In the third week of February, after being sick, I resign from Wing Chun classes. I liked Wind Chun a lot, but it started to be clear for me that focusing on many things won’t contribute to my improvement in the field I want to be good at. Subsequently, instead of Wing Chun I began to do My Own Training.
I wanted to focus on jumps and muscle training. The other goal was to correct my posture and keep my body in balance. Because both factors are crucial in avoiding injury, which means being able to train constantly.
Nevertheless, My Own Training appeared to be very unsystematized.
Firstly, I found on internet information about how to improve vertical jumps. Based on it, I created a program of exercises.
I took the exercises from this video plus I added some of the exercises I learned at school.
I used it only once.
One Wednesday, after the morning class, I realized that I needed to work harder on my kung fu basics. They sucked. Thus, I manage to dedicate a few My Own Training classes on training sweeps or advanced routines I learned with Master Yu. However, it didn’t last long.
Next time, after a discussion with Master Du, I was convinced that what I really needed to improve was an explosive power. My Shifu’s words:
– Basia. You need to work on speed. When you run to jump – this is where the power comes from. You are a girl, so it’s more difficult for you to jump as good as guys. So … you need additional power. You need to run fast. Work on speed. On explosive power.
Don’t bother with details. Don’t think how it looks. Try to exert the power from the speed and jump high. You need to jump higher. More power in your hips. Otherwise you never gonna jump properly.”
I asked Daniel to help me train explosive power. He was reluctant at the beginning. Eventually, he agreed and we organised a speed running for me.
But … it happened only once. Why? Probably because the training was really hard and I needed a lot of motivation to gather myself to do it. It was easier with Dani. However, it wasn’t easy to ask him for help. Eventually, I gave up.
The main reason to train alone in the afternoon was to improve my jumps. During 5 months (after I was sick – from the middle of February, till the competition – the end of July), I spend around 30 % of the classes practicing different Kung Fu Jumps, including tornado kick, butterfly kick, kick up, head flip, front handspring and aerial.
Together – 15 classes in 5 months!
Considering that the classes were very unorganised and its course rarely was the same, the answer was simple … I didn’t practise any of these movements long enough to learn it properly. Meaning, the improvements were minor or any.
Video Broad sword flowers.
Another 35% of My Own Training classes I spend on practicing FORMS. I liked to train Broadsword. Doing Flowers was not so exhausting. It was never too much to train it. I wear headphones and kept doing flowers till my hand gave up. It felt like meditation.
Sometimes during these five months I was just very tired and the only thing I was willing to do was stretching.
Other time, when I had more energy I focused on building my core, doing sit-ups and training a handstand.
At the end of March I began to learn Fan Form. It contains difficult LOTUS KICK. I spend many classes on improving it, including many from my Own Training classes. The time, I trained it the most, was before the competition, in July. Although, I can say, it was one of the moments, when I manage to practice one jump constantly for a longer period of time, I was unable to improve it considerably.
It has given me a good deal to think about. Is repeating a jump hundred of times equal with learning it? … How should I train then?
It was not about repeating. It was about continuity. I needed to create a routine of jumps plus exercises focused on building muscles important for jumping high. In that way I wouldn’t overstress my body with one type of jump.
It became possible two weeks before competition, in the second week of July, after the school renovated the training hall and 1/3 part of the hall had soft mats.
On Monday and Wednesday I had done a sequence of jumps taken from a wushu jumps training, see a video on the right side:
My schedule looked like this:
1. walk → jump, 360°twist → land in mabu, change side,
2. run → jump as high as possible with one leg bend → land in mabu, change side,
3. run → jump as high as possible with one leg bend, bend and stretch the other leg → land in mabu, change side,
4. walk → jump, 180° twist, kick with outside leg → land in mabu, change side,
5. run half circle → jump high with inner leg bend, 180° twist → land in mabu, change side,
6. run half circle → jump high with inner leg bend, 180° twist, bend the other leg → land in mabu, change side,
7. lotus kick with bend outside leg,
8. lotus kick with both legs straight,
9. flying front kick,
10. tornado kick,
11. butterfly kick.
On Tuesday I was doing muscle training.
My exercises to improve vertical jump included:
The attached pictures presents the muscles used during the exercise.
- calf raises
- Squats both legs (without support)
- Squats one leg (with support)
- Abs (different variations, not only the one shown in the pictures)
However, it lasted only four weeks. Two weeks before the competition and two weeks after.
Why, again, was I unable to keep continuity of my training?
… the Chapter 11 Sometimes we need a break !!! hopefully provides some explanations.
You must understand that there is more than one path to the top of the mountain.