Easing Off on Over-Training

Grandmaster Wong Kiew Kit demonstrates Alone Chop the Hua Mountain, a popular pattern in Baguazhang.

Grandmaster Wong Kiew Kit demonstrates Alone Chop the Hua Mountain, a popular pattern in Baguazhang.

Hey there, folks! Been an age since I posted. Just finished my family medicine rotation earlier today. Working hours were far longer than I was expecting these past few weeks. Had some interesting experiences working with a physician who specializes in addiction medicine. Gave me more than a few neat memories, not to mention gave me an impression as to the nature of my perspective on training. It’s always a nice experience to have folks chatting about the current popular topics, like over-training (I wonder what other subjects people feel like keying in on? There don’t seem to be many subjects that capture the forum’s attention with as much fervor); thank you to the folks who responded with their insights on the matter.

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“Like eating too much good food”

Beef lo mein, one of my favorite dishes. I tend to judge a Chinese restaurant by how well they make their noodles.  Image taken from: http://bakeatmidnite.com/ground-beef-lo-mein/

Beef lo mein, one of my favorite dishes. I tend to judge a Chinese restaurant by how well they make their noodles.
Image taken from: http://bakeatmidnite.com/ground-beef-lo-mein/

Well, it’s been another week of school, training, and mulling over both of those things. What have I learnt? That it’s still far, far too easy for me to succumb to the fault of over-training. At the beginning of the week, I stepped lightly back into practice and decided to make a concerted effort to remain at the form level with my force training and pattern practice, even going so far as to omit certain portions of my training or to not do as many repetitions. The result? Still over-training. Continue reading

Locked versus Flowing

One Finger Shooting Zen is the fundamental way method to train internal force in Shaolin Wahnam. It can be practiced in a variety of ways; hard, soft, consolidated, flowing, it's all there.

One Finger Shooting Zen, which happens to be my favorite exercise, is the fundamental method to train force in Shaolin Wahnam. It can be practiced in a variety of ways; hard, soft, consolidated, flowing, it’s all there. Image taken from shaolin.org.

Hi all! Decided on recommendation to see about making this a weekly or biweekly thread rather than a daily thread like before. It certainly saves me some time during the day, which of course, gets translated into more time for studying and killing time on Facebook. Go figure, haha.

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Golden Bridge and Thirty Punches

All kung fu styles have characteristic stances used to develop force. Grandmaster Wong Kiew Kit demonstrates Golden Bridge, the most characteristic stance chosen for force training in Southern Shaolin kung fu. Image taken from www.shaolin.org

Grandmaster Wong Kiew Kit demonstrates Golden Bridge, one of the major stances in Shaolin kung fu to develop solid stances and strong arms. Image taken from http://www.shaolin.org

My family medicine rotation started today and I have a rather uncertain schedule, so I’m not sure if I’ll be posting daily, but I do plan to keep posting at least weekly, heh.

Practice was split up into several smaller sessions today again. My early morning session involved Lifting Sun & Moon, Art of Thirty Punches, and Old Monk Removes Shoes. Lifting Sun & Moon seems to have long since replaced Lifting the Sky as my favorite “just qigong” pattern. About two years ago, one of my questions to Sifu concerned opening patterns and some particulars can be read here; some interesting reasons behind why various styles employ different opening patterns can be read there. Regardless, I particularly like the movement of Lifting Sun & Moon because it’s presently helping to open up my hunched shoulders. As I write this, I realize I should also be performing General Surveys Field throughout the day; in fact, back in 2012, Sifu taught me that pattern as everyone was about to go home after a regional seminar and I was waiting for a taxi; “Your posture is hunched over and no good! Stand like this!” he said, and just like that, Sifu “gave” me one of the Eighteen Jewels of Shaolin Wahnam qigong. Neat, huh? Continue reading

Continuing the Basics

Grandmaster Wong Kiew Kit demonstrating One Finger Shooting Zen, a "ta chong" (force training on stance) exercise. Image taken from www.shaolin.org

Grandmaster Wong Kiew Kit demonstrating One Finger Shooting Zen, a force training exercise from Shaolin Kung Fu. Image taken from http://www.shaolin.org

Had a fun training session (aren’t they all?) split across 2015 January 2. My first session emphasized One Finger Shooting Zen. I may have mentioned to a few folks that my previous sessions of tachong (force training exercises performed while “sitting” in a stance, such as One Finger Shooting Zen from Shaolin Kung Fu or Lifting Water from Taijiquan), when going through the whole form-flow-force method (for example, doing five rounds each of One Finger Shooting Zen emphasizing form, then flow, focusing force, and closing would take upwards of a half hour. A fair amount of time for force training, especially for a busy student like me! I experimented with having less rounds at form and flow and more rounds with focusing/consolidating and was quite happy with the result; again, more force and mental clarity developed in a shorter period of time.

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A new year, a new training journal

David uses White Horse Presents Hoof (a particular type of thrust kick) while I move off to the side and counterattack with Single Whip Saves Emperor (a backfist to the kicking ankle or knee), illustrating the principle of "direct counterattack." Taken from our video here. https://vimeo.com/150502715

Finally got a chance to spar with another Shaolin Wahnam practitioner, David! You can see the video clips of our sparring here

After some poking and prodding by a few family members, I decided to jump on the bandwagon and give a shot at this training diary deal. I used to keep a hand-written training diary back when I first began (which eventually just turned into a checklist of things I’d practiced to make sure I wasn’t missing anything…there was a lot of horse riding stance in those days, haha). Here’s hoping this diary is a little more interesting than that.

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Fundamental force training; also, I have a camera now

Me on 2014 July 21 practicing a basic Hung Gar force training method called Double Stabilizing Golden Bridge.

Me on 2014 July 21 practicing a basic Hung Gar force training method called Double Stabilizing Golden Bridge.

Egad, looks like WordPress has changed a bit on me, especially the user interface for writing a new post. Let’s see how long it takes for me to get used to this one.

Anyways, as I mentioned last time, I began learning Hung Gar kung fu from Sifu Dexter Parker in Peoria. Being that he comes from a traditional school, naturally, he assessed my stances and footwork before giving me exercises to work on in order to develop force.

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