Staff: Fundamental Training with Dr. Yang, Jwing-Ming is a DVD of solo drills and matching practice on Tai Chi and Shaolin Kung Fu staff techniques. I found the materials different from the Japanese staff training I’ve done, but similar in ways to the staff training I did in Korea. This would be because my Hapkido instructor also had a Wushu and Qigong background, and the Chinese influence was apparent in some of his instruction.
The first nine minutes contain an introduction by Dr. Yang. During this intro, he explains that this is the first of a series, and that these basics are an important foundation for advanced training. This DVD actually contains the first three courses that Dr. Yang put on video. Course 1 covers Sliding, Sliding Stinging, Chopping, Coiling Stinging, Advanced-Retreating Circle Sealing, Four Corners Repel Neutralizing and is approximately 76 minutes long. Course 2 covers Follow-Neutralizing Entering, Bouncing, Four Sides of Staff Sealing, Step Forward to Seal the Staff, Point Striking and is approximately 65 minutes long. Course 3 covers Coil Stinging, Up Coiling, Side Coiling, Center Stinging, Four Corners Repel Neutralizing, Four Corners Sliding Strike, Four Corners Diagonal Strike, Bouncing, Groin Scooping Strike, Step Forward to Seal the Staff, Short Matching, Free Sparring and is approximately 97 minutes long. Like most of Dr. Yang’s DVDs, he provides a lot of material and instruction.
There are parts, especially in Course 1, where there are more demonstrations by his students than instruction by Dr. Yang, and I think the very inexperienced beginner might have a little trouble with some things. Many of the slides and such are performed at speed, and I while those with experience may pick things up easily, especially if you have experience with the staff, the inexperienced beginner may have trouble picking some things up. I like the parts where Dr. Yang explains things with more detail better because he has such a tremendous wealth of martial information to share. So some parts are easier to learn from than others.
If you are interested in the staff or any of the other Chinese long weapons, the material presented and taught on this DVD provides the foundation for them all. I would have preferred more instruction from Dr. Yang and maybe a little less of the demonstrations. However, I do realize that you can learn and benefit by watching the material being done by Dr. Yang’s students too. Overall, this is a very good addition to any martial artist’s resources on learning the long staff. It is especially good for those wanting to learn and study the Tai Chi and Shaolin Kung Fu techniques of this weapon.
You can check out Staff Fundamental Training at amazon: