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

Kung Fu in China Weeks Eighteen to Twenty: Downtime for the Holidays

CHINA | Monday, 6 January 2014 | Views [736] | Comments [2]

One of the students in Mantis group recently went home to the U.S., where he will return to his job as a karate instructor. There is a kata in his style that is not generally shown to outsiders, but he wanted to present a gift to his kung fu brothers on his last day here. The kata is not complete; the master who was teaching it died before he could teach the complete kata. The student performed it for us as far as it is known, and it was awesome. The five of us that got to see it are accustomed to seeing some pretty nice displays around here as we live in a martial arts school, but this one was really a treat.

Mantis group has always been small compared to the other groups here, but now there are only five of us. For perspective, I believe Wing Chun has about thirty students and Shaolin has about twenty-five. [Edit: after typing this, we got three new Mantis students this morning, although two of them will only be here for 4 to 6 weeks.]

Week Eighteen, during Tuesday forms training, Master Qu advised me that I am no longer a beginner student, and that he expects me to learn movements "perfectly." He said that when I don't get a stance correct he is going to kick me. I took this as a compliment.

The following Thursday we were visited by a group of soldiers from the Chinese Army. Master Qu told me that the school has a reputation for good kung fu and the soldiers were here to observe our kung fu. Two students were selected to perform in front of the soldiers. One of them, Russell from the U.K., performed a Shaolin tiger form, and the other, Korric from the U.S., performed a mantis form. The soldiers thought that I did well, but in reality I missed one movement in the form that I did. I realized it right as it happened, but I didn't pause or react in any way so nobody knew of my error. It was a minor mistake and I was hoping that Master Qu didn't notice, but of course he did and he spoke to me of it afterwards, telling me that I need to practice more. None of the current Mantis students knew the form in full except for me, so the only ones who knew that I missed a movement were me and Master Qu. Russell performed very well, and I was honored to be one of the two students selected to perform in front of the soldiers.

A couple of months ago I was thinking about where I wanted to travel to and what I wanted to do for the holidays. Between not wanting to spend much money and procrastinating on making a decision I ended up not booking anything, so I just spent the time here. On the week of Christmas we only trained Monday and Tuesday and had the rest of the week off, and that Tuesday's afternoon training was a snowball fight among the students rather than our usual afternoon training. I tried to get a group of students to rush a Sifu and pelt him with snowballs but everyone was afraid to, so I casually walked past an unsuspecting Sifu who didn't have a hat on - not Master Qu, one of the other groups' Sifu - and dropped a handfull of snow on the top of his head, and then I bravely ran away. He caught up to me and kicked me playfully, laughing all the while.

The night of Christmas Eve the school served a Christmas feast during which a Chinese Santa passed out candy, and afterwards there was a fireworks display and a bonfire.
The time off was a really good break for my body. I didn't realize that I needed the break until I took it. The following Monday I and other students noticed that our bodies felt more relaxed, our kicks were higher, and we felt more motivated.
New Year's Eve featured another feast and fireworks display, and that week also we only trained Monday and Tuesday and had the rest of the week off. I went to the cinema that week with a few other students and saw the only English movie there, Legendary, which was subtitled in Chinese. Terrible movie, but I will say that a movie in a Chinese theater is a much better experience than in an American one in that the audience is quiet during the movie.
The first week of being lazy was great, but after the second week I am so ready to return to training.

Chinese Santa

Chinese Santa

Tags: china, martial arts



I am very proud of how much you have accomplished in the short amount of time you have been there. Keep up the great work!

  Nicole Jan 7, 2014 4:28 AM


Awesome job Korric! Hope you are staying warm!!

  Christina R Jan 16, 2014 2:26 AM

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