There are few things I love more than training outdoors in gorgeous weather. This past weekend, I grabbed Jon & Nick, two members of Maryland Jeet Kune Do in Odenton, MD who are prepping for a light sanshou competition next weekend and we hiked down the Savage Mill Trail to a spot along the Little Patuxent River where there are some ruins where I like to train. We worked a lot of movement drills to develop evasive footwork and powerful entries. They both improved tremendously over the past couple of hours, and asked me how they could keep improving by practicing on their own time.
Some of my mentors have been very close by, but many have lived across the country. So, the lion’s share of my personal growth has come from practice outside of traditional classrooms, where I was able to take the things I had learned and find out how they worked for me. So how can you see the same results in your own practice? Here’s a few tips from myself and from my mentors that may help you.
Plan your work, work your plan. Keep a training journal for every session with your coaches and mentors. Record every workout and training session. What did you do for warm up? What was the core concept or content of the lesson? How did the warm up and the cool down combine with the core concept? What drills or techniques did you work on? What worked for you? What points did you struggle with? Develop the habit of noting these things. When the time comes for you to practice, you’ll have an idea of how and what you need to practice. Now you can set your goals for practicing.
Walk around in three three minute round shape. You don’t have to devote a huge amount of time daily to see improvements. If you schedule in fifteen minutes each day, by the end of the week, you will have added an hour and forty-five minutes of practice to the couple of hours of in class training each week. Make that fifteen minutes in the morning and fifteen minutes in the evening and now you have added three and a half hours of practice to your week. That kind of repetition and effort will add up and you will be amazed at the results you will see over a very short time. Keep it up, and you will develop skill reflective of kung fu; hard work over long time.
Your fifteen minute practice session. Let’s look at the concept with an eye toward sanshou or kickboxing. This can be done shadowboxing or with a heavy bag, for five three minute rounds with no break between them. Take the concept and run with it for your own individual training. Round One: Warm up and get in touch with your body. Work on your footwork and body movement for evasion; bob, weave, slip, etc. Round Two: Add in the strikes you are good with, and work them first as single direct attacks, and then work them as combinations. Round Three: Work on what you were good at in the last training session. Round Four: Work on the things you had problems with in the last training session. Round Five: Put it all together, free flow, and find your own personal expression.
So now you've got a fifteen minute practice plan that will help you improve your fitness and your own personal expression of Jeet Kune Do. Keep this up and you will see guaranteed results that your Sifu will notice. What personal training plans can you come up with? Comment below!
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