Bee's Training Log

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

  1. Brigid

    Brigid Kung Fu Mother

    I did basically no training except one session of chest - bench press and incline flies - in the last week. Too much Christmassy stuff going on and a rush to get work to an acceptable position before finishing for the holidays. I want to focus on my back and calves as the middle of my back is a weak spot. My calves are very tight and hurt when I stretch,, particularly the left one which may be a legacy on my Achilles’ tendon injury. So I am planning to do stretch every day to see what progress I can make. I also want to do my Dao yin most days for the health benefits. So that’s what I have done this morning. A set of Pilates exercises to warm and loosen up my back and calf stretches, followed by Dao yin.
  2. Brigid

    Brigid Kung Fu Mother

    Classes started a week ago, and I am happy to be back in my training routine.

    1. Kung fu class last week was the monthly tcc class. We did no forms but focused on applications- taking some of the movements and doing drills around them to get to grips with the mechanics.

    2. I did only half of my weekly tcc class on Wednesday because I had a work meeting I had to go to. Laoshi was rearing to go after the break. So in addition to the usual warm up she added extra leg exercises. I am hoping to start to learn Kung fu fan form 2. It looks like a good form:

    We practiced 24 step form and considering how little I had practiced over the break, I felt good doing it. My teacher uses lots of metaphors to explain how to improve and her latest one is Viennese waltz, in terms of posture and expression. I find this approach works for me.

    3. This week’s Kung fu class was a return to buddha’s fist training. We start with a lot of leg stretching and then did cardio by 4 rounds of continuous kicking for two mins. Side kicks, hook kicks, front kicks. Followed by revising toe to toe sparring and then basic staff moves. I haven’t done much before. I know one basic form, so will need to try to practice this as we will be doing more training over the next few weeks. We finished the class with pushing hands.

    4. Re weights, just did legs this week.
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  3. Brigid

    Brigid Kung Fu Mother

    This last week or so:

    • Three classes all tcc focused as we do tcc at my Kung fu class once a month. My tcc instructor continues to encourage us to work on the quality of our movements so is not using the standard 24 form music because it can distract because it has a certain structure and pace. It seems to be working. As a group we kept pace with each other well and she is emphasising a couple of points about focusing on footwork to underpin the power in these postures and also making sure we complete the posture to the full extent before moving on which is consistent with other previous classes.
    • In last night’s Kung fu class it was all about applications and pushing hands practice. On applications, we worked with different parts of the form to identify lots of different ways they could be used. This was followed by a session where different class members demonstrated something they had come up with. Some really great ideas. Then for pushing hands we did a couple of basic drills and worked on locks, pressure points and strikes to use if able to get your opponent off balance.
    • Outside of classes and because things have been really stressful and busy at work, I opted to do sessions of Qi gong and tcc most evenings this week to help me cope. I think it is useful, particularly the Qi gong exercises because of the way they make focus on breathing slowly.
    axelb likes this.
  4. Brigid

    Brigid Kung Fu Mother

    I had such a nice tcc class today, I just wanted to log it. I was a couple of mins late so they had started Dao yin exercises, but it’s easy enough to join so no big deal. I joined for the fourth exercise which is called shooting the heart of the louse and includes a bow and arrow pose which is one of my favourites. What I really liked about the class was that as a group we were working well together and were in time both on fan form and on 24 step. I know this isn’t a particularly MA thing, but feeling good about doing my form and being in tune and in time with the rest of the group was a pretty good feeling for a Wednesday lunchtime.
    aaradia and axelb like this.
  5. Brigid

    Brigid Kung Fu Mother

    Since last week, I have been a bit ill, with an ear infection. I missed my Kung fu class last week and was in bed for the weekend. I was better by Tuesday so did a weights session doing a mix of lunges, bench press, bicep curls, calf raises and tricep dips. I have a plan to change my routine around in this way to introduce a bit of challenge instead of focusing on one or two body parts at a time. See how it goes. Tai chi class was another good one. Sometimes we struggle to get through everything, but this week we did well. Started with 24 form to classical music. My instructor had found a piece which was just the right length. It is helping to bring out more lightness in my movements. We did a set of general health Qi gong exercises and fan form. With the extra time available she started to teach fan form 2. I am keen to learn this. It has more Chen moves in it - new for me.

    Kung fu yesterday was more buddha’s fist and buddha’s palm. Lots of drills. Simultaneous blocks and counters, blocking and attacking with one hand only and lots of toe to toe sparring. I was pretty tired by the time we finished and had sore traps. But feeling fine today.
    Travess likes this.
  6. Brigid

    Brigid Kung Fu Mother

    I skipped doing my weekend update because we had no Kung fu class last week, due to school half term, but I now have done two tcc classes, I have a bit more to talk about.

    Both TCC classes have continued to focus less on formal timings led by music, and more on developing a stronger personal sense of the right timing and flow of movements. Usually we use music with timings of movements included. But last week’s class we did dao yin without this. Surprisingly we kept to timing pretty well over the full 12 minutes the exercises take and then did 24 form to classical music again. Here is the piece she is using - Mozart piano concerto 21:

    We also worked on the timings in the fan form 1 to nail them down.

    This week’s class was a catch up of corrections from a recent seminar laoshi had been to. This was dao yin focused and was very useful. There was a big focus on spiralling the wrists in a number of movements and a couple of other corrections that should be useful, if I can make sure I embed them in my practice. 24 form to Mozart again. I was touch and go in terms of my concentration which got in the way of making the most of doing the form with my group. We did first section of fan form 2 which I have been watching somewhat (ie most chances I get) on YouTube. I have been watching Faye Yip, who is just great:

    I know you can’t solely learn these forms by watching but I find I make more progress if I get the general idea of the pattern so I can work on refining it in class.

