Saturday, November 30, 2013

From Secret Transmissions to Free YouTube Lessons?

Chinese martial arts have always been mysterious and secretive - and very hard to obtain the "true teachings." In China, there are many stories of rich businessmen paying large amounts of money for hidden knowledge (such as the "bedroom arts") and of people who totally dedicated their lives to their teacher in order to receive kung fu teachings. (For example, the first disciple of Dai Kui (of Dai family xingyiquan) Yue Guining was said to have sold his land, a two-story house, and 500 sheep for his teacher.) As of course, many students of famous martial artists were rich, or had rich parents to support their practice.

Today, although it is often still difficult to obtain the real teachings, some people have started to put free lessons on the Internet (such as on YouTube). Whether this is a new trend that will lead to the freeing of these old traditions on the Web, or else just a fad is hard to say, but in any case it is a great act of generosity and good will!

Of course, in almost all cases only some of the lessons are free, and additional lessons will cost money, but it is still quite useful to be able to "try" some styles that you know little about in this way. Three examples that I have found are:

Yin Style Baguazhang (Men Baozhen -> Xie Peiqi -> He Jinbao)
Xie Peiqi, Liu Shichang, He Jinbao

Almost all of the DVDs that were released (for sale) to document this very large system have been uploaded to this channel - very generous of the Association for Traditional Studies. Obviously it is a very large amount of material (and a lot of videos to watch!) but for those who are interested in this system, it will certainly be an invaluable resource.

Wu Style Taijiquan (Wu Jianquan -> Ma Yueliang -> Li Liqun -> Sam Li Shenguang)
Stephen Procter

This generous taiji teacher from down under has put videos of himself teaching the Wu style long (slow) form on YouTube - very generous of him, as he has obviously put a lot of work into them. The Wu style is a very interesting taiji style, but often hard to find!

Wing Chun, Jeet Kune Do, Taijiquan
"Master Wong"

This energetic teacher has a variety of free lessons for wing chun and some other arts (he also offers courses to learn entire systems on his website). Wing chun is certainly a famous system that will pique many people's curiosity!

Personally, I think that I will go through the Wu form first. If any people out there find some other free lessons of note, I'd love to here about them!