Sunday, May 19, 2013

This and That

Quantum Shock – my Si-Fu and WT brother have been involved in quite the project lately. Ladies and gents, I present to you, Quantum Shock.  Part 5 was just released and you’ll find yours truly in a fight scene with the main character.  Although the scene was quite short, it took quite a while to shoot.  It was a lot of fun being a part of it.

Power punching/training routine – I actually posted my power training workout routine on my other blog as it’s fitness related. You can find the entire routine and explanation here.   I’m still hitting the boxing gym on the weekends which gives me a good opportunity to hit the bag (I don’t have a wall bag or wooden dummy). Still enjoy it but it’s revealed a weakness in my right wrist that I’ve injured back in my karate days. Really means I can’t deliver right hooks as powerful as I’d like. Of course, still fun though.

Succession – in business, there should always be some level of redundancy/succession built into the system.  If the CEO of Company X were to retire tomorrow or get hit by a bus, what would happen? I ask this of current martial art instructors. You’ve invested so much into your students, how do you ensure your teachings are maintained past your time here on Earth? Do you keep a binder of notes, videos or just hope that your students can pass on that message for you?

Anyone know if Robert Downey Jr is still practicing wing chun? I would love to train with him.  Why? Because he’s friggin Iron Man.

Finally, stumbled upon this on Youtube - Steven Seagal training with Lyoto Machida. As much as I give Seagal a hard time, he's obviously got skills and you can see it here (as well as similar ideas from WT). although the running kick still looks funny..and I just can't help but remember all those Mad TV skits...

Until then.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Trust Issues? We all have them.


In the moments of a fight, an intense drill, or even a regular exercise where you just don’t know what to expect – tension happens.  Stress happens. Your muscles tighten, your jaw clenches, fist squeezes just a little bit harder, for just a little bit longer than you want.

It’s a very natural reaction.

You see this in all fights. It’s built into our nervous system. When animals fight, they all fight with it. As quick as a snack bites..you can see the flexion in its muscles to make that happen.  We are wired to fight in this way…to be tense, to use strength.

From this tension, comes other bad habits – our centre of gravity rises, we tend to reach for our opponent, we hit at him, not through him.

It’s primal…it’s what got us here as a species. We understand it. It makes sense to us  There’s sex and there’s fight – the two most primal of states that we are hardwired to do.

And then you have wing tsun. It says to you, do the exact opposite of tension - relax. Do the exact opposite of what all those thousands of years of evolution has built into us.  The more relaxed you are, the faster your strikes will be, the more powerful they will be, the more grounded you will be. It will also help with your mental state – being relaxed keeps you from freaking out. it keeps your options open..there’s always a way out..there’s always the opportunity to think of what to do next or what to do now. 

Relaxation is key.

But what is hindering us from relaxing during a fight? TRUST.

We do not trust what relaxation can really do. We do not trust the benefits of relaxation and we revert back to our comfort zone – tension.

(Let’s take a quick moment  to state that relaxation does not mean being weak or frail in your structure. You can have very solid structure and be quite powerful but without being tense.)

There is no tension in water. It just flows and it can be devastating.  There is tension in ice, and while it can be a strong tool, it can snap or break.

We have to learn how to trust relaxation. But how do you build this trust?
It’s like a relationship in which we have to build from the ground up starting with a little bit of faith. Fake it till you make it, as they say. 

When practicing your drills, partner exercises, forms – you will have to learn how to relax the body. You will get hurt, and get hit as you go determine the difference between weak and relaxed, but this risk of getting hurt is common with any process of allowing yourself to trust something.

From there, it becomes a matter of fine tuning to see how much more you can relax while maintaining solid positions and structures…sometimes too much tension, sometimes not enough structure.  It’s all part of the discovery process. 

Give yourself up to relaxation, let it take over you.

And just when you think you got it, relax even more.

Side note: You can have your “strong” wing chun days and you can your “relax” wing chun days. No need to ignore one or the other. You should incorporate both sides of the spectrum to your training. Some give wing chun styles a hard time because they’re too relaxed and others give wing chun styles a hard time because it’s too tense.

But the message here is that tension is inherent in all of us. We already trust tension. We already know what it can do, we also know its limitations.  Now it’s time to discover the benefits of relaxation in fighting. 

Until then. 

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