Minimizing Training Problems

I wrote this post after reading a posting from SKD learning group member, AY, today.

Apparently, he is hurting his thumb and feeling uncomfortable from rebound shock when striking a pad (thanks to Sir Isaac Newton’s 3rd Law of Motion).

As usual, the same problem he faces applies to my Tai Chi students also.

The root cause of most training problems can be attributed to :-

a) Weak foundation in basics

b) Overdoing a movement to compensate for a weakness

c) Misunderstanding the principles

What the above means :-

a) Each style is configured to work a certain way in line with the way the style is designed.

If your basics is not performed properly then you would not be able to work and apply the techniques in the way it is intended to.

In SKD the way we hold the thumb minimizes injury when striking not just the pad but when playing with a live opponent. I’ve had my share of painful reminders why the traditional way of placing the thumb does not work.

For example, when we train moving at a faster pace such as shown in the video below we can end up bumping our thumb accidentally against the training partner’s arm especially when we strike and he blocks. When this happens the impact will jar our thumb from its holding position and this hurts.

b) When you are not ready to do something and you try to do it and you can’t get the result you may try to force your way through. You might then get the result but there will be a cost.

As an example, if you hit a pad you should be using whole body, relaxed movement. However, you may find that it is difficult to punch harder yet be relaxed at the same time. Yet, you desperately want to punch harder even though you are not ready.

But what the hell, you go ahead and do it anyway, thinking you know better. Your enthusiasm and eagerness is re-paid with rebound shocks that can give you headaches cause not correct is not correct no matter how you cut it. More so if you are punching a pad that is tied in front of a solid, unyielding post.

c) Paying close attention to basics, principles and core requirements can reap positive dividends. If you rush through the learning you can end up misunderstanding vital information.

For example, in SKD we say that the basic linear strike is like releasing an arrow? Why do we say this? When you examine all the information out there you will start to understand why the analogy of an arrow in flight is appropriate.

 

Summary – when your basics are in place some of the things that look inaccessible when you first started will become doable.

For example, some will claim that it takes a decade of study to be able to do Tai Chi fajing. I don’t think this is true. If it is true it is due to a number of factors, some of which is due to the student and some due to the teacher.

However, if both parties are willing to work towards it then there is no reason why the ability to fajing cannot be achieved earlier. In the video below the student has only learned for 3 years and he is attaining slowly but surely the ability to fajing.

Even then this is not as impressive. Some other students can do it after a few months of learning. They might not be as impressive but they can do it.

MTC-Banner-2

Advertisements

Release Arrow 2

This clip actually comes before the clip in the earlier Release Arrow post.

The power generation showed here is an example of the 5 Bows model.

The 5 Bows model is normally practiced using Single Whip. The post here will explain a bit more.

MTC-Banner-2

The Stanley Sessions

Date. 31 Aug 2018.

Time. Evening.

Place. Southwest Singapore.

Event. Meeting with FB BojiLite Learning Group member Stanley.

IMG_6239.JPG

Topics. Talked, demo and reviewed Sam Kuen Do (三拳道) basics.

Review. Stanley’s post on the meeting. Yikes!!!

IMG_6240.JPG

Follow-up. Video that Stanley put up.

Comment. Fun night and from the video it looks like Stanley picked up something too.

Note. To view the videos shot from the meeting visit our Youtube channel here and look for videos marked with Stanley Session 1 to Stanley Session 11.

SamKuenDo

The Effort of Your Sweat

Here’s a latest clip from a member of the Sam Kuen Do (三拳道) FB learning group.

The clip is short but it shows that it is possible to pick up Sam Kuen Do from mainly online videos.

In Sam Kuen Do we don’t become obsessed with fajing and other esoteric stuff. Its just plain ole, good ole kung fu – work them body, work them strikes, work them steps – and the result is plain as day.

If we were a cult we would be shouting Hallelujah! followed by shouts of praises and songs of worship. But we aren’t.

We are just plain ole kung fu of the common man. No uniforms, no belts, no ranks – just the skill from the sweat of your own efforts.

