Journal of Aaradia's MA Journey

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

  1. Late for dinner

    Late for dinner Valued Member

    FYI :' D

    ''Uploaded on Aug 16, 2010
    Tai Chi Two-person Sabre performed by Hung Sing Italy, members of the Plum Blossom International Federation.'' 1st line below the video on YT.

    Last edited: Feb 28, 2015
  2. Late for dinner

    Late for dinner Valued Member

    Aaradia, I'm interested in the weight of the weapons you train with.

    We tended to use steel or iron weapons rather than some of the lighter weapons because of a desire to incorporate co-ordination of the body and weapon weight to generate power. I don't know what normally happens in TCC but I sort of thought that philisophically this might be similar to how others think (the mass/momentum of the weapon is controlled/guided rather than manhandled to achieve the desired cuts).

    El Medico, would love a link to see the lance!!

  3. aaradia

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

    Friday, February 27, 2015

    6:30 - stretching and warm up

    7:00 - TCC forms practice -

    Sabre forms-solo and single practice of two person form
    Fan Forms

    7:30 - I had been practicing in the back area behind the school. I went inside to find my two partners for our Pattern and Da Lu practice session, but they didn't show up. Didn't leave a message, didn't leave an E-mail for me to find once I got home. :mad: Feeling a bit annoyed by the lack of proper protocol, but on the other hand, it isn't like I drove there only to practice with them. I would be at the school regardless. And I do have so much else I need to work on.

    So.................continued TCC forms practice.
    More sabre- Tai Sifu was watching and helped me with one part I knew I wasn't doing right. You ever do something and can just feel it isn't right, even when you don't know what you are doing wrong? I have the worst trouble getting this one move down. Hopefully, what Tai Sifu said will help.

    40 form

    Part of 108 long form. I meant to do the whole thing, but got caught up in trying to fix a few details instead. For some weird reason, my timing started going off in Parting the Wild Horses Mane. Been fine for years, but started being too slow with the arms the last few months. Also, Tai Sifu was detailing Single whip in TCC class last night, and I was trying to improve one part of single whip based on that

    Did a bit of CLF butterfly knives form. Trying to face different directions to prepare for being in tournament ring, but as I am still trying to get the basics of this form down, so being in a different direction caused some difficulties.

    Stance training
    Horse= 1 minute
    Bow = 1 minute
    Crane = 45 seconds
    Cross step = 40 seconds
    Slanted Horse = 35 seconds
    Horse stance second round = 45 seconds

    Horse stance felt a bit lower again. Also,above 30 seconds in every stance. Baby steps, but still progress.

    slow motion kicks
    Did not put foot down on either side! Better than yesterday. My right side kicking is definitely better, I am left footed. Does it have something to do with my strong leg being the supporting leg?

    Also, I hopped a couple of times. But the good news is in the past when I got to having to hop, I lost it. This time, I was able to not put my foot down even when having to hop to keep balance. I think it is progress. (Of course, it would be best to not need to hop.)

    Somewhere in practice, I tweaked my R Achilles heel. It started hurting and still is. I don't think it is serious, but it did slow down my practice a bit. Hopefully, I will wake up tomorrow and it will still seem like a minor tweak. I am a little concerned. Tomorrow will tell.

    9:00 - school closes
  4. aaradia

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

    Second me on wanting to see a link to the lance.

    We use spring steel weapons. I honestly don't know what the "spring" in spring steel means. But I know it isn't like "Wushu" floppy foil type weapons. My Sabre in particular is a bit heavy.

    What you say about the philosophy of weapons work sounds like what we do, although I never thought of it like that before you said it. Does any MA think manhandling is the way to go? That would surprise me.
  5. aaradia

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

    Thanks for the info! I find it interesting that Chen style did not have Gim until more recently. Being the older style, I thought it would have had Gim at an older time too.

    I respect that you have a different opinion on the fan, although obviously we disagree on this matter. One of the TCC fan forms I quite like, although I admit I am not fond of the other one.

    We don't have a lance, but we have a TCC spear form. We also have a TCC staff form, cane, and a stick form that I can think of offhand. Looking at my GM's website I also see a twin wheels form. That seems to cover it in my school's federation.

    Actually, none of these are in my school's curriculum. Some students after black fringe level learn some of these forms though. And some have been taught in seminars. Some of these were developed by my GM.

    I have youtubed some of these weapons in other schools not affiliated with my GM and seen them in other TCC schools, so we aren't the only ones. But yes, I understand they aren't classical TCC weapons. I honestly don't know how new any of them are to TCC, but I suspect all post WW2. Except maybe the spear? Maybe being related to the lance? But that is a wild guess. I admit I do not know.

