Xref: helios.physics.utoronto.ca rec.martial-arts:76324 rec.answers:7408 news.answers:29406
From: email@example.com (Randy Pals)
Subject: rec.martial-arts FAQ part 2 of 2
Date: 19 Sep 1994 03:41:48 GMT
Organization: IPACT, Valparaiso IN
Expires: 31 Oct 1994 03:40:54 GMT
Summary: Descriptions of the various martial arts
Last-modified: 06 August 1994
Posting-Frequency: monthly in *.answers, every two weeks in rec.martial-arts
rec.martial-arts FAQ - Part 2 of 2
16) What are the different Arts, Schools and Styles?
This is a question with many, many answers---some could say that there
are as many styles as there are martial artists. So, we'd like to
introduce some Schools and Styles that will give you a basic familiarity
with the world of martial arts. The Arts are listed alphabetically.
Important note: This information is true to the best of the knowledge of
those who wrote the descriptions of the various arts. If your style has
only a small write up or none at all and you have enough information on it
to make a good FAQ entry, write it up in the form shown below and send it
If you have a question about a particular style or its writeup, one option
is to look in the next section for who contributed to the art's writeup, and
send e-mail to them. Otherwise, comment to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Aikido emphasizes evasion and circular/spiral redirection of an attacker's
aggressive force into throws, pins, and immobilizations as a primary
strategy rather than punches and kicks.
Aikido was founded in 1942 by Morihei Ueshiba (1883-1969). Prior to this
time, Ueshiba called his art "aikibudo" or "aikinomichi". In developing
aikido, Ueshiba was heavily influenced by Daito Ryu Aikijujitsu, several
styles of Japanese fencing (kenjutsu), spearfighting (yarijutsu), and by
the so- called "new religion": omotokyo. Largely because of his deep
interest in omotokyo, Ueshiba came to see his aikido as rooted less in
techniques for achieving physical domination over others than in attempting
to cultivate a "spirit of loving protection for all things." The extent to
which Ueshiba's religious and philosophical convictions influenced the
direction of technical developments and changes within the corpus of aikido
techniques is not known, but many aikido practitioners believe that perfect
mastery of aikido would allow one to defend against an attacker without
causing serious or permanent injury.
The primary strategic foundations of aikido are:
(1) moving into a position off the line of attack;
(2) seizing control of the attacker's balance by means of
leverage and timing;
(3) applying a throw, pin, or other sort of immobilization
(such as a wrist/arm lock).
Strikes are not altogether absent from the strategic arsenal of the
aikidoist, but their use is primarily (though not, perhaps, exclusively) as
a means of distraction -- a strike (called "atemi") is delivered in order
to provoke a reaction from the aggressor, thereby creating a window of
opportunity, facilitating the application of a throw, pin, or other
Many aikido schools train (in varying degrees) with weapons. The most
commonly used weapons in aikido are the jo (a staff between 4 or 5 feet in
length), the bokken (a wooden sword), and the tanto (a knife, usually made
of wood, for safety). These weapons are used not only to teach defenses
against armed attacks, but also to illustrate principles of aikido
movement, distancing, and timing.
A competitive variant of aikido (Tomiki aikido) holds structured
competitions where opponents attempt to score points by stabbing with a
foam-rubber knife, or by executing aikido techniques in response to attacks
with the knife. Most variants of aikido, however, hold no competitions,
matches, or sparring. Instead, techniques are practiced in cooperation
with a partner who steadily increases the speed, power, and variety of
attacks in accordance with the abilities of the participants. Participants
take turns being attacker and defender, usually performing pre-arranged
attacks and defenses at the lower levels, gradually working up to
full-speed freestyle attacks and defenses.
There are several major variants of aikido. The root variant is the
"aikikai", founded by Morihei Ueshiba, and now headed by the founder's son,
Kisshomaru Ueshiba. Several organizations in the United States are
affiliated with the aikikai, including the United States Aikido Federation,
the Aikido Association of America, and Aikido Schools of Ueshiba.
Other major variants include:
* the "ki society", founded by Koichi Tohei,
* yoshinkan aikido, founded by Gozo Shioda,
* the kokikai organization, headed by Shuji Maruyama,
* "Tomiki aikido" named after its founder, Kenji Tomiki.
This is a very acrobatic, very energetic Brazilian martial art.
In the 1500's, black slaves from Africa were used in Brazil to build the
empire of the sugar cane. These slaves lacked a form of self-defense, and
in a way quite parallel to Karate, they developed a martial-art with the
things they had in hand, namely, sugar cane knives and 3/4 staffs. Being
slaves, they had to disguise the study of the art, and that is how the
dance came into it. Their feet were manacled for most of the time, so the
art uses a lot of standing on the hands feet up, and some moves are
directed to fighting mounted enemies.
In the early 1800's Capoeira was outlawed in Brazil, especially in its
"home state" of Bahia, where gangs utilized it as their personal fighting
style against police.
Capoeira was born in the "senzalas", the places where the slaves were kept,
and developed in the "quilombos", the places where they used to run to when
they fled from their enslavers.
It consists of a stylized dance, practiced in a circle called the "roda",
with sound background provided by percussion instruments, like the "agogo",
the "atabaqui", etc.
After a through warm-up, standing exercises are done, with emphasis on the
"ginga", the footwork characteristic of the art, and on the basic kicks:
"bencao", a front-stomping kick, "martelo", a roundhouse kick, "chapa", a
side-kick, "meia-lua", a low turning kick, "armada", a high turning kick,
"queixada", an outside-inside crescent kick. Then walking sequences are
done, with the introduction of sommersaults, backflips and headstands, in
couples and individual. Some more technical training follows, with couples
beginning a basic and slow "jogo", and then the whole class forms and goes
for "roda" game for at least 30 minutes. A normal standard class goes on
for about 2 hours.
Regional: Capoeira in a more artistic, open form, giving more way to
athletic prowess and training.
Angola: a more closed, harder style.
Iuna: a totally athletic and artistic form of the art, where the couple
inside the "roda" play together, as opposed to one against the other.
*** Coung Nhu (pronounced "Kung New")
Intro: An eclectic, fairly new martial art.
Founded in 1965 by Ngo Dong, the first US school opened in Gainesville FL
in 1971. Master Dong currently resides in Florida; there are Cuong Nhu
schools in various places throughout the US and the world. For more
information or the location of a school near you, the Cuong Nhu Oriental
Martial Arts Association can be reached at (904) 378-3466.
Cuong Nhu is an integrated martial art blending hard aspects (Cuong in
Vietnamese) from Shotokan Karate, Wing Chun Kung Fu, and American Boxing,
with influences from the soft (Nhu in Vietnamese) arts of Judo, Aikido, and
Tai Chi, in addition to Vovinam, a Vietnamese martial art using both hard
and soft techniques.
In keeping with its inclusive nature, Cuong Nhu instruction extends beyond
the traditionally martial to public speaking and philosophy.
Training: [More info needed]
*** Escrima - see "Kali/Escrima/Arnis"
This Korean art is sometimes confused with Aikido, since the Korean and
Japanese translation of the names is the same.
Hapkido history is the subject of some controversy.
Some sources say that the founder of Hapkido, Choi, Yong Sul was a
houseboy/servant (some even say "the adopted son") of Japanese Daito Ryu
Aikijujutsu GrandMaster Takeda, Sokaku. In Japan, Choi used the Japanese
name Yoshida, Tatsujutsu since all immigrants to Japan took Japanese names
at that time. Choi's Japanese name has also been given as Asao, Yoshida by
some sources. According to this view, Choi studied under Takeda in Japan
from 1913, when he was aged 9, until Takeda died in 1943. However, Daito
Ryu records do not reflect this, so hard confirmation has not been
available. Some claim that Choi's Daito Ryu training was limited to
Ueshiba, Morihei, the founder of Aikido, was also a student of Takeda (this
is not disputed). Hapkido and Aikido both have significant similarities to
Daito Ryu Aikijujutsu, so it would seem that Hapkido's link to it is real,
regardless of how and where Choi was trained.
Choi returned to Korea after Takeda's death and began studying Korean arts
and teaching Yu Sool or Yawara (other names for jujutsu), eventually
calling his kwan ("school") the Hapki Kwan. Ji, Han Jae, began studying
under Choi and eventually started his own school, where he taught what he
called Hapkido, after the grandmaster's school. Along the way, Hapkido
adopted various techniques from Tang Soo Do, Tae Kyon, and other Korean
Korean sources may tend to emphasize the Korean arts lineage of Hapkido
over the Aikijujutsu lineage, with some even omitting the Aikijujutsu
connection. However, as noted above, the connection can be seen in the
Ji now calls his system Sin Moo Hapkido. He currently lives and teaches in
California, as does another former Choi student, Myung, Kwang Sik, who is
GrandMaster of the World Hapkido Federation.
