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Sunday, December 30, 2012


This is a really good video as it shows some innovative thinking about the Wing Chun dummy.
There are some arms added, which makes the practitioner re-consider footwork patterns.
Randy Williams talks about the 'V' shape footwork and how the 2 extra arms affect the drills / partner relationship.

Also, what I liked is that he kneels down to use the dummy. I have not seen anyone else do that before, as it makes you think about height-levels in a new way.

Some of the comments to the video think the extra arms could teach bad habits as you could be tempted to reach to the extra set of arms rather than step to them or pivot into them ?!

I think this is a good idea.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Autumn Dummy 2012

In keeping with the odd seasonal picture .... I took this.

The red tree had shed some Autumn leaves and it looked like a red carpet. I went in to get my camera. There will be a cold snap soon, so the leaves will fall off, shortly.

We did some triangle footwork in training the other day, and I nearly posted a picture of an apple turnover to signify the 'V' shape but thought better of it. (You cannot dispute the loveliness of apple turnovers, however).

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Innovation - look at other sports

This link here shows insights from Neville Southall, Everton's goalkeeper in the 80s and 90s. He was a well respected keeper and thought of as best in the world, for a time, in the 80s.

He talks about how he sought to improve, using alternative ideas.
For example:

  • Dressing in black to make himself look larger
  • Wearing the cheapest plastic boots, rather than the sponsor's top range shoes
  • Getting to the ground earlier than everyone, to familiarise with the surroundings

In this account he states even a 100 changes to make a 1% improvement is worth it, at elite level.

One memorable game I can remember, is the second[half of the 1995 FA Cup final, Everton vs Man Utd.
Man U, threw everything at Southall in goal, to get back into the game and Southall did everything to stop that! 

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Making the Low Cost but Effective Wing Chun Dummy By Khang Tuong Nguyen

This seems like a viable design for a wooden dummy. I like the way the body can  be moved up and down the post for variable height. That is very useful. Notice in the video where his Dad, got the idea from  for the body - Sushi rolling mat-thingy. 
The arms come from a table leg - that is interesting.  The design they have for the legs  could be simpler, as it has  groves in but that is not inevitable.
I would like to see him use this, to see what type of force it can take. I  like to see what they would consider doing about a leg for it.  

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Skipping like a girl?

I wish I could skip like this girl! I bought a  skipping rope  a  few weeks ago and went to use it now the weather is warm and I can go outside where there is space to skip.
  • First thing. I cannot skip!
  • Second thing. It does test your  co-ordination. This video did say that.
  • I had to set myself a realistic  goal, therefore, to adhere to the task.   
  • For me just getting the rope to go over my head without mangling up on my body was that goal.  (I did manage one skip however, a few times) But I called it a day, as that was enough.
  • Today, I managed 5 skips, before it got mangled up.  I could feel myself getting all light headed when a pattern started and as soon as I was conscious of that  .... rope gets mangled. 
  • My next goals will be to build up the number of skips and then once I am automated in that , learn some other skipping footwork.  

Sunday, May 06, 2012

Pushing Body & Mind: Richard Gomm Making the Most of the Micro Jan 1983

This video is very inspiring because it shows someone pushing their body and mind.  The two are linked.

Richard was studying for a PhD at the time of this program shown late at night on Mondays on BBC1.  (Look at his book shelf, when the camera scans it).

The program was called 'Making the Most of the Micro'. This person is probably one of few who really had learned to program and use their computers for productive purposes, too. He says he had to teach himself to create new programs to help him. (The signature he creates, is made of full stops joined together - very cleaver - and adds a personal level to the communications he makes).

He passed his PhD and there is a book about his life, written by his Mother. I want to get that.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Excercise .. a re-think!

Exercise ..... mmmmm.... a hard cardio work-out I mean  ... I love to exercise -- the burning lungs ... the sweat ... the feeling you are going to collapse .......yuk yuk yuk, don't be silly.

I see the cardio side, as a chore a lot of the time. The dull repetitive tasks are not far off working on an assembly line. And like the latter you only do it for the outcomes - the benefits being health related.

Ways around the repetitive nature of exercise in martial arts, can be to do moves and drills that also look like the moves you do in your art and there is overlap. < This is what I do now, with my mini-weights.

But to do these moves burns up the energy store you have. In training with my colleges Slippers and Sleeve, you can see after a 3 minute round the effects hitting a pad has on you. Pufff, pufff puff. (Sometimes the sensation to vomit). This is why cardioid-exercise is a necessary evil for self-defence. No engine, no gas ... can't run off even!

This web page on the BBC and the supporting Horizon program, really fascinated me. It shows how individual differences in people will affect the responsiveness we have to exercise regimes. Blanket advice is 'exercise is good for you'. The implications of the program are - types of exercise need tailoring to types of people whose genetic makeup makes them responsive to some types of exercise, not others.


(If you are outside the UK in theory you cannot see the program - but there are ways).

What interested me is the short intensive exercise of 3 x  20 second all-out bursts on a bike..... And that is it!  I had been told about tabata exercise before - is this that ? Look at the evidence for the benefits given. See also what did not change.

I will explore the related academic paper soon:

Sunday, February 26, 2012

BBC 4 radio program on Kung Fu

Here is a link to a BBC Radio 4 program of the impact of Bruce Lee and Kung Fu in the 70s.
He is seen as the catalyst in diffusing martial arts to the West.

The program is called 'In Living Memory - Kung Fu'.

Also, in here they interview an academic from Cardiff, who has an interesting blog, too:

I liked the way in the radio program they mention how the film 'Enter the Dragon' (1972), promotes Lee like a James Bond character. Also, noted is the representation of the Orient in this type of genre (thinking David Carradine's series Kung Fu), which uses stereotypes of Eastern philosophy which are just not realistic outside a California beach. This type of representation is a form of 'othering' that sets apart people as being distinct. (In the blog above there is a picture of Chinese characters in English pantomimes - have a look for that). The program ends saying that the martial art shown in the film is 'a fake' simulation not authentic martial arts. A film's symbolic construction.