Bee's Training Log

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

  1. Brigid

    Brigid Kung Fu Mother

    Friday 27 Nov - Kung Fu class. Low impact warm up with a few extra push ups, sits ups, etc - about 20-25 mins. Form practice. I got feedback from Laoshi which was helpful. I have not had individual coaching for a while on my current form so this was a useful session. I got some good corrections particularly on the last section - one movement is a strike with the elbow rather than a block and the final movement is a throw rather than a take down so I need to correct this. I was asked to coach my older son on his form. This will be slow work as he's not really getting a grip on the stances. I am aiming to do a bit more on this with him in the week. After that we did some drills around blocking kicks and knee attacks.

    Sunday 29 November - grading. I was not being graded but went along to watch. This was the first grading run by our Sifu since the new arrangements in our association that have recently been put in place. As a result there was a much smaller group (just over 20 candidates across all grades). The whole event took just over 2 hours and featured one black sash candidate and one 3rd degree (which is what I really wanted to see). As the sole black sash candidate the grading was two forms, two on one sparring and four rounds of sparring one against one. Breaks between each round were about a minute.
    The third degree did the 24 step TCC form (a new requirement). He then had to demonstrate applications of 8 different moves from the TCC form, slowly and then in real time. The final part is a demonstration of expertise in any form of martial arts - in this case it was Escrima. Never seen it before - wow. That's all I can say.
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2015
  2. Brigid

    Brigid Kung Fu Mother

    Monday 30 November: weights - chest and arms - dumbbell flies, dumbbell press and bench press 3x10 reps at 5kg per dumbbell for the first two and 3x6 reps x 40lb followed by bicep curls with a tricep extension, bicep curls across the body and some more bicep curls (3x 10 x 5kg dumbbells). Now everything hurts a little bit.

    Also been stretching during the day and working a bit on my fan form. Last TCC class tomorrow before Christmas unfortunately...
  3. Brigid

    Brigid Kung Fu Mother

    After Monday's weights I felt very unwell. Later in the week I figured out that my balance was a bit awry. So missed Tuesday TCC class. Thursday did more weights with dumbbells. Shoulder press, some exercise designed to work my traps. Used the barbell to do more shoulder presses. 3x10 x5kg dumbbells. I think the barbell weight was 70lb. I did 3x6 reps.

    First Friday of the month is TCC focus at our Friday class. 20 min warm up. Form practice, pushing hands drills, applications. I ended up needing to take some time out as my balance still a bit off. Recovered and did a bit of coaching on the 8 step form. Nice chat at end of class with some of the guys who turn up specifically for this session.
  4. Brigid

    Brigid Kung Fu Mother

    Monday 7 December: Chest: Bench press with barbell 40lb. 3 sets of 5-6 reps. I am still working to get my form right. Dumbells 4.5kg x2 - flat fly and flat press 3x10 apiece. Arms bicep curls with tricep extension, tricep exercise, both with dumbbells as before. Mr B got me to do some additional curls and tricep extensions without weights to help on recognising different muscles. Am def benefiting from his experience as he has done weights for years. Not sure how we avoided training together before now.
  5. Brigid

    Brigid Kung Fu Mother

    Friday 11 December: Missed training during the week for a number of reasons - really hectic at work, so missed Tuesday's TCC class. Busy at home too with a range of domestic duties - elder son had an assessment due and needed a fair amount of support to get the thing written. So was looking forward to kung fu class tonight. Highlights included getting a correction to the 16 step TCC form. There's a turn which moves to a single whip and I've not been entirely clear about the movements - particularly the foot movements. Got it now so need to practice. We started working with sticks/staffs. The stick form which used to be done at senior grades is being introduced for grading at red sash. So all of us are having to learn it. All good as far as I am concerned. I also did some coaching on stances. It was a good reminder of how vital they are for what we are doing and how practice makes such a difference.
  6. Brigid

    Brigid Kung Fu Mother

    Friday 18 December: Kung fu class - Grading results in. All those I expected to have passed were successful.

    After warm up and forms, we did self defence session using short sticks. We worked through some releases - movements to force the other person to let go of the stick. We also practiced applying armlocks using the stick as a lever. I was working with Laoshi who does this stuff properly. I am not sure my joints would stand up to a whole evening but he does make sure that my technique is correct and that I get to experience a proper lock too. We finished with some defences against a strike to the head with the stick. I got most out of this session, partly because it was an opportunity to work through the range of moves from the set sparring we have learned at different grades - different strikes to the throat, throws and takedowns. The partner I was working with had a lot of good ideas and so we took turns to think up new ways to counter once we'd blocked the attack. Overall this was quite a long session and in all I worked with six different partners. Very useful. Did a short bit of sparring at the end of the class and found that my ankle was not as sore as in previous weeks which I took as a sign that it might actually be healing.
  7. Brigid

    Brigid Kung Fu Mother

    Been ages since I logged so this will entry will have to cover quite a bit:

    Christmas hols - active recovery - lots of walking, stretching and forms practice, plus a few weights sessions too. Went back to work on 4 Jan feeling pretty good.

