The Project

For the next year, I will be travelling around China and meeting as many kung fu masters and practitioners as I can. This blog here will be a record of those travels and the conversations I have along the road. When I feel I have absorbed all that I can, I will turn the research into a book, with the working title “The Last Masters” – hopefully the people I meet on my travels are not the last of their kind, but the first of a new kind.

I will also be taking video footage and photographs along the way, and much of that I hope to post here as well. I have interest from a couple publishers for the book and for the video and photos … we’ll see where all of that ends up. I am dedicated to this project, I am excited about it, and I am open to any and all suggestions, advice, warnings and even insults.

Edit:

It’s June 2014, and the project has taken several twists and turns. I have written several articles about martial arts in China that show the progression, you can view them on Fightland, Roads and Kingdoms, and the Economist. I also teamed up with two videographers, Chris Cherry and David Dempsey. We are working on a documentary film about martial arts in China, tentatively called “The New Masters,” we’ll be posting a lot more video over the next few months, as the project keeps going.

 

13 Responses to The Project

  1. […] Menu Skip to content HomeReal Kung FuThe ProjectContact […]

    • Arba says:

      Hi, I trained in Chenjiagou for 3 weeks, totally inspired.

      I go on frequent trips to Hong Kong. Do you know any teachers there that teach the pure style of Chen Tai Ji, just like in Chen Jia Gou

  2. Ben Louie says:

    Sascha, if you make it up to Beijing, look up my master, Xu Shi Xi at the Temple of Heaven. He practices Yin sytle baguazhang and Chen style taijiquan.

    http://www.xushixi.com/en/index.asp

    I look forward to reading your blog more!

  3. Sascha says:

    Thanks Ben, I will be focusing on the SW for now, but if and when I get up to Beijing, I’ll definitely drop a line,
    Sascha

  4. Collin says:

    Hey Sascha,

    I think you should make your way up to Mianyang. There is a rather large muay thai gym ran by a great guy named Li Qing; He isn’t the biggest guy, but he is definitely talented. I know 泰拳 isn’t kung fu, but it might be interesting to see why someone in China has chosen to devote themselves to a Thai martial art rather than something similar like Sanda. Plus, I know that his students have fought in Emei before and they generally win.

  5. Sascha says:

    great tip Collin, I usually take 2-3 trips a month – Mianyang is real close so I might go and visit that school soon. And bring my Emei master homies for a showdown! If you have his number/address or anything drop me a line on the contact page

    Cheers,
    Sascha

  6. Yeah, Sasch, this project sounds awesome! Good luck my man.

  7. Jarek says:

    Sascha, the projects sounds very interesting, I’m sure you have many contacts but if all of a sudden you find yourself with lots of free time without masters to interview:) just let me know…;)

    Cheers,

    Jarek

  8. Sascha says:

    Jarek how are you! I have no free time, is actually the problem, but I am trying to change that situation. I will be in touch soon with some ideas about what I am doing and who i am talking with (or would like to) … where are you located? I am in Chengdu.

  9. Jarek says:

    Hi Sascha, I’m in Shanghai. I’ve been doing some research into internal arts for some years now, although just like you suffer from the lack of free time. You can check some of my articles in my website – you’ll get the idea of the circle of people I have made contact with.

    Cheers – and good luck with your project! I have been enjoying reading your website, real quality writing, thank you for sharing!

    Jarek

  10. Bob Bacher says:

    Hi Sascha
    I wish you great success in your travels!
    I will recommend that you interview 2 teachers that I studied with:
    Master Wang Xi’an in Chenjiagou/Wenxian – Chen style taijiquan 19th generation lineage
    Master Yao Chengrong in Beijing – Yiquan

    Both are highly skilled teachers and very open.
    I look forward to read about your journeys. Great idea!
    I once had the idea to travel around CHina also making a documentary on this subject, having practiced martial arts most of my life. I just never had the funds to make it happen!
    So good luck to you!
    Bob Bacher

  11. David L says:

    In Chengdu in 2004, I think I was Xiao Shusheng’s first foreign student (Yang taiji via Li Yaxuan). Never studied his forms, just push hands. He never charged me, and was extremely generous with his time. Worth interviewing?

    Best wishes for the success of your project!

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