After the first spontaneous approach with the rope (referred to in the article “Learn to use basic weapons”) we pass on the basic exercises.
The elastic rope is one of the founding elements of the 6DKF, it is used at the same time as:
- A body motion educational instrument
- A weapon itself (at a more advanced level)
- A tool to learn more complex flexible weapons
The first things to learn are the simple rotations; let’s start from the stance:
- Let’s assume the same guard as the short stick (described in the article “The basics of short sticks: base strokes and stance”)
- The only difference that is allowed (especially in the initial stage) is to put the unarmed hand in protection of the side of the face where the rope rotates
- The rope (about 150cm) should first be folded in half and gripped firmly on its two ends (we can practice a node on each ends)
- Contrary to the stick, the rope should be gripped almost to its end, without leaving too much “tail” (for now we will not talk about special bands and windings)
- In this case, the part that strikes our targets is, trivially, the point of fold (that is at the opposite end of the handle)
It is important to understand that with the rope we must move all our body and our breathing; our rotations must, therefore, be precise and contextual to a dynamic but always stable barycentre.
The exercise of rotations inscribed in the cube:
- Let’s imagine being inside a cube (A little more tallest than us)
- We have to describe complete circles with rope for each cube face
- Let’s start from the front, then right, left, and on top (below and behind are more advanced rotations that we will see later)
- Let our center of gravity always to be aligned and our body must follow the revolutions of the rope
- For each face of the cube, let’s first turn clockwise and then counterclockwise (eg. 25 times forward and 25 backward)
- The aim is to rotate the rope by tracing perpendicular or parallel circles respect to the ground
- For now, we must not touch our body or surrounding objects in any way
- Let’s try to increase the speed so as to start conditioning our wrist to continuous and prolonged traction
- Let’s continue until the rotations are stable and accurate (the duration of each session is typically 10 minutes)
- Let’s train in safe contexts (open and unobstructed spaces), we never have to forget that rope is fast and unpredictable
- As with sticks, whatever happens, the rope should never leave our hand without us wanting it
- It’s hard to get hurt seriously with a simple rope, but if we do not feel like we have control over its trajectories, let’s slow down our pace
- To be used to pay attention to a simple rope will be helping when we will use, for example, the 9 sections metal chain, the kusarigama, the whip (etc.)
In the next article of this series, we will see the next steps of the rope study.
Author: Master Kongling
Founder of 6 Dragons Kung Fu.