Chung Fu Martial Arts Meditation Traditional Training Classes
With Chung Fu Martial Arts Meditation Traditional Training Program students learn and practise physical movements using the concept of “meditation in motion”. The methods used are in accordance with natural law principles, or the essence of natural order. These principles and their order are the subject of a collection of elemental truths, which are documented in the ancient Chinese text, “I Ching” or “The Book of Changes.” This volume, translated into English in the 20th century, uses symbolism to describe ethical values and philosophies common to all people.
For example, receptivity or awareness is the second principle mentioned in the text. Awareness can be developed exclusively on an internal or mental basis. Martial art practice is utilized to give physical evidence that the student has more awareness and can lead to the ultimate in awareness: Satori or spiritual awakening. This process is known as a “refinement of consciousness”. On a primary level, the student focuses on becoming more aware of their own body and the definiteness of purpose and clarity present in their own mental process resulting in the precise and accurate physical motion. Awareness can be focused on the student’s emotions and how they affect the movement being learned. This leads to what is known as psycho-physical coordination. Awareness placed on the outside world can be developed and expanded to include the “opponent”, symbolic of life’s adversities in any form.
The Way of traditional training encompasses the aspect of correlating the mind, the body and the emotions. A step-by-step method ensures that all types of students will learn. The stages of training are simplified to suit all age groups and skill levels.
The original Ch’an – Kung Fu Way (Bodhidharma’s intention) is translated today in a manner to provide for a clear and simple order of training, allowing all students to achieve results. The process is open to everyone who has a sincere calling and chooses to show the necessary discipline and dedication.
What Does Chung Fu Traditional Training Consist Of?
Six Foundational Principles Introduction
Chung Fu Arts training program uses a method in which the physical elements and their principles are taught in a collective manner. The first principle being studied is to be maintained, as it becomes the foundation for holding the next. A practical knowledge of the first principle should be complete before the second is studied.
The foundational level of training focuses on Elemental Movements and uses two primary physical principles: Biomechanics and Muscle Calibration. After demonstrating constancy with these physiological principles at the beginners level of training, students move on to learning Compounds (combinations) at the intermediate level of training. Now the student is made aware of the next two following principles concentrating on the psycho-emotional aspects of one’s being: Vital Mindset and Supreme Value. At the advanced level of training, students focus on compositions, drills and freestyle application where two more foundational principles are revealed: Yin Yang Execution and Six Harmonies.
Open any of the 6 toggles below to learn more regarding each principle:
1. Elemental Movement
The study of thirty-two basic movements called Elements. These are divided into the four divisions:
1. Eight stances
2. Eight arm strikes
3. Eight leg strikes
4. Eight arm block/parries.
Proficiency with these elements prepares students to progress through their training with a firm basis in the essentials of, “practical and philosophical” knowledge.
Training the elements give tangible physical evidence of what is occurring in the student’s mind both mentally and emotionally. Mental processes are first needed to execute the movement. The physical result starts with a mental sequence of events and leads up to the physical action. The elements are precise positions required to be preformed with great consistency. This gives the mind an absolute goal and the practitioner and/or teacher can easily detect any deviation from this goal that is manifested by the body, consequently the mind too.
2. Muscle Calibration
Proper execution of biomechanics is a priority and will only add greater value when the principle of Calibration is applied. (Speed & Power) To emphasis the importance of the above statement let’s look at an example from a self-defence scenario. No matter how much speed or power you can generate, it will amount to nothing if a student’s accuracy is lacking. (accuracy = proper biomechanics) Accuracy is crucial because a student can execute the most powerful strike in the world but if the intended target is not struck, all that will have been succeeded is the expenditure of valuable time and energy. This is why proper biomechanics is the prerequisite principle.
Calibration is the student’s ability to manipulate muscle relaxation and tension. The human skeleton resembles a complex system of levers, with each lever, and the intervals between levers, having muscles that pull and regulate each other, fixed in place by ligaments. Under the direction of the brain and the instincts, the muscles can produce movement by alternating tension and relaxation, thus together with a skeleton forming a complex moving structure.
In Chinese philosophy this alternation is known as the Yin and Yang of your muscles or the softness and hardness that are called here, relaxation and tension.
The principle of calibrating muscle relaxation and tension also involves the awareness of “muscle differential relaxation”. This is the ability to distinguish between muscles that are needed for the movement you are performing or not.
With further explanation, it’s your ability to manipulate the tension and relaxation of specific muscles for the purpose of creating a desired effect in the basics or techniques executed. When movements are executed there are times the student needs to remain more relaxed and then like the flip of a light switch, tension is turned on and applied. As the example of executing a punch it’s good to remain relaxed in the beginning so you can start with lightening speed and then as you are hitting the target it’s good to tense the muscles so you will have a powerful impact.
Having the skill to calibrate (manipulate muscle relaxation and tension) will give you better control of your body’s performance in regard to the application of speed and power.