Some other Choi Hapkido students are still living. Chang, Chun Il
currently resides in NY, and Im, Hyon Soo who lives and teaches in Korea.
Both of these men were promoted to 9th dan by Choi. One of the first
Hapkido masters to bring the art to the western culture was Han, Bong Soo.
In the 1970's and 80's Hapkido was taught as the style of choice to
elite South Korean armed forces units.
Hapkido combines joint locks, pressure points, throws, kicks, and strikes
for practical self-defense. More soft than hard and more internal than
external, but elements of each are included. Emphasizes circular motion,
non-resistive movements, and control of the opponent.
Although Hapkido contains both outfighting and infighting techniques, the
goal in most situations is to get inside for a close-in strike, lock, or
throw. When striking, deriving power from hip rotation is strongly
Varies with organization and instructor. As a general rule, beginners
concentrate on basic strikes and kicks, along with a few joint locks and
throws. Some of the striking and kicking practice is form-like, that is,
with no partner, however, most is done with a partner who is holding heavy
pads that the student strikes and kicks full power.
Advanced students add a few more strikes and kicks as well as many more
throws, locks, and pressure points. There is also some weapons training
for advanced students - primarily belt, kubatan, cane, and short staff.
Some schools do forms, some do not. Some do sparring and some do not,
although at the advanced levels, most schools do at least some sparring.
Many Hapkido techniques are unsuitable for use in sparring, as their use
would result in injury, even when protective gear is used. Thus, sparring
typically uses only a limited subset of techinques.
There is generally an emphasis on physical conditioning and excercise,
including "ki" exercises.
Sub-Styles: [more info needed]
*** Hwa Rang Do
Translated, Hwa Rang Do means "the way of flowering manhood".
Hwa Rang Do history is sometimes traced back to around 540 A.D. when King
Chinhung came to power in Silla, a small kingdom on the southern tip of the
Korean peninsula. He created the Hwa Rang warrior, and had them taught
martial arts by Buddhist priests. Some sources claim that the art was then
handed down (taking refuge in Buddhist temples for a long period of time)
to modern times.
However, the connections between the martial arts practiced by the Hwa Rang
warriors and what is now called Hwa Rang Do are tenuous at best. Modern
Hwa Rang Do seems more likely to be a combination of several other Korean
arts, Hapkido prominent among them.
Lee, Joo Bang and his brother Joo Sang began teaching Hwa Rang Do in the
1960s and are the most senior Masters of the art. It has been reported by
other Korean martial artists that the Lee brothers studied Hapkido under
Choi, Yong Sul for a time prior to that.
Hwa Rang Do is a fairly complete art encompassing throws, joint locks,
strikes, and kicks. Its description would closely parallel Hapkido's.
Training: [more info needed]
Intro: The Art of drawing the sword for combat.
This art is very old, and has strong philosophical and historical ties to
Kenjutsu. It was practiced by Japanese warriors for centuries.
The object is to draw the sword perfectly, striking as it is drawn, so
that the opponent has no chance to defend against the strike.
Usually practiced in solo form (kata), but also has partner forms
Sub-Styles: Muso Shinden Ryu, Muso Jikishin Ryu, and others.
Judo is a sport and a way to get in great shape, but is also very useful
Judo is derived from Jujutsu (see Jujutsu). It was created by Professor
Jigoro Kano who was born in Japan in 1860 and who died in 1938 after a
lifetime of promoting Judo. Mastering several styles of jujutsu in his
youth he began to develop his own system based on modern sports principles.
In 1882 he founded the Kodokan Judo Institute in Tokyo where he began
teaching and which still is the international authority for Judo. The name
Judo was chosen because it means the "gentle way". Kano emphasised the
larger educational value of training in attack and defense so that it could
be a path or way of life that all people could participate in and benefit
from. He eliminated some of the traditional jujutsu techniques and changed
training methods so that most of the moves could be done with full force to
create a decisive victory without injury.
The popularity of Judo increased dramatically after a famous contest hosted
by the Tokyo police in 1886 where the Judo team defeated the most
well-known jujutsu school of the time. It then became a part of the
Japanese physical education system and began its spread around the world.
In 1964 men's Judo competition became a part of the Olympics, the only
eastern martial art that is an official medal sport. In 1992 Judo
competition for women was added to the Olympics.
Judo is practiced on mats and consists primarily of throws (nage-waza),
along with katame-waza (grappling), which includes osaekomi-waza (pins),
shime-waza (chokes), and kansetsu-waza (armbars). Additional techniques,
including atemi-waza (striking) and various joint locks are found in the
judo katas. Judo is generally compared to wrestling but it retains its
unique combat forms. As a daughter to Jujutsu these techniques are also
often taught in Judo classes.
Because the founder was involved in education (President of Tokyo
University) Judo training emphasizes mental, moral and character
development as much as physical training. Most instructors stress the
principles of Judo such as the principle of yielding to overcome greater
strength or size, as well as the scientific principles of leverage,
balance, efficiency, momentum and control.
Judo would be a good choice for most children because it is safe and fun.
Judo training has many forms for different interests. Some students
train for competition by sparring and entering the many tournaments that
are available. Other students study the traditional art and forms (kata)
of Judo. Other students train for self-defense, and yet other students
play Judo for fun. Black belts are expected to learn all of these aspects
Because Judo originated in modern times it is organized like other major
sports with one international governing body, the International Judo
Federation (IJF), and one technical authority (Kodokan). There are several
small splinter groups (such as the Zen Judo Assoc.) who stress judo as a
"do" or path, rather than a sport.
Unlike other martial arts, Judo competition rules, training methods, and
rank systems are relatively uniform throughout the world.
Old, practical, fighting art. A parent to Judo, Aikido, and Hapkido.
The begining of Ju-jutsu can be found in the turbulent period of Japanese
history between the 8th and 16th Century. During this time, there was
almost constant civil war in Japan and the classical weaponed systems were
developed and constantly refined on the battle field. Close fighting
techniques were developed as part of these systems to be use in conjunction
with weapons against armoured, armed apponents. It was from these
techniques that Ju-jutsu arose.
The first publicly recognised Ju-jutsu ryu was formed by Takenouchie
Hisamori in 1532 and consisted of techniques of sword, jo-stick and dagger
as well as unarmed techniques.
In 1603, Tokugawa Ieyasu brought peace to Japan by forming the Tokugawa
military government. This marked the beginning of the Edo period of
Japanese history (1603-1868), during which waring ceased to be a dominant
feature of Japanese life.
In the beginning of this period there was a general shift from weaponed
forms of fighting to weaponless styles. These weaponless styles were
developed from the grappling techniques of the weaponed styles and were
collectively known as ju-jutsu. During the height of the Edo period, there
were more than 700 systems of jujutsu.
The end of the Edo was marked by the Meiji Restoration, an abortive civil
war that moved power from the Shogun back to the Emperor. A large
proportion of the Samurai class supported the Shogun during the war.
Consequently, when power was restored to the Emperor, many things related
to the Samurai fell into disrepute. An Imperial edict was decreed,
declaring it a criminal offence to practice the old style combative martial
arts. During the period of the Imperial edict, Ju-jutsu was almost lost.
However, some masters continued to practice their art "under-ground", or
moved to other countries, allowing the style to continue. By the mid
twenty century, the ban on ju-jutsu in Japan had lifted, allowing the free
practicing of the art.
The style encompasses throws, locks, and striking techniques, with a strong
emphasis on throws, locks, and defensive techniques. It is also
characterized by in-fighting and close work. It is a circular, hard/soft,
Training: Practical with a heavy emphasis on sparring and mock combat.
There are many, each associated with a different "school" (Ryu). Here is a
partial list: Daito Ryu, Danzan Ryu, Shidare Yanagi Ryu, Hokuto Ryu, Hontai
Yoshin Ryu, Sosuishi Ryu, Kito Ryu, Kyushin Ryu. A more modern addition to
this list is "Gracie Jujutsu", so named because of its development by the
Gracie family of Brazil. Gracie has a heavy emphasis on groundfighting.
An eclectic martial art that is a blend of Karate, Judo, Kempo, and Boxing,
from which arts it takes its name.
