|Frank testing Yi Lu Mai Fu|
This afternoon’s testing included sequences, kicking, bag kicking, rooting, brick tossing, high logs running, and stump running.
We started at 2:30pm with sequences. We had to test all the sequences we had learned. Long Fist: Lian Bu Quan, Gong Li Quan, and Yi Lu Mai Fu. Javi also decided to test to test Xiao Hu Yan and Beng Bu and I also added San Lu Pao to my list. White Crane: Qi Xing, Shan He, Shuai He, and Qi Mei Gun. I also tried testing Dou Zhan.
|Me testing Yi Lu Mai Fu|
I don’t know if it was more tiring than regular training or not. I think what gets me is the whole “stop and go” routine. It seems to make me more tired than usual because I warm up, cool down, warm up, cool down, etc. Anyways, the way we train sequences is that we are required to practice each a minimum of 1000 times.
|Javi testing Qi Mei Gun|
The first 300 are done regularly. They are “dead” sequences. At 300, we begin to change angles and also begin to practice with obstacles set up. Usually we place blocks on the floor to simulate where opponents would be. This gives us an opportunity to get used to being able to set up different stepping and angling strategies while using the techniques in the sequences. At 500, we then move into the bags. The bags consist of 10 bags (well, 9 for us right now because one is missing) surrounding us. We have to move around the area and strike/kick the bags while trying to avoiding them as they bounce back towards us. By doing this, we are able to build the awareness of oncoming opponents and raise our alertness in a high risk situation. We do this until we reach 1000 times. By then, the sequence should be “alive”.
|Pat testing Yi Lu Mai Fu|
|Santi testing Gong Li Quan|
|Javi kicking bags|
After sequences, which took us nearly two hours, we had a quick watermelon break (Yum.. especially on a hot day) and then moved onto kicking. We began learning basic kicking this semester. So, the goal was to use all of these kicks and mix them together for a minute. Not only did we have to mix our various kicks, we had to do so with good sense of opponent. So, stepping, angling, hopping, and jumping were all included.
|Jachym testing rooting|
Once we finished regular kicks, we moved onto kicking in the bags. Dr. Yang gave us a minute to demonstrate our kicks inside the bags. We needed good root, good power, good speed, and good sense of opponent… as always :P
Rooting came next. We had to stand on bricks and perform three jing patterns (at least 3 times each). We were given the choice to stand on two or more bricks. Some chose to do two, others decided to try three. Jachym and I have been pushing each other in all of our training. I’m hope that if we keep this up, we will be able to at least stand up onto four bricks by the end of next semester.
|Santi cinder block tossing|
We decided to take a break from the legs and went to cinder block tossing. We first tested solo and then moved onto testing in a group. We used cinder block tossing for a few reasons. The primary one was to build up better gripping strength. And then there were other benefits: Conditioned hands, stronger lower backs, stronger forearms, etc.
We started cinder block training solo, with two handed tosses. We would toss the block up and try to catch it before it fell. We began with empty blocks and eventually filled them as we got better. After regular tosses, we tried flipping: 180 degrees forwards, backwards, to the left, and to the right, 360 degrees forwards and backwards, high tosses, dropping and catching, with claps, etc. Once we were able to practice well solo, we moved to tossing to a partner or even two or more. This meant that we didn’t know what kind of toss would be coming at us. We had to be aware and alert. What was harder was when we began adding more blocks into the group.
|Javi on the high logs|
After cinder block training, we moved to some of the newer training. Running the high logs, and running the stumps. I think everyone did a great job considering we have only been training these for a few weeks now. I was happy with my time for running the high logs because when we began to train them a month ago, I had to overcome my fear of heights first. Although I don’t feel like I have progressed as fast as I would like to, I am glad that there still is progression in this exercise.
|Frank running on the stumps|
The same thing with stump running. When we first began training it, I was afraid of falling. Don’t get me wrong, I still am. It hurts a lot, especially if you knock the stump over and land on the sharp corner. I didn’t notice as much as a progression as I would like to have had, but I was happy with my result at the end of the day.
We have one more day of testing tomorrow which will include: hard and soft White Crane qigong, centering, Taiji ball, Taiji saber, log running, bag punching, post striking, trampoline, and reaction training.
Hopefully all goes well :)