Decoding SKD Training Sequence No. 1 – Part 7

The seventh part of the Training Sequence is the last part. When the fifth and sixth part is considered together with this part you can notice an overall strategy of control if you have been practicing consistently.

A series of mid range techniques is introduced while moving linearly forward. The last part teaches the twist and step method for changing your position quickly.

In addition, this part serves as an introduction to how we integrate iKali with SKD. The empty hand techniques here can be used with a weapon such as a knife, tactical flashlight or tactical pen.

For this purpose we just need to teach how to access the weapon from the place that we are carrying it.

We will also have to point out the change in targets to be struck with the weapon. There are non-lethal and lethal targets to be considered.

Most of the information mentioned in these series of posts can be found in the 2020 and 2021 Zoom lessons posted in the Slack group. The only information not covered is how to use the weapon in the seventh part.

Decoding SKD Training Sequence No. 1 – Part 6

The topic of how to use the 5 Tigers Descending Mountain is continued in the sixth part of the Training Sequence.

The use of the mid range 6-blocks is introduced here. You should practice the mid range 6-blocks separately to automate the movement of the hands in moving and changing smoothly between any of the six movements.

You should also extend the practice of the 6-blocks by studying how you can move between the long, mid, close range 6-blocks.

In this section we learn how to move from long to short range as we are using the Charp Chui. A second method to recover our position in the event our Charp Chui is intercepted is shown here. Practice this with caution with a partner as it may cause injury if you are not careful.

The series of three rapid strikes at the beginning of the section serves as an introduction to delivering rapid, continuous strikes. As extension of study learn the Training Sequence No. 2 which teaches how to strike continously from different angles and levels.

Decoding SKD Training Sequence No. 1 – Part 4

The fifth part of the Training Sequence examines the application of 5 Tigers Descending Mountain, a series of techniques built around the Charp Chui.

We also learn about the use of the long range 6-blocks. This is a series of quick movements of the hand to control and open up the training partner’s gate to a strike.

The long range and short range version of 6-blocks should be practiced alongside the fifth part.

The use of 5 Tigers Descending Mountain is predominantly at the long range here with the introduction of one technique to recover our range in the event the training partner is able to move in close. This is also the reason why we need to study the close range 6-blocks.

Decoding SKD Training Sequence No. 1 – Part 3

Moving along we arrive at the fourth part. The first technque covered is the Yum Chui which is practiced with lateral step.

The first level of skill in Yum Chui is the use of parry and punch with Yum Chui. This also trains how to line up the target, the biomechanics of generating power, how to punch like shooting an arrow.

A later level to focus on is how to step and strike as a response instead of having to parry, step and strike.

The second punch to be trained is the Chao Chui. This sequence is made up of two punches – Gwa Chui and Chao Chui. For the learning of basic mechanics of moving both punches are practiced as power strikes.

The next part of training is to use the Gwa Chui not just as a punch but as a clearing movement. For this purpose we can do the clearance forcefully or as a contact-pull-clear technique.

The third strike is the Sao Chui. The Sao Chui trains the body 6-harmonies in executing a power strike.

In Sao Chui we learn the importance of setting up before we try to strike. This is because a big circular strike takes a longer time to execute as compared to a linear strike.

To minimize exposure as we throw the Sao Chui we would set up the proper conditions first so that the training partner has a much smaller chance to hit us as we are moving in to do a Sao Chui.

Sao Chui is also an excellent vehicle to learn how to angle the body properly as we perform all the motions of this strike.

Chao Chui and Sao Chui are also practiced with a lateral step. Once we are familiar with them we will then add on diagonal stepping to the three strikes. We can then learn how to defend, avoid getting hit and then follow up by moving in to deliver our response.

Before we move on to sections four to six, we should learn how to use Yum Chui, Chao Chui and Sao Chui with the techniques in the sections that came before. In this way, even though we have less techniques, however, their combinations will expand our repertoire of techniques, basically being able to do more with less.

