Charleston, SC

FAQs about the Martial Arts

This FAQ is based on previous versions of the FAQ maintained by Izar Tarandach and Alex Jackl.  The current maintainer of this FAQ is Randy Pals ( 

The rec.martial-arts FAQ and Newbie Guide are available on in the directory pub/usenet-by-hierarchy/rec/martial-arts, with the filenames rec.martial-arts_FAQ_part_1_of_3, rec.martial-arts_FAQ_part_2_of_3, rec.martial-arts_FAQ_part_3_of_3, and rec.martial-arts_Newbie_Guide.

Topics Contained in this FAQ
Part 1 of 3

     1) Introduction.

     2) What is a Martial Art?

     3) What kind of Martial Arts are there?  (the descriptions of the
        various arts are in section 16, which is in parts 2 and 3.)

     4) Which Martial Art should I study?

     5) How do I choose a School?

     6) (a) This guy says that his style will make a Full Certified Warrior &
    Killer out of me in 3 months- is it serious?
         (b) What do I do to become the deadliest person in the world ?

     7) Should children study Martial Arts?

     8) I believe/don't believe in X.  Should I train Y?

     9) Rankings/Color Belt Systems

    10) What is Greenoch?

    11) What is Ki/Qi/Chi?

    12) Martial Arts Glossary

    13) Bibliography

    14) Sources of information

        14.1)  Martial arts schools in North America
        14.2)  FAQ ftp site
        14.3)  Aikido Dojo Directory
        14.4)  Classical Japanese Martial Arts Electronic Magazine
        14.5)  Traditional Karate Mailing List
        14.6)  Aikido Mailing List and FTP Site
        14.7)  Tuite/Acupuncture Discussion Group
        14.8)  The Martial Arts Digest
        14.9)  Jujutsu and Kokikai Aikido Mailing Lists
        14.10) Japanese Sword Arts Mailing List and FTP site
        14.11) Chinese Shao-lin Center Mail List
        14.12) Martial Arts and Sword/TV and Film Mailing List
        14.13) Tai-Chi Mailing List
        14.14) Neijia (Internal Chinese Martial Arts) Mailing List
        14.15) Kyudo (Zen Archery) Mailing List
        14.16) Korean Martial Arts Mailing List
        14.17) Eskrima/Kali/Arnis Mailing List
        14.18) Martial Arts WWW pages
        14.19) Kung Fu Mailing List

    15) Sources of equipment and material.

Part 2 of 3

    16) What are the different Arts, Schools, Styles?

16.1)  Aikido 16.2)  Bushidokan 16.3)  Capoeira
16.4)  Cha Yon Ryu  16.5)  Coung Nhu 16.6)  Hapkido
16.7)  Hsing Yi 16.8)  Hwa Rang Do 16.9)  Iaido
16.10) Judo      16.11) Jujutsu 16.12) Kajukenbo
16.13) Kali/Escrima/Arnis 16.14) Karate 16.15) Kendo
16.16) Kenjutsu  16.17) Kenpo (Amer.) 16.18) Kempo (Ryukyu)
16.19) Kobudo 16.20) Krav Maga

Part 3 of 3

16.21) Kung Fu/Wu Shu 16.22) Kyudo 16.23) Lua
16.24) Moo Do              16.25) Muay Thai 16.26) Ninjutsu
16.27) Pau Kua Chang 16.28) SAMBO 16.29) Savate
16.30) Shuai-Chiao 16.31) Silat 16.32) Tae Kwon Do
16.33) Tai Chi Chuan 16.34) Wing Chun

    17) The people that made this list possible.

1) Introduction

This FAQ is not intended to be a Martial Arts Bible, but to give some
help to those that are looking for a place to start, or those more
experienced that would like to know more about some different style, have a
particular doubt, etc.

Please note that this is not the Absolute Truth(TM) but rather an attempt
to give clear and basic information about this group and the martial arts.
Your suggestions, opinions, and additions are welcome; send e-mail to

Here are the items in the original "charter" as they appeared
in the request for discussion before the group was formed:

1) A new group proposal for the discussion of all aspects of the
    martial arts, both by martial arts practitioners and the general
    public interested in knowing more about the martial arts community.

2) Increasing public awareness of the commitment of martial artists
    to public service, for example the D.A.R.E. program, its use in
    rehabilitation of prisoners, recovering substance abuse users, rape
    prevention, and increased quality of life for the handicapped.

3) Personal experiences, anecdotes, myths, and folklore pertaining to
    the martial arts and information on the existance or location of a
    specific item, style, form, system.

4) Postings of events, competitions, demonstrations, and seminars.

5) ANY/ALL bigotry, grudge challenges must be E-mailed!

Rank does not mean authority in rec.m-a, for rank without wisdom means
nothing.  There may be wisdom in the words of a child, and even a 5th dan
can be a fool.

Please do not post binaries (pictures, etc.) in the group.  A better way
is to post the binaries in a binaries group, and post a message in
rec.m-a calling attention to the binaries post.

One more thing.  Please don't post the question "What is the best martial
art [for self-defense]?" (or similar) in rec.martial-arts.  That question
has become a chronic irritant in this group, and there is no simple answer
to it; some would say it has no answer at all.  There are reasonable
procedures for how one should go about choosing an art/school here in the
FAQ, and in another rec.martial-arts periodic post, the Newbie Guide.  Read
them first, then consult the group if you have more specific questions.

2) What is a Martial Art?

