well duh... training observations

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well duh... training observations

Postby brer_momonga » Fri Oct 18, 2013 11:11 am

Though different bare-hand and weapon forms employ different self-defensive techniques and cultivate and utlitize power in specific ways - I'm gradually understanding how they each uniquely condition the body. I can't return to day one of my initial basic kung fu and mabu to remember how they conditioned me. It was too much change. All I remember was the physical difficulty (the challenge of being both hard and soft at once) and the frustration of learning sequence training (I had very little sequence training prior to tai chi and kung fu so learning my first couple forms was quite challenging - and frustrating - in that respect). Actually, it's still hard! But I like to think, OK, please be patient with me to finally learn it, but now that I have, I will practice it regularly and will not forget it or let my treasures spoil from laziness and neglect.

Now that I've got basic conditioning in the kung fu system I train, I'm starting to notice the nuances of physical conditioning as it pertains to training various bare-hand and weapons forms. The first time I really noticed this was when I started training sword. I found that it really developed my core. It punishes the abs in a way that doesn't require you to lie down or get your knees dirty!

Well, now I'm learning saber - and though there's lots of jumping and crouching, it seems to be really working my back. I'm wriggling around like a fish more than ever - or rather, trying to. Not working my back in a, "wow, my back is sore" way, but in a much different way. Since I've been training saber, I'll be walking and often thinking I'm forgetting something - like a backpack. Strange to say, seems like my back is lighter, more loosened since training saber.

Now, saber is foot soldier conditioning. I mean, you can do some really dazzling applications with saber, but the training should prepare one for blades cutting down hordes of infantry and soliders on horses and stuff. Noise. Chaos. Sharp, heavy things coming at you very quickly and violently from all directions.

hack and slash the evil dead. whereas sword - while incredibly sharp and dangerous - is reserved for the so-called officers (ie - nobility). Though used in battle - it somehow became associated with the ceremony of duels. It is also associated with power of knowledge (Confucius) and the grace of women. I should have learned it last - so that means I've only nudged the surface of what I believe I will learn from my journey with the sword.

The point I'm trying to make is when I first see a form in a good system, I am initally impressed by what I think is its power and application - the control - its classic yet novel appearance - but I can't really predict how it will specifically condition me physically besides basic things like - you need to crouch or jump or reach and twist or whatever to perform this form - but what does it target physically for the practitioner - how will it feel?
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Re: well duh... training observations

Postby Inga » Sun Oct 20, 2013 9:42 am

Yes, it is ultimately you that is the weapon of self defense, either through the knowledge of your applications of the extension of wielded wood or metal. Do you recall the literature which first came out of Dr. Yang’s 10 year program? The Disciples spent months doing nothing but conditioning their bodies in all manner of ways to prepare for their instruction. But I assume you are on board with all this as your title starts with “Duh”. Which, actually, I’m not sure it’s ‘duh’ because you probably knew, it just has blossomed into deeper understanding, which is what we hope for as we progress through a system.

You don’t mention staff – do you train staff? I began with staff, which mostly was tough because of the blister on the base of my thumb from sliding the wood over it time and again. Everyone gets it – eventually we developed these little pads of protective skin. I have a one person and two person form. I don’t have any sword. I have learned sword drills, mostly because for the most part they are interchangeable with saber drills, and the sword is a bit easier to handle at first – in terms of weight and movement, plus it’s sharp on both sides, don’t have to worry about having it ‘up’ the correct way. However, as you probably know, the sword is a far more sophisticated weapon, taking over 10,000 days to master. I am now learning my first saber form, and my first problem is the grip between the fingers – I don’t know if it’s the size of my hands in relation to the handle, or pathetic fingers, or what, but I soon get bruised and sore from the initial awkward grip. Well, it’s awkward for me, I do understand the purpose of it. I also am regularly noting that I just chopped my arm off, by the way I tucked the weapon back in – and I’ve clipped my knees on occasion. I think it’s learning to have this extension of myself. I try and think of it as an extra limb I have to accommodate into my frame. I’m proud I haven’t dropped the weapon yet, but I’m sure that will happen at some point!

I’ve been trying to think about how I felt soreness or increased strength in my body due to moving around with different weapons vs barehand. I can’t focus on anything in particular, but I do get a differences in how I feel after training long first vs white crane. Crane used to make me very sore in my shoulders and elbows. Now I mostly get sore in my elbows and wrists, so I gather I’m making progress in getting that power out : )
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Re: well duh... training observations

Postby brer_momonga » Wed Oct 23, 2013 6:38 am

Some brothers have shown me some basic staff exercises, but I haven't properly trained it yet. I understand from reading about chinese martial arts - saw it on the YMAA site first, actually - that staff - traditionally- is the first weapon trained. Once again, I'm doing things backwards :lol:
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