Kajukembo was synthesized in the Palomas settlements of Hawaii during the
years 1949-1952. Five practitioners of their respective martial arts
developed Kajukembo to complement each others styles to allow effective
fighting at all ranges and speeds. The man credited with the founding of
Kajukembo is Siju Adriano D. Emperado who practiced kempo and escrima. It
was decided that kempo would be the scafolding around which Kajukembo was
built. The arts drawn upon to found Kajukembo are Tang soo do, judo,
ju-jitsu, kempo, and chu'an fa gung fu (Chinese boxing); hence the name
Ka-ju-kem-bo (Tang soo do was shortened as a form of karate, even though
that is technically incorrect).
To test the effectiveness of their origional techniques the five founders
would get into fights around the Palomas settlements (the worst slum in
Hawaii at the time). If the technique succeeded consistently in
streetfighting it was kept as part of the system. From these field test
came Kajukembo's Quins (known as the Palomas sets (forms or kata)), Natural
laws (self-defense), Tricks (close-quarters fighting), and grab arts
Kajukembo concentrates on being an effective art at all ranges of fighting,
kicking -> Punching -> Trapping -> Grappling. While many schools of karate
and Korean martial arts concentrate on kata, Kajukembo stresses the
self-defence movements over the relatively fewer forms in the art. The
reasoning behind this is that a practitioner must be capable of defending
himself in streetfighting situations before turning inward to perfect the
'art' of Kajukembo. At higher levels there is meditative and chi training,
but the author cannot comment further at his level of experience.
Kajukembo stresses the following-up of techniques based on an opponents
reactions and not stopping with just one hit. The reasoning is that while
one should strive to end a fight with the fewest techniques nessesary, it
is important to know how an opponent will respond to attacks, and how best
to take advantage of his reactions. A major ethical point behind my
instruction was, "If he starts the fight, you decide when the fight is
The training is physically intense and very demanding. Exercise is a part
of the class structure to insure that practitioners will be physically
capable of defending themselves outside of the dojo. The warm-up and
callistenics typically last 1/3 of the class period. Emphasis is placed on
bag work (kick, punching, elbows, and knees) as well as sparring and
grappling (contact with control). After a certain amount of time training,
students begin to throw real punches at each other and their partner is
expected to react appropriately or face the consequences. Learning to
absorb and soften an impact is also a major facet of training. Quins
(kata) are performed to fine-tune a person's movements while working with
partners for self defense teaches a student how to manipulate an opponent
and follow up on his reactions.
Kali, Escrima, and Arnis are all terms for the native fighting arts of the
Philippines, specifically the arts that use weapons.
Arnis is a Northern Term, Escrima more Central, and Kali is from the South.
In this view, the terms just refer to indigenous weapons fighting systems.
Arnis would be the term used in Northern Luzon, Escrima from Manila through
the central islands, and Kali on Mindanao. People who use this definition
tend to say that the words don't matter - every village, and often every
master, has a distinct style, and that's what the important thing is - "do
you study Illustrisimo, Caballero, or Cabales style?" Not "do you study
escrima or kali?"
Origin: The Phillipines
Kali is an older art than Escrima or Arnis, and more comprehensive.
Escrima and Arnis were developed as streamlined, simplified ways to teach
people to fight the Spanish invaders. Hence, Kali is more of a "warrior's
art" while Escrima and Arnis are "soldier's arts". Kali is usually
considered to have 12 areas of combat, with Escrima containing 8 or 9 of
them, and Arnis 4 to 6.
The "full" coverage alluded to above usually contains the following:
1 Single Stick (or long blade)
2 Double long weapon
3 Long & Short (sword & dagger, e.g.)
4 Single dagger
5 Double Dagger
6 Palm Stick/Double-end Dagger
7 Empty Hands (punching, kicking, grappling)
8 Spear/Staff, long weapons (two-handed)
9 Flexible weapons (whip, sarong, etc.)
10 Throwing weapons
11 Projectile weapons (bows, blowguns)
12 Healing arts
A further distinction that some people make is to say that Kali is, at its
heart, a blade art, while Escrima and Arnis are designed to work with
sticks. This is a matter of some contention among practitioners of the
various styles and schools.
A distinctive feature of all of these Filipino arts is their use of
geometry. In strikes/defenses and movement, lines and angles are very
important. In addition, the independent use of the hands, or hands and
feet, to do two different things at the same time, is a high-level skill
sought after a fair amount of experience.
Filipino styles normally classify attacks not by their weapon, or their
delivery style, but by the direction of their energy - for example, a
strike to the head is usually analyzed in terms of "a high lateral strike."
A punch to the gut is treated much the same as a straight knife thrust to
that region would be. Students learn how to deal with the energy of the
attack, and then apply that knowledge to the slight variations that come
with different lengths and types of weapons.
Filipino arts place great emphasis on footwork, mobility, and body
positioning. The same concepts (of angles of attack, deflections, traps,
passes, etc.) are applied to similar situations at different ranges, making
the understanding of ranges and how to bridge them very important. The
Filipinos make extensive use of geometric shapes, superimposing them on a
combat situation, and movement patterns, to teach fighters to use their
position and their movement to best advantage. Some styles emphasize
line-cutting (a la Wing Chun), while some are very circular (like Aikido).
Some like to stay at long range, some will move inside as soon as possible.
These differences are hotly debated, as are most things, but they all work
differently for different people.
Most Filipino arts, but Kali in particular, stress the importance of
disarming an opponent in combat. This is not usually done gently, but by
destroying an attacking weapon (break the hand, and the stick will fall.)
Sub-Styles: None (?)
Somewhat generic term used for Japanese and Okinawan fighting arts.
Karate is a term that either means "Chinese hand" or "Empty hand" depending
on which Japanese or Chinese characters you use to write it. The Okinawan
Karates could be said to have started in the 1600s when Chinese
practitioners of various Kung Fu styles mixed and trained with local
adherents of an art called "te" (meaning "hand") which was a very rough,
very simple fighting style similar to Western boxing. These arts generally
developed into close- range, hard, external styles.
In the late 19th century Gichin Funikoshi trained under several of the
great Okinawan Karate masters (Itosu, Azato) as well as working with Jigoro
Kano (see Judo) and Japanese Kendo masters (see Kendo). Influenced by
these elements, he created a new style of Karate. This he introduced into
Japan in the first decade of the 20th century and thus to the world. The
Japanese Karates (or what most people refer to when they say "karate") are
of this branch.
Okinawan Karate styles tend to be hard and external. In defense they tend
to be circular, and in offense linear. Okinawan karate styles tend to place
more emphasis on rigorous physical conditioning than the Japanese styles.
Japanese styles tend to have longer, more stylistic movements and to be
higher commitment. They also tend to be linear in movement, offense, and
Both tend to be high commitment, and tend to emphasize kicks and punches,
and a strong offense as a good defense.
This differs widely but most of the Karate styles emphasize a fairly equal
measure of basic technique training (repitition of a particular technique),
sparring, and forms. Forms, or kata, as they are called, are stylized
patterns of attacks and defenses done in sequence for training purposes.
Sub-Styles: (Okinawan): Uechi-Ryu, Goju-Ryu, Shorin-Ryu, Isshin-Ryu
(Japanese): Shotokan, Shito-Ryu, Wado-Ryu
Here is a more complete list (complements of Howard High) in which Okinawan
and Japanese styles are mixed:
Chinto-Ryu, Chito-Ryu, Doshinkan, Gohaku-Kai, Goju-Ryu (Kanzen), Goju-Ryu
(Okinawan), Goju-Ryu (Meibukan), Gosoku-Ryu, Isshin-Ryu, Kenseido,
Koei-Kan, Kosho-Ryu Kenpo, Kyokushinkai, Kyu Shin Ryu, Motobu-Ryu, Okinawan
Kempo, Okinawa Te, Ryokukai, Ryuken, Ryukyu Kempo, Sanzyu-Ryu , Seido,
Seidokan, Seishin-Ryu, Shindo Jinen-Ryu, Shinjimasu, Shinko-Ryu, Shito-Ryu
(Itosu-Kai), Shito-Ryu (Seishinkai), Shito-Ryu (Kofukan), Shito-Ryu (Kuniba
Ha) , Shito-Ryu (Motobu Ha), Shorin-Ryu (Kobayashi), Shorin-Ryu
(Matsubayashi), Shorin-Ryu (Shobayashi), Shorin-Ryu (Matsumura), Shorinji
Kempo, Shorinji-Ryu, Shoshin-Ryu, Shotokai, Shotokan, Shotoshinkai,
Shudokai, Shuri-Ryu, Shuri-Te, Uechi-Ryu , Wado-Kai, Wado-Ryu, Washin-Ryu,
Yoseikan, Yoshukai, Yuishinkan.
Wado-Ryu was founded by Hironori Ohtsuka around the 1920s. Ohtsuka studied
Jujutsu for many years before becoming a student of Gichin Funikoshi.
