Over the last 2 years or so I have been borderline obsessed with experimenting and trying to find various ways to “sneak” training into my day. Why? It never fails: I plan on setting aside time to train, and suddenly something needs to be done.
This would frustrate me greatly, until I realized that by waiting until “X” time to train I was setting myself up for more frustration.
I remembered an old quote I read about old monks in a European monastery who sought to “pray without ceasing,” meaning letting each act of each day be a prayer or offering to God, rather than sitting around all day chanting. Made sense to me – I mean, if that was the case, nothing would get done and people would eventually come, steal their crops and take all their shit away.
I like that quote so I began thinking about it and then began changing my approach to training. Now I feel like I get to train all the time and I’m a hell of a lot happier of a camper. Plus, like I always say with any cool shit I wasn’t clever enough to coin on my own, I liked it so much I stole it, tweaked it and made it mine, hence my new term “train without ceasing.”
Train Without Ceasing
Here a re just a few of the ways I have been able to integrate my training into my day. It’s kind of amazing in the course of being up for 15-16 hours how many opportunities you have to play with this stuff that doesn’t even feel like training since it is integrated into such mundane daily tasks as driving or opening doors or even taking a leak in a gas station bathroom.
- Using the technique of “Mental Rehearsal” from the book Psycho Cybernetics I mentally run through my forms when I get a few extra minutes waiting in line or sitting in traffic, feeling each motion through my body as I go. For a detailed breakdown of why this book is so valuable as well as my personal list of the top books I own for mastering your mental edge click HERE.
- I push open doors using my stepping drill and palm push (when no one is around, of course) or by chambering my fist to my chest and shooting my hand out like a punch then opening the door with the pushing motion of the forward step.
- Practicing my rooting in a doorway by getting into my yee jee kim yeung ma stance and gently pressing my palms against each frame of the door. I feel the pressure through my arms, down through my elbows to my hips, down to my heels – and right back up and out my palms to the door frame. I will press for 10 seconds, rooting and tensing my inner thighs to maintain my structure, relax and repeat twice more.
- Here’s a romantic one for you: when using a public restroom, I will lift the seat with one foot and SLOWLY lower it with the other, taking care not to let the seat slam. I try to alternate which foot I lift and lower with every time. This way I am working on balance for kicking and base leg stability equally on either leg.
Try This Combo Drill
I found this to be a particularly effective way to train the Psycho-Cybernetics technique of “mental rehearsal” (a very potent and powerful tool at your disposal that far too few of us make use of) that combines physical activity with mental imagery. I highly recommend you pick up this book as well as others that will address the oft-forgotten mental aspect of training HERE.
- Get into your Wing Chun stance or yee jee kim yeung ma. Tense your thighs inward, tuck your hips, sink through your heels and slightly concave your chest until you can feel yourself sink into your own stance. Let your arms hang loosely at your sides, keep your head erect and chin forward.
- Take a deep breath, and exhale as your sink into your stance. You are now coiled and ready to begin.
- Keeping your arms at your sides, run through the entire Siu Nim Tau set in your head, taking time to imagine and FEEL each second of each motion in detail through your body.
Not Just a “Small Idea”
Now even though I’ve talked about using this for the Siu Nim Tau or “small idea” first set, this can (and should) be done for each of the forms, dummy set, weapons set, anything.
In cases of the other forms, dummy or weapons set do not perform any of the motions of the set anywhere but fully in your own head…but DO move through the forms with your stance. Why? By subcategorizing the form in this way, you are de-constructing and then re-constructing in a stronger fashion each aspect of the form from the ground up.
The added bonus is that no extra time or equipment is required, making these drills perfect for odd times throughout the day.
Make like the monks, try these out and TRAIN without ceasing.
Train Smart, Stay Safe