Young grasshopper I see you have decided to embark in a new journey. The path to becoming a great wushu master involves so many variations of techniques that have been developed through the years it’s enough to make your head spin. That’s why today I will be sharing with you beginner wushu training tips, drills and exercises you can perform from home so that you’ll have that extra edge against your colleges and progress faster.
Healthier Life Choices
The first step that’s often ignored by wushu beginners is that they don’t think there overall lifestyle impacts their life. It impacts your whole DNA including your future offsprings let alone your progress to becoming a wushu master. These include improving your mental health, eating the right foods and cutting down bad habits.
Wushu Mental Health Training For Beginners
Mental health affects the way you think, feel and act on a daily basis. Therefore improving it will give us that well needed drive of determination to shatter all of our obstacles and achieve greatness.
- Make sure to get 8 hours of sleep.
- Be grateful to everyone and everything you love.
- Meditate for 5 to 10 minutes a day.
Wushu Food Source Tips
You are what you eat, Being a wushu warrior requires more food than the average person. Make sure that the food you are eating is highly nutritious as your body is going to be breaking down and will require good sources of food to be rebuild quick and indestructible.
Detoxing Your Wushu Spirit
It’s time to overcome your self-destructive habits. I understand that you need to have fun, and it’s essential for your mental health but it’s important to start cutting down on these habits and totally quitting thoses that greatly impacting your health.
- Alcoholism-(daily getting drunk)( small amounts of alcohol are quite beneficial to you)
You may be more skilled, faster and stronger than your opponent but if you run out of gas after a minute, your going to get knocked out while trying desperately to gasp for air, that’s why it’s essential you start improving your stamina from an early stage. There are two types of stamina one needs to master in wushu these are Cardiovascular Stamina and Muscle Stamina.
Cardiovascular Stamina Training
Cardiovascular stamina is the ability for your body to provide sufficient air to your heart, lungs, and blood circulation. If you ever got caught up desperately needing to breath while performing some sort of physical activity ding ding this is your problem.
- Shadow boxing – Set up a timer for 5 minutes while making a sound every minute. Start shadow boxing once that sound hits Activate Beast Mode (go all out) till that sound hits again, go in a normal speed phase shadow boxing till the sound comes again and its Beast Mode Time you get the idea. Increase the length of this exercise once it starts getting easy. This exercise is highly effective for wushu as in a fight your going to be trowing a few punches than an opening happens and BAM!
- Running/Cycling – Another great training exercise to improve cardiovascular stamina for your wushu needs. The exercise is quite similar to that of shadow boxing set up a timer once that sound hits you know the drill.
Muscle Stamina Exercise
Muscle stamina is the ability for your muscles to keep responding to your requests. Remember that last push up you couldn’t do ? well know you know what needs an upgrade. In order to train muscle stamina you don’t need to add heavier weights to your exercises but increasing repetitions.
Push-ups – Great exercise for Beginners to start increasing muscle stamina for pecs, biceps, triceps, obliques, abdominals, Lower back, upper back, upper body, core strength and rhomboids by slight variations of the push-up.
Squats – There not referred ‘the king of all exercises’ for no reason. Squats power-up your quadriceps, hamstrings and calves but that’s not all squats done right are so intense that they release testosterone and human growth hormone in your body. The release of these hormone’s help you increase muscle mass for your whole body.
Wushu Pain Conditioning Training Exercise
The matter of pain is different for each individual some tolerate pain more while other tolerance pain less. Being capable to tolerate pain allows you to take advantage of your opponent’s mistakes and openings that you notice in your opponents technique without the fear of getting hurt. Needless to say this will give you a huge psychological advantage.
Before we continue on this subject remember you are still a beginner do this exercise very lightly we want to improve our pain tolerance not cripple ourselves, you will need someone you can trust to do this exercise.
- Decide who is gonna be the attacker first.
- Choose a part from the following to condition stomach, chest, ribs, outer thigh or inner thigh – I would recommend wearing a groin guard when conditioning the inner thighs.
- Determine what attack the attacker will be doing punch, knee or kick.
