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Author Topic: New Spring - An Aesteran/Zhunite Martial Art  (Read 4373 times)
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Coren FrozenZephyr
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« on: 14 June 2005, 07:57:00 »

De*****ion

New Spring (a.k.a. “Calm Waters” after the Aesteran Grandmaster Alsáhár Akíár) is a highly specialized system of Kárá Kái-Tsú developed for speed and simplicity. It is generally established as unparalleled for close in-fighting. Blocks are simple parries away from the center of the body and punches are in a straight line toward the opponent's nose or chest. There are no extravagant kicks nor are there any long flowing movements. Nevertheless, mastering simplicity requires a discipline of mind that cannot easily be achieved while performing the three basic hand sets of New Spring. Sensitivity and coordination exercises, although markedly more exciting, should not be performed until a steady mastery of the relevant set is accomplished. Had the student been allowed to hurry through the tedious fist sets in order to get to these partner exercises, as he is justifiably inclined to, his Kárá Kái-Tsú would certainly suffer. Thus, novices spend most of their time going through the less exciting forms (as each of the three main sets is called) under the intense scrutiny of the master.

A common misconception about New Spring among students of other martial arts is that “when using New Spring, one cannot fight at long range”. Master Ráhár, reported to be the first teacher of Emperor Déárán, has repeatedly protested against the absolute ridiculousness of this statement, maintaining that “To physically fight, particles MUST touch each other; that is, to hurt an attacker you MUST contact him. Thus, there is only one range in the actual physical fight: the contact range. In New Spring we call this Vine Contact; whatever the name, anything prior to Vine Contact is merely a prelude – whether it is assuming a heroic ready stance, shouting, threatening or dancing around with flailing hands. As a fight in the streets will teach you within minutes, the only way for these situations to become a “fight” is for the “Gap” to be closed and physical contact to be made!”

Training

There are only three main sets in New Spring as opposed to the incredibly intricacy and plethora of forms inbuilt the typical Krean martial arts. Usually, only when the student learns all the way and reaches the wooden set, he realizes the importance of the first set and decides to go back to it. Although the first set is very dull for the average martial arts enthusiast, it is nevertheless the basic set from which all the fist forms that are to be used in combinations in the more advanced stages are drawn from.

In the very beginning, up to three-fourths of the training is spent on developing the fundamental position. The basic horse stance is of supreme importance, and will eventually, after many taxing hours, give the feeling of having "suction" against the floor. This "rootedness" is countered by an extreme lightness and spontaneity of movement. The stance is solid and heavy, but because it is done with total relaxation, the muscles are instantaneously ready to react. A tensed muscle will slow the reaction time. Starting from day one, the source of power is isolated. While many Krean styles begin with large, flowery, less-difficult movements, and through many years of training refine them down to very small effective movements, New Spring moves from small to smaller. The movements in New Spring are very confined; the release of energy is not acquired through rigid, exaggerated external training, but rather by training every fiber in the muscle to respond in a soft, integrated, yet explosive manner. The force is trained to be released without conscious thought. As every person with hands on experience will say, in true fighting, there is no time to think. In an attack, if you have to think about how to react and to which move to flow into, it is probably too late; chances are that you have already been hit. Your reaction must happen instantaneously, subliminally. That kind of trained reaction bypasses the overt thought process of the brain, and occurs automatically.

Some masters claim that the art's true essence is not only in its simplicity but the execution of these simple moves with lighting speed. The Trailing Vine develops sensitivity of the hands so that the practitioner can "sense" when his opponent will make a move without having to detect any physical motion. The Windmill teaches the practitioner how to convert the astounding speed of automatic reflex actions into a defensive or offensive hand form. These two sections of New Spring Kárá Kái-Tsú are exercises rather than sets; hence, the more one performs them, the more one will improve. "Trailing Vine and Windmill" says Master Ráhár, "are unlimited. Even a master can develop more through them. Because of the Windmill and Trailing Vine, one can never reach his peak in New Spring."

New Spring’s foremost advantage over other Krean styles is its use of automated responses to dispose of an attacker. Calm Waters, like all martial arts, employs its forms to teach techniques, balance, efficiency of movement and awareness of one’s body, power and speed. However, according to the New Spring viewpoint, a student must then transfer these skills into fighting applications. This is where New Spring differs from all other Krean Martial Arts. While most use scenarios and prearranged move combinations to determine a response for a forthcoming assault (usually based on the aggressor’s opening stance), New Spring teaches that one cannot effectively anticipate the movements of others and survive a life threatening situation without leaving a lot to chance. Thus, New Spring opts for sensitivity training over long hours of moving through fixed patterns. To elucidate the point with an example: Traditional Aásá Kái-Tsú, possibly the most popular style of (ca) 1900 B.S., against an attack sequence opening with Brilliant Sun would offer seven logical responses: The Widening Blossom*, The Blooming Flower*, Passing Clouds*, Spilk Umbrella*, The Sunset Dragon’s Fly*, The Setting Sun*, or The Blazing Tiara*.

Some teachers also oblige their students to exercise blindfolded to improve their ‘sense’ and disable the brain from intervening since the development of ‘skin intelligence’ in New Spring. Using the two hands together, like antenna keeps contact established and the reflexive defense system switched on. This craving for contact is the basis of the three main New Spring idioms: (these are drawn from Chinese martial arts)

1) He comes – I stay!
2) He goes – I pursue!
3) Break apart – close the gap!


One must constantly remind oneself to relax. The tense way cannot work; you will wear out and it will fail against strength. Thus, to achieve the right state of mind, the forms must also be performed slowly, like a meditation, everyday.

Beginners must also practice the first set slowly in the mirror and watch their shoulders stay back.


*The standard purpose and combinations following each stance would likely be:
- Rigid defense:
Spilk Umbrella (to deflect each “ray” via force blocks) > Weaving the Mantle > Dance of the Red Diamond Butterfly

- Neutralize the attack before it begins:
Passing Clouds > Cool Daylight Breeze / Soft Rain Drizzles > Closing Sky (Note: Advanced martial artists may also consider twisting the third move of Closing Sky to progress into the Lightning Storm assault)

- Using the force of the oncoming attack to initiate a counterassault:
The Widening Blossom > Bathing in the Sun > Láváno Attracts the Bug > Láváno Kills the Bee / Snapdragon Closes Abruptly

The Blooming Flower > Glory under Injera > Distributing the Seeds (Note: Each of the “seeds” (strikes) can be used as a bridge to lead to another attack or control sequence)

- The Setting Sun is a highly specialized form designed exclusively to counter what some master call the 9 Sun Assaults. Each section of the form is the one to one countermove to one of these attack series.

- Shifting between the opponent’s lines of attack to land sudden strikes with exploding impact (usually throwing the enemy off balance or in some cases resulting in severe damage to the joints):  
The Sunset Dragon’s Fly (Note: This is a very majestic form usually reserved only for Grandmasters of the art as the sequence must begin at the exact right timing or it will expose the fighter’s central vulnerability regions. As the form is an exceptionally long and complex one, with its own defense and attack series inbuilt, it is usually not followed by other sets.)

The Blazing Tiara (Note: Like the Sunset Dragon’s Fly, this form is highly advanced and executed unaccompanied. As a rule of courtesy, The Blazing Tiara is only performed at one’s grandmaster trials.)

Technique

New Spring, a somewhat unconventional Krean martial arts system, locates its essence in esoteric softness. The meticulous development of this sensitive, enigmatic soft "force" allows even very small individuals of seemingly inferior strength to develop "penetrating" power. Experience has shown that this New Spring power becomes even more effective against an opponent using more typical, hard, brute force. The "hard" or rigid energy of the opponent actually serves to augment the "passive" “whip-like” energy of New Spring.

One might wonder why such feminine qualities as softness, passivity, and sensitivity are mentioned when discussing a fighting system. As it happens, the word "esoteric," as used to describe this Calm Waters softness, is truly befitting. The most notable aspect of pure, traditional New Spring, that of softness, is unfortunately not well-understood by many practitioners. It is said that one must feel it to understand it. A master can uproot you easily, but you cannot uproot a master. A master seems to offer no resistance; nothing to slap, nothing to jerk, nothing for the opponent to work with. A master is like the calm waters of a lake; can you beat water? A master is relaxed all along; he can neutralize an attack before it can even start. The attack never reaches the flurry stage.

