Nicholas Reicher

Writing Your Next Blockbuster Film or Novel

Author: Nicholas Reicher (Page 1 of 31)

The Writers Guide to Fight scenes 9

Gave up on the roman numerals. I was having nightmares of being back in 8th grade. AUUGHHH!!!!

So, how do you write a fight scene?

To write “fists and feet flying” is cheap. I mean, Robert Heinlein used to do stuff like that, because being bedridden, he never learned how to do it. So he couldn’t write about it.

A thousand old videos and documentaries are available on Martial Arts. And now getting video lessons on YouTube is the modern equivalent of a Lion Dance ceremony. The buyer can watch videos for days before deciding on a style and a school.

So there’s your first answer. What kind of personality does your protagonist (or antagonist) have? Find the martial art that fits that personality.

Near-sighted? Wing Chun kung fu. That’s the reason Bruce Lee chose that style.

Calm? Aikido.

Watch videos of martial arts. Think of one-word summaries for that style. Watch the person doing that style, and decide personality wise how close they are to your protagonist?

Try a few classes of it. You need to give at least a month to start to get a feel for it. To really understand a martial art requires two years’ study. I’m going back in this weekend and adding in YouTube videos of some documentaries and martial arts, so that you can see.

Now, here’s the trick – you may learn a lot of Chinese and Japanese terms as you investigate the art. Try to avoid using phrases like “Shihonage”. YOU may learn this means “Four winds throwing”, but the reader will not grasp it unless they’re learning Aikido.

“Carpenter settled back into a crouch, weight on his rear leg. His front leg lifted, knee bent, then lashed out with blinding speed. The balls of his foot smashed into the nose of Mr. Clean, staggering him backward. Mr. Clean shook his head, trying to clear his vision.”

Say that. Your reads may not understand “Mawashi-geri”. I’m pretty sure they won’t.

Mr. Clean seized Carpenter’s lapels, and butted Carpenter in the face with his forehead. Carpenter dropped his weight, yanking Mr. Clean off balance. Carpenter shifted his weight, and slammed a short punch to Mr. Clean’s throat. The balding man gurgled, eyes bugging as he fell back.

Notice some of the words I’ve used – seized, yank, crouch, settle, smash, stagger, slam. If you’ve EVER been hit or kicked in a real martial arts fight, you’ll understand why I use those words. Literally, there are Shotokan techniques that can hit you with the impact of being hit by a car. “Punched” doesn’t describe it. “Smashed” or “Crashed” works better.

Besides, it’s good writing.

Let me take Tekki Shodan, and describe that as a martial arts fight.

Carpenter kept his back to the wall, trapped between them. If he came off that wall, they could get him around the neck, and lights out. The one on his side stamped at Carpenter’s knee. Carpenter swung his leg upward to avoid the kick, then snapped down, finding the kneecap of the attacker. Bone crunched loudly as the attacker screamed, dropping to the ground and rolling.

Carpenter shifted his weight, delivering a low side kick to the other man. He slung his shoulder forward, projecting the writhing man to the ground.

The shaven headed man at Carpenter’s side charged recklessly, as Carpenter freed his arm. He slammed both his fists towards the charging man, hitting the man’s open hand before it could grasp him. Carpenter’s other fist smashed the shaven headed man in the teeth.

Carpenter looked to his right, staring down the other man to the side. The man took off running, not wanting to share in the fate of his compatriots.

Carpenter stared forward. The spiky haired ringleader hesitated, then charged the smaller man. Carpenter lifted his left fist to his head as the ringleader seized Carpenter’s wrist. Carpenter whacked the ringleader on the temple with his left fist, bowling him over.

“Might want to re-think this.” carpenter warned. The Ringleader got to his feet, and shook himself off.

“I never re-think.” The ringleader snapped.

“Here’s your first lesson.” Carpenter lunged off the wall.

Smash, Hammer. Strike. Slam. Crunch. Whack. PUT the reader into the fight. There’s no sound effects in books, so you’ve got to use words that have the bone jarring sounds in their own title. “Ran at” becomes “Charged”.

Now, unless you are a Shotokan black belt, you’d probably never know this is Tekki Shodan. The returning wave kick is taught as a way to avoid a foot sweep, but we’re looking at possible bunkai as well – and kicking the kneecap of an attacker that’s got you pinned to the wall is a possible application of the returning wave kick. I remember once describing Bassai Dai as one of the most brutal katas ever made, because at one point you do a move that could be interpreted as throwing someone to the ground and stamping on them. Other Shotokan black belts really were astounded by that, because they’d never considered that move in that way.

Notice (if you know the form) I eliminated one attacker. Tekki has left and right repetition, so you can eliminate one of the moves.

One more thing – I avoided filter words in this as much as possible. I could have put “he knew” – but that digs the reader one level out of the scene. “he saw, He knew, he felt”… these now take you out of the immediacy of the scene.

notice a projection in the form. now, Tekki Shodan is no longer taught with projections, but once upon a time, Shotokan Karate had throws and projections. See the films of Nakayama Sensei teaching Karate in the 1940’s.

Carpenter, my martial arts knowing protagonist, is also a Shotokan historian, and knows that throws and joint locks were taught in Shotokan in the beginning. Nakayama streamlined Shotokan at one point, or perhaps simply left off teaching those moves, because they weren’t often done, he got busy, and forgot to teach them after that date. I’m going with number 2.

Carpenter learned them, and remembers them.

If you have to take the time to perhaps sketch out the fight scene with stick figures, do it.

The Writer’s Guide to Fight Scenes VIII

Roman Numerals. My first big mistake with this series!

I remember just after getting my second degree black belt, reading a sci-fi novel where someone posited a future where there was one martial art, called “Martial arts”.

I think after reading the last seven articles, you’ve come to realize that’s probably never going to happen. There are disparate philosophies. How to combine Aikido, Karate, Jiu-Jutsu, Shaolin Kung Fu, Hung Gar Kung Fu, Judo and French Savate?

The elaborate stances of Shaolin conflict with the deep stances of Karate and the one stance of Aikido. The philosophy of Hung Gar and Shaolin are not similar at all. Philosophy drives techniques and applications. You can’t have a “tiger style Aikido.”

The only way to “Combine all martial arts” would be if most of them died off and were forgotten about. You CANNOT posit someone who knows every martial art.

