Sunday, September 2, 2007


After a great class Saturday, (and my first number 1 soup!) Ji, Richu, Shen and I went and took a yoga class up on Astor Place. It was a lot of fun and felt great after training harder at temple. Though I think it was a low impact class by yoga standards, it definitely still took a lot of chi; I was sweating buckets by the end and sliding all over my mat. Today, (in a class of 15!!) my arms were feeling fairly sore; all those downward-facing dogs from yoga were talking to me through my shoulders. I've always felt like they don't get the same workout in training as my legs do, and I'm in an eternal debate over/search for the perfect cross training for me. If I had the time/money/energy, I'd do it all: gymnastics, yoga, chi kung, join the gym, cycle, and do some mixed martial arts on the side. But obviously that's not going to happen, so I want to find the right fit. Yoga seems like a strong contender. I'm always looking for flexibility and it still works on strengthening as well. I think I'll start trying other classes at various studios to see if I find a winner.

Today after class Heng Nai showed up so he, Billy, Rob, Ji, a new visiting student named Adrian, and I went out for food. Adrian is from L.A. and here on business. He talked to Ji on the phone yesterday and at her recommendation, after he flew in this morning, he came and trained before even checking into his lodgings! That's chi! So we had a really interesting conversation about the different kinds of training Adrian's done, what Nai is doing out in California, Billy talking about how he's started chi kung, and a lot of discussion about cross training and the different ways to go about it. The general consensus was that cross training is important not only for improving your kung fu but maintaining the health of your body. The intensity of our training is pretty high-impact on our bodies, especially Level 2, and it's good to balance that with something more restrained to help strenthen your body without stressing it. So maybe yoga would be a better for that than gymnastics. But as Adrian also pointed out, when we were comparing the differences in his forms and ours, kung fu is like a person's handwriting; just as everyone's writing is different, there are also equally unique methods of training that suit each individual. There's no ultimate perfect form or best way to train; there's what you find works for you. So I'll keep looking for my perfect cross-training, and the next time I go to yoga I'll bring a towel.

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