In my quest for better movement and a deeper understanding of martial arts, I found myself drawn to the principles of DK Yoo. His nonconformist approach, free from the constraints of lineage or secretive rules, resonated with me. His methodology, which emphasizes consistent practice and the freedom to train anywhere, promised results that I was eager to experience in a personal training session.

Personal Training in Seoul

When my brother and I planned a trip to our birthplace, Seoul, training with DK Yoo was high on our list. Despite his busy schedule, we managed to secure a reservation for two private sessions. Our goal was to understand how to incorporate natural movement into punching, without relying solely on muscle power. Here, I share some insights from our first private session.

Grounding and Spine Mobility

Our training began with a grounding exercise. Standing still, we placed our feet firmly on the ground, shoulder-width apart, and focused on evenly distributing our body weight. As we straightened our spines and tilted our pelvises, we felt our centers of gravity sink towards the floor.

This exercise laid the foundation for our training. By stabilizing our lower bodies and stacking our upper bodies on top, we could channel Chi-energy from our cores to our fingertips or fists.

Visualizing Inner Power

From this grounding stance, we worked on amplifying our Chi-energy through visualization. By imagining energy accumulating around our fingertips, we could direct Chi from its central point in the pelvis towards our hands.

The Role of the Pelvis in Motion

Progressing from the basic grounding stance, we began to explore the role of the pelvis in motion. By moving our pelvises from left to right, our arms swung in a pendulum motion. Adding momentum by turning our pelvises to the side, our arms swung more, and the impact of our fists falling became heavier.

Training Alertness: H’sing-I

DK Yoo introduced us to the concept of ‘H’sing-I’, a term from Shaolin Kung Fu that translates to ‘internal boxing’. H’sing-I focuses on the interaction between body and mind, or the heart and mind. The heart, being the seat of emotions, controls the body and its reactions. Connecting to the mind, the heart can manifest itself through the hands.

DK Yoo Punching: “Just Connect”

When it came to punching, DK Yoo emphasized the importance of truly connecting with your opponent’s structure. Instead of punching ‘hard’, we were taught to ‘just connect’. This approach allowed us to send energy from our punches inside the body of our opponent, rather than through it.

The most important lesson was to relax, allowing only a short burst of tension at impact. With a relaxed mind and body, our movements became smooth and natural. With consistent practice, we can balance our minds and hearts, react without thinking, and eliminate space for caution or hesitation.

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