What skill/technique are you learning right now?

Discussion in 'General Martial Arts Discussion' started by Nachi, Oct 6, 2021.

  1. Nachi

    Nachi Valued Member Supporter

    I see there are threads about current movies and songs people listen to, but where is the thread about what you're just learning in your martial art?

    Let's talk about interesting thing syou've learned, are working to learn or improve, and interesting experiences from your training. It may be inspiring to others :) (Like me. I'm curious.)

    I'll start.
    In Monday Karate class we did a warm up of pairing up and trying to push the other person to the edge of the room. Once I paired with a guy who was a bit bigger. And... a guy. When he started pushing, my back bent back and I had to struggle to straighten it up, so I could give a proper fight. I managed that and it helped.

    On Tuesday I had Taiji class, we were learning applications. We started with practicing pushing a partner and the other person trying to throw them off balance by turning the body slightly. I was paired with an instructor, who couldn't win when we were trying against each other simultaneously, the only reason, though, being I was 20 kg heavier. But when we tried this as a drill without trying to overpower each other, the lack of my skill was very obvious. My back just bent whenever she pushed a little and there was nothing I could do about her push anymore. Despite all her advises and me doing my best to keep my pelvis tucked in and back straight, I still couldn't really figure this technique too well although it seemed simple.

    When the main teacher came by, he immediately saw this was related to the problem in my silk reeling and hip movement he pointed out to me recently - I couldn't turn my body and shift the way properly at the same time, resulting in me losing my structure.
    I really wish to learn this well. Due to my very recent Karate experience, I can see how this could improve my skill in general. It's funny when I think I'll actually start training this by trying to improve my Taiji form. :)
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  2. Smitfire

    Smitfire Cactus Schlong

    Over lockdown I have taught myself 31 jo kata from Aikido and the Silla knife pattern from TKD. Just out of curiosity.
    I've also taught myself naihanchi kata as it is one of the main kata used by my current martial inspiration, Iain Abernethy, but I've never formally learnt it in the other karate I've done. Got a seminar lined up with him in a few weeks.
    On Sunday I'm going to a seminar with Bill "Superfoot" Wallace who is someone I've admired for decades but never met!
    My main ongoing project is to make sense of the TKD patterns up to BB from a practical application perspective.
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  3. Botta Dritta

    Botta Dritta Valued Member

    Managed to buy online an 1884 first edition of Claude La Marche's 'Traite d'Epee', (£20...worth easily a hundred squid!) just prior to the great opening up in the UK. The book is an instruction manual for late 19th century duellist's on how to transition from salle (i.e sport) fencing to the techniques to the stripped down techniques for an actual duel with sharp blades with a duelling Epee.
    Apart from the duellist mentality and how to drill the high percentage/non suicidal techniques it has an interesting chapter on lecon de la veille or lesson from the day before,

    i.e you are a fencing master, someone has a duel tommorow he can't get out of. He has never held a sword before...what do you teach him to survive?

    So last few weeks, between helping getting my fencing club up and running again, I've been using my bouts with other club members to check out theses strip down drills, from the old book. (Naturally with full kit on!), with some....interesting results.

    Haven't gone back to Boxing/Kickboxing...yet. I don't think my under par cardio could cope with that at the moment!
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2021
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  4. PointyShinyBurn

    PointyShinyBurn Valued Member

    Ooh, interesting, what kind of things does it emphasise? Any bits you can post a pic/scan of?

    P.S. I've occasionally thought/been asked about the lecon de la veille for fist-fighting and I landed on "what is an under-hook and how to throw by to the back from one" followed by "what is an over-hook" if there's a bit more time.
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  5. Botta Dritta

    Botta Dritta Valued Member

    Without Hijacking the whole thread, its one of the 4 dedicated french 'duelling only' handbooks, of which probably the most famous one in Jules Jacob/Emile Andre
    Jeu de l'epee 1887, of which finding a copy is 1) hard 2) expensive.

