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

Kung Fu in China Weeks Twenty-Nine to Thirty-One

CHINA | Sunday, 23 March 2014 | Views [740] | Comments [2]

Power Training on week 29:
Me: It could be worse, guys. I can think of at least one thing worse than doing this.
Other students: What's that?
Me: ...
Me: ...
Me: ...
Me: Sorry, I was wrong. There isn't anything.

Qu Sifu has left Kunyu Shan to open another school. I believe he was one of the original Sifus when the academy opened up eleven years ago. The new Mantis master is Yu Sifu. I like him, and he has over 30 years of experience teaching Kung Fu, but it is a little different style of Mantis and in some ways feels like starting over. He laughs like Pai Mei, however, so he's obviously well qualified.

Friday on week 29 I sparred Jonathan from Canada. He's a strong puncher, so I figured I'd rely on my takedowns. Try as I might, I could not get him to the ground. I tried to sweep him a few times, and each time he was able to time it to shift his weight to his other leg before I could complete the sweep. We discussed it afterwards and he said that he knew to watch for that from me and was prepared for it. He threw a few kicks, most of which I was able to block, dodge, or trap. A trapped kick is also a great opportunity for a takedown, one which I don't get the chance to try often enough because I'm terrible at trapping kicks. This time I got the opportunity but I failed to pull it off. I watched a video afterwards and saw why. Without getting into boring detail I'll just say that I have to work on my follow up after catching a kick. He also tried to take me down a few times, but he was not able to do so either. It ended up being mostly a punching game, and we were really evenly matched, both landing some really good shots. Overall, I feel disappointed by my performance, although I probably shouldn't because it was such an even match. I'm not great at Sanda, but I still feel that I should have been able to do better. My punching was better than I expected, but my takedowns were ineffective.

On week 31, during the Friday mountain run, I decided to bear crawl up to the cave backwards, feet-first, like I did up the temple stairs in the past. It is probably the most difficult thing that I have done since I arrived here, and I believe that I am the second person to do this in the history of the academy. The first was Ismael, who is about 132 lbs of lean muscle. He did it a few months ago and completed the journey in about 45 minutes, whereas it took me over an hour. I asked him for any tips, and he told me that I will very soon regret doing it, but to just keep going. One thing that struck me during it was the support of the other students. Of course there were several exclamations along the lines of "That's crazy!" and "Dude, I could never do that!" but there were also a lot of "All right Korric!" and "Jaio!" (go/come on/do it!). A couple of students offered me water; one ran down to the bottom to get a drink for me and bring it back up. By the time that I was finished with about two thirds of it, everyone else was pretty much done with the temple run, but a couple of them came to stay with me to the end for moral support.

Once each week during training we do conditioning, in which we train our bodies to be able to withstand impact. We do this by punching, slapping, and kicking various parts of each other's bodies. A thing going on around here is "surprise conditioning," which is simply unexpectedly punching someone. Good times.

It is common for students of Kunyu Shan to have a tailor in Mouping make custom kung fu suits for us. Alex from Canada, the quintessential class clown although he does take the training very seriously, had done so. He is leaving Kunyu Shan next week, so we had a photo shoot for him in his fabulous new outfit.

Goku and Master Yu

Goku and Master Yu

Tags: china, martial arts

Comments

1

You're doing fine, Korric! Don't psych yourself out! Keep it up!

  Akamatsu Katsumoto Apr 2, 2014 11:33 AM

2

How very DragonBallZ of him.....

  Christina Reich Apr 17, 2014 2:37 AM

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