Here’s an interesting question – how do you teach kids how to generate internal power?
Certainly this is a big challenge because if adults have a problem learning to do it then teaching kids will be a huge hurdle.
I have a friend who is trying to teach his daughter self-defense. Part of the training involved learning how to stand for long period of time. I am not sure if this will work for kids because of their shorter attention span, not to mention that one must fight the pain to continue standing.
This is what I think :-
a) The requirement to learn how to stand in order to cultivate the ability to generate internal power is a myth.
b) Standing still can be counter-productive because you never see any high level master spar without moving at all. Even the no-touch kongjing masters have to move!
c) Power generation is not a matter of internal or external. Instead, it is a matter of classical mechanics plus intent.
d) Teaching classical mechanics via drills is the easiest way to learn. However, the fastest way to master power generation is via the use of intent.
e) The problem with learning how to use intent is that :-
i) Very few people are able to keep their focus long enough to do it.
ii) Most people either don’t believe it and refuse to devote enough time to learn it properly.
iii) Some people fall in love with the how of the method and end up intellectualizing it rather than actually practicing it.
I believe the reasons above are why I have yet to see any kids demonstrate internal power. In fact, most adult practitioners are actually demonstrating what should be properly known as external power.
There is nothing wrong with having external power so I don’t know why people are obsessed with calling it internal power when it is not. Doing so and being in denial will only cause one to miss out on what actual internal power is really about.
So how would I teach a kid how to generate internal power?
I wouldn’t. Not directly anyway. If I were to do so I would so a combination of methods :-
I) External method (physical)
a) Learn the simple Leung Yi Ma in-situ body turning to unify the rotation of the body
b) Expand the exercise to Leung Yi Bo to unify the body in stepping
c) Learn to generate whipping power by learning how to do Sao Chui
d) Increase heaviness of Sao Chui by using hand weights
e) Refine the rotating of the body to increase acceleration of striking arm
f) Test the power of the Sao Chui strike
II) Internal method (intent)
a) Train simple intent by using relatable examples
b) Fix the intent through lots of repetition
c) Test result of intent training by checking power through striking of pads
d) Integrate method of movements using intent into self-defense techniques