AFTER 4 MONTHS OF KUNG FU TRAINING
In the third week of February, after being sick, I resign from Wing Chun classes (see my new training plan below). Don’t take me wrong, I like Wing Chun a lot. It’s just that… I started to understand the importance of prioritization. Focusing on many different styles and trying to work on a wide array of skills is not the best way to have good training results. Consequently, instead of Wing Chun, I began to do My Own Training. I really wanted to improve vertical jumps, simply said I wanted to jump higher. My Own Training turned out to be a challenge of consistency and effectiveness. This is how it went…
1st TRAINING PLAN
finding inspiration on the internet
Firstly, I found a few YouTube videos about how to improve vertical jumps. I particularly liked a workout schedule created by a basketball player. I added some of the exercises that I learned at kung fu school and I had a perfect, as I thought, training plan. But…
I used it only once.
2nd TRAINING PLAN
getting distracted by secondary goals
My Own Training classes were only three times a week and it was the only time when I could entirely focus on what I wanted. And, I wanted a lot. Although my first and primary goal was to jump higher, one day, after the morning class, I realized that my kung fu basics also needed an extra boost. Consequently, I end up using a few of My Own Training classes to practice the sweeps and advanced routines I learned with Master Yu. But, as that wasn’t my main goal, it didn’t last long.
3rd TRAINING PLAN
focusing on my weak points
Next time, after a discussion with Master Du, I was convinced that to improve my vertical jumps, I needed to train explosive power. My Shifu’s words:
– Basia. You need to work on speed. When you run to jump – this is where the power comes from. You are a girl, so it’s more difficult for you to jump as good as guys. So… you need additional power. You need to run fast. Work on speed. On explosive power. Don’t bother with details. Don’t think how it looks. Try to exert the power from the speed and jump high. You need to jump higher. More power in your hips. Otherwise, you never gonna jump properly.”
I asked Daniel to help me with my explosive power training. He was reluctant at the beginning. But, eventually, he agreed and we organized a speedrunning. You probably are not surprised when I tell you that it happened only one time. Why couldn’t I stick to one routine? In that case, my excuse was a matter of motivation. Explosive power training was really hard and I didn’t enjoy it much, as I sucked at it. You need to take into account that I was training 7 hours a day, 5 days a week. Doing an additional high-intensity workout required a lot of determination. It was easier with Dani. However, it wasn’t easy to ask him for help. I simply gave up.
4th TRAINING PLAN
choosing the easy and enjoyable training
There were days that I simply didn’t feel like exhausting my body more than it already was. On these days, which let’s say was around 35% of My Own Training classes I practiced FORMS. I liked to train Broadsword. Doing Flowers is not very demanding. It is never too much to train them. I wear headphones and kept doing flowers till my hand gave up. It felt like meditation.
Other days, when I really felt drained, I sat on the mats and did nothing but stretched.
When I had more energy, but I didn’t feel like jumping, I focused on building my core, doing sit-ups, and training a handstand, which, I need to say, I enjoyed greatly.
7th TRAINING PLAN
training kung fu jumps – the results
It would be very disappointing if I haven’t had practiced kung fu jumps in any of My Own Training classes. After all, to improve them was the main reason why I started to train alone in the afternoons. So, here it comes. During 5 months, from after I was sick – the middle of February, till the competition – the end of July, I spend around 30 % of the classes practicing different Kung Fu Jumps, including tornado kick, butterfly kick, kick up, head flip, front handspring and aerial. I am omitting here one kung fu jump that I included in the next point.
Together, I have trained the mentioned above jumps for 15 classes in 5 months, which is 3 classes a month! Was it enough to improve any of these jumps? Considering that the classes were very unorganized and its course rarely was the same, the answer was simple… I didn’t practice any of these movements long enough to learn them properly. Meaning, the improvements were minor or any.
8th TRAINING PLAN
finally training a single jump constantly – the results
At the end of March, I began to learn Fan Form. It contains a difficult Lotus Kick. I spend many classes trying to improve it, including many of my Own Training classes. I practiced it the most before the competition in July. Although I can honestly say, I managed to work on one jump constantly for a longer period of time, I was unable to improve it considerably. It has given me a good deal to think about. Is repeating a jump a hundred times equal to learning it?…
9th TRAINING PLAN
finding the right approach
I didn’t significantly improve a lotus kick simply because this jump was too difficult for me. Progression is an important aspect in achieving any goal and in learning new skills. If I wanted to have even a slight chance of boosting this jump, reaping it a hundred times, wasn’t an effective approach. It led to overstraining my joints and made me frustrated. What I needed was to create a systematized routine adapted to my abilities, a routine that would include simple vertical jumps and exercises that build muscles important for jumping high. In this way, I could prepare my body to eventually be able to do more advanced jumps.
It became possible two weeks before the competition, in the second week of July, after the school renovated the training hall and 1/3 part of the hall had soft mats. I selected two days in a week, Monday and Wednesday, to practice a sequence of jumps taken from wushu jumps training (see the video and the training plan below). On Tuesday I decided to work out the muscles important to jump high (see the training plan below).
IMPROVE VERTICAL JUMPS – ROUTINE
Try It By Yourself
Monday and Wednesday – Wushu Jumps
- Walk → jump, 360°twist → land in MaBu, change side,
- Run → jump as high as possible with one leg bend → land in MaBu, change side,
- Run → jump as high as possible with one leg bend, bend and stretch the other leg → land in MaBu, change side,
- Walk → jump, 180° twist, kick with outside leg → land in MaBu, change side,
- Run half-circle → jump high with inner leg bend, 180° twist → land in MaBu, change side,
- Run half-circle → jump high with inner leg bend, 180° twist, bend the other leg → land in MaBu, change side,
- Lotus kick with bend outside leg,
- Lotus kick with both legs straight,
- Flying front kick,
- Tornado kick,
- Butterfly kick.
IMPROVE VERTICAL JUMPS – MUSCLES
Tuesday – Muscles Training
– a group of muscles that runs from the lower back down behind legs, namely:
- Calf muscles
My exercises to improve vertical jumps included:
The attached pictures presents the muscles used during the exercise.
- Calf raises
- Squat (without support)
- Pistol squat (with support)
I really enjoyed this routine, and if you want to improve your vertical jumps, I highly recommend trying it out. I have followed it for four weeks, two weeks before the competition and two weeks after. Why I stopped training jumps on My Own Training classes… the Chapter 12 I Took A Break From Training, And This Is What Happened… hopefully provides some explanations.
You must understand that there is more than one path to the top of the mountain.