Real martial arts training transcends mere physical skill and the ability to defend oneself. It is an ongoing journey and not a destination. Each practice can yield new discoveries and provide a sense of self-fulfillment and accomplishment. It is a journey of a lifetime.
What is Tai Chi Chuan (Taiji Quan)?
We teach Yang Style Tai Chi (also known as Taiji Quan), which is the world’s most popular Tai Chi style. It was developed by the great master Yang Luchan (1799-1872). The characteristics of Yang Style Taiji are pleasant expansive movements and natural actions governed by the Theory of Yin and Yang, which holds that all natural phenomena consists of complementary and opposing aspects: firmness and softness, activity and inactivity, substance and function, yielding and unyielding. Relaxation is the key to Tai Chi practice. We want to loosely relax the joints and muscles of the body in order to stimulate circulation and increase the flow of Qi, the intrinsic vital energy latent within all of us.
Master Scrima studied Yang Style Tai Chi with Grandmaster William C.C. Chen and Grandmaster Tao Ping Shiang, both senior disciples of the famed Zheng Manching who was a disciple of Yang Chengfu, the grandson of the style’s founder.
Master Scrima has been training with Grandmaster William C.C. Chen for 40 years, learning the Tai Chi 60 Movement form, the Yang Style Long Form, Tai Chi Sword, Push Hands, and Tai Chi Boxing.
Master Scrima was introduced to Grandmaster Tao Ping Shiang by Grandmaster Chen. Over a period of more than 10 years, he learned Tai Chi Form and Push Hands, the Tai Chi San Shou (Fighting Set), Liuhe Bafa (Water Boxing), San Cai Jian (Xing Yi Fighting Sword Set). Sadly, GM Tao passed away in December of 2006 at 93 years of age.
What is Shaolin Kung Fu?
Among the most famous of Asian martial arts is Shaolin Kung Fu, which was propagated at the legendary Shaolin Temple in Henan Province in Northern China. The Shaolin Kung Fu we teach is from the Northern school and generally includes two styles: Mizong Luohan (Lost Track Arhat Style) and Eagle Claw Kung Fu. These styles train long-range fighting techniques that focus on kicking, jumping, sweeping, hand strikes, and punches. Fighting strategy uses soft circular blocks followed by fast, powerful counterstrikes. Eagle Claw Kung Fu is renowned for its joint locking, pressure points, and takedown techniques.
Master Scrima learned Mizong Luohan from Grandmaster Alex Kwok who introduce him to Grandmaster Cam Hung Marr, a senior exponent of the style.
Grandmaster Alex Kwok has been one of Master Scrima’s most influential teachers and advisors for more than 40 years. A former champion in forms and fighting, GM Kwok was rated #1 in North America by Professional Karate Magazine in 1976. Master Scrima learned numerous Empty Hand, Weapon Forms, and Fighting Sets as well as well in-depth history of Chinese martial arts. GM Kwok had been selected by Warner Brothers to play the role of Bruce Lee after the star’s death but although the movie was completed, it was never released due to the market being quickly flooded by movies from Hong Kong.
Grandmaster Cam Hung Marr (Chi Hung Marr) is one of the foremost senior disciples of Mizong Luohan who had started training while Grandmaster Ye Yuting was still teaching in Hong Kong. GM Ye Yuting had brought the style from North China and taught at the South China Athletic Association. Master Scrima was introduced to GM Marr in the mid-1980s when he was still based in Ohio and trained with him until moving to Florida in 1993. He learned many advanced routines with both Weapons and Empty Hand as well as the intricacies of the style’s principles.
Grandmaster Leung Shum was the first exponent to bring Eagle Claw Kung Fu to the United States, opening his first school in New York City in 1975. Master Scrima had originally started training in Eagle Claw with Master Benson Lee in 1983 and continued to train in the style with Grandmaster Shum after Master Lee moved out west. Master Scrima learned many routines from GM Shum as well as the Eagle Claw fighting principles and Qinna, the joint-locking skills for which the style is famous.
When Master Scrima first approached Grandmaster Shum about coming to teach at his school in Ohio, GM Shum suggested that he first learn from Master Benson Lee. Master Lee made several teaching trips to Ohio, so he was Master Scrima’s first Eagle Claw teacher. They maintained a close friendship for more than 40 years.
What is Xing Yi Quan?
Xing means form and Yi means intent. The name makes it clear that this is a martial art style that integrates action and will. This style features concise, dynamic, and economical movements. The techniques are based on highly evolved concepts and contain underlying intricacies. Xing Yi is easy to learn but requires diligence and dedication to master. The style is fast and extremely effective close-in. Kicking is typically aimed at low targets and is used in conjunction with the hand work. Nei Gong (Internal Training) is an important aspect of the art, making Xing Yi an excellent style for both self-defense and health.
Master Scrima met Grandmaster Di Guoyong through Andrea Falk who contacted him on Grandmaster Di’s behalf and helped organize his first visit to Florida. Grandmaster Di is renowned in Beijing and throughout China for his high level of skill in Xingyi Quan and Bagua Zhang. Master Scrima has learned Xingyi Quan forms, fighting theory, and the Bagua 64 Palms with Grandmaster Di since April 2005. GM Master Di is now living in Melbourne, Australia.
Master Scrima first met Grandmaster Tony Yang in Ohio at Master Scrima’s Great Lakes Kung Fu Championship in 1992 but did not start learning from him until years later. Grandmaster Yang first learned Praying Mantis with Grandmaster Su Yuchang who later introduced him to the famed Liu Yunchio, in time becoming his disciple. Master Scrima learned Baji Quan, often referred to as the Bodyguard Style, Yin Style Bagua Zhang, and Praying Mantis from GM Yang. Master Scrima and Grandmaster Yang promoted several tournaments together and remain close friends to this day.
Other Styles: Master Scrima also teaches Liuhe Bafa, Bagua 64 Palms, and Baji Quan to his more advanced students and through private lessons.