    That said, I really have no interest in the weapons mentioned above. I like the TCC weapons I know, but don't feel a need to learn additional ones. I won't be pursuing learning them after by black fringe test, like some students do. (We have no set curriculum in TCC after black fringe level.)
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2015
  6. El Medico

    El Medico Valued Member

    It's now referred to and practiced (sorta) as the long staff you see in TC -it's around the same length as the long staff/pole used in Fu Hok Hung.Yangs took the points off in the mid to later 1800s.

    Yeah,one thing that was always a pain was trying to get practice weaponry with realistic weight-but now you can't even find a commercially made machete outside of bolos that have the weight they should,which makes you have to do more work-a lot more. Forget FMAs,I'm just talking about "regular" usage.

    Remember we're speaking of a small farming village.Swords cost money.A decent point on a long pole is not only cheaper/easier but also is more applicable against mounted bandits-plus a square of guys with long poles doesn't require the expertise that wielding a sword does. There's a documented (in a gazette,I think) incident of a couple Chens using long poles or maybe even actual lances (I don't remember) repelling some ne'er do wells in some town they happened to be in.There's a thread or two somewhere about these things.

    It's not such a big deal that I wouldn't gladly welcome you over to our house to look at the library,youngster.;)

    Them there fire wheels sure ain't a "trad" TC weapon!

    So do you use the loooong pole?

    If the spear is 9 or more feet in length it could come from the pole from the lance.Otherwise,no.

    Probably the most integral to one's own development as regards the TC systems is the lance/pole and sword. The pole exercises esp. as they really contain much of the root of TC skill/power.
  7. aaradia

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

    Saturday, February 28, 2015

    9:30 - CLF Two person practice with Mr. M. Golden Leopard vs Tiger still as our instructor was sick last week, so she couldn't have her go over the two person staff with him. Ms. D joined us the last bit of practice. She is a black Sash. But I asked if she remembered the two person staff enough to practice with me and she doesn't. Sigh* There is no way I am going to be able to do this at our upcoming tournament at this rate.

    10:00 Stretching and warm up.

    10:40 Bit of solo two person sabre, but mostly wasted time. Really not sure how even. I was just bumming around the school and lost track of time.

    11:00 Sparring class.

    12:00 Surprise visit by one of our past students who had to move away a few months ago! One of the most popular students at the school, and with good reason. Great student and person. Several of us all caught up with her.

    Also, moving step two person partner could not stick around to practice today.

    12:30 - TCC formatting, broken up by................

    1:25 - Two person practice with Mr. M. FINALLY got together with him. He is a Dr, so his schedule for practicing together isn't good. Have been trying for months. I have joined his instructors lesson to help out, but this is the first time we just practiced. Two person Sabre, btw. It went very well. He is easy to work with as a two person partner, which I appreciate.

    Meant to do a half hour, but it ran longer.

    2:10 back to TCC formatting. So strict formatting means running through the entire test (well the forms part) so it wasn't strictly formatting, but close. Yeah, I ended up missing a couple of forms by the end, but I did a lot of the format. (Didn't get to last half of one fan form, 24, or 40.) Still having stress related memory lapses, but it was better than it has been.


    Stance Training
    Horse = 1 minute
    Bow = 1 minute
    Crane = 45 seconds
    Slanted Horse = 45 seconds
    Cross Step = 35 seconds
    Horse stance- 2nd round = 45 Seconds

    Slow Motion Kicks
    Right side- did not put foot down
    Left side didn't go well today - had to start over, and still put foot down twice. Also not happy with the quality on the left side today. Not at all,

    Left at 3:30. School closes at 3:00, but instructors were there late taking care of stuff, so I was allowed to continue practicing.

    Right ankle only still mildly twinged. Very relieved.
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2015
  8. belltoller

    belltoller OffTopic MonstreOrdinaire Supporter

    Aye, Ross...belltoller's blind as a bat as well as canna read a junior school primer - that's been well established for some time now, thank you.
  9. Late for dinner

    Late for dinner Valued Member

    Some people appear to do more ''controlling'' of a weapon and some do more ''guiding'' if that makes any sense. Working with the weapon does make more sense but you can see some forcing things....

    I always find it interesting to see people using weapons and how they control the weapon/guide it. Sometimes you wonder how realistically they perform the sets.. e.g.when you have a sharp heavy weapon and someone bumps it there is the chance you could (in a battle ) take off your own limb... If the blade in practice is swung too close to the body, such that a small push could knock it into one's own limb, then it's too close. It takes more work to keep a heavy weapon at a safe distance. It's possible practising with lighter weapons doesn't build this spatial awareness up in quite the same way. Of course in practical terms we aren't likely to be in battles so it's no biggie if these considerations aren't observed..

