Bee's Training Log

Discussion in 'Training Logs' started by Brigid, Apr 17, 2015.

  1. Brigid

    Brigid Kung Fu Mother

    Sunday's session in the park was good. We did over an hour of practice of four forms. Working through combinations slowly, then at medium pace then fast for each one. I found myself identifying things that I liked about how my training partner did various moves and got him to run through those slowly. I asked him for feedback on some of the things I don't feel I completely nail and that was helpful too. We did TCC hand drill, 4 step and 8 step forms. Nice in the open air. I need a couple of clarifications about movements in the final part of the 8 step and then I think it will be a matter of working with it to achieve a better flow of movements and all that other stuff to do with TCC that I don't really get yet.

    I did 25 mins in the gym at work today - 12 mins on the bike followed by 12 ish mins on the cross country skiing machine. I am enjoying the latter more - time passes quicker. Went to physio this evening which was all electrical currents and biofeedback. 6 more sessions to go.

    Meeting up in the park tomorrow evening to do more kung fu practice.
  2. Brigid

    Brigid Kung Fu Mother

    Tuesday - just 20 mins at the gym today - all cross country skiing. No idea whether the numbers it shows are accurate but if they are anywhere near, it does burn a lot of calories, depending on the intensity of course, up to 800 per hour. This seems like a lot to me but I am currently feeling that this is working well for me (famous last words...).

    Was due to meet up to do more practice but my training partner couldn't make it - hay fever - the pollen count in London was very high today.

    I have also been thinking about making some time to focus on my basic kicks and strikes. I definitely need to work on my side kick and could do with improving accuracy and power on all the rest too.
  3. Brigid

    Brigid Kung Fu Mother

    It's been over a week and I just wanted to give an update on my training activities. Two major points - one is that I have agreed with my sifu to defer my grading to November because that makes most sense. Happy with that decision on balance (though biting the bullet has not been easy). We discussed the lack of progress with my ankle healing and the grading is just too close now. That means November at the earliest so I have four more months to (a) let my ankle heal, (b) vastly improve my cardio for sparring purposes, (c) make a shortlist of the things I want to see an improvement in and set to work on them and (d) look after my body to help make the above possible (am thinking diet, hydration, stretching more regularly, working to strengthen ankles, knees and to loosen up my neck and shoulders amongst other things)

    The second thing is that I have started a new TCC class at work. There's been a teacher there who's done classes for a number of years and has just set up a beginners group. Just 4 weeks but I am hoping that she might carry on if enough of us want to. We did breathing, sitting, standing up and standing for starters (ironically, having not focused much on breathing at my kung fu class, we did about half an hour on it tonight too).

    Righty-o. Have more I could report but it's late, the thunder has stopped and I am off to bed.
  4. Brigid

    Brigid Kung Fu Mother

    Tai chi class today at lunchtime. Very happy about this...

    We did a bit more theory and background. We returned to the two exercises/forms she went through last week. One a qi gong form which focuses on building calmness and concentration. This made a bit more sense second time around. We followed this with some very basic Sun(?) style tai chi movements. I could relate the movements to my kung fu and could see some obvious applications for some of the movements.
  5. Brigid

    Brigid Kung Fu Mother

    Friday night kung fu class. Most of the focus on those going for grading. The main things I got out of the class were:

    - a conversation with one of the other purple sashes who is not ready to grade now. As a result, I am more convinced of the need to work to exceed the standard that might be acceptable for the grading by some measure (aiming for great rather than ok). In terms of my forms, this gives me some decent work to do over the next four months.
    - related to this, I got some really good clarifications on the main form for black sash. These involved two moves which are forms of arm locks where we ran through the application till it sank in for me.
    - I had a good conversation with my sifu about some approaches to training that I can work on immediately to progress despite my ankle injury (which is responding to physio but not quite healed yet). This includes working through my forms slowly and focusing on each movement and related application.
  6. Brigid

    Brigid Kung Fu Mother

    Two more physio treatments this week. My ankle is getting better for sure now. The pain has reduced a lot and the swelling around my Achilles is much better. Two more treatments to go, I think.

    Tai chi class on Tuesday included a demonstration by the teacher of the 24 step form (this is definitely the Yang style form). It was good to get a clear demonstration of what we're aiming for, particularly in terms of precision and the flow of the form. It all looks like a proper challenge and I am looking forward to having a good go at it. In terms of learning, her style is very different, and I am getting a real feel for the intent behind the movements I am doing not just in terms of their application but also their benefit as a form of exercise in its own right.

