Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Happy Holidays

All the student got this nice message two weeks ago from teacher Mike, we all wish our teacher a happy holidays too. Before the end of year, I manage to squeeze in some time to put this up.

Thank you Laoshi!

Dear Everyone,

Happy and Healthy Holidays to All.... I want to thank everyone for a great year of training and support for the new club...!

The space really feels like a home to everyone and I am proud of that!!! I really want to make 2009 a year for growth for everyone and myself... I really want the club to grow and promote our mentality for training to others around Belgium and Europe...

Many challenges and changes are to come with great results for all of us... Some changes for 2009: A change of club Name, new website, new clothes, club structure for belts, these are just a few I want to 


2009 will also have more seminars here in Antwerp; like; Mantis, San Cai Jian, Miao Dao, Qi Gong, Shuai Jiao and more... I look forward to working with everyone....

I want to especially thank teacher Wang and the Beijing teachers for all the support and help !!!

Reminder: Classes will be on a holiday schedule for the Xmas and New Year holiday weeks as Dieter wrote in and earlier email...

See everyone in class.

Happy Holidays

mike laoshi

Sunday, 14 December 2008

Thoughts exchange: The one detail.

Kung Fu has always been a bit different than any Japanese Martial Arts, the Japanese are experts in applying a skill as many times as possible, until they turn it into art. One of the criteria to master a skill is the complete dedication on one technique by the practitioner.  The positive side of this kind of training is that the practitioner will be able to reach good structure in his training (that is, with the guidance of a good teacher). However, there comes a point, where the practitioner is no longer a beginner and embarks his journey as a fully trained martial artist. The question is, what's next? A good example would be the one where I left Karate school after I realized that the sensei doesn't know how to adjust the training for those who have reached the 1st dan. To those who were beginners in karate, he told them to make their stances as low as possible, to train their leg muscles. Of course it is a good training, but after 4 years or so, Some of them have done the training needed for getting a proper karate basic structure. And yet, they were never allowed to stand higher, so the purpose of the low stances changed from muscle training to actual self defense, which is unrealistic. This is a classic example of one of the problems with rigid thinking as a martial arts practitioner.

Kung Fu instead, is all about individualism. When I saw Mike Laoshi and the other teachers, I can see they all perform the same technique, yet all three of them would do it differently, with their own flavour. Depending on the styles they have done, their bodyweight and structure, their philosophy on life, all this changes that one simple technique into three different interpretations. And yet all three are equally powerful. That notion of individualism, is Kung Fu.

Understanding this, makes it also understandable why Kung Fu is much harder to learn. Kung Fu is about self expression. But how to achieve that if the student doesn't even know how to begin? So the Japanese way, erm... actually the Chinese way of learning in a rigid way, has its place in correct martial arts training. It should not be underestimated for the beginner student in any arts. Unless one can walk, one shouldn't learn how to fly.

It is with this thought I came up with the idea to ask each fellow student at the Belgium Wu Tan club, who has trained for more than a year, the following question: "Which detail, should be trained and improved upon after a year of training, according to you?"

The question is to challenge the fellow students to think clearly for themselves and express it in a way, that could be helpful for others. Thus classic answers like "body alignment", "movement",... will not be good enough. Masters like Mike Laoshi truly understand words like alignment, movement, the notion of the body... But for us, students, the mind needs to be in tune with the body and not ahead of it.

For the following weeks, I will ask several fellow students the question as written above and as exited as I am, I will put the results up for you to see. To other students, I hope we can do some exchange and learn from eachother and to teacher Mike, your correction is much needed!

Name student: Ken
Student Wu Tan for: 3 years
Which detail most important to you: Backfoot in Kon Po (attacking stand)

Name student: Magaly

Student Wu Tan for: 3,5 years

Which detail most important to you: Knee alignment (Kon Po as example)

Stretching and Basic Yue Jia San Shou 10 min vid

A video from teacher Mike himself, on stretching and basic Yue Jia San Shou. Old style wrist locking techniques, rooted in the martial aspect of the arts. Nice to see Rene as well, my Kung Fu brother as Teacher Mike's assistant. Enjoy!

Saturday, 6 December 2008

Taichi fan for little girl (太極扇) 2006 Taipei

A little girl show Taichi fan. The Tai Chi Chuan championship in 2006 Taipei City.

Beautifully executed! One of the best Tai Chi fan performance I have seen online.

