FOUNDATION MARTIAL TRAINING
Through the training methods of traditional Chinese martial arts, the entire body is exercised and refined, increasing in strength, fitness and vitality. These basic training methods build a strong foundation for the practice of martial arts.
In Chinese martial arts, the end result of training is greater than the sum of the parts. Coordination and integration of the body and mind are key to attaining true mastery. Without this focus, the depth of one’s attainments is only superficial. “To practice martial arts without developing the proper foundation will leave all efforts in vain.”
There are many different styles of Chinese martial arts (There are approximately 1000 extant distinct schools of Chinese martial methodology. Due to its extensive history and development, the number of styles of Chinese martial arts easily supersede the sum of all other martial arts). Accordingly, their training methods are diverse. This Chinese martial art training program contains proven methods from well-established schools, masters and ancient treatises. The legacy of the ancient masters remains a valuable part of modern martial science.
Concise and Comprehensive
The foundation training methods emphasize single movement skills along with rudimentary combined routines. In this way, teachers will find instruction manageable and enjoyable, allowing easy learning and consolidation by beginner students.
The training seeks to harmonize and increase control over the central nervous system, and strengthen the internal organs, bone, muscle, tendons and joints and to promote optimal physiological growth and development. While founded in martial arts, the exercises are universal, achieving balance between strength, relaxation, flexibility, power, speed, endurance, agility and stability. The exercises are therefore highly complementary to any physical endeavour, and as such, may be used to enhance overall performance in any field.
The specific warm-up protocol is done systematically, not only preparing the body for optimal performance in exercise and preventing injury, but also as a means of long-term body strengthening and joint protection.
One of the most remarkable exercises featured in this program is the Five Section Circular Orbit Method. This can be described as a ‘universal human motion exercise’, offering profound benefit to the practitioner. Joint stabilization and coordination between the nervous system and body are achieved through circular movement principles, in accordance with the natural structure of the body. In addition to widespread effects on health and well-being, this training method encompasses the essence of human motion, and therefore benefits any athletic pursuit. This training method will be described in detail later in the corresponding section.
Other components include total body flexibility training to increase the range of functional motion and refine muscle strength and elasticity of tendons and ligaments. Footwork and stances train the practitioner to achieve a state of strength and balance in both static and dynamic posture, covering the five principle balance points of even, forward, receding, turning and single point. Punching exercises train the practitioner to coordinate strong and clear movements with the upper and lower body, connected by the hips, waist and lower back, like the transmission of a car.
Chinese martial arts exercise both structure and function, and refine the jing (essence) qi (vitality), and shen (awareness and mental focus). Circulation improves, the body is purified and the nervous system strengthened. Through the holistic nature of the training, the psychological disposition of the practitioner is balanced, both physical and mental fortitude is increased, and moral perspective and personal ethics are cultivated.
Perfection of Basic Skills
In general, the degree of difficulty of the exercises and postures is relatively easy and the program content is streamlined. However, the effects of regular long-term training will be precisely the same as that of any other Chinese martial art program.
First and foremost, one must have constancy of purpose. In any discipline, people can feel bored or uninspired when learning the basics and so, they develop a pattern of sporadic training, with poor progress. Others constantly seek to learn new things in order to distinguish themselves, seeking attention by showing off.
To learn, one must set aside arrogance and self-pity and develop an enduring spirit. Painstaking effort and perseverance are essential.
The foundation skills are especially important, just as the foundation of a building must be set before the stories are added. Therefore, we must learn well and train hard. A Chinese martial art proverb states: ‘Train on the hottest days of summer and the coldest days of winter’. This reminds us to persevere under all conditions, year-round. In this way, we can improve our health, perfect our skills and greatly refine our character.
Finally, we must have an objective approach to development. Serious and sincere effort is required, but training must be approached scientifically and systematically to progress in a safe, natural manner.
FOUNDATION TRAINING METHODS
I. Injury Prevention Training
II. Body Integration, Strengthening and Development Training
a. Five Section Circular Orbit Training Method: head, back, waist, arms, legs.
III. Stretching and Flexibility Training
a. Total Body Flexibility Training: Upper, Middle and Lower Body.
IV. Stance and Footwork
a. Stance Training
V. Punching Training
a. Centre Punch
I. Body Integration, Strengthening and Development Training