Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Return of the Wandering Shaolins

After spending the weekend delving into the secrets of the fabled sand training technique, the group of us came home once more. It was nice to be back on the carpet again. I am trying to get in as much chi-tastic training as I can because I have work and parental visits coming up that keep me from training the four times a week I've been enjoying. But yesterday my extra chi resulted in extra water guzzling. Which, on top of a very empty and hungry stomach, led to a not so chi-full second half of class.

Where is that self discipline I go on about? Practically every class, by the end, I am groaning about having drunk too much water. But when your mouth is so parched you feel like the Sahara Desert has moved in, how do you resist? But how can I expect to master myself in Shaolin if I can't even learn from repeated mistakes in not mastering my water bottle? I didn't used to even drink a whole bottle. Now sometimes I refill it twice AND drink from the sink. Madness!

Yesterday I was finding all kinds of new shortcuts and sloppiness that have crept into my training that I never realized. My caijiaos are so uncontrolled I am losing balance on every kick. I think also I'm taking too large a step. On waibaitui/zhengtitui/lihetui I've started taking a step between kicks, something I never used to do. There's lots of foot dragging happening in gongbu, my mabu stances are getting super lazy, and I'm not going as far down the carpet as I once did on lots of the basics. What happened?!!!

Here are the remedies I have come up with thus far. 1. Hydrate even more during the day (I already do, but more can't hurt). 2. Make sure I eat enough during the day so that I'm not lightheaded and starving or, conversely, in pain from eating right before class. 3. SLOW DOWN. Chi is good. Sloppiness is bad. 4. One bottle of water max during class.

If I ever want to make Level 2, I need to break bad habits now. Plus my mom is coming next week and I want her to see me doing my best! Hopefully, I can always catch mistakes before they get out of hand.

And Happy Birthday Mo!


  1. last night i discovered that if you put your water/drink in the freezer, ice chunks form fairly quickly! instead of guzzling water, chew the ice chips! or do like boxers do & take small sips or spit out the water once you have rinsed your mouth (won't help the throat though). i am always afraid of having too much water in case i hurl or i have to run to the bathroom throughout. the rest of your list is great!

  2. I definitely have been concious of when I eat and what I eat before training. Couple of things I realized:
    1) Definitely no chicken caesar sald before training! You get super hungry and your stomach is empty when you train.
    2) Don't eat after 3pm.
    3) And no Wendy's chili before I train.

  3. in regards to you feeling sloppier in your movements, it could be just your awareness increasing. I feel the same way though, you feel like you get a move then in a bit you're like wait a minute i'm not doing this right...because your understanding of what the move is supposed to be increases. Then you get it to the best of your understanding again, and the process repeats.

    as for water i find that i drink a lot throughout the day and have a few glasses at about 5:30-6 to get overhydrated. I end up having to pee a lot, but then I don't want to drink much water in class unless its one of those super hot days.

    for lunch though yea i like to eat between 12 and 2 and then a little snack at 4 or 5. Pho or Chinese beef noodle soup is my favorite to get.

  4. There is one thing I've been trying in line when my mouth or throat is dry: When you exhale let your breath 'precipitate' through your mouth. You know when you try to smell your own breath it makes a sound 'haaaawww'? It's moister, almost steamy. It may not be as good as just letting your lungs do their own thing, but it's worth a try. Yes, (disclaimer) I saw this in a kung-fu movie...

  5. I wonder if I can hide this under my uniform

  6. wear this. only it's solar powered... hmmmm...