The progress of Kung Fu students

Yesterday's training with teacher Mike was hard and fun, refining our basics yet putting the details into places. It was as usual, without nonsense. Some thoughts came to me after the training, and perhaps it is good to share this to all. Although each student have their personal growth, the progress of Kung Fu practise is not solely based on mythical predictions. We also have to be realistic to realise that hard training alone does not garantee a correct progress. In Japan, I have met Aikido teachers who trained and taught for more than 15 years, realizing they have been practising the art totally wrong. It was only when they met Hitohiro sensei, whose aikido is top noch, that they understood how much they have wasted their time.

No, correct progress needs correct methods of training. Training hard is an element of correct methods, it starts with going to the class often and listen well to the teacher. But there is more, which I would like to share.

Meeting teacher Mike was in the first place a wake up call of the meaning of true Kung Fu. Suddenly, chi power is no longer a myth, yet it is not something you can pick up just because you can do some fancy moves. So instead of asking: how do I get such power as teacher Mike?, I started to ask: How should a correct progress look like for the student?

Now, every intelligent student would answer this question with: duh! we are all individuals, so we all will progress differently, no need to think.

This is the part were I will risk my head and protest: The problem with being too laid back when confronted with a question is that we get lazy, or blind, or taking a bad habit into the training. Just because we are too focused on individual/natural progress and thus like to avoid rules, doesn't mean we should not think and calculate our own path. A flower will grow naturally and spontaneously, only if the soil is good and the amount of water is right. 
If growing free and peacefully and zenlike (spiritual naivity) is what you want, you shouldn't be doing Kung Fu anyway, as training extremely hard and live an experienced life is necessary for true spiritual growth with Kung Fu. Being with your mind in clouds for the rest of your life is not Kung Fu, nor is it a true path of spiritualism.

Of course I believe and support personal growth, but personal growth is the least we should worry because it will happen naturally. What we should be aware of is the training methods and goals, only through understanding the possibilities we will be able to train correct and thus progress correctly.

So, what I am intending to say about my findings is the following:

1) good body alignment and structure is more important than relaxation, if a student who doesn't focus on structure and alignment puts relaxation at first, he/she will progress as a potato bag. No more.

2) respect the identity of each art: If one is training long fist, then use the right intention and balans of power/relaxation to do long fist. Long fist is not tai chi, nor yoga. It is in the first place a fighting art. Respect its identity, this counts for each discipline taught by teacher Mike.

3) chi power, the holy grail of all martial arts, is achievable when understanding that we have to go through what other master have gone through: hard training, with mistakes, with victory, with correct methods. The bottom!! But understand this: Mike's chi is invisible linked with his structure, yes it means as an opponent, you don't see where his power is coming from. That is too advance for us. So it is important for us to go back to the basics and have good structures, stances, punches, kicks... the mechanics, gentlemen!! Not the chi is our holy grail at the moment, but proper mechanics... this is the only way to get somewhere. After we have trained hard enough to call ourself "ok" in our mechanics, I am sure teacher Mike will open the door and lead us further. But before you understand proper mechanics, you won't get anywhere and you won't even know why.

4) when teacher Mike tells us: "it is all about movement, don't be stuck with the form", he is absolutely right. But first, we need to be able to do a form "ok" before we understand movement. Pretending we are doing movement without understanding the mechanics/alignment/application is ignoring the basics.

5) DON'T: train hard but wrong. DO: train hard and right.

Voila, I have said it. I have been analysing the teachers from China and teacher Mike. They all share some common traids: healthy pride, dedication, hard work, intelligence, openmindedness. But unless we are now accepting the path at the bottom of the mountain and ready to climb, we will never reach the top. 

ps. the question on the order of progress started during the Belgium Camp, where I observed my fellow Kung Fu student Dennis, who gave me the feeling that he could have the biggest chance to experience his first true faji. Because he has gone through the training of  basic body mechanics. His progress is obvious.


Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Great Baji-Pigua! (recommended video by teacher Mike)

Since teacher Mike knows I am looking into Baji and Pigua, he mailed me the link of a great Kung Fu master: Lü Baochun. There is a series of master Lü Baochun's pigua exercises made on youtube. I selected 2:

The first one is from a gathering in Oostmalle, Belgium. I choose this video because you can clearly see the power generation called fa-jin. It is not stiff, muscle power like most other martial arts forms. The power here is soft, agile, relaxed and yet powerful. The power is also generated from his whole body, from feet, knees, waist and whipping out to the arms, elbows, shoulders...

