Journal of Aaradia's MA Journey

Discussion in 'Training Logs' started by aaradia, Feb 14, 2015.

  1. aaradia

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

    I suppose I should clarify something for anyone reading this. I use the terms Sifu and Tai Sifu interchangeably for my Sifu.

    I have tended to just use Sifu on MAP, because it was easier than explaining that my Sifu is called Tai Sifu in our Federation and - of course- in our schools. That is the proper title in my schools for him. And his Thursday class is a class specifically about him teaching us directly, so we call it Tai Sifu class.

    It isn't so much a title as a designation used within our school's Federation to help keep track of Sifu's who have taught several other students to Sifu Level.

    He trained and promoted two of of his students to Sifu level. One of whom runs our Mira Mesa Location and the other one who runs the Chula Vista location with another Sifu.

    Our school founder, who used to be called Tai Sifu, was the first person in our Federation to train someone to this level besides our GM. So he had to create a whole new title for our school founder, whom we call Tai Sigung now.

    No, these are not traditional Chinese designations the way we use them. And they are NOT titles per se. But it helps to understand the hierarchy of who teaches who in our school/ and the Federation it belongs to. (There are other Tai Sifu's in our Federation.)

    It isn't about titles, it is about recognizing teachers who elevate other teachers to high teaching levels. It is an in house designation.

    As I said, I avoided having to explain this by just calling my Sifu "Sifu" in other parts of MAP. But in doing this log, I am finding it hard not to call him by what I normally call him. So, I offer this explanation in case it is confusing anyone.
  2. aaradia

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

    Friday, February 20, 2015

    6:30- Stretching and warm up

    7;00ish. TCC forms practice- Gim, Buddha Palm, 48 Combination

    7;30- Pattern Push hands/ Da Lu practice session with 2 classmates

    8:30- Slow motion kicks- put down foot once on each side. didn't go too well today. I think for a good reason though. My legs are really sore!

    More Gim forms practice

    9:00 School closes - but I did my stance training in the parking lot.

    Horse- 1 minute
    Bow - 45 seconds
    Crane - 35 seconds
    Slanted Horse - 30 seconds

    Didn't do as much variety of stances today. I told myself when I started that I was to do stance training and slow motion kicks every time I trained! Only exception if my legs were really sore.

    I have - in the past - had a bad habit of pushing myself when I shouldn't and being injury prone. So, I need to let myself recover and not go so gung ho in my new commitment that I injure myself.
  3. aaradia

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

    Saturday, February 21, 2015

    9:30 - CLF Two person practice with Mr. M and Ms. P. Sadly, it was not the form we were supposed to be practicing though. Issues with my partner (Mr M) understanding what form we were supposed to be practicing and not remembering that form. Sigh* I really reallly miss my first and only regular two person partner since he quit the school. Ms. P worked in with us because her partner flaked out at the last minute. (We all have the same personal instructor.)

    10:00 Stretching and a bit of warm up. (Already warmed up from two person practice.)

    10:40 was a bit lazy, chatting with a fellow student about UFC stuff. Don't feel too bad about it as you will see I had a long workout today.

    Did do some TCC Saber form.

    11:00 - Sparring class

    12:05 - Moving step practice with Ms. R. She had to leave earlier than usual though.

    12:30 TCC formatting

    1:00- This is really cool! Self defense practice lesson against a knife with Instructor Mr. V. I had been chatting with this instructor about this type of practice and he offered to meet with me and give me some time doing stuff like this. He is not my personal instructor and is doing this on his own time, so this is a VERY generous offer. He had said I had to get permission from my instructor, which I would have done anyways. She was like"YEAH- that is a great offer- of course you can do it!"

    He just went over some basic stuff about several basic knife attacks. With me practicing against him coming at me with a fake knife. Slow motion as it was the first session like this, but it was great! Self defense practice like this against weapons is something we don't really do - although I hear that may be changing soon.

    1:20ish - rest of (most of) TCC formatting.

    2:50- help an instructor with another student during their lesson by being pattern push hands and Da Lu partner. This is one of my Friday night session fellow students. It was great to get input from her instructor on what we practice Friday nights.

    3:00 School closes (well sort of- see below.)

    4:00- got to watch a great exhibition celebrating the Chinese New Year at my school!

    Note- I skipped my slow motion kicks and stance training today. Still really sore. But I will be back at it tomorrow.

    Thoughts - Yesterday, I had talked to a fellow student (the pattern and Da Lu partner above) about my stresses affecting some things in my practice. This is stress about my upcoming test. She gave me some good advice, which I put into practice in today's formatting. It was very helpful. I really am going to start a thread detailing this in a bit more detail.

