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Wushu Whiteboy Studying Shaolin, Sanda, and Mantis Kung Fu in China

Kung Fu in China Week Four

CHINA | Saturday, 14 September 2013 | Views [800] | Comments [5]

I've established graduating goals towards the temple run. At a certain point during the run, the concrete road up the hill becomes cobblestones. The cobblestones have 11 breaks in them for a total of 12 cobblestone sections, and the road then becomes concrete during the final stretch to the temple. Previously, I had run to the base of the cobblestones before walking. My goal this week was to reach the first break in the cobblestones. If I add one break each Wednesday I should be able to run all the way to the temple in under four months. I succeeded in reaching the first break. As the first stretch of cobblestones is short, I figured I could keep going to the second break. I ran to the third break before walking, so I'm a little ahead of schedule in this goal.

Each group has assigned days during which we clean the grounds of the school in the morning, and the Mantis group does this Thursday mornings. This past Thursday, when we lined up for the morning run, Sifu Qu called four of us out before sending everyone else away to the run. Those four, including yours truly, had all neglected to be present for the morning cleaning. He had us each do 100 pushups to reinforce our memories for the future before sending us away to do the morning run.

Friday I volunteered for Sanda sparring. My informal session the previous Sunday was very casual and we didn't really hit each other as we weren't wearing protective gear and I was just getting my feet wet. Friday was my first real sparring competition. I expected to do very poorly due to my lack of experience in the ring - my opponent has been doing this longer than me and he has previous experience in the ring - but this was not the case. It was a very good bout and I got a lot of compliments on my performance. I was told it was especially good for someone who had never done this before. These exhibitions are not judged; there is no declared winner or loser as they're essentially for training and practice, so I asked an experienced kickboxer here if I performed better or worse than my opponent. He said he really couldn't say either way as we were pretty evenly matched. I am happy with that considering my lack of experience.

One of the Mantis students left Saturday so Friday night we got together at the Bar Next Door to see him off. I don't think the Bar Next Door has an actual name, but it's a dive where you can buy beer, soda, egg omelets, and chicken on a stick. A 750ml bottle of beer sells there for 3 quai (about 49 cents USD). I had one just so I can say that I sampled cheap Chinese beer. It was a good opportunity to get to know some fellow students a bit better.

Also on Friday we had a Chinese fire drill - a literal one, not the traffic violation. This was PR for the Chinese to show how much they care about the safety of the students by having us line up while we were already outside, showing us all how to use a fire extinguisher, and showing us how to use the firehose that would only be used by firefighters. I took advantage of the opportunity to practice the Mantis Firefighting Stance. Sifu Qu made me put the extinguisher down, but not before I caught him laughing.

I think Sifu Qu is taking me seriously now, as during stance training this week (with bricks) he kicked me in the legs when he told me to lower my stance. I mentioned this to another Mantis student who put his hand on my back and told me that this means that I am now really part of the group.

Mantis Firefighting

Mantis Firefighting

Tags: china, martial arts



Bad boy, skipping out on cleaning duty. :-D

  Brandy Dillensneider Sep 15, 2013 1:39 PM


The traffic violation would have been funny! Glad to hear you are challenging yourself and exceeding expectations! ;-)

  C. Reich Sep 16, 2013 1:21 PM



  Kirsten Oct 10, 2013 11:49 PM


Amazed by you and so proud!

  Chana Oct 21, 2013 10:55 AM


Probably was Tsingtao that you were drinking. ;-) Catching up on this blog. Loving it so far.

  Sean Dec 11, 2013 5:40 PM

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