Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Hyung in a Minor Key

As we are on our path to 10,000 repetitions, we will most likely find some ways to mix them up a little bit. Hyung practice is no different. As adult students, many of us can recall training sessions where we repeated the same hyung over and over again, no rest, no instruction, just doing. This in itself is a great practice, especially if we get our brain to shut off and just perform the hyung.

However, we've probably all mixed in a little variety to keep things interesting from time to time. You may have practiced your hyung at top speed -- or maybe -- in slow motion. I once made the kids in my class do the hyung with animal noise kihaps on every movement. You can even do the forms mirror image, or even from last move to first. All of these are great exercises and key to understanding the hyung beyond the surface.

Another fun exercise is to perform the hyung in a different key, so to speak. Look beyond the labels of the techniques, and try to execute them with a different mindset or intent. Maybe the low block becomes a low strike. Or maybe that hard low block becomes a softer, more circular technique. Think about each move, how it relates to the move before and after. Maybe, instead of stepping to the left for the first technique, you turn left, but step backwards. Make the transitions into formidable attacks and defenses.

Ever been to a class where the senior instructor asks if people can demonstrate an application for a movement? And in that same class, no one raises their hand because they don't want to be wrong? And, you're one of those people, who suddenly becomes very interested in your toenails, hoping to disappear and not be called on? Fear not. Try these drills and methods to unlock new understanding, and be a hit at parties and in the dojang!

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