Considered by some to be Funikoshi's most brilliant student, Ohtsuka
combined the movements of Jujutsu with the striking techniques of Okinawan
Karate. After the death of Ohtsuka in the early 1980s, the style split into
two factions: Wado Kai, headed by Ohtsuka's senior students; and Wado Ryu,
headed by Ohtsuka's son, Jiro. Both factions continue to preserve most of
the basic elements of the style.
Uechi-ryu Karate, although it has become one of the main Okinawan martial
arts and absorbed many of the traditional Okinawan karate training methods
and approaches, is historically, and to some extent technically quite
separate. The "Uechi" of Uechi-ryu commemorates Uechi Kanbun, an Okinawan
who went to Fuzhou, the capital city of Fujian province in China in 1897 to
avoid being drafted into the Japanese army. There he studied under master
Zhou Zihe for ten years, finally opening his own school, one of the few
non-Chinese who ventured to do so at the time. The man responisble for
bringing Uechi-ryu to the US is George Mattson.
Uechi-ryu, unlike the other forms of Okinawan and Japanese karate mentioned
in the FAQ, is only a few decades removed from its Chinese origins.
Although it has absorbed quite a bit of Okinawan influence and evolved
closer to such styles as Okinawan Goju-ryu over those decades, it still
retains its original Chinese flavor, both in its technique and in the
culture of the dojo. It is a "half-hard, half-soft" style very similar to
such southern Chinese styles as Fukienese Crane (as still practiced in the
Chinese communities of Malaysia), Taiwanese Golden Eagle, and even Wing
Chun. Conditioning the body for both attack and defense is a common
characteristic of both Okinawan karate and southern Shaolin "street"
styles, and as such is an important part of Uechi training. There is a
strong internal component to the practice, including focused breathing and
tensioning exercises similar to Chinese Qigong. Uechi, following its
Chinese Crane heritage, emphasizes circular blocks, low snap kicks,
infighting (coordinating footwork with grabs, locks, throws, and sweeps),
and short, rapid hand traps and attacks (not unlike Wing Chun).
Intro: This is a popular sport in Japanese communities.
Kendo is the sport and competitive form of Kenjutsu. Kendo has been
practiced for a long time in one form or another.
The practitioners wear protective armor and use simulated swords (split
bamboo called "shinai") to "spar" against one another. Strike areas are
limited as are moves. It is a very formal art. It is linear, hard, and
Training mostly consists of two-person drills, basics, and some kata that
have been retained from kenjutsu between individuals.
Sub-Styles: none (?)
Intro: The combative use of a sword.
The origins of this art are lost in the midst of history. It probably has
its origins in 12th century or 11th century Japan. It is famous in myth
and story from people like Miyamoto Mushashi in the 15th century.
There are 4 root systems, Cujo-ryu, Nen-ryu, Kage-ryu and Shinto Ryu.
These probably all have roots prior to the beginning of the 16th century.
In the 16th century, there was an explosion of styles, with many being
formed between then and the present.
Modern kenjutsu schools trace from either the monk Jion (Nen ryu or Cujo
ryu) or from Iiosai, the founder of the Tenshin Shoden Katori Shinto Ryu.
This is a hard, weapon style using the Japanese sword. It involves
powerful, high commitment strikes to selected targets in order to kill the
opponent. There is a strong side of spiritual and philosophical study,
similar in a way to that of Aikido.
There is a large amount of two-person work, mostly with wooden swords
(bokken). Some schools use the fukuru shinai, an ancestor of todays weapon
(Shinkage ryu, Nen-ryu). Sparring is a developed student activity.
Kage, Shinkage, Yagyu Shinkage Cujo, Itto-ryu, Nen-ryu, Katroi-shinto Ryu,
Kashima shin-ryu, Niten-ichi-ryu, Jigen-ryu.
Shinkage was a royal school - for the Shogun.
*** Kenpo (American)
This art is also called Kenpo Karate. In this list it is thus
distinguished from Kempo (see Kempo).
American Kenpo is an eclectic art developed by Hawaiian Ed Parker in the
60s. The art combines the Kara-Ho Kenpo which Parker learned from William
Chow with influences from Chinese, Japanese, Hawaiian, and Western Martial
American Kenpo blends circular motions and evasive movements with linear
kicks and punches. The art is oriented toward street-wise self defense.
A big emphasis on basics, sparring, and kata. It is similar to most Karate
styles in its training mechanisms.
*** Kempo (Ryukyu Kempo, Kempo Karate)
Ryukyu Kempo (which roughly translates into Okinawan kung-fu, or Chinese
boxing science) is the original style of martial arts learned and taught
by Gichin Funakoshi on the island of Okinawa (1). It stresses the
existence of body points within your opponent that can be struck or
grappled for more effective fighting.
Origin: Okinawa Islands (Ryukyu island chain).
Practioners of Ryukyu Kempo believe that karate-do is a popular subform of
Kempo, established within this century by Gichin Funakoshi. People with
original copies of Gunakoshi's first edition book _Ryukyu Kempo_ state that
he is clearly is grappling and touching an opponent. Later editions and
current karate books only show a practioner with a retracted punch, where
the original shows actively grappling an enemy. It is felt that Funakoshi
was the last of the purists, wanting all to learn the art.
In subseqent years, the Okinawans, who have a culture and history of their
own, became disenchanted with the Japanese, and were less inclined to
teach them the "secret techniques" of self defence. When American
military men occupied Japan after WWII, they became enamored of the
martial-arts. It is theorized that the Japanese and Okinawans were
reluctant to teach the secrets of their national art to the occupiers, and
so taught a "watered down" version of karate-do usually reserved for
children. Contemporary Kempo practioners practice "pressure point
fighting" or Kyushu-jitsu and grappling, called Tuite. It is an exact art
of striking small targets on the body, such as nerve centers, and grappling
body points in manners similar to Jujitsu or Aikido(2).
Modern teachers of this are George Dillman of Reading, PA, Taiku Oyata of
Independence, Missouri, and Rick Clark of Terre Haute, Indiana. Dillman
was a student of Oyata years and years ago, but it doesn't appear that they
get along now.
The practioners of kempo believe that kata do not represent origin or
direction of attacks but positional techniques for the defender.
Concentration is made on physical perfection of kata and the Bunkai, or
explanation of the movements. Tournaments of kata and kumite (sparriing)
are encouraged as learning experiences, but not overly stressed. Also
taught is Kobudo, which is defined as weapons fighting using ordinary hand
Five principles to be observed in Oyata's school:
1. Proper distance.
2. Eye contact.
3. Minimum pain inflication on your opponent.
4. Legally safe.
5. Morally defensible.(3)
There are a couple of physical differences in Kempo and many other styles.
One is a three-quarter punch, rather than a full twist. Second is a fist
whereby the thumb stops at the first finger, rather than the first two
fingers. Third is the sword hand, which has the little finger placed as
parallel as possible to the third finger and the thumb straight and on the
inside rather than bent.(2)
(1) _Karate-Do: My Way of Life_ by Gichin Funakoshi
(2) _Kyusho Jitsu: The Dillman Method of Pressure Point Fighting_ by George
A. Dillman with Chris Thomas.
(3) _Ryukyu Kempo: History and Basics_ by J. D. Logue (Oyata student).
Kempo Karate is the family style of Grandmaster James Mitose. First taught
to non-family members in Hawaii during the 1940s and 1950s. Mitose called
his family style Kosho Ryu Kempo ("Old Pine Tree School Fist Law"). One
of Mitose's students, William Chow, mixed in elements of his fathers
Chinese style to produce his own style, called Kara-Ho Kenpo Karate.
"Kobudo" literally means "ancient martial ways". In the karate world, it
generally refers to those traditional Okinawan weapons whose history and
practice has been linked to that of karate.
Most Okinawan styles have at least some kobudo/kobujutsu curriculum. In
addition, there are at least two major Okinawan organizations whose primary
focus is these weapons arts: the Ryukyu Kobudo Hozon Shinko-kai and the
Okinawa Kobudo Renmei. In the US there is 'Okinawa Kobudo Association,
USA'; the shihan in the US is in Citrus Heights, CA. There may be other US
The most common kobudo weapons (and the ones most often taught by Okinawan
karate systems) are:
bo - staff, usually a rokushakubo or "six foot staff", although 4, 9, and
12 foot staffs are also used.
sai - three-tined iron clubs, usually carried as a set of 3.
nunchaku - two short tapered wooden clubs, connected at the narrow ends by
a short rope or chain (a flail, as well as other uses).
kama - a sickle, used singly or in pairs;
tuifa/tonfa - a club with a hand-length perpendicular handle, the ancestor
to the police PR-24; usually used in pairs.
