Feeling Different 

At the end of a practice session, your technique should feel different. If your technique does not feel different, it may be because it is already perfect (in which case, can I have some lessons?).

For most of us, it’s a bad sign if the last execution is the same as the first. If you do the same thing over and over again, and each attempt is the same, you are not improving.  The practice has become mere aerobics. Conversely, if you can practice one of the Wuzuquan techniques over and over without tiredness, the technique is probably incorrect.

One example of feeling different is in our punch bag training. We hit the bag in a particular sequence. At first it would take me ten minutes of continuously hitting the bag to feel the correct, deadweight strength coming out. Subsequently the sensation came out more quickly. The time it took to get this feeling decreased gradually with regular training over a certain period. Most importantly, the last set of strikes on each occasion is not the same as the first set.

Another example: a Wuzuquan technique will often stretch a particular tendon. We relate this to Bodhidharma’s principle of “Stretching the Sinews”. On execution you will feel a short and sharp tug in the region being stretched by that movement. I liken it to plucking a stringed instrument. Over a session spent concentrating on a certain motion, it takes its toll. If you don’t feel this, you aren’t performing our art correctly. Chee Kim Thong would say, “who feels pain?”  at the end of a session. Most would brag that they felt no pain, not realising that the master had caught them out for not training correctly.

And a third example; our pebbles practice. We continue until such-and-such a feeling arises. If it never does, the technique is wrong.

Gongfu practice yields a range of bodily sensations. Some are painful, others pleasant, and some downright odd. But we must pay attention to these feelings: they are leads, we can follow them to see what has made us feel different and whether it leads to better performance.

 

 

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