Sample BojiLite Corrective Video 3

The main topic of this video is the quality of the parries demonstrated by members of the Facebook BojiLite Learning Group.

In a nutshell – they lack the short and sharp quality that brings with it a shocking power when the parry slams into the opponent’s arm.

But then hold on, what if the opponent throws a fast jab. Can you still use the parries?

Good question – there is a secondary lesson here which I will reveal to members in the future about this point.

NCF7

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Sample BojiLite Corrective Video 1

I have uploaded a few videos to the BojiLite Learning Group on Facebook.

These videos are mainly aimed at correcting common problems which I have observed in members’ practice. I have uploaded three of these videos to share to this blog.

The first video in on how to perform the first punch, Yum Chui, properly.

A very common problem is to punch in an unbalanced manner, resulting in lopsided energy, loopy, even flaccid-like flicking punches. A good Bojiquan punch should not be like this.

Instead, the Yum Chui should fly like an arrow released from a high strung bow. The power should be mighty and penetrating. This video highlights a key factor which is lacking in member’s Yum Chui.

NCF7

 

Wrong Question, Wrong Answer

Here is a post I wrote today on the BojiLite Learning Group. It may be about Pok Khek Kuen but the general thrust of the message can be applied to the learning of Tai Chi. I have modified it slightly to conceal the member’s identity.

Post of 12 May 2018 (BojiLite Learning Group)

Ask wrong question, get wrong answer.

Ask right question, may still get wrong answer but at least the investigation is on the right track.

Vague ideas like too tight or too loose only work if you have hands on guidance. Also, its not easy to teach vague concepts. Instead, a more logically approach works better.

However, outlining everything clearly promotes laziness in thinking for oneself so I prefer to outline the issues and let each one think through the issues, analyze it and learn from the exercise in thinking.

What’s X’s problems? Anyway, not important because anyone else could end up with the same problems as follows :-

1) Unable to punch fast with optimal coordination

2) Unable to punch at a fast speed without instability

 

There are different ways to punch. Every teacher will give you a reason why they follow a particular method. It is up to you to decide if it is a method you want to go with after you practice and apply it.

The problems of combat are simple :-

a) How do you not get hit?

b) How do you hit back?

c) How fast can you hit back?

d) How powerful can you hit back?

e) How can you hit back and not get hit?

 

In Pok Khek we have our methods to address these questions. The practice of combat can be divided into :-

a) Solo – get things right on your own, first in form, then when hitting a static target

b) Partner – practice against a partner to check and verify your ability to implement the method

 

In Pok Khek the solo training is meant to learn and solve the following problems :-

a) What is a good structure that allows you to be rooted whether momentarily in-place or when moving?

b) How do you generate power?

c) How do you deliver power?

d) How do you bring the power to hit the target quickly in an optimal manner?

e) How do you avoid the opponent’s techniques?

 

To this end, we study the following :-

a) Basic posture to understand what a good structure is

b) In-situ body turning to generate power

c) The arm pulley model to deliver power

d) The Yum Chui to hit the target

e) The body turning and parries to avoid the opponent’s techniques

 

A good technique, in this case Yum Chui, must enable you to strike quickly, with penetrating power while allowing you to avoid getting hit.

X’s problem areas :-

a) Punching arm movement – unnecessary pulsation movement; mind you its not totally wrong because you see Chen style Tai Chi doing it, but its not the Pok Khek way because we want to hit the target quickly

b) Body turning – inherent instability during turning that affects ability to deliver chain strikes

c) Extraneous movements that can potentially affect stability during execution of Yum Chui

 

Now that we have a list of problem areas how do we solve them. Let’s just focus on the first two items :-

a) Study carefully how we move the arms when doing Yum Chui. There is a scientific concept here which I have mentioned before – the pulley. This is just the base concept but its good enough for now.

Investigate how to do the arm movements without body turning. Just stand in basic posture. No doubt your body will turn a bit, let it be.

As you become more familiar go read my post of 2 May again (this is referring to a post in the BojiLite Learning Group). This time a certain passage may stand out and should a light bulb go off in your head then you will be like Mahākāśyapa when Buddha held up the lotus flower to test his understanding……

b) The problem of instability is the same as when driving and cornering. How do you prevent the car from turning too fast, resulting in loss of control and flipping over. By using the brakes, of course.

But what if you don’t want to use the brakes? What do you do then? Solve this analogy and you have solved the problem in instability during in-situ body turning……..

And when all else fails, eat more fish cause as mothers would say its good for your brain…..

 

NCF7

1st BojiLite Training Challenge Completion

Yesterday was the last day of the first BojiLite training challenge.

Participating members did their best to keep up even though life and work intruded on their busy schedule.

As I expected, those who took part showed improvements even though no member managed to complete all 7 days. The nearest was 6 days. Previously, when they did sporadic practice over the last 6 weeks or so minimal improvements were the result and sometimes problem areas could still not be improved even after 2 weeks.

I am happy to report that a number of these problem areas have been addressed and improved upon. In some cases the improvements came 2 days after members took the advice on where to improve and worked on them.

Below is a sampling of the practice. I have selected three drills to highlight.

a) Drill No. 1 – in-situ body turning
This drill trains basic body movement, torque and foundation for power generation

 

b) Drill No. 2 – side parry
This drill builts on Drill No. 2 by adding in a defensive movement, the side parry, to train how to intercept and divert an opponent’s straight punch

 

c) Drill No. 3 – Yum Chui
The third drill adds to the first two drills. The member is taught to deliver a counter-attack in the form of a straight punch after neutralizing the opponent’s attack

 

This challenge is a good example of the importance of daily practice. The average challenge video is 10 minutes per clip per day. Members probably spent more time trying to understand my comments and thought through what they needed to do to address the areas that needed correction, putting in some practice before filming their challenge video. And the result of their effort shows.

