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Thread: No shoes, KF training?

  1. #16
    I tend to train both with and without shoes depending on the training. We also have days when we train in work clothes, shoes, boots, etc.
    Tom
    Integrated Kung Fu Academy
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    Media, PA -Delaware County

  2. #17
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    My background before CMA was judo, karate, TKD/TSD, etc., all barefoot. Some on mats, some on carpets, some on hardwood floors. Also as a kid, we also often walked to the beach and back every day in summer, about 1.75 to 2 miles each way, barefoot (I used to hate flip-flops). Maybe I was lucky, but I never got any infections, etc. on my feet; only issue was the first hot day of summer, I'd sometimes get blisters on my soles from the hot blacktop, which cleared fairly quickly back then, as your feet toughen up. I wouldn't do that now, but you'd be surprised how your feet can adapt to going barefoot. How do the native tribes do it in places like Papua New Guinea, many African countries, etc.

    In the past, I've tried various types of shoes in training, some just for the experience, some used regularly...tai chi slippers (no good), sneakers, deck shoes (my favorite), steel-toed workbooks, and even cowboy boots once or twice (it was the 90s). You get to feel how they all affect your balance, speed, mobility, etc., in different ways, and the advantages/disadvantages of each.

    As already mentioned, even when you train with shoes, you need to be aware of hygiene. If the training is indoors, only use a dedicated pair of shoes for that and don't wear them outside.

    There are some MA's that I would NOT recommend practicing shoeless, such as some of the northern-style CMA that incorporate a lot of stomping into their practices, at least not on a plain hard surface.

    When I train on my own at home, I go barefoot, but if doing CMA away from home now, I'll always wear shoes.
    Last edited by Jimbo; 05-30-2012 at 09:30 AM.

  3. #18
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    for me it depends on the rules of the establishment.

    I do prefer barefoot, though. Gripping the ground with your feet gives you a better understanding of balance and how to play with it. imo.
    If im training in a park or on concrete I wear shoes, at home never.

  4. #19
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    A friend of mine likes to train with heavy boots on. He told me that if he could fight with heavy boots, he could fight with any shoes. When he kicks me with his heavy industry metal head boots, I have to be very careful to handle his front toe kick. The metal piece that he adds inside of his instep part of his boots makes his roundhouse kick very powerful.
    Last edited by YouKnowWho; 05-30-2012 at 05:15 PM.

  5. #20
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    In theory it may sound like a good idea to add weight to your kicks and or punches but they probably limit you more than help. It's harder to kick with proper form and detail which could create bad habits. The biggest thing I'd worry about is pulling or even tearing a tendon, ligament or stabilizer. The added weight can yank the joints if thrown anything faster/harder then 50-60%.

  6. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shaolin View Post
    In theory it may sound like a good idea to add weight to your kicks and or punches but they probably limit you more than help. It's harder to kick with proper form and detail which could create bad habits. The biggest thing I'd worry about is pulling or even tearing a tendon, ligament or stabilizer. The added weight can yank the joints if thrown anything faster/harder then 50-60%.
    Agree! Speed and "heavy" weight don't go together.

  7. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by YouKnowWho View Post
    A friend of mine likes to train with heavy boots on. He told me that if he could fight with heavy boots, he could fight with any shoes. When he kicks me with his heavy industry metal head boots, I have to be very careful to handle his front toe kick. The metal piece that he adds inside of his instep part of his boots makes his roundhouse kick very powerful.
    I like to keep a retractible blade in my steel-toes. It makes my eagle claw stance deadly.
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  8. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seppukku View Post
    I like to keep a retractible blade in my steel-toes. It makes my eagle claw stance deadly.

  9. #24
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    Many years ago, I heard from a fellow student in a school class that I attended that he used to train barefoot on wooden floor. What he said is that it will help one to build strong feet (having callusous). I would say it is not a good idea. As for now, I do not have callusous on my hands, and not much on my feet either.



    Regards,

    KC
    Hong Kong

  10. #25
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    A slight derail but I hope people are still popping into this thread.

    Has anyone tried wearing minimalist running shoes for training? I love my Feiyues - truly, madly and deeply. I love the floor feel/ground feel with them, I love their flexibility - they just don't breathe all that well and when training hard (usually) my feet sweat a lot. Consequently, I'm often training in a pair of wet Feiyues - especially in winter when they don't get much chance to dry.

    I'm not talking about those 5 finger shoes, but something like NB's Minimus - very low to the ground, flexible but breathable as well, or something similar.

    Anyone have any experience?

  11. #26
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    Wearing thin sole shoes is good for MA training. As they give one better feel of the floor. Also, the student will move faster than wearing thick sole shoes.



    Regards,

    KC
    Hong Kong

  12. #27
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    Thanks Steve. Bumping for more insights.

  13. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimbob View Post
    A slight derail but I hope people are still popping into this thread.

    Has anyone tried wearing minimalist running shoes for training? I love my Feiyues - truly, madly and deeply. I love the floor feel/ground feel with them, I love their flexibility - they just don't breathe all that well and when training hard (usually) my feet sweat a lot. Consequently, I'm often training in a pair of wet Feiyues - especially in winter when they don't get much chance to dry.

    I'm not talking about those 5 finger shoes, but something like NB's Minimus - very low to the ground, flexible but breathable as well, or something similar.

    Anyone have any experience?
    yes i have. i like the mimimal style or indoor soccer style shoes the best. (i work next door to a running store and get a fat discount so im always checking out the shoes available) they are pretty similar in feel, though the minimal style is more like training in a very durable pair of grippy socks almost. just have to be aware there is no heel padding if you are doing anything with stomps on a hard surface, you may bruise your foot if you arent careful.

    i tend to pretty much always train gongfu in the same type of footwear i wear normally. its my thought that if you do this, there is no way your footwear can hinder you if you find yourself in a self defense situation...because well youve trained in those types of shoes all along. training judo is barefoot, but we are also on mats so its not he same as training gongfu barefoot on concrete or wood. karate would be a pretty good comparison.

    i live in the city and never go around town without shoes. so % wise it makes the most sense for me to train with shoes, since i always have shoes on outside my home.
    For whoso comes amongst many shall one day find that no one man is by so far the mightiest of all.

  14. #29
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    Thanks for the reply Lucas. I agree with everything you say. The last few years I've been making my living through Japanese taiko drumming. I have my own school and we share space in a traditional purpose built Japanese dojo with kyudoka and kendoka - hence, we are not allowed to wear street shoes in the training area. We can wear indoor shoes though.

    When I'm not drumming I use the space to train alone, and I will often go barefoot as well, but I've been practising since 1978 - shoes and kung fu just go together for me. Like I said, I love my Feiyues - but they don't breathe so well, and have been thinking of something with the same flexibility and feel with better circulation. I may give one of the minimalist models a try. Thanks again.

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