The first fundamental technical exercise
The fabric cloth is a distinctive practice of our school, we have already introduced it in Lesson 1.3 and now we will go a little bit more in-depth.
This exercise, like every 6 Dragons Kung Fu’s practitioner knows, simply consists of throwing in the air a cloth and hitting it, without making it falling or grabbing it.
Here you can see a video example (read 6 Dragons Kung Fu’s Fabric Cloth training demo):
As we said in Lesson 3.6, the benefits involved are endless and all related to the development of real martial skills (reflexes, spatial intelligence, speed, stamina, etc.): it is for this reason that we focus so much on it.
How to practice correctly
What you need to practice this exercise
Fabric Cloth training:
- Can be performed almost everywhere (simply using a T-Shirt)
- Is not dangerous and it does not require any particular skills to start
- Is good both for the beginner, both for the expert (the difficulty self-regulates to your psychophysical capabilities)
The evolution of the practice
The best way to rapidly reach a good level is to follow this gradual path:
- Read Basic tools: the cloth
- The beginner starts with a plastic bag (slower and more predictable, arms only)
- Read The cloth training: deepening
- After a few sessions, you can start (with the right caution) to include the legs and the training weapons (start from At the base of each weapon: the short stick)
- After a few weeks, you have to alternate the plastic bag with a paper one (slightly heavier and then slightly faster)
- After a few months, you can replace the bag with a T-Shirt (dividing the practice into arms, legs and arms plus legs)
- Read The exercise with the fabric cloth: second stage
- Reached a year of practice, sometimes, you can start to alternate the size, material and weight of the cloth
- After a few years, sometimes, you can start to replace the cloth with safe but more unpredictable objects (a rope, a pillow, etc., read for example The elastic rope and the contact with the opponent)
- After various years (once gained good conditioning, spatial intelligence, tactile sensitivity, etc., read How to acquire the Soft Touch skill), sometimes, you can use semi-rigid objects (eg. water bottles, harmless training weapons, etc., read also Advanced exercises: the dynamic water bottle)
A note by Master Kongling – Everything comes after is very dangerous and less relevant in terms of generic martial skills development (we only mention it in the video course and in the Core Course, near the black belt). In any case, it is important to stress that the most important practice is and remains the one with the T-Shirt: even for the experts, the others are simply temporary variants (read Same exercises, different execution).
Insert the Fabric Cloth training in the daily sessions
Fabric Cloth training:
- Starts with the beginning of your 6 Dragons Kung Fu’s path and never ends
- In a line of principle, should be performed almost every day
- Should be executed for 6-15 minutes for each session (with longer periodic executions, 20-120 minutes)
- To gain the best results, should be divided into upper limbs only, lower limbs only and full body (33% of the time for each)
A few secrets to improve
The idea is to always do better than the last time, at each execution. To make this possible, you have to:
- Force the difficulty and the unpredictability of the trajectories (if the cloth is easy to reach or if you do not sweat, you are losing your time; if the cloth never falls you never learn)
- Count the number of blows that you can throw before the cloth falls (maintaining the difficulty, you always have to try to increase their number, read Analysis and improvement of performance)
- Use motivational music (read Workout music: how, when, why)
- Forget that you are training, forget everything; while you are performing this exercise, your mind should be focused only on that “virtual enemy” that moves fast and unpredictable like a cloth (read also Become the absolute zero)
- Always variate the practice (making steps forward and backward), to do not transform it in a mechanical and useless routine
- Break the daily sequence with a week of total exclusion of this practice (2-3 times per year); this way your mind will have the time to forget the repetition and at the same time, to passively elaborate new dynamics
In the next lesson of this chapter, we will start to talk more deeply about the second fundamental practice.
In-depth video courses
- Basic 6 Dragons Kung Fu Exercises – The most complete and visual explanation of the Fabric Cloth exercise (and the other fundamental ones)
- The concept of Dynamic Equilibrium – One of the best skills that the Fabric Cloth training teaches
- How to train without risks – A guide about how to correctly set a safe training
Reply in the comments and share your experience:
- As you practice this exercise, have you ever not to notice the time passing?
Author: Master KonglingFounder of 6 Dragons Kung Fu.
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