Sifu Greg Meinzinger, Waterloo Kung-Fu Academy

By Sifu Greg Meinzinger

Adult Student’s Corner

With the summer heat waning, now is the perfect opportunity to change up your training routine by stepping out to the great outdoors. Whether it be simply in your own back yard or a larger open space, outdoor training has numerous benefits.

The most obvious is that you have unlimited space to truly open up your forms, travelling longer distances then you could in the kwoon, allowing you to explore variations in your forms you would not otherwise be able to do. Think about how you could execute your staff form, unencumbered with physical barriers… imagine the “swoosh” you could get!

Forms training outdoors also provides you with feedback in terms of how well you actually know your
forms. Often students get confused when we have you change the direction you are facing when you start your form, the mirrors are a familiar and almost comforting starting point. Now imagine performing your forms without any physical landmarks… trust me, it provides you with some very interesting feedback.

While I strongly encourage you to find an outdoor space with relatively even ground, training on grass is very different then the tatami mats. Whether you’re are training your stance sequences or more complex movements, grass training requires you to activate different muscles to stabilize and execute. Although we hope you would never need to use your training in a real life situation, if you did, there is a good chance it won’t be on tatami mats.

And finally, the most important aspect of outdoor training is simply…. fresh air!!!

WKFA-lion-danceI do however leave you with a word of warning….

Choosing your location for training, especially if you are planning on weapons training is very important. I recall a number of years ago where a individual (not from WKFA) decided to train swords in a open field in sight of a local elementary school. The school went into lock-down, the police were called and the individual was charged. I do believe the charges were eventually dropped, but it certainly it is something to take into consideration when you choose a location. And watch out for LIONS!