Next mistake – the dramatic pronouncement.” “Which style of Kung Fu did you master?” “I mastered them all.” It was impressive to claim in the Kung Fu TV series, but he only did Praying Mantis from what I saw. To master all animal forms in Northern Shaolin would require learning about 40 forms and extreme body conditioning. Kwai Chiang Cain would have to have been about 55 years old to learn them all, and mastering them all would take several lifetimes.

Next Mistake – not being specific about what martial art it was. Dune featured a sub plot about the “weirding way” which was a martial art passed down by the Atreides clan. Okay, which one? Assuming it was a form of jiu-jutsu, because of throwing. But there’s strikes as well. Okay, that could be jiu-jutsi as well.

Next mistake – flying elephants. Don’t say so and so knows judo chops. Okay, I’ve read that before. It’s silly. Bottom line on this mistake, a little research goes a LONG way. Go watch a class or three. Look it up on YouTube.

That brings us to next mistake – tourist traps. There’s a lot of styles of kung Fu in China right now that are plays and acts for the tourists. There really is no such thing as Goldfish form Kung Fu. I’m serious. Put them up against a White Crane style fighter, and you’ll have a well fed Kung Fu artist.

Next mistake – combat-o. Someone’s modern scientifically designed martial art that will beat them ALL! Except they all got beat in the very first tournament. There’s something you have to say about a martial art that has lasted 600 years – it must have something in its favor to work like that.

Next mistake – the telltale heart. If I read one more novel about someone pulling a still beating heart out of someone’s chest… I’ll go learn Goldfish kung Fu or something. You have to break through the sternum, several ribs, and then rupture a membrane. I know Itosu could pierce someone’s body with the spearhand – but I wager it was the unprotected belly, not the heart. I’m not knocking Itosu! He taught Funakoshi, who taught Okazaki, who taught me.

clapping the hands to catch a sword – This works because Ninja did this. But there’s a trick – they had  a metal plate with claws in their palms. Ever seen a Katana? The old ones were so sharp you could sever a finger on them. Go ahead! Clap your palms! Catch that sword! The intense drama of a 9-11 call, ambulance ride, emergency surgery and dozens of stitches, and long recuperation!!! One word… not.

Catching an arrow out of the air with your teeth. Okay, let me debunk this one. It’s real. My dad saw it happen in Japan. But your timing better be good.

Catching bullets  with your teeth. A 9mm bullet travels at supersonic speed. If you timed it just right, it would break your teeth anyway, and go out the back of your throat. If it was a .22 LR, MAYBE.

Tomorrow, I’ll show some concrete examples of HOW to write a martial arts fight scene in a novel.

The Writer’s Guide to Fight Scenes VII

Modern martial arts. There’s been a ton of them, like combat-o, who made the mistake of bragging they were unbeatable. Then they went into the ring against traditional karate, Judo and traditional Kung Fu.

And lost every match.

Make sure you’ve got something to brag about, before you brag.

The first modern martial art is Jeet Kun Dao, or “Way of the intercepting fist”. This style was invented by Bruce Lee. It was almost enlightening for me to read a book called “Bruce Lee’s notebook”, released by his wife. It showed the genesis of Jeet Kun Dao, and made some questions arise right away whether the direction Dan Inosanto has steered it is ultimately the direction Bruce would have taken it. But Dan Inosanto remains committed to one concept: Absorb that which is useful, reject the rest. Don’t want to learn the Philipino stick fighting or knife fighting aspect of it, okay, don’t! Want to incorporate the long arm elements of Choy Li Fut and french Savate? Do it!

But make it work. In some ways, my own martial arts journey could be called “Jeet Kun Dao” – I just haven’t taken the Bruce Lee curriculum.

In many ways, what you’re seeing today is the fulfillment of Bruce Lee’s vision, but there’s one cardinal rule that’s missing. Jingkagu Kansen Ni, tsumuro koto – seek perfection of character. This is missing in modern martial arts. So is “karate begins and ends with courtesy.” Japanese martial arts insist on this. Modern ones often reject it in what has become gladiatorial battles.

Next is BJJ – Brazilian Jiu-Jutsu. This is a form mostly dominated by the Gracie family, who’ve taken Jiu-Jutsu techniques and refined them. If it doesn’t work well, or takes time to set up and make it work, the Gracie’s jettisoned it (if any of the Gracies would like to comment on this and clarify, feel free).

BJJ uses traditional Jiu-Jutsu techniques. Techniques said to break arms are only called that if the Gracie’s personally have broken an arm that way, or one of their student’s have. In many ways, the greatest service the Gracie’s have done is started the death knell to the so-called “death touch” and “Internal energy” aspects of martial arts that remain fakery, con artist trickery, superstition and old wives tales. The Gracie’s in the past have invited people, “Show me the death touch. Show me. Kill something with a touch in front of me.”

Unfortunately, what has grown out of BJJ and Jeet Kun Dao is the third modern martial art – MMA. MMA has been denounced by the Gracie’s as a fighting system and not an art. But once you opened the door to “ground and pound”, you can’t shut it again, is the claim of Hung Gar master Pavel Marcek. And he’s right.

Two MMA artists were sent out by the Discovery channel one year around the world, and the same thing was heard on every episode – “My MMA background and training is useless in this environment.”

Ready for the definition of MMA? A calculated martial style designed solely for an artificial environment and useless on the street. Face six opponents, and try to use MMA against them. Karate trains for this. Aikido trains for this. If you leave your feet in this environment, you will die. Multiple opponents is a stand up game, bottom line. Street fights are rarely one on one.

So, how do you portray an MMA practitioner in your novel? Go back to the first one, on boxing. tire the opponent out, get them making mistakes, do a “Shoot” takedown, then pound their faces until they give up.

next time, we’ll look at a lot of common mistakes in portraying fight scenes in novels

The Writer’s Guide to Fight Scenes VI

I better wind this series up soon, or I’m going to have to try to remember what C and M are in Roman Numerals!

I’ve dealt with mostly Atemi-waza (percussive arts) up till now. But Japan has a long history of armed arts and of unarmed nage-waza (throwing and projecting) arts as well.

The Samurai learned techniques similar to what the ancient Israelites had to learn – what to do if someone….

In the case of the Samurai, it was, “What to do if someone gets inside my guard?” The Samurai sword, the Katana, is a frightening weapon. But the Ninja figured out a defense. A shorter sword. By having a sword that was usually half a foot shorter, the Ninja got inside the defenses of the Samurai.

Distance was key in Japan. Two Samurai would keep distance out of sword range. If you got within sword range, it was presumed that you meant violence, and a preemptive strike was delivered.

