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Showing posts from July, 2020

July 29th - Thoughts Racing

"Kung Fu is like the skin, Knowledge is like the bones." -李克楠, Coach Li Ke Nan Cripple Crew ~ 老弱病残的武官 It's late, I'm having trouble sleeping. So, why don't I write something while listening to Aesop Rock? Injuries seem to plague me as I'm now apart of the "Cripple Crew" that we have here. My strained groin stopped me from practicing Basics Class but I was able to keep training in Forms Class and Sanda Class. I hurt myself while training on my own with the rope dart, it smacked into my ankle causing some bruising and a small limp. Besides that, training was good; Master Peng has turned out to be a great Sanda Coach and has given me some ideas for how to train on my own. Hula hoops, wooden blocks, rocks, sandbags and more can all be used to improve your Sanda/Fighting skills.
"Strength is a mindset" -JD
A good thing that happened today was my (one of many) Monk Uniform arrived. It's a bit big on me. This made me realize how much my body has ch…

July 27th - Ripped Pants

Persevering and Unwavering ~  有恒心有毅力 I swear that at this Kung Fu School I just run off of sugar, water, and veggies. These things are what have been fueling me throughout my training. One "special" treat that I've been buying for the past two weeks has been these powdered milk teas (奶茶粉). Other things that we buy to keep us nourished and ready to train are instant noodles, candy, fruit, nuts/seeds, and sugary drinks or teas. The weekends are a different story.
Food is just one way to keep myself going. Another is music or videos to give me motivation or to help get the "energy" going. To keep training every day on the same things takes a lot of mental work. Reasons, motivation, that "kung fu spirit", and drive to keep going. Some days these are easy to come by while other days it seems impossible. This morning was like that but I realized in the evening as I was still training; I had beaten that feeling today. Tomorrow will be another battle.
The Journe…

July 26th - Tiger's Balm and Rain

Aches and Pains ~ 不劳无获 It was a small source of pride for me that I haven't had to use any of my pain killers or ointments while being here. It meant that my body was strong and able to deal with the day to day training without the need of medicine. After this week, that all changed as my small little injuries and pains added up which forced me to crack open the Tiger's Balm. That familiar smell of Tiger's Balm has been with me throughout the week to deal with a lot of arm and hand pains. Rope burns, strained groin, pulled fingers, sore back, and destroyed triceps. Those are the pains that I've been dealing with throughout the week. Even through all of that, I made the magical thing called... progress. My splits (front and side) were lower and slowly but surely I'm understanding how to control the dreaded Rope Dart.
Learning Path ~ 学习计划 As the world around me changes with political tensions, global pandemic, and more... I still am focusing on Kung Fu. There are a few …

July 22nd - No Masters

Solo Training~ "Make the most of every day" I think the fact that my music program recommended me the tag "mood swings" is just a hint as to how things have been here the past few days .Monday we didn't have any masters here because they all went to some other master's wedding in another part of China. It was all, as JD put it, self motivated training where we did what we wanted. Matt and I ran Basics Class by doing Kicks, Splits, and Stances. Josh joined us for Forms Class where we spent the whole hour practicing with the Rope Dart (绳镖). Then, some students went to Xinyi City for some reason which meant that Sanda Class was just me. JD and Philip did their own training throughout the whole day. I was okay with this day because we knew that they might get stuck an extra day so running classes for one day was no problem.
Tuesday rolls around, Master Peng is back. He teaches usall of the classes for that day (even though we really didn't do anything for App…

July 17th - Blissful Day

Thanks Coach Qian for the video (Wednesday's Sanda Training)

It's days like this that I really enjoy this place. Good weather, painful stretching, good attitudes, and a relaxed feeling. Obviously, everyday couldn't be like this or else we'd never be able to truly appreciate these kinds of days. Even though meditation hasn't been helping me, my progress has been super slow, the rope dart is really hard, and many other smaller challenges.
Thanks Josh for the Photo (Today's Power Stretching)

This week my motivation has been lower which has made me a bit lazier. Now that I look back at the week I think that maybe I've been a bit hard on myself. I've reviewed the Spear Form throughout the week, learned some Rope Dart Basics, and gave it my all throughout classes. I've also realized what I need to focus on for next week. (Basic stances have gotten worse...)

Thanks Shilat for the Photo (Today's Power Stretching)
"Do you know who the most excellent monk…

July 15th - Grading

Morning Thoughts ~ 早上思想 As I wake up on this super foggy morning my thoughts are still on yesterday's testing. I performed poorly in front of everyone, I forgot a part of my form, messed up many of the moves, and rushed through it. Master Peng was a bit disappointed telling me, "I hope you're the best here so during testing I want you to do the best".  He then said maybe its this "being the best" pressure that causes me to mess up during testing to that I replied, "I don't think so". I know I'm not the best here (as the best student went home) and to me being the best here isn't that big of a deal. As the saying goes, "There is always someone better than you", so I feel that if I think I'm the best at this kung fu school then I'd just be a big monkey. These thoughts aside, Master Peng's concerns made me realize I need to practice a lot more with the spear before I move on to working with the rope dart.
Photo taken b…

July 13th - Good Night's Sleep and Buying Phones

The Next Step in Training... This Kung Fu Journey has been full of new experiences each week. For me, it is weird that we are already in Summer and its going by fast! It's probably because this way of living now feels normal. Not much changes in our day to day lives and as the school population shrinks our routine becomes more and more relaxed. But my goals are still getting accomplished; last week I did complete a "goal" which was learning the Spear Form (少林竞赛枪). A beautiful form but also an fun form to perform as the movements are very different to what we've all learned before. Talking about different leads into the weapon that I've started studying today... the Rope Dart (绳镖). It is labeled as a "soft weapon" which means it is harder to control than a normal weapon like a sword, spear, or staff. Other soft weapons are the meteor hammer, chain whip, nunchuks, and whip. 

“天生我才必有用” "Born in life to be useful/Born in life to have meaning"

July 6th - Time Flies... 22 Weeks Later

Thanks Josh and Shilat for buying fireworks!

Time certainly moved fast this past week. My trip to Xuzhou followed by Terina returning home then a good week of training which ended with the fourth of July weekend. Another Student Heads Home... Tuesday went by as most Kung Fu School Tuesdays do. Jumps and Rolls Class, learning more 小洪拳 in Applications Class, and then learning basics kicks in Sanda Class. You know, the usual. Wednesday was a better day of training for me as I almost got down into the front splits in our Basics Class where we are focusing on practicing kicks and then stretching into the splits for the whole hour. I'm really happy with my progress in the splits as... it is something I thought I wouldn't be able to do but now I'm less than six inches away from touching the floor. I just have a lot more pain to go through to get there. After basiscs, we all said goodbye to Terina as she finally (after 5 cancelled flights) was able to head to Shanghai to get a flight…