Training Schedule

No matter where you are or how much time you have, it’s not easy to plan a training schedule. Everyone has an opinion on the most efficient way to train. We have different backgrounds, body types, strengths, weaknesses, and interests. Training different skill-sets require different intensity levels and recovery time. We can jump ahead too soon without a strong foundation for basics. We can stay at the same level for too long and training can become stagnant and frustrating. Our training partners’ time, abilities, and well-being must also be taken into consideration. There is no perfect formula.

Our training schedule has undergone a more drastic change this semester. At Enrico’s suggestion, we’re alternating between high intensity and low intensity days. Previously, the Taiji Partner Drills (Centering, Pushing Hands, Peng Lu Ji An, Yin Yang Symbol, Rollback) were trained in the mornings and Shaolin Partner Drills were trained in the afternoons. By the end of the day, our energy was usually drained and our forms suffered. We were trying to cover too much at once and we needed a more efficient way to train. Now we alternate topics.

We’re still figuring out how to train all the necessary drills. I’ve made adjustments to fit my goals and schedule. Rather than Tumbling, I focus on White Crane & Taijiquan in the mornings. Other students alternate between Shaolin & Taijiquan sequences from 14:50-15:40. During Taiji Sequences, I train the Taiji Fighting Set and Shaolin sequences (and save the Taijiquan Long Form for the mornings).

2016 Fall Schedule

Long Term Goals

  • Finish learning the Long Fist and Taijiquan curriculum and learn as much White Crane as possible. Five years is insufficient time to learn everything, but we have our lifetime to practice.
  • Favorites (so far): Sword, Short Rods, White Crane sequences & sparring, Taijiquan Long Form & sparring

Semester Goals

  • Long Fist – Er Lu Qiang (Second Way Spear), Spear vs Saber
  • White Crane – Shan He, Shang Xia Zhi (basic, complex, hooking, linking), Qi Xing
  • Taijiquan – Polish Long Form with Jing

Conditioning 11:00 – 12:00 (5-6 x per week)

  • Bags (strikes & kicks)
  • Bars (pull ups, leg raises, dips) or Vertical Rope
  • Core (mix of iron board bridge, planks, & various dynamic exercises)

Other Conditioning

  • Rooting on bricks (during White Crane Qigong)
  • Heavy weapons (during Sequences)
  • Jumping
  • Candle punching
  • (I’m working to include other conditioning drills)

The schedule doesn’t mention that I’m often busy during break times, until at least 9pm on weekdays, and for most of the weekend.

As always, I’m searching for a balance between training, working (for Shining Link, other projects, personal projects, teaching, side job, career planning), cooking & other chores, administrative duties for the Center, rest & recovery time, and personal time.

2 thoughts on “Training Schedule

  1. Hi Michelle,

    In addition to providing some good insight into the current semester’s challenges, this is a great reminder for everyone that even full-time martial arts training involves trade-offs and a limited time budget. I think part of the difficulty in sticking to a training program, wherever you are, is accepting the fact that you will not be able to get to everything you want. There is thus a need to focus on achieving at least a consistent level where progress can be made over time. At the Retreat Center your minimum necessary effort to achieve that is at a much higher level (as it should be given the challenge of completing the program), but the principle is the same.

    For those of us who often struggle to balance work, general life demands and training time, I think it’s healthy to accept and be happy about reaching that consistent progress level, or even a minimum maintenance level when there are a lot of other demands, rather than be constantly disappointed about what we are *not* doing. In my case, if I can get meditation done 4x/week in the mornings for 20 minutes and Taijiquan practice 2x/week, that’s actually decent if not ideal; minimum for me are daily sets of Qigong for Back Pain and keeping up with a moderate strength and fitness/health exercise regimen every other day. This is part of why I value so much the week or two I can spend at the Retreat Center every year, combining immersion and training focus along with restful activities.

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