Mantis Season…Training…Coiling Dragon – day 3

7 08 2009

Morning thoughts…

Ahh, Hump day…I could feel the effect of the practice sessions a bit today. A bit stiff here and there, but no where near like some of the past years. My legs are not sore, not a lot of jumping in this set like in the Spear, Sword and Two Section staff forms. That maybe another reason why I like it. As I get older (  another birthday next week) I do not care to jump around to much even though it is a Tai Mantis Trademark.

I was suppose to have a Photo shoot this morning with Sisuk and a couple of models for Photography practice.  I received a call early during my morning Zazen saying the girls did not show so no need for me to come in early. Nice! I was not  feeling it today.

I was recalling just after Zazen what Sisuk was saying about the 3 Sectional before we started training about it is not necessary for us, or something like that. Also my student saying something about it is not something that one can carry around un-noticed. Also unlike a staff which can be used from any broom or mop handle it is not readily available. All true.

The good thing about training with the 3-S is the timing and coordination that comes with it. You need to keep track of three different pieces and make them work as one unit, not three ( Chan is one not two). There is the Hand eye coordination, catching, stopping, controlling the motions, using angles, footwork. All while not beating the crap out of your self. It is not a practical modern weapon , but it still has it’s training uses. Sometimes I trip (think) on if the world social order fell apart and one had to live in the wild. Two weapons I would want are a pair of good short sticks, and a knife. If a Long Staff and a Bow and arrow could be add to that so much the better. The good thing about a staff weapon is you do not run out of ammo. I think that for a modern weapon , other than a knife or gun, a staff ( long staff or short) is the best. Of course against a gun it is useless but against a knife, hammer, tire iron, baseball bat, it is a very practical skill to know how to handle a Staff. Which is why I think Kali is such a practical art or Kung Fu training in the use of Short staff. The Three Section has a lot of the moves, blocks, theories of fighting with two sticks, Block with one, strike with the other, Fake high, strike low, distract right attack left. Lie low, the truth is high. Practical, in theory and application.

A bit of good news today, I was approved to teach a  Tai Chi and Kung Fu class with the local Parks and Rec dept. Nice! We can now get out of the Park in time for winter. Hopefully some students will sign up. Anyway it is a start, and the parks and Rec dept will handle the advertising.

Evening reflection…

I was feeling a little ill today, out of sorts more than sick really  this evening when I went to practice. However after a hour or less of practice I was feeling normal again. It may have just been I did not eat enough during the day so after dinner worked it’s way into my system I was better.


Another good night of practice, more moves to the form. Again some nice moves and again similar to Kali and Mantis so not hard for me to grasp. I understand why the form is called the Coiling Dragon now. Lots of body wrapping and then coming form out of nowhere to strike. I helped a few classmates who were having problems getting it. My student was struggling but she was watching my Shifu help one of his students so she was able to work it through.

Shixiong talked tonight about the form and it’s practicality vs other forms which contained a lot of flowery moves. The moves are good for helping one get familiar with the weapon and coordination of body and weapon but not really useful. We were told if we wanted to make this form more flash we could add more flower patterns and the uneducated would be impressed. He told us how the old master when the "shaolin" monks first came out in the 70s doing all the rolls and such, would laugh at how unusable many of the moves where.

He also spoke how many of the moves where the same as our empty handed Mantis moves. If we knew the technique with no weapon. we should know it with a weapon, especially this type of weapon which is really more of an extension of two hands verse one. I was able to see it directly in several of the techniques tonight.

We are suppose to finish it up on Thursday, then on Friday I am guessing we will work on Falls, take downs, and misc drills, before we eat. We always have a small closing seminar dinner on Friday night. Sat. I will take a break from stuff. Maybe get the Boat ready for our weekend sail next week. Then Sunday Kyudo practice. However for now, it is all about the Dragon…




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