Martial Arts Training Drills – Part Ten

In the previous parts of our series about training drills we’ve looked at Judo stretches and strength training, and Karate blocking drills.

We move now to striking drills.

Striking Drills

Many people think of martial arts strikes coming from the hands or arms. However, true “striking” in martial arts includes far more than hands and arms. Yon Ch’uan Martial Arts combines striking from Karate and Kung Fu, which means we use hands, arms, elbows, shoulders, feet, shins, knees, thighs, hips, buttocks, chest, back, and head. The entire body is both a defensive and offensive weapon, so that means we have lots of potential “striking drills.”

When you look at the Yon Ch’uan Black Belt Study Guide, you will see that a White Belt will learn seven basic categories of self-defense skills:

  1. Ukemi Waza (Judo falls – Back & Sides)
  2. Animal Form (Tiger, first movements)
  3. Wrist Escapes (Single grab & Front Double)
  4. Throws (Hiza Kansetsu & Yoko Gari)
  5. Stance Terminology (Ready, Front, Back, Cat, Homnie, Formal, Horse, Crane)
  6. Kicks (Mae Gari)
  7. Blocks – Uke Waza (Middle Palm Block counter)

The new student learns quickly that Yon Ch’uan is a multi-discipline martial art. It includes Aikido, Judo, Karate, Kung Fu, and T’ai Chi.

Each discipline moves from ancient principles. There are differences among the arts, but principles are truths. We focus on truth – martially and spiritually. One principle we follow in Yon Ch’uan is how we move when attacked:

  1. Yield (Evade)
  2. Clear (Empty)
  3. Contact (Absorb)
  4. Control (Entrap)
  5. Counter (Redirect)

Our goal is to use the least amount of muscle resistance to defeat our opponent. We accomplish that through the process of yielding, emptying, entwining, and penetrating. The choice is ours. We can evade to escape – or evade to enter. Striking is one of many Counters we have available.

You might wonder how long it takes a Yon Ch’uan student to execute the first four steps of Yield, Clear, Contact, and Control. Once a young student learns how to move correctly, the time is less than half-a-second. A Black Belt can execute those movements even faster.

Then, we must wonder, how long does it take to execute a counter strike? Depending on the strike, about one-quarter of a second. Why so fast? Because all of the movements are based on center-line defense. We evade and clear the center, raise hands to the center to block, quarter the opponent from our center, and counter from our center – all in one second or less. Multiple strikes or a throw may add another second to the defense, so we emphasize a “two seconds or less” response to attack.

Because of the speed of our movements, it’s important to drill each part to perfection. As Grand Master Xavier emphasizes – “Perfect Practice Makes Perfect.” We must perfect Yield. We must perfect Clear. We must perfect Contact. We must perfect Control. We must perfect Counter.

Striking is a Counter we want to perfect. We do that through a process of executing a strike hundreds of times. I tell my students to focus on improving their strike by one-tenth of one percent every time they execute a strike. While that doesn’t sound like much, think about it. Practice a strike perfectly ten times and you can improve that strike by a full percent. Practice a strike perfectly one-hundred times and you can improve that strike by ten percent. Practice a strike perfectly one-thousand times and you can improve that strike by one-hundred percent.

That’s why we focus on “perfect” drilling. If you drill something poorly one thousand times, you will be very good at doing something very poorly. That is not our objective in Yon Ch’uan Martial Arts. We seek perfection in technique – as perfect as possible given that we are human. Only one Person is truly Perfect.

Front Kick Drills

Drills can be done three basic ways:

  1. Solo Drills
  2. Partner Drills
  3. Class Drills

Since the first “strike” a Yon Ch’uan student learns is Mae Gari (front kick), we’ll begin there with solo drills.