    Friday 8 January - Kung Fu class where the focus was on tai chi. After warm up we worked through the hand drill, 4 step, 8 step and 16 step forms. I feel like I know them quite well now but am still working on getting the flow working well. Slower and smoother if you see what I mean.

    More to follow.
  8. Brigid

    Brigid Kung Fu Mother

    Week and a half later - been ill with a coldy/flu-y thing that's been doing the rounds at work.

    Wednesday 13 - started TCC/Qi Gong class - 1hr. One to one lesson due to poor attendance - a few of the students lined up decided not to do the class, but luckily for me the instructor is happy to do the hour for the two of us willing to continue because it works for her. We ran through 12 Daoyin and I got the book with CD/DVD to go with it which I have been reading through. I know 6 out 12 exercises quite well now and will be aiming to get the rest under my belt in the next few weeks. We then worked on the pattern for the fan form. Again, I am hoping to get the basics of the whole pattern in the next 6 weeks.

    I missed Kung Fu last Friday because I was truly ill by that stage.

    Physio on Tuesday and my ankle is improving but running is still not recommended.
  9. Frodocious

    Frodocious She who MUST be obeyed! Moderator Supporter

    Hope the cold clears up soon! :)
  10. Brigid

    Brigid Kung Fu Mother

    Over the last month or so I have been doing the following:

    Two weekly classes - kung fu on Fridays (2hrs) and TCC on Wednesdays (one hour of what has become one to one tuition).

    Aside from that I have been:

    Increasing overall levels of physical activity (taking into account the fact that I am still not cleared by physio to undertake high impact training) walking fast over longish distances, swimming, practicing dao yin exercises, fan form practice. Also stretching and doing strengthening exercises as recommended by physio.

    I'm getting quite a lot out of the TCC sessions because it is one to one and I am making good progress with the fan form and have now started learning the 24 step form. Aside from the forms, she's been doing some work on basic concepts - for pushing hands and on breathing. It usually takes me a while to get breathing exercises and she had me working on sinking my breath to my feet when breathing out. Am still working on this.

    This week, I am planning to add a couple of short cardio sessions at the gym.

    At my kung fu class, we are now starting to see the new curriculum of training. There's more TCC and some aspects - forms and staff work - are now going to be trained at more junior grades.

    I've put thoughts of doing my black sash off until I can see that my ankle is properly fixed. July at the earliest. By comparison, because of my injury I am been feeling like I am getting less out of the class. But I have carried on attending because it's sociable, I get some fitness training, a chance to practice my forms (though I am not doing them as well as I would like) and do a bit of pushing hands.
  11. Brigid

    Brigid Kung Fu Mother

    TCC class restarted yesterday after a break of 4 weeks. I have now joined an improver's class run by my instructor. I shall miss the one to one training I got before Easter but think I will get quite a bit out of working with others. So we are going to work together for the next 14 weeks and the focus of the class is a mix of:

    - 12 Daoyin
    - 24 step yang style TCC form
    - kung fu fan form
    - sword form

    But she started the class by taking us through yang chen fu principles (13 of them) which underpin TCC practice. The first 5 are external and I need to get a handout with all of them on. The rest are internal concepts. I can tell already that these will be very useful to me. She also emphasised the importance of not being impatient - I have been reminded before the benefits of contemplating each movement carefully. Her feedback to me was that my daoyin was better than my 24 step form. This is no shock to me given that I have been spending more time on the former than the latter.

    My physio has now cleared me for running (although not to go crazy - 10% of what I was doing before). I gave a bit of gentle jogging a go on Tuesday and it was fine - in fact it was more than fine..... - it's been such a long time (nearly a year) that I was delighted. Bit sore the following day but now all settled down.

    Tomorrow's kung fu class will be the first after the Easter break. Younger son when for his grading in March so should get his results. Class will be TCC focus.
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2016
  12. Brigid

    Brigid Kung Fu Mother

    Last night's kung fu class confirmed that my son had passed his grading. Very pleased for him as he wanted to do it and worked hard to get there. He's only 9....

    A big class again because some come once a month to train at this particular class which is TCC focus. The warm up - 20-30 mins - included some input from Sifu on what I took to be the same principles my TCC instructor had set out earlier in the week. Stillness in movement and movement in stillness. I was in the right frame of mind for this (sometimes it goes over my head) so it was a useful concept to contemplate on as we did a range of exercises for warm up.

