On the journey

On the way, but some­ti­mes bes­i­de it. Here’s a short update on what’s going on in terms of trai­ning, pro­gress and new experiences.

On Mon­days and Fri­days I am still tea­ching one children’s and one adult group each in the Lung Chu­an Fa. For­tu­n­a­te­ly, I am sup­por­ted by a num­ber of fel­low trai­ners, i.e. Sem­pai. Not only are they almost always pre­sent during trai­ning, but they are also pre­sent when nas­ty viru­ses knock me out (like several times this win­ter) or my job does­n’t allow me to come to trai­ning on time. Unfor­tu­n­a­te­ly, the groups have shrunk qui­te a bit at the moment, which makes me think about trai­ning con­tents and media­ti­on again and again. Will I mana­ge to design the trai­nings in a way that they are fun and enjoya­ble and still con­tain the spi­rit of Kem­po? Am I too indul­gent or do I demand too much?

Problem Examination

Prüfung02Espe­cial­ly the last belt test was a tough one. Out of seven exami­nees three fai­led. Exact­ly the ones I would never have suspec­ted. This was not only a bit­ter set­back for the child­ren con­cer­ned, but also for me as a coach. What went wrong? Why were some of the top per­for­mers in the children’s group sud­den­ly unab­le to pre­sent even the simp­lest things? A real low point. And at the same time a wake-up call, which still keeps me busy, even though the exams have been a few weeks ago now. Is the exam pro­gram­me too dif­fi­cult? The three wob­b­ly can­di­da­tes had pre­pa­red for the oran­ge-green belt — the­re is alrea­dy a lot of demand in it. Howe­ver, the three had often demons­tra­ted their skills in the weeks befo­re the exam. Was my pre­pa­ra­ti­on for the exam too lax or poor? Actual­ly, I had worked accord­ing to a spe­cial­ly crea­ted trai­ning plan and repeated all the ele­ments over and over again. Were the three perhaps over­trai­ned? All three had been trai­ning at home on Fri­day after­noon, right befo­re their exam. Or was the atti­tu­de of the three not good enough? Espe­cial­ly not with two of the stu­dents, becau­se they are very eager and ambi­tious in almost every training.

May­be it was also a mix­tu­re of dif­fe­rent fac­tors. I try to learn from it. I will train much more pri­ma­ry school in the future, becau­se it gives the secu­ri­ty and basis even for the more dif­fi­cult ele­ments. Clea­rer announ­ce­ments, fewer explana­ti­ons, less back­ground infor­ma­ti­on — but in return a more inten­si­ve trai­ning, espe­cial­ly with the child­ren. A stric­ter pre-selec­tion and, if necessa­ry, also a lon­ger wai­t­ing peri­od bet­ween the indi­vi­du­al tests. The­se are all things that I may have been too leni­ent with in the past and thus reli­ed too much on the per­so­nal respon­si­bi­li­ty of the young ado­lescents. Once again I have noti­ced that many mar­ti­al artists, whe­ther small or big, con­si­der Kem­po a sport. Coach says, acti­ve per­son fol­lows. Back­ground, own rese­arch, own initia­ti­ve — desi­ra­ble, but not to be for­ced. And what makes up Kem­po for ME is of cour­se not the mea­su­re of all things and is dif­fe­rent for ever­yo­ne and should be. But am I then the right trai­ner? I think that will keep me busy for a long time. And I think that is the right thing to do.

Progress Kempo

Hellebarde BoAt least once a mon­th Niki gets me in his paws and we prac­ti­ce Kem­po. Or some­thing like that. Cau­se actual­ly, we’­re more into move­ment. My goal: My move­ments should beco­me more sup­ple, more come from the who­le body, be more effec­ti­ve. A noble goal, which is not so easy to achie­ve. And so Niki turns my who­le pri­ma­ry school upsi­de down and lets me run track after track Zen­ku­tu Dachi. But com­ple­te­ly dif­fe­rent from what I have been doing for many years. Out of this kind of round, height chan­ging move­ment all other actions, all stands, pun­ches and kicks fol­low natu­ral­ly and actual­ly much smoot­her. At least with Niki. With me it will pro­bab­ly take a few more years … In trai­ning with Niki I often feel extre­me­ly stiff and immo­bi­le. But now I under­stand whe­re my mista­kes are and whe­re I can take action mys­elf. And so after every trai­ning with my Silat and Kem­po tea­cher I go home bro­ken, but very hap­py and full of energy