    From a combative point of view you would not believe the number of times I have seen someone hit their own leg with a horse cutter in a demo!!

    I am sure that the various weapons people on here would be able to expand better/further but maybe this explains my comment more clearly now...

    I hope that it makes a bit of sense...

  10. aaradia

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

    Sunday, March 1, 2015

    Totally lagged, which is completely unacceptable! Didn't get to 24 hour fitness until 7:15. I need to be more disciplined on Sundays.

    7:15 - Stretching and warm up

    7:45 - TCC hand forms 24, 40, and 108 long form.

    Skipped stance training and slow motion kicks. I am averaging doing them 4 times a week, so I am giving myself a pass today.

    Not much more to say about today.

    9:00 - 24 hour fitness closes
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2015
  11. aaradia

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

    Monday, March 2 2015

    Not much intense working out today, reason why below.

    6:30 - Stick fighting Class

    7:00- Private Lesson- I was informed by my instructor that Tai Sifu has signed off on me testing on the test date goal we have been working towards. It seems it is official, I will be testing two Fridays from now.

    So we spent a lot of time talking about what to expect, how to handle issues that could come up, proper protocol in front of GM and Tai Sigung. We also talked about how my training is going to shift after the test. Seems like we both had the same thoughts on the matter. After my test my lessons are going to be focusing on our upcoming tournament. I have some serious cramming to do for my CLF. And I need to adapt my TCC forms for the tournament.

    Then, I will be doing TCC, but my focus will be on working towards my CLF black sash. (Just as I cut back on some CLF for my TCC test,)

    Then we worked on two person stuff that I will be doing during the test. Two person sabre, Da Lu, pattern.

    We set up an extra lesson too. I think the lessons ran long.

    8:15ish? - Short Gim form. Pulled aside another instructor for more pattern practice. Yes, can you tell the two person stuff is something I am particularly concerned about for the test?

    8:30 -
    Stance Training
    Horse = 1 minute
    Bow = 1 minute
    Crane = 45 seconds
    Slanted Horse = 1 minute
    Cross Step = 40 seconds
    Horse- second round = 45 seconds

    Slow Motion Kicks

    3 rounds each side - did not put foot down on either side. Left side better than last time, but still kicking with the left side is definitely my weaker side. Again, weird because I am totally left sided. But I am also tighter in my hips on that side.

    Actually left at 8:55. 5 minutes before the school closed. Cold and rainy outside, wet mats inside. And my brain just has a lot running through it that I am trying to sort out with regards to this test date actually being real and not some phantom thing down the road.

    It's ok. I have Wednesday off of work. so I have an extra day of training this week. I plan to more than make up for the lighter day today.

    Yikes People. Yikes! I will talk more about how I am feeling when I have it sorted out. Weird mix of emotions running through me right now.
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2015
  12. aaradia

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

    Tuesday, March 3 2015 Day off

    Wednesday, March 4, 2015 Well, I had the day off of work, so I get an extra day of working out this week. Good because I need it!

    First off, I had a test stress dream last night. I dreamed I was doing my test all night long. I woke up and felt like I had been working out all night instead of sleeping!:p Weird and kinda funny.

    6:09- stretching and warm up

    6:40 - TCC Test format. I heard GM calls things out randomly, not in order of our curriculum like most other tests. So I made up flash cards, mixed them up, and did whatever form was on the card. I don't think the random order thing will be a problem, although I am glad I learned in advance this is what happens.

    Took a break in this time to talk to two of my fellow students, who talked me down as I was stressing out. One told me to focus on the things I am doing well. Which is good advice, because all I am doing is stressing out over things I don't think I am doing well enough at. I am very self critical - too much so - to my detriment. It might be my OCD or it just might be my personality - not sure.

    9:00 school closes, but I went out by my car, put my gear away, and did

    Stance training

    Horse = 1 minute and 10 seconds
    Bow = 1 minute
    Cross = 40 seconds
    Slanted Horse = 1 minute
    Crane = 45 seconds
    Horse - second round = 45 seconds

    Legs definitely slowly building strength. Stances not low, but lower than before. Feeling good about this right now.

    Slow motion kicks
    Utter failure today. Started to do them, just wasn't happening. Not sure if my legs gave out or my mind- probably more my mind. But I was just OVER it after trying and not starting out well. Oh well, not happy to admit this, but this log is to track the good and the bad, right?

    Left at 9;30.
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2015
  13. aaradia

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

    Thursday, March 5, 2015

    6:30 - last half of TCC class

    7:00- Tai Sifu class - CLF - still focusing on Hung Sing Stick Form - detailing it out.

