In preparation of a more in-depth article on HEMA (Historical European Martial Arts), I wanted to share this recent and excellent free-to-watch documentary on this rapidly growing martial art.
Although BACK TO THE SOURCE focuses on historical fencing (as opposed to modern sport fencing) and thus only covers a part of the various styles that would be considered HEMA, it is still a great introduction for those wanting to know more.
So grab thine popped corn, sheath thy longsword and enjoyeth the watch!
Kummooyeh is a Korean martial art that centers around swordsmanship. Wanting to know more, I paid a visit to one such school in Sydney.
I try to shrug off some of the raindrops as I walk up the stairs to the loft of a spacious building, just off the busy Parramatta Road here in Sydney. When I decided to save this visit for a ‘rainy day’, I had not intended for it to be taken literally! Maybe I should stop viewing the use of an umbrella as cheating.
A Taekwondo class is currently in session, so I take a seat while I wait for the Kummooyeh instructor to arrive. Continue reading →
The story behind Ardent Heart, written to illustrate the inner workings of a Capoeirista. A completely fictional piece of my own imagination, with several creative liberties taken.
Note – Capoeira is one of the more unique martial arts due to its close ties to Brazilian culture, and its strong focus on qualities you normally don’t find in Eastern martial arts. Cunning, slyness and charisma are held in high regard. The Capoeirista (Capoeira practitioner) has a tendency to be flamboyant, cocky, charming and will find it hard to resist a worthy challenge. In the world of fighters, the Capoeirista is the ultimate rogue. A crooked smile, a glint in the eye, a chuckle and a solid belief in one’s own worth.Continue reading →
I’ve had the pleasure of knowing and learning from Sifu John Callaghan since I joined my Kung Fu school. A martial artist of great taste and an excellent teacher, Sifu John is passing on the teachings of Sigung Randy Bennett at the Australian Jow Ga Kung Fu Academy in the heart of Sydney.
These ’10 Questions’ will be raised with masters of any and all styles I cross paths with, should the opportunity arise.
Who needs a soundtrack when your Gi comes with built-in sound effects? Rika Usami may have retired from competing in Karate, but not before winning a truckload of trophies – play the video below and you’ll see why.
An excellent example of strength, accuracy and technique coming together in a kata performance.
If you want to know more, check out an interview with her here.
It has been a long time since I wrote on these Chronicles. Almost two years have passed since my last entry, and there has been some water under the bridge.
Since getting a black belt in Kung Fu, I’ve kept up my training and even passed a few black belt gradings. As always, it’s very satisfying to learn new forms (especially when they involve weapons) and I would also like to think my sparring skills have improved. Even went competing again the other year, but the tournaments have lost their luster.
Tempted to turn them into action figures for my son
Remember the first couple of UFC events? They remain my favorites, as for the first time you had a televised event with traditionally trained martial arts purists facing each other on neutral ground. No more talking about how the superior ‘Eagle Claw’ style would rip out hearts, or how the ‘Dim Mak’ strike would immobilize any opponent. It was time to put your gloves where your mouthguard was. And boy, was it showtime.
UFC 1 – Savate vs Sumo. Lasted all of 26 seconds.
In a few short matches, the martial arts world was given a collective ice bucket wake-up call and the legendary black belt turned out to be just that – a belt, with the color black. It was clear that many of the traditional martial arts had flaws that were readily exploited by the more pragmatic styles like Muay Thai (Thaiboxing) and Brazilian jiu-jitsu, and as a response the hybrid style of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) exploded in popularity.
Fast forward two decades, and every event is largely the same; two MMA fighters facing each other, both trained in the same tried-and-tested repertoire of grappling and striking techniques. Frankly, it’s boring me to tears. That said, I appreciate what events like UFC provides – a pragmatic testing ground with agnostic rules that allows for sports-oriented martial artists to try their mettle.
Now, Australian-based Unified Weapons Master (UWM) intends to provide a similar arena for any and all martial arts that use weapons. Continue reading →
A lot of us who practise martial arts go through a solid mix of emotions when we watch action movies. This ranges from the guilty pleasure of the glorifying 80’s flicks a la ‘Bloodsport’, to the face palm inducing cringe-fest that is ‘Street Fighter’.
But back in the day, when we started training (and even before that) we were at first awestruck with how impressive our respective arts are. So. Much. Awesome.
The 20th century folk hero for martial artists everywhere