Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Rickson Gracie vs Eddie Bravo!! (OK, not really :-)

Sorry for the misleading title LOL @ me. Rickson Gracie vs Eddie Bravo would have been an EPIC match if it ever happened.

Instead, this is a video of Eddie Bravo explaining the Rubber Guard to Rickson! 

Eddie was talking a mile a minute! Either he's excited to be talking to Rickson, one of the living legends of BJJ or perhaps it's because what he's talking about is something near and dear to his heart. He's passionate about the Rubber Guard because he created it and is happy to be teaching/explaining it. He truly believes in it and the passion flow through and is pretty evident in this video.

Rickson is a True Warrior/Martial Artist with an Open Mind ... living... adapting... he seemed reserved. Not sure if it was like anyone else seeing something being taught them by a master practitioner for the first time and he is soaking it all in, didn't have time to 'digest' it yet. Perhaps, he didn't want to say anything either yea/nay about the Rubber Guard until he had time to analyze it a bit more.

NOTE: I had scheduled this entry to publish, when I came across this from The Great Rickson Gracie by Eddie Bravo (bolded text my emphasis):


Sitting there for 3 hours listening to him tell those old street fighting stories gave my brain the chills. This was a dream of mine ever since I began my Jiu Jitsu journey 20 years ago. I actually never thought it would actually come true, even in recent years. Rickson just seemed to yoda like, too mysterious, too out of reach, like getting to hang out with Mohammed Ali or Michael Jordan. Like that would ever happen, right? But BOOM! It happened, and all of a sudden Joe and I were having a conversation with this enigmatic martial arts icon.

And just like that 3 hours flashed by and it was over. I swear I could’ve gone 10 hours, EASILY. But it was over and it was time to go. As we were walking out of the studio into the front waiting room I thought to myself, maybe I could show him the rubber guard really quick?? Or maybe he’s in a hurry to get somewhere and he simply wouldn’t have enough time?? F*ck it I said, I’m gonna give it a shot. Getting to show Rickson what my students and I have been working on the last 10 years would be insane. I didn’t know how much time he would actually give me so I felt my pitch would have to be machine gun like, I had to make as many vital points as possible before he said, “I’d love to see more but I got to be somewhere”. So I rattled off my rubber guard speech faster than ever, like those disclaimers at the end of Nissan commercials. I was sweating, out of breath, while inside I was thinking “Is this really Rickson Graice inside my rubber guard or am I on 25 grams of Ecuadorian mushrooms?!?!” I am very confident about my Jiu Jitsu philosophy, plus I just hung out with him for 3 hours but I was still obviously a little nervous to be showing this Jiu Jitsu god some 10th Planet material. I just had to get all the rubber guard scenarios out before he left which could have been at any moment. It was like Eminem on a gallon of Cave Man coffee, no cream, black like Charlie Murphy’s anus but with no rhymes. I couldn’t help it, I just had to let him see what we’ve been working on the last 10 years, especially since he, Jean Jacques and Renzo were the catalyst to it all.

When it was all said and done, Rickson, Joe and I took some pictures and just like that, he left. Whether or not Rickson was impressed with the rubber guard, doesn’t really matter, it wasn’t about that anyways, it was about picking his brain, getting them old legendary stories straight from him, hearing his philosophies on modern Mma and listening to him break down life, honor, courage, conformity and spirituality. God bless Rickson."

OK ... ready for the video? Enjoy!

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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Happy 112th Birthday Zheng Manqing (aka Cheng Man-ching) (郑曼青)!

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Happy Birthday Zheng Manqing (aka Cheng Man-ching) (郑曼青)! Today would've been ZMQ/CMC's 112th birthday! He passed away on Mar 26, 1975 at the age of 72.

At the age of 28 in 1930, Zheng met and trained with Yang Chengfu, the grandson of Yang Luchan (founder of Yang Taiji). Zheng learned from Yang Chengfu until Yang's death in 1936. Zheng was one of the earliest Chinese masters to teach Taiji publicly in the United States. He taught what he called "Yang-style short form" or "Yang-style Taiji in 37 Postures." By eliminating most of the repetitions of certain moves of the Yang long form, Zheng counted the moves as 37 Postures. It takes around ten minutes to practice instead of the twenty to thirty minutes of the Yang long form.

Zheng mastered Taiji, Chinese medicine, calligraphy, painting and poetry (the last 3 called the "3 perfections"). He was often referred to as the "Master of Five Excellences" by virtue of his mastery. As a point of comparison: IIRC, Miyamoto Musashi was a Master of painting, sculpture as well as swordsmanship/martial arts. Yamaoka Tesshu was a Master of calligraphy, poetry, Zen, and swordsmanship/martial arts.

Posting some videos in ZMQ/CMC's honor.


37 posture Yang Taiji form developed and performed by Zheng Manqing

Zheng Manqing performing the form as well as some Push Hands/Tui Shou

Zheng playing with some; peng, lu, ji and an (Ward off, Roll back, Press, Push energy)

Zheng Manqing, New York Push hands class with Stan Israel, Lou Klinesmith and Mort Raphael, Mid 60s

Zheng Manqing demonstrating the Tai Chi straight sword form

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Sunday, July 27, 2014

Bodyguards and Assassins (2009) (Full Movie)

Donnie Yen's Dragon (Wu Xia) (武俠) (2011 ) (Full movie)

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Today is the 51st Birthday of Donnie Yen!