But some Samurai of course discovered that if you rapidly got inside someone’s guard and jammed your hand down on the pommel of the sword, the Katana was trapped in its sheath.

Thus,  Jiu-Jutsu was born. The idea of re-directing strength at close range, trapping, pinning or throwing someone came from this awareness that one was very vulnerable at close range. The Japanese Tanto knife was also invented for such occasions. But Tanto-jutsu was considered rude and shameful. A well executed sword strike had elegance and romance. Jabbing a knife into someone’s chest over and over again until they bled to death was considered, well, kind of rude.

Jiu-jutsu featured a way to lock someone’s wrist if they tried trapping your sword. Then throwing or projecting was added to the art. This is why some Ryu feature kneeling kata – two men kneeling at close quarters, uke grabs nage, the nage arm locks then pins or projects the other. It’s a typical sneaky samurai duel. If you forgot what the Japanese words mean, the Uke is the attacker, and the Nage is the defender. I told you that you needed to remember!

Jiu-Jitsu was practiced in various ways in various Ryu. Some more flowing, some softer, some tougher and harder. I would put it that if two Samurai are suddenly having to fight like this, there’s not going to be anything gentle about it.

Finally, around the turn of the 20th century (someone straighten me out on the date!), Jigoro Kano adapted the style of Jiu-Jutsu he’d learned into a more robust form, called Judo. It lacks the grace of Karate, but it has immediate results – you get really sick to your stomach doing ukemi (breakfalls) your first three months.

Judo features the clinch (opening move, where you’re grabbed), the kamae (finding your footing) and the nage-waza (the throw). I’ve got a 2 hour film of Mifune doing Judo that is like an encyclopedia of Judo techniques. If you find it, don’t watch his arms. Watch his hips. His hip movement is central to his judo.

Jigoro Kano was enthralled with Karate when he saw Gichin Funakoshi demonstrate it, and Funakoshi was invited to give lessons inside the kodokan, the Judo halls. Kano wanted his judo-ka to learn karate, but was somewhat distressed to find out it wasn’t a quick “show me this technique” thing.

Judo and Jiu-jutsu reigned supreme in Japan for some time. It was after world war II that things changed.

during the 40’s and 50’s a talented Jiu-jutsu scholar, Morehei Ueshiba, went into a retreat, where he began to study intently Kenjutsu (use of the katana) Jo-jutso (use of the short staff), tanto-jutsu (use of the knife) and refining his Jiu-jutsu.

When he unveiled his system to the world, he called it Aikido (eye-kee-do)– the way of harmony. Ueshiba did not worry about who challenged him – opening his demonstrations to any challenger was a regular part of the demonstration. My father actually is in film as a US marine in the 1960’s, watching Ueshiba throw everyone around. He described him as a “little old Japanese man standing there with a silly smile on his face while six men try to push him over.” My father tried to talk me out of learning Karate and Kung Fu, and wanted me to learn Aikido instead. Alas, there was no Aikido dojo where I grew up. So Kung Fu and Karate it was!

Ueshiba transformed Jiu-Jutsu into an art form of balance, simplicity, and misdirection. The most experienced Aikido-ka speak of how to invite an attack. Literally, they’re using a combination of facial features and open body posture that makes the uke attack when THEY want you to. And then they do something annoying like grab one of your toes between two of theirs and drop you to the floor in agony. If you control WHEN uke attacks and HOW uke attacks, you win the fight every time. Writers, take note.

Aikido demonstrations seem to have a lot of laughter. Everyone I’ve seen do one usually had some kind of joke they’d make that had the audience laugh, except Seagal. Seagal’s demonstrations just left you wincing.

Unlike many martial arts, there’s only one real stance in Aikido, and three foot moves (tenkan, irimi and kaiten). Learn those, and you’ve got it all. The three movements are part of the 18 techniques. That’s it! 18 techniques, three movements, one stance. Some kneeling.

And a lot of pain. Because there’s a world of variations based upon whether someone grabs your wrist if the hand is up or down, how you lock or pin, how you throw or project. It’s all in how uke is standing or moving. It takes years to learn it, but when you learn it, wow – you don’t have to worry about if your attacker is 7 feet tall and 400 pounds. They’re not going to win.

Aikido has one and only one drawback – if the uke is not fully committed to the attack. That’s why Aikido demonstrations are done full speed and power. Keep your palms on the floor when you watch a demonstration, so you can feel the floor shake. The best description of Aikido I’ve ever heard is “you’re running down the stairs and think there’s 18 steps, but there’s only 17. That’s Aikido.”

A word on the strange strikes used in Aikido. nobody but nobody strikes a bare hand straight down at your skull (Jodan). Nobody.

Unless they’re holding a katana. And any Aikido black belt will be glad to demonstrate against a katana wielding opponent, but they’re going to insist on the Uke holding a bokken (wooden sword) for their own safety. No kidding, some of the moves in Aikido actually involve techniques that force the Samurai onto his own sword. Attack all you want. It’s going to hurt. Want a sure fire way to defeat an aikido-ka?

When he invites the attack, ignore him, fire up your kindle and read a book instead. Ta-da!

Anything else invites disaster.

Last but not least is Kenjutsu or Kendo. There are schools of Kendo that are downright scary. I’ve seen a Kendo master perform iai-do (drawing the sword and cutting in one move), and put a bokken up against Uke’s neck in the blink of an eye.

So, the question – Kung Fu sword versus Katana – who wins? The Samurai will probably win right away. If he fails to kill the Kung Fu swordsman, and the battle continues for a length of time, the balance of power switches noticeably. Kendo and Kenjutsu are based upon the most likely outcome – he who strikes first and fastest wins. The variation of Kenjutsu called Iai-jutsu is the most aggressive. Dai-ten Kenjutsu is scary – you’re fighting a swordsman with two swords. That’s the school started by Miyamoto Musashi.

Next – modern arts. BJJ, Jeet Kun Dao and MMA.

The Writer’s Guide to Fight Scenes V

Yesterday, we covered Okinawan Karate. Japanese Karate to a certain extent was derived from the first few years of Funakoshi’s students, who transformed it into their own styles. Every Japanese form of Karate traces their lineage back to Funakoshi.

This includes three Korean forms – Tae Kwan Do, Tang Soo Do, and KyokushinKai. KyokushinKai is Korean only in the sense that the grandmaster of it was Mas Oyama, the fierce Korean man who learned Shotokan, and adapted it to a more combat oriented style. I’ve learned an offshoot of Kyokushinkai called Soryukan, which claims Mas Oyama as the originator of that.

