Still the only chi kung and kung fu student so still getting that brilliant value for money lol.
For the first time in ages my stomach was behaving itself and I even had my thinking head on the whole way through both classes, so it ended up being a really really good night.
In chi kung we started with the pushing mountains pattern and worked that for over 100 repetitions. Boy, were my arms and shoulders feeling it after that! Then we did the art of flexibility. Dancing crane is still a bit of an issue, but the rest was all good.
From there it was straight into kung fu footwork. I was a wee bit heavy on my feet to start with, but then we speeded up a bit and it got easier. We largely stuck with linear movements but also started to incorporate some open and cross-steps to allow us to pivot off the centre line. We practiced this solo and with a partner then moved into striking practice.
For striking we started as usual with the open palm, front and rear. Next we worked front and rear punches to the mid-level. We worked the focus pads for practice. Shaolin style kung fu really likes the smallest focus pads you can get; this is to help develop accuracy. I was really pleased with how my accuracy and power have developed over the past month. Sifu told me that there was really noticeable improvement. I've always reckoned that I was relatively slow in striking, relying on power more, but Sifu said that I'm actually pretty fast. So that was nice to hear!
We then looked at defensive patterns, working the brush and thread palm to the middle level. After some solo practice, we worked that with a partner.
We also did asking and bridging. For me, this is the bit that's probably most like my previous silat training. It combines footwork, tactile sensitivity, 'yielding' with your opponent's attack in order to return it etc. We got onto some quite complex gripping style moves, and those just totally made sense to me because they were so similar to the movements I've been used to in silat and other South East Asian styles.
We finished off with some force training. As ever I got my hands in their usual 'mess' for one finger zen but this time I think I've nailed what I do wrong. Let's hope I remember it for next week!
Poor Sifu though - I had more questions than a quiz book last night! He took it in good part though.
Podcast episode 21: Martial arts as systems
1 week ago