Saturday, 27 June 2015

How The Secret helped with my martial arts training (And thank you for the 6 000 views!)

Which of you has read this book?

I'll be the first to admit that I am not rich yet. I have, however, been able to develop a really cool technique from it.

A lot of teachers, mentors and just about anyone giving us advice can easily tell us what to do and how to do it. What few people ever realise, however, is that what you think and feel while doing something is really important. I mean- really important.

Now- instead of going into a long psychological explanation of why the technique works (I am very fond of doing so, btw, but today I prefer to have you experience it rather than just reading) I am going to give you some homework:

Take a technique or a kata that you feel needs some work- or maybe it's your kumite, then take that- and spend some quite alone time thinking about it. Now here comes the trick-

Don't think about how you struggle doing it- think about how it is doing it right. Imagine yourself doing everything perfectly- like the epitome of sheer awesomeness! Pay attention to how you feel while doing it this well. Let that feeling grow within you. Make it your own to summon up whenever you can.
Now- take that feeling and go do your thing with it! 

I am watching the comments section on my G+ and on Facebook for feedback. :)

Have fun. 

Friday, 19 June 2015

Meet Sifu Ian Sinclair

Get a book on Taijiquan and it is likely that you will not understand a large part of what the author has written.

One such book is on my shelf and contains lots of valuable information, but also a complicated mess of things that I do not experience in my day to day life.

I have come to think that Taiji instructors do this on purpose...

Ian Sinclair on the other hand has no need to appear knowledgeable by going into a deep forest of Chinese terms (which I have found not even some Chinese people don't understand) or by going off on some hippie trip about qi, meridians and whatever confuses the hell out of you.

Make no mistake- Sifu Sinclair knows these terms. He has studied under the type of masters that would make most of us kungfu fanboys jealous. He just does not keep them shrouded in mystery.

Ever since I have subscribed to his Youtube Channel I have learnt a lot about martial arts in general. Funny thing is- Judo has this maxim of "minimum effort, maximum effect", but you won't find a clearer demonstration of it in the Judo you see nowadays like what you will see in Sifu's demonstrations.

I know Taichi currently appeals to a wide market of tea brewing space cases who are all about enlightenment and all that (I am 50% that myself) and Sifu Sinclair's sense of humour and warm personality will definitely tell these people that he is their man, but to those who are interested in Taijiquan as a martial art I can strongly recommend that you learn as much as you can from this man.

Karate and Aikido people can also benefit a great deal from what Sifu has to say about body mechanics and technique.

One of my favourite videos of Mr Sinclair is where he demonstrates the use of peng force (pronounced "pung") by pushing his partner back with his stomach.    

Check out the video on Youtube here:

Hope you have a great time learning and training.

Friday, 12 June 2015

One Awesome Lady

How many friends do you know that you can walk up to and say "I have developed my own style of martial art that I want to document. Will you help me?"?

When I had first asked my friends for help they did not bat an eyelid. They did not share my love for martial arts, but understood how much this project means to me. Documenting and teaching Wenhsiuquan is the next step in my journey on this path.

While my other friends Chen Feng and Chris have decided to leave this country for the safety and economic stability of their homeland- Shirley is still around. She already owns copies of the first two books and has shown it to quite a number of people.

Oh! One more thing! I see my blog got more than 5 000 views! Thank you all for showing interest. Although I do not have any full time students yet I have received lots of positive feedback on the advice and information I have provided. It means a lot to me.

In my next post I will tell you about two people who have provided me with really valuable advice and information on martial arts and whom I would strongly recommend to anyone interested in their fields of expertise.

Train well!

Saturday, 6 June 2015

Pushing and pulling drills

Pushing Hands practice in Taijiquan has impressed me a lot when I had first come across it. Before that time I have learnt Judo and set out to master the art of "yielding" in real fight situations.

This meant pulling my opponent by the arm as it straightened during his punch- or pushing at the moment he is pulling/ retreating.

With karate I have learnt how body mechanics could be used to exert effort against resistance in the most efficient manner. Now- I did not feel the need to "yield" in order to be able to throw my opponent. 

Two exercises I have devised build strength, develops proper stance and also helps to develop a good feel for the body mechanics involved in grappling.

In the one exercise- the pulling drill- one partner is in front stance with his reverse punch- wrist grabbed with his partner's reverse punch-hand. Grabbing hold with the captured arm's hand the partner whose arm was straightened to begin with shifts back into back stance and pulls his partner into the front stance position in which he had previously been. (Umm... it is not necessary for me to say that "he" can also be "she", right?)

After that roles get switched as many times as you have time for.

Another exercise starts with one partner in a front stance with his forearm out the the classic peng position of Taijiquan while the other is the guitar-playing posture pushing against that forearm. Driving with the legs the pushing partner will end up in forward stance while the other ends up in cat stance (or that toes-up stance in the guitar-playing posture). From here the partner with his weight on the back foot now pushes against the forearm of the other. And roles switch for as long as time allows.

In Wenhsiuquan classes these drills are used as warm-up exercises- so we do not spend a lot of time on them. Resistance can be increased and decreased as the need arises. The exercise will not work if either party's balance becomes off-balance. Best way to prevent it is to not yield too much, but also not to be too immovable.

You may try this at home with a class mate from your dojo or, if you are an instructor, make it part of your class warm up.

Have fun and train well!