Friday, February 12, 2010

My Quads Still Hate Bret's Guts!

There was no way in Hell I was going to work out Tuesday. Not after the killer Baguazhang practice I had with Bret Bumgarner on Monday night.

I thought I might do a little bit on the wooden dummy. The stance work for that isn't quite as strenuous as something you might do in B
agua, Hung Gar or Southern Shaolin. But, as much as my legs hurt, I decided to let discretion be the better part of valor and not risk ruining my knees.

By Wednesday, my legs felt like they could accommo
date a good, hard workout. Since it had five days since I last did any Hung Gar, I set my mind on doing alternate sets of the Gung Gee Fuk Fu Kuen (Taming the Tiger Fist) and the Dai Pa (Great Fork) sets.

A demonstration of the Dai Pa (Great Fork)

Though both sets come from Hung Gar, I find that they develop different attributes. The Gung Gee Fuk Fu Kuen develops a lot of strength and patience. It has some moves done slowly, which I practice with both dynamic tension or slow and relaxed,
but with a lot of focus and intent, like a Tai Chi set.

Because the set takes a long time to complete, and in low stances, it forces the student to develop patience and focus.

The Dai Pai, (also known as the Tiger Fork) is a weapons set. It is easily one of the heaviest weapons I've ever studied, along with the Kwan Dao and the Luk Dim Bun Kwan (Nine-foot pole). It is considered the signature weapon of Hung Gar. The famous fighter and teacher, Hung Wong Fei, specialized in that weapon.

The Dai Pa is a much shorter set than the Gung Gee Fuk Fu Kuen. Like the empty-hand set, it also has a lot of low stances. But, it cultivates the ability to flow smoothly from one move to the next. Stopping after each move would wear out the student.

It also develops a full-body strength, since it takes the whole body to control such a weapon once it is in motion.

I also believe that weapons training improves empty-hand techniques, especially grappling techniques. The same body mechanics used to control a weapon are often the same ones you need to control your opponent's limbs in a fight.

Following four runs of each set, I ran through a complete set of the Mook Yan Johng Kuen (Wooden Dummy set) as well as some individual tech
niques on the dummy.

Practicing throws and takedowns on the wooden dummy (Mook Yan Johng). Yeah, I know I need to lose some weight.

Though I felt pretty good at the end of that workout, I paid for it yesterday. My legs and glutes were even more sore on Thursday than they were on Tuesday, so much so that I had a hard time getting up and down from a seated position.

As my Jeet Kune Do instructor, Anthony Chan always says, it sucks getting old. Of course, he's six years younger than I am, so he has no idea at all about how right he is. He's also not getting any sympathy from me.

As for today's workout, I'll have to wait-and-see. With a 100-percent chance of rain, anything I do will have to be done in my carport.

That means, no Gung Gee Fuk Fu Kuen, no Bagua and no Dai Pa due to a complete lack of space.

Someone up there must be looking out for me.


  1. Can you write a bit about training for throws and sweeps on the dummy? I want to build one of these things, but I haven't thought about sweeps and throws with a Mook.
    John @ Dojo Rat

  2. I think I can help you there, DR. I know I've been wanting to write about grappling techniques in weapons' forms, too.

    There's a shitload of armbars and sweeps in the tiger fork, the luk dim bun quan and the baht cham dao.