Since I live pretty far away from my master (Illinois versus Florida), I can’t exactly pack my bags and take regular classes from him, so I learn what I can at regional or intensive seminars and take it back home to practice. My master’s regular classes oscillate between the two major structures I’ve seen in the martial arts schools I’ve attended:
- Everyone does everything together; warm-up, drills, forms, applications, etc.
- There’s a common warm-up, then everyone breaks up to practice on their own or in small groups while the master goes around to offer advice, corrections, and/or scowling at the undisciplined whippersnappers.
My own training session lasts between 30 and 60 minutes if I do everything below and follows these lines:
- Enter a meditative state of mind.
- Practice “force” training; nowadays, I will do stretching/flexibility exercises on one day and internal force training like stances (I have a lot to choose from), “ta chong” (force training on stance, like Lifting Water or One Finger Shooting Zen) on the other day.
- Practice a set (my main set nowadays is the Swimming Dragon 64 Palms Baguazhang set).
- Practice combat sequences and applications from the set that I practiced.
- Finish with a short bout of standing meditation.
On some days (like if I slept in, haha), I’ll break up the session into a & b in the morning, and then do a, c, d, and e in the evening.
How about you guys? If you take regular classes, what are they like? Regardless of if you do or not, what does your regular training session outside of school look like?