A Martial Art can be defined as a system of techniques, physical and mental
exercises developed as an effective means for self-defense and offense,
both unarmed and with the use of weapons.

The origin and history of Martial Arts is a controversial issue.  We can
see signs of Martial Arts in Greek, Egyptian, African, Japanese, Chinese,
Thai, as well as other cultures.  There is a clear trail leading from the
Southern China-regions up to Korea, Okinawa and Japan.  The details before
that, and the exact details of that transfer, are greatly debated by
historians and Martial Artists.

3) What kind of Martial Arts are there?

There are many ways in which martial arts can be divided.  Here are
a few of them that might be useful to use in defining Martial Arts and
discussing them.  These are not necessarily consensus definitions but they
are commonly held. 

It is also useful to remember that very few of these martial arts are just
one way or another...they are all mixtures of these elements in various
degrees.  When we say a style is "hard" what we mean is that the predominant
expression of that style is hard.  If we say Shotokan is linear, it does
not mean Shotokan has no circular techniques.

"Sport" vs "Fighting Art" vs. "Exercise" vs. "Philosophy"

These are usually NON-useful comparisons because people tend to be very
strongly opinionated on this matter.  Most people want to think their art
is an ancient "fighting art" and can be applied thus on the street.  Some
styles truly are all four, and to some degree all styles contain all four

In discussions of a style it is most useful when people highlight which
area or areas their style emphasizes.

"Linear" vs. "Circular"

This distinction refers to lines of movement, attack and defense.
"Circular" styles use circular movements to block, attack, or move.  Around
and aside... "Linear" styles use direct, straight-on movements, attacks, or
head-on blocks.   In and out...

Styles can, and sometimes do, mix circular blocks with linear attacks.
This is a subtle distinction and not absolute, but it gives some

"Soft" vs. Hard"

"Soft" styles tend to redirect energy, channeling and diverting momentum to
unbalance an opponent, or to move them into striking range.  They tend to
be lower commitment and use less force.  Thus, they are less likely to be
unbalanced and can recover from redirection easier.   Examples are Tai Chi,
Aikido, Ninjutsu, or many Kung Fu styles and sub-styles.

"Hard" styles tend to direct energy outward and meet energy with energy.
They will tend to strike more, and deliver more force with each strike.
Hard stylists will often damage with their blocks, turning them into
attacks. They deliver more power, and thus are harder to turn aside, but
they are higher commitment, and thus don't recover as well from mistakes.
Examples are Karate, Tae-Kwon-Do, Muay Thai, and some Kung Fu styles and

"Internal" vs. "External"

"Internal" styles are styles that emphasize the more non-tangible elements
of the arts.  They utilize chi/ki/qi flow, rooting, and those elements
which some people consider "mystical".   They tend to emphasize meditation,
body control, perception, mind control (self, not others!), and pressure
points.  `Typically' internal styles are soft.  Tai Chi is an internal

"External" styles tend to emphasize body mechanics, leverage, and applied
force.  They tend to use weight, strength, positioning, and anatomy to
optimal advantage.  `Typically' external styles are hard.  Tae-Kwon-Do is an
external style.

"Complete Art" or not

The term "complete art" is sometimes applied to arts that include strikes,
kicks, throws, pressure points, and joint locks.  The arts most often
mentioned in this regard are some Kung Fu styles, Jujutsu, and Hapkido.
Although some arts contain more techniques than others, no art is
"complete" in the sense that it includes all the important techniques from
other arts.  In general, every art has its strong and weak points, and each
has something to offer to the lexicon of martial arts techniques.

4) Which Martial Art should I study?

That's a question that only you can answer, maybe with a little help of
your physician (in determining whether you should practice martial arts at

While some people advocate that "my style fits any individual", it is
very debatable if any single individual would adapt to *any* style. 

It depends heavily on your objectives, but remember, these may change with
time.  Many people who begin martial arts training strictly to learn
self-defense become quite interested in other aspects as their training

(a) What are you looking for?

For instance, if you are looking for on the street self-defense
training Tai Chi or Kendo might not be your first choice. 
Some choices:   Jujutsu, Hapkido, some Kung Fus, Karate, Kenpo (or Kempo),
Tang Soo Do, Muay Thai, Tae-Kwon-Do, Ninjutsu, Kali, or

If you are looking for meditation and philosophy Western Boxing
is probably a poor choice as well.
Some choices:   most Kung Fus, Aikido, Tai Chi, Kendo, Kenjutsu, or Iaido.

If you are looking for a sport and competition, Shao-Lin Long Fist
would probably be a bad choice.
Some choices:   Fencing, some Karates/Kung Fus, Judo, Boxing, Kendo,
Tae-Kwon-Do, and Savate.

If you are looking for intense body conditioning and muscle
development, Aikido is probably not the style for you.
Some choices:   some Okinawan Karates, Judo, some Kung Fus,
Muay Thai, Tae-Kwon-Do, Capoeira.

Now these are general guides- in truth any art can be taught in a manner
which promotes any of these things- Tai Chi masters have competed, some
Aikido schools have rigorous workouts associated with the class, etc. The
way to find out is to look at three things, only one of which is directly
linked to the style.

-The basics of the style (what does it teach, what is it used for)
-The skill and the teaching style of the teacher
-The purpose and the logistics of the school.

See Section (5) "How do I choose a school" for the answers to the last
two questions.