Less common weapons are:
koa - a hoe.
eku - a boat oar.
tekko - essentially brass knuckles.
shuchu - a small kubotan-like thing about 5" long.
san-setsu-kon - the 3-section staff.
surujin/suruchen - a weighted chain with a spike or blade on one end -
similar to the Chinese chain whip or the Japanese manrikigusari;
tinbe - actually, this is two weapons...the tinbe itself, which is a small
shield traditionally made of the shell of a sea tortoise, and the rochin,
which is a short spear with a cutting blade - the weapon actually resembles
a Zulu spear more than anything else.
kusarikama - a kama on the end of a rope or chain.
nunti - a short spear.
and a few other oddball implements of mayhem including spears and the
occasional pilfered Japanese sword ;-).
*** Krav Maga
Intro: The Israeli official Martial Art
The Krav Maga was developed in Israel in the early forties when the
underground liberation organizations were fighting for the independence of
the State of Israel. At that time, it was illegal to possess weapons. The
inventor and developer of the Krav Maga was a champion heavy weight boxer,
a judo champion, and an expert in jiu-jutsu. In addition, he was as a
trapeze acrobat and a well known dancer. The knowledge he thus obtained,
contributed to the development of the Israeli martial art of self defense.
There is no hidden meaning behind the name Krav Maga, and literarily means
"contact fight / battle".
The Krav Maga was put into practice originally by the fighters of the
liberation organizations that often went to battle armed with knives or
sticks and with the knowledge of Krav Maga, and they were very successful.
After the establishment of the State of Israel, Krav Maga was adopted as
the official martial art taught in the defense forces, and especially in
the elite police and army units. Over the years, the Krav Maga has turned
into an integrated part of training in many disciplines such as educational
The Krav Maga is not an ecletic martial art system, rather, it was
developed with the perception that the classic martial arts were lacking
various elements. The defense needs in the eras that the classic martial
arts were developed were different than those of today. New unique
techniques for defense against pistols, guns and hand grenades were
considered needed, and therefore developed.
Since the Krav Maga by definition is for self defense, it does not have any
constitution and judicial rules and therefore there are no contests and
exhibitions. The training is for practical usage in the every day reality.
There is a colored belt system with a Black Belt typically granted after 8
to 10 years of practice. Spiritual and philosophical aspects are studied
only at the Black Belt level.
*** Kung Fu / Wu Shu
This is an almost impossible category. This label is attached to almost
any martial art that comes from China. It is the generic name for
literally hundreds of individual Chinese fighting arts. In reality we
should have an entry for each individual Kung Fu style we are interested
in, but this would fill entire volumes. However, we will do our best.
This is extremely controversial. Most of what appears here is a summary of
what has been learned from Sifu Benny Meng.
There are vague references of a King in China some thousands of years ago
who trained his men in techniques of hand-to-hand combat to use in fighting
against invading barbarians.
The first real references of an organized system of martial arts came from
a man named General Chin Na. He taught a form of combat to his soldiers
which most people believe developed into what is modern day Chin-Na.
The first written record we have of Chinese martial arts is from a Taoist
acupuncturist from the 5th century. He describes combat designed along the
lines of an animal's movements and style.
Legend has it that a Bhuddist monk named Bohdiharma, also called Ta Mo,
came across the Tibetan Mountains to China. The Emperor of China at the
time was much impressed with the man, and gave him a temple located in
Honan - the famed Sui Lim Monastery (Shaolin Monastery). Ta Mo found that
the monks there, while searching for spiritual enlightenment, had neglected
their physical bodies. He taught them some exercises and drills that they
adapted into fighting forms. This became the famous Shaolin Kung Fu
"Kung Fu" means "skill and effort". It is used to describe anything that a
person nees to spend time training in and becoming skillful in. (A chef can
have good "kung fu".) The Chinese term that translates into "military art"
is "Wu Shu".
As all martial arts, Wushu in its early stages of development was practiced
primarily for self-defense and for aquiring basic needs. As time
progressed, innumerable people tempered and processed Wushu in different
ways. By China's Ming and Qing dynasties (1368-1911), Wushu had formed its
Intense military conflicts served as catalysts for the development of
Wushu. During China's Xia, Shang, and Zhou periods (2000BC to 771BC), Wushu
matured and formed complete systems of offense and defense, with the
emergence of bronze weapons in quantity. During the period of Warring
States (770BC to 221BC), the heads of states and government advocated
Wushu in their armies and kept Wushu masters for their own puposes.
Military Wushu developed more systematically during the Tang and Song
dynaties (618 to 1279) and exhibitions of Wushu arts were held in the armies
as morale boosters and military exercises. In the Ming and Qing dynasties,
the general development of Wushu was at its height. Military Wushu became
more practical and meticulous and was systematically classified and
summarized . General Qi Jiguang of the Ming Dynasty delved into Wushu study
and wrote "A New Essay on Wushu Arts", which became an important book in
China's military literature.
The latter half of the 20th century has seen a great upswing in the
interest of Kung Fu world wide. The introduction of Kung Fu to the Western
world has seen to it that its development and popularity will continue to
Styles of Kung Fu encompass both soft and hard, internal and external
techniques. They include grappling, striking, nerve-attack and much
The Shao-Lin styles encompass both Northern and Southern styles, and
therefore are the basis of the following outline.
I Shaolin Wushu styles
A. External Styles (Hard, Physical)
a. Northern Shaolin
b. Chang Chuan (Long Fist)
c. Praying Mantis
d. Eagle Claw
f. Drunken, et al
a. Southern Shaolin
b. Wing Chun
c. Five Animal System (Dragon, Snake, Tiger, Leopard, Crane)
d. Tiger and Crane Systems, et al
B. Internal Styles (Soft, Mental/Spiritual)
1. Tai Chi Chuan
2. Others (Pa Kua, Xingyi, et al)
II Shaolin Wushu Methods
A. Hard or External Styles
1. Stresses training and strengthening of the joints, bones, and muscles
2. Requires rigorous body conditioning
3. Consists of positioning and movement of the limbs and body, correct
technique, muscular strength, speed, etc.
B. Soft or Internal Styles
1. Stresses development of internal organs where "Chi" is produced
2. Allows one to develop mental capability to call upon this "Chi"
3. Concerned with breathing, poise, and tone of the core body structures
C. Long or Northern Styles
1. Stresses Flexibility, quickness, agility, and balance similar to the
attributes of a trained and well-conditioned gymnast
2. Uses many kicks along with hand techniques
3. Legs specialize in long-range tactics
D. Short or Southern
1. Stresses close-range tactics, power, and stability
2. Uses mostly hand techniques
Kung Fu almost always seems to incorporate forms and routines. They
emphasize solo practice as well as group practice. (They even have forms
for two or more people). They train in multiple types of weapons. There
is also a great emphasis on sparring in the harder styles, and sensitivity
training in the soft styles.
Sub-Styles: see above
Intro: Japanese target archery practiced as a martial art.
Kyudo, the Way of the Bow, is the oldest of Japan's traditional martial
arts. The bow has been used in Japan since prehistoric times. From the
fourth to the ninth century, close contacts between China and Japan had a
great influence on Japanese archery, especially the Confucian belief that
through a person's archery their true characters could be determined. Over
hundreds of years archery was influenced by the Shinto and Zen Buddhist
religions along with the pressing practical requirements of warriors.
Court nobles concentrated on ceremonial archery while the warrior class
emphasized kyujutsu, the martial technique of using the bow in actual
With the introduction of firearms the bow as a weapon was neglected and
almost died out all together until Honda Toshizane, a kyudo instructor at
Tokyo Imperial University, combined elements of the warrior style and the
court ceremonial style into a hybrid style which ultimately became known as
the Honda Ryu (Honda martial school). This style found great favor with
the general public and he is generally credited with saving Japanese
Archery from oblivion. With the American occupation banning all martial
art instruction, Kyudo, as opposed to kyujutsu, became widely practiced and
the Zen Nihon Kyudo Federation (All Japan Kyudo Federation) was established
in 1953, publishing the standard kyudo textbook called the Kyohon, and
overseeing Kyudo development both in Japan and internationally up to the
present time. There now exists a European Kyudo Federation which has
annual seminars and promotion tests and in 1993 the first such seminar and
promotion test was held in America in San Jose, California.
