Don't know where to start with wooden dummy!

jimbo123

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Hi,

Before anyone asks, I did use the search facility but didn't find I what I was looking for.

I normally get to my wing chun class before all the other students. I thought I could used this time well to practise with the wooden dummy. The thing is, I don't know where to start with using this. Is there a set routine? I don't want to look like a fool for using it.

Normally I practise footwork and the forms at home. The wooden dummy I've been fascinated by since I was a child when I saw Dragon The Bruce Lee Story.
 

Cyriacus

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First, now i may be wrong, but isnt the wooden dummy an advanced form?
Second, why are you asking us and not your instructor?
 

mook jong man

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Hi,

Before anyone asks, I did use the search facility but didn't find I what I was looking for.

I normally get to my wing chun class before all the other students. I thought I could used this time well to practise with the wooden dummy. The thing is, I don't know where to start with using this. Is there a set routine? I don't want to look like a fool for using it.

Normally I practise footwork and the forms at home. The wooden dummy I've been fascinated by since I was a child when I saw Dragon The Bruce Lee Story.

Leave it alone until you are taught how to use it.
If you get there early do your Sil Lum Tao form and then practice your pivoting.
 

OzPaul

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Like what MJM said. Practice your pivoting, it is harder than it looks! Also, don't wear your decent running shoes to class... all the pivoting made the sole peel off mine!
 

Flying Crane

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I gotta echo the others: this is NOT the proper venue to get instruction on the dummy. Get it from your sifu, when he/she feels you are ready for it. Until then, don't try to do it.
 
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jimbo123

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Wow so many replies!

I do plan on asking Sifu as well, I just wanted to get some more insight on it before I do. Everything looks so random but I recognize the structures. My Sifu said something about the wooden dummy about a year ago (when I was a beginner) that we shouldn't feel like we are not allowed to use it even though we are beginner and showed us how we can do our footwork around it. But he still emphasised that we should focus on the basics.

Like what MJM said. Practice your pivoting, it is harder than it looks! Also, don't wear your decent running shoes to class... all the pivoting made the sole peel off mine!

Too late!
 

yak sao

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Wow so many replies!

I do plan on asking Sifu as well, I just wanted to get some more insight on it before I do. Everything looks so random but I recognize the structures. My Sifu said something about the wooden dummy about a year ago (when I was a beginner) that we shouldn't feel like we are not allowed to use it even though we are beginner and showed us how we can do our footwork around it. But he still emphasised that we should focus on the basics.



Too late!

There is an actual form that is practiced on the dummy, depending on your lineage depends on when it is taught. I wasn't taught it until after the Biu Tze form, some schools teach it after Chum Kiu.

There are drills that you can practice on it, such as pak sau, gaun sau, etc., but these are best shown to you by your teacher to make sure you are not developing bad habits that your sifu will have to undo.
It's always better in the longrun to learn it the right way from the beginning, than to have to unlearn a bad habit.
Even if it means waiting.
 

jks9199

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Wow so many replies!

I do plan on asking Sifu as well, I just wanted to get some more insight on it before I do. Everything looks so random but I recognize the structures. My Sifu said something about the wooden dummy about a year ago (when I was a beginner) that we shouldn't feel like we are not allowed to use it even though we are beginner and showed us how we can do our footwork around it. But he still emphasised that we should focus on the basics.



Too late!

Sounds like your instructor has shown you how he wants you to use the dummy...
 

yak sao

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I think it's human nature to always want bigger and better. MA students are no exception. It may be part of what drives us to improve our skill and keep going long after others have moved on to other pursuits.

I couldn't wait to learn the other forms of WT and now that I have, I seem to spend the majority of my time practicing SNT.
My training partner and I couldn't wait to learn the advanced chi sau...now that we have, we spend the majority of our time when we get together, working on our basic chi sau.
Maybe it's because the advanced material exposed flaws in my skills that needed to be addressed. Maybe it's because after seeing the advanced material, I realized that it's all based on good sound basics that are found in the earlier forms.

Enjoy what you have at this point in time and work your a$$ off on it. It will only serve to make you a better WC man; and when you finally do get to the "good stuff", you'll realize that you've been training the good stuff all along.
 

jeff_hasbrouck

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This happened to me, but I had si-hings who taught me the drills and the form WAAAYYY before I was supposed to learn it. In the Leung Ting system you learn it after all the Biu-tze chi-sau stuff.

The jong (dummy) is for when you have no one else to practice with. Now I believe students need to learn how utilize the dummy as early as possible, but my views on WT are in many ways different from most. The problem as someone stated earlier that we always reach for too much. And if you don't get trained how to properly utilize the form (techniques preformed on the jong) you can end up creating bad habits. Now this sounds like an easy fix, but remember, we are working with muscle memory and that is a fact.