Also remember that more "complete" arts (ones with more techniques)
naturally require longer periods of time for a practitioner to achieve a
given level of proficiency.  This is neither good nor bad; there are good
points on both sides of the debate.  This is simply another facet to
account for in your decision.

(b) Advice of many experienced Martial Artists here on NetLand coincide in
    the point of "go, read, look around, ask---then decide".

As above the teacher and the school have as much to do with what you will
learn as the style.  Check out the styles in your area. Go see some classes
of the different styles and see what interests you and what you think you
would stick with.

(c) Many people change from one style to another.  While this is a common
practice, accepted as a means of development, it is known that the first
style is normally the one that leaves the base, the more profound "marks".
Try to choose a style that suits your needs and at the same time offers you
a kind of "challenge" to go on learning.

5) How do I choose a School?

This question is integrally linked with Question 4 "Which Martial Art should
I study?".

A couple of things that are important parts to look at in the process of
choosing a school:

-The environment where you'll learn and train
-The people that will be your partners
-The instructor
-The logistics of the school

(a)     The environment where you will learn and train

Don't get impressed by the size of the place- just be sure that you feel
"ok" in there.

Also don't necessarily be impressed by huge number of trophies.  They may
indicate a very successful competitive school (if that is an aspect you are
interested in) or they could be all show.  Check carefully.

If you are not allowed to watch any classes, you may not want to invest
your time and money.  Without seeing a class you will not be able to get a
good feel for the school.

Ask questions- don't worry about looking stupid or asking the "wrong"
question.   They are going to be teaching and training you- you want to get
any concerns or considerations you have out before you commit to anything.

If you feel bullied or threatened in any manner, look somewhere else.

(b)     The people that will be your partners

Go, watch some classes (without participating), then ask to participate-
see if the behavior of the students changes by the fact that there is a new
person in their class.

What follows is a quick and dirty check list, to which you can add your own
points, based on what you consider important.  Remember: these questions
and suggestions are just guidelines, not hard and fast rules. There will
always be exceptions.  But if you look in these domains you will have a
solid ground to choose from.

- How good are the students?

This is more of a measure of the quality of the students as students than
their skill at martial arts.  See if you can picture yourself with these
people.  Are they attentive, respectful, interested in being there? Those
are all good signs...

- Is there a mix of upper and lower ranks?

This is not always obvious in the styles without belt rankings, etc. It is
generally a good sign if advanced, intermediate and beginning students are
practicing together.  Check the approach the higher ranked students take to
you- their help will probably be very important in your advancement in the
Art you choose.

Some schools have classes separated by rank though.  Ask.

-Is there a mix in the type of people in the class?

Although this doesn't necessarily mean anything if it is not present, it is
a good sign if there is a mixture of males and females, older and younger
people in the class.   It is a pointer to the efficiency of the Art if it
can teach a wide variety of people together.

- Do they move the way you would like to?

This will give you some sense of what you can achieve.  Look to the senior
students and see if they move the way you want to move.
- Do they help one another?

In a small class this may not apply, but in larger classes it is a good
sign if the senior students support and assist the junior students. This
kind of personal attention will aid you greatly in your training.

- Do the senior students seem fit and relaxed?

This will give you a sense of the atmosphere of the school.  If the senior
students are uptight, nervous, unfit, out of shape, or unhappy, it may be a
sign to move on.  However, do not be put off by a single occurrence, i.e.
because on THAT day the senior student was in a poor mood.  It should at
least prompt you to look carefully though...

- How common are injuries?

As most martial arts involve vigorous physical activity and contact,
injuries will occasionally occur.  However, if injuries are common and/or
serious, there is likely a problem in how training is supervised, and you
will probably want to look elsewhere.  It will be difficult to tell what
the frequency/severity of injuries in the class is in one or two visits.
Ask the instructor.

(c)     The Instructor

-You'll need some basic trust in the individual, as a beginning.

The instructor is the person who is going to be guiding your development as
a martial artist.   You need to feel comfortable with him or her, and feel
secure in receiving instruction from them. If you have some unease or
personality conflict with the instructor(s) you might want to look

- Do the students get personalized attention?

This will be a good judge of how valuable your time will be.  If there is a
good amount of instructor to student attention there will be more value for

- Does the instructor differentiate between forms and function?

Another good indication is to find out if the instructor(s) differentiates
between form and function.  In other words do they do it "because it looks
good" or "because it works."  This may not apply if you are looking for a
martial art as a performance art or as an exercise (though then you want to
look at the efficacy of their exercises...)

- Does the instructor(s) differentiate between tournament and   

As above, your reaction to this question's answer will depend on what your
goals are.  However, there is general agreement that tournament training
and self-defense training, while highly related, are different. If the
instructor does not differentiate the two- that may be a danger sign!

- Violence in the class

If you see an instructor hitting students, or a senior student hitting
students, be very clear that it was appropriate before you consider that
school.  Though be aware - if you are unfamiliar with the art, medium or
full contact sparring may seem overly violent to you.  Violence as
discipline is to be avoided.

- Are adjustments made for students of differing body types and

Another good sign is if the instructor adjusts the training of his or her
student's physical realities:  telling a slow person to work contact, a
fast person to work ranges, a heavy person to work leverage, a light person
to work speed, or, conversely, concentrating on their weak areas to

(d)     The logistics of the School


This is an important element to be clear about.  You don't want to commit
to a school if you can't afford it.  It is impossible to address what a
reasonable price would be here, because the benefits offered, the local
economy, the quality of instruction, and the amount of instructor time are
all variables in the equation.