Kyudo is a highly meditative martial art whose ultimate goals are Shin
(Truth i.e. the ultimate reality), Zen (Goodness) and Bi (Beauty). When
asked the question "What is Truth?" a master archer would pick up a bow and
arrow and shoot it, without saying a word, allowing the level of mastery of
the bow to serve as the gauge of the archer's progress along the "way"
thereby showing the archer's knowledge of reality i.e. "Truth" itself.
By such diligent practice Confucian theory teaches that the archer will
become morally good (Zen), and this sincerity of personality will excite
the aesthetic sense of anyone watching at an intuitive, emotional level
giving the performance a beauty derived not only from the technical skill
of the archer but also from the archer's emotional maturity and spiritual
Students typically begin by practicing visualization: performing the
shooting motions with no equipment and then perhaps using the gomuyumi
(rubber bow), a short stick with a length of rubber tube attached, to
acquire the feel of real bow resistance. The first actual shots are fired
into a straw bundle, called a makiwara, from a short distance of about
three feet. The student then progresses to target shooting at a fixed
regulation distance of 28 meters.
All students, no matter which instructor or school, will shoot the same
design of Japanese bow which is little changed from the twelfth century.
Traditionally made of hardwoods laminated front and back with bamboo the
Japanese bow is one of the longest in the world, usually over seven feet in
length. It is a natural double recurve bow with the arrow nocked one third
of the way from the bottom and the bow actually rotating in the hand at
release approx. 270 degrees. The unique design of the bow requires that
the bow actually be torqued or twisted in full draw to make the arrow fly
Technically, styles can be divided into two broad categories, shamen
uchiokoshi and shomen uchiokoshi, the modern shomen uchiokoshi style having
been developed by Honda Toshizane. Shamen archers predraw the bow at an
angle to the body and fix their grip on the bow before raising it. Shomen
archers raise the bow straight over the head and fix their final grip on
the bow in a predraw above the head.
There were dozens of traditional schools before World War II and many of
them survive today provoking endless debate as to the superiority of one
over the other. In fact, some traditional schools still do not use the word
kyudo preferring the word kyujutsu instead to describe their teachings.
Some styles heavily emphasize the spiritual aspect of shooting and some
proponents of Zen Archery view kyudo as a way to further their own
spiritual development in Zen Buddhism.
Intro: Royal Hawaiian martial art
In the 1800s the royal Hawaiian family decreed that the art would be
restricted to members of the royal Hawaiian family (In fact, it is still
illegal to practice the art in the state of Hawaii). Since the 1980s, the
veil of secrecy to non-Hawaiians has started to lift with the open teaching
of the art in Southern California by Alohe Kolomona Kaihewalu.
Hawaiian form of combat which resembles Jujutsu in some of its moves. The
primary emphasis of the art is joint dislocation.
Training: [more info needed]
Sub-Styles: [more info needed]
*** Muay Thai
Intro: This is a very hard, external, close-in style.
History: It is regarded as the national sport in Thailand.
[more info needed]
Thai Boxing involves boxing techniques, hard kicking, and knee and elbow
strikes. Known for the high level of physical conditioning developed by
The training involves rigorous physical training, similar to that practiced
by Western boxers. It includes running, shadow-boxing, and heavy bag work.
Much emphasis is also placed on various drills with the so-called "Thai
pads". These pads weigh five to ten pounds, and cover the wearers
forearms. In use, the trainer wears the pads, and may hold them to receive
kicks, punchs, and knee and elbow strikes, and may also use them to punch
at the trainee. This training is vaguely similar to the way boxing
trainers use focus mitts. The characteristic Muay Thai round kick is
delivered with the shin, therefore, shin conditioning is also done.
Little or no free-sparring is done in training, due to the devastating
nature of the techniques employed. Thai boxers may box, hands only, with
ordinary boxing gloves. Another training drill is for two fighters to
clinch, and practice a form of stand-up grappling, the goal of which is to
try to land a knee strike. However, full-contact kicks, knees, and elbows
are typically not used in training.
Sub-Styles: [more info needed]
Another controversial style. Today's Ninjustu is derived from the
traditional ninja fighting arts of Japan. This style involves a broad base
of training designed to prepare the stylist for all possible situations.
Ninjutsu's history is clouded by the events of the 19th century in Japan.
The Japanese government of that time purged a lot of the records and
history of the martial arts.
It seems that Ninjas were clans of assassins and mercenaries who used
stealth, assassination, disguises, and other tricks to do their work. They
became feared and slightly mythologized because they were quite good at
what they did. They were assassins for hire, and held in contempt yet
feared by the warrior caste. The actual art revolved not so much around
combat but rather stealth and movement, and use of tools and environment to
enhance one's position.
Ninjutsu originated in Japan about a thousand years ago. The oldest
ninjutsu school still taught today is the Togakure ryu ninpo, which was
founded by Nishina Daisuke (later Togakure Daisuke) around 1180. There
were around 70 different ryu of ninjutsu.
Today there are only a handful of ninjutsu ryu left. Nine of the remaining
ryu are encompased in Soke Dr. Masaaki Hatsumi's Bujinkan Ninpo Taijutsu
System. These ryu are Togakure ryu, Gyokko ryu, Kukishinden ryu, Gyokushin
ryu, Koto ryu, Takagi yoshin ryu, Shinden fudo ryu, Gikan ryu and
Kumogakure ryu. One other, the Hontai Takagi Yoshin ryu, is taught in Soke
Shoto Tanemura's (a cousin of Hatsumi sensei) Genbukan Ninjutsu.
It would be wise to be very careful about people claiming to be Ninja
masters personally taught by the Ninja Grandmaster in Japan. He or she is
VERY likely to be a fraud- teaching Karate in a black uniform.
It is a generally soft Art, incorporating armed and unarmed combat,
althought there are a number of "hard" techinques. Philosophical aspects
as well as general exercise are both important. Both linear and circular
techniques are used, and there are both internal and external aspects to
The main principles in combat are distance and control. The Ninjutsu
martial artist strives to evade attacks in such a way that he places
himself in an advantageous position from which a simple use of leverage or
movement of his body weight can take down or control his opponent. A
Ninjutsu practitioner is taught to use his entire body for every
movement/technique he makes, to provide the most power and leverage.
From the beginning of training, Ninjutsu practitioners are taught to
approach every fight as if he/she were facing multiple opponents, and to
vary techniques to fit them to different situations and directions of
attack. Weapons techniques normally taught in Ninjutsu include KenJutsu
(sword techniques), BoJutsu (long staff techniques) and HanBoJutsu, (short
Historically, Ninjutsu also attempted to incorporate aspects of every
possible situation and needed knowledge of fighting, by means of different
arts inside the Art. For example, there are subdivisions for spying,
infiltration, poisoning, and cryptography. However, these are not
typically incorporated in modern training.
Very eclectic, very general, very broad. Seems to emphasize having an
answer for every situation and flexibility of response. There are no
tournaments or competitions in Ninjutsu.
Sub-Styles: Bujinkan Ninpo Taijutsu, Genbukan Ninjutsu.
Intro: A native French kicking style.
It was developed in the last century, and its origins and relationships, if
any, to other Martial Arts are unclear. There are stories about French
sailors picking up techniques in Eastern ports, bringing them home and
integrating them with local foot fighting and fencing techniques.
It primarily encompasses kicking techniques somewhat similar to Tae Kwon Do
or Karate. It includes punching techiques from Western Boxing and stick
fighting techniques based on French rapier fighting. It is very stylized
and more extended than most Eastern kicking arts.
Training: [more info needed]
Sub-Styles: [more info needed]
The oldest Chinese bare-handed fighting style. Shuai-Chiao is a
comprehensive fighting style which incorporates the principles of T'ai Chi
Shuia-Chiao emerged around 2,000 years ago. It was originally taught only
to the military elite. Starting in the Ch'in Dynasty, Shuai-Chiao was
demonstrated in tournaments for the Imperial court. During the Ching
Dynasty, China maintained a camp of 300 full time fighters who trained for
competition with China's allies. Today, Shuai-Chiao is still taught
primarily to the military and police in China and Taiwan. Shuai-Chiao is a
Northern Chinese martial art that was not well known in the south until the
Shuai-Chiao was introduced to the United States in 1978 by Dr. Chi-Hsiu
Daniel Weng. Dr. Weng started martial arts training at age 11, beginning
with judo. After achieving second degree black belt in judo, he began
study of Shuai-Chiao from Grandmaster Ch'ang Tung-Sheng. Dr. Weng spent 20
years studying Shuai-Chiao with Grandmaster Chang, including 10 years as
Shuai-Chiao instructor at the Taiwan Central Police College. Dr. Weng is
an 8th degree black belt in Shuai-Chiao, and is president of the U.S.
