February 20th - A Cold Morning

Morning Thoughts 🍵

Another cold and foggy morning in 马陵弘禅武院. Though I didn't sleep the best, I still feel ready for another day of training. With it being Thursday that means Qi Gong, Conditioning and Power Training. I'm nervous for the power training because of my knee but we will see how it goes.

I've almost been here a full month, that is crazy. In this month I've been learning a lot of different things from forms, exercises, Chinese words, about other students and what I like and dislike about life here at the school. Training wise, I've just been learning the basics like the various stances, the kicks, punches, chops and more. After I learn the basics with my hands and feet I can move on to the weapons basics which (I think) is the staff and sword. From there, I've been told that I can then choose what I want to learn. I think the basics will take me a long time to grasp, let alone master. It will be cool to see what my progress is after a year of being here though.

I'm on my way to being a Kung Fu Master.

Egg and Onion Cake, Potatoes, Broccoli and White Rice

Evening Thoughts 😴

Training was tough, even though everyday it is. Thursdays are so misleading, they start you off with a 2km run and then we do some peaceful Meditation and Qi Gong exercises which use breathing and stretching to prepare you for the up coming workout. Then we do conditioning which is you hitting the bags of sand/metal bbs, grabbing things with your finger tips, hitting trees and each other. My forearms and back hurt the most after that but (as it happens when you do it correctly) I was okay after lunch.

After a delicious and relaxing lunch (where I watched some videos and accidentally fell asleep), we got into the "main dish" of Thursday training which is a 4km run and power training. Today was abs, back and leg day. Lots of sit ups, lots of punches and lots of jumping. It was rough but I "powered" through the training and I guess I got stronger. It was then after the power training that most went into their rooms to recover but I had to work on my basics some more. I drank some water, relaxed a few minutes, then went out again with a new bottle of  热水 and went to training my basic stances and stretching.

I still can't do the splits and my stances are still bad but I felt some progress. Before I came here, I had goals of doing cool flips, learning weapons, fighting well and learning many Kung Fu secrets but now I just hope that after a year my basic skills (基本功) are good.

Still can't do the splits
Man, my plan and my goals are always changing. Now I realize that in order to become a Kung Fu Teacher one day I need to put in a lot more work than one year. Maybe five years will make me okay at this Kung Fu stuff but I'm not even sure about that. There is one glimmer of hope in my eye though and that is because of Master Ning who, at the age of 30, started to study Tai Chi and then at the current age of 50 is still training, stretching and still able to do some amazing things. So, I might be a little late to the Kung Fu training but through persistence and hard work I believe that I can one day become great.

But what will make me unique? As there are so many Kung Fu/Karate/Martial Artists out there who will always have more experience and more skills or better skills than me. I'm not sure what will make me unique. I still have this idea of doing Kung Fu in China for many years (including trying to get to the Shaolin Temple or Wu Dang Mountains for a year or two) and then returning to California to get my Black Belt in Shorinjiriyu Karate which descended from Shaolin. Maybe that is what would make me unique, bringing together the old and new. I still don't know.

And maybe what I do in the future isn't even that important at the moment. The important thing to do is to enjoy the now and not worry about the later.

That sounds like a better plan, doesn't it?

-Johnny "白武龙"

Don't forget to check out my Instagram for other posts. I can't post videos here due to the VPN issues and slow internet. 


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