To my friends in other martial arts disciplines who do not understand the concept of chi, this one is a nice example. And yes, in my eyes, teacher Mike has it too and I would dear to say that his chi can be both applied in an "explosive" ways as in a more invisible way. When you touch hands with teacher Mike, you know that even with chi training, it doesn't stop once you achieve some chi power. Instead, chi too has many levels and has room to progress. Basic chi power is a visible power with clear and correct usage of body alignment, whereas the next step would be hidden power. Hidden power means that body alignment becomes less visible to the opponent, and the movement is fast but soft. Thus fooling the opponent. The last known chi power is like the power and the body becomes one, no visible structure (although there still is) and the body is extremely sensitive of the opponent's touch, form and movement is no longer first place. Grandmaster Wang, teacher of Mike Laoshi, has the third type of chi. Now imagine that the video is showing only the first type of chi power (still very very powerful and high level) and you can imagine how many martial artists are just waving their hands and don't have the "soya sauce". To us, students, understanding and accepting the first type of chi (visible structure and power generation) is more than enough as a focus for the training. 

ps. the music in the video might not be everyone's taste, if you turn it down, make sure to turn it up again at the last few sequence of the video were master Lü Baochun demonstrates the power generation (fa jin) through body movement.

Video number 2 is a basic Pigua exercise, one we also practise in our club. The relaxed shoulder when applying the movement is nicely demonstrated and because of that, the power is not blocked but has the chance to sink in:

Baji from Grandmaster Liu Yun Qiao

More Baji, from what I have noticed, Baji Kung Fu is an excellent mid range and close-quarter fighting art. Emphasizing on close-quarter body attack and take downs. The punches are soft (but alive and present), fast yet powerful and penetrating. Baji, Pigua and Tongbei all compliments eachother. So it is useful to first understand the 3 art forms on its own. Here I found a nice classic video from the Grandmaster Liu Yun Qiao himself demonstrating Baji. 

Bagua training with teacher Mike

Yesterday, we had a 2 hours of "dynamic stretching" training. When you embark the journey of martial arts training, one key element is often missing in many clubs: that martial arts techniques only works if the body is strong and agile enough to yield it.
I have trained with many teachers, some better than others. All have good understanding of the techniques, but only few has the structure (car chassis) and the inner power of chi (the engine). Kung Fu would not work if only techniques were trained. So yesterday training with Mike Laoshi reminds us again how useful his lessons are, the exercises called basics are very advance for us. Just because our basics sucks. Yet, I can not find a different club who can give me such intense and worthwhile training.

The dynamic stretching we did is emphasized on the relaxation of the whole body. On the same time strength and agility building of the legs, as it is the legs that make most of the hard work in our daily life.

After the stretching the group was split in two: one group for Hsing Yi training and the second group for bagua. I was at the bagua training so I can't comment on the Hsing Yi training. But when I compare bagua with aikido training, the bagua is at first sight boring because students are expected to do only cicle walking for one or two years before training any locks at all. Whereas with aikido, locks are essential from the start. In the past, I have doubted the bagua training often as living in the contemporary times, one would hardly have any time at all to make circle walking for 2 years as a preparation for jointlocks etc...

How wrong I was! With each lesson, teacher Mike would give us small demos and strip the myth of bagua. Instead, we were shown very powerful ways of applying locks and throws using spiraling movements of the body. Many techniques remind me of aikido, it is that close!! But upon closer inspection, bagua is much richer in its movement and generation of power. It is not a surprise since bagua is an older martial form, and had time to mature by many great masters of the past. Second, although aikido seems to have as much external circular movement as bagua, it lacks the small internal circle that is driven by years of alignment training and proper usage of chi. These internal spiraling of the body takes years to develop but is exactly what makes bagua powerful. I am sure, if aikido (or any other martial arts) would be trained this way, it will make the art complete. 

So next week, we will be happily circle walk again...

Sunday, 30 November 2008

Baji-Pigua in many exercises from teacher Mike

Since training under teacher Mike, I have noticed that many of his warming-up (proper word: basics) contains the foundation of his power-building and body structure. His basics are part of the complete Kung Fu training, yet it is so easy and complex that it is like an art on its own. One can easily only focus on basics and get really strong with his body.