Decoding SKD Training Sequence No. 1 – Part 2

The next section, the third part, teaches how to lower your level by dropping down quickly by either opening up your stance and lowering yourself or just squat down.

As we do this we perform a parry with each hand. What is not obvious is that this is also a training on how to use the lowering of the body to generate a strong slap with the palm.

The movements then continue to what appears to be opening up the arms. This is training a low level back hand strike. When used as a technique we can also apply the back hand strike to the middle and high level. Performed continuously the parry and back hand strike is a one linked sequence technique. This section trains three levels of attack. The back hand can be substituted with a back fist in application.

The last part in the third section trains a movement that probes, control and open up the training partner’s guard. The first movement is a probe which also functions as an attack. If there is no guard then attack. If there is a guard then probe to find or elicit an opening. When an opening is found control it so that you can enter. The movement here also trains the opening sequence of a hidden stepping pattern.

Decoding SKD Training Sequence No. 1 – Part 1

In SKD we mostly use simple drills to develop speed, strength, body movement and body intelligence. However, for learning how to change we use short sequences.

When we string together some of these drills and training sequences we have our Training Sequence No. 1. Our training sequence is not a locked down, not allowed to change, type of form.

Instead, we use the training sequence to begin our learning journey. The movements inside can be changed, modified, subtract or added to as our understanding and mastery changes. In this way we don’t have to keep learning more forms to learn new stuff.

The first part of Training Sequence No. 1 teaches basic strategy and change within the movements of the salutation. So when learning the salutation we can consider the usage of the 4 key movements from the aspect of long, mid and close range from striking to control via locking and throwing. We have also designed the movement to be iKali ready in that the techniques of iKali can be plugged into SKD movements easily with little or no need for modification.

The second part of the Training Sequence starts with the learning of how to stand and use the stance to generate power. The power generated is transmitted out through the arms by the use of natural swinging motion. For this learning we have three double arms swinging drills.

We could use just one arm swinging drill but we have three. The reason is because the arm swinging drills also teach basic attacking techniques and how to change between the three swinging strikes. Just before we begin the three swinging drills after the salutation we have a 6-movement sequence that teaches the workings of the 6 harmonies in governing direction when used in striking. This 6-movement sequence is meant to be used together with the three arm swinging movements.

The attributes that we want to develop with the 6-movement sequence and three arm swinging drills is fast, non-stop, circular striking using whipping power generated from the use of hip, waist, leg connection. The arms must be relaxed yet heavy like a whip, moving non-stop like water overcoming an obstacle.

To extend your understanding learn to use these techniques with the movements in the salutation. The salutation sequence has two obvious stepping movement and a hidden stepping. Breakdown the 6-movement sequence and three arm swinging drills into digestible movements and pair them individually or in combination with different parts of the salutation sequence. Drill the breakdowns until you can easily change between them, giving rise to spontaneous sequences that arise from the input you are getting from your training partner.

Open to Learning

Good points by Jesse Enkamp aka Karate Nerd. I like what he said about the blinding flash of the obvious at 20:34.

How many times have you had this aha! moment in your learning? If you have not, then you need to get out more.

Sometimes when you stare at something for too long you can’t see it. Its when you take a look from another perspective that you might see it.

For example, how soon can you develop power in your strike? After months of training? Or years of training? In this regard I am referring to developing a heavy strength in your strike that can hurt.

If we were to examine this question from the perspective of most CMA I would hazard a guess of at least a year.

But now I would say that it is not impossible, make that it is highly possible to develop power after a training session in Kali, power that we can use in an empty hand strike.

Now why didn’t I think of this before? Cause I have not learned or practiced Kali this way. By this way, I mean the iKali PTK way.

Now that I have I would say that if we put aside the style label for a second this is achievable. One practice session in which the first strike is learned and practiced. Big difference between before and after right there, right now.

