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Showing posts from May, 2020

May 31st - 4 Months Later...

Another Month Down... It's late but I really want to write my feelings after this long of a time. I'm 2/5ths done with my time at Maling Shaolin Kung Fu School and its been a great adventure so far. Even with the corona-virus, visa extensions, quarantine, school changes, and government stuff. Pretty soon we will begin learning new forms, new weapons, new skills and the days will meld together as one big memory.
Today feels different though, not only because I  finally have a monk spade of my own, but because I think at this moment I realize what I'm really trying to reach with this Kung Fu Journey. Its hard to put into words what it is, but today as I looked out on the foggy fields with my new Monk Spade. I realized that there is something "bigger" pulling me towards this path. Maybe it is simply wanderlust or a maybe I'm trying to find that feeling of adventure that Bilbo Baggins spoke of. Something is driving me, not only to train and improve what few skills …

May 27th - Strange Week

Weird Wednesday
This week has been very different and it continues to find new ways to be different. Apparently, us going out to He Gou Village wasn't well received as some people came to disinfect our school Wednesday. All because we went to the new school... this meant that our Basics Class was cut short (though it was a really good class) and our Forms Class was just the students reviewing because Master Peng was busy with the disinfecting people.Training still was good; I reviewed my staff form, Tong Bei Quan, and Baji Quan with varying degrees of success. We're all waiting for next week (the start of a new month) to begin training Da Hong Quan or the spear! Since Master Peng is teaching the majority of classes now he told us he has a summer training plan for all of us. The plan is during the next 2-3 months we will learn the basics of the spear, a spear form, and a traditional Shaolin Form.
There is a lot of mixed feelings about this new training plan but I'm excited f…

May 26th - New School

I'm not sure how I wanted to talk about this interesting Tuesday. It was certainly a different experience than anything else that we've done. Now that it is all over and done with I'm still not sure if it was a good experience or bad experience. The "experience" was going to another town and helping out with the grand opening of a new martial art school, the school Master Yan will be teaching at.
The way it was worded to us was that we would:Go to the new schoolTrain at the new schoolPass out fliersEat LunchHead BackThis was the original plan but our day included a lot more than that. Firstly, the drive... man it was a long one. An hour to an hour and a half with many people crammed into a small van. Both ways, to and fro, were uncomfortable. Not only that but we had no clue where we were going, upon arriving we saw that the new martial art school was on the 3rd floor of a super market. To get to the school you had to go through the super market, find the elevator…

May 24th - Lovely Weekend

Whew, I was really lazy this Sunday. I don't have any regrets though as my dad would tell me that sometimes my body knows what to do better than me. It was just a build up, or maybe a wind down, from all that happened this exciting weekend.
Let's go back to where my last post left off...
Thursday... ...went by quite slowly as "the news" of changes coming to the school became official.We had our last relaxing Mediation Class with Master Ning, as he talked more about love and calming the mind, which led to us practicing Ba Duan Jin under the guidance of Master Peng. Conditioning flew by too as Master Yan had us condition our fingers on the sandbags that day. Lunch was spent stretching, like usual for this week, but then... Power Training surprisingly came. Master Yan changed up the training completely! We had to carry our partner around the big training hall twice, do wheel barrels once, 50 pull ups, and then a five minute straight arm plank. It was a big surprise and v…

May 20th - Kung Fu in Modern Times

Sun Burnt Reflections
Today's training was really good. I woke up with extremely tired thighs from all the jumping and rolling we did. I also woke up early as well which gave me the opportunity to do some morning Yi Jin Jing and review my Baji Quan form. Doing these things so early in the morning helped limber me up for the day's challenges. Basics Class took us through some interesting warmups and then we learned/reviewed traditional combos. Forms Class was where I reviewed the staff form and worked on ironing out a few issues I have with it. Some of the moves are just difficult for me. Then Sanda Class blew by because we practiced two moves for the whole class, a wide hook and the side kick. It was the first time that I actually did okay on a kick!One thing that was nice about today's training is that Master Peng was full of wisdom. He talked to everyone during Basics about what martial arts was and why we practice it and then with me in forms class he talked about Kung F…

May 19th - News

Lots of News
Quite a lot is changing at Maling Kung Fu School in the next few weeks. Master Ning, our Tai Chi/Baji Quan teacher, is leaving the school to go home and "study more" but, from his own mouth, he said there isn't enough students at the school and he doesn't know if he'll come back. Then, next week Master Yan is going to be helping the kid summer school owned by headmaster Bao. He said once the classes start up he will be gone for 2-3 months. This means we lose a valuable Sanda coach and Xing Yi Quan master... which leaves us with Master Peng and Headmaster Bao. That's not all! Next week will be the last week for two classmates, Shilat and Terina, so our number is shrinking to seven students in total.From what I've heard, Master Bao will be taking over Sanda and Tai Chi classes while Master Peng will teach us Basics and Forms. Power Stretching and Power Training will probably be done mostly by Master Peng. Just my thoughts on how things might be …