The most common and frequently exercise is the one where we stand in mabu (horse stand) and swing the relaxed arms from left to right and right to left (continuous). I am fascinated with this simple looking exercise, because apart from not being simple at all, it is also the foundation of pigua Kung Fu. The exercise we do generates power and corrects body alignment for all kinds of martial arts. Baji-Piqua remains for me a fascinating fighting art. Here I found an interesting example, though not from teacher Mike:

Sunday, 23 November 2008

Group flow 2: Twenty four form, sent by Mike Laoshi

A nice poem, sent by Mike Laoshi

"Tai Chi Chuan is plain, yet rich;
Pa Kua Chuan is changeful yet subtle; 
Hsing Yi Chuan is simple yet strong.
Tai Chi is calm as an old scholar;
Pa Kua is as bright as a youth of genius;
Hsing Yi is as confident as a learned scholar.
This is to speak symbolically -- one should not be trapped by the words."

"The excellence of Tai Chi is to be smooth, soft yet not weak;
to be continuous from the beginning to the end;
to be plain and calm without a bit of temper.
The excellence of Pa Kua is to be flexible yet well-balanced;
to be unpredictable; to be in great harmony without a bit of arrogance.
The excellence of Hsing Yi is to be strong yet not clumsy;
to be distinctive in motion;
to be serious in appearance without a bit of roughness."

-T.Y. Pang

Sunday, 2 November 2008

The missing photos: Mike Laoshi's birthday

During the Belgium camp, we celebrated teacher Mike's birthday, which was on the 5th of October. We tried to surprise him, but as usual, he was ahead of the game. Lesson number xxxxx: never try to fool your teacher ;).

Anyway, we got him in the room with all the teachers and the students and we gave him our best wishes. I waited to put the photos on the blog because the camp info needed a bit of time to digest.  Here they are, the missing photos!

A poster of teacher Mike composed of little pictures of his students.

A scroll which teacher Mike has been looking for but was hard to find.

A card signed by all of his students and a high end photo printer (Teacher Mike is a skilled photographer in his free time).
Mike Laoshi: "Pass the card and the photo to the students so they can see it."

From the German students: a nice bottle of whisky (one of the students: "Pass this one too, Mike Laoshi!")

Sunday, 19 October 2008

More photos! Xing Yi group

more coming....stay tuned

More photos! Tai Chi group

Coming soon...

More photos! Shuaijiao

Coming soon...

More photos! Tongbei fist

Coming soon...

More photos! Xing Yi Jian (straight sword)

Coming soon...

Monday, 6 October 2008

Report Martial Arts Camp (ongoing)

I have just come back from camp B (which is for 2 weekends and camp A lasts for nine days) and this is a little report of the first weekend ....Bare with me for more info, I am writing on the fly... Let me check out some photos and put it up. It works easier for me to write. Here photos of the 1st and 2nd day:

1st Day: Welcome speech (Wim, René, Mike Laoshi, Sun Laoshi, Yu Laoshi),
notice the humbleness of the teachers.

Loosening the body using Pigua exercise and Yang style chi kung.

More Chi Kung, back to basics and grounding.
With Mike Laoshi going through each student's movement.

After breakfast and some rest: Groups are made for different styles.
I did Tongbei: here Zhang Laoshi demonstrates the same usage between
a block and a elbow strike. 

Some groundwork tips from our fellow student.

After lunch and some rest: Xing Yi sword: Sun Laoshi demonstrates that

weapon forms and hand forms helps eachothers (Xing Yi straight sword)

More Xin Yi sword from Sun Laoshi, but this one is from day 1 and the one above from day 2.

End of the first day training: advance dynamic stretching by Mike Laoshi.

Evening treat: A lecture on Chinese history by Rene.

Some photos from outside the training:

Friday, 3 October 2008

Some thoughts on Kung Fu, by Kim Henderickx

Dear all,

I would like to tell you some thoughts, that helped me understand a little more about kung fu and life on itself. 

First of all, to me,  kung fu is more an artform that helps you understand basic principles of life and how to do the things you do in harmony with your environment. The consequence of this, is that you can read this statement backwards: your kung fu will reflect the way you are during the interaction with yourself and with the outside world, your kung fu will reflect your personality.

From this, the second point flows: the easiest way to stand in life or practice kung fu is the one in harmony. Harmony means balance, balance between hard and soft, taking control and letting go, keeping your boundaries without pushing away or falling in… yin and yang. 

