Monday, August 20, 2007

Shaolin Crush #1

Yesterday I got all three of my wishes: lots of stretch time, Sifu didn't yell at me (really) and there was lots of chi. Thanks to one Heng Gui.

Every now and then I get a Shaolin crush. A Shaolin crush is not a romantic crush; it can be girl or boy and it happens when some aspect of someone's training tugs at the strings of my heart. Sometimes it's someone doing a beautiful form, or seeing a shaolin brother who I know is in pain or having a rough day persevering through a class. Sometime it's seeing a new student smiling after sweating through their first training session. Sunday my Shaolin crush was Heng Gui and watching him teaching basics.

Class was small: 15 students. Two of them were there for a trial class. Let's just say it was quite a challenge. Gui kept us all going through basics with his usual chi-tastic cheering. But what really solidified my crush was when we started forms. There were 4, count em, FOUR of us on line for forms. And 50 minutes left in class. I felt the chi, but I admit I was worried about its endurance. Luckily, on the other side of the pillars Gui was teaching caijiao and gongbu. If you've ever been lucky enough to have Gui teach you, you know that in addition to his unbridled enthusiam he also has a very creative way of describing moves. His reservoir of metaphors is endless. Sunday, there were descriptions of tigers, snakes, springs, nutcrackers, and staple removers, just to name a few. And while the multitude of mixed metaphors might have been a little confusing, their rich detail kept me Po, Ji and Alex smiling, even laughing, throughout forms and the time went by much faster. Even Sifu was laughing and you could tell the trial students were really enjoying themselves and the chi was palpable. So, for now, on my Shaolin notebook there will be little hearts scribbled around Gui's name: my newest, very inspiring, very entertaining Shaolin crush.


  1. i think the pepe le pew is so appropriate! i too very much enjoy heng gui & i would love to see, hear, learn more from him. he has a great personality & perspicacity & is so much fun to be around. you are very lucky indeed.

  2. what basic move was comparable to staple remover - I wonder....

  3. There were a couple of times when i was waiting for my turn where we all just broke out laughing together, the entire class, shifu included. My absolute favorite gui quote was not a metaphor surprisingly but a little bit of truth "don't pay attention to the little kf guy in your head, he can already do it... no... stay out here, you do it"

    There were so many metaphors that toward the end of class he even said "you pick whatever works for you, like a deck of cards, throw your cards, like you are picking up a cross to fight dracula..."

    So many ways.