May 17th - Slow Sunday

Weekend Reflections Today has just been a slow, quiet, peaceful day. I managed to motivate myself to train quite a bit today on various things like Staff Form, flexibility, and Tong Bei Quan (通背拳). Even purchased some training clothes and my Monk Spade on TaoBao today (Thanks Terina and JD) so I'll be able to train with it when the time comes but I should catch you up on the rest of the week first...
Thursday... ...was your typical Thursday at Maling Shaolin Kung Fu School. We did our Meditation/Qi Gong Class in the morning (after a 2 km run) and it was during this class that I had my first good standing meditation session. No cool revelations about myself or the world but man oh man did time go by quickly. For the Qi Gong part of class, we had Master Peng correct us on our Ba Duan Jin (八段锦) so that we could be able to do it better and get more out of the simple exercise. He told Terina and I to start holding the various positions for longer amounts of time so that we could train our…

May 13th - Over the Hump

Evening Reflections - Hungry, Thirsty, Tired
Its Wednesday. Motivation this week has still been a bit off but its probably more so my fault than anything else's. This week I've been forcing myself to do a little extra training here and there so that I'm not cooped up in my room feeling sore and tired. It has helped pass the time but that is about it, I don't feel much progress with my forms or my flexibility. It was said that summer was going to be the time where I'd gain the most flexibility because of the heat and all the tough training we'd be doing. Instead, I feel low energy, thirsty, and hungry all the time. The simple 2 km runs we do have turned into struggles for me while basic stances and moves have become quite difficult. The masters' responses to questions about soreness and pain is that it is normal with the amount of training we do but I continue to ask because isn't there something we should do about all of these pains, injuries, and aches?

May 12th - Maling Mountain

(Above Photos Taken By JD, Check out his work)
Morning MumblingsWould you have ever imagined waking up at five in the morning and it being completely sunny outside? Well, that is how it is here in the Spring/Summer. It is a little disorienting but I think one day I'll miss these bird song filled sunny mornings. I'll miss the good feeling of writing or studying in the morning and seeing the world outside change completely. I might even miss the random sounds of fireworks. Maling Shaolin Kung Fu School... I certainly have a love-hate relationship with it as some weeks I love it here while other weeks are rough. But, rough or lovely week aside, living here and training Kung Fu is way better than a normal job. I really feel like an adventurer on my own journey at times.
Sunday - Maling Mountain Adventure!
Speaking of adventure, on Sunday most of the students went on a little "field trip" to Maling Mountain in order to train and get some cool photos taken. Honestly, I wasn&#…

May 9th - Fast Week and Other Schools

Evening Reflections
This week went by so quickly. It is crazy. Though there were its ups and downs (mostly downs) all of us managed to make it through. Taking a short trip to Wang Zhuang Village was a great idea for those that went as we were able to go out, eat food, drink milk tea, and buy some things. The rest of my day was spent washing clothes, practicing the staff, practicing my stances, listening to music, and looking at other Kung Fu Schools. (Always thinking of that "next step") I just don't know what my next step will be and, honestly, I've faced this problem before... not to long ago actually.
It is just funny to think about how the problems (or lows) that I come across at any time in life are the same ones I've faced before, just under new circumstances. In the back of my mind I'm really not sure whyI'm learning Kung Fu besides the fact that it is fun and I enjoy it. Looking back to me adjusting to Illinois life or getting a new job (where I en…

May 7th - Vomit and a New Mindset

Evening Reflections
It has been a few days without posts and that is because I was in a lil' slump. My motivation was low for training and a small bit of homesickness didn't make it any better. Training has been tough and with it being a short week it has flown by all of us even though we've been dealing with various injuries, sleepiness, soreness, and overall a low morale. I've learned some more of the staff form which has been fun, I really enjoy it but looking at the videos of me doing it I realize I have a long way to go to mastering it.
Monday and Tuesday Monday was a pretty lazy day where I didn't do much besides take care of Master Peng's dog, Hachi, and I went to Cao Liu Village in order to get groceries. It was quite gloomy and windy on this day which led to a massive lighting and thunderstorm in the night. It was cool to finally see a real storm while in a rural area of China. It was this weather that led us to continue our training on Tuesday. Mast…

May 3rd - Relaxing Fog and Master Dog

Morning Mumblings 🐕 I finally encountered that "mystical landscape" that you'd see in the Kung Fu films, and it was all thanks to a dog. You see, part of coming to China and learning Kung Fu is training is the beautiful, natural landscapes that China has dotted all around. For my time here, I still hadn't found that "magical place" and I thought the nearby Maling Mountain would be it (but I have yet to go there).

But, this morning came and I had to walk Master Peng's dog, Hachi. It was on this walk that I found the "magical landscape"... it was just around the school. The combination of fog, spring/summer weather, cool morning breeze, and quiet stillness is what brought it all together. It looked exactly like how I pictured "Kung Fu China". It is strange, though, how different a place can look by just going out at a different time under different conditions. Instead of farms as far as the eye could see, the fog covered tea fields l…