Solo Martial Art Training Tip – Testing Yourself

Martial Art students lined up at attention for test

Ever wanted to test yourself at home, but finding it difficult to create more of a random pull for memorizing your martial art techniques?

Me too. But I came up with a cool solution…

Perhaps not the case with Chen Taijiquan (lemme know, Carl), but I know with Ba Gua, Northern Shaolin and Xing Yi martial arts, there are aspects of the style that have bite-sized chunks; and they are labeled. For example, the 5 fists, or the 24 or linears, or perhaps the five animals.

I can replicate with the best of them, while learning a new movement there in class, and then with practice, I can even do them in the proper order from memory.

However sometimes I can get a lil confused.

Think of this though…

Either use a voice recorder, or press record on your computer’s voice recording program. Record yourself calling out one of the names or numbers of a move you have learned. Do it again and again with each of them – regardless of the order, but be sure to save each name or number as it’s own recording; not together. Now, store them in a folder on your computer. Open iTunes. Create a playlist, named something appropriate. Add your new recordings folder to this playlist. If you have an iPod, plug in and Sync. If not, that’s okay, you’re ready for the next step.

Click on your Playlist, and Add Shuffle. Press play and Voila! You’ve got a random testing machine, either from your computer/laptop or from your iPod.

As you may have realized by now, you’re going to have to add a verbal pause either at the beginning or ending of your recordings. This gives you time to actually DO the movement or technique, before being switched over to the next random calling.

This is mine. What’s yours?

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3 replies
  1. Dave says:

    As you well know, we are still in the stone age with our analog laminated cheat cards! And those work best when you have someone to be the “caller” to your “responder.”

    Now that you have mastered the one step REW/FFW technique, I see you have become quite ingenious with your iPod ;).

    Seriously, though, nice idea!

  2. Carl says:

    Cool idea Craig!

    To answer your query, we do have some bite-sized chunks for chewing in Chen Taijiquan [thankfully it’s not all a super-long form]. The basic two bites are positive and negative circles. Our entire jibengong [basic or foundation training] and indeed our forms are made out of positive and negative circles. The jibengong [various combinations of pos & neg circles for various angles and situations]would be perfect for your idea.

    Happy training Kung Fu Junkies!


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