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

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Kung Fu in China: Nearing the End

CHINA | Friday, 25 Jul 2014 | Views [874] | Comments [5]

When I first arrived at the temple, I was feeling like I lacked direction. For eight months, I had studied Mantis kung fu at Kunyu Shan. When Qu Sifu left, I went over to Xu Shifu, where I was introduced to some Shaolin basics. After I learned these ... Read more >

Tags: china, martial arts


Kung Fu in China Weeks Forty-One to Forty-Three

CHINA | Monday, 16 Jun 2014 | Views [749] | Comments [1]

I've now been in Henan for three weeks. It's very touristy here at the temple, and normally one must pay a fee to enter the temple area, but we are given student cards which allow us free ingress, and we were shown a side entrance to the temple itself ... Read more >

Tags: china, martial arts


Kung Fu in China Weeks Thirty-Nine and Forty

CHINA | Monday, 26 May 2014 | Views [606] | Comments [4]

In my last post I mentioned that I carried someone on my back up the temple run, but did not do so during the heavily staired portions so I felt like I hadn't pushed myself as much as I could have. The following Friday, I carried Kegan from Canada in ... Read more >

Tags: china, martial arts


Kung Fu in China Weeks Thirty-Seven and Thirty-Eight

CHINA | Wednesday, 14 May 2014 | Views [562] | Comments [3]

Right before one of the afternoon training sessions, I saw Master Xu playing with a pair of sticks. Back home I am a fighter for a medieval recreation group called the Society for Creative Anachronism, in which I primarily fight with two swords. We don't ... Read more >

Tags: china, martial arts


Kung Fu in China Weeks Thirty-Five and Thirty-Six

CHINA | Monday, 28 Apr 2014 | Views [657] | Comments [4]

When I first arrived at Kunyu Shan, there were a few students that really impressed me with some of the feats they did. They seemed to push themselves and do things that were physically very challenging just for the intrinsic challenge of doing so. I ... Read more >

Tags: china, goals, martial arts


Kung Fu in China Weeks Thirty-Two and Thirty-Three

CHINA | Monday, 14 Apr 2014 | Views [624] | Comments [2]

"If you don't love bubblewrap, you're dead inside." - Kirsten from Denmark I am 5'11"/180cm, and was 180lbs/82kg when I arrived at Kunyu Shan. My goal was to hit 160lbs/72kg. I weighed myself on 3/26. I was 71kg/157lbs, so I celebrated by eating a Snickers ... Read more >

Tags: china, goals, martial arts


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

CHINA | Sunday, 23 Mar 2014 | Views [742] | 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 ... Read more >

Tags: china, martial arts


Kung Fu in China Weeks Twenty-Six to Twenty-Eight

CHINA | Wednesday, 5 Mar 2014 | Views [644] | Comments [2]

The weather's getting warmer, so training is increasing in intensity. It's still a little chilly out at times, but much warmer than a month ago. Normally, during power training on Wednesdays, among other things we do one-legged hops, frog jumps, and ... Read more >

Tags: china, martial arts


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

CHINA | Sunday, 9 Feb 2014 | Views [852] | 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 ... Read more >

Tags: china, martial arts


Kung Fu in China Weeks Twenty-One and Twenty-Two

CHINA | Sunday, 19 Jan 2014 | Views [717] | Comments [3]

Another Mantis student, Ian, and I were practicing an application, and it wasn't quite right. We were doing something wrong but weren't sure what it was. He mentioned that there should be a manual. This application was part of a form that we were both ... Read more >

Tags: china, martial arts


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

CHINA | Monday, 6 Jan 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 ... Read more >

Tags: china, martial arts


Kung Fu in China Weeks Fourteen to Seventeen

CHINA | Saturday, 14 Dec 2013 | Views [810] | Comments [8]

We're doing more training inside the training hall now that the weather is getting colder. The heat is turned on now, so it's more bearable, but it's still generally a little chilly in the rooms. Fridays we normally go up and down the stairs between ... Read more >

Tags: china, martial arts


Kung Fu in China Weeks Twelve and Thirteen

CHINA | Monday, 18 Nov 2013 | Views [728] | Comments [4]

Some students here challenge themselves by bear crawling down the stairs in front of the temple. Thursday, four of us went to the temple to bear crawl the stairs, but three of us decided to try a variation for an added challenge. Instead of bear crawling ... Read more >

Tags: china, martial arts


Kung Fu in China Weeks Nine through Eleven

CHINA | Sunday, 3 Nov 2013 | Views [9303] | Comments [2]

There is stance called Qi Lin which is rather strenuous to maintain, and it appears frequently in some Mantis kung fu forms, so I tried a little excercise to get myself accustomed to it. During the hike to Yanxia Cave on Friday of week nine, I tried ... Read more >

Tags: china, martial arts


Kung Fu in China Weeks Seven and Eight

CHINA | Monday, 14 Oct 2013 | Views [847] | Comments [5]

My heels had been hurting for about a week, I suspect from running on hard ground without proper running shoes. Wednesday during the afternoon run it was really bad and I ran about 5 meters before concluding that this was a Bad Idea. I walked the rest ... Read more >

Tags: china, martial arts


Kung Fu in China Weeks Five and Six

CHINA | Monday, 30 Sep 2013 | Views [811] | Comments [4]

After one month here, there was certainly a measurable difference in my flexibility. I believe my strength and endurance have also increased, but these are more difficult to measure. I don't know how much more I can expect before I plateau for a time, ... Read more >

Tags: china, goals, martial arts


Kung Fu in China Week Four

CHINA | Saturday, 14 Sep 2013 | Views [798] | 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 ... Read more >

Tags: china, martial arts


Kung Fu in China Week Three: Coal Haulin'

CHINA | Sunday, 8 Sep 2013 | Views [851] | Comments [2]

This week I added the optional Tai Chi and Qigong classes. These add another 2 hours to my daily training, but they aren't as physically demanding as the rest of the training. Mentally, however, the exercises in Tai Chi can be difficult for me to coordinate ... Read more >

Tags: china, goals, martial arts


Kung Fu in China Week Two

CHINA | Saturday, 31 Aug 2013 | Views [903] | Comments [6]

I've heard that the first two weeks are rough and then it gets easier. I disagree. The first week was rough and then it gets easier. I know we did pretty much the same things as the first week, but it just didn't seem as difficult. I suspect that this ... Read more >

Tags: china, martial arts


Kung Fu in China Week One: Initial Impressions

CHINA | Friday, 23 Aug 2013 | Views [3471] | Comments [19]

My room at the Kunyu school is extremely spartan. Despite my tendency towards minimalism, this place makes me feel that I've been living in luxury until today. It's small, dirty, hot, and isolated. The accommodations were much nicer when I lived in Army ... Read more >

Tags: china, martial arts


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