KUNG FU KICKING

Just about everyone loves to kick, at least a little. This is a group of books that are not really attached to style or sect but show the versatility of Kung Fu kicking skills. The old saying, "Northern Legs and Southern fists" is often misunderstood to a frightening degree. More properly we should say "Northern footwork" because, as we all know, the secret to what happens when you lift your leg to kick is determined by what happens when your leg is still on the ground.

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24 Running Kung Fu Foot Attacks

K#008 24 Running Foot Attacks
by Lee Ying Arng
$14.45, English/Chinese, 127 pages, softbound

Yet another incarnation—but at least an authorized one—of Lee Ying Arn's classic Kung Fu breakthrough book, "Secrets of Chinese Leg Maneuvers". This book has indeed had a strange life. First Lee published it and it became something of a bestseller being one of the first Kung Fu books ever published in English. Then its Hawaiian publisher actually ripped off their own author and released an unauthorized edition. Now here is a Hong Kong edition from Yin Mei with the photos from the original cut out and pasted up for "clarity", with supplementary information and exercises added. Plum is/was/tries to be one of the last places you can find the original hard bound editions which have been scooped up by collectors. Here, if you just want the information, is a soft bound, less expensive edition which - in accordance with this book's unique lineage - might in itself become a collector's piece. Stranger things have happened in the world of Kung Fu.

This book demonstrates true Northern leg actions with almost no hand manuevers whatsoever. Lee was long-legged and elegant in his movements. Some of this is retained in this edition. Plus you get an en face Chinese/English text.

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Advanced Chinese Leg Manoeuvers

KA003 Advanced Chinese Leg Manoeuvres
translated and compiled by H. C. Chao
$13.95,
English, 144 pages, softbound

Well it's not the first time a publisher has undermined an author. This is the "Advanced" (read: pilfered) edition of Lee Ying-Arn's classic "Secrets of Chinese Leg Maneuvers". Why McLisa, the publisher, chose to use the French spelling of "Manoeuvres" is probably just as logical as why they would simultaneously publish and compete with their own author, Mr. Lee. Posed with cut-out photos by a particularly untalented model. Much of this material duplicates the hard-to-find original hard back edition of Lee's book and the inexpensive and more text available we have at Plum. However, if you are awild-eyed completist you may, as they said in the old corn flake commercials, "Want to collect the whole set."

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12 Fatal Leg Attacks Kung Fu

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K#005 12 Fatal Leg Attacks
by Wang Xin-De translated by He Zhou
$10.95, English/Chinese, 127 pages, softbound

Printed in Hong Kong this en face book explains in both English and Chinese leg attack of the Shaolin School. This particular branch is known as the JinGang-Chan school thusclaiming its lineage to Vajra Buddhist warriors. All of these methods contribute to the famous 108 legs attacks with the preceding book "64 Leg Attacks" and a still- uncompleted 32 Ground Spinning leg attacks.

The names of the techniques alone are almost worth the price of the book. They call up such classic names as ...
The Golden Leopard Climbs a Tree • The Tiger Bumps the Trunk • Golden Vulture Attacks its Prey • White Ape Presents Fruit This is a well constructed book with nice line illustrations and clear text.The techniques are traditional though the students who posed for them "hammed it up" a little. On the other hand the wide arms positions and definitely extreme body inclinations emphasizes correctly the purposely "awkward" side of Shaolin with, given its Chan (Zen) influence, shows a similarity to the almost extinct Tzu-Ran "Natural" style. A well-translated and intelligent book.

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