Aesteran Grandmaster Alsáhár Akíár says too many Lillivear have flowery hands: The movements are too excessive, too hurried, too big… Too much signal is given by the student. When a true master moves, there are no signals; nothing moves. Calm Waters hit powerfully and effortlessly. A true master does not intimidate, but handles you with masterful skill. A true master is always one step ahead. A true master shows many, many things but always emphasizes the importance of fundamentals such as stance. Where have you heard that before? A master holds back nothing; there are no secret moves. Only if your Kárá Kái-Tsú was limited, “would you hide that fact?”

He maintains that one can practice for a lifetime but if one’s stance is poor one will have wasted all that effort; one must feel like one is melting into the ground. Grandmaster Akíár thinks too many people act before they feel. One must not act before he knows what is going on. One must feel what is happening first. Grandmaster Akíár warns that one cannot just rely on speed; random flurries will not work. He also recommends that the head be kept back as it will otherwise get hit and bring the whole posture down, stiffening up the hands. The head should also be kept up, forcing one to rely on touch. Grandmaster Akíár is known for hauling many of his initiates over the coals for using too much force. He keeps reminding his students that New Spring is a ladies’ style and therefore brutal energy or brute strength must not be used. A master acknowledges the fact that he is getting older by the day and that at one step he can no longer rely on muscular strength. Thus, Grandmaster Akíár avers, the speed and power approach is limited.

Grandmaster Akíár speaks from experience. He was barely over twelve hebs and five fore eight nailsbreadth tall, but had a very heavy but relaxed power. Former students recount that when you felt his force, you felt it was very soft yet still very substantial with a bite you couldn’t ignore. Emperor Déárán later described that force as “wet paste” energy.

Another essential point to New Spring is that it does not respond to force with force (i.e. there are no power blocks in New Spring). A New Spring practitioner is able to neutralize the force either by absorbing it or by turning the stance.

In New Spring almost all the attacks are delivered to the opponent’s central axis. Flowery movements are not valued in New Spring, albeit the name; simple, connected movements will do. One must also face the opponent squarely and strike down the centerline. One mustn’t frantically chase the opponent’s hands. Emperor Déárán’s teacher, Master Ráhár always asked his students to try to use the concept of neutralizing force along the tangent of a circle, which in turn can be horizontal, vertical or diagonal. Every action in New Spring should produce a result. Have you ever seen anything even slightly out of place in new spring? Have you ever seen a tiny flower doing anything more than is absolutely necessary? Have you seen a flower take the long, elaborate way out of heavy snow? There is nothing extravagant about new spring; there is nothing that is not practical.

Many people, including practitioners of Krean martial arts, apply their energy at the moment. A New Spring fighter tries to feel when the best time to apply his/her energy is, he/she tries to feel when the opponent’s energy starts up and hinders his energy cycle with minimum effort. Many people, again including practitioners of Krean martial arts, try to push the force away; because they are afraid of the opponent’s force, they want to push it away. New Spring teaches that one should instead accept that force, welcome that force. The principle in Calm Waters is to “Receive what comes.” This is done relaxed and effortless in mind and body. When the opponent pushes, the Calm Waters practitioner does not push back, but rather instantly redirects the force and attacks. The body is very relaxed, almost limp. In this relaxed state your opponent's tension is easily transmitted, you can feel his intentions, yet he cannot feel yours. The essence of the system cannot be seen as large, externally visible movements, but can only be felt when in contact.
In New Spring, position comes first by training the form accurately. Sensitivity to force comes next. Power comes last. Speed comes before power. A student of Calm Waters should hit through the person’s body, he/she shouldn’t aim for the surface. It is where energy is applied that makes the difference, not the amount of brute force. In New Spring, “hands take care of hands, legs take care of legs”. (this was actually a Wing Tsun idiom)

Two other essentials are married to the automated responses to make New Spring street effective: the center line theory and the technique of simultaneous block and attack. The center of line theory states that no two objects can occupy the center without colliding with each other. Thus, all New Spring movements are instigated from, and occupy, the center; thereby colliding with incoming traffic. The result is not only excellent defense but the initiation of New Spring’s automatic responses. If a hole is found and control of the “center” is gained, it is next to impossible for the opponent to regain control as the central line is now being sealed with a barrage of punches and traps. Like in a war, once ground is gained, the New Spring practitioner never gives it back. Simultaneous block and attack speak for itself. As Master Ráhár keeps repeating, “Why have an idle hand?” To parry with one hand while striking with the other exemplifies the three basic Calm Waters principles of Simplicity, Efficiency, and Practicality.