There has been a large growth of interest and participation in Shuai-Chiao
during the past several years. Major Chinese martial arts tournaments now
include Shuai-Chiao divisions. Shuai-Chiao fighters have also competed
successfully in San Shou (full contact fighting) competition. The five-man
U.S. full contact team sent to the 2nd World Wushu Championships included
three Shuai-Chiao fighters.
Shuai-Chiao integrates striking, kicking, throwing, tripping, grappling,
joint locking, and escaping methods. Shuai-Chiao fighting principles are
based on T'ai Chi Ch'uan, but techniques are applied with more force.
There are 30 theoretical principles of Shuai-Chiao; the six major
principles are: absorbing, mixing, squatting, hopping, turning, and
Shuai-Chiao fighting strategy emphasizes maintaining balance and
controlling the opponent. Tactics emphasize throwing the opponent while
maintain a joint lock, then following with a vital point strike. There are
36 major throws in the system, with 3600 combinations. Shuai-Chiao is
notable for joint attacks and hard throws.
Shuai-Chiao has a belt ranking system. The succession of belts is: white,
green, green-blue, blue 1, blue 2, blue 3, black. There are ten degrees of
black belt. The 10th degree is reserved for the founder of the lineage,
the late Grandmaster Ch'ang Tung-Sheng. There are currently no holders of
9th degree black belt.
Competition is similar to actual combat, except that strikes and kicks are
allowed only in conjunction with a throw. Also, joint attacks are
discouraged. Match is three falls. Point is awarded upon completion of the
throw with control maintained over opponent. There is no pinning nor
submission holds in Shuai-Chiao competition; in actual combat the throw
would be followed by a finishing strike. Victory in tournament competition
is required for advancement to blue belt and above.
There are a dozen stationary training stances to train strength and
flexibility. Twenty moving forms train the position and footwork used in
approaching, joint locking and throwing. Wushu high kicking excercises
train leg strength and flexibility. The kicks most often used in
Shuai-Chiao fighting are low kicks and sweeps. Unique to Shuai-Chiao is
"belt cracking", which uses the uses the uniform belt in excercises that
train strength and proper position. Throws are practised in excercises
with a partner, then in sparring. Sparring is practised at all levels, as
soon as the student has mastered breakfalls. A typical class consists of
stretching excercises, Wushu kicking, forms practise, throwing and
breakfalls, and sparring.
Shuai-Chiao styles are categorized by region. The four major regional
styles are Mongolian, Peking, T'ientsin, and Pao-ting. The USSA teaches
the Pao-ting style.
For more information, contact:
United States Shuai-Chiao Association,
P.O. Box 1221
Cupertino, CA 95015
Pentjak Silat is the Indonesian set of Martial Arts, all with diferent
styles and schools.
The generic name `Silat' is used throughout much of Southeast Asia, as in
Malaysia (Bersilat), to mean the local version of this Martial Art.
[more info needed]
They all seem to integrate weapons into their training, and mostly are
indigenous, although some styles integrated Japanese and Chinese techniques
Training: [more info needed]
Kali/Escrima/Arnis (see separate FAQ entry), Panantukan, Sikaran,
Panandiakman, Dumog, Kali Silat, some forms of Pencak Silat.
Intro: One of the most popular sports and martial arts in the world.
The five original Korean Kwans ("schools") were: Chung Do Kwan, Moo Duk
Kwan (the art of Tang Soo Do), Yun Moo Kwan, Chang Moo Kwan, and Chi Do
Kwan. These were founded in 1945 and 1946. Three more Kwans were
founded in the early 1950's - Ji Do Kwan, Song Moo Kwan, and Oh Do Kwan.
After fifty years of occupation by Japan (which ended in 1945) and after
the division of the nation and the Korean War, Korean nationalism spurred
the creation of a national art in 1955, combining the styles of the
numerous kwans active within the country (with the exception of Moo Duk
Kwan, which remained separate - therefore Tang Soo Do is still a separate
art from TKD today). Gen. Hong Hi Choi was primarily responsible for the
creation of this new national art, which was named Tae Kwon Do to link it
with Tae-Kyon (a native art). Earlier unification efforts had been called
Kong Soo Do, Tae Soo Do, etc. Many masters had learned Japanese arts during
the occupation, or had learned Chinese arts in Manchuria. Only a few had
been lucky enough to be trained by the few native martial artists who
remained active when the Japanese banned all martial arts in Korea. Choi
himself had taken Tae-Kyon (a Korean art) as a child, but had earned his
2nd dan in Shotokan Karate while a student in Japan.
Primarily a kicking art. There is often a greater emphasis on the sport
aspect of the Art. Tae-Kwon-Do stylists tend to fight at an extended
range, and keep opponents away with their feet. It is a hard/soft,
external, fairly linear style. It is known for being very powerful.
Training tends to emphasize sparring, but has forms, and basics are
important as well. There is a lot of competition work in many dojongs.
The World Taekwondo Federation is the governing body recognized by the
International Olympic Committee, and as a result WTF schools usually
emphasize Olympic-style full contact sparring. The WTF is represented
in the U.S. by the U.S. Taekwondo Union (USTU).
The International Taekwondo Federation is an older organization founded
by Hong Hi Choi and based out of Canada. It tends to emphasize a
combination of self-defense and sparring, and uses forms slightly older
than those used by the WTF.
The American Taekwondo Association is a smaller organization similar
in some ways to the ITF. It is somewhat more insular than the ITF
and WTF, and is somewhat unique in that it has copyrighted the forms
of its organization so that they cannot be used in competition by
There are numerous other federations and organizations, many claiming
to be national (AAU TKD has perhaps the best claim here) or international
(although few are), but these three have the most members. All of
these federations, however, use similar techniques (kicks, strikes,
blocks, movement, etc.), as indeed does Tang Soo Do (another Korean
art, founded by the Moo Duk Kwan, that remained independent during
the unification/foundation of Tae Kwon Do).
*** Tai Chi Chuan
This popular art is said to be excellent for one's health, and promotes
calmness and stress reduction.
The history of Tai Chi Chuan dates back to the 14th century when Chang San
Fung, a Taoist monk, witnessed a fight between a crane and a snake. He
noticed how the soft circular movements of the snake overcame the hard
movements of the bird and he devised a system of self-defense based on that
principle. The evolution of the art has followed the styles of many
masters with a variety of forms. At one time these forms were guarded
secrets among certain families in China. The secrets of Tai Chi were
revealed when Ying Kit Tung opened schools in Peking during the first half
of this century.
It is characterized by slow, graceful movements. Although many people
practice Tai Chi for its health or spiritual benefits, its movements and
training can be used for self-defense.
The training is primarily in two forms: FORMS, long slow patterns of
individual movements, and in partnered exercises that develop balance, ki
and focus (e.g. "push hands").
Old System Training:
It should also be noted that in some parts of the world students are still
being taught by the old and very ch'i kung system of:
o (stage one) teaching the skills of double-leg stance,
taking from 1-2 years; then
o (stage two) the skills of single-leg stance, taking from 6-18 months;
o then the drive, and so on -
to thus comprehensively provide the substantial and essentially static or
stance-based (zhan zhuang) heart of the familiar and flowing Sequence.
In this old training detailed work on the choreographic side of the Form
might not start for 2 or more years after the first `horse stance' lesson,
rather than being introduced from the beginning as most students in Australia
and America would know.
Tai Chi has evolved into many styles: Yang, Chen, Old Chen, Big Wu, Little
Wu, Sun and innumerable other sub-styles although separating T'ai Chi
styles by family names only, is to obscure important elements in clarifying
styles of T'ai Chi Ch'uan.
Elements such as:
o WORKING HEIGHT
o CH'I KUNG (built into the actual Form)
o ATHLETIC-FIGHTING-HEALTH-RELAXATION variations;
and so on (apart from the familiar designations of `small and large circle',
`constant-speed compared with fast-slow', etc) - also provides us with other
ways of distinguishing Styles, even those using the same generic title.
For example all styles in the world can be divided into three quite separate
groups, in terms of the way they teach students to pivot. The major groups
by far are those schools that teach students to activate the pivot through
hip swivellling - in common with most other martial and athletic schools.
There is a smaller group that guides the students to start pivotting from
the shoulders, rather than from the hips.
The only other way to initiate a pivot, is through the spine, a much less
Each system has key advantages and disadvantages, and it is quite evident that
under one Style name students are often being taught (usually) hip, or by
contrast, shoulder pivots, which makes for entirely different training and
*** Wing Chun
Intro: One of the most popular forms of Kung Fu.