Find out if there are extra charges for going up in rank, find out if there
are organizational dues, tournament fees, mat fees, etc.

But do not be upset when a Martial Arts instructor charges money- they need
to eat and have a place to stay.  In our culture money is the way that
happens.  We do not feed and house wise old men.  Now, some instructors,
especially around colleges, or who have big garages;-) teach for free after
their primary job.  However, the costs of a school, equipment, and
insurance are frighteningly high.  The best way to determine if a school is
being reasonable is to compare what they offer for the price compared to
what other local schools offer for their prices.


If you are intending to spend a lot of time at the school you want it to be
accessible, and convenient enough for you to get their after work, on
weekends, etc.


Another thing you want to be clear on is when you can go to the school and
when classes are.  Some schools are open almost all the time and have lots
of classes.  In some schools you can only come when an official class is
being held. An open school is usually better for obvious reasons-
convenience, practice time, access to mats, etc.

-Commitments and Promises

This is an important thing to know about any school you will be joining. Be
very clear on what they will expect of you and what you expect of them.
Some teachers want to teach only people who are willing to commit to them
and their style, some are willing to introduce you to their style and let
you dabble, some will teach you as long as you show up. None of these are
intrinsically better or worse, but you want to know where they are coming
from so you and they are not surprised.
Find out if you are required to attend classes, find out about being late,
find out what the policy is on school rules of behavior and etiquette.
Find out how you are supposed to interact with the teacher and other
students.  There are many styles for all these things so make sure you find
out.  The easiest way is to ask these questions.

There may be other questions you want to look at and specific questions you
have about an instructor, school, organization, or style you are looking
at. Know the questions you want answered and you will find the perfect
school for you!


(a)     This guy says that his style will make a Full Certified Warrior &
Killer out of me in 3 months---is it serious?

     In short: NO.

First off, while many people enter the Way of the Martial Arts trying to be
the deadliest people in the world, it is not true that the final objective
of most, if any, Arts is this.  Many Masters say that the best battle
someone can win is one that he doesn't fight.  Most martial arts are not
designed to make you an instant killer.

Secondly, don't expect any miracle to come down on you, any light to come
through your window in the night and make you the most skilled fighter- it
all depends on your dedication, on your objectives, and on the amount of
training you get.  Any school that promises to teach you to be an "expert"
in less than two years (at the lowest minimum) is probably a scam.  General
net consensus seems to be that results can be seen within a few months but
the elusive "MASTERY" is the product of YEARS and YEARS of dedicated work.
Don't be fooled by false promises.

(b)     What do I do to become the deadliest person in the world ?

In brief: You can't.  While a Martial Artist does learn combat skills, the
final objective of a Martial Art is not to become the deadliest person

The Martial Arts recognize there will always be someone who is bigger,
stronger, faster, has a bigger knife, a more powerful gun, a longer range
missile, and so on.  The objective, then, is to become the best that you
can be, regardless of how good anyone else is.

7) Should children study Martial Arts?

In general, yes.  Some of the possible positives would be control of
agressiveness, instilling self-respect and self-control, as well as

The style that a child should take is a totally different question, and is
directly influenced by the style, if any, of the parents.  It will of
course be convenient if the child can practice with, or at least in the
same school as, the parents.  The major issue with children in the martial
arts is the integrity and trustworthiness of the teacher and the school.

The joints and connective tissues of children are more vulnerable to injury
than those of adults.  Keep this in mind when selecting a style and school
for a child, and discuss it with the instructor.  Schools which allow
agressive joint locks to be applied to children or don't train them to
refrain from snapping/hyper-extending elbows on strikes and knees on kicks
should be avoided.  (It is for this same reason that good baseball coaches
will not allow young pitchers to throw pitches which require hard snapping
of the arm - like curve balls).  Throws, however, are quite different; the
small size of children makes them naturals for arts which require falling

8) I believe/don't believe in X.  Should I train in Y?

Some martial arts have philosophical and/or religious roots or
associations, e.g. with Buddhism, Taoism, or Omotokyo.  Thus, it is
natural for people who are considering a particular art to wonder if
it is compatible with their own philosophy or religion.

Normally it is not considered ethical for a Sensei/Sifu/Master/Teacher
to try to *impose* his own views on his students.  However, the
philosophical aspects of some arts may still be present in the
required training to the extent that some potential students would be
offended by it.  As with so many other aspects of martial arts, it depends
on the art and even more heavily on the instructor.  So, be sure to watch
for this aspect when you visit a school that you are interested in.  Have
a conversation with the instructor about it, and watch how he/she
interacts with his/her students.

9) Rankings/Color Belt Systems

Many arts have a ranking system.  A typical ranking from beginner to most
experienced master is: 10th kyu, 9th kyu, ..., 2nd kyu, 1st kyu, 1st dan,
2nd dan, ..., 10th dan.  "kyu" and "dan" are Japanese words; Korean systems
use the word "gup" instead of "kyu".  1st dan and above frequently wear
black belts.

That being said, do not put too much stock in rankings, and put even less
in belt color.  Belt colors are HIGHLY dependent on the art, school, and
instructor.  Some arts don't have any belts.  Some have only white and
black.  Some have white, brown, and black.  Some have a rainbow.  Some
instructors hand out rank/belts like candy, others are very stingy.  A
given color will frequently signify different ranks in different arts.

