Friday, October 16, 2015

Possible new indoor location for the winter!

We're currently investigating renting a space in University District for our Saturday morning practice throughout the winter months.  This upcoming practice (10/24/2015) will be at the Movement Lab on University Way.  Please RSVP on the meetup if you plan on attending.  A fee of $10 will be charged to help cover this rental and future ones.  Hope to see you there!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Don't leave out the "martial" of internal martial arts

Many practice martial arts simply for health and fitness, however it is important not to leave out the fighting aspects.  Regardless of whether you're interested in competitive fighting or not, including some sparring and non-cooperative drills will add many benefits that are otherwise omitted by just practicing forms and cooperative drills.
There are a number of different sparring drills that you can incorporate into your training that will improve movement, reflexes and sensitivity.  Light contact sparring is an excellent way to improve reflexes and movement by forcing you to react in real time against an uncooperative opponent.  This practice can be easily scaled from beginner to more advanced practitioners by increasing speed, force and complexity.  For example, beginners would spar slowly and use a limited set of techniques then once that becomes less challenging the speed would be increased and the range of techniques expanded. This would progress to complete freestyle sparring for advanced levels. There are many other benefits to sparring practice such as improving observational and reaction skills by watching your opponents movements and anticipating openings and developing the mental and physical acuity essential to taking decisive action in a fight.
While light contact sparring mainly improves reflexes and movement, uncooperative/competitive grappling, throwing and push hands practice provides a great training method to improve balance and tactile sensitivity.  These skills can be scaled using the same progression as mentioned with light contact sparring.  The dynamic nature of constantly adjusting to take your opponents center develops your sensitivity while simultaneously defending improves your own balance beyond what is possible through solo practice. At advanced levels, these techniques can be included with light contact sparring for an even greater challenge.  
Sparring is another way to judge progress in martial arts beyond just forms and fundamentals. Being able to use the skills practiced while under pressure is key to making progress in any martial art and adding progressive sparring practice is an excellent way to test it out. It also helps to provide some purpose to training as the results translate to your performance in sparring.  Even if you're not interested in competing, it's still a good experience to go to a tournament every once in a while to try out your skills against people you normally don't train with.  In a competitive event, the intensity is higher and actions more unpredictable as result increasing the pressure and putting your skills to the test even more.
Though martial arts have many benefits outside of fighting, the original intent of martial arts was for fighting.  It is also what separates martial arts from other physical skills that have similar benefits like yoga or gymnastics.  If you don't practice the fighting aspects, can you still say that you're practicing martial arts?  

Thursday, January 29, 2015

No practice at Grass Lawn Park 1/31/2015 and 2/7/2015

We will not be practicing at Grass Lawn park this upcoming Saturday and the following week as well.  We'll be back to the normal routine on February 14th.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!  I hope everyone enjoyed their holiday.  For 2015 we're going to continue using Grass Lawn Park as the location for our practice on Saturday morning.  Please check the blog for any cancellations or changes.  For January we'll review the two-person forms we've been working on and then move on to practicing fundamentals and body training for the next three months.