As the name hints at, this event happens the 1st Saturday of each and every month. It’s rather easy to schedule, but if you need help, check out Our Schedule :P.
What are Kung Fu First Saturdays?
First Saturdays are for current students (of any Style or Program we offer) only (although that may one day change).
It’s a relatively recent creation (we started it in the beginning of 2017). Some students have been hesitant to join us, but once they do, they have been sure to be hooked! Read on to find out why.
First Saturdays is an interesting, fun, informative and social event that all current students are invited to join.
Before going into what happens on First Saturdays, it might be interesting to note that this wonderful Kung Fu event is Completely FREE for current students!
Yep, you read that right. FREE! FREE! FREE!
(spam much, buddy?)
Now let’s get on with what exactly happens at this interesting event.
What happens at First Saturdays?
First Saturdays, although happening regularly every First Saturday of the month, is a revolving occasion.
Sounds intriguing, right? Well… It kinda is!
There are Three Modules to each First Saturday and they don’t really change.
However, the content of each module, does indeed, change.
What are the Three Modules?
The Three Modules of the First Saturday Kung Fu Event
The three modules rotate out each First Saturday:
- Administrative Activites
- Kung Fu Content
- Kung Fu Family Social
In short, this module is about taking care of business.
Sometimes, this includes recording Photos / Videos of some aspect of our Kung Fu material. This might be for marketing purposes, for the Student Center (log in and check out a video or photo of a certain position, stance, etc.) or multi-purposed media.
Initially students thought this might be boring, but when they started seeing themselves on Instagram, this very website, etc., and the fun obstacles of dealing with lighting, timing and spacing, etc., they began to find it quite enjoyable.
What other activities might we engage in during this module?
It could just be a much-needed discussion. We pride ourselves on having the students very much involved in many aspects of the Kung Fu school. And one of these ways we do that is by engaging them from time to time in discussion; getting everyone’s feedback on new, experimental modes of training, marketing efforts, upcoming events, past events, and many other aspects are ripe with opportunity of learning more about how to better serve the students.
As for the rotating or revolving nature of this module, it varies. One month we might focus on getting more video footage of applicaitons. Another month might be more specific form instruction within video and photo for the Student Center. Another might be discussion or simply cleaning up the martial arts training equipment. It could be lots of different things.
Kung Fu Content
This, my friends, is the central figure around First Saturday. Well, aside from the Social after. Oh! And aside from the Admin time too. Whoops! It looks like it’s all fun. And it is. But yeah, this module is definitely “the Juice,” for many.
Within this module, revolves a variety of activities:
- Slow Sparring
Let’s look at what these might entail.
Slow sparring is good for both the External Northern Shaolin Kung Fu stylist as well as the Tai Chi student. You might say that this is where the rubber begins to meet the road.
Most students tend to love this one. It’s sparring. And yet it’s Tai Chi slow, if that makes sense to you. What I mean by this is that everyone is given ample time to act and re-act.
One might think that this would make the activity boring… But I promise you, it is much the opposite. It tends to end up as a master-level Chess game of strategy, tactics, timing, spacing / distancing, sensitivity and more.
It is a cornerstone traditional TCMA or Traditional Chinese Martial Arts, drill that is often over-looked in favor of simply jumping into the ring.
We prefer slow, steady, wise (and safe) progression.
So we learn to put Ego in check, anger and emotional responses as well. We learn Spacing, Timing and Relaxation. We think about counter-attacks. We look at entries. We work on a wide variety of theories, principles, methods and more.
And we do it in a safe manner so that nobody goes home physically hurting. Don’t break your beloved play-things!
Yes, it’s a stepping stone; a phase. But a much-needed and much-loved one. We record what happens in these activities, so that we can see common situations and learn. And soon, this data will be going into the Student Center so you can see Charts and Graphs and other visualized methods of insight.
And yes, this also switches out, month to month, with the other activities.
As it sounds, these are Seminars. However, a more accurate term might be mini-seminars.
Not that you’d be getting a tiny piece of something, but rather the content would be tiny; or at least something that we can cover in the time allowed.
We’ve run regular seminars, workshops and camps in the past. It’s been a learning experience. Trying to find the right amount of time to cover the right amount of material and (most importantly) the time to practice, to work with a partner, to gain some actual skill, etc.
And this is a difficult task!
So, in this Seminar module of the First Saturday, we find just the right amount of content for this time-slot. Well, at least the teacher does, ahead of time.
For example, we recently covered one of the Duan leveled forms of Chang Quan or Longfist. It was a nod to our Demo Team, as they are learning and training a lot of Longfist stuff currently, that is quite unique from what they train in the regular Northern Shaolin Kung Fu class.
Some future topics of Seminars might include:
- Entries for Throws
- How to really use high kicks
- Using a weapon to disarm a weapon
- A short, traditional Kung Fu form
- And many other topics
The key idea to the Seminars module is to learn something new – a small something – and gain some proficiency at it. All the while being fun. Not a huge form or hard-to-grasp seminar topic that will go in one ear and out the other. 😛
As a revolving module, Challenges come and go.
But we also plan to record these and enter the data into the Student Center, as we plan for the Slow Sparring module.
The Challenges, however, are yet another much-loved activity!
The Challenges are little games that you play with your brothers & sisters – to challenge your own abilities and progress and to add a bit of familial competition, which we normally don’t do, since the Programs are usually all about Personal Progress, but herein…
You might find yourself in a Challenge to:
- Hold a Horse Stance longer than anyone else
- Maintain a level head-height (no telegraphing) while engaging in a difficult stepping pattern
- Move through a particular form as fast as possible
- Hold a Bow Stance, such that the thigh of the front leg is parallel to the ground, for an extended period of time
- Capture the Flag
- Do as many Cat Push Ups as you can
- And many other interesting, fun and challenging games…
Kung Fu Family Social
The last modular event of this spectacularly-regular event: the First Saturday. So we’ve done Admin, and then a Kung Fu Content module and now…The Social!!!
This is, of course, the Let Loose part of the day. This is the time where we eat together – usually some Chinese take-out, or a trip to an authentic Chinese restaurant, we might grill out, or sometimes we might be treated even to a homemade meal from Laos!For lunch we tend to bring our own brown-bags or go in together on a special lunch.
But for Dinner… Sometimes we do the same. And sometimes we don’t.
After dinner we will engage in one of several activities:
- Watch an old Kung Fu movie
- Play some cards
- Play some DnD
- Play or Learn (to play) some Mahjong / Majiang
Needless to say, the Kung Fu Family Social is an enjoyable time, to say the least.
How do the Kung Fu First Saturdays rotate?
Now that you have an idea of the things involved in First Saturdays, it might be beneficial to know how they rotate or revolve.
Okay, so we know that First Saturdays happen on the 1st Saturday of every month.
And we know what they might consiste of. But how do we know what happens when, in regards to the rotations of modules?
The regular attendee might figure it out. However, in general, it’s up in the air. The basic formula, however, is as follows
- Kung Fu Content
- Kung Fu Family Social
But above all else, Do Life. Do Kung Fu!