    I'll just give a quick overview to get a flavour:

    Like Emile Andres work, its stripped down to a number of mechanical drills that most kids doing epee today will recognise

    image1 (1).jpeg

    The 24 Hour lesson however is similar but slightly different to Andre/Jacobs

    Same: double engagement/beats, menacing feints to the hand/forearm, half lunges on the opponents advantages - This is the 'smoke' to keep a skilled opponent under pressure and keep them from gaining the initiative and perhaps get a cheeky first blood hit
    Different: Like Andre/Jacobs Teach and unskilled person them only two attacks to the body, and possibly 1 defensive pattern (circular 6/semi circular 2) if they have time, but these limited techniques are slightly different....


    ....Because unlike Andre and Jacobs, who taught to end duels to first blood by nicking the arm, La Marche (psedonym of Dr Felizet) preferred to feint to arm and hit to body, which is actually closer to modern Epee repertoire. The Image Below I chose to show something interesting. In the sport you are often taught to keep the torso upright(ish) in order to be able to return on guard easier should your deep attack screw up. La Marche prefers doing something called écrasement, which loosely translated means
    crushing/suppressing to lower one’s body after the thrust has been made, presumably to fix the point. This is actually new to me.


    Other Stuff that is interesting, is the psychology of the duel. Many of his drills are made to create uncertainty in an opponent and maintain the initiative at all cost. It also includes stuff like training outdoors because your senses and eyesight atune differently in the morning air and light, than in a training all. There is also however some dubious crap under the title of 'fantasy' to cause momentary hesitation in an opponent like the bar guard below. Perhaps if you were in France in the 19th century, but I'm not sure even my junior section would fall for this one. Mileage may vary.


    So a 24 hour lesson for Boxing....Christ..it took me all day just to learn how to jab without looking like a muppet. I think though that if you were to design something similar, it would have the same function, Retain the initiative and cramp their attacks for as long as possible. An epee duel can end after a first hit though. An unarmed brawl can last a while...
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2021
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  6. Nachi

    Nachi Valued Member Supporter

    Wow, you've been active! I am generally not motivated to learn kata or stuff by myself (or I am bot used to it).
    Cool, I hope the seminar will go well! Maybe let us know afterward :)
    In my karate style we always learn applications with each kata. Taekwondo isn't like that?
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2021
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  7. Anth

    Anth Daft. Supporter

    I probably wont be back into training until the new year now but a new skill I've learnt this last week is BSL fingerspelling. Someone I met recently is hard of hearing and mainly lipreads so I thought I'd see how difficult fingerspelling is. Turns out it's a doddle and took me all of fifteen minutes. There's a good chance that it'll come in handy at some point in my martial arts career (or at work, or anywhere really) so it's been fifteen minutes well spent.
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  8. Xue Sheng

    Xue Sheng All weight is underside

    Well, to be honest, trying to walk normal again, sans limp
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  9. Smitfire

    Smitfire Cactus Schlong

    Well I can't speak for everywhere but in my experience TKD clubs don't teach applications for the patterns.
    Or if they do they are unrealistic, choreographed, long range, kick/punch/block type stuff against other TKD techniques. Rather than anything actually practical.
    I would even go far as to say that, from what I've seen offered by very high graded people in TKD, most people don't even know any applications let alone teach them.
    I even know that some VERY high graded people don't think there are applications in the patterns at all and they are just part of the "art" of TKD with no practical application. Which to be honest is just an attempt to cover up that they don't know as much as they should given their standing.
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  10. axelb

    axelb Master of Office Chair Fu

    Recently I have been trying to put into practise a few areas in BJJ, but I find myself drifting into other areas curiously.
    I spent a large part of lockdown with just a grappling dummy. Knowing this was going to be long term I worked on drills that I could - knee cut pass and many variations, and a few drills from guard.
    I played with some sweeps and other techniques which is hard to get much out of without the resistance from opponent on top.
    So main focus is knee cut pass from top, bottom closed guard attacks.
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  11. aaradia

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

    I have spent the last couple of years focusing on learning the terminology, script reading and recently writing scripts. This has deepened my knowledge of CLF and TCC in ways I didn't expect. It helps me see connections between moves/ patterns of moves that I didn't see before. It is kind of hard to explain, but it has been revolutionary to my training. I learn new forms at a faster clip than I ever could have imagined because of my focus on this.

