Is it just me or is it starting to feel distinctly Autumnal? Maybe that’s a bit of wishful thinking, as I write this it’s gorgeous outside and very hot, but that’s been the exception over the last few weeks rather than the rule. I know I probably sound like a bit of an idiot, wishing away summer, but I love autumn. Hell, have a search here for that word and see how much I do. It feels like the year’s speeding up now, and I think that’s the impending Bank Holiday making me feel like that, either way I’m looking forward to it.
Training’s still ongoing, and I’m still really enjoying it. I’ve finally nailed Jinto into my subconscious, and it’s really nice being able to concentrate on the performance of the moves rather than which one comes next. It’s a really tricky form to get right, there are very few ‘standard’ moves in it, save for a few punches, and so execution is going to take me a while to get right. The cats are already getting fed up with me stomping around the kitchen practicing – getting excited as I get near the food cupboard, and then shouting at me as I go back the other way again. The most difficult part so far is nailing the balance during the crane stance parts of the form.
I don’t normally have too much of a problem with crane stances in other forms, I feel relatively solid during Chil Sung Sam Roh, Sip Soo and Rohai, and to be fair even in Jinto. The problems come with the transitions from the crane stance to the snap and precursor for the front kicks. The snap entails a 90° rotation of the upper body and a repositioning of the arms, but in order to do that it means a lot of torque which needs to stop abruptly and in a very solid position, all while balancing on one leg. In itself it shouldn’t be as hard as it is, but because it’s a very unnatural movement it’s very difficult. I think the root of my problems lie with not applying the same amount of torque with the top half as the bottom, and because they’re moving in opposite directions it means if more force is applied in one direction than the other, I keep moving when I intended to stop. This throws my balance off and leaves me hopping around like someone who just had their foot run over.
Unfortunately there’s no short-cut to getting it right, I’ve learned now that there’s only one way to make it happen, and it’s just repetition, repetition, repetition. But repetition done correctly of course! It reminds me of something I read somewhere once, but I can’t remember where, or how it goes exactly but it’s along the lines of: “If you practise a form 1,000 times you’ll know the form. If you practise it 10,000 times you’ll be able to see your opponent. If you practise the form 100,000 times, other people will be able to see your opponent”.