Saturday, March 8, 2008

Leader of the Pack

Everyone remembers their first time...the first time you lead the line, the first time you don't get sent back to KFK, the first time you learn a form, the first time you teach... :D Yesterday was the second time I ever did a double (1.5 since L2 was only an hour because of movie night) and it was the first time I led the line in both classes. I've led the line in L2 before, I actually don't remember the first time it happened. There's less shifting around in L2 and classes are smaller so I guess it didn't make that big of an impression on me. But today, not only did I lead the line in the Level 1 class the entire time both before and after stretching and was the only one there teaching during forms, in L2 I was at the front the entire time except for a few moves when Randy was in front of me when the lines merged. But when he had to step to the side during jumping, I was in the front the rest of the class.

It was really interesting to compare the different sensations of being in the front in the two classes. Where you are in line in L2 is really no indicator of your speed/skill/experience to those behind you; I was in front of Han which I think fairly proves my point. Whereas, in L1 generally, the leaders are at least the fastest, if not the most advanced. At the very least they're the ones with the chi/fear of Sifu's scowl to jump to the front of the line. And when you're in the front you feel the responsibility for setting the example, and keeping up the chi, and training as hard as possible. It was an interesting contrast. But more interesting that it took until after L2 was over before I realized that I had led twice in one day and how bizarre that was in the evolution of my KF training. None of it really means anything; you have to keep training harder. But it was fun to spend yesterday in a place I never would have imagined myself a year ago. Can't begin to imagine where I'll be next year!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

If you were a kung fu move...

...what would you be? And why? I would be Gongbu shuang tuizhang housatui gongbu liangzhang. Because it's a compilation of a lot of different things. And also it is like a move that has one foot in L1 and one in L2; it sounds more impressive/complicated than it really is.

Thanks to Richu for posing the question. :D

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Short end of the sock

A while back my socks stopped fitting, or my shoes stopped fitting. Whatever the actual cause I found that my feiyues suddenly rose higher on my ankle than my sock resulting in a discomfortable irritation that evolved into a straight-up injury. Oddly, only on my left foot. Weird. So I started buying taller socks. However I still own about twice as many of my earlier brand and so often have settled for them when laundry is due. Tonight was that night and I was not half-way through my lunbi caijiaos before my left shoe had rubbed my heel raw. It was not going to be a good night.

I came to class with low chi and even coffee did nothing to get my engine running. And my attempts at head flips were even worse than usual. So when my shoe started acting up I was ready to write off anything better than struggling through the first hour so I could get to the changing room and put on the socks I wore at work. (tall and wool, not the most ideal for training, but at least they covered my ankle) As it turned out, I guess I didn't look as bad as I felt, or my ankle distracted me from over thinking my movements, because Khalid, who was teaching, asked me to demonstrate not one but TWO moves during basics. And it was two moves I never felt particularly good at, but I guess my mechanics at least were on point. While the rest of class was still pretty rocky, I used that confidence to help propel me to the end, by reminding myself, that even on the lowest chi days you can still move forward.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Top Ten

Reasons tonight's class rocked:

- Big class -- over 30 people! Last night's L2 was also big -- 16. Is this a sign of a shift into spring training with larger classes? Either way it was fun filling the temple.

- Xu and Yue leading the lines. Somewhere in the middle I noticed that Xu and Yue were in the front of both the lines. I don't really get into gender politics much, but I still appreciated that I trained in a place where two unobtrusive petite girls are leading us down the carpet hardcore. Even cooler is the fact that it took awhile for me to notice. I love that we all just train hard and don't make a big deal out of who's a boy and who's a girl, who's old or who's young, who's been training the longest, or anything like that, everyone just trains.

- Sifu opened a window. That means spring is officially here no matter what the calendar says!

- Lots of chi. I felt Sifu was really urging us on today and that everyone went with it. Maybe it was wanting to represent for the several trial people in class, maybe it was just the air flowing through the window, but there was great energy tonight I thought. And I was glad. I trained muay thai this morning (7:30 am!!) and was worried I would feel tired, but I felt great and had lots of fun.

- Heng Gui. as always, a joy. :D Hope he's around for awhile.

- Working on head flips before class. Still a ways to go, but I'm getting less bad. That's comforting.

- Everyone stretched together! As mentioned in an earlier post, wall stretch has all but disappeared lately. Recently I was in a class of 25 and EVERYONE was stretching alone. Tonight Xu immediate got all the new/trial people together for a group stretch and that precipitated much more communal stretching. At least two groups of us were doing wall stretch and I think I saw several other people pairing up for stradlle and front splits, and cetitui stretch. I felt like we were more the old Shaolin community and less the sort of eerily silent group of people stretching in the same room.

- Richu saying Marcho de Mayo.

- Finding a new muscle emerging on my quads. New musculature is always interesting and inspiring.

- Coming home and having time to make cookies. Assuming I post this now. Thanks for a great class everyone!