- Once both are happy with their choice it’s time for the attacker to start. Start slowly and make sure you are hitting accurately just because you are not conditioning your body does not mean it’s a waste of time in fact you got your own human punch bag what better exercise is there to train the accuracy of your attacks. Pay close attention to your partners facial expressions, this will indicate you whether to increase or lower your power.
- The conditioner should just stay in a stance where the attacker can hit the body part easily. If you are feeling to much pain tell the attacker to slow a bit down.
Strength training is necessary to improve your punching power, kicking power and grappling techniques. Having powerful attacks will strike fear in your opponent placing him in a more defensive fighting style which might make him miss great opportunities.
Once you hit a more advanced stage of your wushu training I would recommend signing up with a gym as you need to increase the weight of your exercises to further power up your strength but for now some home exercises are more than sufficient to satisfy your strength training.
- Push ups
- Chin-ups/Pull ups – Great workout to improve strength in your biceps, chest, back and abs muscles. A chin-up/pull-up bar doesn’t require a huge investment and does not take any room in the house.
- Wearing a weight Vest – This exercise can be done both at home or anywhere really. Simply wear the vest under your clothes, This will make your everyday simple things such as standing up harder to execute, now imagine using this vest while training pure savagery. Make sure that you are in a place where you could remove it in case you start feeling too tired or sore. Some coaches recommend using hoods as a replacement for weight vest. Though in reality wearing hoods while training doesn’t really do much.
Wushu is already extremely hard, having a stiff body will further make wushu seem impossible to master. The benefits of increasing flexibility are endless ranging from preventing injuries, executing proper stances, performing high kicks. Needless to say starting a flexibility training routine will greatly start improving your overall wushu journey.
There are 4 different types of stretching that improve an element of flexibility which are ballistic, dynamic, static stretching and proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF).
I would not recommend doing ballistic stretching at this level I merely mentioned it as it is one of the four types of stretching. The reason why I would not recommend this type of stretching is because its very demanding on your muscles and will most likely cause you injuries at this level. Though once you are more experienced implementing ballistic stretching to your routine might be necessary to reach further potential.
Dynamic stretching is a great warm up to start increasing your muscles core temperature, loosening muscles up increasing range of motion and preventing injury. Make sure you do not over do dynamic stretching as the purpose of this is to get the body set up to be able to go all out with less chances of injury. If you go all out your missing the point of this exercise.
- Ankle Bounces
- High Knees
- Lateral Jumps
- Leg Swings
Static stretching exercises are stretches that you are told to hold for 30-60 seconds. When we think of stretching, it’s usually this type of stretching that immediately comes to mind. I believe that these stretches should not be implemented in your warm up routine because this type of stretch does not pump you up therefore lowering down your core temperature. But implementing a home routine of static stretching exercise drills can greatly increase the range of motion around your joints. When doing static stretching don’t over do it to the point where you are feeling pain only a slight discomfort should be felt.
- Chest Stretch
- Biceps Stretch
- Upper Back Stretch
- Shoulder Stretch
- Shoulder and Triceps Stretch
- Side Bends
- Abdominal and lower back muscles
- Hamstring Stretch
- Calf Stretch
- Hip and Thigh Stretch
- Adductor Stretch
- Groin Stretch
- Front of Trunk Stretch
- Iliotibial Band Stretch
- Quadriceps Stretch
Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF) Stretching
Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation is an advanced form of flexibility training that involves both stretching and contraction of the muscle groups being targeted. I believe that PNF is the best way to increase your flexibility it’s quite safe and very effective it’s perfect for any wushu beginner to start implementing.
Basic Wushu Stances
Stances are the core basics of wushu they are what drives power into your techniques you will be using stances for your whole journey to perfecting wushu thus they are very important to master.
Balance training drills are necessary for wushu students in order to prevent falling during advanced kicks, techniques that require increased kicking power or punching power also preventing potential injuries from poorly executed techniques due to lack of balance and possibly preventing being knocked off-balance by an opponents attack.
- Air kicking – This is a great exercise you can do from home that can greatly increase ones balance. Rather than kicking a heavy punching bag that stops the force of your kick, you are learning to control where the kick should end and if while sparring your opponent dodged instead of blocked an attack you would not be send flying like an idiot due to a missed kick.