Posting a recent movie in his honor that was pretty solid.


Dragon (Wu Xia) (2011)
(Chinese: 武俠; Pinyin: Wǔ xiá)

The film is set in 1917 in early Republican China at Liu Village on the border of Yunnan. Liu Jin-xi (Yen) is a village craftsman whose quiet life is irrevocably shattered by the arrival of two notorious gangsters in the local general store. When Liu single-handedly saves the shopkeeper's life, he comes under investigation by detective Xu Bai-jiu (Kaneshiro). Convinced that Liu's martial arts mastery belies a hidden history of training by one of the region's vicious clans, Xu doggedly pursues the shy hero-and draws the attention of China's criminal underworld in the process.

  • Donnie Yen as Liu Jinxi, who is actually Tang Long, the son of the Master.
  • Takeshi Kaneshiro as Xu Baijiu, a detective versed in physiology and acupuncture. .
  • Tang Wei as Yu, Liu Jinxi's wife.
  • Jimmy Wang as the Master, the leader of the 72 Demons and Tang Long's father.
  • Kara Hui as 13th Madam, the Master's wife.

My review:

Donnie Yen was pretty good acting-wise in this movie. At the beginning, he was very restrained and seemed 'ordinary' until his secret is slowly uncovered. Some nice use of CGI when Kaneshiro was investigating the deaths. The CGI was not overused. I tend to not like a full-blown CGI effects movie which generally has the CGI overshadowing the plot and concentrating on what effects can 'wow!' the viewer. So glad, that was not the case in this movie and its use of CGI. I felt this movie was more Kaneshiro's movie and the CSI process (detective procedural) than it was an action movie. Given the plot, the action was subdued a bit and explodes at the end.

Cool to see Donnie using what appears to be Hung Ga in his fights. Great cameos by oldschool stars, Jimmy Wang Yu (One-Armed Swordsman) and Kara Hui (My Young Auntie, Mad Monkey Kung Fu, The Martial Club). There seems to be a desire by Donnie to showcase some parkour. In a chase scene, Kara Hui is after Donnie and he parkours on some rooftops. Great fight scenes.

Overall a solid movie, and Donnie got to showcase some of his acting chops following his great acting portrayal of Ip Man. Showed some other styles other than the standard kickboxing or Wing Chun Kuen. I recommend this movie.

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Saturday, July 26, 2014

Yuen Biao in The Prodigal Son (敗家仔) (1981) (Full movie)

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The Prodigal Son (1981)
(Bai ga jai)

With English subtitles

Yuen Biao is the son of a rich family, and thinks to be the best fighter of the town but actually, his father fixes the fights. After he lost a fight, he wants a master to teach him how to fight and so become really the best fighter.

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Yuen Biao in Dreadnaught (勇者無懼) (1980) (Full movie)

Here's another oldschool classic in honor of Yuen Biao's 57th Birthday. Enjoy!

Dreadnaught (1981)
(Chinese: 勇者無懼)
(Pinyin: Yong zhe wu ju)
English dubbed

A short-tempered, violent criminal named "White Tiger" is on the run from the police and joins a theater troupe for disguise, killing anyone who angers him or who suspects his identity. One person he unsuccessfully tries to kill several times is a cowardly laundry man named "Mousy" who manages to escape mostly by running and hiding. When a very close friend of Mousy's is killed by the White Tiger, Mousy overcomes his cowardliness enough to seek revenge. Spectacular martial arts and acrobatics highlight the film, including a well choreographed fight between two pairs of men in dragon costume.

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Yuen Biao in Knockabout (雜家小子) (1979) (Full movie)

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Posting this oldschool classic in recognition of Yuen Biao's 57th Birthday. Enjoy!

Knockabout (1979)
(Za jia xiao zi)
(English dubbed)

Knockabout is Sammo Hung's brilliant cinematic achievement at merging comedy with kung fu. His meticulous blending of the two ingredients is vividly demonstrated in this film.

The film follows two con artist brothers, Yipao (Yuen Biao) and Taipao (Bryan Leung). One day they are cheated out of their ill-gotten gains in an encounter with Jia Wu Dao (Lau Kar Wing). They try to fight him, to retrieve their money, but are defeated, so they ask him to train them, hoping to become the best fighters in the city. After surpassing the fighting skills of "ordinary people", Yipao soon discovers that Jia Wu Dao is a murderer. When he realises his secret has been revealed, Jia Wu Dao attempts to kill Yipao, but Taipao blocks the fatal blow and is killed in his place. Yipao escapes and plots how he will avenge his brother's death.

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Friday, July 25, 2014

Surviving Edged Weapons (1988) (Full video)

A very important video on the realities of the knife. Classic! Manong Dan Inosanto and Supreme Grand Tuhon Leo Gaje are in it too. Made for Law Enforcement.

In an intense action-filled 85 minutes, you will learn to defend yourself again the mounting threat of “knife culture” offenders: how to assess an edged weapon before he strikes… what really works and what doesn’t to control him physically… when to use your baton – and deadly force… how to avoid the fatal reactions untrained officers instinctively have to sudden knife attacks… life-saving survival insights from officers who have nearly been killed with edged weapons… how prison inmates and knife experts train for the ultimate deadly attack… what’s the latest in improvised weapons… how to search for the most dangerous weapon… medical self-help to save your life if you are cut or stabbed… and much, much more!

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