February 25th - Jumping Class and a Resting Knee

Me, jumping during 通背拳

Afternoon/Evening Thoughts 🌕

The knee is still hurting a bit after the Jumps and Rolls Class and Sanda (Kickboxing) class that we had today. Our normal Sanda Master is back, Master Yan, and with that means some intense classes as he is really good. I liked the Sanda class the most today because we learned how to use two moves that we see in our forms: 前扫腿 and 蹬踢腿 in actual sparring/fighting. Another thing I liked that our teacher said was he isn't training us for tournaments so worrying about the few odd rules that Sanda Tournaments have like; elbow or knee touching the floor means you're out, no knees or elbows, and various other rules shouldn't effect our classes. During sparring though we do use many of these rules but its meant to help us focus on something that he has recently taught us. It was a good class but a little bit too good for the ol' knee.

Looks like I'm a pugilist
My studying isn't keeping up with all of the translating and rough conversations that I'm having with some of the masters so what I am going to do now is start using Chinese wikipedia and "learning" about the martial arts that each of them teach. This will at least expose me to the history and vocabulary involved with talking about martial arts with the masters but general conversation is still hard. Some things are really hard to translate like when the Tai Chi master starts talking about the energy within or the history, or when the Sanda master starts talking about how to attack at different angles and generate the most force. The flexibility/forms Master is the easiest to talk to because his English is great and he asks me the most simple of questions like what a single word will mean and not a whole sentence or paragraph.

This move looks like Long Fist or 查拳
My tiny little stair conversation with Matt today really made me reflect on my own doubts and frustrations that I have about being here. I simply said, "I guess we should just focus on one thing" and we both laughed and went our ways but, man, that is exactly what I need to do while I'm here. Maybe this can apply to you if you're in school or at work but for me we are learning so many different moves and things here that I'm trying to do all of them perfect while having this annoying knee pain. Instead of that I should just focus on what I can and want to do; which at this point is Forms and Basics. Maybe it'll be for just this week or the rest of the month but I'm going to really focus on doing Basics and Forms really well. Those will be the tasks that I go 100% at while the rest I will still do but I will be more careful of my knee. My long term health and focus is more important than these short term challenges that we face everyday here at Maling Kung Fu School.

And trust me, this school is challenging (and teaching) me new things every day.

On a side note, I talked with Master Peng and he told me that I might be able to learn some Nan Quan (南拳) from him. Turns out he not only studied at the Shaolin Temple but he also studied and taught at a Wushu School in China. At this point I just want to learn many things right now and once I have "tasted" each style then I'll know what I want to focus on.

Trust me, I am taking a different picture each day~
Talking about styles, I am starting to realize what classes I like and dislike here. I don't like Tai Chi even though that is what most (except me and Raja) are doing. I like Shaolin, Baji Quan, and Xing Yi Quan quite a bit. I'm even liking Baji Quan more than Xing Yi Quan at the moment, I'm not sure why. I'm slowly disliking Wing Chun even though it is probably the most famous form of Kung Fu at the moment. It has some useful moves but the stance is so odd and weird it makes me not enjoy it. Inside my Shaolin studies I really do enjoy Tong Bei Quan so far over the more "flashy" Long Fist style. Tong Bei Quan seems more practical and usable than Long Fist, maybe even more "natural" for me.

This might not make sense or really mean much if you don't know what these all mean and that is okay. My point is I came here to try all of these different styles and I'm learning what I like and dislike. Before, they all seemed cool and "mystical" but now I'm learning what they are and if they suit me or not. So trying out new things isn't always the worst idea.

Now it is time for me to go eat some good dinner with some relaxing "healing" green tea.

I hope you all are having a good week, do you have any plans?

Don't forget to check out my Instagram for other posts.


  1. Stop trying to be a perfectionist and enjoy what you are doing and learning. You will grow as you train and learn and things will start coming easier to you. Also remember you were not hired to be a translator you are there to learn like all of the other students so stop putting so much pressure on yourself to learn the language you have done amazingly well for the amount of time that you have been studying the language. Love you Mom.


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