WKFA Instructor Anne Vandrus

Sifu Anne Vandrus

Youth Student’s Corner

Open kwoon time is the 15 minutes of “free time” when the floor is open before class. Most classes don’t get open kwoon time, so it’s an awesome opportunity if you have it. You get lots of safe open space and your instructors are there to help, so it’s different from just practicing at home. We often tell you to “use your time wisely”, so here is what we mean about what you SHOULD and SHOULD NOT do during open kwoon time.

Good ideas to DO:

  • Start warming up – It’s good to take a few minutes getting your body warm and doing some stretches before doing Kung Fu, but remember you still get a warm up during class! You can do a little bit of running or skipping or stride jumps, and then pick some of your favourite stretches.
  • Practice your Kung Fu – Find a space and run through your forms, sequences, blocks, kicks, stances, strength requirements, and so on. Run through everything you know, or pick just a few things and do them a bunch of times. Run through them quickly and slowly and normal speed. You can work by yourself, or train alongside a classmate. You have so many options!
  • Try out your techniques on a heavy bag – I recommend trying your kicks out. Set up in your forward stance or 3/4 stance and make sure you use correct foot formation. If you’re not sure which part of your foot you should feel hitting the bag for any kick, just ask. Remember only one person is allowed to use a heavy bag at a time, so take turns.
  • Ask questions – Your Sifu’s and assistant instructors are there to help you, so ask them for help as much as you want. Whether you forget how a move goes, aren’t sure if you’re doing something correctly, want feedback on how you’re doing, or are wondering if you’re ready to go further in a form/sequence, all you have to do is ask one of your instructors politely.

Bad ideas to NOT do:

  • Stand around talking – You can quickly catch up with your friends, but then get to working your Kung Fu. Instead of standing around, try practicing with your friends. Training is fun with other people, so try challenging each other and helping each other improve. If you have a question but you’re afraid to ask, a friend might know the answer, or you can go ask together.
  • Play tag or other games – There’s a time and a place for games, but the kwoon isn’t a playground. When you’re at Kung Fu you should be doing Kung Fu. Running around while your classmates are trying to practice could lead to someone getting hurt, and it’s not the best use of your open kwoon time.

Make a plan in advance of what you’re going to do during those 15 minutes (from the DO list), and show up early to make full use of them.