Some general principles include:
- If the attack isn’t committed, don’t react.
- Do not trade punches with your opponent, mind your own defense first.
- Always travel the shortest distance (the straight center line).
- Don't look at your hands. Feel what is going on. Do not look down
- The opponent can start first but we should get there sooner. (this is what my teacher always said :lol  )
- New Spring is sneaky; use the surprise element.
- Do not just rush into a kick. If he can kick you, you can kick him. If he can punch you, you can punch him.
- When your opponent lifts a leg to kick (especially is he is a practitioner of Kwát-Tsú), you can lift a leg to kick his supporting leg, groin or shin area. Then step in. (these last two also remind me - curiously ;)  - of my teacher)

Edited by: Coren FrozenZephyr at: 6/18/05 14:34
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« Reply #1 on: 15 June 2005, 16:28:00 »

Well, I'm no martial arts expert but I think that this catches quite nice the Zhunite spirit - at the conflux of Krean and Anpagan peoples. If the several typos are fixed and no one else has anything to object, I'd give it a Nybelmarian ok...

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« Reply #2 on: 16 June 2005, 03:19:00 »

It doesn't (shouldn't imo) have much of an Anpagan influence. I would say New Spring a combination of Aesteran simplicity and Zhunite practicality as opposed to the extravagency of the Lillivear.

What typos btw? I wrote the document in word, and ran another spell-check today - can't find any spelling mistakes. :confused  Could you perhaps point out the ones that caught your eye?  

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"I think that comes under the rule of Quia Ego Sic Dico."
"Yes, what does that mean?"
"'Because I say so', I think."
"That doesn't sound like much of a rule!"
"Actually, it's the only one he needs." (Making Money by Terry Pratchett)
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« Reply #3 on: 16 June 2005, 10:12:00 »

Quote:
Had the student been allowed to hurry through the tedious fist [???] sets in order to get to these partner exercises, as he is justifiably inclined to, his Kárá Kái-Tsú would certainly suffer.


Quote:
There are only three main sets in New Spring as opposed to the incredibly intricacy and plethora of forms inbuilt [in? that?] the typical Krean martial arts.


Quote:
As every person with hands on experience will say, in true fighting, there is no time to think. In an attack, if you have to think about how to react and to [from?] which move to flow into, it is probably too late; chances are that you have already been hit.


...and so on :)  MS Word doesn't always correct everything (I'll try to look through the whole entry tonight, but probably you would be more indicated to do that)

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« Reply #4 on: 16 June 2005, 10:22:00 »

"Fist sets" wasn't a typo (I know it reads so much as 'first', I always wrote that and had to change it later :broadgrin ), you know the forms involving the fists rather than kicks?

Inbuilt is a word, but that sentence is awkward. Though, I don't know how to fix it.

'To' is correct, but perhaps replacing 'move' with 'form' will ease the flow.

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"Everything should be as simple as possible and not simpler." Albert Einstein

"Is he allowed to do that?"
"I think that comes under the rule of Quia Ego Sic Dico."
"Yes, what does that mean?"
"'Because I say so', I think."
"That doesn't sound like much of a rule!"
"Actually, it's the only one he needs." (Making Money by Terry Pratchett)
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« Reply #5 on: 16 June 2005, 10:23:00 »

Yup, maybe Judith will help with the awkwardness?  

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« Reply #6 on: 18 June 2005, 12:34:00 »

Ok... As update time is here already and this entry seems pretty much finished, I'll take it and will prepare it for the site, ironing out some awkwardnesses (is that a word?) myself in the process of putting it up:D  

I'd also would like to bring it up again that you're the I guess only one of our regular contributers, where we still don't have a membership page. A pity that.


