Monthly Newsletter – May 2017

Dear Friends,

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a video must be worth ten thousand and this month’s newsletter is full of them. I’ve come across so many interesting things that I wanted to share with you all. Whether you practice Kungfu or Tai Chi, I think you’ll benefit from keeping an open mind and watching a few of these videos. And as always, from seminars, to competitions, demo’s and other activities, you won’t want to miss out on the action at CMAA!

School Closings
KungFu Sash Test Recap
Qigong Warm Up and Practice
Kungfu Competition
Martial Arts are Arts
CMAA Black Belt – Stavros Paganos 

What’s Fantasic about Tai Chi?
Tai Chi Feel Good
Why Tai Chi is as Good For You as CrossFit

Incredible Kungfu Forms
Traditional Chinese Kungfu Wrestling
The Best Self Defense Video You’ll Ever See

School Closings
Friday the 19th, and Friday/Saturday 26th/27th and Monday 29th (Memorial Day Weekend)

 KungFu Sash Test Recap
I was very proud to watch my team at CMAA sash test. Everyone rose to the occasion and truly performed their best.  What an awesome team!

Martial Arts are Arts
In a recent speech Meryl Streep announced that without Hollywood, “you’ll have nothing to watch but football and mixed martial arts, which are not the arts.” Although Streep won a well-deserved award for an outstanding acting career, the award did not confer authority to define what “the arts.” are The martial arts are called “martial arts” because they are generally recognized to be arts, even though they are not the particular arts at which Streep and Hollywood excel. Anti-martial hauteur was well-known to the ancient Taoists:
In the space of one generation, the cultural and the martial may shift in relative significance, insofar as there are times when each is useful. Nowadays, however, martialists repudiate culture and the cultured repudiate the martial. Adherents of cultural and martial arts reject each other, not knowing their functions according to the time.
Read more here:
http://www.martialartsalbany.com/martial-arts-arts/

CMAA Black Belt – Stavros Paganos 
It is with great honor that I announce an addition to the CMAA Black Belt roster.  This young man has been with me for almost 5 years now.  Originally he trained at the Chinese Community Center with me before transitioning to a full time student training daily.  He has since moved over an hour away and still travels to the school twice a week for private lessons.  He’s cool, he’s dedicated and now he’s officially a BLACK BELT! Congrats Stavros!  He’s promised to produce a video by the end of the summer, but until then you can see a trailer and read his essay to learn more about him in his essay! Click My Kung Fu Story to read about my journey! 🙂 

Why Tai Chi is as Good For You as CrossFit
By Markham Heid – TIME Health

“You’ve probably seen groups of people practicing tai chi in a park, so you have some idea what it’s all about. Slow, mindful movements. No weights. Low intensity. The practice combines aspects of ancient Chinese medicine, philosophy and martial arts, and it’s the antithesis of most modern exercise programs that emphasize fast, vigorous activity.

Indeed, certain parts of tai chi are thousands of years old. But while tai chi may look mundane—even boring to some—experts who’ve studied it say its benefits are vast and hard to oversell.”  Read more here: 
http://www.martialartsalbany.com/tai-chi-good-crossfit/ 

Qigong Warm Up and Practice
As you know I am a huge advocate for home practice. However, I know when first starting it can be quite challenging as we may not feel comfortable practicing independently. Typically, when starting out with Tai Chi I still recommend to practice Qigong at home. Specificially, Ba Duan Jin (Eight Sections Brocade). I do this because it is a static routine that can be performed in a small space and doesn’t change directions which means you can easily do this home following along with a video. In addition, this form repeats each posture several times which allows the new practitioner an opportunity to essentially practice and develop a better understanding of each posture before moving on. This video is Ba Duan Jin exactly as we practice it every Tuesday and Thursday morning. Enjoy! For more information about Ba Duan Jin (8 Sections Brocade) learn more here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baduanjin_qigong

What’s Fantastic about Tai Chi?

Tai Chi Feel Good
And if you needed any more reasons to practice, here’s something that just might inspire you. There is something about practicing gentle movements that is relaxing and invigorating. You can get a little of that sensation just by watching… Enjoy!

Incredible Kungfu Forms
A strong foundation with incredible speed and precision = GOOD KUNGFU! These two routines showcase some pretty spectacular martial prowess.

Spear:

Straight Sword:

The Best Self Defense Video You’ll Ever See
The best conflicts are the ones we avoid.  Here’s some solid advice from Sifu Tim Tackett. 

Kungfu Competition
Coming up in May and July there will be opportunities to challenge yourself. Competition is a great tool to set short term goals, and hold yourself accountable to your training. Read more about these two opportunities below! You can do it, CMAA can help!

What: Kungfu Forms Competition
When: Saturday July 15th,
Where: Hopkins Academy, 131 Russell St, Hadley, Massachusetts
Why: Represent CMAA and showcase your handwork and skills! This well organized, friendly tournament presents a great opportunity for goal setting, and gaining competition experience! Get it on your calendar. More info to come!

What: Kungfu Forms Competition
When: Sunday, May 28th
Where: Sheraton Atlantic City Convention Center, 2 Convention Blvd, Atlantic City, NJ
Why: Represent CMAA and showcase your handwork and skills! This tournament is larger and usually more competitive than the one listed above. However, it can also be a bit unorganized as well. This is not one a recommend for a first time competitor but for those who have competed before and want to challenge themselves! Get it on your calendar. More info to come!

Traditional Chinese Kungfu Wrestling


As part of the Kungfu (wushu) we teach at Sanshou (also called Sanda). Sanda emphasizes three areas of combat: Da – punch, Ti – kick and Shuai – throw (leaving out the 4th, known as Na – seizing (as in part of QiNa – joint locking). Many people are familiar with the hand and foot strikes but are less aware of Chinese wresting methods. If you are interested in learning more, please watch this 3 part documentary about Shuai Jiao – Traditional Chinese Wrestling.

Interested in learning more about Chinese grappling? Read more about “Shuai” and “Na” here: http://www.martialartsalbany.com/kungfu-grappling/

Summary
As usual please stay tuned for more exciting action at CMAA!

Best,

Shifu

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