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How Important are the Basics in Martial Arts Training?

When I was just getting started in martial arts at the age of 16 in Tang Soo Do (a Korean style of ‘karate’), I used to hear my instructor talk about the importance of basics in learning the art he taught. Since then I have read and listened to other instructors talk about ‘basics.’ Apparently, I was good enough that I reached First Degree black belt in three years in Tang Soo Do. I never heard my instructor say whether he thought I had trained enough basic techniques.

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Timing in the Martial Arts

Timing is one of the most crucial aspects for successful techniques in the martial arts. In a punch performed in the air, for example, letting the power leave your fist too soon means that the power is gone before it reaches the target. Not allowing the power to be released until after you hit the target might mean that you hurt your fist on the target. There would be no power there to reinforce the punch. If one’s defending arm has not reached the correct position at the correct moment, you could be hit. This is, of course, not a terrible problem in the training hall but it could be in a real self-defense situation!

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Repetition in Martial Arts Practice

Repetition may be the single most important factor in achieving martial arts skills. The human being needs repeated movements to work out the details and build the technique into what some call “muscle memory.” It should be obvious that practice makes perfect. However, some people may drastically underestimate how much practice some techniques will require.

In addition, many people may not know how to go about it. Practice can be broken down into segments. If a technique will require 1,000 repetitions to get correct, it can be broken down in to four sessions of 250 repetitions done on different occasions. It is not helpful, however, to wait a long time between sessions. Two weeks between sessions negates the effect.

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Learning Out of Context

At Wing Tsun Martial Arts in Gilbert AZ, we start your training where it should start; at the beginning. For those considering learning just the sticky hands techniques and applications (even just a few of them) of Wing Chun (or Ving Tsun or even Wing Tsun), from an instructor willing to try and teach it to a novice or a person of another style that may not have been taught the first part of the system, there is a caveat. Do not expect what you have been shown to work for you in real situations. Wing Tsun is not a grab bag of techniques that you can just pull out of context, mimic and be able to use in a real situation.

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Martial Art Techniques and Sparring

The martial art techniques used by Wing Tsun practitioners are economical in movement. They are geared toward self-defense and stopping an attacker. Wing Tsun has always been a self-defense system and so the techniques are strictly practical in real situations. There is no sport application. There is a lot of talk about sparring in various internet articles, expounding on the benefits. Certainly, there must be some interaction and realistic application training to be an effective training. Sparring offers this kind of effective training. Without it, how does one respond if the student does not know the natural of the attack? A student must learn how to react, should he or she see a technique coming and how to respond in a fast and tense exchange.

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Martial Arts Structure

In our martial arts classes in Mesa AZ, technically in the town of Gilbert just across the Mesa city line, we teach the Leung Ting WingTsun® system which, in part, uses body structure to add strength and effectiveness to the movements.

Virtually all martial arts have a structure concept. In the same way as a bridge, the correct structure will add strength to something that did not have it before. A human being is a living, moving creature. It cannot have a long life and function well without good structure.

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Wing Tsun™ Skills Progression

Beginners in WingTsun learn a basic form called Siu Nim Tau which is translated as “little idea form.” It is unlike forms from other martial arts because it does not move from one spot. Instead it focuses on hand technique. It is not choreography for eye appeal and demonstrations but rather a sequence that is designed for the student’s beneficial practice.

For a student to progress from form to application, drills such as lead arm defenses teach how to respond to punching-range attacks with certain hand defenses from a certain distance and simultaneously counter the attack, passively. This is done by repetition.

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Is Wing Tsun Simple?

Internet surfers for martial arts information, tips, philosophy and other info may have run across the assertion that Wing Chun is simple or stated another way, it is one of the simpler martial arts perhaps because it has only three forms or it has low kicks or other reasons. The only problem is, none of this is true.

Wing Tsun is neither simpler to learn nor more difficult to learn than a great number of other martial arts.

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PSST! WE HAVE THIS GREAT MARTIAL ARTS DUMMY FOR SALE WITH INSTRUCTIONS

We have all seen the offers and videos to sell a martial arts dummy or give away martial arts dummy instruction. There are many versions of martial arts dummies on the market. Some of these altered versions of the original ancient devices may have some benefit to a user if the user is realistic enough to know that this small device is not going to turn them into a master of martial arts overnight. The Chinese martial arts dummy has seen alterations from the original wooden construction to plastic, composites and even metal.

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MARTIAL ARTS TRAINING AT HOME, PART II

Rest assured, for all you students and other practitioners in your martial arts training at home, you may use equipment or you may do without it. Equipment can be a great help. However, the particular martial arts style or system will have a lot to do with equipment and what kind, if any. Some styles do not believe in using a mirror, for example.

In part one, back in June, we wrote about equipment. This time we will go through the mental aspects of training.

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