April 23rd - Injury, Feeling Weak, Power Training

Late Night Staff Training

Morning Thoughts 🛌

A couple days flew past me as I'm surprised it is already Thursday! This morning started out like most of my mornings here; I was sore, I stretched my legs, drank a lot of water, then I grabbed my phone so I could look at it while I'm stretching. Today, I had many messages from friends, family, and some ol' potato factory pals telling me how they are and asking about my progress. It was a nice feeling and especially with the virus (which I don't write much about) it is nice to hear that everyone is doing alright in their own way.

Dusk at the Kung Fu School

One thought that crosses my mind every morning as I look out to the countryside is I enjoy living here with all of these interesting people. The countryside around us is nice (although the weather really doesn't like us), the masters are good people and teach us a lot, and the students here all get along. With our "lock down" being over we all are exploring different areas, different villages, and shops so the place is feeling more and more like a temporary home. Someone could say, "Ah, I'm going to the village. Do you need anything?" and you know where they're talking about. As I've said before, I'm getting used to living here but at the same time planning on how to get to my next adventure.

Yesterday was a fun day of training. We worked on some different basic moves that I haven't done before and did a lot of stance training. Forms class went by quickly as I worked on Broadsword and trying to go fast... which just led to me hitting myself a bunch of times. Master Peng taught Josh, Matt, and I some new staff moves to work on. Slowly but surely I'm getting better at the staff. I'm not sure if I like it better than the broadsword or not but we will see. Josh, he loves the staff but he keeps hitting himself with it all the time. Then again, we all are doing that.

月饼 - Moon cake with "老伍仁" filling. Thanks JD

Then, during our free time after lunch, I decided to work on my staff basics a little more. I improved but I also tweaked my other knee so I wasn't able to run in the afternoon or go to Sanda class. So I decided to study Chinese but, not five minutes after Sanda class began, I heard a Master shouting my name. Turns out, Master Yan (who doesn't speak English) was wondering if I could still help translate even though I wasn't practicing. I went out and helped translate, which was fun and relaxing. The other students laughed when they saw me as they knew why I was coming to class. The class went smoothly though and everyone looked like they were getting better and better at their low kicks. I was just glad I could be apart of class in some way.

Afternoon Thoughts 👊

Our morning classes were quite interesting. Today is "Qi Gong Day" so we start the day with us running 2 kilometers and then meditating but Master Ning changed today's plan a little bit. He told us since we all have been here for a little while and the weather is beautiful that we should try to meditate and train Qi Gong on our own. So we did. I did sitting mediation out in the sun facing east (the direction of good ol' USA) and breathed. I was surprised how fast 20 minutes went by. Looking around I saw everyone still meditating so I started again for another 17 minutes. (I was using my phone to time myself) It went by so quick. At the end my mind was getting somewhere new but I had to stop. After I felt... more awake.

The Weather is Great Today

I then practiced Ba Duan Jin (八段锦) and Yi Jin Jing (易筋经) to help loosen my body from meditation and to prepare myself for our Hard Qi Gong class. Master Yan and Master Ning had us line up then dismissed us. Just like that, class was over and we all began preparing for Conditioning (Hard Qi Gong) where we hit trees, hit sand bags, grabbed stones with our fingers, and hit each other. All to develop various "Iron Body" parts. Does it work? I'm not sure yet but it is a big part of our training.

Lunch Today: Noodles with Veggies, Chicken, and Tofu

Evening Thoughts 🥮

I've said it many times before but Thursdays make me feel weak. This place makes me feel weak. We're always so sore, injured, tired, and sick but something keeps pushing us through these struggles so that we can learn the next move or complete the next set. I know we're not the fittest people, it isn't boot camp, and we are the ones who came here but man its hard. I'm surprised every day, every week, with how unprepared I am. How weak my body feels. Some days simple pushups are hard, some days I can't do a Kung Fu stance. I've never had this feeling before. You really have to give everybody here props for coming to China and trying Kung Fu. Compared to the Masters, what we do is nothing like Kung Fu.

In a strange way this constant "You Suck" feeling is what makes me want to continue learning Kung Fu because its similar to my feeling towards sparring. I'm always bad at it but I know I can get better. Maybe I'll never be the cool "Kung Fu Master" that is in the movies but I think that through Kung Fu I could reach a point in my life where I'd be happy with the self confidence, discipline, experience, and spirit that slowly gets built.

I've also realized that you don't have to come to China to learn Kung Fu but traveling to a distant land with a different language and culture certainly throws in some challenge. Its not just Chinese culture; its also all the other crazy foreigners taking a similar journey that you meet along the way.

And those are my thoughts from Power Training.

Hope you guys enjoy reading these posts. I may not post daily (despite my websites name) but when I do post I try to have some good content, some substance, to what is in it. It might be a in depth writing on something or it might be some nice photos/gifs/videos. (Uploading Gifs/Videos in China is a pain) The point is, I hope you enjoy reading these posts as much as I enjoy making them.

How much water do you guys drink in one day? 🤔

Don't forget to check my Instagram for other posts

*I just realized some of my posts lost their pictures... trying to see what happened and I've been told you can't comment while using a mobile device. Will check into that as well.


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