    All in all, a good day of practice.
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2015
  4. aaradia

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

    Sunday, February 22, 2015

    @24 Hour Fitness Gym

    7:08 Stretching and warm up

    7:38 TCC hand forms - 108 Long Form, 48 Combination Form and 40 Form

    Slow Motion Kicks - 3 rounds on each side
    -Kept foot up for all 3 rounds on Right Side, but put down 2 times on left side. Second time was because I started up after first time without getting set first.

    Stance Training
    Bow = 1 Minute
    Horse Round 1 =1 minute
    Cross = 40 seconds
    Crane = 40 seconds
    Slanted Horse - 35 Seconds
    Kneeling Horse = 10 seconds*
    Horse Round 2 = 35 seconds

    *My kneeling horse is a big problem for me. I can't really do them fully down the way I am supposed to due to knee issues. They are rather sad looking. Oh well, I have to start somewhere, so high up, not the best form, and only 10 seconds, but it is a start.

    It was a good call to take the day off from slow motion kicks and stance training yesterday. My legs felt much better today, even with a long workout yesterday.

    9:00- Gym closes

    I took about a 10 minute break during my training time to chat with a young couple there. Hadn't seen them there before. They were doing pad work and their stuff looked good. Good mechanics - they obviously knew what they were doing. So I asked where they trained at and they said San Diego Combat Academy. This is where UFC fighter (my favorite female MMA fighter) Liz Carmouche teaches. I also asked if they knew James Pou and they did! Mr. Pou used to teach at my school, but turned pro MMA fighter and trains there now. I haven't seen Mr. Pou fight, so I was asking about his style. Basically if any of his CLF shows in his fighting. They said it did. They talked about a kick he likes to use, which sounded like a crossover thrust. Said he throws some unorthodox stuff into his standard MMA fighting which makes him unpredictable. I think the unorthodox stuff is his CLF background. I really got to get out and see one of his fights while he is still local. It was a nice conversation with two fellow MAists.

    Mr. Pou
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2015
  5. FunnyBadger

    FunnyBadger I love food :)

    Interesting lol ..

    Cool i am always interested by people who use traditional styles in MMA especially if it still looks like origin style :) I had not heard about Mr.Pou but shall have to look him up now.
  6. aaradia

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

    Monday, February 23, 2015

    6:30 - Stick Fighting Class! Always awesome!

    7:00 - Bummer. I had my observation with Tai Sifu and my private lesson canceled. My instructor is sick. She doesn't call in sick unless she is REALLY sick.

    So I practiced instead.

    Gim Forms & 108 Long form, solo practice of 2 person sabre

    I have trouble getting a good slap or double slap sound with certain kicks in my TCC forms. Talked to an instructor and she gave me good advice. Seemed to work, I will see if this helps over my next few practice sessions. She said my arms were probably too tight and stiff. I was focused on my legs, but I think the issue is my arms needed to be more relaxed.

    8;20ish- had another instructor practice/ go over pattern push hands with me.

    Slow motion kicks = 3 rounds each side - didn't put foot down on either side! Yay!

    I am focusing on form and height more. Trying to kick higher, go slower. Also trying to fix my very bad habit of not looking back enough when I do a rear kick at any speed. It is something my instructor is always correcting me on. When I feel my form is much better, then I will think about adding more rounds of kicks.

    Stance Training
    Horse - 57 seconds (meant to go a minute, but messed up reading my stopwatch)
    Bow - 1 minute
    Crane - 45 seconds
    Cross - 35 seconds
    Slanted Horse - 30 seconds
    Horse round 2 - 45 seconds

    Trying to slowly lower my stances in addition to increasing the time. Or, in the case of crane stances, raise them.

    8:55 ish to about 9:15ish- Practiced CLF Butterfly Knives form. Should have done tournament hand form too, but ran out of time.

    As it was, school closes at 9:00, but I practiced a bit behind the school. Could have practiced in the matted rooms where the instructors were not meeting, except they had just been mopped and were quite wet.
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2015
  7. aaradia

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

    He is fighting in some smaller organization right now. Think it is local or regional? But it would be exciting if he makes it to the bigger leagues!
  8. belltoller

    belltoller OffTopic MonstreOrdinaire Supporter

    Ja, one gets tired of reading the same old issue of Boxing Monthly while sitting in the loo :)

    Just kiddin', of course.

    Your sessions always run two and one-half hours each? How many per week are you doing?
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2015
  9. aaradia

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

    Monday, Thursday, and Friday I get off work at 6:00- go immediately to the school and work out until it closes at 9:00. So, 6:30 to 9 on these days =2 1/2 hours.

