Yang Jwing Ming
Like many teachers, Dr. Yang has had to move in-person teaching to the various online platforms for classes and seminars. When I asked about how swiftly things changed, he was quick to point out, "It was a wake-up call." We all had to adjust and quickly.


COVID-19 and Solo Practice

Is there any internal training that could help combat COVID-19? Dr. Yang was quick to suggest, Qigong and Tai Chi Quan as well as Girdle Vessel Breathing. (You can visit the link at the end of the article to find the seminar.) It makes sense that the well-known methods for improving overall health should help with our current challenges as well.

Lockdowns and social distancing have increased our need to find solitary practice methods. With so many people studying alone, what can we do to make our practice more productive? Two words: solo drills. Although I had heard of the 80/20 rule for practice, Dr. Yang stresses practicing even more, "For traditional arts it should be 10% learning 90% training…it is the opposite today." We can make the most of our time away by pulling out those forms, techniques, and strength training exercises that we learned long ago, and keep telling ourselves that we will get to them eventually. Eventually is here.

We miss our group classes though, don't we? It is not only the fellowship of being with like-minded people but as Dr. Yang pointed out, we gain a lot from being in a group, as we adhere to a group discipline and the group can inspire you to do your best. If you hear a compliment to a classmate from your teacher, don't you try a little harder when it is your turn? So what specifically can we do on our own? "Now is the time to study books and theory, and also watch videos. This is the best time to train your self-discipline." Practice, study, refine. As he learned from his first teacher, to be successful in martial arts: "The first important thing is to conquer yourself."

Aging and Health

Yang Jwing Ming

i.ytimg.com

Martial arts are a lifelong pursuit for most students, but should we change our training as we age? Yes. Let's face it, not accounting for the reality of our changing bodies is unwise in all aspects of life. Change is natural. "The human body is like a machine. Because it is an old machine, you have to train like an old machine." The things we did at 18, are likely to be more difficult at 48. Dr. Yang suggests that we adopt some internal training like Tai Chi Quan and Qigong as we get older. He practices what he preaches as health concerns are what brought Dr. Yang to start studying Tai Chi Quan and Qigong as a young man, and it has complemented his training ever since. Viewing recent videos and pictures, he is a testament to his methods.

For my own selfish reasons, as a middle-aged man, I wanted to know: is there a secret to great health? A secret exercise? Something found only in a scroll rolled up in a dusty box in a cave somewhere? I know that if there is one, I am talking to the man that will know. Unfortunately, it's not so mysterious, but rather simple and uncomplicated. Dr. Yang advised, "There is no secret exercise." Darn! So how do we address the issues of aging? Dr. Yang diagnosed the problem and provided the solution. "We don't move! One of the simplest things to do is to just move your arms and legs 5-6 minutes a day." If readers are looking for a deeper exercise try Dr. Yang's book on the set of timeless health set 8 Pieces of Brocade.

Fiction

Most readers will automatically know Dr. Yang as the author of many of the best martial art books ever published, so like me, they may be taken aback by the novels to his credit. At first, I was confused when I saw the novel The Secrecy online and thought that maybe there were two Dr. Yang Jwing-Ming's. Did the guy that wrote the book on White Crane Kung Fu write a cold war era spy novel? When I asked, Dr. Yang nodded with a smile and said, "The stories are from my life experience. The novels are my autobiography. They are based on true stories." After decades of non-fiction what brought on the new challenge of writing fiction? Dr. Yang explained the books are stories weaved through a narrative based on his life experiences. "I write the books for myself." Still, as a master of martial arts, with so many incredible stories to tell, I wanted to know: will there be an autobiography coming? "Read my novels, that is my story."

Look for more books, classes, and seminars from Dr. Yang throughout 2021.

Click here for a seminar for Girdle Vessel Breathing.

Related Articles Around the Web
Introducing Martial Arts School Listings on Black Belt Mag!
Sign Up Now To Be One Of The First School Listed In Our Database.
SUBSCRIBE TO BLACKBELT MAGAZINE TODAY!
Don't miss a single issue of the worlds largest magazine of martial arts.
Bruce Lee Enter the Dragon
d2e111jq13me73.cloudfront.net / Enter the Dragon/ Warner Bros.
Bruce Lee really did have the Midas touch when it came to training. Most people think Bruce was advanced and complicated, but he was the master of simplicity. He was not worried about doing the jump-up flip spin-around back kick. Not sure if there is one. But by the time you land, Bruce would just throw a simple kick or punch to knock you down as you landed to the ground. However, that is the point. Simplicity is often overlooked because of the coolness and the latest and greatest workout when simplicity produces the most significant effect. Super complicated does not mean superior. This is actually reverse in fact. We see super complex exercises that don’t need to be. Truthfully, if an exercise or method is not straightforward in its approach, then it probably is not good.
Keep Reading Show less
Judo
Saddleburn

Two-Time Black Belt Hall of Famer Hayward Nishioka has been campaigning for judo in the United States to harvest more shodans (1st degree black belts) Shodan literally means student. It's analogous to being a freshman in college. It's not the end but the beginning according to Jigoro Kano, the Founder of Judo.