    I did one weights session last week and have done two already this week. Still doing a mix of exercises for different body parts. It’s better when I do my weights regularly.
    aaradia likes this.
  7. Brigid

    Brigid Kung Fu Mother

    Over the last couple of weeks my tcc instructor has continued along similar lines to above at class. Lots of dao yin to help with stress, 24 form practice to classical music and fan practice if time allows. I have been practicing the various forms at home and experimenting with different background music. Pink Floyd and Portishead are ok because they are not too fast. I know it all sounds a bit more like dance when you throw in different music. My instructor is also doing a focus on fa Jin, making sure that each posture is powerful. Like a wave that reaches a high point on the beach and then ebbs a way. I am thinking about the right metaphors to use.

    Kung fu classes have been dominated by the run up to the next grading, which is tomorrow. We’ve spent a lot of time on our core forms as a result. Because my recent training has been dominated by Buddha’s fist, it has been a welcome chance to review these forms to see how I can take them up a level. I may try and add a note about this if I get a chance later.

    Weights and practice sessions 3x a week.
    aaradia and Mitch like this.
  8. Brigid

    Brigid Kung Fu Mother

    Over the last two weeks, 2 tcc classes covering same areas as above. This week’s class, my instructor did mirror image 24 form with me. The challenge being to keep pace with her so we were a mirror image of each other and in time with the rest of the class. Not easy! She’s competed at world championship level and I, well ........ but I think she was pleased with how it went and I felt like I got something out of it in terms of pacing and in terms of having multiple points of focus.

    We did our monthly tcc class at Kung fu and worked on applications. We have someone who only comes to this session and is very knowledgeable on the variety of applications so I got a lot out of working with him as he was able to take it beyond the basic applications we were working with. He usually throws me across the room a couple of times at least, and I am always pleased when he turns up for class. That sounds a bit wrong, but I appreciate his expertise.
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  9. Brigid

    Brigid Kung Fu Mother

    Easter break means a break from classes for two weeks. Kung fu class started again last Friday. Not too crazy a workout, which is a bit of a variable. Sometimes we do a big fitness session first lesson back. Lots on applications from each of the forms we do. I got some improved understanding of some combinations I have been doing for years, so a very valuable session.

    On Saturday, I went to a Tcc event which was organised by my tai chi teacher. She wanted me and a couple of others to demonstrate the 24 form , dao yin and fan in the course the event. Both the others have competed and are at a high standard. I haven’t seen video of it but I could see we were well coordinated and in time. I could also see things I need to improve to take my form up a level. Following the event my teacher has offered to do some more one to one sessions. Very pleased. I’ve done some in the past and it’s a whole level up from the way she teaches in class. Starting next week.

    Continuing with weights 2-3 times a week.
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  10. Brigid

    Brigid Kung Fu Mother

    I had a period of vertigo the first week of May, making training too difficult. It kicked in on at my monthly Friday tcc class. I could not figure out what was making me feel so sick as we were not doing anything crazy and then spent the rest of week recovering. I was meant to start an extra half hour’s training with my tcc instructor on Wednesdays focused on stretching but had to delay till this week.

    By last Friday, I was better and went to class. Lots of work on forms and then working on applications which can be derived from combinations in different forms in turn. So we’d do the form and then stop and focus on how specific moves would work Good class.

    I started my stretching sessions this week - an extra half hour in Wednesdays. We took half an hour to go through 11 different stretches, leg stretches mostly. I have tightness in my lower legs which I have recognised for quite a while that I need to address. If I can work with this programme, it should help a lot.

    The tcc class that follows we did warm up including leg raises, Qi gong general health exercises ( I don’t know these as well as 12 dao yin but they still seem to have a good effect on me. We then did fan practice, where I got a couple of minor corrections. My instructor was talking about the interconnectedness of everything from head to toe and showed us some of anatomy that underpins this in terms of muscle structures. It makes intuitive sense to me, but useful to see diagrams showing major muscle groups. We also looked at muscle structures to understand more about what you’re aiming to do when stretching, differentiating between stretching within the muscle and where muscles are joined to the bone by tendon.

    Friday Kung fu was a session on buddha’s fist where it was me and one other student being trained. It’s quite different and I would like to do more. There’s more rigour in moving from stance to stance and the stances include much more use of cat, unicorn, crane, snake clearing path. I was focusing on basics- blocking and stance work, lots of drills and sparring with the instructor. We finished the class with general sparring.
  11. Brigid

    Brigid Kung Fu Mother

    For the last 6 weeks I have been stretching much more regularly under the instruction and encouragement of my TCC teacher. I have found that I have tightness from my ankles, calves and behind my knees. So lots of stretching to deal with this coupled with core exercises and work on my hips. I think it’s making a difference.

    I’ve been learning more Buddhas fist. It’s quite different from everything else I do. So I am still hoping it will start to make a bit more sense so I feel like I can do something that is recognisably in that style. A key thing is moving from stance to stance in sparring and the kicks are a level up. So I am enjoying the challenge, frequently feel out of my depth, but have committed myself to do everything Sifu asks by way of training in class.

    I’m filming myself to review my forms and getting snippets of my forms from my instructor in tcc class. This is really helpful for tracking progress and identifying corrections. It’s also good to reconcile what I think I am doing with what I am actually doing...

    Otherwise continuing with weights, two classes each week and speed walking.
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