clemson chinese martial arts club

So, in light of my recent Cuong Nhu fallout, I've decided for several reasons to start my own martial arts club.  I hope nobody takes it the wrong way; I'm not mad at Darius or at Cuong Nhu.  I respectfully disagree with their philosophies on the martial arts, and I also am disappointed that there isn't already a Chinese marital arts club at Clemson.  In an effort to "be the change you want to see in the world", so to speak, I've started designing my own club that I can hopefully start in the spring semester, although I may wait until next fall so I can have a larger student starting base (since I can have an exhibit at the club fair then).

I had an issue when I was coming up with this in my head, though.  The issue is this: I know a lot of kung fu, but I don't want to rush the teaching of it.  I want to teach the forms slowly, and include lots of applications, breathing exercises, and drills.  This means that if I teach a linear curriculum to all students, I would get through perhaps a quarter of what I know before I graduate.  But if the club is going to continue after that, they would need to collectively know a bit more than that.

Instead of using a linear curriculum then, I took inspiration from both sifu Yao Li's curriculum, as well as an idea of specialization that you see in lots of RPGs (sort of like sub classes), and have decided to use a curriculum that offers several paths of study.  Observe my cool image:
In my curriculum, everybody (with some exceptions) would start with learning 1st Long Fist.  The reasoning here is that 1st Long Fist includes a lot of general movements and patterns in it that are seen throughout the martial arts.  In this way, everybody can at least come from a similar background when discussing mechanics of kung fu.  The form would also build flexibility and endurance, which is good for all branches of martial arts.  Finally, it will let everyone get to work together before being in more specific groups.  The rare exception I would make to this rule would be if someone wanted to take Tai Chi but didn't feel like they had the capacity for the kind of exercise required for a wushu form.  This might pop up if an older adult or someone with health problems wanted to take tai chi for its health benefits.

After learning 1st Long Fist, students could choose their next form out of these three: 2nd Long Fist, the 24 move Yang style tai chi form, or the baby mantis form (which I may start calling "junior" mantis to remove the negativish connotation).  After learning this form, the idea is that they would continue along the track they chose, but they could always change tracks if they so desired.

As for the different tracks, I tried to place forms in what seemed to me to be a logical ordering.  For the Tai Chi track, I started with the 24, which seems like an obvious starting point and is kind of a universal standard for starting off with the Yang style.  After that, I inserted some Chi Kung, and some philosophy will probably go in there as well, in addition to push hands exercises and meditation.  Following that, the student can learn, in whatever order they wish, the other three forms: the 42 combined sword form, the 48 combined open hand form, or the fan form I learned.  Of course, after that, I'll hopefully have learned more myself so there is something else to teach!

In the Wu Shu track, the students would learn 2nd Long Fist right after 1st Long Fist.  Following this, they would get their first exposure to a weapon with the 32 long staff.  From there, they could pick up the 32 short staff, 32 spear, or compulsory (108) long fist.  If, god forbid, they finished all that, I would still have plenty to teach them, so I'm not so worried about that.  They would probably continue with the two 32 swords, compulsory long staff, compulsory broadsword, double broadsword, etc.

The last track is an odd one.  Since I made the first two tracks kind of pure in their topics, I didn't know what to do with the other stuff I knew.  As such, I created what I initially wanted to call an "Exotic" track, but decided to call the "Survey" track instead, which was probably a good decision.  It would start of with the mantis form and then go either to some southern forms like nan chuan and nan quin, or they would learn fonza and eagle.  Beyond that, they might pick up things like bei shaolin (if I ever learn it), and 18 elbows, which my instructor said I'll be learning at some point.  If nothing else, they could pick up some more long fist forms.

So that's that.  If any mandarin speakers are reading this, please excuse my awful romanizations.

1 comment:

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