Last night I chatted for a moment with an old student. It has been many years since I have seen her. She's grown up, is married, a mother of two, and has a great career stretched out in front of her.
She thanked me for Liz and I helping to shape who she is today.
That felt pretty good and it also got me thinking. We are always looking forward to what we want to do but realizing what we have done is sometimes helpful too. So I started thinking about who else I might have helped shape. The list grew long in my mind. I thought it might be good to get a bit of it down.
When I first started in martial arts there was one evening that massivelt influenced whether I would succeed or not.
We had just finished class and had circled up for the finalbit of advice. Shun Shifu Perez had entered and was at the front ready to speak. We all anxiously awaited his wise words.
There were about 30 people in the class. All very new white belts. Enthusiastic and eager.
He told us to look around. To look at each person in the group. To look at their face and make eye contact.
Every once in awhile when I am teaching I puff out my chest and strut. I then say,
"Who Is The Greatest Teacher"
Most of the time I am answered with a nervous, "You are Shun Shifu"
And I reply, "No, pain is the greatest teacher"
This is ussually followed by an example.
It's been a running joke I have relied on for years in my teaching. But there is much more to it than I ever knew. Pain is far more complex than any of us realize. And indeed, it is a teacher.
In this lesson, we introduce the concept of Pre-Sense and going with the opponent's energy.
Pre-sense is the development of the kinesthetic senses to such a degree that you can feel an opponent's intent. Sensing the positioning and direction of all other parts of his body through a single touch.
This lesson just touches on the concept.
If you have ever seen Push Hands or Sticky Hands exercises that is the intent of those exercises.
It creates a way of controlling your opponent that is extremely confusing to the opponent. Always one step ahead.
In this lesson we cover proper distance line on an inward block.
A common mistake is to move in to before blocking possibilities. This creates a big problem. Crowding your own weapons and also putting your own targets closer to the opponenets weapons.
This mistake necessitates the need for extreme speed in weapons. The speed is needed to make up for the technique. And speed is no substitute for positioning. Obviously speed is good but a trained fighter should not rely on it to cover for positioning mistakes. That's a very dangerous ground.
In the Beast Magic series, we take Shou' Shu' (Beast Magic ) demos and explain the nuances of what's going on.
- Begin to understand how 7 individual beast arts combine to become one art
- Begin to understand how the 3 principles are present in each and every move
Shou' Shu' is a difficult art for the camera. It's subtleties go unnoticed. It has very little dramatic appeal. Its entertainment value is lost on most. It just gets the job done quickly. Which is what is truly needed in a fighting art.
In this lesson, we take the dynamic tension we have learned to create in our legs and release it into the hand as a weapon.
To make this happen a few things have to be correct.
1) Reinforcement - If the arm is not at a reinforced position it will not be able to handle the power created by the legs. Bone alignment principles must be used of the arm will simply collapse and the energy will not be delivered. However, with the principles of bone alignment applied the arm will have the required reinforcement to deliver the energy.
Disciple's Workshop - Lesson 4
One Leg Step Correct with Resistance
In this lesson we begin to introduce two principles.
1) The Step Correct
2) The Floating Foot
Neither concept is introduced fully here but we will use what we learn here to introduce them later. Right now we are just building in some muscle memory.
The horse stance is the most fundamental of all stances. It is used in virtually every martial art. It links all arts. We'll probably never know if this is due to common ancestry or if it simply evolved separately. Regardless, it is a common thread.
One would be wise to not overlook the subtleties of the horse stance. Many other principles are built upon it. And truly you are only as good as your basics. This is where the basics start.