So to anesthitize your natural curiousity with the dummy, my strong suggestion is for you to ask your Sifu to show you some of the basic drills on the dummy. My favorite to teach folks is the entry pak-da with LT guys call the J-step. Basically entering with the pak-sau, finding the easiest path for the punch, and stepping around the leg, while staying in good form, aka not tripping over your feet, and keeping your hips square, and not bouncing back off the dummy.

You can do the same thing with Gaun-sau (splitting hand), Gum-Sau (pinning hand), Tan-sau (Palm Up) etc... All the basic reactions can be done on the jong, but there is a "proper" and a "wrong" way to preform these sequences so make sure you get someone to show you. If it's not your Sifu, make sure it's a qualified Si-hing.

After you get these down and you still want to expand more, you can always ask your Sifu to show you the chi-sau sections on the dummy. And yes you can practice EVERY SINGLE chi-sau section on the dummy, don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

The dummy is a very resourceful tool if you know how to use it. But again, and I CAN'T emphasize this enough; if you aren't taught properly, you can end up screwing yourself up. Another word of caution, and I'm not insinuating anything, but always be up-front with your Sifu. Don't try to learn behind his back. This isn't to say not to heed any lessons your si-hings might have for you. And this certainly isn't to bar you from asking questions. If you have an instructor who won't explain things to you, its oft because that instructor doesn't know the answer.

Everyone progresses at their own level. Don't let anyone hold you back from progressing. But don't ever forget to keep practicing the basics, and never reach beyond your level. Or rather try not to ;)

Hope this has helped you in your journey bubba!



All the best,



Jeff
 

Flying Crane

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I think it's human nature to always want bigger and better. MA students are no exception. It may be part of what drives us to improve our skill and keep going long after others have moved on to other pursuits.

I couldn't wait to learn the other forms of WT and now that I have, I seem to spend the majority of my time practicing SNT.
My training partner and I couldn't wait to learn the advanced chi sau...now that we have, we spend the majority of our time when we get together, working on our basic chi sau.
Maybe it's because the advanced material exposed flaws in my skills that needed to be addressed. Maybe it's because after seeing the advanced material, I realized that it's all based on good sound basics that are found in the earlier forms.

Enjoy what you have at this point in time and work your a$$ off on it. It will only serve to make you a better WC man; and when you finally do get to the "good stuff", you'll realize that you've been training the good stuff all along.

Very well said, sir. I'm not a wing chun guy, but my sifu always says that the advanced forms are to help you understand that it's all in the basics. If we had the vision to really understand what is possible with the basics, then that is all we would ever need to learn. But most of us lack that vision so we need to take the long road and learn much more, before we develop that vision. Once we learn more, then we can understand, it is all in the basics, that is what is important, and that is what really matters.
 
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jimbo123

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Okay thanks all. I'll ask my sifu next week about some basic drills. I'll let you all know how it goes and my progress with it!

I get what Jeff is saying about muscle memory and it's important to get the basics right. Some of my structures had to be corrected recently.

Oh and I know it seems weird that I am asking people on a forum instead of my sifu. I will ask my sifu. The truth is I am a very slow learner if someone is explaining things to me. I understand things better when I read a book with diagrams, watch videos in super slow motion and also get knowledge from my Sifu. For example, the Siu Lim Tao I started learning in class and a video my Sifu made. To supplement that I bought the Samuel Kwok book where every single step is explained in detail.
 

jeff_hasbrouck

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Okay thanks all. I'll ask my sifu next week about some basic drills. I'll let you all know how it goes and my progress with it!

I get what Jeff is saying about muscle memory and it's important to get the basics right. Some of my structures had to be corrected recently.

Oh and I know it seems weird that I am asking people on a forum instead of my sifu. I will ask my sifu. The truth is I am a very slow learner if someone is explaining things to me. I understand things better when I read a book with diagrams, watch videos in super slow motion and also get knowledge from my Sifu. For example, the Siu Lim Tao I started learning in class and a video my Sifu made. To supplement that I bought the Samuel Kwok book where every single step is explained in detail.

I've had people that had a very slow retention rate. It's really not a problem, you just have to practice twice as hard as anyone else ;)...

You'll do fine bubba; Just remember to actually UTILIZE your resources! If your sifu bounces around a lot, don't be afraid to say you want to work something for an extended period of time, while the others move on.

My old sifu used to call me the "sponge" because I would soak up everything. WT just is just the best thing in my opinion. It makes my brain happy. Very rarely do I get stumped... Although, the higher you get, the more ground you start breaking lol. But the point of it is, even though I can learn at an accelerated rate, when I run classes, I don't let the students do more than 4 techniques in hour and a half. You aren't supposed to rush through it, you will never be able to commit it to muscle memory if you don't go slow. Most americans have it in their head that they can get "McDonalds" WT, but its not quick and easy.

