Monday, January 7, 2008

Kung Fu Dork Profile #7

It's been far too long since a Dork Profile has been posted! I figured I would do the honors since I just became a regular contributor for this blog. So here goes!

Name: Leo
Temple Name: None. I was here when the last disciple ceremony was held so I did have the opportunity to be become a disciple. I thought deep and hard whether or not I wanted to become a disciple. My answer was given when I remembered the story from Buddhism class about Bodhidharma's travels and a part of the story hit me. When Bodhidharma was brought in front of the Emperor of China, the emperor asked Bodhidharma 3 questions. "What is the highest Noble truth?", "Have I done a lot of good deeds by donating money and building temples?", and "Are there buddhas in the world?" To which Bodhidharma replied, "There is no Noble truth.", "You haven't done any good deeds." and "There are no buddhas in the world." You see, by even asking the question, you already know the answer.
"In your heart, you already know."
-Ch'an Saying
Occupation: Actor

Borough: NJ in the town of North Bergen. Just to be clear, North Bergen is not in Bergen county. It is in Hudson County. Whenever I mention that I live in North Bergen, people say, "Oh yeah! I heard of that place. That's north NJ right?" or "Yeah! Isn't that where Frank Sinatra was arrested?" Sigh... And of course everyone is like, "Oh! I'm sorry to hear that you live in NJ. That must be horrible!" You know what? It's actually really nice to live in NJ. Lots of tree-lined streets. A really nice big park with FREE tennis courts next to me. A beautiful view of the city from my apartment. And I get to have a car!! Do you know how wonderful it is to have a car and have the ability to get away whenever I want?!

Chinese Sign: Tiger

When was the last time you trained? Yesterday (Sunday) was the last time I was at Temple. But, you know how it is, Temple is in the heart, we train everywhere!

How is your commute to the temple? It's about 45 minutes if I'm coming from NJ, and if I'm coming from work, it's about 15 minutes. My commutes to the temple generally consists of me running down flights of stairs to the subway, get on a train, stretching while waiting to get out of the subway, running up the flights of stairs of the subway, and then running up the flights of stairs at the temple. All the while, my mind explodes with thoughts of missing class and missing training and kicking myself that I didn't leave earlier.

How did you learn about the temple? This is an interesting question. And the real answer is, "the universe showed me the way." Three things happened that I couldn't ignore. One, I walked by the red sign numerous times and had always wanted to come check it out. I had been researching where to take some martial art classes in NYC off and on for awhile. The second thing was, Sarah D., an actor friend who is in the same acting class that I am in goes to Temple. She was showing another person in our class caijiao and lunbi caijiao and I asked, "Do you do Kung Fu?" and she told me I should go check it out. I went to the website that night, and I knew it was the right place for me. The third thing that happened was that my mom called that week and said, "Leo, my one regret in life is that I never had you learn Kung Fu." I'm like, "What?! That's your one regret in life? That I didn't learn Kung Fu?", and she's like, "Yeah..." and so the next day, I stopped by the temple and signed up! I didn't watch a class or do a trial class. I didn't need to. I just knew it was right.

When did you start training? March 23, 2007

What is your favourite basic move? Whoa! Tough question! In all honesty, I LOVE all of them. They all train the body in a beautiful way and it's like asking, do you like your right foot or your left foot better or which one is your favorite foot? Uh... I kinda like both of them? I need them both to walk. I may be stronger or jump higher on one foot, but the other one just needs more Chi! That's how the moves are to me. I might be better in one, worse in another, but I just need More Chi! and so all the moves are fantastic!

What injuries have you had from training? None.

What's the most important lesson you learn from training? Oh my! There have been so many lessons! The most important one? Hmmm...I would have to go with "Do not judge others, judge only yourself." It is so easy to look at another person training and blame them for either going too slow in line or laughing at them for not doing a form properly. Everyone is a mirror of ourselves. When you judge others, you are really just judging yourself and not accepting who you truly are. It's about understanding yourself. And I would have to say, but judging myself, understanding myself better, I have become much much more aware.

Soup or no soup? Definitely soup! I really look forward to relaxing with Temple people after a hard 2 hours of training. Plus, it is good to replenish the lost proteins, carbohydrates and vitamins!

Shower or no shower? Depends if I have to go somewhere or meet someone that didn't just train at the temple.

Gatorade or water? Water. Never Gatorade. Gatorade has high-fructose corn syrup. And even though there is a controversy as to what effects HFCS has exactly, it is still an unnecessary sugar.

How many uniforms? Four blue uniforms. Three cotton and one NTNL.

Straddle or wall stretch? I would do both. Straddle does scare me a little bit. But I would love to be able to do splits. I used to run long distances and so my muscles are formed in a certain way and very rigid. My flexibility is horrible. I know I need to rip those muscles to become more flexible. C'mon! More Chi!!
"Stretch the body. Stretch the mind."
-Shifu Shi Yan Ming
And so, this concludes another episode of a Dork Profile. I hope you enjoyed reading it and got to know me a little better!

See you at the Temple!

:) Leo


  1. yay! another tiger dork!

    I love it when you said the universe showed you the way.... truely dork

  2. leo, i love your mom's one regret! you solved it! more chi! what's going on with the tigers? oh so many (not me though)

  3. I know! There are sooo many of us Tigers right? It is quite intriguing! There must be some sort of cosmic explanation!

    As for my mother, now she thinks I do Kung Fu too much! LOL! Especially when I told her I was there for Christmas and New Years.