- Kicking paddle – This is a better alternative to air kicking when you have a partner. Since your partner might move his hand at any time you don’t know when a hit is going to land or not.
- Crane stance – we’ve all seen the classic scene of karate kid training the crane kick on the wooden plum blossom. Just hold the stance for as long as you can try to focus on a stationary object in order to keep balance feel free to execute that epic kick once you have mastered the stance.
- Skateboarding – Yup that thing all the cool kids seem to do. Besides the many benefits it provides to your core body mastering the skateboard will give you a tremendous balance boost. The best thing about it is you can easily carry it with you anywhere. Seeing a wushu master shredding would be a dream come true.
Practise The 5 Basic Wushu Stances
Gong Bu (Wushu Bow Stance)
- The front foot stands firm on the ground pointing straight forward, with the calf at a right angle from the floor.
- The angle between the thigh and calf should be 90 degrees, the front thigh should be parallel to the floor.
- Hips should be in a right angle to the legs.
- Back knee should not be bent.
- The back foot stands firm on the ground and is twisted 45 degrees outwards.
- Chest pointing upwards.
- The shoulder position relaxed or depending on the arm position.
- Eyes Facing forward.
Ma Bu (Wushu Horse Stance)
- Set your feet parallel to each other, with an angle of nearly 90° between the calves and the ground.
- The distance between your feet has to be about 3 feet.
- Keep your upper body up straight.
- Eyes facing forward.
Xu Bu (Wushu Empty Stance) also know as cat stance
- The standing leg carries the entire weight of the body, twist the standing foot for about 45 degrees outwards and keep the heel firm on the ground. Angle between calf and ground should be 45 degrees.
- The empty leg is the leg which does not carry any weight, merely touching the ground with the inner tip of the shoe.
- The knee of the standing leg is bent at least 90 degrees.
- Hips should be facing 45 degrees.
- The knee of the empty leg is slightly bent.
- Upper body straight.
- The shoulder position depending on the arm position.
- Eyes facing forward.
Pu Bu (Wushu Flat Stance)
- Place your feet parallel to each other.
- The distance between your feet has to be about 3 feet.
- The hip is parallel to the feet.
- Front leg totally straight.
- Back knee bent as physically possible.
- Upper body bend slightly forward to achieve balance.
- The shoulder position relaxed or depending on the arm position.
- Eyes looking forward.
Xie Bu (Wushu Rest Stance)
- The back leg gets overlapped by the front leg and only the toes touch the ground of the back leg.
- Front leg stays firm on the floor.
- The knee should be bent so that the stance is comfortable.
- Hips should be at a right angle of the front legs thigh.
- Shoulder position relaxed or depending on the arm position.
- Upper body straight.
- Eyes looking forward.
Wushu Stance Drills
As the great Bruce Lee once said “The arms and kicking leg are important only because they are the vehicles of body force. They, the tools, only give expression to body force when the body is in proper alignment. The position of the hands and arms and of the legs and feet that facilitate easy body expression is important.”
- Going from a normal position into the specific stance
- Switching from these 5 stances repeatedly
- Moving forward in a specific stance
- Moving back in a specific stance
- Shadow boxing focusing mostly on your stance
Increase the speed of these drills once you start to find them easy, doing so will wield you a great power once facing an opponent as you will be shifting from offensive to defensive stances so fast that your opponent will simply not keep up.
Wushu Basic Strikes
If you don’t strike back they will keep hitting you. That’s why it’s important to learn just a few moves not a lot you can know 100 different strikes but lose to someone who only learned one move and perfected it.
5 Basic Wushu Strikes
Straight punch – (Quan) The most basic attack in wushu yet it is one of the best punches. Perfect for distracting your opponent, building up a combo and downright KO your opponent.
Hook Punch – (Gou Shou) A punch that’s great when you are close to your opponent perfect for hitting weak parts of the face.
Upper cut – (Qiao Quan) A punch coming from below aimed to hit the opponents chin if it hits good you probably won the fight.
