Martial Arts Hacks 3: What You Should Practice, in What Order and How Often

Martial Arts Hacks 3: What You Should Practice, in What Order and How Often

Answers to the important questions that every martial artist should ask!

The second part of our installment got even more positive response than the first one – just wow.

I had to spend literally hours responding to all your emails. Scholars and warriors, thank you, I am very happy you found the practical examples and the short instructional videos useful, even though it is just a tip of proverbial (PHK curriculum) iceberg.

PHK Deconstruction & Selection

  • The necessary skills are divided in 3 main parts of PHK PyramidForm (Tai), Force (Gung) and Application (Yung).
  • The minimum useful “units” are stances, footwork, attacking techniques, and defensive techniques.
  • Combat techniques per se can be subdivided into kicks, strikes, grappling and joint-locking techniques (Tek, Da, Seut, Na).
  • Reality-based self defense should focus on pro-active, pre-emptive attack, that helps you to create an opportunity for escape.
  • Other modalities that need to be taken in account are anti-grappling, multiple opponent scenarios, weapons.

PHK 20/80 (i.e. 20% the will bring you 80% of results) is simple:

  • Restore good posture and breathing by using exercises like “Both Hands Lift the Sky” (see 2nd part of the series), “stance Training” and stretching.
  • Start with simple strength and conditioning exercises like Chinese pushup, Chinese Squats, or “Siu Lam Art of Crawling” (again, see 2nd part of the series). These easy to learn exercises will build up a foundational strength together with – not only basic strength, but mobility and functional flexibility as well: healthy joints, sinews, ligaments, and muscles.
  • Focus on 3 main “Stances” – “Four Levels Stance”, Bow and Arrow Stance” and “Hanging Leg Stance” and simple footwork – forward/backward, circling, and zig-zag steps.
  • Learn and master foundational strikes – classical boxing 1-2-3, but adapt it and apply it to reality based self-defense – palm strikes to the head instead of fist strikes, groin shots, etc.
  • And as for self-defense: Concentrate on the defense against the most common types attacks, like “big right hand” (covered in 2nd part), headlocks, stomps, etc.

Shaolin training

PHK Sequencing of Drills and Skills

  • General sequencing refers to the structure of the PHK Pyramid – you have to move well first, then improve your strength and speed, and finally be able to use the techniques in combat. In other words, Form > Force > Usage: Form means good movement and technique. Force means strength, power and cardio. Usage is fighting application. Although you will practice all aspects simultaneously, they actually do form a pyramid.
  • Form > Force > Speed: Once your form is at least 80% correct, start gradually to work on your force, with maintaining (and improving!) your form. Once you can perform the patterns with reasonable force, start to work on speed, with maintaining (and improving!) your form and force.
  • Within the PHK Pyramid, have always a regression (easier version) and progression (harder version) for any exercise. Don’t always practice the hardest version! Follow the time tested easy-medium-hard template.
  • Sequence of the drills for a single session should be: breathing, joint-mobility, and dynamic stretching exercises in the beginning, then new drills and drills requiring the explosive strength and speed in the beginning, conditioning in the end, stretching as the cool down.

PHK Frequency of Practice

  • Remember the cardinal rules: “Consistency and moderation over intensity” (Dr. Jim Wright).
  • We recommend daily and short morning routine – e.g. breathing and joint-mobility exercises, plus 3 times a week afternoon/evening practice, anywhere from half an hour to hour and half.
  • To form a new habit, it takes 21-days – don’t skip the training sessions. You DO have time, and if not, I am sure you will find it if you want to.
  • As said above, follow the time tested easy-medium-hard template.

Download our PHK Cheat Sheet (.pdf)

Please click the download link below the image.

PHK Cheat Sheet

This is the general blueprint from our PHK point of view.

I know what you are saying: “Sounds like logical and methodical approach, it all makes sense, but I need the EXACT plan, EXACT exercises and drills, together with DETAILED explanation of all WHATs and HOWs!

Don’t worry.

If you are our PHK Newsletter subscriber, watch your mailbox (if not, subscribe HERE, and download our Secrets of the Horse Stance manual and video as an extra bonus).

You too will get healthy, strong, and combat efficient in no time, and we will show you how, that is a promise. We will show you the way to improve in 3 months more than most in 3 years.

If you missed the previous two parts, read them here:

Pavel Macek Sifu, Practical Hung Kyun

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