That’s a controversial claim, because the actual Soryukan in Japan does not list Mas Oyama as ever having practiced their style. And the Soryukan I learned was taught to Sensei Wilkins directly from Mas Oyama – and it’s definitely Sorykan. The emphasis on the 45 degree stance, the crossed forearms all are Soryukan. But the emphasis on doing pushups on a gravel path, legs kicked constantly to get you into the right stance, slaps hits and pushes to get your torso in the right spot – all that is traditional Kyokushinkai. So, apparently there’s a phase in Oyama’s life where he taught very few people his karate. Sensei Wilkins did have a picture in his house of him and Mas Oyama, so I believe the story. Alas, Oyama has passed on, the Soryukan has no record of his involvement, and Mr. Wilkins has probably passed on as well – so an intriguing piece of Karate history is lost forever.

Korean teaching emphasizes kicking over punching. Japanese emphasizes punching over kicking. Why? Because the Japanese forms still hold the traditional emphasis on last resort. Kicking tends to be a stronger technique if you’re engaged in a long fight. But a punch or strike tends to be lethal.

Many of the so-called kill points are on the neck and head of the human body, and a few in the chest. Younger Karate practitioners can do head high kicks, but as you get older, your ability to kick someone in the face with a roundhouse kick is limited. Tendons begin to shrink. While Kanezawa in his seventies can still do head high kicks (and my sensei Mr. Okazaki can as well), it takes much longer stretching out each day to get that kind of flexibility.

So, it pleases the crowd to see someone do head high kicks, but in a real fight, most kicks will be done waist high and lower. This means the targets for self defense are mostly hit with the hands.

I will say this – a spinning crescent kick generates enough torque to shatter a spinal column, or severely fracture a skull. Tests have shown it can (in some practitioners) have the same impact as being hit by a car. In shotokan, the crescent kick is done rarely, and always to the chest in Kata. I figured out how to do double crescent kicks, and the speed of them lifts you several feet off the floor.

The most powerful kick in the world is the Shotokan Karate roundhouse kick. It differs from all other styles, in that the contact surface is the ball of the foot. You can break the support pillar of a car with that kick. Prove it? I’ve done it. A full contact roundhouse kick from a shotokan black belt into someone’s sternum would have devastating impact. If I remember the stats correctly, itls like the impact of falling 20 feet onto a hard surface. Can someone correct me on this? I haven’t heard the stats on this since the 90’s.

Japanese Karate features blocks that twist the forearm. If you hit someone hard enough with a block, it can actually deaden the arm momentarily. The punch delivers a great deal of torque. A writer from England studied Shotokan in Japan in the 60’s, and he used a reverse punch once in real life, and knocked the other man backwards several feet. Question for practitioners of other Japanese styles – do you have the reverse punch and hanmi position, or is Shotokan the only one?

Hidy Ochiai, a Shotokan black belt, found revolutionary new applications for common shotokan moves, such as the downward block (Gedan Barai) against wrist grab, and the high rising block (Jodan Age Uke) against the underside of the jaw when bear-hugged. And one very high ranking Shotokan black belt has created a video series where he demonstrates alternate applications of Shotokan that has generated a lot of controversy.

A common saying in Japan is “in japan, the belt is the belt. In Korea, subtract three degrees. In America, subtract five.” So many so-called black belts in America are considered blue belts by Japanese.

Tomorrow we move on to other Japanese martial arts.

The Writer’s Guide to Writing Fight Scenes IV

Okinawa

Okinawa is the birthplace of Karate. There are at several major styles of Karate that arose in Okinawan. The histories differ on whether the common man in Okinawa was allowed to learn it or not. Okinawa had a class system of nobles, warriors and common people. The theory now is that only the warrior class learned Karate. Karate had a number of names, such as Te, Tang Te (Chinese hand in Okinawan), and eventually Gichin Funakoshi changed it to Kara-te – empty hand.

It inspired a firestorm of controversy when Funakoshi did it. But today, most Okinawans refer to it by that name.

The irony of it is it’s spelled exactly the same between Tang Te and Karate, just a different pronunciation.

There apparently was two or three different persons who came to Okinawa from China, who taught Kung Fu. Most are familiar that it was Fujian White Crane that brought Kung Fu to Okinawa. This is a brutally fast form that features a large variety of eye jabs. This developed the form of GojuKarate (hard/soft).

Shorin Ryu and Shorei Ryu were a pair of styles of Karate, one featuring strong techniques, the other fast techniques.

Isshin Ryu featured fast techniques, and uses almost exclusively the sunfist strike of Hung Gar kung Fu. This is a jab punch, but in speed it’s much faster than the powerful Karate punch. This is important, because it shows that it was not only Crane style that made it to Okinawa, but also Tiger style.

The sunfist is also taught in Fu Jow Pai.

Gichin Funakoshi was of the samurai class in Okinawa, but the Meiji restoration was decreed by the emperor of Japan, outlawing the class system separating peasants, farmers, merchants, Samurai and nobles. Now everyone was equal in rank except the Emperor. Funakoshi developed the idea that Karate should be for everyone, and he combined Shorin Ryu Karate and Shorei Ryu Karate. The sunfist strike of Hung Gar can be found in some advanced Shotokan kata, as well as modified tiger claw techniques. The kata Unsu features the single finger technique of Hung Gar kung fu, and Wankan actually includes a variation of one of the opening moves of the first Fu Jow Pai forms. Sanchin features some moves very similar to Fu Hok (Tiger Crane form).

Techniques include spear hand (which can pierce skin), crane hand, punch, backfist, elbow strikes, knee strikes, sword hand, upper block, lower block, inside block, augmented block, front snap kick, front thrust kick, side snap kick, side thrust kick, roundhouse kick, back kick, spinning kicks, hook kicks and crescent kicks. When you’re thinking linear karate, you’re probably visualizing Okinawan Karate.

The most correct way of analyzing the difference between Okinawan/Japanese arts and Chinese is that the Ryukyu-Japanese are more scientifically streamlined. Chinese Kung Fu masters often tell their students not to fight against Karate practitioners, because Karate practitioners usually win.