    Friday night kung fu class was busy in the run up to grading - we had 8 visitors from another class as well as all those doing their final preparations. My focus in this class was on the hand drill, 4 step and 8 step tai chi forms. More corrections, of course, but I definitely feel that I am nearly there and ready to move onto the 16 step. Now that classes are over for the summer, I get a bit of a routine going for myself. To that end, I have been reviewing some of the technique threads here and will look to set some time aside to see what they can offer me in terms of learning.
  7. Brigid

    Brigid Kung Fu Mother

    Yesterday's tai chi class focused on having a go at doing a form working with a fan. This is very, very Chinese. I had not even seen this before but it has a very winning combination of tai chi movements with even more performance. The group of us doing yesterday's class have now all committed to attending a class from September onwards to learn this. A bit of a spontaneous decision on my part but I can see from the movements I learned and the demonstration of the full form that it will still take me in the right direction. We also tried out the swords the teacher brought. So all in all it was a good class.

    This evening, I did just over an hour's workout in the park with members of my kung fu class. 4 days to grading so they are putting in a lot of work now. I went so I could do some exercise with them and practice my forms. And there's a little bit of offering moral support as well as I can see that some of them are a bit nervous. Probably didn't do enough cardio but the rest of it was pretty good and we had a decent stretch at the end.
  8. Brigid

    Brigid Kung Fu Mother

    A quick note on the grading today while it is fresh in my mind. My son was going for his orange sash and I could see a good sense of progression in his performance today. Lots more progress to be made, but his kicks were ok and his sparring has got better too. There was general agreement from others that I spoke to on this.

    I'm expecting that the five colleagues from my class should have passed. The format was 2 forms followed by two on one sparring, sparring with a black sash and sparring with others grading (4 rounds). The rounds were two minutes a piece and the emphasis was more on technique than power (although I think each of them went home with some decent bruises). 6 candidates in all made the whole black sash grading last for an hour and a half and each of them had decent rest periods in between bouts which may not be the case in November.

    I got the opportunity to referee a couple of bouts for the first time. I hadn't done this before (the seniors swap in to cover each round/bout). I know I made the right calls but need to be a bit louder and more assertive next time. I'd definitely do it again.
  9. Brigid

    Brigid Kung Fu Mother

    Tai chi class today at lunchtime. There were only two of us because of the holiday season here. We did more work with the fans, practising the first two movements. This is all making more sense as there are some subtle differences between what I am doing in this class and my kung fu class. The basic movements are very similar but at some points the teacher was asking me to make the movement longer to feel a stretch. I got some useful learning around the foot movements, which I will be able to apply to the forms I am using in my other class. Very good.
  10. Brigid

    Brigid Kung Fu Mother

    Bit of training at home today: spent 10 mins walking through four of my forms, trying to identify the particular elements where I don't think I have really nailed it in terms of the application of the movement. I have at least one in each form. In the most junior form it's about moving from a front stance to do a side kick where I need to improve the kick. In the second form, there are two - one is a twisting movement with two back fists and there's a flying front kick where I catch myself doing more of a leg raise than a kick. In the third of the forms, I have some challenges around demonstrating the difference between soft and hard moves. I tend to be a bit full on and some of the strikes are not meant to be. My current form I need to work on that 360 degree leg sweep but have left that while I am waiting for my ankle to heal. There are also a couple of throws which could much more throw-like imo.

    Followed that with some push-ups, a few other random core strength exercises and some wall kicks - 20 each leg front and back.

    Bit of stretching now and them I am all done for the evening.
  11. Brigid

    Brigid Kung Fu Mother

    In the last week:

    Lots of walking (Sunday 4 miles, Tuesday 2.5 miles, today 2.5 miles).
    Practicing forms slowly (still accommodating ankle - now completely and thoroughly bored with ankle injury and want to go running, but alas not advised by physio still). Been doing form practice this throughout the week but had a particularly good session this evening where I did them all and the tai chi forms too. As I have said previously, I am still going slowly and trying to work on sharpening up particular combinations. With the tai chi, I have been using the learning from the new class I have been doing to slow it down further and really focus on the fluidity of the form. This has included simple things like improving my stepping and how I place my feet as I move. It's probably pretty basic but I am finding it helpful.
  12. Brigid

    Brigid Kung Fu Mother

    Now on holiday so have a chance to do a bit more time on training and a bit more thorough. The last week or so I have been continuing to work on my forms and tai chi. I have been enjoying the opportunity to focus slowly on combinations. I had a little breakthrough this evening on the 4th form just through bending my knees a bit further and making the stances longer, it all felt more powerful. Given that I've never felt happy with the way I was doing the opening combination, I am pretty happy about this because it now feels like the movements match the applications.

    I also went swimming for the first time in years last week and did 30 lengths of the pool - doing a mix of front crawl, back stroke and breast stroke. Felt like I had done a reasonable bit of exercise for the first time in ages. If we don't go away, I'll be doing some more this week.
  13. Brigid

    Brigid Kung Fu Mother

    I've been on holiday and having planned to do lots more training, promptly changed my mind and have taken a rest for the last couple of weeks so have had nothing useful to add to my log.

