Friday, August 10, 2007


Last night I finally solved a mystery. Lately, every time I've finished what I know of erluquan the toes on my right foot have ached like I jammed all of them at once. I never notice myself doing anything to them during the form, but I've ended up with a little limp as I go back to the line. Running through it in my head I couldn't figure out what move I was doing that would jam up all the toes only on my right side. Whenever I was doing the form I would forget to try and figure it out, my mind consumed with trying to remember all the things Sifu has told me to do. Last night though, my toes were so sore they reminded me to solve this mystery once and for all. I thought, maybe something to do with the sweep? I don't quite know how.... maybe from jumping into the pubu? But I never had that problem before... I went through the form step by step and then -- I couldn't believe it. It was the xiebu stance right before the sidekick. Possibly the least demanding part of the form that I know thus far. And I've done xiebus forever; how could this be? But there was no doubt about it. Apparently, when I go down into the stance I am slamming my right foot really hard into the ground, causing the ache in my poor, abused phalanges...

The more I thought about it the more it made sense, because that's the point in the form when my legs start to feel a little tired and I'm not as controlled as I should be. Mystery solved! At least partway. Now, how to prevent continuing to hurt myself? I've had this problem before, overzealous moves causing me injury. Slapping my foot too hard during kicks, stomping too hard during pubu chuanzhang.... But I've gotten control over these things in the end. This is slightly different since it's a result of being tired more than being too exuberant, but the same rules apply: I need to be more controlled, pay more attention to what I'm doing, and of course train harder!


  1. i find xiebu tough! my humongous thighs get in the way and i end up putting my one leg way too far behind to the point where shifu will occasionally call it weird. when i first learned xiebu (a la chuji quantao) it put a lot of tension on my knee too.

  2. ah shaolin pains! i kicked myself during cetitui & made my ankle bleed a little. my shoes sometimes makes me feel like they are too tight on some moves or that i am swimming in them for others. all that opening up tiao worked on me with gave me a back ache! just gotta love it.

  3. whener I get up from xiebu, I can hear my knees grinding. isn't that scary? I'll make you listen next time. :)