Youth Student’s Corner
Unlike some activities, Kung Fu doesn’t take the summer off. The warm months are actually a really awesome time to train! Aside from coming to your normal classes, here are some ideas on how you can practice your Kung Fu this summer. Let me know if you try any!
1. Go outside
When the weather is nice, that’s a great time to practice outside! Good places to train are in your backyard, a field, or any safe area where you won’t hit anything or get hurt. Make sure you wear good running shoes (not flip flops!) or go barefoot if the ground is safe. Sometimes it’s also nice to just sit outside and listen to the sounds of nature while you meditate.
2. Extra stretching
Stretching your muscles is easier in the summer when it’s warm! Set flexibility goals for yourself and practice your stretches often to reach them!
3. If you’re travelling…
Going on vacation doesn’t mean you can’t still do Kung Fu! A fun idea is to get a picture of yourself holding a horse stance in front of any tourist attractions you go to. And even if you’re staying in a small hotel room, there’s enough room to practice your strength requirements.
4. Stance sequence on the beach
When you’re always used to practicing on flat ground like in the kwoon, a good challenge is to try rooting down in your stances on the beach! See if you can do your stance sequence on the sand without falling over.
5. Forms in the pool
This is one of my favourite things to do in the summer – try going through all your forms in the water! Make sure the water is shallow enough that your head stays above water in a horse stance. Practicing in water resists against your movements more than just practicing in the air, and that resistance lets you get stronger. I always go through all my forms in the pool at the Academy’s annual summer picnic in August – feel free to join me this year!
6. Technique in a splash fight
More fun in the water when you have friends around is a splash fight – but how does that involve Kung Fu? Try using different techniques you know (like palm heels, snap kicks, side kicks, and so on) to move the water when you’re trying to splash someone. Try strikes that move straight, or downward, or sideways, or upwards to see what makes the biggest splashes! Be careful that you’re not too close and accidentally hit someone, though. And make sure you only splash people that actually want to participate!
7. Water balloon conditioning
It’s not necessarily practicing Kung Fu, but if you’re having a water balloon fight and happen to get hit, you can think of it as conditioning for your body. Also, when dodging balloons, you’re working on your agility! If you know slipping and weaving that can come in handy!