Content Contributed by Sensei Yu Mun Hooi of Malaysia.

Even the word seems boring. Repeat, doing the same things over and over again. Some people hate repetition because to them, it poses no challenges to the mind. So what if I punch 500 times, they say? What is difference of punching blocking 10 times, and blocking 100 times? What am I training? Stamina? If I wanted stamina, why can’t I just jog? These questions are what separates true martial artists. Says Sosai Mas Oyama, founder of Kyokushin Karate: train 1000 days a beginner, train 10,000 days a master.

 

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Repetition is important because it promotes muscle memory. Practising a block 20 times a week in class is not going to help you in a situation when you have to think fast or when you’re in a panic and nothing even goes through your brain. This is where thousands of repetition comes in. Teach your muscle to go through the motions of blocking until it becomes reflex and ingrained into your sub conscious. There is so much going on when you perform the same technique over and over again. Only a newbie will complain that 1000 punches is boring.

1. Envision any forms of attack that you can use the technique for. If it is a strike, imagine which part of the body can be your target. If it’s a block, what strike can you block against OR how can you turn the block into a strike?

2. The mechanics of the technique. Are you turning your hips enough, twisting the wrist? Is it true to form? Where are my eyes looking? Am I breathing right?

3. Train & focus the mind. It is understandable that after a few hundreds of the same technique, your mind will tend to wander. This is the time to lasso in your thoughts and force yourself to concentrate and focus on point 1 and 2. Upon hearing the command that you will be doing 1000 punches, train your mind to accept it instead of responding negatively. Counter the laziness. Let’s just start out the first 100 and see where we go from there. You win both ways.

Say you were asked to do 1000 punches. How do you feel as you progress along?

0-100: Still feeling good, hey, I can do this!

100-200: Arms start to feel sore, but you persevere.

200-500: Stance starts to feel shaky, saliva drying up in mouth, throat sore from shouting. Feel like giving up.

500-600: 2nd wind comes, stamina returns. Hey I’m already halfway done. I’ll reward myself with if I finish this.

600-800: Starts to notice the motion and twisting of body and hand. Getting so tired, each punch gets more powerful because you’re throwing it out.

800-900: Almost over now. 900-1000: Last lap come on. Shouts and punches get stronger and louder. You don’t want to finish with a weak punch do you?

Finally it’s over. That feeling of accomplishment knowing that you overcome your own mind and body and threw out 1000 techniques while staying true to form, without getting sloppy.

2nd set, anyone?!

 

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