So we'll see how this issue does. I'm hopeful, but I'm always hopeful.
    Gene Ching
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    Quote Originally Posted by SimonM View Post
    Furthermore I like the poem. Good translation job.
    Yue Fei did not write the poem. Scholars believe it was written around 1500. See:

    James T. C. Liu. "Yueh Fei (1103-41) and China's Heritage of Loyalty." The Journal of Asian Studies. Vol. 31, No. 2 (Feb., 1972), pp. 291-297

    Those girls from the Mantis article were hot! They had to be models.

  13. #13
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    My only issue with the models / students / whatever for the mantis article aside from the ones directly related to technique were in the pictures where the woman was demonstrating aggressor positions on the much larger man. And this also came back to technique as the structure she was using to take down a much-larger (and more importantly much taller) man were not sound.
    Simon McNeil
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by SimonM View Post
    1)Yiquan.

    On page 20 the author asserts that Zhang Zhuang has direct benefits to fighting skill. This is an often-made assertation of Yiquan practitioners. And yet I have never seen a photograph, a video or even an article actually showing or describing a Yiquan practitioner actually sparring. I have seen many photographs of people doing standing meditation... and really nothing else.

    Now I'm not going to suggest that meditation is useless. I meditate daily.

    I don't do so to become a better fighter. It's just not what meditation is for. So my challenge to the yiquan folks is to provide some sort of doccumented proof that their standing meditation practice really does improve ability as a fighter. It's not difficult to explain. You can do so with pictures.
    My bagua teacher has videos of dudes doing Yi Quan in Japan and they are doing much more than just post standing. Even some sparring, and I was impressed.

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    I'm just saying I've never seen anything in any source about Yiquan showing anything other than standing meditation.

    If there is footage of Yiquan practitioners doing something martial perhaps the problem is just bad PR rather than phoney-baloney martial arts.

    Or perhaps it's not.
    Simon McNeil
    ___________________________________________

    Be on the lookout for the Black Trillium, a post-apocalyptic wuxia novel released by Brain Lag Publishing available in all major online booksellers now.
    Visit me at Simon McNeil - the Blog for thoughts on books and stuff.

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