Rather than rank or belt color, what will determine an individual's skill
are how long and how intensely they have studied, the quality of
instruction they have received, and (to a lesser extent) their "natural"

A brief history of kyu/dan ranking systems and belts, contributed by
Steve Gombosi (, is given below:

Before Jigoro Kano invented Judo, there was no kyu/dan ranking system.
Kano invented it when he awarded "shodan" to two of his senior students
(Saito and Tomita) in 1883. Even then, there was no external
differentiation between yudansha (dan ranks) and mudansha (those who hadn't
yet attained dan ranking). Kano apparently began the custom of having his
yudansha wear black obis in 1886. These obis weren't the belts karateka and
judoka wear today - Kano hadn't invented the judogi (uniform) yet, and his
students were still practicing in kimono. They were the wide obi still worn
with formal kimono. In 1907, Kano introduced the modern gi and its modern
obi, but he still only used white and black.

Karateka in Okinawa didn't use any sort of special uniform at all in the
old days. The kyu/dan ranking system, and the modern karategi (modified
judogi) were first adopted by Funakoshi in an effort to encourage karate's
acceptance by the Japanese. He awarded the first "shodan" ranks given in
karate to Tokuda, Otsuka, Akiba, Shimizu, Hirose, Gima, and Kasuya on April
10, 1924. The adoption of the kyu/dan system and the adoption of a standard
uniform based on the judogi were 2 of the 4 conditions which the Dai-Nippon
Butokukai required before recognizing karate as a "real" martial art. If
you look at photographs of Okinawan karateka training in the early part of
this century, you'll see that they were training in their everyday clothes,
or (!) in their underwear.

Most other arts that have ranking/belt color systems adopted them from the

10) What is Greenoch?

The truth is: Greenoch doesn't exist.  It first appeared in a post by
someone satirizing the "my School is better than your School", "my
Sensei/Sifu/Master is better than yours" syndrome that sometimes comes up
in this group.

11) What is Ki/Qi/Chi?

There are no absolute right answers to this question.  Instead of giving the
one true answer to this, below are several different opinions.

(a)     Ki doesn't exist.  Everything the ki model tries to explain can be
explained with body mechanics, biophysics, and psychology.  There
is no need to postulate some mysterious force.  Science can explain it.

(b)     Ki exists absolutely.  Ki is an energy, a living force, a spirit that
can be used to increase your strength, throw people around, etc.
Subjective experience shows that ki is real.  It may either be a
bio-kinetic phenomena science doesn't understand yet or the power of
the mind in union with the body.

(c)     Ki may or may not "really" exist.  It is a useful model.  The ki model
allows you to visualize how to increase your strength, throw people
around, etc.--it doesn't matter if it exists or not.  If someone
invents a better model (i.e. one that is easier to visualize), then
maybe we'll switch to it.

Of the styles that stress ki, some work on developing the flow of ki within
their bodies.  An example of this approach is Tai Chi Chuan.  Other styles
work on letting the ki of the universe flow through them.

12) Martial Arts Glossary

sparring -- training with another person using actual blows


atemi -- a punch
do -- way
dojo -- training hall
gi  -- uniform worn when training
kata -- prearranged series of movements
ki   -- energy, living power, spirit
kumite -- sparring
jutsu -- art
randori  -- multiple-person attacks
sensei -- teacher


Ichi (ee-chee)  -- one
Ni (nee) -- two
San (sahn) -- three
Shi (shee) -- four
Go (go) -- five
Roku (row-koo) -- six
Shichi (shee-chee) -- seven
Hachi (hah-chee) -- eight
Kyu (cue) -- nine
Ju (joo) -- ten


dobak -- uniform worn when training
dojang    -- training hall
poomse  -- prearranged series of movements
qi -- energy, living power, spirit (same as chi)
sohgi -- stance
chagi -- kick
chirugi -- punch
makki -- block
kyuroogi -- free sparring
gup -- grade
kihap -- yell
sah-bum-nim -- master


Hah Nah -- one
Dool -- two
Set             -- three   (don't aspirate
Net  -- four     the "t"s)
Dah Suyht -- five
Yuh Suyht -- six
Il Gop -- seven
Yah Duhl  -- eight
Ah Hope -- nine
Yuhl -- ten


chi -- energy, living power, spirit (same as qi)
sifu -- teacher
Mandarin  Cantonese:
yi      yut -- one
e'r     yee -- two
san     som -- three
sz'     say -- four
wu      ng  -- five
lyo'u   look  -- six
chi     chut -- seven
ba      bot  -- eight
jyo'u   gau -- nine
sh'r    sup -- ten

13) A small bibliography:

_The Original Martial Arts Encyclopedia: Tradition, History,
Pioneers_.  Corcorn/Farkas.  Pro-Action Publishing.
         ISBN Number:  0-9615126-3-6

_Go Rin No Sho---The Book of the Five Rings_.  Miyamoto Musashi

_The Essence of Ninjutsu_.  Dr. Masaaki Hatsumi

_Budo Jiten_, 2nd Edition.  F. J. Lovret (
        Taseki Publishing.

_Comprehensive Asian Fighting Arts_.  Draeger & Smith
         Publisher: Kodansha International ISBN Number: 0-87011-436-0
         ISBN Number in Japan: 4-7700-0913-5

_The Art Of War_.  Sun Tzu
This book can also be found "on-line" at:

_Zen in the Art of Archery_.  Eugen Herrigel

_The Bible of Karate:  Bubishi_, translated with commentary by
         Patrick McCarthy.