Students learning the basics are taught the use of relaxed muscle tension from the start to nearly the end of the movement and then hard muscle tension to the completion position. Three different velocities are emphasized at this level. They are slow, medium and full. Medium velocity can be described as the least amount of effort needed to defy gravity. Directly corresponding to the muscle tension already stated above; as a general rule the novice level of training requires a conscious effort of medium velocity from start to middle in the execution of a element movement and full out velocity from middle to the end or position. Note: when practicing for accuracy in the biomechanics principle, it is wise to start out in a slow velocity until such a time that all geometrical guide points are adhered to with great consistency.
3. Vital Mindset
The quality and intensity of mental focus falling under two branches of application:
- Combative Mindset
- Healing Mindset
Both categories use the same mental energy but differently. One, Combative Mindset uses intent/energy for the purpose protecting self or others. The second, Healing Mindset uses Intent/energy for the purpose of revitalizing self or others.
Both categories require an unwavering, profound inner seriousness to accomplish the end result.
4. Supreme Value
What is the ultimate usage of what you are applying in two branches of practice:
- Combative applications
- Healing applications
Pinpointing with laser like focus the superior aim or usage of what is being applied. Possessing the knowingness in its greatest effectiveness
5. Yin Yang Applications
The ability to have firm-active (Yang) or yielding-passive (Yin) capabilities on demand with martial applications:
Offensive – Defensive Approach
Bobbing, weaving, trapping or blocking
The ability to have firm (yang) or yielding (yin) capabilities on demand with healing applications:
Soft or Harder Massage
Acupuncture or Acupuncture
Hot or Cold Remedies
Outside or Inside Focus of Treatment
6. Six Harmonies
Here there is harmony of mind, body and spirit (physiological, psycho-emotional and energy pure spirit) infused in movement or non-movement. With all that has been studied, now the student needs to let go of all that has been learned and allow the Tao or natural flow to be present and evident in all that one does. This flow encompasses the total awareness of the first five foundation principles harmonizes with elevated or evolved consciousness, thus creation of the Six Harmonies. The Six Harmony not only encompases the first five harmonies but has it’s own place being the development of self awareness and self actualization for the purpose of situational control over mind and body. Training at this point there is no longer an active thought of movement or concept, but a continuous knowing, a point of second nature. This becomes not just part of who you are, but the actualization of who you are.
Hexagram #1 The Creative, Yijing
“Applied to the human world, these attributes show the great man the way to notable success:
‘Because he sees with great clarity causes and effects, he completes the six steps at the right time and mounts toward heaven on them at the right time, as though on six dragons.’
The six steps are the six different positions given in the hexagram, which are represented later by the dragon symbol. Here it is shown that the way to success lies in apprehending and giving actuality to the way of the universe [tao], which, as a law running through end and beginning, brings about all phenomena in time. Thus each step attained forthwith becomes a preparation for the next. Time is no longer a hindrance but the means of making actual what is potential.”
The art, skill and expanded consciousness of Six Harmonies applies to both branches of Chung Fu Traditional Study: Combative and Healing Applications.
Hodgkinson Sifu had owned and operated professional, commercial schools for decades. His focus now has shifted to teaching smaller group classes and personal instruction, with select students that appreciate a traditional way of martial and healing arts training. Having trained in a number of different martial arts and healing modalities, Sifu has adjusted his traditional curriculum to include relevant aspects of his multi-faceted experience.
Currently traditional training is taught in either group classes or personal one-on-one instruction. Group classes are available for adults and also for kids with their parents. In the group classes the curriculum follows a set schedule of what is to be learned each week.
Six Major Levels of Training - Basic Curriculum Overview
In Chung Fu Martial Arts Meditation traditional training there are six main levels of education and within each of these 6 levels there are numerous sub-divisions of detailed curriculum.
Below you will find a basic outline of 6 macro educational levels and some initial sub-levels of the traditional training program. For the micro understanding of each level please consult Master Educator, Terry Hodgkinson.
Open any of the 6 toggles below for a basic understanding of each level:
1. Beginners Level
A) Theory and philosophy
B) Basics known as Elemental Movement of which there are 32 distinct movements
C) Relatives of the basic Elemental Movements
D) Compounds AKA combinations
A) Theory and philosophy
B) Take down drills
C) Partnered compounding drills
D) Partnered Self Defence Combatives
E) Awakening the Dragon Composition
A) Theory and philosophy
B) Five Animal Style compositions
C) Hung compositions
D) Bo Staff compositions
E) Qigong (Chi Kung) and Taiji (Tai Chi) Compositions
F) Combatives (drills) and sparing
4. Junior Professional
Three Degrees of Study
5. Master Educator
Three Degrees of Study
6. Grandmaster Educator
Four Degrees of Study
The Three Modes of Training
Before we can be good at any skill, we must understand the process that helps us to learn it properly. Although all knowledge is intangible, when we practice this knowledge through our bodies mechanics we then bring the intangible knowledge into form, thus manifesting what was unseen into seen. Now that we have lent form to our understanding of theory, that can be seen/felt we can now measure the accuracy of that understanding and if needed, improve and develop true skill. After practicing it for some time, we will then be able to apply that skill easily and effortlessly. Below you will find the Three Training Modes the proper order of learning:
- Theory – intangible, invisible realm – realizing
- Practice – tangible, visible realm – controlling
- Application – natural and spontaneous – using
Watch a short video tutorial on the Three Training Modes by Terry Hodgkinson Sifu