Now, as everybody knows, this state of harmony isn’t so easy to archieve: everybody has issues, difficulties with certain things, events… why? Wouldn’t life be easier without having to defend yourself, watch out for certain situations? Would we have to fight if the world was in harmony? Would you have to learn kung fu if you knew exactly how to keep your balance at all time? 

In my opinion, all the things that bring you out of balance, can be retraced to fear. Eventhough blunt anger can do weird stuff too, this can also be brought back to some basic fear. This fear is translated into our system as something we know to be a lack of self confidence , that in itself will give birth to fear of losing control, fear of  making mistakes, …

A person who will for example fear losing control, will not be able to be led by his partner when practicing pushing hands. Losing control means first of all being able to trust yourself and your partner. It also requires an empty mind to be able to feel the otherone’s energy and intentions, instead of trying to figher it out with reasoning and stochastics! If there’s one thing I learnt the hard way, is to stop thinking once in a while, and believe me, a whole new world opens! If you stop thinking while doing kung fu (with or without partner), you will feel the energy or Chi, as it can be called. If practicing alone, you will feel butterflies all over your body, you will be able to play with it as if it where pizza dough between your hands and much more. If you practice with a partner, try to blend in with the otherone’s energy and you will feel the energy moving between you as waves going back and forth. Follow these waves, take responsibility for it, without overpowering your partner’s energy by going against it or forcing it, or shrinking away and being led as a puppet. Eventhough you’re not thinking at that moment, it will require an awful lot of concentration!

The second thing about losing control is losing control for yourself and the general outside world (representing the way you are for yourself) reflecting in grounding. This might seem a weird statement, but look at people who are too hard on themselves, who don’t love themselves (which in turn will give a lack of self confidence), who don’t love being in the world: shoulders at earlevel, skinny, thight stomac, thight ass, high breath… you know the picture! If you relax yourself, think that it’s all ok, give yourself over to the moment, lose control (but keeping it all in balance of course)… your breath will go down, as will your shoulders, your neck will elongate because you know you deserve your space, your muscles will relax and you will sink into the ground. 

It seems like I’ve written a whole lot, but the general thought is: have confidence in yourself and your partner (whatever that may be), relax, think less feel more, remember you are always loved unconditionally and your kung fu will flow more easily, as will your life! 

The magic trick !!! (and if that doesn’t help, try something else :-D)

Friday, 26 September 2008

Belgium Camp next week!!

For more info about the invited teachers: click here
General info: click here (PDF)
Registration and payments: click here (PDF)

Special offer... join the Belgium trainingcamp for 1 day

Yes, in about a week the Belgium International Trainingcamp will be held.

Allmost 30 participants from: the Netherlands, France, Germany, Norway, England and offcourse Belgium will be training serveral styles under tuïtion of not two but three excellent teachers from China.  

Teachers Zhang Xinbin, Yu Shaoyi and Sun Ruxian will be coming to teach their fields of expertise (they arrive on September 30th).

Not to forget that also Laoshi Mike Martello will be teaching! 


More good news!  We can allow a few extra people.

Book your ticket for one day to become a part of this camp.

The Belgium trainingcamp is from 4oct until 12oct



Fill in the registration form (see attach) and sent it to before September 20th!

So you have only one week to decide.

7-8hours of training = 100euro (incl. breakfast, lunch, 4 o' clock snack)

Payment info can be found here: full payment before September 27th!


Many thanks and looking forward to seeing you in October!


Mike Martello

Zhang Xinbin

Rene M F Ho

Wim Stultiens


Tuesday, 23 September 2008

New training space, first impression

Yesterday, we trained at the new space for the first time. Even though there were a lot of people, we had enough room for us to train. First we did about an hour and half dynamic stretching. For teacher Mike, this stretching exercises are basics. For us, it is already very advance. Then after a small break, two groups were formed, one doing the basics for Hsing I (internal power generation and linear strikes and split strikes) and the second group for Bagua (circle movements to achieve joint locking and contra joint locking, the style that has influenced Ueshiba's Aikido). It was a very good class, as teacher Mike never held back with his knowledge. It was as usual a lot for us to digest. But this is Kung Fu training at its best!

After the classes, Kim treated us a very tasty home made cake (honey and walnut). Thank you very much indeed! Now I will stay away from supermarket cakes.

I also had the chance to hear teacher Mike's thought on the space and how to improve it: There will mirrors in the future, a weapon rack and other martial arts equipments. For stretching, there will be Yoga mats... These are just a few thoughts, but it is already happening. Thank you Laoshi! 

click on the photo to enlarge (sorry, no wide angle lens, so I have to assemble something together) photo KL.

