How often to practice Stretches and Stance Work

Discussion in 'Chinese Martial Arts - General' started by zany90, Dec 27, 2017.

  1. zany90

    zany90 White Belt

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    I am just wondering how often it is recommended to practice leg and arm stretches/stretch kicks as well as stance work in relation to Kung Fu? I have purchased some courses that cover arm stretching, leg stretching, fundamental stretch kicks and 5 stance exercises in intricate detail (ex. each stance is covered in detail for about 20 minutes with "stance exercises", and then a final full stance workout which lasts for around 40 minutes)...

    I am just wondering is it recommended to build up to practicing stretches, stance work, kicks and forms every day, or would it be split up through the week with stretches one day, stance work the next, form work the next, etc?

    My goal at present is to build up to learning the Eight Section Brocade, Wu Bu Quan, Lian Huan Quan and Tong Bei Quan with access to amazing course material from a genuine 34th generation Shaolin Monk (ie, each course goes into intricate detail about every single move involved with the forms including breathing while moving, application, reasons for the movement, etc). I understand that this will take a long time to achieve, but I am wondering, would this be considered an appropriate Kung Fu routine and how would you split this up throughout the week?

    I'm sorry if im not being totally clear. I feel like my mind has become obsessed with this subject.
     
  2. JowGaWolf

    JowGaWolf Grandmaster

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    Stretching should be done everyday, but most don't stick to it that way. Stance work should be done everyday if not separately then within your drilling. For me stance work is the "trunk" of everything I do. My techniques can only be as good as my stance. Some times I practice just a stance but I always work the stance when when I'm drilling and doing techniques.

    I would recommend that you follow what the "DVD or video" says do (sounds like you are learning from video) and I would also recommend that you try to find a live instructor who can correct your training by watching videos of you training. Preferably someone within the same system you are training.

    Video training will only take you so far without someone to visually monitor your training either in person or by watching videos of your training.
     
  3. Kung Fu Wang

    Kung Fu Wang Grandmaster

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    In MA training, there are 2 different approaches:

    1. Build up foundation (such as stance, stretching, ...) first. Develop application later.
    2. Develop application first. Enhance the foundation later.

    IMO, 2 > 1

    When you are developing application, you are developing foundation at the same time. But when you are developing foundation, you may not know what application that you are going to develop.
     
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  4. Touch Of Death

    Touch Of Death Sr. Grandmaster

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    Any time you can.
     
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  5. Jaeimseu

    Jaeimseu 2nd Black Belt

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    I’ve pretty much always treated stretching a bit like weight training, in that I give myself a “rest” day in between hard stretching days. On the rest days I only do light stretching.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  6. JowGaWolf

    JowGaWolf Grandmaster

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    Stretching is like a body maintenance exercise but it's never taught from that perspective. So people don't feel like they have to stretch unless they are doing some kind of sport. It's not until people get older that they truly understand the value of stretching. I think people who do yoga really understand the value of it sooner than most people and a lot of people who take yoga still move pretty good provided disease and genetics aren't tearing them up. If they are just old then the yoga seems to help them. I won't go hard core yoga but I plan on adding it into my weekly workout.
     
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  7. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

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    I recommend you put away the DVD and find a real instructor to train with. Learning from video is a bad idea, and learning piecemeal from several different systems that may not have a common method of fundamentals is a good way to end up with a dysfunctional Frankenstein’s monster of a martial art.

    Find a good teacher who is teaching a comprehensive and consistent system, with whom you can train directly, meaning face-to-face.
     
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  8. zany90

    zany90 White Belt

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    Hi,

    Just to clarify. I know that a lot of people are saying not to train from a DVD, but this DVD or training course is created by a 34th generation Shaolin monk who does actually have a school and runs summer camps in the south of my country. The problem for me at the moment is that I cannot attend his classes face to face as it is such a distance away, but I definitely intend to. I think the positive is that I can learn as best as I can from the course and when I finally get to attend a summer camp or his school, I will be training with the same instructor.

    These videos aren't like a lot that I've seen where for instance it just says this is the horse stance, stand like this. And thats it. He spends over 20 minutes talking about the stance, different exercises for the stance, how to breathe properly. The detail is immense. For instance rather than saying transition from Ma Bu to Gong Bu for a punch, he will spend 20 minutes discussing how the power should be transferred from the ground, through the waist, into the shoulder, and to the fist. And how to breathe, etc. With no Kung Fu schools anywhere near me what so ever, this is the closest I am going to get before finally visiting him. Hopefully next summer.
     
  9. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

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    It doesn’t matter. Even the best instructional videos are lacking in a very important aspect, and that is direct feedback to correct the many errors that you will inevitably make, but you won’t even know you are making them. The video places the responsibility on you the student, to correct your own errors. It is not possible.

    At best you will develop bad habits that make it more difficult to properly learn later with a good teacher. At worst you could actually injure yourself by practicing some things incorrectly. Often you will not realize you are creating the injury until it is too late and the damage is already done.
     
  10. Headhunter

    Headhunter Senior Master

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    honestly so what? the guys 34th generation shaolin monk or ehatever but that doesnt change the fact you cant learn properly off a dvd
     
  11. kempodisciple

    kempodisciple Senior Master

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    Have you given any more thoughts to actually going to a temple/monastery and training there? That would solve the issue of no schools near you
     
  12. Buka

    Buka Grandmaster

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    Well, if you're going to do it, just enjoy it as much as you can. And it sounds like - with the twenty minute discussions on the various topics you mentioned - that it might be beneficial to just sit on the floor and stretch while you listen to everything he has to say. Then, when you finally get to go train there, you'll be familiar with some concepts.

    Have fun. And keep us posted.
     
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  13. JowGaWolf

    JowGaWolf Grandmaster

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    To be honest the problem isn't so much the DVD. The real problem is not having someone to watch and monitor your training. It's one way learning where you don't know for sure if you are doing something correct or not. This is the only problem I have with DVD only training.

    To put it in perspective students here post videos of them punching a bag. Other's view the video and point out things that the student may not be aware of and offer ways to correct it. It's this type of interaction that is vital. If all you have is a DVD and no feedback then you don't know for sure if you are doing things correctly. You should be ok as long as you have an instructor that can a video of your training and provide feedback.
     

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