Sunday, 10 April 2016

Shaoling Gong Fu for Children - Note to Parents

Training in any martial art but especially Shaolin Gong Fu is unlike any other activity your children will ever undertake. It requires the student to develop physically (Technique, Power, Flexibility, and Stamina) and spiritually (discipline, confidence, self-awareness, control, respect for others and ourselves). For young children (6-12) in the western world environment (US, UK, EU etc.) is impossible to devise a curriculum that covers all these areas.
The “Preparation” class offered by the Shaolin Temple UK – Cambridge Branch class focuses only on the following.
         1.          Techniques
a.       5 traditional stances
b.      1 small form
c.       Correct Fighting Stance
d.      Hand and Leg exercises to prepare students for punching/kicking/defence movements
        2.          Power
a.       Speed & Jumping Drills
        3.          Discipline, Self-Awareness, Confidence
a.       5 min Mediation/Relaxation to finish the class
b.      Breathing exercises as resting breaks
In all these areas we will use traditional techniques, games and mind-games so the children enjoy the class and slowly become accustomed to train at the level required to improve and get stronger and more confident. Every child is different so it is difficult to predict in advance how long it will take a student of this age to be able to move to the next level. In our experience 2-3 terms is the average. Children who progress well will be required to demonstrate to the teacher and their parents what they have learnt in order to advance to the next level. When children in the Cambridge class qualify to train in the “Foundation” class we will expand this note to cover the level. In the meantime please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions.
How to help your child improve:
ü      Ask him/her which exercise they found easier to do. Suggest going out in the garden and practice or show the exercise to you so you can practice too!!
ü  Ask him/her which exercise they think they could not do very well. What do they think they did wrong? Can they try slowly to do it correctly? Alternatively encourage them to ask the teacher next time for help.

Basil Hartzoulakis (PhD) – Shaolin Temple UK  - Cambridge Branch Coach

Monday, 12 August 2013

Holiday Training

Many students ask what type of training should they do over their holidays. Clearly the answer to the question is specific to the student and their specific circumstances. I think the following guidelines cover the majority of cases. If you need more specific advice please get in touch.

1) Swimming does not count as training for a martial artist. It is a low impact aerobic activity that does NOT translate to the speed and and explosive power required by any fighting sport. It is ideal for recuperation purposes. If it is the only type of exercise for extended periods (more than 2 weeks) it will slow you down and remove any sharpness from your kicks and punches.

2) If you have trained regularly and at a sufficient level of intensity over the last six months a short period of rest (1-2 weeks) could actually be necessary to allow for recovery and build up of your discipline reserves. If you have not seen any improvement for some time despite training hard, a break could be something you actually need.

3) If you really want to train then design 2 short sessions 10-20 min a day. One early in the morning and one      early in the afternoon.  Using a combination of 2 of the following exercises:
    a. Interval running on the sand or uphill
    b. small explosive forms focusing on speed and technique
    c. Upper body work involving lots of pull-ups, chest dips, lifting large stones, or any heavy irregular object
    d. Core work using press ups, sit-ups, hanging leg raises
    e. Finish every session with a few intense stretches - been in a hot climate can do miracles for your    
        flexibility over a very short period of time.

Bottom line --> If you decide to train on holiday work hard for short intense sessions and then reward yourself with resting, a relaxed swim and good quality high in protein diet.

Gonf Fu training is for life so learning how to balance intense training with appropriate rest periods