I almost refuse to teach anymore because I'm honestly just tired of people treating me like a "quick stop" WT resource.

It takes about 100 hours for you to "own" a technique. Unless you worried about the world ending, there is no rush. Practice hard, and you will see amazing results. It would be awesome to practice one technique for a whole lesson.

When I first started training, my brain went into hyper mode. I'm already adhd, and I don't take anything for it. But when I calmed down and stopped rushing I noticed that the techniques started flowing much more naturally.


I remember the first time I did a WT move out of instinct rather than thought process.

I was talking (ok flirting) with this rediculously hot girl in math class. I said something rather un-gentlemenly about how low cut her shirt was and she just hauled off and tried to hit me in the chest, I didn't know what happened, but I went with the energy, my man-sau extended and I did a perfect tan-sau with a stance turn. She almost blew right past me with how much force she through into the strike. I was amazed that I didn't have to think about it.

If you can slow down and really work each and every technique, your foundation will be solid. Oh, and don't neglect your footwork, if you have crappy footwork, you have crappy WT.


Anyways, my good sir; You have a wonderful day, and all the best in your training!!!



Jeff
 

wtxs

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Wow so many replies!

I do plan on asking Sifu as well, I just wanted to get some more insight on it before I do. Everything looks so random but I recognize the structures. My Sifu said something about the wooden dummy about a year ago (when I was a beginner) that we shouldn't feel like we are not allowed to use it even though we are beginner and showed us how we can do our footwork around it. But he still emphasised that we should focus on the basics.

Since you come to this forum and seek advice, please do your best in listenig to what is being offered.

The bottom line is that the insight you're looking for is already there, where??? you may ask, it's waiting at the place where you finally understand and gasp the basics.:hmm: Now go train your a$$ off!!! :whip:
 

Cyriacus

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Welp, the dummy is hard. Your limbs are hard. Practice bashing your hard things into it (By way of, for example, whatever you spent the most time working on in class that day). While youre at it, practice other stuff, like moving around. Id suggest, at this stage, getting used to the effects of range in relation to movement. :)
 

mook jong man

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If you are bashing your limbs into the dummy you are doing it wrong.
We use shearing deflection when making contact with the arms of the dummy , we don't clash with it.
This is done by making contact with your arms at the correct angle of attack in relation to the dummy arms and spreading the force along your forearm not taking it on one point only.

It's also crucial to have your arms in the correct angle at all times , as well as rotating your forearms at the point of contact.
All of this takes quite a bit of skill and we haven't even begun to discuss what the lower body should be doing yet.

As I said before , he should leave it alone until he knows what he's doing.
 

grumpywolfman

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"Little wooden dummies need to go to school."

8668461_orig.jpg


haha, sorry :)
 

jeff_hasbrouck

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If you are bashing your limbs into the dummy you are doing it wrong.
We use shearing deflection when making contact with the arms of the dummy , we don't clash with it.
This is done by making contact with your arms at the correct angle of attack in relation to the dummy arms and spreading the force along your forearm not taking it on one point only.

It's also crucial to have your arms in the correct angle at all times , as well as rotating your forearms at the point of contact.
All of this takes quite a bit of skill and we haven't even begun to discuss what the lower body should be doing yet.

As I said before , he should leave it alone until he knows what he's doing.

I agree with most of that Mook, but honestly don't you remember starting the dummy, your arms (probably like mine) weren't used to the force it took to apply the techniques on a piece of raw wood.

You will get red and get bruises every once in a while. Training in Wing Tsun should elevate your resistance to physical pain. This isn't to say that we train like Muay Thai guys that deaden the nerves. But we do have to train hard, and get some bumps and bruises. Wing Tsun isn't soft.


All the best,

Jeff
 

mook jong man

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I agree with most of that Mook, but honestly don't you remember starting the dummy, your arms (probably like mine) weren't used to the force it took to apply the techniques on a piece of raw wood.

You will get red and get bruises every once in a while. Training in Wing Tsun should elevate your resistance to physical pain. This isn't to say that we train like Muay Thai guys that deaden the nerves. But we do have to train hard, and get some bumps and bruises. Wing Tsun isn't soft.


All the best,

Jeff

What you say is true mate , we do get a fair bit of conditioning into our arms from the dummy , and to a lesser extent from chi sau etc.
It's just that you see so many bozos in Youtube clips smashing the crap out of the dummy arms and going a bazillion miles per hour and the general populace thinks that this is how you train on the Wing Chun wooden dummy.
Conditioning of your arms is a by product of it's use , but we both know that is only a small part of the overall picture.
 

StormShadow

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Are you sure you're ready to use a mook jong? It's to make precise your forms, stances and kicking ect. It's not a punching bag. It doesn't sound like you're ready to use it since your sifu would have instructed as to how already. But I understand your fascination and admire your hunger to train.
 
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