Indonesian Kung Fu

So originally I was going to take TKD as a class at my college, apparently one of the people who enter in the course information got confused about what martial art it was exactly. So the teacher walks in and says I know this is a TKD class but I dont teach TKD I teach kung fu, which is fine with me since I like Kung fu (or atleast what ive seen of it) more than TKD. I dont really know much about kung fu so I dont know if she would be considered a good teacher or not but shes been practicing kung fu for 21 years and is a black belt.

I had my first class yesterday and I have the class two days a week. During the class we will do stretches and warm ups, then weight training (she gave holding weights while performing techniques as an example), using the regular pads, punching bags etc for punches,kicks,knees,elbows and finally later in the course we will be doing sparring but no full on fighting, just practicing techniques on each other.

Now what I’m wondering is if anyone could give me an idea of how to prepare outside of class. We have a large class (about 15 people) so one on one instruction is hard to get and we basically have to do the best we can to mirror her techniques etc. What are some good ways to ensure Ive gotten the technique right and what can I do to more comfortably maintain stances etc? I do have the option of taking extra classes for free at a school another martial arts teacher associated with the program runs.

If you like it, take more classes. As far as getting the techniques down, it’s just going to take a shitload of practice. Practice them in a mirror, and see if they look like what she’s doing. And she should be offering some guidance on how the techniques should go as well.

The stances you’ll get used to as you go- they’re not going to be comfortable at all until you become accustomed to them.

You could try staying after a little with her as well… generally people who teach martial arts love it when somebody takes a very strong interest in them, and will help them out to learn the thing.

Where by chance are you taking the classes? I took an Indonesian Kung Fu class when I was in college, and there is an Indonesian Kung Fu school in the town where I live. Wouldn’t be surprised if they were affiliated, or if you were actually taking the same class that I did.

As far as your questions… a lot of gaining skill in martial arts is gained through practicing/applying the techniques. Hitting pads/bags/your partner 100 times will teach you more about striking than doing 1,000 punches in the air (without ever actually hitting anything) will. Same goes for applying techniques like locks, throws, defensive tactics, escapes, etc… You have to actually do them (eventually against someone who isn’t letting you and knows how to defend the technique) to really understand how to do them. Not saying that practicing techniques like strikes in the air can’t be beneficial once you actually understand what you’re supposed to be doing though.

In regards to the stances, just practice doing them a lot. I used to just practice holding stances (horse, bow and arrow, cat, etc…) for as long as I could, all chained into one long sequence. I’d start in horse, then when I couldn’t hold that any longer I’d switch to bow and arrow, then facing the other way, and so on. I’d go through this stance holding sequence (along with some Chi Kung breathing techniques) every morning when I woke up. Eventually the stances become fairly easy (at least in terms of holding them for shorter periods of time). There is actually a fair bit of detail involved in really mastering stances though.

Performing weight training to build up the strength of your leg muscles will also help you in being able to hold them easier.

I take it at HHC in Massachusetts, the teacher is associated with Spirit of the Heart dojo in Northampton MA.

Thanks for the tips. I definitely work on the stances especially because some of I can barely hold lol.