Archive for October, 2013

Oct 30

How do I look and become more relaxed in martial arts?

I practice Wushu, the taolu parts. But in order for me to advance more I need to become more relaxed in my movements, at least look a bit more, which I certainly have some real trouble in (my trainers been on me quite alot, which is also why I really feel this is quite a problem, as I do want to advance further and become better). I think I have permission to say, I’m pretty flexible, especially in the legs. Do you guys have any special tips or tricks in at least looking and doing forms more relaxed? :) Anything is welcome from any martial artist :)

Wushu: Chinese martial arts.
Taolu: The forms of Wushu / predetermined movement.

First, is make sure you are breathing correctly.

Second, stance work. Hopefully when you fist started off you would hold a stance for 30 seconds to a minute in preparation for learning the techniques you link together in a form. Go back to this. Work on your basic stances/steps- horse, crane, empty, lo (pu bu), and twisting or stealing step. Try to do at least one full minute each. You an build up to 5 minutes each. This will take about 30 minutes to an hour a day (5 for horse, 2 1/2 – 5 for each side of the other stances, then five more for horse again).

Third, qigong. This can be part of number two or a separate practice. Qigong helps you combine breathing with postures and simple movements. Any qigong will do, but if your teacher knows some or your style has its own system, use that.

Forth, going slow as suggested by another answerer. Slow forms practice will improve your lower body conditioning, balance, and overall performance. Watch a couple of Yang taijiquan form videos and copy the pace they go at with your favorite form(s). I would recommend you start with the first form you learned in your style and practice it repeatedly as slow as you can manage. Once you get the hang of it, then try your favorite form.

When trying to relax don’t make the mistake of trying to go limp. Limp is not relaxed. The word sung should have been translated as supple, not relaxed. You should have sufficient tension to maintain your posture without looking like you are straining. Mentally, sung is playfully dismissing distractions as they arise. Mental focus is vital to good martial arts.


Oct 01

What gold paint is used on ancient monuments ?

I wish to paint the external decorative parts of my Chinese summerhouse with a paint which keeps its gold brilliance for a long time, so need a good quality paint.
I worded this wrongly and was referring to, for example, the gold railings around the Albert memorial – obviously if real gold leaf is used on these, people will be scraping away at them all day and night. But, obviously, whatever is used must keep looking good for quite a long time before it needs refreshing.

they use gold leaf not gold paint


Oct 01

How do you make a paper mache dragon?

I’m doing a parade in school and we wondering how to make a dragon (like the Chinese New Years dragon) out of paper mache, and what other materials we would need.
We only have 2 weeks if that matters (our truck fell through so this is plan B.)
Any advice would be appreciated cause we have no idea how to go about this.
Thank-you! (:

There is a great site that will show you how: This guy is the king
of paper mache. He has some great books too.
If you would like more info on paper mache there is also some information here:


Oct 01

Which is the best free online translator from English to traditional Chinese characters?

I have started Chinese Calligraphy and google translate is NOT the nicest translator to use, for example:

Google gave me this translation for the sentance below:

(Monkey is playful to all)

-But instead google translate has given me: "Naughty monkeys are all"

Does anyone know a translator which doesn’t completely screw and F**K up my sentances?


I am an amateur Chinese translator who has translated more than a hundred webpages.
Machine translation is not reliable unless the sentence is very simple.


Oct 01

Can a nontheist like me study Asian martial arts?

Alright, so my last question did not make much clarity on what I wanted to ask, so I will clarify here. I am not really atheistic but nontheistic. I am quite skeptical but I prefer to judge for myself. In this instance I am interested in East Asian martial arts: Ninjutsu, Kuk Sool, the Koryū, Shaolin, internal/external Chinese Arts, and to a smaller extent, Muay Boran and Bokator.

I ask this question because I fear the opinions of others and my opinions always seem to be taken doqn by others. I have always admired and contemplated Buddhism (mainly Shingon and Zen/Chan) and this comes along with my interest in Asian languages. I don’t know what to do and this is as much sense as I can make right now. Any thoughts? Can I?
@ Rikashi…, dude I was referring to the Thai martial art of Muay Boran, the predecessor of Muay Thai.
People, my belief system is very shaken by the opinions of others. I always liked Buddhism (especially Mikkyô) but damn it some atheists just tear it down. I feel very dead and frustrated.
@ Rikashi… Alright, I get you. No need to be such an asshole about it. Yeesh!
I know, sorry. I am just feeling frustrated here.
@Kokoro, since when did I make such a mountain? I am listening, but your mind fails to grasp the fact that I am trying to clarify my last question here. If you want to be rude, don’t edit your answer.

In some martial gyms, they instructors are religious and the practice of some martial arts do involve prayer and meditation.

If you feel that you being an atheist means that you should not participate in these practices, then don’t do them, but it would be rude to ignore their beliefs when you are there to learn with them.

Be openminded. You’re not converting, you’re carrying a tradition in their gym that you chose to train with.

Please, never call it Muay Boran. Kid, Muay Boran is just a name. The wrong name. It is not a martial art, it’s a cash grab. Do you really think the ancients called it by that name? It is not the predecessor of Muay Thai. Do you know the real predecessor is? Savate and Boxing. The Thai influence is Muay Khad Chuek. Not that bullshit cashgrab, "Muay Boran".

I was not being an arsehole. You are just over-sensitive.