Saturday, February 23, 2008

Fatigue Training

During cleaning meditation after class, Chris came up to me and said, "You have awesome chi." At first, I was like, "Huh? What did you just say?" (I was vacuuming so it was loud) And he said it again, "You have awesome chi." All I could stammer out was, "Uh...yeah! You too man!" What I wanted to say was, "You have way more chi than I do. Dude, you got 'pop' in your caijiao, while mine is more of a fizzle." In case you don't know Chris, he is the dancer dude that flies through the air with mega-extensions and mega-pop on every move.

I was really surprised he said that to me because I felt my chi was relatively low throughout class. I wasn't about to pass out but I wasn't about to run a marathon afterwards either. During class, I kept trying to get my chi up by chanting "More chi!" Maybe he overheard me. Maybe he felt me trying to psych myself up. Maybe he was giving me words of encouragement. Whatever the reason, it made me think. Other than a great saying, does "More Chi! Train Harder!" have a scientific psychological response? I got out my handy internet search machine, and presto! I have a neat little answer.

After reading the article, I can't wait to push myself harder. More Chi! Train Harder!

Friday, February 22, 2008

P-Push It Real Good!

I've been trying to maintain a strong sense of patience during my road to recovery with my screwed-up knee. When I came back on December 1st after two months off from kung fu, I knew my endurance was shot, so I made myself to go to the side for kung fu kindergarten each time so that I could restore my confidence in executing all the basics again. It felt a bit funny since for so long I would normally spend the first part of class trying to avoid getting sent to KFK, but then I cherished the opportunity to re-learn and refine and rebuild.

I enforced upon myself mandatory KFK until January 1st. I thought a good month of KFK would give me enough time to work up to practicing forms again on the side. And that's what happened; I rejoined the gang on the side, and felt energized by their encouragement, and slowly built up my strength. My first attempt at erluquan in months made me happy, but nervous, and it showed in my execution -- Shifu saw me from across the room and looked puzzled at what I was doing, but it was all good.

So, I ended up setting little goals/timelines for myself, and every little thing I found myself doing again that I had difficulty doing earlier in my return, I considered a nice victory. It is as though I have been doing a mini review of everything I had learned from Day 1 till the end of erluquan, which I had finished just before I injured myself. And most recently, I have been polishing erluquan, which I am eager to test in April. I have been especially concerned about nailing the sweep kick, which initially gave me flashback anxieties, but now all I care about is not sticking my ass in the air.

This week, however, I kinda let the patience thing slide. I originally decided that I'd give myself till the end of February to practice erluquan slowly and deliberately by breaking it up into pieces, and not worrying about doing it in its entirety. This past Tuesday some irrepressible urge seized me and pushed me into going past the 5th kick, which is usually where I break. I found myself going, going, going, and before I knew it, I was dizzy and out of breath, but I made it through a whole erluquan. And I did it again that class. And I did it again last night.

It is a truly fantastic feeling to know that we all have these amazing abilities within us -- the ability to motivate, to learn, to perfect, to think. And while I know I possessed these skills before my journey with shaolin kung fu began, it gives me a sense of pure happiness when I realize it better through understanding what hard work can really accomplish.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Winter Training

Is training at temple affected by the weather? Or is the reason people show up to train as arbitrary and random as a falling snowflake? Today was my first time back in over 3 weeks and being a Thursday night, I was expecting to see at least 30 people. What I saw when I walked in surprised me. There were only about 12 people at 6:45pm and by the time classes started, there were 16 total. At dinner afterwards, I posed the same question to Richu, Sucheela, and Rob. Richu said because it was cold, people stay home. Can this be true? Wouldn't it be easier to train when the temple is not over heated like it is in the summertime when each gasp of humid air is like punch in the face with a sweaty sock?

Maybe it's all a matter of preference. I love winter training. Actually, I love summer training too. I wish we could train outside where we can experience the randomness of mother nature. It would remind us that life is not always the same. It is sometimes bitter (苦), sometimes spicy (辣), sometimes sour (酸), sometimes sweet (甜). It is up to us to experience all that life has to offer and not shy away at the first sign of difficulty or change. Easier said than done of course, when it would be so wonderful to be nice and toasty in bed underneath a warm blanket. Ahhhh!!! No! No! No sleepy style! Must train harder!! :D

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


What's that? What did I hear you say? Cheng got the what? what? KIP UP?!?!?!


Ok I don't know what I win and of course I now am moving right on to obsessing over the head flip, but we'll get to that later. The point is, after much hemming and hawing I finally got the kip up. I started landing it on the inclined mat last Friday and after spending lots of time pre class working on it on Monday, Tuesday, and today I finally stood up on the solid ground. Parting of clouds! Trumpets! Choirs of Angels! and so forth... Thanks especially to Randy, Heng De, and Richu for their limitless patience in explaining it to me. And to Mo for getting it last week and inspiring to get my ass in gear. Amituofo!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


Result of brain addled L-2ers at dinner. Need I say more?