I'm very pleased to present this interview with Dr. Yang, Jwing-Ming. Dr. Yang is an important figure in the world of Chinese martial arts and a key transmission point of Chinese arts into Western society.
Cover from one of Dr. Yang's Most Popular Titles - Yang Tai Chi For Beginners
Dr. Yang began his training at a young age in Taiwan during a time of turbulent relations with China. Learning under a handful of extremely talented instructors throughout his youth and into adulthood, Dr. Yang left for the United States to pursue his doctorate in Mechanical Engineering. Over time he became a premiere teacher of White Crane, Taijiquan, and Shaolin Long Fist, receiving significant recognition for his work including Black Belt Magazine's Kung Fu Artist of the Year and Kung Fu Magazine's Man of the Year. Dr. Yang is most well known for creating the YMAA training association and publication center.
Dr. Yang was kind enough to provide some insightful answers regarding his personal training history and his efforts to spread Chinese arts.
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Hey everyone, quick piece of news here. On November 5th I'll be conducting a seminar in conjunction with the Meiyo-do Southern Kung Fu School. This will be a free event open to practitioners of any style who are interesting in learning a little more about the connections between China and Okinawa in the early days of karate development. Read on for event details.
Topic – China's Impact on Karate
It's well known that karate's development was a conglomeration of influences. Okinawa, being an important seaport and trading outpost, experienced a wide assortment of cultures and martial styles. Among all the influences the Okinawans experienced, China was the most significant. So much so that Kara-te originally meant Tang Hand, or China Hand.
China wasn't just important in a martial sense; the culture and philosophies of "The Great Ming" impacted Okinawa for generations. Extensive sharing between the cultures, both on the coasts of Fujian and in Kumemura village, caused shifts in almost every aspect of Okinawan living.
This seminar will discuss the rich history between China and Okinawa and how this relationship developed over time.
The first half of the seminar will be a historical presentation. Information will be delivered along a timeline and relevant questions will be answered. Okinawa based questions will be answered by myself, China based question will be fielded by Meiyo-do owner Gary Choi.
The second half of the seminar will involve technical sharing. Sample techniques will be demonstrated and practiced by participants. Techniques will likely focus around those that are most relevant to the topic, such as Tsuru Te (crane hand).
Location and Time
1772 S Decatur st Denver, CO 802109.
Event time will be 6:30-9:00pm on November 5th.
For more information about the location and contact methods, visit the Meiyo-do website here.
There is no cost in attending the event. However, to thank Gary Choi for hosting I recommend offering a $10 donation to him in order to support his school and students.
How to Attend
If you are in the area and would like to attend, please RSVP using the button below. As mentioned, all styles are welcome and the format will be friendly and informational. In the RSVP please include your name, contact number, and if any students/friends will be coming along with you. Showing up without an RSVP is ok, but we would prefer to have a rough head count.
If the above button does not work for you, simply send an email to email@example.com. All the best and hope to see you there!
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The martial arts world has lost another luminary. Shimabukuro Masayuki, most well known for his strong leadership in Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu Swordsmanship, lost his battle for health and passed away in the month of September, 2012.
Shimabukuro Sensei will be missed by many. He was an influential instructor who produced many fine martial artists. He also affected a multitude of lives through his high quality books and DVDs. His martial arts experience was diverse and impressive yet he always held himself with an air of kindness and respect.
Shimabukuro Sensei's senior student, Carl Long, wrote this about Sensei's passing:
Dear friends and fellow martial artists,
It is with much regret that I extend to you all the tragic news of the passing of our honorable teacher Masayuki Shimabukuro, Hanshi. He was the 21st-generation master of the Masaoka line of Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu Iaido and a founding member of the North American Japan Masters Association. Our mentor and teacher transitioned from his life here with us on September 7, 2012, following a prolonged battle for his good health. The news of his passing will have a profound effect throughout the budo world, but even more so in the world of his family members and friends.
The immediate family will conduct services with appropriate ceremony for a man of such inspiration and humility. On behalf of the Shimabukuro family and JKI/KNBK members around the world, we would like to express our gratitude to our budo colleagues who sent their condolences. We know how much our teacher has touched our lives, and we understand the impact he has had on all those who were in his life.
Mr. Shimabukuro’s eyes were always the brightest when he was in the company of his budo family and colleagues. Our hearts will carry on his spirit for as long as we maintain his sincerity within our lives. He touched us all.
May each of us find peace and solace in his words and teachings. I wish you each a quiet moment of reflection and communion with your memories of a great man and all that he has bequeathed to you during his exceptional lifetime.
With bowed head and heavy heart,
Kokusai Nippon Budo Kai/JKI
Shimabukuro Sensei's Martial Arts Experience
Miura Takeyuki Hidefusa was perhaps the biggest influence in Shimabukuro Sensei's martial arts life, but there were others who helped along the way. Shimabukuro achieved high rank and influence not just in Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu but in Shito Ryu Karate and Shindo Muso Ryu Jojutsu as well, not to mention his high proficiency in kobudo and Judo.
Watch this short video highlighting some of Shimabukuro Sensei's journey (video developed during Black Belt Magazines's 2006 Weapons Instructor of the year award):
In His Own Words
We are fortunate in that Shimabakuro Sensei recorded many of his lessons in book and DVD format. As such, we have a lasting record of his methods and skill. Furthermore, he made a conscientious effort to help his senior students grow, many of whom continue to pass on his teachings all around the world.
The following is a brief interview with Shimabukuro Sensei wherein he explains some of his theories on kenjutsu training. He also provides insight into why he decided to dedicate his life to Muira Sensei's iaido:
Our Best Wishes to Students, Family, and Friends
To the family and friends of Shimabukuro Sensei we offer our sincerest condolensces. To Sensei's senior students we offer our support and encouragement in continuing the old ways of Budo. Losing an honorable figurehead is never easy, but the goal of the arts is to carry on and so it will.
As a final note, please watch Shimabukuro Sensei perform his forms with the precision, clarity, and grace he was well known for:
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