_Okinawan Karate_.   Mark Bishop

_Karate-Do, My Way of Life_.  Gichin Funakoshi

_Karate-Do Nyumon_.  Gichin Funakoshi

_Karate-Do Kyohan_.  Gichin Funakoshi

_The Student's Handbook_.  Frederick Lovret

_The Filipino Martial Arts_.  Dan Inosanto

_Absorb What is Useful_.  Dan Inosanto

_Budo_. Morihei Ueshiba

_Zen in the Martial Arts_.  Joe Hyams

        _The Martial Artist's Book of Five Rings_, Translation by Hanshi
         Steve Kaufman, Charles E. Tuttle Company, Inc., 1994.

     In general, books from the Kodansha Editors carry a reputation of being
     serious and at the same time direct and objective.


            Pro-Action Publishing
            A Division of Pro-Action Sports, Inc.
            1717 N. Glendale Bl.
            Los Angeles, CA 90026

            Kodansha America, Inc.
            114 Fifth Ave.
            New York, NY 10011
            Tel. Orders: 800-631-8571 [Visa, American Express, Mastercard only]

            Taseki Publishing Co.
            3579 Ruffin Road #205
            San Diego, CA   92123

14) Sources of information

14.1) Martial arts schools in North America

     Soke John J. Williams
Box 2335
Station A
Moncton, NB
Canada          (506) 382-6349

  Soke Williams is affiliated with the International Martial Arts (League
  IMAL).  They maintain a large catalog of martial arts schools in North
  America.  Write or call.  Simply state that you were referred to him as such
  a source and are in need of MA schools/instructors in whatever part of the
  country you are interested in.

14.2) FAQ ftp site

The rec.martial-arts FAQ and Newbie Guide are available on in
the directory pub/usenet-by-hierarchy/rec/martial-arts, with the filenames
rec.martial-arts_FAQ_part_1_of_3, rec.martial-arts_FAQ_part_2_of_3,
rec.martial-arts_FAQ_part_3_of_3, and rec.martial-arts_Newbie_Guide.

14.3) Aikido Dojo Directory

The Aikido Dojo Directory, ftp'able from

14.4) Classical Japanese Martial Arts Electronic Magazine

_Budo Shinbun_ is an entirely electronic magazine devoted to the classical
Japanese martial arts.  It runs under Windows 3.1 and higher, and is
complete with pictures.  It is entirely automatic, and requires only that
the subscriber tell it to "get new" and it will obtain the latest articles
(mail too) for reading off-line.  It is NOT a BBS.  Available from Taseki
Publishing (address & phone number above).

14.5) Traditional Karate Mailing List

Another discussion forum, this time a bit more specialized, is the
Traditional Karate Mailing List, maintained by Howard S. High, of which
we include some of the Charter:

Charter for the Traditional Japanese/Okinawan Karate Group
List Name: KARATE


The purpose of this group is to provide a forum for individuals who
practice one or more of the traditional Japanese/Okinawan Karate styles to
share information and discuss issues.  This is the first "CYBER-Dojo" as a
training supplement to Karate.  The list is un-moderated, with restricted


Application for membership is open to any individual who practices
traditional Japanese/Okinawan Karate (teachers and students). An exception
to this rule will be for those individuals who follow the traditional
values but does not belong to a traditional school due to reasons beyond
the individual's control.  Another exception is for individuals who have
not yet selected a martial art to follow.  This list can help such
individuals choose their path.


A prospective member will send a subscription command to the LISTSERV Host:

command:  subscribe karate

The Host will forward an automatic reply which includes the questionaire
and the Principles of Conduct.  After completing the application, the
prospective member will forward the application to:

use Subject: Membership Request

The questionaire will be reviewed by the listowner.  After review, the list
owner will either request more information from the applicant, send a
Welcome Letter to the new member, or advise the applicant why the
membership was not approved.

To find out more information about the Karate CyberDojo, link to the
following pages:

The Official Karate CyberDojo Web Page:

The Karate CyberDojo Journal:

14.6) Aikido Mailing List and FTP Site

There is also the Aikido FTP site:, and the Aikido Mailing
List, with this info from Gerry Santoro:

Because of popular demand I have established a LISTSERV conference for
people wanting to talk about Aikido.  The name of this group is

AIKIDO-L@PSUVM   (for bitnet users)
AIKIDO-L@PSUVM.PSU.EDU   (for Internet users)

The purpose of this group is open, public discussion of Aikido.  Sharing,
understanding and and mutual respect are encouraged.  Flaming and arguments
(such as 'my style is better than your style') are discouraged.

To join the list, send an interactive message (if you are on bitnet) or
email (if you are on Internet) to either:

with the message:

SUBSCRIBE AIKIDO-L 'your full name'

Then you will start getting email from the list.  To participate in the
list once subscribed you simply send email to AIKIDO-L@PSUVM or

For example, I subscribed with the following command:


Although I am list owner I intend for this to be an unmoderated list. I am
providing this as a public service and to spread word about Aikido.  Please
don't expect me to referee discussions. (:-)

Gerry Santoro
Academic Computing/Speech Communication
Penn State University
Aikido Kokikai Penn State

14.7) Tuite/Acupuncture Discussion Group

There is a Tuite/Acupuncture Discussion group, with this information from
Erik Hatcher (

Tuite/Acupuncture Discussion Group


The purpose of this group is to provide a forum in which the theories of
traditional Chinese medicine can discussed mainly in relation to the
martial arts.

