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 recently started contact in two person forms. Baby steps toward doing more. I only make contact with a couple of people that are fully vaxxed AND that I know are still being safe in their daily lives even though vaxxed. And it is mostly outdoors. One partner is indoors. I only go indoor in our big room, when no one has really been inside for a long time. AND it has a big rolling opening and fans. I stay by the big opening. I started a thread on here about my one main two person partner, who is sort of becoming NOT my main two person partner, due to her not being vaccinated.

    The mask thing, yeah, I wonder if resistance is only in the USA. Vaccines resistance too. Do you have a problem with vaccine resistance too?

    I think I have posted this on MAP, but here is a list of forms in our Plum Blossom International Federation. The CLF, has more than anyone can learn. One only has to learn a small percentage to reach Sifu level. The TCC, well, I actually know or have learned at some point a good deal of them. My GM learned from three lineages of CLF, so we have 3 lineages of forms. In both arts, my GM has also created forms. So, some are traditional, some are newer.

    Choy Li Fut Forms List - Plum Blossom International Federation

    Tai Chi Forms - Plum Blossom International Federation

    Oh, it is quite confusing even empty handed! But it helps develop both your brain and your body dexterity, like Flying Crane writes about.

    It is harder I think. I have talked to other lefties in my school. The big issue is getting certain nuances of the power right in he weaker hand. For example, there is a certain whooshing sound in our stick form that tells you you have the right energy ibn the moves. It takes us lefties forever to get that whoosh! But yeah, I think we DO have the advantage of being forced to develop our weaker side in a way that right handers don't.
    Nachi likes this.
  2. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Well-Known Member

    How did CLF get such a big curriculum? Does anybody actually know all of the forms that are included? If so, how do they maintain a high level with them all, or is that recognized as simply not possible?

    i understand there is another CLF lineage that uses a much smaller list of forms, like less than a dozen. How did that get established?
  3. aaradia

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

    It IS a really useful practice to learn both sides. And yeah, part of why I like forms is they not only train your body, but your brain. As I get older, they say it is important to use your brain. I call forms my "cross word puzzles."

    And yeah, just doing a few steps and adding a couple moves at a time, that is the way to do it!

    I drill the basics and work the fundamentals IN my forms training. That IS the the main point of forms training, after all. :) If one just does a bunch of forms WITHOUT using it to drill fundamentals, then one is doing forms training all wrong IMO. Mindfulness is key.

    My previous instructor would tell me before starting a form "convince me you would hurt somebody."

    I had a finger injury a little over a year ago. It was a bad one. My hand with that finger could not take contact until recently. I am looking into getting a heavy bag in my yard, so I can work some sort of practice with contact. I was going to consider using the bags at my school, but I don't know. With Omicron skyrocketing, I am going to hold off awhile on that. It is very upsetting, not sparring for almost two years. But I really try to not focus on that for the sake of my mental health.
  4. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Well-Known Member

    Ive got a heavy bag in my garage, it is a very useful tool. I recommend not using wraps and gloves, so you get accustomed to delivery without that extra protection. It works for me, just go gradually, like anything.
  5. aaradia

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

    No, I don't think it is possible!

    To become Sifu level one only has to know a small percentage of the forms. I think on that website I linked that GM says Sifu level is 20%. My Sifu says he has forgotten more forms than most people learn. So no, sometimes one learns what one needs to from a form and moves to another form and lets some go. I have already experienced this necessity in Tai Chi.

    My school is descended from three lineages of CLF. So we have the breadth of three lineages of forms in our system. Some CLF people won't have all that to choose from. Also, my GM has developed a lot of forms. so you can sort of call that a 4th lineage of forms in our system.

    A lot of forms are exotic weapons that most people don't learn. Or one chooses to learn a couple, but certainly not all of them. Or say, each of our three lineages has a great Cross Pattern form. In schools without three lineages, there would be only one to possibly learn. And honestly, most people in our schools don't learn all three.

    Buk Sing has far fewer forms, I don't know the amount. There is a lot of lineage fighting between Fut San and Hung Sing lineages. (My school's lineages are all Hung Sing.) So, I won't get into why. I stay out of that nonsense. It depends on who you ask. I respect all CLF styles and lineages and approaches.

    I love that we live in an age where so many ways to study are available to us human beings. You can study with whatever style or lineage you resonate with! More forms, less forms, weapons or hand, grappling or stand up. We have so much to choose from. We are lucky to be martial artists in this age of information and travel!

    Also, the Fut San lineage that is one of my school's three lineages has fewer forms than the other two. I honestly don't know if my school just doesn't have as many because my GM studied with GGM Lau Bun in the last couple of years of his life, or if there just aren't as many forms in Fut San period.

