Fate or Fated?

 Grand Master Ajarn AreeSometimes in life we have a choice and sometimes the choice is made for us regarding circumstance and opportunity. Last week saw us lose a teacher and brother from within our Krabi Krabong brotherhood, but it has also thrown open an opportunity for me to realise a dream and an ambition! Something I thought had passed me by.

I have lots of experience and I suppose many styles I have studied to a very high level, but this is where I belong I realise that. It is where I am meant to be and so I will try and embrace this opportunity 100% and help show the world the culture and beauty of this martial Art.

Anyone interested in practising authentic and practical krabi Krabong please get in touch you can visit us here or we are available to come to you.

What should I do?

Zhu and chenWhen you don’t have as much time as you would like what is the best exercise to do?
I am relating this to Martial arts and not specific to all but certainly to the arts I am proficient in.

Sun Style Martial Arts

The Taiji form takes between 7-12 minutes to perform it can take longer of course so this is a good thing to practise as it has everything inside, my teacher related to me though that when you only have time to do one thing it should be Pi Quan, as it is everywhere in the Sun Style.

Krabi Krabong

The mother skills are the most important things here and if not a lot of time the martial dances are essential to hone your technique.

Eskrima

familiarity with weapons is essential but that can be achieved by doing Ammara, with any weapon not just sticks.

Muay Boraan

The essential things are the basic footwork and doing combinations, making the transitions smoothly, making sure you have good co ordination between hands and feet, shadow boxing essential here.

Hunyuan Chen Shi Xin Yi Taiji

Without a doubt the 24 step form contains all you need to improve with daily practise, this can do done in anything from 7-20 minutes depending on your time available, also the 12 step qigong is another thing you could supplement or just do stand alone if time limited.

Obviously there are a lot of exercises that will give you reward for the effort to do them, Master Feng Zhiqiang advocated standing in Wuji for 45 minutes a day, as well as doing form and qigong but in this modern world we don’t always have the luxury of training 7-8 hrs a day, we can practise before work or after, get up early, practise during lunch there are so many ways to get your training but you must enjoy it, the daily grind is the most important thing.

Observations on practice

Those of you who can be bothered reading this blog maybe think I have jumped from one art to another but I can assure you that I have not started to learn an art unless I had a competency and was teaching the other other art I was practising. So that is my first rule if you get a good grounding in one style before moving on, this does not mean getting a black belt but maybe getting some teaching experience as it helps and really learning the basics of whatever style you choose.

There is no secrets in martial arts, the only secret is practise and you must practise everyday to reap the rewards, I was lucky in that my first teacher Chu Sifu frightened me so that if he gave me something to practise I did it till he said stop not because I was scared physically but I was worried he would tell me to leave and I wanted so much to learn from him, that work ethic as helped me over the years and I am sure if you contacted any of the teachers I have mentioned and asked about me they would say I am a hard worker. Many people have said I am a natural at Martial arts, I don’t believe that as I have worked long and hard to get the skills I have and I am still working everyday to improve. My teacher in China paid me a great compliment, he said I was worth teaching because I worked hard. My friends teacher Wen Laoshi commented I was a good student, as even when it was snowing I was in the park at 7.30am.

My enthusiasm has waned like everybody else over the years and I have had bad times,  but I have never stopped training it is this that builds your character and gives you the mental attitude to face and deal with problems, in my darkest days I could practise and feel better, remember you practise for your benefit not others! So get out there and prove to yourself, you are who you think, be positive! Learn, teach and more important enjoy your chosen art or arts after all this is just the rantings of a martial arts anorak who will never stop training and sharing what he knows as long as there are people who want to learn.

If anyone reading this wants any help or advice they think I can give please get in touch.

Muay Chaiya Nawarrat continued

My third session with Kru mud started off as usual with the basics being drilled then some pad work.
During a rest I asked Kru about teaching in Chiangmai he said it was possible but I needed to complete the training first and there were two paths because of my age and experience.
The first path was to go through the syllabus and learn what was needed to teach then if given permission to teach recruit some students and get them to do the day to day teaching of basics whilst I would teach the techniques and oversee the training.
The second path is that I would undergo the training like a fighter so Kru asked me if I could do 8 x 3 minute rounds and I said yes, so Kru taught me the technique then timed the rounds we did this for the 8 rounds with a minute rest in between rounds utilising different techniques per round each one getting more complicated, the techniques were carried out using a stationary dummy wrapped in rope and I wore gloves and shin guards.
Towards the end I was really tired and completed the required amount but it was not easy and I felt drained and completely worn out. I think I need a combination of the types of training Kru offers I am not as young as I was when I started this journey and priorities change as your life changes.
I am still only at the beginning stages of training in Muay Chaiya Nawarrat but when time and money allows I will travel again to see Kru Mud and complete the training.

Muay Chaiya Nawarrat continued

putting me through my pacesMy next session with Kru Mud involved first going over what I had learned previously then working one to one with Kru using the pads to do techniques sticking to the correct footwork pattern. I had done a lot of western boxing in the UK so was used to working on pads but this was quite different as the footwork and guard position was completely different and it had been a long time since I had worked kicks and knees into drills. It is quite daunting working with Kru Mud as he does not use pre arranged drills he just calls out the technique then you do it trying to listen and carry out the technique, but Kru is great very patient, and also very funny which makes the training fun but still difficult in the heat of Bangkok.
I worked as hard as I could for the two hours and then had to say goodbye to Kru as had my flight to catch.

Muay Thai Chaiya Nawarrat

Doing the basics

I was recommended to seek out Kru Mut from Muay Thai Chaiya Nawarrat by my friend and teacher Kru Piak. He had told me that he felt it was the most complete style he had seen and would compliment the Krabi Krabong.
I contacted Kru Mut and arranged to visit him in Bangkok which is about 600km from where I live in Chiangmai, but only an hour by airplane.
Finding Kru Mut was not easy but eventually we arrived at his house, his camp is located at the rear of the house and when we arrived it was Kru Mut birthday and luckily pre warned had brought a gift. Kru Mut explained the history of the art and that also he practised Krabi krabong from Ajarn So and Silat from his Grandfather. He made me very welcome and said that I could learn the basic exercises and then if I was interested could arrange to under go more formal training. The exercises are not hard but constant repetition and in the heat it saps your strength, to soon my time had ran out but I arranged with Kru Mut that I would do some more training with him as soon as I was able.