    In CLF, I am working on the different types of energies in different moves, just on a more advanced level of understanding than before. I am really struggling with the breathing that accompanies the softer moves. I tend to want to breath all out hard like a hard straight punch. for every move. You would think, being a supposedly advanced TCC student, this would be easier for me, but it isn't. I don't know why I am finding it so difficult.

    Oh, and working on sliding my feet instead of picking them up too far off the ground.

    Also working on the lineage difference in the same moves. A Kong Chow lineage Poon Kiu vs a Fut San or a King Mui lineage Poon Kiu for example. I love to geek out on stuff like that!

    Running through the next level test format with two friends at the school every week.

    No sparring or other combatives yet. Covid is still too much of an issue. :( So, it is mostly form work for now. It is either 22 or 23 forms for my next CLF test. Some of those counted as one are really several forms put together. Other forms are ungodly long (Sup Ji Kau Da is 250 moves.)
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  12. Nachi

    Nachi Valued Member Supporter

    Oooh, we did that when we were kids! Well, some letters were a bit different, but it was a favourite pastime for secret messages (mostly during class) haha :D
    I guess it does have more practical uses, though! :)

    I really hope you will be able to.

    Ah, I see. Now I am curious whether the patterns were actually created with applications in mind and had them originally, or were just a cluster of moves :)

    Do you feel like you improved the things you were working on with the dummy? I suppose it would be weird if there wasn't any improvement, I've just never worked with a dummy, so it is hard to imagine what it's like.

    As for the scripts, wow, I never even knew that was a thing :oops: But it's great it helped you! Sometimes systhemizing (is that a word?) things probably can offer a new perspective! That's cool!

    I am not sure how breathing should or shouldn't be easy for advanced students, but I know that feeling of just being unable to do something een if it is really easy, just due to being used to do it a different way. I hope you will be able to learn it!

    Oh wow, that's a lot of forms! :eek: And a lot of moves! :eek: Good luck with that... How many forms are there in CLF?
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  13. Smitfire

    Smitfire Cactus Schlong

    Not wanting to derail the thread too much but that is an interesting question.
    Hardline TKD kool-aid drinkers will tell you TKD has virtually nothing to do with Karate and is instead based on 2000 year old Taekkyeon and entirely distinct. And that the basic kick/punch/block applications offered by Gen. Choi are what was intended from the patterns.
    What I will tell you is that TKD is largely (but not entirely) a Koreanisation of earlier Japanese Shotokan karate (which in turn is a Japanisation of earlier Okinawan Karate) and that the patterns, although not designed with practical applications in mind, still contain the "DNA" of those earlier Karate kata influences. Most, if not all, of the "traditional" techniques (reverse punch, front kick, double punch, twin block, augmented block, etc) can be found in Karate.
    And as such, practical applications can be gleaned from them if you are willing to look with a critical eye, have a basic understanding of real violence (rather than fantasy dojo violence), are willing to drop the dogma of what we've been told for decades (this techniques is "this" and only "this"!) and learn from outside the TKD mainstream (which still seems about 20 years behind recent developments tbh).
    Cairan McDonald (author of a book on TKD pattern applications) calls the pattern sequences "templates". You can find karate "templates" all through the patterns, albeit with some stylistic changes, in different orders or with bits missing.
    The most glaring examples are Won Hyo being a fairly blatant copy of Pinan Shodan/Heian Nidan and Po-eun being put together from bits of the Tekki/Naihanchi kata.
  14. aaradia

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

    In my lineage there are hundreds! Way more than anyone can learn in a lifetime. The masters/ Sifu's even can't possibly learn more than a small percentage. My Grandmaster learned from three different lineages in CLF, and he went on do develop some on his own. So, not all CLF lineages have as many.

    I love the variety. We have hand forms, every possible Chinese weapon, Internal forms, two person forms.

    And during Covid, it is a particular blessing. I sure look forward to the day we can do combatives again though.

    Check out this list on my GM's site.

    Choy Li Fut Forms List - Plum Blossom International Federation
  15. aaradia

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

    Ok, here is my focus in my TCC. Again, learning the Chinese terminology, reading and writing scripts.

    But I am focusing on something I don't care about, just to push myself to see if I can do it! That being, I am trying to get test ready in record time. Why needs a little background.