    I will add this video. Sifu Kuttel discusses what he would do if he had to choose just 5 forms to teach the essential essence of CLF. Part of why I like this video is he really breaks down what the forms he chooses teach. One will get a lot of how we approach forms training from this video.

    p.s. I know all 5 of the forms he discusses.

    Last edited: Jan 2, 2022
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  6. aaradia

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

    I am experienced in heavy bag workouts. We have them at my school. I just haven't used them lately because of Covid. My finger injury sort of discouraged me from getting one at home, although realistically I could have used my other limbs and still trained. Like I mentioned, my mental health has really been a struggle with Covid.
    Flying Crane likes this.
  7. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Well-Known Member

    Interesting video, thanks for sharing it. I watched the whole thing, which I find I can rarely do these days because a lot of stuff on the internet isn’t worth the time. Much appreciated, it gives a good glimpse of the CLF flavor of things.
    aaradia likes this.
  8. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Well-Known Member

    Understood, and I think many of us are experiencing difficulties on some level or other. My wife and I were unemployed during the whole time, and only recently began working again. Financial uncertainty, along with new employment anxiety, along with Covid safety along with having a young son in school (he is finally fully vaccinated-whew!) all adds up to a lot of stress and anxiety. I was able to focus a lot of my energy during that time on my training in my yard and on the bag. But there was always an underlying uneasyness that it isn’t sustainable in the long run. I think we are all feeling some level of PTSD.
    aaradia likes this.
  9. aaradia

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

    Yeah, we all have struggles getting through this mess. I wish you and your family all the best!

    I don't think I would have mentally survived this pandemic without martial arts. Truly.

    I have been fortunate that I have not been unemployed due to this. But there was a point where our previous mayor threatened to lay off Library staff. This would have included a loss of health benefits right when the pandemic hit! My Union stepped in because what he was doing was against the Union contract he signed. We were closed for about a year, but went to work in a closed library. We caught up on all sorts of projects that we normally don't have time for. We re-opened a few months ago, and it is stressful dealing with the risk of working with the public. My system does what it can, thanks largely to my Union, to keep us safe. But we do deal with a lot of mental illness with some of our patrons. So, I am lucky to have a job, but it stresses me out too.

    I have mentioned before, my particular difficulty in this is I have moderate OCD. And this pandemic really the worst possible mix with that ailment. It "justifies" all the worst about OCD. I largely had my OCD under control until this. And it is weird, because while it causes difficulties, I also think my OCD has kept me from getting Covid. For example: right now I am dealing with damage to my hands from so much hand washing.
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  10. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Well-Known Member

    My wife and I also work in the library system.
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  11. Nachi

    Nachi Valued Member Supporter

    Yep, I've been thinking about it indeed. I did try the first 14 moves on the other side when I learned them, but it didn't go well. I had to think super hard and often stop and try on the right side to figure out how the movement went. When I try now, a year later, I can do that without stopping right off the bat, as I am more familiar with the moves and type of movement, so I was thinking I'd definitely practice this, but perhaps once I am more familiar with it. My teacher also mentioned this in a way that he saw his teacher jsut flow through the form, changing directions randomly, like he felt.
    When teaching the online classes, for the camera my teacher was doing the moves in the mirror way too because of the camera, so we could easily copy him. He did it with ease also without prior trying as he said and I would have never recognized he never trained this way.
    I think I will give this a try, too :)

    I think what you wrote is a pretty good advice, so thank you for that. I will try. When I practice I do both sequences and whole forms, but truth be told, I rarely practice on my own, mostly in classes where we do all these. I am always thinking of changing that, but.... :D
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  12. Nachi

    Nachi Valued Member Supporter

    I've also been wandering this. Is it really cold outside at this time of year where you're at? Like if you train outside, do you train in many layers of clothes, or is the winter relatively mild?

    Oooh, yeah, we do have resistance here, too. Although estimations are that only a relatively small percantage of people are real anti-vaxxers, the rest are just those who are afraid due to various information spreading. But we did have some demonstrations, too. Idiots putting on the star of David as a symbol they are being oppressed by being forced to get the vaccine and wear masks, comparing themselves to Jewish people in the WWII. It makes no sense at all and it is so inappropriate that my brain can't even begin to understand... Some people would just only need a punch in their face, honestly.