In Kung Fu, one learns sequences of two to five moves, often with names such as “fierce tiger sharpens claws”. In Karate, the concept is more immediate. It’s not to fight with – it’s to save your life. You are expected to take a beating and walk away in Karate. But if they are beating you to death, and you feel you are about to die – then you use the Karate. One strike, one kill. It is a last resort only martial art in Okinawa. Among the Japanese forms, only Shotokan still stresses this to my knowledge. If you train in another Japanese style and this is still stressed, please let me know so I can update this for accuracy.

Common training forms are Naihainchi (known as Tekki in Japan), Pinan (Heian in Japan), and Kushanku (Kanku Dai). In old Okinawa, you learned a form and practiced it until you had mastered it. It took at least a year.

Then you started the next form.

Most Okinawan forms and Japanese forms are a quarter of the length of the original chinese forms. Gung Gee and Fu Hok are 108 moves in five minutes. The average length of a Shotokan kata are 34 moves in 60 seconds.

Training equipment (Hojo Undo)

While in the 1950’s through the 2000’s moves were made to get away from Hojo Undo and traditional body training, the 2000’s have featured a resurgence, even in America. There has even been talk in traditional Shotokan of returning to Hojo Undo, traditional body training, and a return to kobudo weaponry.

There are a number of okinawan training aids to Karate, including Hojo Undo. These involve barbells with concrete on the ends, the chi ishi (a wooden dowel stuck into a concrete ring), tubs full of small stones one jabs your hands into repeatedly, and wooden striking posts covered with straw rope called Makiwara. If you’re training, don’t get the American Makiwara. That’s canvas over foam, and it actually can cause injury. The Okinawan form moves under the strike, then hits back. Okinawan karate schools also use a small shield that you punch, walking across the floor with your knuckles, and hitting and kicking a radial belt tire!

Kobudo

Kobudo weapons are the traditional Okinawan weapons – kama (handheld sickle), Bo (6 foot staff), Tonfa (t shaped baton), sai (piercing blade with handles), and Nunchaku (flail). My description of a sai is pretty lacking. They’re very cool. They apparently are handheld versions of a jutte, a metal pole with a handle designed to trap a sword. Many people have tried to depict the sai as a potato digging tool, but lately experts think the sai literally is what it is – a handheld tool to fight a sword wielding opponent. Just as in China one had hundreds of weapons one could learn, in Okinawa one has five basic weapons, and a couple of variations, such as the furigama, a kama blade with a short strap on the handle. I got very good with this terrifying weapon. You could whip the blade so fast the blade whistled in the air.

Japanese arts add two more weapons, the naginata (blade attached to a pole – once the weapons of the front ranks of Samurai, now considered a woman’s weapon), and the katana, one of the most feared swords in the world.

It is interesting that a century after Funakoshi became a black belt, Shotokan is debating returning to the use of Kobudo weaponry and to the use of Hojo Undo tools. I would encourage them to do so.

Dojo

The training is done in a dojo, sometimes the basement of the house of the sensei. Okinawan karate often features a special form that has little or no combat intention –  Sanchin. Sanchin has combat applications, but few practice it in this way. You learn through the practice of it how to internalize and concentrate. You know you’ve got it when someone can hit and kick you and you don’t feel it.

There is stretching and calisthenics, then practice of basics, and then kata (forms), then kumite (sparring).

It’s interesting to me that although the traditionalists criticized Funakoshi greatly for his changes in how Karate was taught, most of the RyuKyu islands now teach and practice the art exactly the way Funakoshi changed it. Originally, one learned Okinawan Te by learning a form. You would then practice it a thousand times, and that was how you learned the basics. When you’d learned a dozen forms, by that time the Sensei would begin involving you in discussions with other sensei’s about the various techniques and their applications.

Funakoshi learned by teaching Karate in Kendo schools and in the Kodokan, the judo hall. He adapted the concepts he learned there and applied it to Karate instruction. This change in the traditional ways has spread even back to China.

this of course has led to some claims of historic revisionism, other sensei’s who claimed to introduce these novel new methods prior to Funakoshi, but history shows otherwise. There was fierce letter writing campaigns to newspapers decrying Funakoshi, who just humbly kept doing what he was doing. Today,  he is called the father of Karate, and for good reason. He very humbly dedicated his life in the service of making sure this Okinawan art was spread worldwide, for everyone.

The Writer’s Guide to writing fight Scenes III

Okay, we’ve covered western fighting arts in the first two installments, and then we covered the history of Asian arts yesterday up to its introduction to India.

India had a spice trade and a cloth trade worth trillions in the ancient world. He who ruled India would have wealth extreme. So the princes of India often stood in the gap to await challengers, and it turned very bloody very quickly. The sight of the weapons used by India’s Raja’s are blood curdling. Some are designed to flay a person, others designed to cut an invading army to pieces.

The martial arts proper (as we know them today) were invented by a man from India who traveled to China to assist Chinese monks. Bodhidharma is how his name is rendered, or sometimes Damo (depending on the language). Damo apparently was discouraged by the physical weakness of the Chinese monks, and abandoned them. He climbed the Songshang mountain in China, and dwelt in a cave. Legend has it a Chinese monk went up every day for months to beg him to return, but Damo wouldn’t answer. So supposedly the monk cut off one of his arms in front of Damo, and that convinced him.

The story has to do with the fact that the monks leave one arm uncovered, but that may be explained by the fact this is how Buddhist monks from India dressed, as well as Hindu beggar monks.

What can’t be contested is that there was a series of 18 exercises taught by Damo to the Chinese monks, and that there’s a cave at the top of Songshang. I have a video of a chinese monk teaching these exercises in front of the cave. They’re actually a poor man’s version of calisthenics and stretching.

The Chinese took Damo’s teachings and modified them. It’s very possible that Kung Fu is not an India invention, but a pure Chinese one. The theory is that animals fight very well in defense of their lives, and by adopting the movements of these animals, one could turn basic fighting techniques into an art form. The earliest forms of fighting are Dragon, Tiger, eagle, snake and Leopard.

Later forms would arise of Crane, monkey and praying mantis. Praying mantis Kung Fu being one of the more recent forms of Kung Fu, it is literally perhaps only 150 years old. Today, when one speaks of “five animals”, the five animals are always the later Southern China variety of  Dragon, Tiger, Crane, Snake and Leopard.

There’s a funny tradition in China that only villains learn Eagle style Kung Fu, and the tradition is that the Chinese opera boats always portrayed their villains as knowing eagle style kung fu.

