Sunday, December 21, 2008

We're at it again! & Schedule

As we get together to train every Sunday night, we always shoot a new video. This past Sunday was certainly no exception! Check it out:

The person Andrew and I are demonstrating on is Aaron Short. 
These videos are so much fun to make, and really gives us something fun to look forward to every Sunday in addition to the training.

I am so excited about the evolution of Austin Kung-Fu Academy! I feel like 2009 is going to be a fantastic year for us! I finally have a full office to myself, complete with desk and computer (you know, along with the swords, sticks, and boxing gloves!). 

Some logistics - we won't have class this Wednesday. And, I've also decided that Saturday we'll be off as well. I'll send out an e-mail about it.

I'd be up for having class Wednesday, New Year's Eve, but only if more than 4 of you can make it. If not, then we'll just go ahead and resume our classes Saturday, Jan 3rd. So please give me feedback and let me know if you want to have class next Wednesday on New Y ear's Eve.

Oh, and a heads up - we're going to have an Austin Kung-Fu Academy Open House sometime in February. So start telling your friends and neighbors that they should look into getting some Kung-Fu into their lives, and check out our open house! :)

Sunday, December 14, 2008

New Video!

So yeah, Andrew and I still are taking some heat for the videos we're making. But that's really okay. I think that lots of people are actually appreciating what we are doing. The videos aren't meant to be taken so literally. It's more a demonstration for traditional Kung-Fu practitioners that they can use some of the energy they acquired in their Kung-Fu training, and see some relevancy in motions in the world of grappling.

It is so much fun making these! We make these up as we go along, because it is literally THAT EASY to see the commonalities in energy.

Friday, December 12, 2008

TEST, Saturday Dec 20th!

We will have our last test of the year Saturday, December 20th.

Kids - 1:30pm
Adults - 3pm

Kids can come early at 1pm to ask any questions and practice.
Adults can come at 2pm to ask any questions, and practice. And cram. lol 

Make sure you are in full uniform, with sash for the test.


Probably the best place I learned about leadership was at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. They have phenomenal leadership development programs, including LeaderShape.

There are 4 key components to leadership:
Self Development
Interpersonal Development
Group Development
Transition Development

Each of these categories goes in depth with various concepts and principles. If it is of interest, I can do a workshop on leadership development for a Friday seminar.

Friday seminar? What in the world is that?? :)

So starting in January 2009, we're going to have a bit a of a revised Austin Kung-Fu Academy.
I won't disclose details just yet, as we are still working some things out. But I will tell you this - there'll be opportunities to train 4 days a week at our location! And, there will be a lot more hands-on instruction!

So, if you know of people who you think could benefit from and are interested in learning Kung-Fu/Grappling, send them our way! If you'd like a gift certificate, to give to someone, let me know.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Cross Polinations

Grasping the interconnected nature of everything may not always be the easiest concept to internalize.

Andrew and I are starting to get some heat for the video we made. I knew we'd get some, but wow, it happened faster than I thought. 

We are simply showing the related energies that both of our respected arts and practices share. It's interesting to actually see that some people aren't ready to hear this. 

And I get why it's happening. We just made a new video:

Which I'm sure will receive a lot more negative criticism. I want us to make one more video like this before employing the next set of videos with an explanation that talks about the energy first, then what that energy pattern looks like in Choy Lay Fut, and how that energy patter looks like in Grappling. But not yet. I want people to continue to criticize the techniques.
When they criticize the actual techniques, it's clear that they don't understand what we're doing.

It's not about techniques. It's about energy. We can show you that same energy pattern in music. Or in dealing with a political situation at work. Or negotiating a financial deal. Or a spousal relationship dynamic. It's all energy. We're just showing 2 physical manifestations of it.

In a "deficit-oriented" society that we live in, it is much easier and more desirable and glamorous to identify how we are different from each other. Especially if the society is like ours which is capitalism/mixed economy, where it's all about branding and showing how we are so unique and different from everyone else, thus you should buy from us.

But the reality is is that we're not all that different from each other if you understand energy patterns. 

One of the things I admired about some of my colleagues at Illinois who were doctoral candidates is that they could take any subject or topic whatsoever and relate it meaningfully to their dissertation/thesis!

Personalities have energy. We should have a discussion about what techniques we practice reflect/relate to what types of personalities.

Our training helps us relate to and understand life, if we dig deeper into what it is we are actually learning.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Cross Stances

Today, and this term, we are focusing in on cross stances. In my opinion, cross stances are sort of unique to Kung-Fu. I said unique, not exclusive. Other arts have and use them, but from my observation, the emphasis that Kung-Fu has on cross stances is a little different.

Would you use it in a combat situation? Well, the percentage is low, but, as Sensei Andrew says, and it is my favorite quote from him, "The issue is not should you use it, but can you use it. And the answer is yes." 

Personally, I love what the cross stance develops in solid balance-stance foundation and good footwork. 

There's a metaphor here waiting to be exploited! Sometimes when things cross, it can cause uncertainty, unclarity, lack of balance, lack of focus and an unease. The cross stance asks you to find clarity and focus in the cross. It asks you to try to find certainty in what seems uncertain. It asks you to find stability in the seemingly unstable.

There are 6 types of cross stances:

1. Twist/stomp cross
2. Turning cross

3. Step over cross moving forward
4. Step over cross moving backward

5. Step behind cross moving forward
6. Step behind cross moving backward

The cross stance is definitely a transitional stance, but it can also be a "finishing" stance, and that's where I think even many Kung-Fu schools don't necessarily put their focus on. I have found/am finding that if we practice the cross stance as a "finishing" stance, doing it as a transitional stance will make it a much more powerful and meaningful will start seeing and realizing applications even in (seemingly) transitory movements, and your intent in your execution will reflect it.

Incidentally, practicing cross stances as finishing stances totally improves the attention to all the little details that go behind a complex stance.

Sensei Andrew (once again) blew my mind and demonstrated a ground grappling application of the cross stance, and I totally forgot it! I just remember being shocked, and was like, HOLY CRAP!

Incidentally, I'm looking into opening up two more Adult Kung-Fu classes in 2009.