“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

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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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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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Closed door teachings and songs of secrets

As Sifu Antonius Korahais demonstrates, one does not have to be Asian to excel in martial arts.

A discussion on the G+ Martial Artists forums included a lamentable situation of a non-Japanese man being turned away from learning Shorinji Kenpo in Japan, presumably due to “Westerners not understanding profound truths” or some-such. This discussion led to the notion of “secret teachings” and how such things can get passed down to the next generation. Here is what I had to say on the matter, using the example of the fundamental set at the Southern Shaolin temple, Cross-Road at Four Gates:

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The survival of authentic kung fu

Venerable Hai Deng, who was famous for his One Finger Zen skill, was the last abbot of the Shaolin temple who advocated traditional kung fu training. After he left the Shaolin temple in the 1960's, the focus of the Shaolin temple gradually shifted towards demonstration wushu rather than martial arts. Image reproduced from www.shaolin.org

Venerable Hai Deng, who was famous for his One Finger Zen skill, was the last abbot of the Shaolin temple who advocated traditional kung fu training. After he resigned in the 1960’s, the focus of the Shaolin temple gradually shifted towards demonstration wushu rather than traditional kung fu. Image reproduced from http://www.shaolin.org

Many kung fu practitioners have heard of the Cultural Revolution in China which led to the death or exile of many practitioners of traditional arts, including kung fu. In fact, many people have the mistaken belief that no authentic kung fu exists anymore!

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Kung fu footwork

Grandmaster Wong Kiew Kit demonstrating the Bow Arrow stance of Shaolin kung fu. Though stances are very awkward for beginners, they are literally the foundation of martial arts and they, along with associated footwork, should be trained properly. Image taken from www.shaolin.org

Grandmaster Wong Kiew Kit demonstrating the Bow Arrow stance of Shaolin kung fu. Though stances are very awkward for beginners, they are literally the foundation of martial arts and should, along with associated footwork, be trained properly. Image taken from http://www.shaolin.org

A discussion on G+’s martial artists forums turned to the difficulties some people have in maintaining their stances in sparring and fighting. Here is the advice I gave to someone which worked very well for me:

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