Explanations of Kung Fu strikes

Unlike boxing, Kung Fu has billions of techniques. There’s the standard fist, the phoenix eye fist, tiger palm, mantis hand, dragon hand, eagle claw, leopard fist, four styles of elbow strikes, knee strikes, and kicks. There are a series of blocks and footsweeps one learns as well.

Each animal style of Kung Fu has its specialties – the claw is common to Leopard (ba), Eagle (Yin), Tiger (Hu or Fu), and Dragon (lung). By the way, anyone who maintains dinosaurs died out millions of years ago has never seen some forms of Shaolin Dragon Kung Fu. There is a distinctive reptilian aspect to it that comes from observing a bipedal lizard fighting. I can count the number of bipedal lizards in China on no hands. And the Emperor in China in 1611 had a servant whose title was “Dragon feeder”. Just saying.

Since there’s so much to Shaolin Kung Fu to learn and no man can possibly learn them all (sorry, Kwai Chi’ang Cain), one usually is shown Ji Ben Gong (basics), and then  a few animal forms. When one adapts a particular animal style, that style is then considered their particular strength, and their training from that point continues in that field. A lot of it is bound up in Chinese superstition, and one ends up in discussions about how the Hu (or Fu in Cantonese) style is Fire, the Sei style is wind, etc. I think the philosophy originates in that the snake style (or Sei) is linear, straight forward and back – and this suggests strong winds. The Tiger (Hu or Fu) is always in motion when the fight starts, rising dropping, turning – and it looks like fire. Sorry, can’t explain why Eagle is Gold. No clue.

The key to understanding Kung Fu is that if you don’t train your body, it doesn’t work. A great deal of time is spent beating one’s arms, hands and feet against things. Canvas bags filled with Mung beans start the training, and you spend time hitting the bags with the various strikes. This literally strengthens the bones, and makes them more resistant to breaking. One can increase the density of the bones in ones hands to the point it would require incredible force to break them. While Okinawan Karate shows practitioners punching and kicking baseball bats and shattering them, China sometimes shows off martial artists being HIT by the baseball bats – and the bats shattering.

To explain, any six year old can do a tiger claw. Only a trained martial artist can rip through flesh with the tiger claw. The snake hand strike would result in broken fingers to an untrained man – the same strike by a trained artist can pierce flesh.

Other training method involves using the bags on various parts of your body as well. The repeated beating thickens bone tissue and makes the bones harder to break. Other training methods involve carrying large clay pots filled with water to strengthen the hands, and one toughens your feet by kicking your hands (clap the back of your left hand against your right over your head, hold your arms straight out to either side, fingers pointed up. Now do a series of crescent kicks, bringing one arm in front to kick, then switch. Keep that up for ten minutes).

Kung Fu features a series of stances – cross leg (a moving stance), horse stance, cat stance, bow and arrow stance, and one legged (“Da-mo”). It literally is posture and stances that determine the effectiveness of martial arts. I’ve given lectures where I show a picture of a group of men working out, and pointed out the one trying to do Fu Jow (tiger claw), and explained what he was doing wrong.

Here’s the secret to Kung Fu. Kung Fu is not intended like Karate is. Kung Fu is designed for fighting on a battleground, or to create a whirling distance that keeps your foes at bay while you dispatch one or two at a time. Karate is designed so that you can save your life through the execution of a single punch or kick. As a result, Karate ends up demolishing Kung Fu students all the time, because most haven’t grasped how Kung Fu is designed to be used. Most styles of Kung Fu are designed to be done in sequences. “Golden Rooster reaches for the fruit” is Long Fist Kung Fu defense against a groin strike. “Black Dragon seizes the pearl” is Hung Gar defense against the BJJ or MMA “Shoot”. Why don’t we see Kung Fu masters cleaning house in MMA competitions? Because these techniques are dangerous. “Black Dragon” is a killing technique if you’re rushed, and I guarantee you’d be rushed in the MMA ring. Nobody’s willing to go to jail for decades to prove a point.

Along the way, someone began noticing if you hit someone in a certain spot, it hurt a lot more than anywhere else. These became known as the 108 nerve spots, and Chin Na was born. Chin na is gripping and manipulating joints, and is intensely painful. an untrained fighter engaged in Chin Na will be beaten quickly, and may have broken hands or arms – or possibly death, as the Songshang mountain variety of Chin Na features one head twisting technique that can be fatal.

Chinese martial arts feature a dizzying array of weapons you have to master in addition to empty hand techniques. Some are sword, sabre, broadsword, staff, iron head staff, flail, mace, and oddities like stool and wooden cane. The more hair raising forms I’ve ever seen are the whip-chain (which can flail the skin off of you), and the meat cleaver form. Yes, you read that right. For the king of forms, see Tiger Crane below.

By the 19th century, Kung Fu practitioners had achieved a legendary status in the minds of the world, because nobody had seen anything like it.

Here’s a plain, but elementary truth. Northern styles have more kicks – but are often not as highly developed fighting arts as Southern styles. Three of the more famous southern styles are Crane, Wing Chun, and Hung Gar. Hung Gar is known as Tiger Crane style, and for good reason. The first two forms are Gung Gee Fuk Fu Kuen, or I Shaped Taming The Tiger – and Fu Hok Kuen, Tiger Crane. Tiger Crane is a dazzling form, and the BBC showed a video special once where a famous Kung Fu actor did a move by move breakdown of the form – and included a short mock fight at the end using Fu Hok techniques in a street fight situation.

Study of Fu Hok (tiger crane) teaches 108 different combinations of moves. Some work better going from one to the other, others can be combined or joined. Study with an approved master in Hung Gar is recommended. Self study just leads to kicking your living room coffee table and breaking your toes.

There are some lethal moves in the tiger crane form.

There is a distinct possibility that the most brutal form of Kung Fu ever invented originated by creating Hung Gar to disguise its existence, and then when you’d proven yourself by  your practice of Gung Gee and Fu Hok, the master would pull you aside after class and tell you, “There is another art…”

And you’d leave the Hung Gar where everyone else learned the rest of that style, but you went behind closed doors to learn Fu Jow Pai.

Fu Jow Pai is the tiger style, originally known as Hark Fu Moon. Flashy? Oh yes. Lethal? Yes. But you’re going to develop your hand strength to the point where you can do pushups on your thumbs. One of the exercises is tying and untying of 108 knots in a rope.

Most of the flashy, flowery plum blossom moves in traditional Kung Fu are stripped out of Fu Jow Pai. Your first encounter with a Fu Jow Pai practitioner includes a warning – they block the attack, slide their arm across yours, and make a slow tiger claw motion towards your eyes. It’s your only warning.