    Tuesday and Wednesday I work a night shift and so those are my rest days

    Saturday my school is open 9 to 3. I used to go 11 to 3, but I have a two person practice session at 9:30, so my session that day is longer. So, 5 1/2 hours on Saturdays for now. Used to be 4. I have trouble getting up in the mornings. If I had my act together I would get there at 9:00 to stretch and warm up before my two person practice, but I lag.

    Sundays I keep lagging too. I mean to get to 24 hour fitness around 6,. but am lazy playing World of Warcraft and such and seem to get there around 7. So, about two hours on Sundays. Again, if I got my act together, it should be 3.

    That is my typical workout schedule for the week.
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2015
  10. belltoller

    belltoller OffTopic MonstreOrdinaire Supporter

    That seems like an aggressive schedule.

    Ah, it'd be nice to be able to put even half-that time in. I canna help wonder how my progress would've fared if I had the proper time to put in.
  11. aaradia

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

    Ok, I feel dumb. What do you mean by "aggressive" schedule? :confused:

    Well, aren't you married with kids? I don't know how anyone with kids has any time to train at all. My sister gave up martial arts when she had her one kid.

    After work, I have no commitments. I am not a big social person. Really don't want to be in a relationship right now. Don't have kids. Nothing else I would rather do than train most of the time.
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2015
  12. belltoller

    belltoller OffTopic MonstreOrdinaire Supporter

    lol... 1. active adj. very involved in activity
    2. ambitious adj. desiring success
    3. dynamic adj. active, vital

    Ja, ironically it war on account of the bairns involvement in MA that led to mine. They've both left it for now and I'm still training.

    I'ma not going to lie, its been tough - very tough, lol. The primary issue being one of my kids has issues that tug at the cohesiveness of our home - in other words its very difficult to do anything when one of the major players is not on board.

    But you know, having boxing there keeps me going. I feel like if I lost it, I really don't know what I'd do. Its been the source of motivation for a lot of things, keeps me healthy in the head, brings me into contact with a world that I feel compelled to be in contact with - its a sort of groundedness.

    I think I fear I'd get eaten up by the seeming solutionless problems one of my kids faces. Maybe its some sort of latent manifestation of 'doing battle' that I need - conquor the demons in the ring - conquor the demons in our lives?

    I feel in some ways, my training in MA gives me a fortitude or a resolve that might not be there otherwise - and those two items are very much in need.
  13. aaradia

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

    Thursday, February 26, 2015

    6:30 - Last half of TCC class

    7:00 - Tai Sifu Class. Focus tonight on detailing out Hung Sing Flute/ Stick form

    8:00- Helped another student by being his two person partner during his instructor's lesson (which helps me too) Worked on a bit of stationary pattern and a lot of two person sabre. Which, BTW, is a strange form. Not saying I don't like it, but it is odd. It just feels weird going at another person with a sword in slow motion. Don't know why, but it does. I admit I like CLF two person forms better because you go full speed and power against your opponent. Sow motion forms are fine, slow motion against an opponent are just odd.

    [ame=""]Tai Chi Two-person Saber - YouTube[/ame]

    8:30- regular two person practice session cancelled by partner. So I practiced

    Stance Training
    Horse = 1 minute
    Bow = 1 minute
    Cross = 35 seconds
    Crane = 45 seconds
    Slanted Horse = 35 seconds
    Horse- second round = 40 seconds

    Note* first horse seemed higher tonight to me as right knee was bugging me. Even though I had been working out for a couple of hours, it seemed to loosen up as stance training progressed. Going to pay attention and see if it feels stiff stance training more often after my two days off training than other days.

    Slow motion kicks- didn't go well today. Both sides I messed up several times- putting my foot down, so I started over a couple of times before doing the rounds below
    3 rounds each side- R side did not put foot down
    L side put foot down 2 or 3 times

    I want to think it was because I wasn't sticking to the status quo, and was trying to raise the height of my kicks, but I may be making excuses for myself. Time will tell.

    Tournament CLF forms- Butterfly knives and Small five animal. Boy, they need a lot of work before being tournament ready. I am just going to have to REALLY focus on them after my TCC test. Assuming I test as soon as I think I may be doing. That is not set in stone yet.

    9:15 school closes (well, it closed at 9:00, but instructors were doing chores, so I stayed later. Which they don't mind me doing.