    We covered forms from the hand drill to 16 step. We did a number of repetitions of each one in groups and I found this a good way of focusing on each movement and on the overall flow of the form. I got one correction that I have been struggling to keep in my head but I think I have finally got it straight so will practice it a few times today to make sure it sticks.

    We finished the lesson by doing a short session on applications and I was too tense most of the time to accomplish a decent push from my legs. Will see if I can get my older son to stand still long enough so I can practice on him.
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2016
  13. Brigid

    Brigid Kung Fu Mother

    Tuesday 19th, took my older son to the park to train together. He ran there while I did a mix of jogging and walking. We practiced the first two combinations of the kung fu form he is learning and did a session of:

    5x10 push ups
    5x10 sit ups
    5 x 10 standing squats with push kicks
    5x10 reverse lunges

    He ran home while I walked as fast as I could.

    Wednesday 20th I spent 15 mins this evening doing dao yin exercises. My main reflection on them is that I am still working on fine-tuning some of the movements. The pace at which I am doing them has slowed down so I am not rushing now. Given I am doing them mostly at home on my own I think I probably would benefit from getting someone to film me doing them so that I can review my posture and the individual movements in more detail. The middle of my back is a bit weak and I am not always sure I am bending with a straight back so that's one thing I'd like to check along with how my stepping looks.
  14. Brigid

    Brigid Kung Fu Mother

    Friday 22nd - Kung fu class - 1830-2130. There's a children's class before ours and I help out with it. I ran the warm up for about 20 children aged 6-15 and then did some coaching with the new yellow sashes to help them learn their form. They are young and enthusiastic which is great and the key thing is getting them to focus on accuracy.

    In the family class that follows, we had 3 new joiners - all mums of girls who do the earlier class. As a result of having a few new members I think the warm up was not as intense as it might be. We ran through all the forms from the most junior upwards and given that there are 8 of them and I was doing them as well as I can, it was a decent warm up in itself.

    I spent about half an hour working with a guy who attends to work on TCC. We were trying to make more progress on learning the 24 step form. We got the basic movements sorted for the first 10 steps but went no further as we agreed we now need Sifu to review and correct what we have learned. We finished with about 15 mins sparring in short of 30s-1min. This is definitely my main area for improvement and I need to do a lot more, but I was pleased I was able to keep going for the whole session.
  15. Brigid

    Brigid Kung Fu Mother

    Over the last two weeks:
    Wednesday TCC class has been focusing on learning more of the 24 step form. I don't know the whole pattern yet and my instructor has advised me to concentrate on precision in each of the movements. So I have been paying attention to the quality of her movements and those of other senior class members when I get the chance, alongside practising and learning a more movements. Learned a bit more fan form and continued to practice dao yin. My instructor has also provided a couple of dvds which have been really useful for practice in the week. I was not overly convinced about how useful they would be but I have found that I am using the dao yin dvd to help guide my practice.

    Last week's kung fu class was first of the month so we do TCC focus and there are a group of people who only attend this class. Main highlight for me was one to one coaching with Sifu on the 24 step form. There are some direction changes which I have found a bit confusing and he made this much clearer. Very good. We finished the class looking at releases and I blanked when asked to think about a release from being grabbed by the throat - I was 5th up and asked to demonstrate something different from those who had gone before me. Ho hum.... Anyway after standing for a minute or so with Sifu's hands round my throat he made a suggestion about what I could do (step in, push one hand up and away, push attacker away at the jaw) I did it pretty well.

    Friday 13 Kung fu - children's class was a bit of a back to basics session - big focus on stances and basic blocking. Not the sort of thing you can do every week because a variety of training goes down better but really important. Family class warm up included 80 press ups and sit ups. Confirmed what I have known for quite a while, that I am really not doing enough training. Lots of reasons for this but it's definitely true. In forms practice, I aimed to pick up my pace, so kept in time with the black sash next to me. Second Friday of the month is stick/staff training which is done in groups. I spent about 25 mins working with a group of younger kids on basic defensive moves (which for most of them was just getting them to move out of the way of a punch and some basic blocks). Having enough time to explain and then practice saw each one of them make a bit of progress. I got 10 mins on the staff form and now need to practice today and tomorrow so I can consolidate on this bit of learning.
  16. Brigid

    Brigid Kung Fu Mother

    Training this week:

    Wednesday TCC class: we did the alternative dao yin set which the rest of the class have been doing for some time. I did my best with this, but don't really have much of a feel for it. Some movements have a resonance with the set I know so I imagine that with another couple of months I should know this a lot better. We practiced 24 step form and I've added a few more movements to my repertoire here. This lesson is an hour long but whizzes by pretty quickly. I often find that I could easily do another half hour to cover all the things I would like to.

