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Thread: With so many arts in the school, what are you working on?

  1. #41
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Florida, USA
    Posts
    293
    Been a while, folks! Time to dig up a grave and see how people are training the Shaolin arts nowadays. I was lucky enough to attend the recent Winter Camp, where Sifu shared many aspects of Shaolin's three treasures in the form of kung fu, qigong, and Zen. I feel as though I'm bursting at the seams with the sheer amount of spread I received that week; time to focus on gaining some depth!

    Over the past month, I'd actually scaled back to review the level one material of the Shaolin Kung Fu training program, namely refreshing my understanding of the fundamental stances and footwork methods, the single step application of the hand patterns of Lohan Asks the Way, using Rolling Thunder Overturns Sky against simple grips, Lohan Strikes Drum against kicks, and Move Stance Change Step against basic throws for application, with Golden Bridge and One Finger Shooting Zen as my main force training. I found it fascinating how even the act of training our kung fu patterns such as repeatedly practicing Single Tiger Emerges From Sea or Happy Bird Hops Up Branch could be its own form of force training and how easy it was to become distracted by the simple pleasure of practicing kung fu and losing sight of its purpose: self defense, not dancing to feel good. :P

    Over the last few days, I've felt a strong desire to train the Northern Shaolin Dragon Form, so that set the stage for my current practice. A typical session might look like:

    1. Entering Zen
    2. Any particular qigong pattern I enjoy; lately, Lifting the Sky, Gentle Big Windmill, and General Surveys Field have made appearances.
    3. Once a week, I'll train the breathing methods from the Winter Camp.
    4. Force training in the form of Double Dragons Emerge From Sea; just one series done at the level of form, one series done at the level of flow, and one series done while focusing flow into force is quite enough. I'm mainly using the Two Character stance and only occasionally sitting in the Goat stance for now. Other times I'll do force training such as One Finger Shooting Zen or Cosmos Palm.
    5. Practicing Dragon Expresses Marvelous Powers to sharpen the skill of Dragon force. I was lucky enough to be sitting next to Sifu at the graduation dinner when Sifu quite naturally demonstrated Dragon force while we were chatting about kung fu. On a related note, Sifu's website is a true treasure trove.
    6. Individual pattern practice to build skills. Right now I am focusing on Swimming Dragon Plays With Water against simple strikes and kicks, with occasional dives into Dark Dragon Draws Water. When I'm more comfortable, I'll move on to using Swimming Dragon against grips and felling techniques, and likewise other patterns from the Dragon Form.
    7. Occasionally I'll finish my practice with practicing the Zen cultivation methods taught at the Winter Camp. Other times I'll simply enjoy Flowing Breeze Swaying Willows, Standing Zen, and the Closing Sequence.


    Quite a fun training session. I've found over the years that I have less and less desire to train full sets, but would rather just do a deep dive into a particular pattern or sequence.

    So, what's on your plate?
    I like making silly videos (including kung fu ones!) every so often on YouTube and taking pictures of weird things on Instagram.

  2. #42
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Northern Ireland
    Posts
    1,166
    I enjoyed the Swimming Dragon video Fred, thanks for posting!

    For me usually it is still much the same as I said on my earliest post in the thread ie ideally chi kung, force training (either stances, One Finger Zen, Siu Lim Tao etc), usually practise a couple of combat sequences / applications, and practise my sets on a kind of rotation, aiming to practise them about once a week each which means about one every two days. Usually one or two exercises from the other kungfu styles I practise as well. On days when I am very busy, tired or feeling overtrained I would cut this down.

    But I also go with the flow to an extent, meaning I do some form of chi kung and force training as a minimum, but sometimes I flow into practising moving in stances, or repeating one or two moves over and over etc if it feels good.

    I also adjust if for example sometimes I feel I have been doing too much force training and not enough flow for example.

    And I adjust to prepare for or follow on from courses with Sifu or other instructors. So for example at the minute I am really enjoying going over the things we trained last week in Killarney.

  3. #43
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Long Beach, California
    Posts
    677
    Right now my training is cycling through a few different things. My mornings are dedicated to what I learned in Ireland though.

    Morning right now is Eighteen Lohan Arts, either 1 from each section, one complete section of 6, or all 18. I notice after doing the Eighteen Lohan Arts that my stances, art of flexibility, footwork, and techniques feel incredibly good, like my whole body is ready for Kungfu training!

    Once my force training is done I move into combat application training, right now I am focusing on four methods of covering with forward rolling and stepping footwork. Same side and cross side, inside and outside taming. Then the Pakua set at the form level followed by individual application and sequence work.

    At night I am revolving between Cosmos Palm, One Finger Zen, Sinew Metamorphosis, Abdominal Breathing, Thousand Steps, Marvelous Fist, Golden Bell, and Eighteen Lohan Hands/Jewels. I then enjoy 100 kicks and either I train with my staff or I practice something from the Basic Sequences, Cosmos Palm sequences, Tiger/Crane/Lohan Sequences, or Four Gates.

    I spent so much time on Iron Wire in the past that I am preferring to focus on other stuff for spread at the moment, I do want to go back to it in the future though as I consider it a specialty of mine.

    My favorite way to practice the Art of Pressing Attacks is how I learned in 2014 at Legacy of Wong Fei Hung. I work on pressing then spontaneously change directions to defend with a thought of "Kick!" "Punch!" "Grip!" and "Fell!" as well as spontaneously inserting Shadowless Kicks and Tiger Claws in logical moments.

    As I am typing this I feel a bit flabbergasted at how much I have learned in the last 8 years.
    Shaolin Wahnam USA

    "Every morning you are born again. What you do today is the most important thing".

  4. #44
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Long Beach, California
    Posts
    677
    It's funny to mention, but I can't seem to NOT train for around an hour! By the time my Chi Kung, Stances, and Flexibility is done its already 30 minutes, I do my set(s) a couple of times at form level and that is another 10 minutes, I work on Covering with Pressing Footwork, and then individual application and sequence training and suddenly an hour has gone by in a flash.
    Shaolin Wahnam USA

    "Every morning you are born again. What you do today is the most important thing".

  5. #45
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Frankfurt, Germany
    Posts
    63
    What about the 8 Eye Techniques, David? ;-)

  6. #46
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Long Beach, California
    Posts
    677
    I count leaves at work, tons of trees that I take care of.
    Shaolin Wahnam USA

    "Every morning you are born again. What you do today is the most important thing".

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