The Grandmaster

Whether people recognize it or not, but martial arts will claw back its way into pop culture! One of the reasons I know this is simply because of high-profile directors such as Ang Lee (Crouching Tiger- Hidden Dragon), Quentin Tarantino (i.e. Iron Monkey and Man with the Iron Fists) and now Martin Scorsese presents an epic martial arts film which depicts the life of wing chun master, Yip Man (again). It took no surprise wu-tang clan artists RZA and Raekwon have worked on yet another movie endeavor, this time considering martial arts icon Ip Man in Wong Kar Wai’s The Grandmaster Featuring dynamic martial arts choreography and brilliant editing, there are also blitzing track from Wu-Tang members. The film release this weekend and can’t wait to see what this film has to offer opposed to its counterparts.

“Iron Will”

The Prophet of Martial Arts- Grandmaster Henry Cook.

sifu cook
When it rains, it pours. My spirit was heartbroken due to the news of my grandmaster recently passed. For years, I always heard many extraordinary stories about him with my sifu. I knew he was great because he taught my instructor. How can a small frail man be so powerful and skill? the truth skill has absolutely NOTHING to do with size and strength. It’s in the spirit of the individual. The warrior spirit has no discrimination; therefore, he was epitome of that!

cookGrandmaster Henry Cook was (always will be) one of the patriarchs of the martial arts/science community in Louisville. The martial arts community is molded by his knowledge, integrity, and skill. The 7 Wind Flying Fist System was founded on June 29, 1973 by Grandmaster Henry Cook, who is well versed in the field of martial arts. His knowledge of both Martial Science and combat were outstanding.

The grandmaster and myself (along with my son) several years ago.

The grandmaster and myself (along with my son) several years ago.

Grandmaster Cook was all about the life of budo (the martial way)! There was never a moment how love of the art did not express him.  Despite his heavy training  He gave significantly back to community increase awareness for women to protect themselves in domestic violence, rape, etc. During the 70s and 80s, he created the Nightwatch, an organization whose target goal was to protect the people in their neighborhood. Throughout the years, he has achieved many awards and build a great rapport throughout the region. A fighter who lived 25 years after the doctors told him he was not going to make. He managed to inspire many more people (including myself) through the course of those years. As your spirit resonate through many of us, you and your teachings will never be forgotten.

Yip Man – Mok Jong

I have come across this not so longer rare footage of the late-great wing chun master, Yip Man. Check out how fluid he was on the Mok Jong. Wing Chun dummy are designed to practice blocks and strikes. The sticks on the dummy emphasizes the limbs of the opponent. With efficient practice, you will begin to condition your own limbs while understand the lining of your technique. A great tool for every martial artist to have.

My trip back to Olympic Karate

Wednesday nights are sparring nights at Olympic Karate. Fortunately, I was able to stop by and do some sparring for a little. Majority of the time, I catch myself drills more than sparring with some of the juniors. The real stuff was after practice when my martial arts instructor, sifu Taylor was showing me some chi sau.

Chi Sau is a form of drilling from the southern kung fu style, wing chun. Chi Sau, which means sticky hands develops the sensitivity of each practitioners. Its all about feeling it fused with second nature of what you have learned. Like all art forms it is best to reinforce your foundation in order to gain proficiency in the advance drills, etc.

From the original school, I came from years ago was hybrid of freestyle tournament style karate and wing chun. The older I got, I realize if there you want to elevate as a martial arts is go back to the roots (which I am doing right here).. The school was great for what it was and helped me tremendously as a fighter, but I wanted something more structure and fundamental regards to philosophy and the essence of the techniques made.

I have gave an greater understanding in the art of Wing Chun. I have happen empty 95 % of my cup to rebuild my foundation as a martial artist. Its ok for us to restart in a certain angles of our art; quite frankly, its humbly. Sifu Taylor is great teaching me as I focus on rebuilding my foundation of the art.

Movie Review: Ip Man 2

I have not done a movie review in a while, but now it should be the best time to do so. International martial arts star, Donnie Yen, has returned to protray as one of the most revolutionary martial artist of the 20th century, Ip Man.

The sequel takes place right with Sifu (Teacher/instructor) Ip Man living a new life in Hong Kong. Compared to the first film, its transition was from living in Fo Shan and fleeting for a more prosperous life away from the Japanese. It was difficuly to attract students, but it all begin to change once his first disciple, Wong Shun Leung, challenged him in a duel. 

 Ip Man’s demonstration of wing chun was not only new for Wong Shun Leung, but also the hong kong martial arts community. In order for Ip to continue teaching martial arts, he must challenge the masters in Hong Kong whose leader is played by Sammo Hung. Although he was accepted to teach, but his biggest threat lead him to defeat a western boxer for the respect/preservation of the chinese arts.

This movie is beyond a martial arts film. Many of the times we watch martial arts films is to fast forward to the action; However, Donnie Yen’s performance was extremely eloquent regards to empathy and compassion of his character. Ip Man was only a extraordinary martial artist, but an activist for his people. From the beginning of the film, I totally felt his anger and pain to stand up against the oppressor and guilt towards his friend being shot. Ip Man fought for so many people, which subliminally changed the eyes of chinese martial arts to the world.

It was amazing to see Sammo Hung return as Donnie’s counterpart. The 2 martial artists were last seen brawling it out with dynamics kicks, intense hand strikes and throws in the epic martial arts film, Kill Zone (originally known as SPL). Punches were not held back as their rapid exchanges were controlled and precised!

 This particular scene was very similar towards Bruce Lee’s decision to teach anyone beyond the ways of the chinese culture. Anything expressed slightly different from a traditional criteria is automatically criticized and often challenged. Ip Man showed that once again and defeat the odds in this epic film (look out for the lil bruce lee cameo). Unfortunately, I feel the film would not be appreciated as much on the american silver screen, yet it has something to offer as much as “black swan” or some shit.

chi sao – sticking hands

Alright so maybe its not actually “sticking hands” for my fellow wing chun practioners out there. For some of the people out there who do not practice martial arts, chi sao is a wing chun drill (a Chinese close combat system) which emphasizes sensitivity in the individuals techniques. The objective to build great reflexes through their motions. However I stumbled across this from a fashion editorial. Nevertheless, I can not help but to love this imagery. I totally approve the martial-fashion aesthetic! Right below is an example of the ACTUAL chi sao.

Happy Birthday Grandmaster Cook

Today is the birthday of my Grandmaster Henry Cook. He is a master various martial arts style, but mainly known in the region as a wing chun practioner. He has trained many great martial artist. So blessed to apart of his lineage. Striving for his level without a doubt. Talk about someone with extraordinary skill.

If anyone is in the Louisville of Southern Indiana area, please attend the joint lock and escape seminar. the admission is $25.00 location is at: Full Moon Martial Arts 2920 middle road Jeffersonville, In.                                                                                     time: Tuesday, November 16th, 6:00 P.m.