So I found this 25lb vest at my gym, threw it on and started walking the circle. (They know me as that guy who does that weird chinese stuff there, but they seem to like it.)
Anyway, I'm looking for feedback from those with more experience using a weighted vest or other methods of weighted circle walking that allows you to do palm changes.
My first impression was "oh yeah, this is gonna work." I felt a stronger root.
So, any feed back from the more experienced weighted circle walkers? (Especially you Tim).
I've never practiced walking the circle with a weighted vest, but I think it is a good idea for power training.
Several of the masters of the past used the method (most notably Fu Zhensong).
In my opinion, as long as you balance your training (weight vest sometimes, no weight vest sometimes) , its great. I walk the circle with a 60 pound weight vest for an hour (it took me a while to get to 60). Then I walk the circle with out the weight vest for 2 hours. It makes your legs incredibly strong, keeps your shoulders dropped, and as long as your within all the principles of Baguazhang (and not walking the circle in natural stance), it improves your training alot as a whole.
Also, its been suggested that if you wear a weighted vest that it wrap around the waist area and not pull from the shoulders. Also its been suggested that one wear ankle and wrist weights.
I think the age at which you try this is critical. If you are over 30, its gotta be very gradual and light.
I like to use heavy boots filled with cement when I walk the circle.
Yeah, its a system the Italians got while hitchhiking on the old silk road. Its found among Southern Italian practitioners, Sicily included.
I always liked the little story in one of Robert Smith's early books in which he is talking about a Sicilian bandit chief in the 19th century, The elderly man is on his death-bed and his followers are gathered around him. The dying man whispers to his lieutenant: "I have no riches to reward your loyal service so I will offer advice that will last you a life-time -- your thumb braces the blade and strike upwards."
Seems like a pretty good inheritance, if you're a Sicilian bandit and spend a lot of time holding cutlery...
Getting back to the original thread, I wish you guys could stay on track like I can!
Thanks for the input.
I like to wear a flotation vest and walk the circle in a shallow pool of calm water. This seems to work well for power training and it is oh so soothing. I'm getting goosebumps just thinking about it.
I bet the water around you is unnaturally warm.
For what it's worth...
From Jerry Johnson's book "The essence of internal MA."
The weighted vest: This training technique is said to be a favorite of Cheng TingHua's school. The purpose of the weighted vest is said help establish a stable root and balance while moving, stepping, and turning.If your structure is not correct the vest will immediately throw you off balance, informing you of where your body is misaligned. The vest will also give you a real sence of sinking into the earth and will build and strengthen your legs. Use sand to weight the vest, making sure it is balanced on each side. Never train longer than 15 to 20 minutes at a time.
Why sand, why not lead, or beebee shots. And why not train longer than 15 to 20 minutes, I trian for 2 hours like that, and I am stronger than a horse.
Just quoteing Jerry Johnson man.
I walk the circle for 2-3 hours a day as well. Slow and Low.
Perhaps JJ meant walk 15-20 mins for people who are just starting out... Send him an email and ask him.
Humbleman, Why would you need to be as strong as a horse, when you can put out a candle from a distance? Maybe you're talking about how far you can pee? Bob#2's horse can pee 10ft!
Not to start an argument, but in order to be skillfull at the internal arts, you have to have a strong foundation in the external arts. There has to be balance. Even ask Tim. And I can only put the candle out from 2 feet (with palm and fist strike), but I striving for 10!
That's some dedication Kungfool, we should get together and train!
I don't have a horse.
I'm too large for an average horse and don't have room for a Clydesdale.
You kids are getting wackey.
Now I know that I started a somewhat legitimate thread, Bob #2 has spoken.
somewhat legitimate or somewhat illegitimate,
you walking around in circles in a goofy weighted vest "feeling your own root" in a gym was comical enough before I chimmed in.
Those folks might seem like they like you doing your weird Chinese stuff but that is only because watching you must make everyone feel better about their own mental abilities.
As I wrote before, using a lit candle for different training purposes is an accepted method in some traditional Chinese martial arts.
Oh, and candles also shed light so they are also useful in your school or home when the hydro fails. ;-}
As to extinguishing candles from a few feet away with the power of the palm... or the qi ... or the ghost of some great martial artist working through you (all explanations I have been told by "masters" who managed to keep a straight-face while saying it); please don't expect such skill to save your bacon in a fight.
In recent years, the only local "master" who teaches this stuff also is the one who teaches self-hypnosis, breaking arrows with your throat and doesn't work with his students in class because his qi is so strong that he would rip-off their skin and muscles if he sparred with them.
I was about to aplaud your explanation Michael; However, putting out a candle will not save you in a fight, avoid the fight will, but if you must fight, then it depends on the skill of the practicioner and if he can appropriatly execute his internal strikes on the opponent, then he is o.k.
This is hard to do because while sparring, people get wilded up, and emotions stir up (anger, excited etc.), and the fighter loses that tranquility and clarity that is necessary have when using Tai Chi, Bagua, or Xing I effectively in fight. I can't do this cuz it is really something hard to do, however it is quite simpler during Push Hands.
I used to train with a weight vest, in fact that was the first exposure I had to Bagua, but I was at a school that did not teach the true internal depth of the art.
Since finding a school that teaches the "real deal" I have not tried to get back into a weight vest.
With all of the training that I have seen (in my limited experience with internal), I don't think it's really necessary. As Tim said, it may have a benefit in terms of power training, but there seems to be plenty of other methods that would acheive this same goal.
In terms of rooting, balance and so on, I would think that it may have a negative effect on acheiving these goals, unless you have the weight on your waist, wrists and ankles as Bob said.
I'll have to put a weight vest on just to satisfy my own curiousity.
Sorry, but after a month of using the vest, I find it very useful. Not asking anyone else to do the same, but I don't agree with the detractors.
Enjoy your training.
Detractors caused traffic jams on the long two lane roads where I grew up, a small Southern farming town. I don't understand what that has to do with anything.
My teacher recomends holding a brick in each hand while doing Bagua stances,and circle walking, if you want to get stronger. I`ve tried it and it has it all over other wieght training. Learning to keep the hands open and closing them on a brick at the same time is only one of the benefits . Relaxing the hips and shoulders while raising the arms is awesome, if you use internal principles and transfer the bricks wieght all the way through the feet,into the ground, the whole body gets an amazing internal workout. Be sure to keep excellent alignment principles.
If you want to try something simple, just sit in horse stance and extend the arms palms up, with the bricks resting in the palms.
I`ve also tried the bricks with tai chi form, and chen si Qi Gong exercises. Like I said...awesome.
Try the bricks, for as long as you can, (BE CAREFULL, it is intense and injuries are easy to get if your alignment and internal principles are slightly off). Then put the bricks down and continue. See for yourself what this teaches you. Again, be carefull.
A cousin of mine said that in basic training in the Marines, they used to stand in deep horsestance with arms extended forward, palms down, and put their rifles on the backs of their hands. They called it "Chinese chair". When I asked him for how long, he said long enough that some of them had to be removed from the stance by others. This is beyond my personal experience. The bricks are hard enough for me at this time.