    In the evening I did the 12 dao yin at home. I can see that I am making progress in terms of the postures and fluidity. I have to make sure I am maximising each of the movements to get the right level of stretch and rotation which they are designed to deliver.

    It's been a bit of mega week at work so I have been pretty mentally exhausted and by Thursday I just needed to do some exercise so went to the park to run (slowly) and do some push ups and other exercises. While I was there, I spotted a woman doing a fabulous sword form. Looked brilliant and was a source of inspiration.

    Friday Kung Fu class - in the children's class, I worked with the white sashes who are just getting to grips with the basics. There's a balance to be struck between really working them hard on the basics and keeping their momentum and motivation up.

    In the family class, I am now pushing myself a bit harder during warm up and elected to do free sparring rather than pushing hands at the end of the class. We did exercises on moving from stance to stance in response to attacking moves from a partner. This is the sort of thing I could do with practicing more regularly so may see whether I can get my older son to work on it with me. I spent about 20 mins coaching a group of teenagers who are at intermediate sashes. This had its ups and downs. A couple of them had no interest at all - so were quite hard work - and a couple of the others were really motivated and paying attention - so quite mixed. We did not do a lot of sparring (probably 5 rounds of 45 secs) and I ran out steam by the end and hobbled home with my legs including ankles feeling stiff and sore. I have recovered well today and don't appear to have any major after effects.
  17. Brigid

    Brigid Kung Fu Mother

    Today - TCC class. Started the class feeling really off colour - I am due to go to the doctor's as I have really slumped recently in terms of both energy and mood. I am presuming this is hormonally related so just want to get a blood test to see if my oestrogen levels have crashed. After working through the dao yin section of the class, I felt a lot better. More focused and calmer.

    We worked on the 24 step form twice. The first run through, I was struggling to keep up and got a bit confused about the latter sections that I have not properly learned. The second time was better as I was more focused on each section rather than anticipating the moves I don't know in the latter part of the form. As it is, I can see the end in sight in terms of learning the full pattern.

    Our instructor also gave us handouts to look at which cover a range of useful concepts and thinking on TCC principles. This includes the 13 important points of Yang Cheng Fu:

    1. Sink the shoulders and drop the elbows
    2. Empty the chest and raise the back
    3. Let the chi sink to the dantian
    4. The energy at the top of the head should be light and sensitive
    5. Relax the waist and hips
    6. Distinguish full and empty
    7. Coordinate upper and lower body
    8. Use the mind not force
    9. Harmonise the internal and external
    10. Connect the mind and chi
    11. Seek stillness in movement
    12. Unify movement and stillness
    13. Each posture should be even and uniform.

    The early ones are external issues with possibly (?) being more internal. I liked these a lot when I first saw them and will be looking to incorporate the ideas into my practice.
  18. Brigid

    Brigid Kung Fu Mother

    Friday 27 May - Kung fu - a fairly standard class with circuit training warm up and focus on forms. All good. Not much to report (can't remember this far on). 1hr 45 mins training plus another hour on the children's class.

    Half term week - no formal classes, but a couple of sessions in the park doing a mix of exercises and practicing forms. Enjoying doing my exercises on the grass and had one very good session covering 4 of my main forms - still focusing on accuracy and speed but also thinking more about expression. I've felt more in touch with my capacity to add more expression to my kung fu forms since starting to learn the fan form. This is the sort of cross over I was hoping to get from doing more TCC so it is good to see it happening.
  19. Brigid

    Brigid Kung Fu Mother

    Wednesday TCC: class covered qi gong general health set (which I don't know well yet) and 24 step form. Making progress on learning the form slowly but enough to have a sense of forward momentum. We also walked through the first section of Fan form no2 which others in the class have done already and I was completely clueless.

    This is the form: [ame=""][/ame]

    Same music but my instructor explained this has Chen style movements. Looking forward to learning more of this.

    Friday 10 June: TCC focus at kung fu class. In the children's class, I worked with a group of yellow sashes to teach them the 4 step form. It clicked for quite a few of them and I could see they were pleased to have got the hang of it. This little form has many elements of the longer forms so it is a good building block. In the family class, we did a lot of stretching, particularly hamstrings. Very good. I got one really good correction to my TCC form which was to do with how the back hand moves forward in brushing the knee (closer to my face before pushing forward). I have known that I have not been doing this right but could not put my finger on what the issue was.
  20. Brigid

    Brigid Kung Fu Mother

    Wednesday 15th TCC class a good class this week. We had all class members in attendance for the first time since I joined so the spirit of the session was good. We sent most of the time on the 24 step form. The instructor focused on the movement and applications for single whip and waving hands like clouds with particular attention to footwork. Much clearer. I'm feeling more confident about learning the whole form before our Summer break.

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