Monday, August 2, 2010

3 Ways a Candle Can Improve Your Kung Fu!

Back in the day martial artists throughout China and Japan would use candles in various ways to improve their martial skill. Here are 3 ways you can start using candles to improve your own “gong fu”.

1. Blow Out the Candle – In his book Qigong for Health and Martial Arts Dr. Yang, Jwing Ming details a method called Chong Qi. The purpose of this training is to help "fill the Dan Tien with Qi" and the training method is fairly simple. All you have to do is blow out the candle.
Start off by standing a foot or two away from the lit candle. Inhale deeply and blow the air out slowly through a small opening in your lips (play around with both Buddhist and Taoist breathing styles). As your skill develops in this technique you will want to move further and further back away from the candle.

2. Developing Focus – You can also use a candle to develop your ability to focus on a target, which is crucial for fighting. First, start off by simply sitting in a comfortable position in front of a lit candle. Gaze upon the candle and do not allow your mind to wander. Just focus on the flame.
Once you are able to focus on a flame for several minutes without losing your concentration you are ready to try a more advanced version. Instead of sitting while focusing on the flame you will be moving around. Position the candle in the center of your usual training area (you will need to put it up on something like a table or pedestal so it is about chest height) and get into your typical fighting stance. Now, without throwing any strikes, begin to move around your training space as if shadowboxing (but not throwing any strikes – you don’t want to blow out the flame). Again, your goal is to maintain your concentration on the candle flame and to not allow your mind to wander. This practice is also helpful for training your footwork.

3. Blow Out the Candle: Part Deux! – In this training method you will be trying to blow out the candle…again. Only this time you will be doing it with hand strikes instead of your breath. As before, start off about two feet away (in your typical fighting stance) and simply throw a strike at the candle flame. Your goal is to be able to put it out. Try different types of strikes: jabs, crosses, hooks, backfists, ect… Also mix up training with a closed fist and an open palm. Once you are able to put out the flame 9 out of 10 times from 2 feet away (with all your basic strikes) it is time to start moving back away from the flame.

Train Hard,

Josh Skinner

1 comment:

  1. Wow candle is most important to learn kung fu.Nice information.I agree with you.Thanks to write great article.
    Tae Kwon Do West Los Angeles