500 repititions is a great start. If you are working with a basic
combo that you want to be able to use at will, 500 reps is a great way
to start. The big issue is whether or not you practice the movement
well or not. Stay relaxed and do the movement with little to no power.
As you get more comfortable with the combo increase speed but stay as
relaxed as possible. Practicing in this way will program good physics
and build power naturally.
Monday, October 5, 2009
Friday, October 2, 2009
standing in the center
four corners surround
every direction in the sphere
the strikes of thunder come down
the roar of the lion
breaks through the mist
single forward and chut sing
spinning like a tornado
raging with burgundy fire
the spirit rises with no intention
and no desire
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
As Sifu Kuo, Lien-Ying used to say, "Big movement is not as good as small movement and small movement is not as good as no movement." A Yi Chuan ideal no doubt, though sometimes very small movements can help you investigate the structure and frame work in a way that "no movement" simply can't do. Even standing in Wu Chi posture and working from joint to joint from the toes up can be very instructive. By taking time while doing these finite movements one will see the vast effects that a simple thing as curling or lifting the toes [very slightly] has on the entire structure. Indeed one of the ideas of the "string of pearls" metaphor. When one feels these connections throughout the structure on this level it gives a whole new perspective while doing the form or standing post. It also feeds directly into the development of Ting Jing (listening energy) that is so crucial for good push hands skill. So, though I do agree completely with the Yi Chuan ideal, finding the value in the small movement is crucial.
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
When we start working in Kung Fu the adjustments are large. It could be breathing, fist position,spinal alignment, transitional movement, or many other things but all are large. As students improve in skill the adjustments are finer and finer. The difficulty in the beginning is that humans don't have the self awareness that we think we do. It is like Donald Rumsfeld said, "there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we don't know we don't know. " Terrific double speak that exactly describes the situation that many students and teachers alike are in. Once we start realizing the large changes we need to make and make them we move onto the fine tuning. Living mindfully is a huge part in this. If you want to be able to make the finite adjustments that make the difference between good kung fu and great kung fu, you have to be able to keep yourself present. The adjustment necessary in your shoulders might only be an inch or less. This slight adjustment is easily missed if your mind wanders away from the objective. Stay present, focused, and keep fine tuning.
Please note that though these adjustments are "fine", in effect physically and physiologically they are "vast". These again are the things that will truly change you in ways that are much more dynamic than original large adjustments.
Friday, January 30, 2009
Mok Yee Pai (wooden ear plates) are an exercise tool specific to the Hop Gar system of kung fu. This ear plate is used to develop the entire body and puts intense concentration on tendon strength. If used properly the mok yee pai is an excellent way to help rehab shoulder, elbow, wrist and hand injuries. In addition, the core strength that is gained from the mok yee pai gong is incredible. Mok yee pai gong can be beneficial to any martial system. It will not only benefit those who practice long fist systems, it will benefit anyone interested in developing the unity of body. Unlike the key locks and kettle bells that many people use, practitioners can execute techniques of the system just as they would empty handed. Though people can try to do this with these other tools, the length and shape of the mok yee pai change the way the weight works on the body. Because of this design difference, the mok yee pai works much more affectively for the martial artist. If you are looking for a way to dynamically increase strength, stamina, balance, and body unity, the mok yee pai may be exactly what you are looking for.
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
The martial artist must use the martial arts and not rely on the martial art to bail himself out of a situation. Many people fall prey to the idea that their art of choice is so good that it will save them in a time of need. This is simply not the case. The individual is the operator and the kung fu system or martial system of any kind is the bike. Like Sifu Chin likes to say, "it doesn't matter if the bike is red or blue, you have to ride it just the same." This means that the individual is responsible and not the bike. This is not to say that a certain tool from a certain martial art might work better in one situation more than another. Not at all. It simply means that at one moment I might be Tai Chi Chris Heintzman and another moment I might be Hop Gar Chris Heintzman. In the end, it is best to use whatever is necessary to survive the situation most efficiently.