    I can definitely imagine this. It is enough to imagine me trying to make a whooshing sound with something with my left hand and I can sympathize...
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  13. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Well-Known Member

    I sometimes get confused on the second side, and have to go back to the primary side to re-think it. Especially if I’ve had a break in my training. So don’t let that discourage you. It is simply part of the process. This is something that we are always working on, we are never done. Sometimes that means we slip backwards a bit and need to recover lost ground. No worries.
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  14. aaradia

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

    My suggestion is 14 moves is too much at once. Especially if it is extra on top of your curriculum. When I am trying to tackle a new form that is before I am learning it officially, I try to commit to just 5 moves a week. It isn't overwhelming. Sometimes, I will add more if things are going well, but the commitment is just 5. It adds up if you do this consistently, and it feels possible and not overwhelming!
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  15. Nachi

    Nachi Valued Member Supporter

    You are right, it was just me trying it out once like that before. Just figure out how it felt. And I just tried the same thing not long ago for comparison. It wasn't anything I'd call consistent training. But you are both right. It I try to work on this, step by step should be the key :)
    my point was also that I realized the better I am at the form, the easier it would translate into the other side if I tried, so so far I really only focused on improving the standard form. And there are still many things to improve. Well, there will always be though. It is always hard to just figure out when I know enough to try something on top of it, I suppose :D
    I might be going back to training this week hopefully, after a couple of weeks of doing nothing at all. Once I get back on track, I should try your suggestions, though. Thanks for that. :)
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  16. aaradia

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

    San Diego, Ca. USA has some of the mildest weather in the world. It is part of why the cost of living is ridiculously high here.

    But if you grow up here, like I did, you become a wimp. We are so spoiled, we don't build up resistance to any weather at all. What we call a rain storm is usually a sprinkle in other parts of the USA or world.

    Our Cold weather has people from other parts of the country in shorts. But yeah, I bring a jacket. Usually when I start working out, I don't need it. But in cold weather, if I stop, I put it back on. Then off again when I start moving again.

    Well, that said, things are actually really getting more extreme here than it used to be. Global Warming effects are showing in our weather patterns.
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  17. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Well-Known Member

    In Northern California where I am, near Sacramento, it gets near freezing at night in the winter, but if you go into the mountains then of course they get full winter. Daytime can still be in the 40s and 50s F. In the summer, it can be over 110 degrees F, which is a whole different kind of misery. Early morning workouts in the summer, to avoid that heat. But year round, I can train outside.
  18. aaradia

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

    Sunday, January 2, 2022 -

    7:06 (At home- school closed on Sundays)

    18 Lohan warm up.

    Kettlebell Swings - I added 4.6 pound weight plate = total 13.2 Pounds now. I ?think? I have proper form. I hope so anyways.

    TCC - Plum Blossom Kwan-Dao with Wushu Kwan-Dao, Plum Blossom Gim, CLF- Siu Moi Fa,
    1 arm kettlebell rows, TCC - 5 Elements Yin-Yang Palm, CLF - Small 5 Animal, Kettlebell Halo's, TCC - Broadsword & double cudgels, CLF - Sup Ji Jit Fu

    Finished around 9:05. Took a couple of breaks to swap out laundry and a couple of other quick chores within this time, so I will estimate

    1 hour and 45 minutes

    The added weight for the kettlebells felt good. I could probably push it more, but I want to take the kettlebells slowly. Make sure I don't overdo it and injure myself. I have test goals that I don't want set back. Also, the aforementioned mental health issues. I REALLY need my workouts for my mental health right now.

    Also, when I list forms, some of them I run through once. Others, I am working on details and corrections and going over parts of them repeatedly, spending time on a form, doing the whole thing more than once sometimes. I tend to really mix up Sup Ji Jit Fu and Small 5 Animal with each other mid form. So, I am really trying to work on both of them more often.

    Now, I need to start doing stretching again. More than the 18 Lohan form. It's great, but it isn't enough. I lost a lot of flexibility during the pandemic shut down that I haven't regained yet.
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2022
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  19. Nachi

    Nachi Valued Member Supporter

    I see, it is a very southern place! It's great you can easily practice outside even at this time of the year :)

    We don't have very big rainstorms and such here, either, but winters are colder. Not terribly, but it's usually freezing or at least close to it in January and February.
  20. aaradia

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

    Monday, January 3, 2022 -

    I work an evening shift now on Mondays. :( So I go in for a quick bit of working out.

    8:25 p.m.
    Worked on what I affectionately call the "monster forms" named this because they are monstrously long. All 3 are part of my black to Senior Black curriculum. Ping Kuen, Sup Ji Kau Da and Shaolin 5 Animal. Really spent a lot of time on Ping Kuen. It is the shortest, but most technically difficult of the three. Sort of just walked through Shaolin 5.

    I was having a rare night of really not wanting to work out. It was COLD! So, it was just a matter of discipline to stay at all.

    Also worked on my TCC seated form.

    Did that exercise my CLF instructor gave me for leg strength and flexibility. Also did a bit of stretching.

    Left at 9:24

    59 Minutes
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2022
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