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Edited by: Artimidor Federkiel at: 6/17/05 20:40
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« Reply #7 on: 18 June 2005, 13:04:00 »

I know... Right now, I just don't feel qualified to write about myself; I hope you can understand that...

Honestly, I tried - and spent quite some time - but I cannot - not now. I am sorry.

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"That doesn't sound like much of a rule!"
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« Reply #8 on: 19 June 2005, 01:51:00 »

Well.

I guess I need to rethink here. Quite honestly I don't know what to do with this entry, especially because I've now practically gone through it completely when trying to prepare it - and I guess I have to take it out again.

Reason: Though I'm not a martial arts expert, the amount of detail makes it very unlikely that this kind of martial art is original to Santharia. Especially because you can find Wing Chun mentioned in the entry, which seems to be an Earthen martial arts, and you seem to have based this martial art heavily on it. Besides you quote Chinese grandmasters at least twice, and I don't know if that's so well. I guess we stated it very clearly in our development guidelines to stay away as much as possible from copying stuff.

I also miss a precise definition of what "New Spring" means, and the sections aren't all covered, especially the "Santhariarized" or if you so want "Kreanized" parts (Origin, History etc.) are missing and Training cannot be found under "Training".

So I guess for now I'll have to push it back. There are definitely further updates needed, and it needs to be clarified how close this martial art is to Wing Chun, so that some originality is ensured and it actually makes sense to have this martial art here in our world.


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Coren FrozenZephyr
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« Reply #9 on: 19 June 2005, 03:33:00 »

The level of detail is so extreme because I spent six hours plowing through the city library and the internet researching different martial arts styles.

Actually the only 'close' references to Wing Tsun are a rephased use of their two idioms (1- He goes, I pursue etc. 2- hands take care of hands, legs take care of legs) and the concept of a 'soft force'

This is in fact a collage of seven earthen styles brewed together around a Kreanized concept. I can cite my sources if you wish: For the most part (details on training, a gamut of strike techniques etc) I used "Martial Arts (Traditions, History, People)" by John Corcoran and Emil Farkas (the 467 p. hardcover version) Galery Books, Copyright 1983 by W.H.Smith. Other print sources include: "Ki Energy" by Koichi Tohei; "The Spirit of the Chinese Character". I also have two online sources but I need to get back to you on those (can't find the links).

If we are to break all the concepts that have counterparts (to some degree) on Earth:

1) Soft force - Wing Tsun (Chinese)
2) Whip-like force of strike - Hwarang-Do (Korean)
3) Water-mill principle: countering an attack along the perimeter of a circle (this is present in many southern Chinese / Korean arts)
4) "rootedness" This is present in almost any eastern practice. Probably has its background in my yoga training.

All other concepts, quotes (for instance from masters Rahar, and Akiar), moves/patterns (e.g. Kara Kaitsu, "The Blazing Tiara") The application of the style is quite extensive probably due to my own familiarity with martial arts.

One thing you have to take into consideration is, if you wish to have realistic fighting styles on the site, we will have to drain some techniques (hit styles, parries) from earthen arts. There are only so many ways the human body can move in and only a portion of those movements are fight 'wise'. For instance, no matter how original the style you develop is, for it to make 'sense', it will probably draw on one of the following principles: 1) Parries force with force. Powerful hits (high kicks, turning kicks, chain punches) are the key to overcoming the opponent. 2) the Aikido family (working with joints and forcing an opponent to disarm by applying pressure to these weak spots) 3) Judo family (the bowing tree principle) or the 'softer' southern chinese defenses.

You can make a style as poetic as you wish (like i described some of the moves e.g. The Blooming Flower etc) but in the end a practical application will probably be similar to a move in at least one earthen style. The same is true for many martial arts - do you think all the moves in Karate are 'unique'?exclusive to that family alone?

The irony is, some martial artist might come claiming this is very similar to XYA he trained his entire life - although, he will say there are somethings that do not follow the path he was taught and another might come the next day and claim pointing out the same principle that they belong to a totally different style.

The origins i will get to - I didn't say i was finished with the entry yet.

