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

Kung Fu in China Weeks Twenty-Three to Twenty-Five

CHINA | Sunday, 9 February 2014 | Views [853] | Comments [3]

Last week at Kunyu Shan:
Wing Chun student:  I want to show you what I learned. Punch me in the face.
Shaolin student punches Wing Chun in the face.
Wing Chun: I meant do it when I'm ready.
Shaolin: You ready?
Wing Chun: Yes.
Shaolin punches Wing Chun in the face.
Wing Chun: Do it slowly.
Good times.

Wednesday night of week twenty-three, Kenny and Laura (the couple mentioned in the previous post) were leaving to continue their travels, so a group of fourteen of us got two taxi vans to go to Pizza Hut in Yantai for dinner. We normally live on Chinese food, so it's a treat to indulge in Western food on occasion. Now, Pizza Hut in the U.S. is generally really inferior pizza, but Pizza Hut in Yantai is really nice. The restaurant setting was decent and the food was good. After dinner we all went to Starbucks for coffee. While we were getting ready to board the taxis back, I went to quickly grab another coffee. It took longer than expected, and by the time I was done, everyone had left. Those in the first taxi assumed that I was with the group in the second taxi, and those in the second taxi assumed that I was with the group in the first taxi. So, I was stuck in Yantai. Go, me. Kenny and Laura were still in the Starbucks as they were to board a train later that night. I had already said goodbye to them, so they were a bit surprised to see that I had not left. Fortunately, Kenny had the address to Kunyu Shan in Chinese on his iPad to show a taxi driver and I took a taxi back to Kunyu Shan. The thing is, there was no way that I was going to return by 9:30pm at this point, and the gates close at 9:30. This would mean that I would have to climb over the gate to get in. One student did this earlier in my stay here, and when the motion detector came on while he was climbing over the gate the video camera caught it and he was staffed for it the next morning. Furthermore, when I advised my Sifu that I was going to Yantai that night, he said that I had to return by 9:00 pm. I knew that this was unlikely, but I figured at the time that I would return by 9:30. I got back to Kunyu Shan at 9:45, and the gate had not yet been closed, so I was able to get in without any issue. Sorry to disappoint, but there was no staffing. The following morning at breakfast, nobody even knew that I didn't get back in one of the taxis until I told them since each group assumed that I was with the other. Most were very apologetic; a couple of them gave me a little money to reimburse me for the greater cab fare as I had to take it myself, another bought me some sweets by way of apology. Nobody was to blame except perhaps my own impetuousness, but the gestures were appreciated.

Power stretching on Thursdays always involves a lot of cussing and Qu Sifu does have a fairly sadistic sense of humor about it; the more we yell the more he grins. Normal power stretching is a violation of the Geneva Convention, but this time it seemed that Qu Sifu really wanted to push us. The box split is a stretch in which I stand with my legs spread out, one student stands in front of me while I hold his arms for support, one student pulls outward on my left leg while one pulls outward on the right, and Sifu stands behind me pushing down on my waist. I do believe he got me down farther than I had gotten before, which isn't terribly far. I was yelling a bit, and yelled one of the few sentences I know in Chinese, which translates roughly to a threat to punch the recipient in the genitals. I got hit for that one.

That Saturday several of us went again to Yantai; I figured I'd take the risk again. We went to a shopping mall and a couple of us played the Chinese version of Dance Dance Revolution, called Dance Super Station. I used to play DDR quite a bit in the U.S., and didn't think that I'd like playing this one as the arrows were on the diagonals instead of the orthogonals, but I have to admit I'm even more impressed with this one than I was with DDR. It's the same concept as DDR, but in addition to different arrow placement, it has a center button, and four motion sensors for the arms on the orthogonals, so there are 9 sensors instead of DDR's 4. The addition of the arm movements makes it a lot more engaging although it also makes it more difficult. I expected to look much like an epileptic monkey, but apparently DDR skills do transfer reasonably to this game as I wasn't having any problems with it, although I stuck to the easier difficulties. Now, westerners invariably draw a lot of attention here; we're quite the novelty and it's not unusual for a Chinese person to ask to have their picture taken with a westerner. A westerner playing Dance Super Station competently drew a crowd of about thirty Chinese spectators. I was visible from the arcade entrance, and it appeared that people came into the arcade from the outside specifically to watch me play.

This past week one of the mantis students dislocated his finger. The following day a wing chun student broke his arm. It wasn't just a slight fracture, but a bone-piercing-the-flesh break. Another student here has been on crutches and unable to train for some weeks due to a broken ankle. Fortunately, we have an Australian student here who is also a nurse, and she has been a great asset throughout all of this. Unfortunately, she then dislocated her shoulder two days after the wing chun student broke his arm. It is said at times here that it is not a matter of if one will get injured, but a matter of when. Injuries were so prevalent that the Sifus decided to cancel Sanda sparring Friday to avoid the possibility of further injuries that week.

Bamboo Forest, Round One - Fight!

Bamboo Forest, Round One - Fight!

Tags: china, martial arts



I think you have already had you fair share of injuries in life considering a certain kind of hit is now named after you, so you should be safe from that curse (the universe cannot be that cruel).

Miss you!

  Brandy Feb 10, 2014 1:55 PM


That forest is a little sparse.... Still love reading this blog and look forward to u coming back! We will have to party Korric!! I may have to bother Nicole to bring me to some SCA events in my new custom made garb ; )

  Christina Feb 11, 2014 7:23 AM


Hey Korric I love your blog and look forward to reading it as often as you post. Keep it up.

  Warren Feb 19, 2014 1:52 PM

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