Sunday, 21 September 2008

New training schedules and time

Welcome to our New Location in Antwerp:

Wu Tang Center Antwerp

Marnix Straat 25

2060 Antwerp

Training Schedules and Times:

Stretching: 7 pm - 8:30 pm
Bagua Zhang (8 Basic Palms): 8:30 pm - 10 pm
Hsing-I Chuan (5 Basic Elements): 8:30 pm - 10 pm

Long Fist (Jiben Gong): 7:30 pm - 8:45 pm
Tanglang (Jiben Gong): 8:45 pm - 10 pm
Weapons (Jiben Gong): 8:45 pm - 10 pm

Taiji Chuan: 7 pm - 9 pm
Qi Gong: 9 pm - 10 pm

Longfist: 7:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Tanglang: 8:30 pm - 9:45 pm
Basic Sanda & Shuai Jiao (subscription required): 9:00 pm - 10:30 pm

Sunday Morning
All Internal Styles: 10 am - Noon

Sunday Afternoon:
Open to All Groups and Levels: 1:30 pm - 4 pm
Weapons: 4 pm - 5:30 pm

For more information, please email:

Call for info in Dutch: Dieter De Potter 32(0)48 611 2963
Call for info in English: Mike Martello 32(0)48 545 0831

Training at the new location

Hello everybody,

As some of you already noticed Mike arrived safe and sound back in Belgium.

And now that he is back we made the decision to change the training place and finally start training in our own training space in the Marnixstraat 25 2060 Antwerpen. 

We will start our training there Monday 22th of September.

Not only the space will be new but also the training schedule will be new.

The new schedule you can find on the website, if you have any questions feel free to call me. (0486/11.29.63)

If you see there are persons missing in the e-mail please tell me as soon as possible. So I can let them know the new place and schedule and add them to my e-mail list.

As closure, I hope to see everybody in our new and beautiful new space for some great training.



Saturday, 13 September 2008

Teachers at Belgium Camp and October Seminar Germany

Zhang Xin Bin:
Master Zhang was born in Beijing in the year 1954. In his late teens, he became a student of Master Zhang Guizeng and started his training in Baiyuan Tongbei.
In addition to Master Zhang Guizeng's teachings, he also studied traditional Chinese wrestling (Shuai Jiao) from Master Yang Guozhen, pushing hands (Tui Shou) from Master Jiang Qimin and Internal Fist (Yiquan) from Masters Li Jianyu and Yu Yongnian.

Master Zhang is currently a 6th Dan Wushu Coach and Chief Instructor of the Beijing People's Martial Arts Association. He is known for his excellent methods of building martial power and superb fighting skills. His first visit to Europe was in August 2005 and since then he has enthralled students and instructors with his depth and passion for the Chinese Martial Arts.

This autumn, Master Zhang will be back in Europe to teach various skills from the Tongbei system, including Tongbei Neigong Internal Power Cultivation Methods, Tongbei Fighting Applications and Double-Handed Saber.

Master Zhang Xin Bin demonstrates a Tong Bei drill. (photo KL)

Yu Shaoyi:
Master Yu Shaoyi, one highest ranking masters of Chinese judo (known as "shuaijiao"), is currently the Vice-Chairman of the Beijing People's Martial Arts Association and also Chief Instructor of the Beijing Shuaijiao team.

Born in the year 1955, and started his martial arts training in 1970, learning the art of Chinese-Mongolian wrestling called Shuaijiao from renowned wrestling expert master Wang Ruiying. From 1973 onwards, he also learned the styles of Xingyi and Bagua from Master Sun Ruxian.
In 1975, he became the disciple of Tongbei master Zhang Guizeng, from whom he learned the art of Muslim Baiyuan Tongbei. Apart from the above-mentioned styles, master Yu has also trained extensively in Sanda (Chinese boxing).

As a member of the Beijing Shuaijiao team, Master Yu has participated in many martial arts contests throughout his career and has won numerous awards. He was two-times regional Shuaijiao champion of Beijing for the period of 1981- 1982. In 1999 Master Yu received two Awards for Outstanding Performance at the Taizhou International Martial Arts Competition. He is currently the Vice-Chairman of the Beijing People's Martial Arts Association, and also Chief Instructor of the Shuaijiao team.