Best bet is to step back, bow, apologize profusely, and leave while you can. Because Fu Jow Pai artists can drive their fingers into the shoulder muscles beneath the skin – and drag their hands ripping down towards your elbow. If the shock doesn’t kill you, the rapid blood loss seconds later will.

Or they’ll repeat the move, but not stop at the eyes. Or they’ll go for the windpipe. A Fu Jow Pai practitioner demonstrated on a ballistic gel torso once that he could indeed grab the windpipe and tear a section out.

Anyone who doubts the effectiveness of this art has never encountered it. The Grandmaster of Fu Jow Pai was attacked by three men with knives in America. He was uninjured. They didn’t survive. The State of New York contemplated charging him with murder, then finally dropped the charges.

When a Chinese master issued a death match challenge in the 1980’s to American Kung Fu masters, they got together for a hurried discussion, and chose one American to do the match. He had learned Fu Jow Pai. He won the match by a knockout.

I’ve noticed parts of the class for the Fu Jow Pai has identical parallels to Shotokan Karate – and that raises a lot of questions.

  • Fu Jow Pai begins the lessons with reciting character building oaths. Shotokan has similar worded phrases recited at the end of the class.
  • There is a step and breath sequence at the end of the beginning class workout that is identical in both styles.
  • core movements are identical.
  • The tiger is the symbol of both arts.
  • The advanced forms of Shotokan have sequences split up among the forms bear a strong resemblance to the first Fu Jow Pai form.
  • There are abrupt switches from hard and fast movements to slow deliberate movements in both forms.

If, as a writer, you’re looking for the most lethal form of Kung Fu ever invented, here you go. But its extremely secretive, and most of the advanced techniques are taught to advanced students who’ve proved themselves, and they are amazingly tight lipped about what they learn. If you see a video of “The second Fu Jow Pai form” or “The third Fu Jow Pai” form”, don’t you believe it. I guarantee they will not divulge the forms to the public, and a beginner would never be allowed to learn it. If they’re taught a short form, it’s not the real form.

If you live near me and feel like sharing that knowledge, look me up. I won’t say a word to anyone!

Tomorrow, we move to Okinawa and Japan.

The Writer’s Guide to Writing Fight Scenes II

I’d like to recap some of what we learned yesterday.

Unarmed fighting techniques fall into three categories – Atemi-Waza (percussive strikes and kicks), Nage-Waza (grappling/throwing), and Chin Na (joint locks/pins). The attacker is called the Uke, and the defender is the Nage.

Before you try to tell me I don’t know anything about fighting, I’ll run through my qualifications. Nidan, Shotokan Karate, 6th Kyu Soryu-kan karate, and I’ve studied Long Fist Kung Fu, Shaolin Kung Fu, Hung Gar Kung Fu, Wing Chun, Aikijutsu, Chin Na, Ninpo, MMA/BJJ, boxing, Kenjutsu, Judo, Krav Magaa and Tae Kwan Do. And I’ve done some experimentation with Fu Jow Pai. If you’ve every studied with Ng Wai Hong and are eager to pass on what you’ve learned, contact me.

Okay, let’s look at wrestling.

Amateur wrestling is essentially the aim of grabbing someone and forcing them into a hold that they can’t maneuver their way out of. It is essentially a nage-waza art. I don’t know much about amateur wrestling, other than to recommend a book for kids. Wrestling books for kids abounded in the 1960’s, and you should be able to find one online easily.

Here’s where I annoy the Amateur wrestlers. Amateur wrestling is dangerous on the street. Not to the attacker, but the wrestler defender. If you pin the attacker to the ground and they’ve got a pocket knife, you’re dead. While you’re pinning them to the ground, you can be opened up and bleeding out before you can get free.

If the person knows another grappling art such as BJJ, Japanese Jiu-jitsu or Aikido, you’re done for. If they’ve got friends that aren’t going to let you fight fair, you’re done for. I want to state this really plainly – fighting multiple attackers is not a “ground game” – it is a “standing game”. Going to the ground against multiple attackers equals dead. If your martial art training leads you to always ground fight and they’ve got multiple opponents, you’re being trained to die on the street.

Pro Wrestling. Pro Wrestling is fake. The pro wrestler is an actor who has to train long and hard to build physical strength and endurance. However, if you make the mistake of picking a fight with a pro wrestler, you’re going to need every ounce of training, body conditioning and fighting to prevail. These guys are used to lifting hundreds of pounds over and over again and dropping them. If you’re not used to it the way they are, they’re going to clean your clock. A pro wrestler is used to dropping people from heights that can cause permanent injury, and then they train to deliver a falling strike. the impact of their weight does more damage than the strike.

For the Karate versus wrestling controversy, that was settled in Honolulu in the 1960’s, when a pro wrestler banged on the door of martial Artist Hirokazu Kanezawa with a bunch of reporters in tow, and challenged him to a fight. He was seeking to stop Karate from getting a reputation. Kanezawa dropped him with a single punch, and shut the door.

Martial Arts

There are a large number of martial arts. Each differs in philosophy, and it helps to have a brief understanding of martial arts history and geography to learn why we have what we have today.

Martial Arts came originally from Israel during the time of Abraham, and originally was a weapon oriented art. But attacking a Hittite with spear and shield was foolhardy, since Hittites were masters of that. If the Hittite was disarmed, he’d grab the shield and rip it to the side, closing on you. Unarmed or close combat techniques were devised and quickly.

Israelites learned to be strategic – long distance (arrow and sling), medium distance (spear and shield) and up close (sword, knife, bare hand) techniques were used. Since Israel was in a crucial spot between Europe and Egypt, they experienced repeated invasions.

“And they took Lot, Abram’s brother’s son, who dwelt in Sodom, and his goods, and departed. And there came one that had escaped, and told Abram the Hebrew; for he dwelt in the plain of Mamre the Amorite, brother of Eshcol, and brother of Aner: and these were confederate with Abram. And when Abram heard that his brother was taken captive, he armed his trained servants, born in his own house, three hundred and eighteen, and pursued them unto Dan. And he divided himself against them, he and his servants, by night, and smote them, and pursued them unto Hobah, which is on the left hand of Damascus. And he brought back all the goods, and also brought again his brother Lot, and his goods, and the women also, and the people.” (Genesis 14:12–16, KJV)

Key in on the “Trained servants”, and the fact it was under three hundred and fifty men who pursued and defeated an invading army. That falls under the category of martial arts.

