An exercise for the cyclical concentration: pencil and paper

Coordination has to be a constant in martial arts. Here is an exercise that helps us to have greater mastery of our body:

  • Let’s take a pencil / pen and a sheet of paper (A4 size)
  • Let’s create in our mind a state of relaxation and concentration
  • With one hand, let’s grasp the pencil and with the other the paper
  • Let’s launch into the air both objects in the direction of the opposite hand
  • We have to try to grasp without fail the 2 objects without making them falling to the ground
  • We can choose to grasp or to accompany the objects or both the things
  • In the second round pencil and paper are located respectively in the opposite hands
  • Let’s repeat the movement trying to be faster and more accurate as possible (10 minutes)
  • Let’s try to act simultaneously and make it all fluid
  • Let’s get moving freely in space
  • Let’s avoid making too easy launches, it is useless for our martial growth
  • The goal is to learn to prioritize our tasks (different at each throw)
  • Let’s deeply think on the trajectory and the intrinsic differences of the two objects

This simple practice helps us to:

  • Learn to reason in a hurry
  • Instinctively choose priorities
  • Use speed and accuracy with ease
  • Use softness and stiffness simultaneously
  • Follow opponent’s movement like a shadow

When we start to improve we will make the exercise a bit ‘more difficult with these 2 variants:

  • By performing the movement in front of a wooden dummy (or a generic target) and unleashing attacks with arms and legs while objects are still in flight (gripping them immediately after)
  • Using up to 2 pencils and 2 sheets of paper (2 sheets in one hand and in the other 2 pens)

For those who practice since many years and have an excellent preparation with cutting weapons, they can pierce the sheet and grab / hit the pencil mantaining it in the air (we do not have to try this if we are not experts, this is very dangerous and should be performed only after a long and steady preparation).

Author: Master Kongling

Founder of 6 Dragons Kung Fu.

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