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I’m not encouraging this kind of training – it is a little intense for most of us. But it’s pretty interesting.

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I’m going to start posting some information about forms that we train in our style. Master Scotty and I were discussing this at class on Thursday. He’s been posting info on his Twitter feed for a while now. It looks like code and that’s because it’s not supposed to be easy for you to understand.

But lets start a conversation about it. And maybe in the future I’ll share it in a video.

Here we go – Kempo 1

Begin in neutral position. Toes together, heels slightly apart (to open your hip joints), hands at your side.  Take a bow – the proper way to start any form in our style.

Holding the Sand with your right hand, sweep across your body and back to inside Walking Tiger above your right shoulder.

Closed Crane with left leg, sweep left to downward block (protecting your left knee).

Full step forward to right leading and Push-Pull.

Withdraw to front Cat stance.

Another Holding the Sand and Walking Tiger on the right side.

Closed Crane sweeping right to separation block.

Turn right foot out on heel to 45 degrees right of center. Bring left food forward to meet your right foot, then extend 45 degrees off center to the left into Riding Horse position.

Lean back so more of your weight is on your right leg, Sweeping Palm with your left  hand to a low Tiger Punch.

Turn on left heel to closed crane at 45 degrees left of center. Then step down with right foot forward into late Open X position.

Left hand performs a Sweeping Palm while right hand moves to inverted backhand. Then Walking Tiger (to trap a strike coming from the right side).

Turn on right heel while extending your left foot as you turn to face the what was behind you. Knife Hand block (as opposed to strike) with your right hand. Then Pai-hu Shih rising block with your left arm.

Full step with right foot while “Grooming the Aura” to a high Push-Pull.

Once again, Holding the Sand, to Walking Tiger, while Closed Crane with left foot.

Sweep left with downward block.

Full step forward with right foot and Push-Pull.

And this concludes the first portion of our Kempo form. It probably doesn’t make much sense, as I said. But perhaps, in time, as it makes sense to me, it’ll make sense to you.

More will follow!

The Way of the Mantis

I love everything about this video. The music, the art and animation style. This six-minute video portrays months, if not years of reflection, insight and training.

Welcome friends, brothers and sisters.

I created this blog over a year ago, mostly to snag the name. I wanted to wait until I was ready to begin posting here. Now I feel my training (towards blogging about my training) is complete. My shaolin training, however, will never be complete.

If you want to know about who I am, and what I train, check out the About page.

The path of the martial artist is an interesting one with many stages. The first step is finding a good teacher. The second is to train. Then reflect. Then train more. Then repeat.

Martial arts training does interesting things to a person. I’m going to write on this subject here often.  The physical and psychological effects of training are profound.

For example, when I came to the realization that my training in shaolin martial arts was to become a life-long pursuit it erased all feeling of immediacy from my mind in terms of my ability level. It doesn’t matter. I shifted my focus towards my training – my consistency, intensity, technique and relationships with my shaolin brothers. Ability will develop from this.

When you train with a close, dedicated group, one loses all point of reference for ability level. Even my Master improves at a similar rate as his students. It’s interesting. Sparring with one another gets more intense and more fun, and it inspires a greater level of trust and precision. I’m always impressed by how infrequently injuries happen in my club despite the potential for it to happen. We really wail on each other, but we’re also very disciplined and controlled. It’s a beautiful thing and a testament to our skill and compassion.

I wish everyone I know could have the same experience, because it’s a difficult one to put into words.

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