The list is un-moderated, with restricted membership.

How to apply for membership:

All memberships are approved by the group administrator.  Membership is
open to any open-minded martial artist, acupuncturist, alternative healer,
or anyone _actively_ interested in any of the above.


A prospective member will send a subscription command to:

In the body of the message will only be one line of the form -


The subject of the subscription request mail should be SUBSCRIBE to provide
quicker response.

For example, if Joe Blow at wishes to subscribe, he would


The list owner will receive the subscription request forward an application
to you.  Further instructions will be provided with this application.
Subscription will NOT be granted without having completed the application

Serious applicants only!  Participation is the key to our group.  If your
intention is to sign up, receive lots of in-depth knowledge from others,
and contribute nothing, do not apply.

If everyone contributes - the whole will be greater than the sum of the


- Traditional Chinese Medicine
- 5 Element Theory
- Yin/Yang Theory
- Kata or Forms bunkai as it relates to TCM
- Book/Video reviews
- Pressure point locations
- Pressure point Knock Outs
- Revival techniques

14.8) The Martial Arts Digest

To subscribe to Martial-Arts-Digest, send the command:
subscribe martial-arts-digest

in the body of a message to "".  If you want
to subscribe something other than the account the mail is coming from,
such as a local redistribution list, then append that address to the
"subscribe" command; for example, to subscribe "local-martial-arts":

subscribe martial-arts-digest

14.9) Jujutsu and Kokikai Aikido Mailing Lists

To join one of the following lists, send an interactive message (if you
are on bitnet) or email (if you are on Internet) to either:

with the message:

SUBSCRIBE Listname 'your full name'


JUJUTSU   Jujutsu List
KOKIKAI   Kokikai Aikido List
(The AIKIDO-L list is discussed separately in section 14.6)

14.10) Japanese Sword Arts Mailing List and FTP site

iaido-l Japanese Sword Arts Mailing List

To join the Iaido list, send email to '' with the

subscribe iaido-l

The iaido-l FTP site is at, where people can log in
anonymously and find all sorts of information in pub/iaido, including the Japanese
Sword Arts FAQ and dojo lists for North America and Europe.

14.11) Chinese Shao-lin Center Electronic Mail List  (CSC-List)
PURPOSE: To provide information, class and training schedules for instructors
and students (both active and non active) of Grand Master Sin Kwang The' 's
Shao-lin System.

SUBSCRIBING: send a message to with the words
"subscribe shaolin" in the body of the message.

Please send questions to the list owner:

14.12) Martial Arts and Sword/TV and Film Mailing List

To sign up, send a message to, and write in the body
of the message:

Subscribe mastvf-l Your name

Please note that the list name is entirely alpha (that's an L, not a 1),
and that you write your own name in where it says Your Name.

To send messages to the list, send to Personal
messages to the listowner go to

Please note that this list is unmoderated, but that no flaming will be
allowed!  Anyone violating this rule will be suspended from the list, and
if the problem persists, they will be unsubscribed. This is a friendly
list, and we want everyone to be comfortable and feel free to express
themselves without fear of having someone jump down their throat.  Also,
please note that this list is not echoed to or from usenet; there is no
direct newsgroup access.

Digest format is available if you want all the day's messages collected in
one large post.  After you are subscribed, send a message to, and put in the body of the message:

Set mastvf-l digest

The purpose of this list is to discuss martial arts and sword work on tv
and in the movies, or conversely, to discuss any aspects of one's favorite
tv shows and movies that are oriented toward the martial arts and sword..
Discussions of individual episodes of other programs that are heavy on the
martial arts or sword are welcomed as well.

14.13) Tai-Chi Mailing List

The Tai-chi mailing list can be subscribed to by sending "subscribe
tai-chi" in the body of a message to

14.14) Neijia (Internal Chinese Martial Arts) Mailing List

Neijia (internal chinese martial arts) mailing list can be subscribed to by
sending "subscribe neijia" in the body of a message to

14.15) Kyudo (Zen Archery) Mailing List

Kyudo, or zen archery, mailing list.  This list is a general disccsuion list
about the topic of kyudo. 

(un)subscribe requests:
Subject Line: (un)subscribe

actual distribution list:

General questions queries comments and flames to: (Tom Utiger)

14.16) Korean Martial Arts Mailing List

Do you practice Korean martial arts?  e.g. Tang Soo Do, HwaRang Do, Kuk Sool
Won, Tae Kwon Do, Tae Kyon, Hapkido, etc.

Come practice with us at "the_dojang-digest". 

the_dojang-digest is a ~475 member strong e-mail distribution list for the
discussion of Korean martial arts.

The new list is managed by Brent Chapman's "Majordomo".  To subscribe to
the_dojang-digest send e-mail to


    subscribe the_dojang-digest

in the BODY of the message (not in the subject line).

Pil Seung!

14.17) Eskrima/Kali/Arnis Mailing List

Do you practice Eskrima/Kali/Arnis or some other Filipino martial art?         
If so, why not join the Filipino martial arts e-mail distribution list?        

Eskrima-Digest is a ~475 member strong e-mail distribution list for the
discussion of Filipino martial arts.

The new list is managed by Brent Chapman's "Majordomo".  To subscribe to
eskrima-digest send e-mail to


  subscribe eskrima-digest

in the BODY of the message (not in the subject line).

