johnny's blog

Link-o-rama IV: Summer Vacation Edition

I'm off to Malaysia for some training and vacation.  I'll be taking a break from writing my blog posts for a few weeks (but don't worry, I'll be back soon enough).  Here are some links to tide you over during the break:

Point of Contact

In my experience with learning and teaching I-Liq Chuan, I have noticed that a lot of time is spent training the point of contact.  Once the basic understanding of body unification is achieved, training can quickly progress to framing movements in terms of the point of contact.  The point of contact provides a context for movements and serves as a training aid which guides the training progression.

Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

An unfortunate fact of life is that not all progress is forward moving.  At some point, all of us realize that we took a wrong turn somewhere and have to backtrack.  For a period of time, we can be in a state of regression until we reach the turnaround point and begin moving forward again.


Spin to flow

Spinning to flow seems like such a simplistic exercise.  Start on the lower hand position, spin until you land on the upper hand position, and then wait for your partner to do the same thing.  One partner moves, while the other partner listens and flows.  It is so easy that the exercise bored me when I first learned it.  Of course, things always look deceptively simple in the beginning.  The more I learned, the more I began to appreciate the utility of starting with the simpler movements of the first spinning hands drill.  There is more to the drill than just spinning on top.

Full On Frontal

Sometimes it just takes a while for a concept to sink in.  Like the frontal plane for instance.  It's not like I haven't heard it explained and felt it demonstrated many times before, but the understanding didn't hit me for quite some time.  How hard can it possibly be to move parallel to the plane of the body?  The frontal energy looks easy, but requires a deceptive amount of precision to manifest.  Until I had to teach it, I didn't fully appreciate just how poorly I understood how to manifest the frontal energy myself.


Link-o-rama III: Breath control and mind games

Web explorations to expand your mind and give you an excuse to slack off for a bit:

Conditioning gone wrong

Conditioning is one of those weird subjects in martial arts training.  A lot of people aren't conditioned enough to actually use their arts, and a few have taken their martial conditioning perhaps several steps too far. Today's post is a little more light-hearted in nature, and will touch on the more extreme side of martial conditioning.

Why Train?

Why would someone dedicate so much time and energy into a martial art?  If you believe in the 10,000 hour theory, proficiency can take a long time to achieve.  After all that time spend training, what do you have?  The physical skills achieved from martial arts training are not always relevant to modern life.  The rewards for all the training time and effort seem incommensurate.  There must be some other underlying reason to continue training.

Starting from the body

Suspending the crown

forward neck alignmentSuspending the crown is one of the 13 points used to harmonize the body.  It's a standard cue for teaching body alignments.  Why is suspending the crown important?  There are several reasons for suspending the crown.

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