    But also did Slow Motion Kicks in class

    5 rounds on each side.
    Put foot down once on Right side
    a couple of times on left side- 2 or 3? Two I think. Really a mental focus error here. Tai Sifu was saying something and I lost focus on what I was doing.

    Actually felt kind of good- out in back where the ground is a bit slanted. Could have been higher, but just felt pretty stable overall - despite me putting my foot down some.

    8:00 - Chatting with group of fellow students. Mostly because that one student that is in town was in the group, and this is the last chance to chat with her before she leaves again. Really good to have her back in classes. Will miss her all over again when she leaves.

    8;30 - Two person CLF practice with Mr. W. Golden leopard vs tiger and some 9 star. I was a little paranoid about getting hurt. Mr. W hits very hard, which I don't mind usually, but with my test coming up I was - as I said - a tad paranoid. (I should mention that I had a long bout of my purple sash test being cancelled from injury and being out for months on two separate occasions- just before testing. This was several years ago, but I think I have been extra nervous about injuries before testing ever since.) So I know I am overcautious from that experience, but on the other hand, he did hyper extend my arm a bit in one move for sure. Hurt for a couple of minutes, but is ok now. I asked him if we could go lighter tonight and said we could go back to more power after my test.

    9:00 - school closes

    Stance training (out in the parking lot by my car)
    Horse - 1 minute
    Bow - 1 minute
    Slanted Horse - 1 minute
    Cross step- 30 seconds
    Crane - 45 seconds
    Horse - second round - 45 seconds
    Not the best session of stance training. I had to raise up for a second in several stances. I usually don't have to do that.

    Left about 9:25 ish

    Also, some nerve in my left buttock area got aggravated during the night. It feels like that sort of sciatica pain, but isn't going all down my leg. It also didn't help with a couple of CLF moves. But I think I can do TCC ok. Again, a little paranoid about it, but I have heat on it now and I will stretch it and take care of it. It doesn't feel like a muscle pull or anything. Definitely like an inflamed sciatic nerve style pain. I think it will settle down. It better!

    Thoughts - keeping this log, I find I socialize more than I thought I did. Not sure if extenuating circumstances are just happening right now. (That is, person out of town visiting and talking to people to help with regards to my testing. Or maybe I always did this?) I still work out for hours each session, so I am not going to feel too bad about it. But it is something I am going to pay attention to and see if I need to adjust.
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2015
  14. aaradia

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

    Some advanced level Instructor observations were going on in our big room. Instructors from other locations with Tai Sigung and a Sifu from another school doing the observation. Rest of the school area was more crowded. Not a complaint, we still have way more room than many schools out there. The routine of the school was off a bit - not bad - just off.

    6:30 - Stretching and warm up

    7:05ish- Pattern and Da Lu practice session. One of my partners couldn't make it, so I practiced with the other one. We started early and ended earlier- moving things up a half hour.

    8:00 - 8:53ish TCC forms practice- for test.

    Wow, I really had a lackluster unfocused workout today. It was uncharacteristically bad. I am usually VERY focused when practicing.

    And, I started to do stance training at the end, my legs were very sore and just sort of burned out, so I stopped.

    Only 4 more practice days before testing. I need to pull it together for the rest of those sessions.

    Trying to analyze what happened. This isn't usually a problem I have. I really cannot figure out why my workout was so "meh" tonight.

    So, no Stance training or slow motion kicks today.
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2015
  15. Guitar Nado

    Guitar Nado Valued Member

    With all the training behind the school before it opens, and in the parking lot, etc. I can't help but imagine some scenario out of a kung fu movie. Guy in Kung Fu uniform walks up. "Your Choy Li Fut is pretty good! But not a good as my Bagua Zhang ! Muhahaha!" Chaos ensues. Or maybe just cross training or something.
  16. aaradia

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

    Lol- only after it closes. I haven't practiced outside before it opens. There is an area behind the school where we practice when the school is very busy and open. I don't have to worry about challenges from other MA students. But I DO have to be careful. There is a bar on the other end of the little (strip mall? is that what they call it) where my school is, and there are some fights down there and some weird drunk people on occassion. Also, it is close to bus lines and, even though it is in a pretty good part of town, there are some homeless people hanging or walking by sometimes. At night, a couple have come into the school to try and stir up trouble on rare occassion. But the instructors have done a good job using deescalation techniques.

    So, when I was up in front of the school, I positioned my stance training right near where the instructors were doing their session. If any weirdness happened, I had to move two steps and they would see me through the floor to ceiling windows in the front of my school.. I would have had 15 instructors and Tai Sifu come to my aide.

