Training with Sifu Chris Collins

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Plantar Fasciitis and Tennis Elbow

Please take note of this post and give it a second thought when you are out buying shoes or training or running, etc.

It is imperative that you buy proper footwear. That does not mean just one pair either. Depending on your activities and how many activities and in what environments you do them in, you need to have different pairs of training shoes.

I have had the unfortunate pleasure of dealing with plantar fasciitis for the past year. It is a nasty little problem that is easily avoidable. Make sure you have the proper arch supports in your shoes. Don’t make a habit of training bare feet (like I did for many years) on a hard surface.  Stretch the arch as often as possible as well as the calf muscle and hamstring. This will alleviate the tightness in the tendons at the bottoms of your feet. Basically, overworking those tendons without properly stretching them leads to inflammation. This inflammation, left untreated or continued stress without rest will lead to severe problems in the future, sidelining you for several months.

This can be compared to tennis elbow or tendonitis. It can keep getting worse. Remember not to try and massage the sore area (such as the head of the radius or ulna, or the heel for that matter) that is where the point of inflammation is happening. Instead, massage and stretch the two connecting points, the forearm and the triceps. That is how you reduce the inflammation. Also, heat and ice play a big part in reducing the risk of these injuries and the repair of these injuries. Heat it in the morning for 15-20 minutes max. Do this before you train as well. Only ice after you finish training for 15-20 minutes after you have stretched, not before.

Warrior Creed

Realizing it is my choice and my choice alone
To be a combative warrior
I accept all challenges involved with this profession
Forever shall I strive to maintain the tremendous reputation
Of those who went before me.

Exceeding beyond the limitations
Set down by others shall be my goal
Sacrificing personal comforts and dedicating myself
To the completion of my mission shall be my life
Physical fitness, mental attitude, and high ethics

The title combative warrior is my honor

Conquering all obstacles, both large and small,
I shall never quit
To quit, to surrender, to give up is to fail
To be a warrior is to surpass failure
To overcome, to adapt and to do whatever it takes
To complete the mission

On the battlefield, as in all areas of life
I shall stand tall above the competition
Through professional pride, integrity, and teamwork
I shall be the example
For all others to emulate.

Never shall I forget the principles
I accepted to become a combative warrior
Honor, Perseverance, Spirit and Heart

A true warrior can speak without saying a word
And achieve what others can only imagine

You Are Not Just Punching and Kicking, You Are Building Your Character

We as Kali practitioners or WingTsun practitioners are not defensive strategists. We are offensive in nature and offensive in practice. Meaning, we believe the best defense is offense. We make the same approach in our martial training as we do in our daily lives. Our approach to the fighting arts is guerrilla warfare. This is essential for survival in combat. We do not underestimate our enemy and never assume we are the stronger more powerful force, we assume he is more powerful and cunning than ourselves. We only insure we enter with full confidence of our own trained capabilities. It is our mind-set that separates us from others. We know that when one enters combat, whether large or small, it could be our last. Therefore, in the spirit of a warrior, you must be willing to enter into a battle of insurmountable odds and strive to be the last man standing at the ultimate cost of death. We are humble, we are proud, we believe in life not death, a positive outlook on life is better than a negative one, we do not believe in failure. We are dangerous to those that oppose and family to those who stand by our side.

Functionality - Durability - Consistency

I am not going to say that these are the hallmarks of a good fighter or martial artist. These just happen to be three things I focus on in my training and in my teaching that I want to share with you this month.

Functionality

Often times as we learn martial arts we are taught from a template. “This form has this many techniques and here are their uses.” “This is how we apply them.” Far too often, these techniques are regurgitated rather than analyzed. Or perhaps, the instructor only learnt the surface application of the technique and never grasped its concept or use. Many times it is due to the instructor proclaiming he is teaching “Traditional” or “classical”. As an instructor and as a student, it is your job to question these techniques and their uses within the system and out on the street.  Otherwise, you are not helping yourself or your martial art grow; you are pushing it into extinction. What you are teaching and learning is “alive” and must continue to evolve as we do. In respect to our teachers and our founders, be more. Show that you have grown into your own man, in order to help continue the art and preserve their legacy.

Durability

Why do people think kick-boxing, boxing and wrestling are so much more effective than say, kung fu or other styles of martial arts? Answer, durability, contact and a lot of it. You cannot always pull your punches. You have got to get physical. Spend more time sparring in a semi-full contact setting. Not because there is an MMA craze. It’s because that is the only way for you to know how effective you are and how durable you can be. These martial arts systems were developed for fighting, not dancing or conversation. They certainly were not developed for demonstration purposes.

Consistency

Not all of us can dedicate everyday to learning a martial art, some of us only once per week. However, we all know that to learn anything, you have to be doing it all the time. Otherwise, it is just a hobby. That is fine too. But right now, I am talking about a martial artist or aspiring fighter. Be more consistent on how often you train and how you train. Going hardcore once in a blue moon doesn’t count. You have to go hard as often as you spend time focusing on the techniques you are learning. Don’t go all out for a week and injure yourself or exhaust yourself and be useless for the rest of the month. Remain consistent and remain effective in how you are training. Set goals and reach them. Then set new goals and reach them. The only comparison should be against you, yesterday.

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