    A couple of years ago, I was going back and remembering a form I hadn't done in awhile. I asked an instructor to refresh my memory with a couple of moves. He showed me a huge chunk. I said "I can't do that much at once." and it turned into this conversation/ lecture that went on for over an hour! (It was late Saturday, and no one else was around.) The instructor started talking about this thing called Automatic Negative Thoughts- A.N.T.S. and how to break through setting artificial barriers and limitations we human beings set on ourselves.

    Like learning the terminology, it has been revolutionary for my training.

    So, when I tested for my second degree in TCC last April, I decided I was going to see if I could learn everything as fast as possible, but not skipping on any details. The point being to stop the ANTS and just push myself and see what I could do! And that is the point of it for me. I don't really care that much about being the next sash level in TCC. (I already am one of the highest ranking students in all the locations at my school, so more ranks in and of themselves don't really mean all that much.) It is merely a means to push myself to see if I can do things I never thought I could do, just by eliminating my own mental barriers.

    I learned my curriculum in just a couple of months, which is AMAZING for me! I never thought I could learn at the same pace as our advanced instructors, but I can! Partially because of the focus on terminology. And now my lessons are working on refining the details. My goal is to see if I can test by the end of the year. Which would be about 8 months at this sash level. If I don't make that goal, I feel confident I can test within a year of my last test.

    So really, while I do have physical details and things I am doing in both CLF and TCC, my main focus has been developing some mental aspects. And I have been astounded how much that focus has helped the physical side of my training.
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2021
  16. Nachi

    Nachi Valued Member Supporter

    Wow, that's really a LOT of forms :O What a pity there weren't accompanying videos :) I was curious what they look like. I might try to search for them online later.

    I am sorry for the late response, I was a bit busy in the weekend.

    That's a nice theory. Yeah, sometimes we automatically think something is impossible, so we don't even really try. I do that, too.
    Wow, that's cool you're at such a high grade. How many sash levels (black sash levels?) are there in total?

    It's great you've been working so hard and pushed your limits! Good luck with getting ready for the grading in the time you set. This strategy of pushing one's mental barriers is quite inspiring :)
  17. aaradia

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

    I haven't, sadly, kept up on my workout log. I intend to get my act together someday. But if you look for videos posted in there, you will see some of the forms in my curriculum.

    As for the level, I hope it was clear my point was to say that the point of my goal in testing was not motivated by the actual rank. That was the point behind my mentioning it. So many schools, most I think, don't even have ranks for TCC.

    We have 5 degrees past Senior black for both our CLF and our TCC curriculum.
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  18. Nachi

    Nachi Valued Member Supporter

    Ah, yes, what a pity you haven't been keeping your log, I always enjoyed reading :)

    Yes, yes, I understood your motivation well. My question was just because while for example I have 1st dan in karate, it is considered a beginner black, as there are 10 degrees altogether. So I was curious if the number was different since you mentioned you are higher degree than most students and it seems to be the case, so it makes sense. Since we don't have ranks for Taiji, I didn't know how many levels there could be. I think my teacher mentioned once that he was given a formal ranking by his teacher some years ago, when we asked. But other than that, there are no grades in our school.
  19. Dan Bian

    Dan Bian Neither Dan, nor Brian

    Ooo nice thread!

    What am I working on? Hmm

    Generally I'm going back to basics, working on mechanics for punches and basic kicks. I'm looking at continuing to integrate neigong practices into the basic techniques and seeing how they apply.
    I'm also trying to get a bit more flexibility back as the last year has really seen a resurgance in my ongoing hip-mobility issue, so it needs looking into.

    Tai Chi specific, 9 circles neigong and softening the core neigong. This all feeds back into the basics training above in terms of mechanics etc.
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  20. Tom bayley

    Tom bayley Valued Member

    At the start of lockdown I started working on rebuilding my power generation and delivery. I began by stripping away all the complexity of upper body power generation and worked specifically on contact with the ground. then after a month or so I added in hip movements. then after 3 months I began to play with various core muscles. then after 3 months I began to play with various tensions/ connectivity in the shoulder joint. another 3 months and I started varying feet, hips, core and shoulder stability. About a month ago I finally began to get the feel for how they all interact in a simple yet effective way.

    the next step is to start working the spine flexors and the muscles of the ribs in an active way.
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