Updated: Nov 4, 2022
Freestyle Practice is born from formal practice. The time dedicated to burning the new movement pattern in is rewarded with the ability to recall it by feeling which opens the door to more spontaneous and varied expressions of that pattern.
At its essence, freestyle practice is play. Its experimental, creative, spontaneous, fun surprising and engrossing....ideally.
An often cited tenant of Yi Chuan is 'No fixed forms and no fixed rules'. Freestyle practice is where we go to see what happens, to go with the flow and let go a bit. We know the rules but let's see what we can get away with...?
A few guidelines for developing Freestyle Practice:
Find a suitable spot. Finding a spot for Freestyle Practice is a little trickier than formal practice. Generally you want more space, fewer obstacles and less observation. Less confinement and danger of running into something is useful if you have the room and personally I am more willing to try goofy looking stuff when fewer people are watching.
Get into a groove/find the zone. Use a different ritual to enter Freestyle practice. I like putting on my headphones and listening to some music. I'll often switch to freestyle after a formal session, use some freestyle to unwind after a stressful day or go hard to challenge my fitness and get an aerobic workout.