On Friday afternoons I coach the kids at the dojo in gymnastics skills. We just do floor acrobatics that will add to their versatility as martial artists. I’d been noticing over the weeks that for the majority of them, their weakness was some kind of fear or panic about the moves I’ve been trying to get them to perform. So this Friday I tried meditating with them. The kids are all well practiced in meditation, so it was easy to get them to do it effectively, and I was actually really surprised by exactly how much of a difference it made to their gymnastics.
We meditated on expelling irrational fears, and contemplated performing the moves properly in our heads over and over. I told the kids that before they try to perform a skill, they should have done it in their heads perfectly just before hand.
Every single one of the kids improved in places where they had been stuck for a few weeks. I even introduced to them a new move that requires no fear, looks difficult but is actually pretty easy if you know how to do it. And about half of them managed to execute it. They’re not perfect, but they’re doing so well…..I’m really proud of them.
One more good reason to meditate!!
Today Rick and I got promoted in Kung Fu class. Rick is now an Orange Belt and I am now a Green Belt. This is now about my 6th Green Belt, in as many martial arts styles….but this is by far my favorite style. Looking forward to reaching my 6th Blue Belt next ;p
Today’s promotion reminded me of back when I used to competitively Kickbox and teach Korean Karate back in Cambridge, UK for my 2nd Sifu. I used to be such a fire cracker back then. I was just a kid, but remember having so much fire and anger when I would fight. I would never lose because I was relentless and so focused on kicking my competitor in the head. These days, although I’m still very angry and carry a lot of fire, I don’t have the killer instinct in the ring at all. In fact, when we’re sparring at the dojo, I really don’t want to hit anyone. I kick in the general area I want to hit, but try not to make contact because I just don’t want to feel that energy again. When I was training kickboxing, I would by reflex kick people whenever I felt angry. It wasn’t good. It took a long time to stop acting that way for me. Now, when I accidentally make contact a little harder than intended, I feel awful. I’m actually very surprised that this has changed in me to this extent. I think it might be something to do with maternal instincts. I really didn’t have any until I quit working out for a living. Now I’m somehow different. This might be why I have so much trouble controlling my emotional anger. For so long, I had a physical outlet for my anger, so never learned how to mentally control it. Now, I’m older and have chronic injuries that technically need surgery, so I can’t push myself as far as I would like to physically anymore……and now I have to deal with my angry emotions some other way. … and that’s hard. When I get mad, I still go out to the garage and bash a kickbag for 10 minutes just to get the energy out. I don’t like it though. It doesn’t feel good. I think it’s draining my Jing…..or at the very least, my Qi.
More meditating is required!
My friend and I at Kung Fu have been developing a fan routine using our Kung Fu form called 26 Kick as the base. Since I used to be in the Chinese Circus and have studied martial arts for about 20 yrs, and she’s a 2nd degree black belt in our dojo, we’ve managed to make a pretty good looking, practical, functioning form with the fans. Now we’re teaching it to the others and are trying to synchronize the form so we can perform it at a tournament in May. I’m really enjoying perfecting this form, as it’s my favorite form anyway, and I’ve always wanted to learn fan. The hardest thing about it, is making sure it’s always facing the right way after you’ve flipped it around a couple of times, since it won’t snap open in every direction. We’re using 2 fans too. So coordinating them can be a little tricky….but I’m totally addicted at this point!
Here’s a few fan routines that are pretty cool that I’ve found on YouTube. I might learn one of them;
Fan Form in Tournament
Simple Fan Form