This morning we had the SKD online training on Zoom. I wanted to cover 3 topics but ended up covering only 1 topic.
Why this is so is because of our preferred method of teaching. Basically, there two ways to teach :-
a) Mass training – this way of teaching is more on getting everyone to do drills and having a fun time. If they really get it then its a bonus. If not, keep practicing
b) Focused training – this way is more for the serious, adult learner who knows what he is looking for. Its slower paced and the training is just as cerebral as it is physical.
In SKD we go for focused training. Its tougher to learn this way but you know exactly how to do it, why you are doing it and how you can use it.
Due to the massive amount of details it is not something you can latch onto right away. You still have to do your own training which is why we only have the training every two weeks to give you the time to practice.
To get the most out of the learning each participant should test their setup first. They should ensure that their entire body can be seen and give allowance for the ground in front to be captured in the frame as well. This allows me to check their stepping. I would recommend to use a webcam and a tripod to get the best angle.
The topic that I ended up covering today is the SKD salute. The salute is divided into three parts – opening movement, salute and closing. I had planned to run the class for 60 minutes but ended up doing it for 80 minutes and covering just the opening and salute.
Embedded in the SKD salute are the key principles that define the characteristics of Chinese martial art, at least the way I learned it from a few teachers.
From practicing the SKD salute we learned about efficiency of movement, the embedded possible applications, technique changes, setting up the body to generate power, etc. All this can be realized once the elements are adhered to and eventually put into play in subsequent practices.
The use of intent from understanding what we are doing can push us along the progress curve. Participants have seen for themselves that it is easy to just move the limbs but not so easy to move the limbs in a very precise and defined manner. This is why authentic Chinese martial arts can be said to be easy to learn but a bitch to train.
I missed out on recording the first half hour. However, I managed to record the last 53 minutes and have uploaded the video to the Slack workspace for The Tai Chi Solo Player.
The next training will be on 28 Jun 2020 at 8 am Singapore time. The full schedule is listed here.
Last week I got my student to do a new pole solo drill. Here he is starting off :-
With some practice he at least nailed some semblance of what the movement should be like.
Why I got him to work on this new exercise? Its because its a great training method to develop quick wrist turning that is vital to generating power in a short burst. When you do it quickly this is what it would look like :-
The movements can be applied in push hands and last night I provided examples of how to use small circles and spirals in quick counters and attacks.
When done fast the techniques should be like a swift torrent of movements overwhelming the visual and tactile senses, confusing the opponent’s reaction, slowing him down, making it easier for you to apply your techniques. I didn’t film any of this as its one of those 1-to-1 transmissions thingy.
Two weeks later from my last post The Killing Gung I still have my student working on the basics except this time he is down to doing just the 1-2 sequence of Spear-Kill.
Like a train he chugged up and down linearly along the corridor connecting the two blocks.
I turned a more critical eye to his progress. This week I picked on his grip. A proper grip lends itself to a more solid structure leading to more power.
I had him spear the stack of chairs to understand how to position the pole properly in reference to the position of the body.
We ended with applying the lesson of the pole to the use of emptyhand techniques, particularly the advanced technique that Master Leong taught. This is the “one technique, many changes” movement of our number one fist technique.