Wing Chun was an obscure and little known art until the mid twentieth
century. While multiple histories of the art do exist (some with only
minor discrepancies), the generally accepted version is thus:
The style traces its roots back over 250 years ago to the Southern Shaolin
Temple. At that time, the temple a was sanctuary to the Chinese revolution
that was trying to overthrow the ruling Manchu. A classical martial arts
system was taught in the temple which took 15-20 years to produce an
Realizing they needed to produce efficent fighters at a faster pace, five
of China's grandmasters met to discuss the merits of each of the various
forms of kung fu. They chose the most efficient techniques, theories and
principles from the various styles and proceeded to develop a training
program that produced an efficent fighter in 5-7 years.
Before the program was put into practice, the Southern temple was raided
and destroyed. A lone nun, Ng Mui, was the only survivor who knew the full
system. She wandered the countryside, finally taking in a young orphan
girl and training her in the system. She named the girl Yimm Wing Chun
(which has been translated to mean Beautiful Springtime, or Hope for the
Future), and the two women set out refining the system.
The system was passed down through the years, and eventually became known
as Wing Chun, in honor of the founder. The veil of secrecy around the art
was finally broken in the early 1950's when Grandmaster Yip Man began
teaching publicly in Hong Kong, and his students began gaining noteriety
for besting many systems and experienced opponents in streetfights and
"friendly" competitions. The art enjoyed even more popularity when one of
its students, Bruce Lee, began to enjoy world wide fame.
Most important is the concept of not using force against force, which
allows a weak fighter to overcome stronger opponents. Generally, a Wing
Chun practitioner will seek to use his opponent's own force against him. A
great deal of training is put in to this area, and is done with the
cultivation of a concept called Contact Reflexes (see "Training").
Also of importance are the use of several targeting ideas in Wing Chun.
The Mother Line is an imaginary pole running vertically through the center
of your body. From the Mother Line emanates the Center Line, which is a
vertical 3D grid that divides the body in to a right half and a left half.
Most of the vital points of the body are along the Center Line, and it is
this area that the Wing Chun student learns to protect as well as work off
of in his own offensive techniques. Also emanating from the Mother Line is
the Central Line. The Central Line is seen as the shortest path between
you and your opponent, which is generally where most of the exchange is
going to take place. Because of this linear concept, most of the
techniques seek to occupy one of the two lines and take on a linear nature.
This leads to the expression of another very important concept in Wing
Chun: "Economy of Motion". The analogy of a mobile tank with a turret
(that of course shoots straight out of the cannon) is often used to
describe the linear concept.
Only two weapons are taught in the system, the Dragon Pole and the
Butterfly swords. These are generally taught only once the student has a
firm foundation in the system.
The way the art produces efficent and adaptble fighters in a relatively
short time is by sticking to several core principles and constantly drilling
them in to the student, as well as taking a very generic approach to
techniques. Instead of training a response to a specific technique, the
student practices guarding various zones about the body and dealing
genericly with whatever happens to be in that zone. This allows for a
minimum of technique for a maximum of application, and for the use of
automatic or "subconcious" responses.
Much training time is spent cultivating "Contact Reflexes". The idea is
that at the moment you contact or "touch" your opponent, your body
automaticaly reads the direction, force, and often intent of the part of
the opponent's body you are contacting with and automatically
(subconciously) deals with it accordingly. This again lends itself to the
generic concept of zoning.
Contact Reflexes and the concept of not using force against force are
taught and cultivated through unique two man sensitivity drills called Chi
The concepts of guarding and working off of these lines and zones are
learned throught the practice of the three forms Wing Chun students learn,
and which contain the techniques of the system: Shil Lum Tao, Chum Kil, and
Another unique aspect of the system is the use of the Mook Jong, or wooden
dummy, a wood log on a frame that has three "arms" and a "leg" to simulate
various possible positions of an opponent's limbs. A wooden dummy form is
taught to the student, that consists of 108 movements and is meant to
introduce the student to various applications of the system. It also serves
to help the student perfect his own skills.
Weapons training drills off the same generic ideas and concepts as the open
hand system (including the use of Contact Reflexes). Many of the weapon
movements are built off of or mimic the open hand moves (which is the
reverse process of Kali/Escrima/Arnis, where weapon movements come first
and open hand movements mimic these).
Currently, there exist several known substyles of Wing Chun. Separate from
Yip Man are the various other lineages that descended from one of Yip
Man's teachers, Chan Wah Shun. These stem from the 11 or so other
disciples that Chan Wah Shun had before Yip Man.
Pan Nam Wing Chun (currently discussed here and in the martial arts
magazines) is currently up for debate, with some saying a totally separate
lineage, and others saying he's from Chan Wah Shun's lineage.
Red Boat Wing Chun is a form dating back from when the art resided on the
infamous Red Boat Opera Troup boat. Little is known about the history of
this art or its validity.
At the time of Yip Man's death in 1972, his lineage splintered in to many
sub-styles and lineages. Politics played into this splintering a great
deal, and provided much news in the martial arts community throughout the
70's and 80's. By the time the late 80's/early 90's rolled around, there
were several main families in Yip Man's lineage. To differentiate each
lineage's unique style of the art, various spellings or wordings of the art
were copyrighted and trademarked (phonetically, Wing Chun can be spelled
either as Wing Chun, Wing Tsun, Ving Tsun, or Ving Chun). These main
families and spellings are:
Wing Tsun -- Copyrighted and Trademarked by Grandmaster Leung Ting. Used
to describe the system he learned as Grandmaster Yip Man's last direct
student before his death. Governing body is the International Wing Tsun
Martial Arts Association, and the American Wing Tsun Organization in the
Traditional Wing Chun -- Copyrighted and Trademarked by Grandmaster William
Cheung. Used to describe a very different version of Wing Chun he learned
while living with Yip Man in the 1950's. Includes different history of
lineage as well. Governing body is the World Wing Chun Kung Fu
Ving Tsun - Used by other students of Yip Man, such as Moy Yat. This
spelling was considered the main one used by Grandmaster Yip Man as well.
It is also used by many of the other students, and was adopted for use in
one of the main Wing Chun associations in Hong Kong -- The Ving Tsun
Wing Chun - General spelling used by just about all practitioners of the
A World Wide listing of Wing Chun Kwoons (schools) is maintained by Marty
Goldberg (email@example.com) and posted periodically to
rec.martial-arts. A mailing list (open to all students of Wing Chun) is
also maintained by Marty and Rob Gillespe at firstname.lastname@example.org
17) The people that made this list possible:
Al Bowers - email@example.com (Iaido,Kenjutsu,Kendo)
Alex Jackl - firstname.lastname@example.org (Shotokan, Aikido, Shao-Lin Long Fist)
Eric Sotnak - email@example.com (Aikido)
Dakin Burdick - firstname.lastname@example.org (Tae Kwon Do, Hapkido)
Ray Terry - email@example.com (Tae Kwon Do, Hapkido)
Randy Pals - firstname.lastname@example.org (Hapkido)
Andy Maddox - email@example.com (Kali/Escrima/Arnis)
Howard S. High - GODZILLA@kuhub.cc.ukans.edu (Traditional Karate)
Izar Tarandach - firstname.lastname@example.org (Capoeria/Karate/Ninjutsu)
Michael Robinson - email@example.com (Tai Chi Chuan)
Peter Hahn - firstname.lastname@example.org (Muay Thai)
Richard Parry - email@example.com (Kyokushinkai Karate)
Todd Ellner - firstname.lastname@example.org (Silat)
Bill Norcott - email@example.com (Shuai-Chiao)
Darren Wilkinson - firstname.lastname@example.org (Jujutsu)
Joachim Hoss - email@example.com (Ninjutsu)
Al Wilson - firstname.lastname@example.org (Ryukyu Kempo)
Steve Gombosi - email@example.com (Kobudo)
John Simutis - firstname.lastname@example.org (Kobudo)
Simon Ryan/Peter Wakeham - email@example.com (Tai Chi Chuan)
Michael D'Auben - firstname.lastname@example.org (Judo)
Peter Biddle - email@example.com (Coung Nhu)
Nick Doan - firstname.lastname@example.org (Kung Fu/Wu Shu)
Avron Boretz - email@example.com (Uechi-Ryu Karate)
Peter Jason Ward - ironmarshal+@CMU.EDU (Kajukembo)
E.Clay Buchanan - firstname.lastname@example.org (Kyudo)
Neil Ohlenkamp - JudoSensei@aol.com (Judo)
Marty Goldberg - email@example.com (Wing Chun)
Randy Pals | "Master, do we seek victory in contention?"
IPACT, Inc. | "Seek rather not to contend, for without contention
(firstname.lastname@example.org) | there can be neither victory nor defeat."