A very dear friend and sensei of mine the late Allen Johnson, may he rest in peace made a home at Emerald City Judo. In Redmond, Washington.

Keep Reading Show less
Competitive Edge Karate
Photo Courtesy: Jackson Rudolph

Team Competitive Edge, coached by Jackson Rudolph, Reid Presley, and Cole Presley, has become one of the premier teams in the sport in recent years. The team consistently takes home individual overall grand championships and they are the reigning U.S. Open ISKA Team Demonstration World Champions. Moving into the 2022 tournament season, they have made a huge move to deepen their roster and add seven junior competitors to the team. The new additions range from proven champions bringing their talents to the squad, some skilled workhorses who have previously joined the team for the Team Demo division, and some promising young stars who will be making their debut in the black belt division this year. Keep reading to learn more about each of the new additions (ordered alphabetically).

Gavin Bodiford

Gavin Bodiford

Photo Courtesy: Kellie Austin Bodiford via Facebook

Bodiford is twelve years old and hails from Lebanon, Tennessee, a product of Premier Martial Arts Lebanon (formerly known as Success Martial Arts Center), where the Competitive Edge coaches have all earned black belts. He has five years of martial arts experience and was the 2020-2021 ProMAC Southern Region Champion in four divisions. He also finished the 2021 NASKA season in the top ten for creative, musical, and extreme forms and weapons. Bodiford is one of the competitors who has stepped up for Competitive Edge in the past, joining the demonstration team to help them secure the 2021 U.S. Open ISKA World Championship.

Riley Claire Carlisle

RC Carlisle

Photo Courtesy: Mallory Parker Carlisle

Carlisle (pictured with coach Sammy Smith) is a 10-year-old rising star from Starkville, Mississippi who has been training for four years. In the underbelt division, she has won grand championships at the Battle of Atlanta and numerous regional events. She holds multiple divisional and grand championship titles from the ProMAC circuit, and has amassed over ninety divisional wins in recent years. She is moving into the black belt division in 2022 and looks to continue her winning ways.

Kodi Molina

Kodi Molina

Photo Courtesy: Priscilla Molina via Facebook

Molina is a 13-year-old world champion from San Antonio, Texas with 10 years of martial arts training under her belt. She has won many grand championship titles on the NASKA circuit, and has claimed world championships from NASKA, ISKA, ATA, and WKC. At the 2021 U.S. Open, she became the reigning ISKA world champion in 13 and under girls creative/musical/extreme weapons. She is a versatile competitor who can win with extreme bo or kama routines, performs beautiful traditional forms, and is a solid point fighter as well. She is an active member of her community and participates in a variety of leadership programs, making her a great role model for younger members of the team.

Michael Molina

Michael Molina

Photo Courtesy: Michael Molina via Instagram

"Super Bomb" is the 9-year-old brother of Kodi, who is a world champion in his own right. In his seven years of experience, he has already won a variety of titles across multiple leagues, including NASKA overall grand championships at the 2021 Battle of Atlanta and AmeriKick Internationals. Since he began training at the age of two, his regimen has included strength, speed, agility, and conditioning training at "Rojo Dojo", where a number of world champions and national contenders gather to train. He is known for his incredible performance ability, always putting on a show when he graces the stage.

Gavin Richmond

Gavin Richmond

Photo Courtesy: Bobby Benavides

Richmond is yet another world champion being added to the Competitive Edge roster. The 13-year-old from San Antonio has been training for five years and has accumulated several grand championship titles, including wins at prestigious events like the Diamond Nationals and U.S. Open. The young star is a well-rounded athlete, not only because he competes in a variety of divisions at sport karate tournaments, but he also finished in 7th place in the pentathlon at the 2021 AAU Junior Olympics which included the high jump, long jump, 100m hurdles, 1500m run, and shot put, resulting in him being named an All-American. He is currently recovering from a knee injury, but his high-flying routines will be back on the mat soon.

Madalynn Wiersma

Madalynn Wiersma

Photo Courtesy: Gabrielle Dunn

Wiersma (pictured with coach Gabrielle Dunn) is another rising star moving up from the underbelt division who is expected to make waves in the black belt division. She first moved up into the black belt ring at the WKC world championships, where she won her first world title. The 9-year-old Georgia native was the 2021 Underbelt Competitor of the Year for ProMAC and she secured underbelt grand championships at the Battle of Atlanta and U.S. Open this past year.

Elijah Williams

Williams is a 16 year old from Lebanon, Tennessee who trains at Premier Martial Arts Lebanon. His eight years of martial arts training has culminated in black belts in Tang Soo Do and Tae Kwon Do. He is on an upward trend as a competitor as he has started breaking into the top four in his divisions, which are some of the most stacked on the NASKA circuit. Williams has been a great asset to Competitive Edge in the past, stepping up to fill in for team demonstration, such as in the world championship effort at the 2021 U.S. Open.

The Competitive Edge coaching staff told Black Belt that they are thrilled to take their roster to another level with these moves. They believe that these new players will create the perfect storm to win more overall grand championships now, strengthen the team demo, and build a great foundation for the future of the program.