SamKuenDo

The Bullet Punch

I was thinking of my buddy, Paul, when I wrote this tweet.

You see, Paul, started off not so good in his punching back when our BojiLite learning group on Facebook started. Then surprise, surprise, he actually made good progress.

But then, he veered off a different tangent and regressed. This part I am not surprised because it is an expected part and parcel of learning.

It also highlights the problem of not keeping a strict compliance on the procedures and principles involved in doing a proper punch.

This is an example of Paul with a regressed performance of punching on 24 Jul :-

But Paul is like a bulldog, tenacious, persistent, and kept working on it this week. So, no surprise that in a video today (26 Jul) his mojo has come back.

Hopefully Paul keeps to this standard and continue to improve on it. How?

By investigating what I wrote in the tweet regarding surge, sway and heave. What applies to the movement of a bullet that is fired from a gun has similar implications that we see in Paul’s performance.

In the earlier video you can see where the principles have gone bush walking and his elbows were off-track, resulting in inefficient and uneconomical movements. Some of the problems were addressed after he took my advice to slow down.

And that is how you make progress – by listening, practicing, investigating, and plain more practice.

Logo

Foundation is the Key

When you learn a martial art you must always pay heed to the foundation. Which begs the question – what is the foundation?

Let’s take a simple example – BojiLite – my compact online learning for three basic strikes from the style of Pok Khek Kuen. In BojiLite we have three simple foundation which underlie the three strikes. They are :-

1) Basic posture (Siu Sei Ping Ma)

2) In-situ body turning (Leung Yi Ma)

3) Zigzag stepping (Leung Yi Bo)

The learning of the first strike, Yum Chui, involves all three of the above. We would begin with the simple basic posture to develop a static foundation.

This foundation is then rotated and shifted for the purpose of mobilizing the Yum Chui strike and generating the power required.

This learning is extended by studying how to strike as we step in a zigzag pattern.

When we study the second strike, Chau Chui, we use back the same basics which greatly simplifies the learning. The only difference now is how do we do the Chau Chui strike.

Now, the Yum Chui is a straight forward linear strike with a horizontal fist. It seems like a normal straight punch. However, we do have some differences, some might call these details the trade secrets of the style, yeah why not, in how we throw the fist out, small details to help us shoot the punch out real quick and powerful to boot using certain tricks of the mind and body. Without knowing the details you will end up doing Yum Chui like a normal punch sans the tricks that make it what it is.

Chau Chui is a different animal. It is not a longer range strike like Yum Chui. However, we can apply Chau Chui at a longer range, just not necessarily as long a range as Yum Chui. The second strike is better served as a medium to short range strike as shown below :-

Based on the principle a common foundation for all three strikes it should be straightforward to perform Chau Chui once you have studied Yum Chui for a while. What you need to pay heed to is how to hit the intended target precisely with power.

I know, I know, a circular movement is not easy to handle. If you are hitting a strike pad with Chau Chui its not too bad. Its when you are hitting air that you encounter the problem of how to stop the punch and quickly switch to strike with the other arm.

The difficulty with stopping the Chau Chui is due to the path the arm takes. Typically, we tend to view Chau Chui as an upward movement. So when you want to stop it you have to brake hard on your arm movement before you can switch to the other arm to strike. Now an arm moving with momentum is not easy to stop.

If you have driven a motorcycle fast and tried stopping within a shorter distance you would have to pump the brakes, let go and pump again a few more times before you can stop. If you depress the brakes really hard you would end up skidding. So trying to stop a power-laden and speeding Chau Chui is something similar to this.

So how do we solve this problem?

By thinking outside the box! Of course! Well, actually we don’t really have to do so. But when you can’t see the issue clearly then why not?

The word “Chau” is referring to an action that is akin to snatching an object and tossing it forcefully. Well, lucky for us there is a sport that comes with a movement that is similar to “Chau”. This would the sport of cornhole tossing. Take a look for yourself below :-

So there you have it. A solution to how to switch between the arms to strike hard and continuously. Hope you can see the key in the video on cornhole tossing.

Logo

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