Stand in a ready position (Fudo Dachi) .. raise both hands to your center in a defensive posture (palms facing down) as you shift your weight to your left hip .. that movement makes your left leg heavy (substantial) and your right leg light (insubstantial) .. raise your right knee even with your belt and kick forward with your right foot .. your target level is about waist high to begin .. as you lift your right leg for the kick, pull the toes on your right foot toward you so that you strike with the ball of your right foot .. lower your right foot to the ground after you kick and return to ready position .. repeat exercise 20 times

Stand in a ready position (Fudo Dachi) .. raise both hands to your center in a defensive posture (palms facing down) as you shift your weight to your right hip .. that movement makes your right leg heavy (substantial) and your left leg light (insubstantial) .. raise your left knee even with your belt and kick forward with your left foot .. your target level is about waist high to begin .. as you lift your left leg for the kick, pull the toes on your left foot toward you so that you strike with the ball of your left foot .. lower your left foot to the ground after you kick and return to ready position .. repeat exercise 20 times

Stand in a ready position (Fudo Dachi) .. raise both hands to your center in a defensive posture (palms facing down) as you step backward with your left foot .. as soon as your left foot touches the ground behind you, lift your right leg and execute a front kick (snap kick) .. your target level is about waist high to begin .. be sure to sit in your left hip to make the left leg heavy and your right leg light .. return to ready position and repeat the kick with the right foot 20 times

Stand in a ready position (Fudo Dachi) .. raise both hands to your center in a defensive posture (palms facing down) as you step backward with your right foot .. as soon as your right foot touches the ground behind you, lift your left leg and execute a front kick (snap kick) .. your target level is about waist high to begin .. be sure to sit in your right hip to make the right leg heavy and your left leg light .. return to ready position and repeat the kick with the right foot 20 times

Stand in a ready position (Fudo Dachi) .. raise both hands to your center in a defensive posture (palms facing down) as you step forward with your right foot .. as soon as your right foot touches the ground in front of you, lift your left leg and execute a front kick (thrust kick) .. your target level is about waist high to begin .. be sure to sit in your right hip to make the right leg heavy and your left leg light .. return to ready position and repeat the kick with the left foot 20 times

Stand in a ready position (Fudo Dachi) .. raise both hands to your center in a defensive posture (palms facing down) as you step forward with your left foot .. as soon as your left foot touches the ground in front of you, lift your right leg and execute a front kick (thrust kick) .. your target level is about waist high to begin .. be sure to sit in your left hip to make the left leg heavy and your right leg light .. return to ready position and repeat the kick with the right foot 20 times

Stand in a ready position (Fudo Dachi) .. raise both hands to your center in a defensive posture (palms facing down) as you step forward with your right foot .. as soon as your right foot touches the ground in front of you, lift your left leg and execute a front kick (thrust kick) .. your target level is about waist high to begin .. be sure to sit in your right hip to make the right leg heavy and your left leg light .. step forward with your left foot after kicking and make the left leg heavy so that you can kick with the right foot .. continue to walk across the floor alternating kicking legs .. once you reach the end of the room, turn around and repeat the exercise .. repeat that kicking drill five times in total .. if you kick ten times in one direction and ten times in the other direction after you turn around, you will complete a total of 100 kicks for this drill

Stand in a ready position (Fudo Dachi) .. raise both hands to your center in a defensive posture (palms facing down) as you step forward with your left foot .. as soon as your left foot touches the ground in front of you, lift your right leg and execute a front kick (thrust kick) .. your target level is about waist high to begin .. be sure to sit in your left hip to make the left leg heavy and your right leg light .. step forward with your left foot after kicking and make the left leg heavy so that you can kick with the right foot .. continue to walk across the floor alternating kicking legs .. once you reach the end of the room, turn around and repeat the exercise .. repeat that kicking drill five times in total .. if you kick ten times in one direction and ten times in the other direction after you turn around, you will complete a total of 100 kicks for this drill

Next Time

We will move to punching drills in the next part of our special series.

Enjoy!

[Join our Grace Martial Arts Facebook Community!]

© Grace Martial Arts 1990 – 2022

Logo-optimized-for-web