Brought to you by the Inayan System of Eskrima.
Mabuhay ang eskrima!

14.18) Martial Arts WWW pages

Isshin-Ryu Karate -

World-Wide Martial Arts Supply -

Judo Information Site -

West Los Angeles Karate School -

The Official Karate CyberDojo Web Page:

The Karate CyberDojo Journal:

Japan Karate-Do Ryobu-Kai:

14.19) Kung Fu Mailing List

The Kung Fu Mailing List is for the discussion of all traditional chinese
martial arts.  To join, all one has to do is send a message to with either
subscribe kungfu
subscribe kungfu-digest

in the body of the message.  The first is for a non-digest version while
the second is for people who just want to receive one daily digest of the

15) Sources for material & equipment

North America

Academy of Karate Martial Arts Supplies
405 Black Horse Pike
Haddon Heights, NJ 08435

BLT Supply Inc.
35-01 Queens Boulevard
Long Island City, N.Y. 11101-1720
(718) 392-5671 or (800)-322-2860 FAX:(718) 392-5705
Mail Order * Retail * Wholesale

Bugei Trading Company

California S and P Inc.
10545-B San Pablo Ave.; El Cerrito, CA 94530; USA

Century Martial Art Supply, Inc.
1705 National Blvd.; Midwest City, OK 73110; USA

Chris Nickolas American Arts Karate
Martial arts supplies (wholesale/retail)
4858 S. Main St.
Akron, Ohio 44319

Defense Arts, Inc.
P.O. Box 1028; Smyrna, GA 30081; USA

East West Markets Exchange, Inc.
5533 North Broadway; Chicago, IL 60640; USA

Far East Books
2029 North Park St.
Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada  B3K 4B2
902-422-8142  FAX 902-422-1998
Chinese Martial Arts, Religions, and Healing Disciplines; catalogue available

Honda Martial Arts Supply Co.
61 West 23rd St.; New York, NY 10010; USA
800-USA-NYNY or 212-620-4050

Kim Pacific Martial Arts Supplies
1451 Doolittle Dr.; San Leandro, CA 94577; USA

Kiyota Company
2326 North Charles St.; Baltimore, MD 21219; USA
800-783-2232 or 410-366-8275

Martial Arts Supplies Co., Inc.
10711 Venice Blvd.; Los Angles, CA 90034-6294; USA

Macho Products
10045 102nd Terrace
Sebastian, FL 32978

Musashi Martial Arts
1842 S. Grand Ave.; Santa Ana, CA 92705; USA

PAIS Enterprises
P.O. Box 518, Miliken Post Office; Milliken, Ontario, LOH 1K0, CANADA

S & P of New York Budo, Inc.
P.O. Box 2; Depew, NY 14043; USA

Saghafi Enterprises
1604 Niagara Falls Blvd.; Tonawanda, NY 14150; USA

Top Brands
Box 51331; New Orleans, LA 70151; USA

World-Wide Martial Arts Supply
P.O. Box 3132
Bethlehem, PA  18017

Scandanavian Sources  (most from a MA chain store called SBI)

Sodra Forstadsgatan 66
Box 17092
200 10 Malmo  SWEDEN
Tel: +46 (0)40 101585  Fax  +46 (0)40 301405

SBI Stockholm
Torsgatan 40 (S:t Eriksplan)
113 62 Stockholm  SWEDEN
Tel +46 (0)8 308808  Fax +46 (0)8 331884

SBI Leksand
Insjovagen 48
790 30 Insjon  SWEDEN
Tel +46 (0)247 40654

SBI Umea
Backenvagen 87
902 51 Umea  SWEDEN
Tel +46 (0)90 31285

SBI Ostergotland
Nygatan 31A
582 24 Linkoping  SWEDEN
Tel +46 (0)13 126680

Box 88
820 77 Gnarp  SWEDEN
Tel +46 (0)625 20580

Box 3022
850 03 Sundsvall  SWEDEN
Tel +46 (0)60 158002

Gullberna Park
371 06 Karlskrona  SWEDEN
Tel +46 (0)455 27974

Intersport Lulea
Storgatan 26
951 31 Lulea  SWEDEN
Tel +46 (0)920 17320

Charles Harbour Sport
Gustavsborgsvagen 10
374 38 Karlshamn  SWEDEN
Tel +46 (0)454 19600

Slakterigatan 6
721 32 Vasteras  SWEDEN
Tel +46 (0)21 143218

Orebro Gym & Kraftsportcenter
Drottninggatan 29 =
702 22 Orebro  SWEDEN

Fighter Sport Storgatan 37
Postboks 4781
0506 Oslo  NORWAY
Tel 22114055  Fax 22208708

SBI Fighter Shop
Jagtvej 70
2200 Kopenhavn N  DENMARK
Tel 35374700  Fax 35374702

Disclaimer and Copyright Notice

Some answers given may reflect personal biases of the author and the
martial arts FAQ listing's contributors.  The answers contained herein
pertain to discussions on the rec.martial-arts group, and are by no means

The martial arts FAQ list owes its existence to the contributors on the
net, and as such it belongs to the readers of rec.martial-arts.  Copies may
be made freely, as long as they are distributed at no charge, and the
disclaimer and the copyright notice are included.

Randy Pals              | "Master, do we seek victory in contention?"
IPACT, Inc.             | "Seek rather not to contend, for without contention
(   |  there can be neither victory nor defeat."