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Master Kongling: my experience with Karate
Karate has been my first approach with martial arts (read Who is Master Kongling?).
Important - What follows should not be interpreted as a positive or negative assessment, neither on Karate (each dojo is different) nor on my master (who has passed away and who I deeply respect). The ones I intend to share are the lessons that (more or less directly) I have drawn from my (limited, only a few years) experience with this martial art. The sole purpose of this article is to inform our school practitioners about the origins of some of our principles, concepts, methods (etc.). I am a thousandth of the type of practitioner I would like to be and I have neither the right nor the interest to express the slightest judgment.
What I have learned from Karate
The physical aspects
How to learn a technique - The only way to learn, for example, how to effectively kick is to repeat, repeat and repeat again, trying to do each time better than the last one (read A scheme to quickly learn any kind of technique)
Be hard as the rock - 6 Dragons Kung Fu works in a lot of different plans in terms of body states (read 6DKF's interactions: from the strong blow to the light touch) and a part of the solid ones have been forged in my first Karate dojo
When the punch arrives... - When you get attacked the worst thing to do is to try to look away (read Shaolin training for reflexes)
Pain is only a signal - I learned not to complain about any slightest sensation of annoyance, drawing a clear distinction between the disabling pain and the one that is simply ignored (read Acceptance and prevention of pain)
The right amount of aggressivity - Fighting is a choice to be avoided at all costs (read The 6DKF's diagram about the use of violence) but if it comes to struggle between life and death, fighting techniques must be applied without any hesitancy, otherwise, they will lose all of their effectiveness (read 4 Tips to effectively apply any fighting technique)
The mental aspects
Martial arts win fear - The practice of martial arts eliminates a big part of childhood unmotivated fears and starts to build self-awareness
Immediately imposing the maximum discipline is wrong - The master did not admit the slightest distraction or error (his voice thundered like lightning and physical punishment was the order of the day, I don't deny that the whole class was terrified by him); unfortunately, this has blocked the development of many students who were suffering from continuous stress and therefore expressed themselves below their potential (read also Discipline is the key to freedom)
The approach with meditation - At the beginning and at the end of each lesson, I had the occasion to come into contact with mental concentration and inner silence (start reading Meditation method 1)
The first thing to strengthen is the mind - If the mind is weak, even the body is weak. if you have fear, your opponent will "absorb" it converting it in self-awareness
Never bring the problems of everyday life into the training - The martial practice helps to free the mind from problems precisely because it is detached from them
The competition that is not directed towards ourselves is wrong - Often during the lesson, the competition was indirectly fomented but the result was almost always the humiliation of the little ones by the biggest bullies
Training is hard, motivation is fundamental - If you are not motivated enough, it becomes 10 times more tiring (start reading Workout music: how, when, why)
How much Karate has remained in 6 Dragons Kung Fu?
A lot of small things but the mental discipline (converted in self-discipline) and the precision of the didactical system are the most important aspects that have influenced the teaching method of 6 Dragons Kung Fu.
Karate has taught me that taking care of all the details forms the quality of the whole; if the teaching is vague, imprecise, the student's learning will be the same.
In a real self-defense context, there is a special space that divides the error from a legit personal interpretation of a technique and good martial teaching must help the student to always remain in the field of effectiveness.
I do not want to hide that for a lot of years I underestimated the quality of the teaching I had received at an early age (every new martial art appeared to be the best one and Karate continues to sink, read also Master Kongling: facing the other martial arts); only after several years, far from the reasons that led me away from this discipline, I managed to trace a more reasonable overview
There are many aspects of Karate that I share and others that I do not agree with but I cannot deny that, in their context, each of them has a precise and reasonable meaning
Somehow Karate still continues to accompany me, in fact, many of my students have practiced it in the past, many of my training partners practice it and still, even from outside, I continue to study it
In-depth video courses
Basic free hand fighting techniques - The core combat techniques of 6 Dragons Kung Fu (the result of the work of martial synthesis of Master Kongling)
6DKF: what does it teach? - All the teachings of 6 Dragons Kung Fu's school
What is the relation between Karate and Kung Fu? - The ancient relation from northern Shaolin Kung Fu and Karate
Reply in the comments and share your experience:
Have you ever practiced Karate?