    In back, I only do it if I am parked near the school. If I had to park near the bar, I don't stick around. And wherever I am parked, I use situational awareness. I also have my keys tucked in my pants in a way I can grab and enter my car quickly!
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2015
  17. aaradia

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

    Saturday, March 7, 2015

    Let me start off by saying this day went MUCH better than yesterday. Yesterday was some weird fluke off day. Today was good, and I was back to my usual focused self.

    9:30- Two Person practice with Mr. M. Hurray! He had gone over the form we are supposed to be doing with our instructor during his last private lesson. So we practiced what we are supposed to be practicing during this time.

    10:00 Stretching and warm up

    10:35ish -
    Stance Training

    Horse- 1 minute 5 seconds
    Bow - 1 minute
    Cross - 40 seconds
    Slanted Horse - 1 minute
    Crane - 45 seconds
    Horse - second round - 45 seconds
    Horse - third round - 30 seconds

    TCC test formatting. Sick of reading that? I confess I am a bit sick of doing it. But I will get more variety back in my routine soon. Very soon.

    Noon- Moving step practice with Ms. R. Not the same Ms. R as on my Friday Pattern practice or later on today.

    12:45 bit of a break

    12:55 Back to TCC formatting.

    1;30- Two person Sabre and pattern practice with Mr. M. (not the same Mr. M as earlier today.) Sabre coming along quickly for only two weeks of practice so far. Pattern did not go so good. He hadn't done it in a long time, so I suggested we go back to sabre until he has some time on it with his personal instructor.

    2:00 - back to TCC formatting. Things are going well today. Remembering things fine and balance is good. I think I will be fine for my test if I remember I am fine and ready and don't psyche myself out.

    2:40ish? Was called into Ms. R's private lesson to be a partner in circle pattern push hands.

    2:50ish? had a discussion with an instructor about training.

    3:00 school closes.

    I forgot to mention. after talking with Tai Sifu, we both agreed I should skip sparring class today. We are moving into more power in our sparring, due to our upcoming tournament. Just don't want to risk a freak injury so close to my test. I honestly am pretty sure I have the most consistent attendance of that class (or I am definitely in the top 3) of any students, so one week being missed isn't so bad. I will be back in sparring next week.

    Forgot to do slow motion kicks. Will try and do them at home. I will edit this if I manage to do this. Edit- nope I didn't do it.
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2015
  18. aaradia

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

    Sunday, March 8, 2015

    7:10- stretching and warm up

    7:40 - TCC hand forms (and CLF Internal set=Buddha Palm)

    Slow motion kicks
    3 rounds each side - did not put down foot at all in either side. Very good. But looking in the mirrors, they are not nearly high enough.

    Stance Training
    Crane - 45 seconds
    Bow - 1 minute
    Went light on stance training. Right knee is acting up and it is causing me concerns, so I want to go easy on it.

    9:00 - 24 hour fitness closes

    Note: Only 5 days until my test. Two more days of working out before then. At this point, nothing is going to radically change. I just need to stay up on things, try to stay injury free (again-worried about knee acting up) and not panic.
  19. Johnno

    Johnno Valued Member


    This is probably a really silly question, but do you do daily warmup excercises specifically for your bad knee(s)?

    I suppose I'm asking because I've found that a daily warmup routine keeps my creaky joints from giving me serious aggro. Specifically these are my knees, my back, my knuckles, my wrists, and my ankles. (I'm basically falling apart. :cry: )

    I suspect that you are probably WAY ahead of me, but I just thought I'd ask!
  20. aaradia

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

    It's not a silly question. And no, I don't think I am way ahead of you.

    Yes I do, but maybe I need to do more- or different stuff. I have actually been thinking lately that I need more warm up style stuff specifically for my knees. I do knee circles as my primary warm up for them. What else could I do? Any suggestions? What do you do for your knees specifically?

    I know people aren't going to like this, but most of my stretching is static stretching- mostly rehab stretches given to me by various doctors for knee and ankle issues. And stretches in various books like "Ultimate Flexibility: A complete guide to stretching for martial artists."

    And maybe I stretch too much and "warm up" too little.

    Problem is - I think tight quads are part of the problem, but I have to be really careful because stretches for that area can easily aggravate the problem. Maybe I go too gung ho and need to ease into those stretches.

    So, this is a good question Johnno, and one I have been thinking about lately. As for falling apart, I know and feel your pain. Comes with the age I think. We are close to the same age I believe? My main issues are knees (right one being worse) and left ankle. Also, under my left shoulder blade- which has never been the same since pulling it stupidly in weight lifting a few decades ago.

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