Having mastered the battle-hardened techniques and old-school training methods of traditional Shuaijiao, Master Yu is now one of the highest ranking Shuaijiao experts in Beijing . He is famous for his excellent fighting skills and also widely respected for his knowledge of the shuaijiao system and its traditions.

Master Yu Shaoyi helping a student. (photo KL)

Sun Ruxian:
Master Sun Ruxian has dedicated his life to the pursuit of Chinese martial arts excellence, having studied several systems from famous masters in Beijing. As a youth, he became a student of Liu Qingquan, the son of Liuhemen master Liu Caichen, learning the arts of Liuhequan, Tangquan and Yueshi Lianquan.

Master Sun then went on to pursue the arts of Xingyi, Bagua, Shaolin and Six Harmony Praying Mantis from various masters including Masters Men Huifeng, Liu Jingru, Qin Qingfeng and Du Jinguo. Furthermore, he has intensive training in the arts of Iron Palm and Red Sand Palm. His specialties are Xingyi and Shaolin Five Forms Eight Methods Boxing.

Apart from teaching in Beijing, China, Master Sun has also taught Chinese martial arts in Japan and Switzerland. With his knowledge in various martial arts systems and his extensive teaching experience, Master Sun continues to dazzle martial arts practitioners within China and abroad.

Master Sun Ruxian teaching the Shaolin stick.

Mike Martello:
Mike Martello is Director of the Wu Tan Federation of Belgium. Recently awarded the Taiwanese Kuo Shu medal of achievement for his work in Chinese martial arts, Mike Martello has been studying and teaching martial arts for over twenty five years.

Mike grew up in New York, where street fighting was a regular occurrence. "In New York City, kids had to be tough and know how to defend themselves; otherwise you'd just get clobbered."

Following years of training in gymnastics and sports, he began to learn martial arts for practical reasons. "First, it was to learn how to fight, but it really saved me when I was a teenager. It taught me both discipline and respect." Twenty years later, Mike Martello appreciates not only the practical aspects of martial arts, but also the beauty of the art form and culture.

Mike began his early training with classical boxing from his father, then at the age of 11 was introduced to kung fu by Teacher Teddy Wong (New York City). He later became a disciple under the tutelage of Master Su Yu-Chang, specializing in all styles of Tanglang (Praying Mantis), Baji Chuan, Bagua Zhang, Pigua Zhang, Hsing-I Chuan , Tai Chi Chuan and Weapons. Mike also co-teaches with the Wu Tan Organization in Taipei Taiwan. In 2001 he was appointed by Mrs. Liu Yun-Chiao and the Taiwanese Wu Tan Organiztion as a Wu Tan Director.

Today still, Mike continues to travel and study Chinese Martial Arts in Taiwan with Grandmaster Wang Chieh, specializing in Yue Jia San Shou (Yue Family Style), Ba Bu Tanglang (Praying Mantis), Bai He Chuan (White Crane), Joint Locking (Chin-Na), Tai Chi, Push Hands (Tuei Shou) and Shuai Jiao (Chinese Wrestling).

Master Mike Martello demonstrates gently a throw whilst locking the head. (photo KL)

Sunday, 31 August 2008

Seminar with Mike Martello Sifu

Seminar with Mike Martello Sifu

This weekend was another seminar with Mike Sifu. The plan was "Six Roads of Mantis," a compilation of basic techniques in most Mantis styles like Qi Xing, Mei Hua, Liu He, Ba Bu and Chang Chuan Tang Lang. And also JiBenGong and applications.

Because at the two days, Saturday was for all levels and on Sunday only advanced were present, only a small group participated in the seminar, it was more intensive training, and all participants felt this as very positive. Also, I had the impression that Mike Sifu was not only accepting this situation but took this as chance to give everyone as lot of corrections and tips as possible.
On Saturday, we were able to learn all 6 Roads of Mantis, and then still techniques / applications from the Pai An (press and slap) Partner form. These techniques took Mike as occasion to explain applications and the importance of Shen Fa and Bu Fa in applications.
It was very exciting to see how Mike turns the simplest technique in an extremely effective attack situation.
At the end of the first day Mike then showed some ShuaiJiao techniques which caused a lot of fun.

