By examining the history of various peoples around the world, we often stumble upon the concept of energy which resides in the body and is explained in a similar way and is called by similar names. Examples include the breath of life, life or vital energy or, oftentimes, inner energy. According to numerous legends and writings, the idea refers to a specific energy which is stored inside us, as well as in other living creatures, i.e. animals and plants, and is considered to be of vital importance. This is the reason why it is often called vital or life energy (bioenergy, bios = life + energy).
Keep Reading Show less

When it comes to grappling arts most people have heard of Judo, Ju-Jitsu, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Sambo, and Sumo. The dynamic art of Shuaijiao, though it is not as well known as the others, should be.

What is Shuaijiao?

Shuaijiao (also spelled Shuai-Chiao) is a Chinese martial art that is approximately four thousand years old. Shuaijiao was born in a time of warfare long ago when to fall on the battlefield meant likely to never get up, and in that spirit, the curriculum of Shuaijiao focuses on throwing in a variety of ways. It is a standup grappling style, meaning that although there are hip throws, leg sweeps, and hand techniques, like many other arts, there is no ground grappling. The goal of Shuaijiao is to end up in a dominant position standing.

Keep Reading Show less
Axie Breen Photography

The wide smile and palpable positive energy of Kathy Yang are the first things a student notices when watching her instructional videos.

Whether teaching White Crane or Long Fist styles of Kung Fu or Qigong exercises and sets, Yang conveys her instruction in a unique way that is easy to follow and packed with information.

Keep Reading Show less

A Critical Look at Chojun Miyagi's Landmark 1936 Lecture on the Origins of Karate

We know that karate was developed in the Ryukyu Islands, an archipelago located southwest of Japan. The largest of the Ryukyu is, of course, Okinawa.

The people of the Ryukyu shared a common ancestry with the people of Japan and spoke a language, called Uchinaguchi, that had a common origin with the language of Japan. This is why many of the words we use in karate are actually Uchinaguchi words. Before 1429, there were three warring factions on Okinawa: Hokuzan (literally, "northern mountain"), Chuzan ("middle mountain") and Nanzan ("southern mountain"). In 1429 Chuzan emerged victorious, and all the Ryukyu Islands became unified under its first king, Sho Hashi.But precisely when on this timeline did karate develop? The origins of the art are obscure — and have been made even more so by the passage of time and the spread of myths and misconceptions. Gichin Funakoshi, the father of modern karate, addressed this subject:"

Keep Reading Show less