Hebrew style martial arts was more weapons oriented, and even used a special phalanx of two men. The shield bearer was armed with a large shield and a one handed sword held stabbing style, and the warrior was armed with a spear. The shield carrier had to be agile, as he’d move from side to side around and under the spear. Some would be struck out of the way by the shield, and as they were shoved to the side, the backwards-held short sword would finish them off. Literally the shield bearer would often end up killing just as many as the spear carrying warrior.

unarmed fighting was strikes and grappling. this eventually moved up into Greece, and became known as Pankraetion. Pankraetion  and its Hebrew equivalent moved into Persia, and eventually into India.

Tomorrow – Asian Martial Arts.

The Writer’s Guide to Writing Fight Scenes

Recently, a discussion on a writer’s group I’m part of had a link to an article on fighting for writers. The article was somewhat misleading, as it mostly had to do with what’s called an active shooter situation, and not fighting.

So, I thought I’d write an article on actual fighting, since to my surprise not every writer knows Kung Fu or Karate.

Fighting techniques

Fighting techniques fall into two groups – armed and unarmed. I’ll spend some time dealing with unarmed first. I’m going to use some Asian terminology, because we speak from what we know.

Unarmed fighting techniques fall into three categories – Atemi-Waza (percussive strikes and kicks), Nage-Waza (grappling/throwing), and Chin Na (joint locks/pins). I’ll admit, I don’t remember  the Japanese term for Chin Na, so I borrowed from the Chinese for it.

Every fight can essentially be broken down into these three categories. Untutored fighters will often lead into grappling (nage), with the occasional punch thrown. The more violent an attacker is, the more they will resort to Atemi techniques over Nage. Watch two boys fight on a school playground, and you’ll see them automatically grapple ineffectively. scrapes, fat lips and bruises are the most common results.

In the martial art Aikido, the attacker is called the Uke, and the defender is called the Nage. Notice it’s the same word for grappling. When I talk later about Aikido, I’ll explain why.

Street Brawling

Street Brawling is usually the term for untutored fighters, who don’t know how to fight. Street brawling is done often by the removing of a jacket or coat, then the lowering of the head of the attacker (Uke) and a charge. The other merely has to lower his body weight and divert the attack downward to put the attacker face first in the dust. Just grab the shoulders of the charging person, push down and drop your weight. Step back, bow, and walk away humbly while they lick their fat lip and wonder what happened.

If the person is particularly aggressive, they will try to lead with punches. It’s a rare untrained fighter who will attempt to maintain their feet while delivering a series of punches. Most of them walk away victorious, aware only their hands are hurting. Later they’ll discover they will have broken bones in what’s called a “Boxer’s fracture”. It takes about three days for this fracture to heal.

In the street fight, staying on your feet equals survival. If you end on your back, it’s a bad place (writer’s everywhere are taking notes).

Many people have watched MMA fights, and think they know how to do them from watching them. It’s not true, and it can lead to embarrassing results. It can also lead to jail time, since even an improper execution of certain techniques can leave the defender with permanent injury. I’ll talk more on MMA, and I’ll give you a definition of it guaranteed to anger every MMA brawler.

Trained fighting

Boxing. This is the first trained fighting art we’ll deal with. Boxing consists of three basic moves – jab, cross and uppercut. The uppercut is an underhanded movement, from belt line upwards. The entire idea is to wear out the opponent, lead them in with jabs and crosses until they make a mistake and enter in – and you lash them with an uppercut straight into the jaw. This interrupts the signals from the brain momentarily, and the boxer is out cold.

The Cross is a cross body punch, although I don’t think the concept of center line is taught in boxing (I knew it from Wing Chun kung fu). The idea is that you’re hitting full strength, arm extended and almost locked. This, by the way, led to permanent injury to US Navy personnel in China during the Boxer Rebellion – the Asian response to this kind of punch is to attack the elbow when you lock it. Professional boxers since the 1960’s have learned to keep a slight bend in the elbow when hitting with the cross.

There’s a video I’ve seen of a martial artist opposing a pro boxer. The Martial artist was employing a secret form of Kung Fu known as Fu Jow Pai, or Black Tiger Style. It wasn’t a fight, it was butchery. I think the martial artist was Uri Candaelen – if anyone has a copy of this film, please contact me! The pro boxer I’m assuming is awake by now, and wondering what happened. Those people that think boxing will always beat Karate or Kung Fu, take note.

The jab is what it sounds like – the first 30 seconds of every boxing match is entirely jabs, if the person knows what they’re doing. Watch a boxing match and you’ll see it. It’s a close punch to the body or the mouth where you slightly extend the arm, and pull it back right away. Jabs wear down, cross punishes and opens defenses, uppercut finishes. That’s the strategy. Fast punching is done entirely from a series of jabs. A strategic boxer will add in a cross to a series of jabs in an almost musical rhythm, like a cymbal crash. The reason is the opponent will be caught up in the jabs and not expect the cross.

Amateur and Professional boxers spend a lot of time building up endurance and cardio. It takes a lot of stamina to endure many rounds of boxing, and pro boxers will lose weight in every fight.

Tomorrow – we cover wrestling, and move into martial arts!

Why Scrivener needs to get an Android version immediately!

A few years ago, someone gave my wife a Barnes & Nobles E Reader, the Nook. The nook was a good idea, but the problem in the first generation was the battery. Literally, it developed memory, and eventually, you couldn’t do anything with your Nook unless it was plugged into the wall.

A recent power outage showed us that we needed to get something like that we could use if the power went out again.  We’re looking into Kindle Fire tablets.

I’d realized recently I did have a use for a Kindle or an iPad. I’ve done some teaching recently and the system they use is to use Keynote, and I control it from an iPad. This of course showed me how to do a writing seminar from a tablet.

The power outage that lasted several hours left me with the idea I could still continue to write even without power. And of course… I suppose I could find another Remington or IBM Selectric typewriter!

Enter Scrivener, since the Literature and Latte guys are probably wondering when I’m getting to the main point.

We need a Android version of Scrivener and fast. Because when I get my Kindle fire, essentially it runs on an Android system. No problems to load Dropbox onto it, which is where I store all my writings. But what I’ll need of course, is an Android version of Scrivener to open my writings and work on them.

So if the guys at L&L could pause on Scrivener 3.0 for a minute and quickly whip up an Android version soon… I’d appreciate it!

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