Our Sources and experience

The following is a brief outline of our research and practice. More detailed articles will be presented in the research articles:

  • Direct transmission: We both served a 20 year formal apprenticeship with Master Kwan Yuen Cheong 關潤昌. We received a written record of the art and a verbal transmission of the secrets. Our historical research would not be possible without such transmission and experience in the field.
  • Old martial arts manuscripts: Our private collection (known as the Warrior Hear Record) contains many documents rescued from the destruction of the cultural revolution in China and collectors pieces from the Chinese diaspora. It is possibly the largest private collection of such material in the world today. Much of the collection has been put in digital format for long-term preservation.
  • Military manuals: We have copies of all the classic Chinese military manuals and we have access to most originals in one way or another. We also have an in-house computer program for searching and referencing within the classics.
  • Ancient books: We use many historical books written on various subjects not related to martial arts. These have proved a surprising source of information.
  • Museums: We use museums for weapons, weights, info on armour, etc. This type of information needs intelligent reconstruction and testing to be of use.
  • Hermits: We spent many years gathering information and indeed studying with the hermits and recluse community of China and South East Asia. Their knowledge and customs have been a surprising source of information.
  • Fellow researchers in China, Japan, Mongolia, Korea, and Malaysia, have been a great help to us. The Mongolians have been especially helpful with  some fascinating information.
  • Masters in Japan: During the period 1992 to 2005 We interviewed many credible Japanese masters (those considered credible by the Japanese government) on their art, origins, and surviving documents.
  • Anecdotes and notes from ageing Chinese masters: during the 1996 – 2005 period we interviewed and received many documents from Chinese masters living in Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia. Many were desperate to share information as their art was in terminal condition. Today they have all gone.
  • We followed the route of Zheng He and the Ming fleet, discovering the extent of Chinese maritime movement and gathering other ground breaking information along the way. We spent time at ‘junk stations’ where Chinese communities has been settled for Centuries, perhaps even millennia. Their martial arts traditions were stuck in a time warp, so to speak.
  • We managed to interview two old folks who had personally sailed from China to Malaysia on the old sailing junks. Fascinating to say the least.
  • The Chin Woo (also called Jing Wu) record: We have copied a large part of the Chin Woo record. It is a massive store of books and other documents from the Qing period to the present day. The record contains  interesting information, but it takes a mammoth amount of sifting to find gold.
  • Independent Chinese collectors: We have a network of Chinese collectors we work with.
  • Inside the Yakuza: We entered the Yakuza and were able to spend time with the members discussing all things related to martial arts and much more.
  • Inside the triads: during our many years in Hong Kong, we had an opportunity to enter a triad group. The relationship lasted approximately two decades, in which time we investigated the triad martial art practices and use of stealth. This particular area of their work was the most revealing to us.
  • We were able to gather information from both the Hong Kong police and the Thai police on triad traditions and activities.
  • Computer modeling: Technology has given us the opportunity to explore theories and analyse data in ways never before seen in the martial arts world.
  • Martial arts dating and “DNA”  model: Our team have developed a method that can date martial arts techniques and identify their origin with great accuracy. As time passes we may submit academic papers on this development, but for now, we continue working with it in-house.