Another thing to remember is that the eastern concept for 'training' is very different than the classical western competition mind. Each art has so many 'training' exercises developed for every other single muscle that it is impossible to list them all. Plus, in most Chinese martial arts, 'training' is person based - individualized according to your strengths and what the defects in your style. I only included the main "skills" / assests that need to be developed for New Spring and how (meaning through what kind of a training) these can be achieved. Let's face it "Initiates go into recluse for a month with their mentor on Mount XYZ and spend six hours everyday drilling with wooden dummies, carrying buckets of rocks up the hills to develop muscles" - although it sounds very much like the western impression of far eastern training - doesn't make much sense. I think it is important to mention under training what needs to be trained (i.e. say powerful biceps) rather than describe how to develop them - unless there is something truly unique about it (initiates have to wrestle a baby locust wyrm every day with one hand tied at their back to develop iron arm muscles)

Frankly I am very surprised that you suggest plagerism. I would have assumed that by now I had illustrated my working character in the team's eyes.

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« Reply #10 on: 19 June 2005, 17:57:00 »

Art:  In all honesty, my initial reaction was similar - it is so very detailed, so thorough, so carefully 'footnoted'... and yes, many moves are recognizably similar to Terran moves in various martial arts.

Upon looking at the entry in more depth, though, and on reading Coren's defense/response, I have to say that I think Coren couldn't have handled it any other way.  He has used authentic references and done his research - just as I have done when creating the Santharian ant (Myrmex) , writing a papermaking entry (gotta finish that!) or collating the Alchemy contributions (oh, I hope that can be recovered...) - yet he has created something that can be considered unique and Caelerethian from that.

He is quite correct in saying that there are only so many ways to perform unarmed combat moves!  Of course it will resemble Terran martial arts; if it did not it would not be believable.   (although come to think of it, wouldn't you like to see an entry on "Quill Fighting:  The Southern Ze'ene Monks'  Way of the Feather..."? ) :lol    If you'd like, I'd be happy to do an indepth look-over for you so that this can be approved for the next update...



Coren: I'd consider it a compliment to your writing style and to the amount of research that you've done.  Art has a lot to look over and to physically do when he prepares an entry, and that stress is not always conducive to seeing more than the initial impression.  Thank you for your clarification, and I trust that you will not be hurt by Art's request to take more time to look at this well-crafted entry in more detail.  As I said, I'll gladly look it over - I was away from Thursday through most of Saturday for a carnival I had to run, so I haven't been on for a while - before the next update.



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« Reply #11 on: 20 June 2005, 00:14:00 »

Uhmm... Sorry if it came across that way that I thought "it is all copied" or something, that was not the intention. The thing is that I don't know much about martial arts, so I of course cannot really judge what was taken from where and to what degree etc., and the time was too short at this weekend to clarify this. All I could do for now is to point out possible concerns and wait with it for another update. I was to quick with marking it for the update, the time for commenting and pointing things out was just too short. For example I think the direct quoting of Earthen teachers should at any rate be avoided (instead find a similar "Santhariarized" quote), because otherwise the impression is strengthened that the entry is based too much on a certain existing martial art. But yeah, as I said, I don't know a thing about martial arts, so I just conveyed the impression, and the more it is important to get things clarified, work in the Krean references and historical details to work towards its Santhariarization:)  - Just needs a bit more time.


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« Reply #12 on: 20 June 2005, 09:26:00 »

8)  That was very reassuring, thank you! :hug

I've also plowed through my online sources:
What is WT? Philosophy
www.wtny.com/what_is_philosophy.php
Principles of fighting: www.wtny.com/what_is_phil...ghting.php

AVCI WING TSUN INTERNATIONAAL
oilwrestling.homestead.co...sun00.html

What is Wing Tsun? Where is it used?
www.wtselfdefense.com/

Ranges of unarmed combat www.wtny.com/what_is_phil...ranges.php
Technique (this is a useful one) www.wtny.com/what_is_phil...motion.php
www.wtny.com/training_forms.php

Logged

"Everything should be as simple as possible and not simpler." Albert Einstein

"Is he allowed to do that?"
"I think that comes under the rule of Quia Ego Sic Dico."
"Yes, what does that mean?"
"'Because I say so', I think."
"That doesn't sound like much of a rule!"
"Actually, it's the only one he needs." (Making Money by Terry Pratchett)
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