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Master's Notepad

The associates of our Kung Fu and Tai Chi Academy and I would like to wish everyone a happy and healthy New Year. We also would like to thank everyone for the fantastic support that we received last year.

Check out the article on Soft Fist and the new training programs. This is new for 2018. It’s a great routine with awesome self-defense.

The self-defense class will now be encompassed with 6 strategies against common street attacks. They combine everything from blocks, strikes, kicks, locks to even takedowns.

Chinese New Year—Year of the Dog — Feb 16th. Check out the February Newsletter for the history and what kind of year the Dog brings.

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Master Rothrock started training in 1968 at the age of 15 in Shotokan Karate and Chinese Kempo in Bethlehem, PA.

In the world nothing is more submissive and weak than water. Yet for attacking that which is hard and strong nothing can surpass it.

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New for 2018 - Soft Fist and Beyond

Welcome to the New Year and the new and exciting training program. We’ve been gradually modifying and improving the training for your overall best experience. We started last year with an ancient 5-animal routine called Soft Fist. Not only an excellent routine for learning the 5-animals (Tiger, Snake, Leopard, Dragon, and Crane), but also the self-defense strategies that you’ll discover within this complex training routine.

Short History of Soft Fist

This form acts as a general introduction to many Chinese Kung Fu techniques and body movements. Chinese Soft Fist (Zhong Ming Jeung) is composed of 200 movements divided into eight sections. None of the techniques are complex or difficult to execute. The form incorporates all five animal movements: Tiger, Snake, Dragon, Leopard, and Crane.

The neophyte at the temple was required to absorb a lot of Kung Fu in a short period. The Masters could not afford to permit a student to remain if the student, in the long run, would break under pressure.

The Masters usually gave six months for the neophyte to absorb this set, in addition to his other duties. If after this period of training, the neophyte could not perform the Soft Fist Set with some degree of proficiency, he was expelled from the temple.

In 2017, we started teaching this ancient form to all students at the school. The routine will be taught in the Form/Applications class. This is the name replaces the self-defense class name. Soft Fist is divided into 8 sections. Soft Fist incorporates a plethora of self-defense applications and uses all 8 principles of self-defense. So, after absorbing each section, you will learn the self-defense applications for each move… providing you with a wealth of information to use for self-defense.

You’ll also be introduced to some of the ancient Chinese hand techniques: Leopard Fist, Cobra Strike, Phoenix Eye, Crane’s Foot, 1 Finger Jab, Side Elbow strikes, Cross Punch, Folded Wing Block, Tiger Tail Kick, and a lot more.

Chinese Soft Fist has been a great success for 2017 and we are continuing with it into 2018.
New/Old Self Defense

I know that’s a little confusing. We are reinstating the old self-defense strategies that we taught years ago. These are all based on the 8 principles of self-defense as well as the most common street attacks. You’ll be introduced to a new one each month.

Some of the attacks that you’ll learn to defend yourself from are chokes, strangles, punches, grabs, tackles, and even a 2-man attack. These strategies include multiple techniques using blocks, strikes, kicks, locks, and takedowns.

In the Master Club classes, you’ll learn that these strategies can also be done with different types of attacks. You’ll also learn the finer points of striking and maximizing your power and effectiveness for each self-defense.

Black Belt Classes and Curriculum

I’ve changed the curriculum for the black belt classes to more of the Bok Leen Pai or White Lotus Style. This style includes the 5-animal forms and Chinese Soft Fist is the first routine in the series.

Short History Eagle Claw

The roots of Eagle Claw reach far back in Chinese history to the Shaolin temple of Northern China, founded during the Sung Dynasty it has traveled down through the ages reaching the 20th century in its entirety.

A blend of three ancient kung fu styles, Eagle Claw is a classical system of Kung Fu, a complete and rounded system, encompassing increasingly difficult open hand sets, martial tumbling, gymnastic routines, and numerous weapons. Master Gini Lau is the daughter of the late Great Grand Master Lau Fat Mang, a famous Eagle Claw Master and honored war hero from China, who was probably one the greatest Eagle Claw exponents of this century.

Today's Eagle Claw descends directly from three systems of Northern Kung Fu, the first being Chin'na (joint locking) developed by the famous General Yueh Fei (1103 - 41) of the Sung Dynasty. The General Yueh Fei although not himself a product of Shaolin Temple was extensively trained by the Shaolin Priest Jao Tung.

During the Ming Dynasty (1368 - 1644) one of the great periods of Chinese cultural history, a Shaolin martial monk named Li Chun famous for his abilities in Faan Tzu (martial tumbling). Li Chun chanced upon a demonstration of General Yueh Fei's Chin'na. Li Chun saw the power of Eagle Claw hand techniques as well at the beauty of the form and was determined to combine it with his own Faan Tzu. In time the monk Li Chun combined the two systems creating Northern Shaolin Ying Jow Faan Tzu. In the 1950’s, the Jing Mo Association formed to teach different systems in one place. The came up with a series of preliminary forms that students would learn first. Some of these are Kung Lik Kuen, Jeet Kuen, and Yee Long Kuen. This is Eagle Claw as we know it today.

Enjoy the New Year and the exciting training program.

The Chinese Sword

The jian (simplified Chinese: 剑; traditional Chinese: 劍; pinyin: jiàn; Cantonese: Gim) is a double-edged straight sword used during the last 2,500 years in China. The first Chinese sources that mention the jian date to the 7th century BCE during the Spring and Autumn period;[1] one of the earliest specimens being the Sword of Goujian. Historical one-handed versions have blades varying from 45 to 80 centimeters (18 to 31 inches) in length. The weight of an average sword of 70-centimetre (28-inch) blade-length would be in a range of approximately 700 to 900 grams (1.5 to 2 pounds).[2] There are also larger two-handed versions used for training by many styles of Chinese martial arts.

Professional jian practitioners are referred to as jianke (Chinese: 剑客; pinyin: jiànkè; literally: "sword guests" or "swordsmen"; a term dating from the Han dynasty).

In Chinese folklore, it is known as "The Gentleman of Weapons" and is considered one of the four major weapons, along with the Gun (staff), Qiang (spear), and the Dao (sabre). These swords are also sometimes referred to as taijijian or "t'ai chi swords", reflecting their current use as training weapons for taijiquan practitioners, though there were no historical jian types created specifically for taijiquan.

The Sword requires finesse. Unlike the Saber that uses power and ferocious cuts like the tiger, the Sword uses small circular techniques and precise thrusting techniques into vital points on the body. This is also one of the most popular weapons used in Tai Chi because it requires a greater skill level to master.

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