3 aspects, 3 tips, 3 instructional videos with drills that you can immediately add to your training and became healthier, stronger, and more combat efficient.
Welcome in the second part of our installment!
Thank you for all the emails and messages (and even phone calls!) – we at PHK Headquarters got lots of positive feedback and interesting ideas, and even more questions.
The problems are many:
- What drills and skills should I focus on?
- Which exercises will bring me most benefits with minimal time investment?
- How to make sure the drills I will be working are functional and practical?
- How often should I train?
- And so on and so on – different people, same questions.
I have been training Chinese martial arts since 1991 – seems like yesterday.
Apart from learning from the best Chinese martial arts teachers and expensive research of various lineages in Hong Kong and Southern China, I have also an education in Functional Movement System (FMS), movement restoration system (OS), stretching (Flexible Steel) and strength training (StrongFirst). Practical Hung Kyun is a synthesis of the best traditional methods, and modern research.
Today we will give you some practical examples how you too can become healthy, strong, and combat efficient.
Our PHK big picture starts with so called PHK Pyramid – it is a concept that we have taken from Functional Movement Systems and put into the context of the fundamental Chinese martial arts principles.
Three main aspects of martial arts training are Form (Tai), Force (Gung) and Application (Yung).
- Form = health, good posture, movement, body mechanics, mobility and flexibility
- Force = strength, power, speed, stamina, and other physical skills
- Application = combat, i.e. practical usage in sparring and reality based self-defense.
Although we start to work on all three simultaneously (yes, you can go into simple form of sparring at your very first lesson!), the three aspects actually form a pyramid.
We give you one crucial tip for all three.
Form: First Have a Healthy Body, Then Learn How to Defend the Body
Correct posture, breathing, vitality, and energy flow are essential not only for good health, but any athletic movement, including combat arts – which means that any movement restoration should start with breathing. The benefits so many that it would take probably a series of articles to list them and explain in detail.
One of the simplest and best exercises is so called “Lift the Sky with Both Palms” (Seung Sau Tok Tin). Check the instructional video below.
Force: One of the Simplest Ways to Get Stronger
Remember the image of Shaolin monks crawling the stairs on all fours in old documentary movies? So called “Shaolin Art of Crawling” (Siu Lam Pa Gung) is one of the simplest (not necessarily easiest) way of getting stronger.
You will interconnect the opposite upper and lower limbs (i.e. left arm and right leg, right arm and left leg) through the core.
You will improve the ankle, hip and wrist mobility as well as shoulder stability. You will get stronger, and your kicks and strikes will be more powerful. Your cardiovascular endurance will improve as well. Last but not least – crawling is an excellent fat burning exercise as well.
As in all PHK drills, we have regression and progression for everything. Watch the video below.
Application: Defense Against the Most Common Type of Street Attack
We at PHK prefer so called pro-active self-protection – avoidance, correct contact management, verbal de-escalation, or – if necessary – pre-emptive strike(s) and escape.
Speaking of self-defense – do you know what is the #1 street attack you will encounter out there? (Yes, there is a scientific statistic). The enemy gives you a push and a big right hand to the face.
Because it is by far the most common type of attack on the street, we need to address that in our combatives training basically from day one. Check out one of the best “defensive” techniques, taken from the old Siu Lam curriculum called “Fierce Tiger Enters Rock (Maang Fu Yap Sek), also called „Stepping In, Attacking Elbow“ (Biu Ma Gung Jaang) – spearing elbow/shield block.
Yes, But…. Q&As
None of the drills is time consuming. 20 reps of “Lifting the Sky” every morning, 5-10 minutes of crawling every day, couple of series of dozen repetitions of the combat drill, and done.
In China they say: “You can practice martial arts in the space a tiger lies down in” (Kyun Da Ngo Fu Ji Dei). As for crawling, you can make just 2 steps forward and 2 steps backward if your apartment really lacks space.
Sandbag would be great, for the combat drill we have presented and your further martial arts training, but for time being, not needed – all you need is a floor.
No training partner?
Get one, but you can practice the combat drill even without a partner a “shadow boxing drill”. Use your imagination and visualize the enemy’s attack.
Questions, thoughts, comments?
Scroll down and add your comment below, or send me an email.
Of course, this is just a very small part of the minimalistic PHK curriculum I would teach you during few minutes, but I am sure you got the idea.
Now imagine that instead of a few minutes, I have hours or days. I know many of you would love to attend some of our PHK Intensive Courses, but because you are from far away, it is not always an option. How could you learn all important and foundational PHK skills at home? Don’t worry; we may do something about it.
Do not miss the final Part 3 called Martial Arts Hacks 3: What You Should Practice, in What Order and How Often in which we will answer the questions about right exercise selection, correct sequencing, and right frequency of the training.
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And if you missed the Part 1, read it here: Martial Arts Hacks 1: Right Questions = Right Answers!
Pavel Macek Sifu, Practical Hung Kyun
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