April 30th - Hard Training As Usual

Cool Colors in the Sky on Tuesday

Morning Mumblings 😴

We all were told yesterday that we won't have class on Friday because of the Chinese Labor Day which gives us three whole days to either rest and recover or to review stuff that we've learnt before. I think I'll spend it reviewing the forms I've learned (especially Baji Quan) and working on Jumps and Rolls. I want to see if I can learn how to do a kick up and improve my cartwheel.

Training this week has been hard on my body. My forearms are bruised, my biceps have purple dots all over them, my thigh is purple from Sanda Class and my obliques (thanks Josh for telling me what they are) are really sore. Not only that but every morning my legs are just stiff and sore in new ways. I don't know why my body is feeling like this as I felt the training has been the same. It has been super hot this whole week.

New Red Pants, a bit short but comfortable

Overall, I feel like I'm improving with my Kung Fu Basics besides being sore everyday. This was evident when yesterday after Forms Class we had to perform what we're currently learning; which is the Staff Form. I just stuffed it. I lost grip of the staff multiple times, did some moves wrong. It was a bad presentation of what I'm learning. After everyone performed Master Peng told us what we need to work on and reminded us that we need to enjoy our training so that we can get more out of it.

That lil' reminder didn't really resonate with me until later that same night when I went down to the training hall and began to work on my staff form. I only worked on it for forty minutes but they were a very enjoyable forty minutes. The doubts I had about whether or not I liked learning the weapons vanished as I just focused on doing the form. This week putting in that extra work after classes enjoy learning weapons more but also enjoy doing Yi Jin Jing Qi Gong (易筋经) more as I've been working on that every morning.

Wednesday Night Training - Working on Flowers

Afternoon Tea 🍵

My body is just having a hard time this week. Standing meditation was super difficult because as soon as we began I could feel every sore/injured part of my body and the entire twenty minutes was like that. After meditation Master Yan guided us through Yi Jin Jing at a normal pace which, he said, should take 20-25 minutes. There are three paces at which you do different Qi Gongs: fast is for when you are just learning the movements, normal is when you know the movements and try to connect your breathing with your movements, and finally slow which is when you now understand how to breathe correctly and move correctly so the goal is to quiet your mind through this practice.

I'm still learning how to connect my movement with my breathing but today I was able to do Yi Jin Jing without forgetting moves! So, I'm happy about that. Hard Qi Gong, a.k.a. Conditioning Class, was pretty painful. Master Yan had us really focus on relaxing our hands as we struck the sandbags as this is a way to train so that we can one day break bricks. My forearms were super tired today so I struggled doing our "Eagle/Tiger Claw" training. I was just happy when class was over.

The Day Finally Winds Down - 18:47 (6:47 PM)

Evening Thoughts 🥮

It is finally winding down. A day of stiff meditation, fulfilling Qi Gong practice, tiring conditioning, and some sweat drenched power training. Then, and only then did we immediately get assigned cleaning duties since we have tomorrow off. I cleaned the showers and laundry room right up until the lunch bell rang. Some students went to Wang Zhuang to go eat food but I stayed because, if you can't tell from my writing, I'm dead tired. A nice hot shower made my muscles feel better but I can only imagine how I'm going to feel when I wake up tomorrow.

That is a good thing about this Kung Fu School, you sleep really well (or heavy) because you get worked every day. If you put in the extra training that they want us to do then you'll be sleeping like a baby. And, today I realized that many of us here (not all) follow a similar schedule to that of the Shaolin Monks (minus all the praying and religious stuff). I used to think, "Wow, how can they follow that schedule? 5am - 10pm everyday? All of that training?...", and other thoughts about it. But, now that I live it I realize the schedule is "strict" because that is your body's natural schedule when you do this much training.

I might not ever be a Warrior Monk but I think through my current and future Kung Fu Journeys I will get pretty close to the Warrior Monk life style. Train, Eat, Pray, Repeat. That's my Warrior Monk style at least. I don't know why but even after such a tough week of training, all the pain, all the sweat, all the bad thoughts, I still really like this life. Here I am, relaxing with jazz after a day of training thinking about what I'll learn next.

Just some good positive feelings at the end of today.

How has your week been?

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