“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

Toughening and protective skills in kung fu

Grandmaster Lam Sai Wing, a well-known master of Hung Gar kung fu in recent times, demonstrating "Separate Gold Fists" in the Iron Wire set. He looks quite fit and healthy, not at all banged up from his training. Image taken from www.shaolin.org

Grandmaster Lam Sai Wing, a well-known master of Hung Gar kung fu in recent times, demonstrating “Separate Gold Fists” in the Iron Wire set. He looks quite fit and healthy, not at all banged up from his training. Image taken from http://www.shaolin.org

In June 2013, someone on the G+ Martial Artist forum noted that he was doing “tree toughening” exercises and asked for our opinions on the exercise. Here was my response:

Are you swinging your arms, legs into the tree and striking your body against a tree? Provided you follow the correct method and gradual progression, you’ll eventually develop what kung fu people call Iron Arm, Iron Leg, Iron Vest, Iron Head, and so forth, depending on the conditioning you do.

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Offense, defense, and hurting your opponents?

How much force is too much? Do we really have to maim our opponents? How proactive or reactive should we be in a sparring match or a fight? Is showing mercy to an opponent a worthwhile endeavor? How did past masters react?

The question of the day on the LinkedIn Martial Artists forum was the relative amount of offense and defense used in various arts and how much was “too much” force.

"Bail Moon From Sea Bottom," a potentially fatal and combat ending grip to the groin.  Image taken from www.shaolin.org

“Bail Moon From Sea Bottom,” a potentially fatal and combat ending grip to the groin. Image taken from http://www.shaolin.org

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Learn from a master. You’ll live longer.

Hey there, fellow Rubiks Cubers. Cubists? Puzzlers? Kungfubes? I don’t know, I don’t have enough of a fan base to really call anyone anything. Put your own recommendation in the comments below!

As you might be aware, kung fu is something very dear to my heart. I am quite annoyed at the debasement of kung fu and Taijiquan in general to mere “kung fu-do” and “tai chi dance.” On the one hand, it is wonderful that we live in a society where you do not need martial arts merely to walk down the street. On the other hand, these wonderful arts have been thrown so far from their roots that it is cringe-inducing to see people who say they “know kung fu” or “do Tai Chi” performing virtually every little thing wrong.

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