The actual end of the day then was at home with us for a nice BBQ. Launch was the showdown of Nemo versus Picard, a second time Picard could decide for himselve! ;) But we have eaten very well and entertain us very nice, because once again a few new faces and stories were there, like Markus from Hanover, Puja from Cologne, Christian from Oxford and Ben from Hamburg.
After a lot of interesting stories were exchanged and when the students tired and satisfied found their way into the club rooms, Mike took the opportunity to give me a little (until deep into the night) Extratime. Or, in other words, there were a few very enlightening, practical instruction!

On Sunday, then gave it an even smaller circle still more intensive lessons. The 6 Roads were once again deepened and Mike added the applications to practice. Again, Mike was not tired to stress the essence of applications: applicability of the fight is only be achieved if the techniques were alive and practiced with intention, if timing and step work is correct and if the connection to the body exists! It was Topnotch!
After Mike then in a small Intermezzo did some QinNa with me, the Idea took place, and the second training session that day was QinNa. Even more than before Mike wanted us to be "Relaxed" and to use "Circular Movement". It was fun as always.

With two large pizzas we closed the day and Seminar! And all with the firm intention, to join the next seminar in October, when Mike is going to come with 3! other teachers from China!

A warm thanks goes out to all participants for joining and of course a big thanks to Mike Martello Sifu!

Saturday, 23 August 2008

Group flow

A great example of large group training and not breaking group energy flow...
truly important for our group to feel and get energy from the group and club...

Mike Laoshi

Yang Tai Chi, 24 form

1. Commencing (Qǐshì)
2. Part the Wild Horse’s Mane (Yémǎ Fēnzōng)
3. White Crane Spreads Its Wings (Báihè Lìangchì)
4. Brush Knee and Twist (Lōuxī Àobù),
5. Hand Strums the Lute (Shǒuhūi Pípā)
6. Step Back and Repulse the Monkey (Daojuan Gong)
7. Left Grasp the Sparrow’s Tail (Zuo Lan Quewei)
1. Ward Off (Peng)
2. Rollback (Lu)
3. Press (Ji)
4. Push (An)
8. Right Grasp the Sparrow’s Tail (You Lan Quewei)
9. Single Whip (Danbian)
10. Wave Hands Like Clouds (Yunshou)
11. Single Whip (Danbian)
12. High Pat on Horse (Gao Tan Ma)
13. Separate Right Foot (You Dengjiao), Separate Right Foot
14. Box ears (Shuangfeng Guaner)
15. Turn Body and Separate Left Foot (Zhuanshen Zuo Dengjiao)
16. Snake creeps down left (Zuo Xiashi Duli)
1. Single Whip Squatting Down, Snake Creeps Down,
2. Golden Cock Stands on One Leg
17. Snake creeps down right, Golden Cock Stands on One Leg (You Xiashi Duli)
18. Fair Lady Works with Shuttles (Yunu Chuansuo)
19. Needle at the Bottom of the Sea(Haidi Zhen)
20. Shoot Fan (Shan Tong Bei)
21. Turn Body, Deflect, Parry, and Punch (Zhuanshen Banlanchui)
22. Apparent close up (Rufeng Sibi)
23. Cross Hands (Shizishou)
24. Closing (Shoushi)

Click on the image to enlarge, you can print it out and use it as a support.

Tuesday, 12 August 2008

Seminar in Germany

Hello Everybody,

I like to invite all my fellow belgium Kung Fu Brothers and Sisters to Germany.

Mike will give an Seminar about some Tang Lang and QinNa. So I hope a lot of you will join and we can have some fun together (like BBQ etc in the evening!).

Here is the schedule:

Sat, 30 August, 12-5 pm
Tang Lang, Jibengong, QinNa
50 Euro

For those who are interested in staying over Night, there will be an extra Training with Mike Sifu on Sunday. (30 Euro) You can put your head down to sleep in the Clubs room: plenty of place, shower and mats.

Please send me a small note if you want to join!

Hope to see you all at the 30th of August!

Greets Jochen

Tuesday, 5 August 2008

Message from Mike Laoshi: Beijing to Belgium Update

Dear All:

Hope all has had a great Summer so far.... The camp was a success with the high point of 38 people attending and training... Everyone trained hard and ate well... Hot long days but great as usual like last year... Thank you all who attended and trained hard... 

 I will return Aug 6th and hope to see everyone in Training Thursday Night at the Docks....

Zhang, Yu, Sun and Rene all say hello and will see everyone end Sept and really hope many join us for the training Camp in October....

They are really excited about traveling to train with everyone, so please extend your Hospitality to them... 

Okay and see everyone very soon...