I got curious as to what my Sifu thought would elevate my Wing Chun to the next level, so I asked him via Facebook. This is the laundry list of what he said to me:
1) Reflex practice in drills
2) Chi Sao for better flowing
3) Leg practice and drills
4) Mook jong (aka wooden dummy)
5) Knives for wrist connection
6) Pole for core development
I was already aware of number 1 and 2. To this day when I practice drills or Chi Sao, I will flinch when something comes at me. I need to fight against that, to develop confidence that my techniques will land when I want them to.
When it comes to number 3, he had already told me about how I should practice various kicks. He had also told me about a bench jumping exercise, which is just what it sounds like: get a bench and jump from the floor up to the bench and then back down to develop leg strength. I have not done this yet because I have been doing my 1.5 mile run.
When it comes to number 4, I have something in place for that. After the rush of holidays has passed, I plan on taking a day off and going to visit a friend who can help me finally put my Mook Jong together. Needless to say, I am super excited about that.
The most interesting part of the list appears in items 5 and 6. Why? Because that is where my Wing Chun training stalled out before. I was shown maybe one third of the pole form, and I never learned a single section (or move, for that matter) from the knife form.
So what does this mean?
If he is telling me to practice those things, then he must think I am ready for them…which, pardon my French, is ABSOLUTELY FUCKING AWESOME.
I’d been dying to learn the entire system at my old school, but he would never let me. Why? Because he held all the power in terms of certifying me as an instructor. He also knew I would never leave the Albany-Troy area because of my family. In other words, if I were a Sifu, then he would have competition. Couldn’t allow that, could we? So my training got stalled out with the excuse that he thought I “Wasn’t ready to learn it.”
Well, here is a Sifu who is every bit as good as the other guy, and HE thinks I’m ready, so what does that tell you?
Having said all this, it is time to modify my training once again. I don’t have a Mook Jong, pole or knives, so I can’t incorporate those into my training as of yet. However, there IS something that I have been neglecting to include, and that would be practicing the third empty hand form known as Biu Jee. So, going forward, I believe this should be my daily routine:
*Sil Lum Tao twice per day, 100 punches at the end
*Biu Jee twice per day, 100 punches at the end
*Chum Kiu six times per day, 100 punches at the end
This still gives me 1000 punches per day. Plus they are all different kinds (chest height, head height, and punching with a pivot). Last but not least, arranging it this way still lets me focus mainly on Chum Kiu, which is when a Wing Chun student begins to learn how to use both hands simultaneously, how to pivot, how to step, and how to kick. It is the part of the system where the body mechanics are really developed, and you realize how you can generate an amazing amount of power with short movements.
Oh and last but not least, I talked it over with my girlfriend, and I will be going to EVERY SUNDAY CLASS instead of just every other Wednesday. That’s because Sundays are when there are more senior students in class. That means more chance to play Chi Sao. (As for why I had to work it out with her…it’s out of respect. When you are in a relationship, your time is no longer your own. You can’t just go rampantly doing what you want, unless you don’t care if your relationship works out. It just so happens I DO care, hence why she and I had a talk.) The Sunday classes are much closer to my house than Wednesday nights (Saratoga Springs versus Broadalbin), so even though it seems like going four times a month means I will be away from her more, it actually equals out to about the same because there is less travel time involved.
HAD ANY EXCITING CHANGES TO YOUR TRAINING ROUTINE LATELY??? SHARE THEM IN A COMMENT BELOW!!!