    Also, around 8:00ish, I talked to Tai Sifu about my mental issue. I seem to be forgetting forms the closer I get to testing. Just blanking out things I knew before. He gave me some good advice. He had talked about performing under pressure in his Tai Sifu class too- which also helped. I know me blanking out is a stress reaction. I am SO scared to test in front of Tai Sigung (our school founder) and Grandmaster Doc Fai Wong. I am psyching myself out. But I am trying to figure out how to deal with it.
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2015
  14. belltoller

    belltoller OffTopic MonstreOrdinaire Supporter

    Choreography - I'd think one would want to work those movements out carefully in slomo before moving on to real-time.

    Personally, I thought the movements in the video were very elegant. Was that your class, BTW?
  15. aaradia

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

    Oh sure, you always work things out slowly first in any two person form. But the two person sabre is usually done slowly- TCC speed. I have seen Sifu Lau and his wife do it faster, which was pretty cool. But even then it was not full sword fight full action speed. There is no moving on to real time. It is TCC after all. Well, one can do TCC forms faster, but it isn't common.

    Yes, I agree that the movements were elegant, but practicing the form just feels weird to me. And no, lol, I don't look nearly so good doing the form! We have no full class of this form as it is learned at advanced levels. I learned it in my private lessons. Only a couple of students at my location know it. I have a heck of a time finding someone to practice it with. I have no regular partner, not through lack of trying.

    No, I assume this clip is an exhibition. Those are two Sifu's who run schools in our GM's Federation in Italy. The woman is Tai sifu Simona Fruscoloni and I am pretty sure the male is Tai Sifu Roberto Fasano. (Hopefully, Sifu Ben will tell me if I am mistaken.) I am particularly a fan of the female Sifu's TCC. She (maybe both of them?) have attended my school's GM seminars though.
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2015
  16. belltoller

    belltoller OffTopic MonstreOrdinaire Supporter

    Do you use live, edged weapons - might be why you canna find practice partners :p

    Ja, you are correct - Simona Fruscoloni and Roberto Fasano - they're listed in the opening credits. I didn't know if you were in their group or not - you're based in California as well, IIRC.
  17. aaradia

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

    Our, GM, Doc Fai Wong, runs an international Federation. Tai Sifu Fasano and Tai Sifu Fruscoloni's school are part of the Federation. So is my school. My school's founder and head is taught by GM Wong, as are these two Sifu's from Italy.

    Lol, when you say "based in California as well" no offense, but your sense of geography seems to be worse than mine, which isn't very good.:p

    Italy and California are not very close to each other.:cool:

    Sadly, at this point, me with live edged weapons is more likely to be presenting a danger to myself before anyone else! Then again, maybe not. The instructor tonight who asked me to help by being a partner with his student? I just remembered at one point I bonked him in the head with my blade as he was giving us a correction. Yikes, I blocked it out until now. How embarrassing! Some advanced student I am. Let's see if he asks me to help out again or not after that!:eek::p
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2015
  18. belltoller

    belltoller OffTopic MonstreOrdinaire Supporter

    Lawd, lawd...I didn't see the Hung Sing Italy in the up-loader's description. Plus...I don't know, they look a might Californian but then everyone does at 4am.

    ROTFL! You'd had enough of those corrections, eh? Gonna do some correcting of your own, now.

    Thats too much! I'm sure he'll have you help out again but he's gonna think twice about superfluous chastisements, lol.

    Didn't know Tai Chi had a weapons component. I learn't something new today.
  19. aaradia

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

    Yes, it definitely does. However, some weapons are more traditional, while others are newer additions.

    The Gim (double edged straight sword) is the one very traditional weapon in TCC. Weapons like the fan are newer additions. The newer additions are looked down upon by some traditionalists. Not sure where the sabre falls along the lines of newer vs traditional. I know the solo sabre form is listed on the Official Yang Family site.

    Me, I don't care if a form is newer as long as it follows the principles of TCC. Arts change and grow over time.
  20. El Medico

    El Medico Valued Member

    Saber is as trad as anything. Normally one would learn at least rudiments of saber before going on to specialize in gim.(You can really only do one or the other if you were actually going to employ such skills in the real world).

    Swords as part of the system,or at least the double edged cut-and-thrust sword (gim) is a Yang introduction. You'll find the Chen is absent gim work until more recent times.

    Aside from the fan what other weapons are new? I mean as in post WWII? I can't think of anything that Yang,C-f's last disciple Tseng,Ju-pai didn't at least mention in "Weapons of Primordial Pugilism".

    (And yeah, I look very askance:rolleyes: at the so-called TC fan.And I've told you why.)

    Actually,the original TC weapon,and therefore the true tradition in TC is the lance.And who learns that nowadays? No traditional forms,no "pretty".Just work-solo and partner drills to acquire function. Not much popular appeal there-even tho' it's much more important for developing TC skills than any of the other weapons.

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