Front Kick – (Zheng Tui) The most basic kick do not underestimate it a kick in the face will send your teeth flying.
Side Kick – (Ce Tui) A very powerful kick coming from your side.
Wushu Striking Drills
Perfecting these 5 moves are more than necessary to beat your average joe and low ranked martial artists. That is why you need to learn how to properly execute the technique and also how to combine them together that is when you become deadly.
- Perform each strike individually for a repetitive amount of time without a target each strike strong changing hands and aiming at different areas.
- Do the same exercise with a target could be a partner or a punching bag.
- Repeat the same exercise in different stances.
These drills will improve your speed power and accuracy for each technique, but now it’s where it gets interesting making these techniques in a combo.
- Start experimenting in effective ways these techniques can work.
- Create a combo for specific situations is the person taller than you than he will probably be striking you first before you can get in range so it’s going to be something like block counter with a front kick land closer did he stay in place uppercut did he gain distance sidekick. Basic situations you are going to encounter are taller, shorter, faster, stronger, defensive, aggressive, kicking specialist, punching specialist, grappler and many more but making a tactic for at least these situations will be more than sufficient for a wushu beginner.
- After writing them down practise them in a shadow boxing session.
- Get a partner and explain to him how you want him to react, ( This does not apply to taller/stronger/faster opponents but he can change his style to be more aggressive or fight with his legs more) and practise these combos see whats working and what is failing in order to tweak your combos.
- Do slight variations for each combo going at a person kick – punch – punch – hook than again 1-2-2-3 and again 1-2-2-3 your opponent will know whats coming and strike you down.
Wushu Basic Blocks
Defense is the most fundamental part of any martial arts, mastering how to block punches and kicks will give you so much opportunities at countering and executing great techniques to take advantage of your opponent this is extremely beneficial if your opponent is over confident over aggressive. Show them that a calm mind with a solid defense will demolish brute force any time.
4 Basic Wushu Blocks + 1 Dodge
(Could not find the names of these blocks.-pss if you know them drop a comment <3)
High Block – A technique used to block punches aimed to your face.
Knife Hand Block – A technique used to block mid ranged punches and kicks.
Outside Block – A technique that is also used to block mid ranged attacks and kick.
Shin Block – A block done by your shin to block kicks (my personal favourite block).
Dodging a technique is quite hard for a beginner its more for the mid-leveled students that is why I am going to tell you only of 1 dodge skill to use in wushu so that you can start to grab the concept of dodging.
Face Block While Sweeping Forward – A technique used to dodge a roundhouse kick to the head video down below to see (before I get a bunch of hate comments about it not working in real life I know it’s not the best technique to use but it’s very easy for a beginner to learn and you can easily follow it up by a trow).
Wushu Blocking/Dodging Drills
- Perform each technique individually execute it as if you really are blocking/dodging.
- You will need a partner for the next drill. Explain to your partner that you are not going to be striking back he does not need to worry about blocking tell him to be as aggressive and reckless as possible(The attacker will start slowly and further increasing his speed no need to use force just raw speed) you must not let him touch you by blocking/dodging all his attacks. Drill stops for 3 seconds to get back to your stance when you use ”face block while sweeping forward” dodge as you will be to close and would normal have performed some form of counter after the dodge.
This drill will improve your blocking skills exponentially but blocking alone will not win fights. Unfortunately at this level you are not taught a lot of counters as they are considered to be mid level techniques but you can still do plenty of counters from these basic techniques. For example opponent executes a lower round house kick Bam Shin block with your front leg immediately counter strike with a face aimed side kick with your back leg.
- Start writing down possible counters after each block.
- Practice them in a shadow boxing session.
- Grab a partner explain to him what techniques you want him to do on you and further tweak these counters see what works what is realistic in a fight.
- This time your partner will execute a random move and you must quickly block and counter increasing the speed of the exercise.
Young grasshoppers why are you still reading this I want you to get of your butts Now! and start doing these training exercise drills today and for the coming months grind till you are no longer considered a beginner grind till you are at the top of the class teaching the new wushu generation Show me your war face AND SMASH THAT SHARE BUTTON!!!
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