Brea Shaolin Kung Fu – Forms Practice
As you train, new forms are taught to advance the number of techniques you know and develop your physical abilities. These forms are an essential part of the art and each movement contains many techniques for fighting. As mentioned in a prior post, it is not enough to know the form. You must really know the form. So much so that there must be no chance to get it wrong. That is when you truly “own” it and are able to utilize the techniques inherent in it. This may take hundreds – even thousands – of repetitions and many evolutions of the form for it to become ingrained in your body.
Besides attending class every day, a simple way to develop mastery of your form is to practice your newest form(s) at least once or twice every day. As there is usually a good space of time between learning new forms, you will have the opportunity to practice this form (or perhaps the last few forms) at least dozens of times. Maybe it’s when you wake up, before you leave for work/school, after dinner or sometime before bed. Practice it slowly – on count – at first and then do it again at full speed. Make a habit of it and your forms and your martial skill will improve faster and you will test for your next rank with much more confidence. Don’t forget – this does not take the place of attending class regularly! Take as many classes as you can to maximize your progress in the art!
PLEASE JOIN YOUR FELLOW KUNG FU BROTHERS AND SISTERS TO CLEAN AND REFRESH THE SCHOOL!
March 2nd (Sunday), 2014 at 1:00pm
PIZZA AND DRINKS WILL BE PROVIDED!
THERE ARE 6 MAJOR PROJECTS WE NEED EVERYONE’S HELP WITH:
1. Thoroughly clean the training mat.
2. Sand and stain the benches
3. Fix the large garage doors
4. Vacuum and steam clean the carpets
5. Clean and repair the weapons
6. Wipe down, dust, touch up and otherwise, clean the school.
NO RSVP REQUIRED – JUST SHOW UP READY TO HELP OUT YOUR SCHOOL!
It’s hard to imagine a class that doesn’t begin with “Dynamic” stretching. This Dynamic stretching is accomplished via stretch, offside stretch, and wall kicks. These stretch kicks are intended to heat the body by circulating blood flow, while at the same time strengthen certain muscles and stretch other muscles to enhance flexibility. As mentioned in previous posts, it’s not recommended to do “Static” stretching (holding stretches) until the body is warmed up, however, this is definitely a recommended post-workout addition. For those of you who might be naturally “tight” or who just want to find something to do before class to get your body moving, below is a sample set of movements designed to loosen various joints often used in training.
These movements are typically done both clockwise and counterclockwise, as performed. The repetitions of each movement can be as many as you feel useful – five each way is a good minimum. As you feel the joints open and the circles becoming easier, make them bigger/wider. First, the toes, ankles and various joints of the feet are moved in gentle and careful circles to essentially massage and get the kinks out (if they are there). As per the video, the same applies with the knees, hips, spine, shoulders, elbows, wrists/fingers, and neck. The warm-up offered in the video is fairly simple and hits the major joints, but their are additional warm-up exercises as well.
A body that is loose and mobile offers its owner more flexibility, functionality, and speed for martial purposes. Just as important, a flexible and supple body delays the onset of old age and its by-products. The older you get, the more attention must be placed on keeping the entire body loose, but strong. It’s a good idea to incorporate exercises like these and the Eight Golden Treasures in your daily morning routine. Even better, find time to add in some kicks, forms and exercises afterwards for a full workout to start your day and keep father time at bay.
Everyone is invited to celebrate the Chinese New Year – the Year of the Horse – at the school next Saturday, February 2nd at 5pm.
Like always, this will be a potluck and the sign-up sheet for food and beverages is at the school. Be sure to invite your friends and family as the more the merrier.
Hope to see you all there!
Brea Shaolin Kung Fu – Bravery
It’s not something you can see, but it has many colors and is incredibly important.
Bravery is one of the key requirements of the beginning student and becomes one of the major attributes of the advanced one. It is also one of the primary reasons our school is ideal for today’s youth. Many students who begin at our school do not have any martial arts experience, nor any familiarity with the Chinese language and culture. Being that we are a traditional school, this can be intimidating and difficult for a westerner to adapt to. Continuing on this course takes bravery.
Hundreds of kicks, holding stances for minutes on end, struggling to learn and remember movements, grueling sparring sessions with students possessing significantly more skill, training through injury, the pressures of preparing and testing for the next rank…. these are just a few of the many elements of kung fu that require bravery at our school. It’s a personal decision each student must make to press on.
Students will also exhibit bravery out of school. It might be as simple as stepping in to help someone in trouble to something more major like defending someone in a violent situation. The bravery gained through the hard training provides a solid basis for the student to determine right from wrong and the strength and skill to act on it properly.