In the regu­lar Kem­po trai­ning I am glad that Flo is back more often, becau­se on the one hand he likes to take over parts of the trai­ning and I can beco­me a stu­dent again. On the other hand I also get him to teach Uwe and me our next exam rele­vant tech­ni­ques from time to time. The second mas­ter form is at least in my head, as well as the 5th Tai Tsuku. And the hal­berd form, which I have cho­sen as the form of the third wea­pon, is at least half prac­ti­ced. By the sum­mer, ever­ything should be in place so that I can refi­ne it. The kum­i­te from 31 to 40 still feels stran­ge, but Uwe and I can still do that!

New ancient Kempo

Olaf03As if I don’t have enough to do with Kem­po alrea­dy — with Olaf Bock a new tea­cher has ent­e­red my Kem­po life. At the sug­ges­ti­on of a friend of mine, Kem­po­ka from Bad Bent­heim, I went to a trai­ning ses­si­on in the distant Wes­ter­wald. The­re I was and still am able to meet Sen­s­ei Olaf, one of the rare repre­sen­ta­ti­ves of the ori­gi­nal Shao­lin Kem­po. At first I was scep­ti­cal when I heard that this was a 9th DAN. On various inter­net sites my scep­ti­cism incre­a­sed fur­ther, becau­se as often seen here and the­re a new DAN was awar­ded. Any­way, I had (excep­tio­nal­ly) time and wan­ted to know what was hid­den behind name and degree.
And big — posi­ti­ve — sur­pri­se: Olaf Bock real­ly has what it takes. The man with the sideburns is not only an excel­lent con­nois­seur of the old Shao­lin Kem­po sce­ne in Ger­ma­ny as well as in Hol­land, but also in trai­ning he is an extre­me­ly accom­plis­hed tea­cher who can impart his enor­mous know­ledge very presently.

So far I could only par­ti­ci­pa­te in one of the mon­th­ly trai­ning ses­si­ons, but the Kata Chu­an’ Fa and a first Bo form lear­ned the­re were very impres­si­ve. Olaf does not let hims­elf be dis­tur­bed by repeated requests and is a com­ple­te­ly new and very valu­able source for me to go even deeper into the ori­gi­nal Kem­po. I am loo­king for­ward to the next mon­ths and the trai­nings with Sen­s­ei Olaf and am curious how I can bring the ori­gi­nal Shao­lin Kem­po tog­e­ther with “my” Lung Chu­an Fa.
If you want to know more about Olaf Bock: Soon the­re will be an inter­view here.

Progress Silat

45er Silat

While the time in the last mon­ths sim­ply did not allow me to visit the Silat group around Niki, I could at least see the ladies and gen­tle­men again at one or the other semi­nar. But Alex, who­se silat group “45° mar­ti­al arts” I visit on Sundays at noon, keeps me busy. The unusu­al time makes sure that I find the time to train the­re every now and then. Alex is a com­ple­te­ly dif­fe­rent tea­cher and coach than Niki. I don’t want to deci­de by whom I want to be span­ked, but while Niki has an ama­zing know­ledge and an ani­mal wide expe­ri­ence in many styles and mar­ti­al arts, Alex is a real edge with a lot of expe­ri­ence in kick and Thai boxing and more the casu­al type. His stu­dent body, to which I may also count mys­elf, is also an extre­me­ly like­ab­le com­mu­ni­ty of cra­zy peop­le, who, howe­ver, are just ent­e­ring the world of Silat. Which is very bene­fi­cial for my phy­si­cal abi­li­ties, as the­re is a lot of pri­ma­ry school trai­ning. And sin­ce I am one of the slow lear­ners, I like to tor­tu­re mys­elf tog­e­ther with the ladies and gen­tle­men 45s. Slow­ly but surely I am also doing well with Hari­mau and Gel­lek. And what makes me espe­cial­ly hap­py: The new skills in Silat flow auto­ma­ti­cal­ly into my Kem­po without any acti­ve invol­ve­ment or effort. The styles are simi­lar in nature.

I am curious what will hap­pen until sum­mer and how my jour­ney will deve­lop. And I am hap­py to report about it here.

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