Moving Exactly

In SKD we don’t just become fajing crazy to the exclusion of everything else.

To us techniques are just as important. To make the techniques work we need to work on moving precisely so that we can be where we want to be when we want to be.

In this lesson from our Zoom session of 11 Jul 2020 I offer a correction to eliminate unnecessary body movement.

The topic of not wasting movement, not moving unnecessarily is one of the most difficult part of learning Grandmaster Wei Shuren’s Tai Chi.

In SKD by learning to be precise with the assistance of a simple learning tool such as a tripod we can reap the benefit of what GM Wei’s style has to offer without having to go through the frustration that comes with learning his Uber complex 22 form.

Resolving Double Weightedness

One of the topics from our SKD online lesson on 11 Jul 2020 is on the importance of not being double weighted.

In this clip you can see the principles of Tai Chi at play in SKD to solve the problem of double weightedness.

In this instance, I am explaining the application of the “2 4 points” in the use of footwork to illustrate why it is important to avoid double weightedness as it affects our ability to move.

SKD Online Training Begins

The SKD online training will be conducted via Zoom.

It begins this Sunday (14 Jun 2020) at Singapore time 8 am.

Participants will work on the key basics of :-

a) What is a proper posture

b) How to turn and rotate quickly and with power

c) How to step while maintaining the basics of (a) and (b)

Also covered is how to use the SKD salute to develop important essentials :-

a) How to train awareness and concentration

b) How to coordinate movements for combat intent

c) How to chamber and load power into the striking arm

d) How to develop the ability to step and change direction quickly

e) How to move between positions

Update 30 May 2020

Today is the last day of the month. Next week the lockdown will be over and its back to work, kind of anyway.

I’ve spent the last 12 days working on the Sam Kuen Do (SKD) manual and updating the learning syllabus. Right now we are at version 2.0. By next week we will move on to version 3.0. The challenge is how to learn more without having to have to learn too many things (expansive yet compact).

SKD version 3.0 brings some new learning areas such as :-

a) 3 different methods for generating power using the lower body

b) How to use (a) while stepping using Leung Yi Bo

c) Improved ways to learn the three basic force models

d) Incorporating (c) into the corresponding three strikes

e) Revamped 6-blocks and variations (7-blocks, 8-blocks, 9-blocks)

f) New strikes – linking three floating palms and linking two chopping strikes

Working on SKD has helped me to reorganize the teaching of the 8-step Health Form. I have not posted any videos to learn it step-by-step because when I tried making videos then I found out that what I took for granted, how I learned it, is not that easy to put across in self-learning videos. In fact, it could be confusing.

One example is from the topic of the 2 4 points. In Grandmaster Wei Shuren’s original pictures from his book on the 22-form the points are not even labelled – see below :-

In my post here (pictures also reproduced below) I labelled where the 2-point and 4-point is for ease of reference. But as you can see below the 2-point is the same whether the leading leg is the right leg or left leg and this can be confusing.

After deliberation I have come up with a simpler way to do this. For the purpose of learning the 8-step Health Form and for the teaching of how to step in SKD (yes, I am going to use this teaching tool in SKD also) we will just follow a straight forward, clear cut convention as shown below :-

So that’s the update. Now back to work on the SKD manual.

First Day Blues

11 Apr 2019 was Day 1 of the SKD Challenge No. 2 which will run for three months.

The objective this time is to learn how to move between 6 blocks in a soft and flowing manner. Six movements do not sound like a lot but if you are not familiar with it then its a case of first day blues such as experienced by SKD member, M.

As with the Challenge No. 1 we will track members’ progress to see how they are getting on. M has performed admirably in Challenge No. 1 on the Yum Chui and even managed to make another breakthrough on Day 100. Kudos. M is made for SKD.

So the standard that I would like all SKD members to reach is as shown below :-

The end objective is to use the sequence to learn how to use the six blocks freely while defending and attacking whether with contact or without. Below is an example of how Yum Chui and other strikes can be integrated into the flow of the 6-blocks :-

Join the SKD Slack training group here.

Internal Not

Yesterday was the 100th day of our SKD Challenge No. 1 for 2019. The entire challenge was focused on getting the first strike, Yum Chui, correct.

As a system SKD does not have to pretend to be an internal art. What purpose would this serve? Instead, we focus on getting movements and applications correct.

For example, a sub-component of Yum Chui is the pulling of one hand back as the other hand moves out in a strike. This movement is simple to do once you get it.

One important lesson that can be learned from the pulling movement is how to neutralize an opponent’s power by diverting it. Below is a clip showing member from Malaysia learning SKD :-

When you can do the pulling properly you can make the movement very small until its barely perceptible. You can then use it to neutralize on one side and issue on the other; the exact same principle of how to do the strike in Yum Chui.

The minimizing of movements to neutralize and issue once it is used in a “Tai Chi”-like context can make it seem internal but its not. If anything, it is just two distinct external movements refined to the point of seeming like one movement. No Chi, no breathing, no meridian circulation, no mumbo jumbo, just plain ole precise movements.

Quarterly Challenges

In another 20 days time the 100-Day Yum Chui Challenge will end.

After this the 100-Day Challenge will be converted to Quarterly Challenges so that we can have 4 challenges in a year. In this way we can master at least 80% of the core syllabus of SKD Level 1 by end of 2019.

Unlike the majority of challenges on the internet the Quarterly Challenges will run non-stop. Members who take part will push themselves to train daily. Even if they do not end up mastering the challenge, the daily training should at least leave them with a level of competence.

The serious member should also carry on with the 1st Quarter Challenge (previously known as the 100-Day Yum Chui Challenge). They should continue up to Day 300 for that extra edge in mastery.

SKD Member Training

We are nearly 3/4 of the way through the SKD 100 days Yum Chui challenge.

One of the SKD members from Australia came for training in Level 1 syllabus. The objective is to bring him up to speed on knowledge and skills so that a training group can be formed there.

Level 1 training covered the refinements and application of Yum Chui and Chau Chui, integration of techniques into a arm contact training platform, and 6-blocks (practice and application).

Some of the training is shown below :-

Yum Chui training

Arm contact training

6-blocks training

Watch all 31 short here.

SKD Easy

Take a look at this clip. It is a clip of my student, PL, doing the Yum Chui :-

For the fun of it I asked the Slack SKD Learning Group how long they thought PL has learned the Yum Chui. Two members guessed a week.

I have said that SKD is not difficult to learn and this video helped to make my point. The reason – PL had only learned it about 10 minutes before this video was taken.