Monday, December 3, 2012

Hyung of the Week

One of my problems in training has always been focusing on one thing. I just jump around from one thing to another far too much. This is great when I have LOTS of training time, as I always have something to work on. When my personal training (as opposed to teaching and training others) is limited, I need to have a focal point.

So, I created my "box of hyung." I cut out a bunch of little paper strips, wrote the names of all of my required hyung, as well as some extras that I like (so ho yun, bassai sho, tokumine no kun, and few others) and put them in a small box. Shake the box, and every Monday morning, pick a new hyung.

Week one was Dangum Hyung, week two: Seisan. This morning, I was re-introduced to a old chestnut: Pyung Ahn Cho Dan.

So far, the experience has been really exciting and interesting. Sometimes, I just like to get up in the morning and walk through the form once or twice, followed by a few harder reps. Then maybe I go backwards, or spend the day thinking about a sequence.

Sitting at work in a boring meeting, pull up Youtube and search for alternate versions. Study the differences, ask yourself why you do it your way, and try the other way out. Seisan is a great example with the use of kicks in many other versions. Adding the kick, or thinking about the implied kick in the footwork gives you some flexibility in thinking about the movement.

Dangum hyung has been my favorite so far, and I hope to blog some of my results when I get some time. One of the things I truly enjoyed about studying Dangum hyung was that when I started to break down the hyung into repeated movements, the results surprised me. What I always categorized as a "slashing" form actually has a close to equal number of thrusting movements. Some other factoids (right handed versus left handed, reverse grip versus forward grip) were in line with my thinking.

One thing I was initially worried about was whether changing my focus weekly would be a detriment. Sure, I could pick one hyung and study it for years on end, but that doesn't really match my training goals, and I continue to need to access the parts of my brain that teach the other hyung. Instead, what I've found is that I can apply a lot of universal concepts to each form, and whichever concept I'm working on, it allows me to apply it to a more "basic" hyung. Sometimes, the form is just a starting point or a springboard, and what I actually physically practice looks almost nothing like the form. Just movement inspired by the form. This happens a lot when taking a posture or movement and adding in any extra strikes, kicks, etc. It's not supposed to look pretty or be a canon version of the form, just a training tool for that point in time.

Note taking is very important. I keep a small journal with me, and I write down ideas while walking so I can explore them later in class. I can't recommend the Moleskine notebooks and a good archival quality pen.

In my next entry, I'll try to list a few different methods I'm using to play with the hyung.

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