But most people won’t see it this way. First there is the “not my style” obstacle. Second, its the “not my teacher’s…” obstacle. Third, there’s the disbelief obstacle that stops us from openly trying something, basically sabotaging our learning before it we even do it.

The internet has opened up the world but not always our mind. If you want to benefit from this opening up then discard your prejudices, biases and at least for the moment let yourself be opened to learning. You never know what you can gain from it.

Back to Basics

After years of learning, practice and researching one truth stands out – you can never run away from the basics.

Basics can look simple, un-sexy, not worthy of our long term attention. However, in a well designed system you can never get enough of the basics because once past the initital stage of learning if you keep on working on the basics you should find that there is more to what you thought you knew or assumed.

Basics are like the pieces that make up a puzzle. You need to put them together to see the whole picture. You also need to fit them in the right place.

When you first learn the basics you are likely to keep stopping as you struggle to remember the sequence of movements. The more you practice, the more familiar you will be and the less likely you are to stop or hesitate.

After you can remember the movements and be able to do them without pausing you should continue to practice. Being able to do the movements without stopping is only the beginning. You still need to get the nitty gritty details down. This is the part in which you learn to express the distinctive flavor of the movements of the style.

This is also the part where you will discover that without the fine details you will struggle in your attempt to use the movements. At this point you should redouble your training efforts. Keep on pushing until you can bring forth the essential principles and attendant characteristics even as you move quickly amidst a blurry flow of movements.

Then reconcile the learning with the application. When you use the movements that’s when you are verifying if you are moving properly. Use and refine, use and refine.

In our SKD training the first double arm swinging exercise may seem that it has nothing to do with the 6-blocks but they do. If not, then we would have wasted our time learning the double arm swinging.

The initial 6-blocks sequence that we learn is just the beginning. Later we add another three movements until we can doing 9 movements. But we don’t call it 9-blocks because its just 6-blocks plus 3 add-on movements to handle unexpected responses that don’t fit the template of the 6-blocks.

When we can flow not just in sequence but out of sequence we should then try to implement the movements in partner training. Just let the arms move and see if you can keep your control of your space using the 6 blocks in whichever sequence that is appropriate to the attacks that your training partner is feeding you.

After this you can add the up or down swinging movement of the arm to follow up on your use of any of the 6-blocks. If you have been training your arm swinging properly you will find that you can move your arms like a whip, with speed and power.

This is an example of how we can acquire speed, power, change and flow even with a few months training as long as we are willing to put in the effort.

P.S. – we can actually accelerate our learning of the arm swings by picking up the first stick movement in iKali but that’s another story for another time.

New Zealand Knife Attack

I had just posted an update to the iKali class that will begin on 14 May 2021 on Facebook when I saw this news article on a knife attack in a New Zealand supermarket where three people were critically injured. Video coverage here.

I recently read on a website that we should not delegate our safety to others and this sad situation is another example of this.

In today’s crazy world an attack of any sorts can happen anytime, anywhere. When it does the timing can be so sudden that there may not be time to call the police nor time for them to get there to rescue you. The video coverage above mentioned that the attack was over in minutes.

If you are lucky you have the time to run, seek cover or shelter and hide. If not, then your safety is in your hands or whoever will attempt to help you at that critical moment.

In Singapore a gun attack is less likely than a knife attack because guns are illegal. A criminal can still get his (or her) hands on one but it will not be easy. A knife is so much more easier to get and an attacker do not even need to get a Rambo type of survival knife. A kitchen chopper or a sushi knife are two ordinary kitchen tools that can become deadly weapons in the hands of an attacker.

If I live in the USA I would want to learn how to shoot and how to defend against a gun attack as a last resort. Over here it is more useful to learn how to defend against a knife which is why I took up Kali in the first place. Not wishing it to happen does not mean it will not happen. I just want to be prepared in case it ever happens. Touch wood.