I only hope that after the challenge ends they will keep up the practice. I will continue putting up training material and perhaps the next challenge will be on improving on stepping and speed of punching. Some members are already able to put some snap into their punches. They just need an extra push to become better.

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Inaugural BojiLite Training Challenge

Next week, 30 Mar, is Good Friday. I am taking this opportunity to challenge the members of the Facebook BojiLite study group to a 7 days training challenge called BojiLite Good!!! Friday.

The objective of this challenge is to get members to put themselves through some consistent, serious training for 7 days and hopefully, transform their understanding and skills.

I know members typically put in very little practice so this challenge is an initiative to move things along, especially for those who are serious about mastery. Seven consecutive days is very little time investment to gain some skills in return.

This challenge will also separate those who are really serious from those who want to play, play and pray, pray they gain some skills. This is a chance to feel first hand what serious training is like.

At the end of 7 days the member who goes all the way to do each training sequence would have achieved the following statistics :-

a) In-situ body turning 110 turns each side / day X 7 days = 770 turns

b) Side Parry (20 parries each hand / day X 7 days = 140 parries per hand)

c) Upward Parry (20 parries each hand / day X 7 days = 140 parries per hand)

d) Yum Chui (40 Yum Chui each hand / day X 7 days = 280 punches per hand)

e) Forearm conditioning (5 rolls per arm X 9 breaks / day X 7 days = 315 rolls per arm)

The participating member should be able to move up the skill level after this challenge. If he can keep up with this level of training mastery will be within his grasp.

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Slow & Steady

It is not my intent to write this post. Instead, I wanted to reorganize my blog by removing the folders eBook and MyWingChun and creating a TaiChiLite folder.

Then I saw Paul’s comment to my comment to his latest BojiLite training video practicing the Yum Chui. I advised him to go slow in his practice. Interestingly, I also advised another student learning Tai Chi this morning to go slow also. So what the heck, let’s make a post about it.

Slow – when learning anything go slow. The priority is to get the steps correct instead of rushing to complete it.

When you go slow you have more time to see and feel what you are doing. If you go too fast you miss out on a lot of things, more so if the art is filled with fine details that cannot be readily sussed out, at least not with a lot of practice, research and investigation.

Steady – you should move at a steady rather than erratic pace. A steady pace enables your body to coordinate better in the early stages of learning, particularly during changes that involve turning and twisting.

As Lao Tzu wrote :-

To know harmony is called constancy
To know constancy is called clarity

Chapter 55 : Purity of the New-Born
Tao Teh Ching

Mastery will come when your hands are enlightened with the clarify of a mirror that only reflects what is before it in the present. So go slow and steady in your learning.

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Paul’s Journey

 

The year 2014 was the first time I actually met Paul in the flesh after knowing him for 8 years. I tried to teach him a bit of Tai Chi but the results weren’t good. Too little time and an art too complex.

The next we met was 2017. Unfortunately, nothing much has changed and Paul was still the Paul of 2014 in the Tai Chi department. Despite having some practice Paul’s hands and posture were still large uneducated. Watching back the clips taken of our meeting such as the one below confirmed this :-

This state of affair clearly could not go on. If Tai Chi is the wrong fit for Paul then its time to find an art that Paul can learn in a hurry. No more long years of practicing an abstract form that has a low percentage of mastery.

Thus, was born the BojiLite Learning Program to see if I could help Paul to make some headway by hook or by crook. The objective is simple – learn, practice and master some functional basics of Chinese martial arts. For this purpose I decided to go with Pok Khek Kuen which was taught by one of my Tai Chi teachers, Master Leong, within the art of Tai Chi Chuan that he had learned from Grandmaster Nip Chee Fei.

Pok Khek Kuen’s training is as simple as it can get. If any art can be taught easily enough it will be this art. After all, if practitioners back in Master Leong’s day could train for a few months and then go on to fight, and even win full contact tournaments, then I guess this would be a good choice. To increase the probability of mastery, I decided to teach only a small part of the art to test it out. No point to jump in with a full fledged system only to fail. Better a small success which can be built on.

In Pok Khek Kuen training we normally start with simple basics like how to turn and how to step. And we would work with only one stance until we get somewhere before we try to do any punching. In this way we give ourselves a chance to ingrain the proper biomechanics into our movements.

I wrote up the necessary information in the BojiLite folder on this website and set up the Facebook BojiLite Learning Group to disseminate the information and allow members to post videos of their training. They can view their own progress and work on any corrections that is necessary. From the start we would make this an active group. This means no lurkers and no trolls. Everyone participates or they would leave the group.

I made Paul the first member and got him started on his training. The first thing to learn is simply how to train in the same place and turn the body as shown below :-

So how did Paul do? His first video on 21 Feb 2018 :-

It was far from what we wanted but better small baby steps than none. Paul took the corrections and on 8 Mar 2018 posted a second video :-

What a big difference between the first and second video. This shows that what the heart desires and the body is willing to train then the results will come.

The second thing after learning how to turn the body is how to step. This is how we do our stepping :-

Paul initially posted a video of his stepping on 17 Feb 2018 :-

The method was completely off. It was suggested that he focused on the body turning first before doing the stepping. Paul came back and posted a video on 21 Feb 2018 :-

The second stepping video was much better but still could be improved. So back to the drawing board for Paul.

The next time Paul posted the third stepping video was also the second time he posted the body turning video seen above. This time the improvement is so much better :-

The next thing for Paul to learn is how to do the first punch, Yum Chui, using the body turning as shown below :-

Paul did a first attempt on the 4 Mar 2018 but it was way off :-

But now that Paul got his body turning correct his second attempt at Yum Chui should show some progress. I shall wait and see.

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