    I went to see the physio this evening for a further treatment and we discussed the progress with my ankle injury. He told me that I was still a while from my ankle becoming fully functioning. In fairness as I am still getting some pain in my ankle, that was no surprise to me. He added that it might take up to 11 months for the whole injury to be resolved completely. I am fairly certain he had not mentioned the 11 months figure to me before so it took a while for me to take that in. No running (grrr), but can do low impact exercise. I can do some sparring but need to gauge how my ankle is doing - definitely no jumping/flying kicks...

    Now, I am feeling like a nearly 53 year old not terribly flexible tub of lard. So my plan for the next two weeks, starting from the bottom of the hill again is:
    -stretching daily (particularly hamstrings and eccentric heel drops)
    - stances (ox, front and back stances) daily
    - forms daily
    - cardio 20 mins every other day
    - weights every other day

    Classes start again next week after the summer break - Tai Chi on Tuesdays and Kung Fu on Fridays. I am looking forward to both.
  14. aaradia

    aaradia Choy Li Fut and Yang Tai Chi Chuan Student Moderator Supporter

    Do you happen to know the name of the fan form you are learning?

    We have two fan forms. One is definitely my GM's creation, but I am not sure of the origins of the other one. It is called the Wind Chasing Fan and I have seen one youtube from a school apparently not of my lineage. So I wonder about it. I know fan forms are a relatively recent addition to TCC.
  15. Brigid

    Brigid Kung Fu Mother

    I've just found a new TCC class at work in the last couple of months. We start again tomorrow after a break of a few weeks for summer hols so I will find out and let you know. I anticipate working on the fan form and the 24 step form (Yang Style). I'm looking forward to both and to getting my fan! The TCC I have done at my kung fu class is Yang style and has been introduced by our Sifu over the last two years and we'll be tested on it for gradings in the future, which is a more recent development.
  16. Brigid

    Brigid Kung Fu Mother

    TCC class today. Three of us with the teacher for an hour at lunchtime today. This is the first session which will take me up to Christmas and I am happy that teacher is willing to offer this training to such a small group of us.

    We spent half this class on learning some very basic breathing, stepping and other exercises which deliver some really good stretches. We did a series of movements (I will need to find out what these are called) which are linked to vitality.

    Then we did 20 minutes fan work. The form we are going to learn is Kung Fu Fan (Yang Style, 1st form). We just focused on manipulating the fans themselves - opening and closing them correctly in the different positions used in the form.
  17. Brigid

    Brigid Kung Fu Mother

    A combination a lack of time and laptop problems have kept me from logging my training, but I starting to feel the benefit of doing two classes a week now. The TCC class on Tuesdays has been focusing on Dao Yin exercises which are a type of Qi Gong. There's a set of 12 which I am finding are making a big difference to my pace and posture in my tai chi forms. They are the type of things look simple but really aren't. We haven't done much Kung Fu Fan yet but I am hoping that we will get cracking on that in the next week or so. I found the Kung Fu Fan form on You tube (as far as I can tell):

    At my Kung Fu class, we have been doing a mix of fitness and technical (kung fu forms and TCC) and this is where my ankle injury has been more of an issue. I've been advised by my physio that there are risks in sparring so I've not been doing it because I can't stand the thought of damaging it before it is healed. But I watch people running with a huge sense of longing and envy and I'm keenly aware of how far backwards my sparring has gone because of the lack of practice.

    That said, after a couple of classes where I was pretty despondent about my training, I had a good class last night. We did quite a lot of stance training and I completed all of it (without my sons needing to carry me home). I had a few minutes of coaching with Sifu on my 16 step form (TCC) and finally sorted out how the stepping works so that I got better hip movement. The movement is one where you step out from holding the ball into parting the horse's main and the correction was to do a shorter step, knees bent a bit more and to step more diagonally than ahead. Very pleased with this correction. Makes a lot more sense now.

    We finished with pushing hands and I got thrown across the room a couple of times by a newer member of the class, who's clearly done more of this sort of thing than I have. So here's another area where I've got plenty to learn!

    In between, I have been focusing on stretching, stances and doing my forms on a daily basis.
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2015
  18. ned

    ned Valued Member

    That is the form created by Li Deyin , popularised by his daughter Faye Yip,also the first (and only)fan form I learnt.
    You see it a lot at competitions such as TCUGB ones at which she often judges.
  19. Brigid

    Brigid Kung Fu Mother

    Thanks for the info on this. I really am looking forward to learning this form.

    How often are competitions held and what's the best one to go to? If I recall correctly, did you go to the June event in Stoke Newington?
  20. aaradia

    aaradia Choy Li Fut and Yang Tai Chi Chuan Student Moderator Supporter

    Ah, thanks for posting that. Not one of the fan forms I know. But it is interesting to see what others are learning. :hat:

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