April 9th - Master Yan's Wedding

That's JD

An Interesting Morning...

I've been "in the dark" most of the week due to it being very interesting. It started out like a normal week but as it got closer to today everyone's focus shifted from training to Master Yan's Wedding. Training this week has been good though as Master Peng (彭二郎) taught me some new broadsword moves and has given me some insight on to why he trains kung fu and why he teaches it.

What I got from it was, to him, Health and Kung Fu go hand in hand. Master Peng doesn't train Kung Fu to fight, this is why he doesn't teach Sanda (散打). Instead, he teaches and trains it so that he can be strong into his older years. He (roughly said);

"No one can train/be young forever. We all get old, one day even you will be. But the training we do now will help us in the future so we won't be weak."

Its kinda nice to hear that since I am terrible at Sanda/Fighting/Sparring (hence me learning this week that I have the shortest arm reach here). I may never be a good fighter or anywhere close to the best but I know that the training I do isn't pointless. I'm keeping myself healthy and strong in the long run. He let me know that too much training can also be bad for you as you don't want to cripple yourself or blame "old injuries" when you're older. There has to be a balance.

So, training leading up to today was good and relaxed. Thursday morning we all got dressed in our "best clothes" and had a really nice taxi driver take us to Xinyi (新沂市) so that we could attend Master Yan's wedding. Thanks Master Yan!

The ensuing afternoon was quite fun!

These other strange LaoWais are a great group of people.

The Food...

...was delicious and there was so much to eat in such a small amount of time. Chicken, Pork, Duck, Veggies, Fruits, Shrimp, Juice, Tea, and stuff we didn't even know.

How it started
Lemme back up a bit, when we got to the location of the wedding "lunch" (apparently the dining for a wedding happens in the afternoon in China) which was a place called "Big Golden Dragon Hotel" we were told by a random Chinese guy to go to the second floor and so we went up and were greeted by a wide range of different stares. That was until Master Yan, dressed really well, lead us to our seats.

More Food
After a bit of awkward waiting and talking about what we think is going to happen. The place started filling up with other guests which led to food and beer being served. I just drank some hot water and Hawthorn Juice but ate more than my share of the food that was provided. It is crazy to think that I didn't even try everything that was served. Just as soon as it started, it ended just as quick. We said our cheers to Master Yan and then we were off waiting for our taxi.

How it ended

Exploring Xinyi...

Even though we were supposed to head back, the other students and I managed to get permission to have the taxi driver take us around Xinyi so that we could go to the bank and supermarket. I'm so glad we did that as I was finally able to get cash and... more importantly... some real milk tea!

Just outside the wedding location
After the driver dropped us off we all kinda just went our own way. Some went to the restroom, others went to Starbucks and I got distracted by this cool sign (pictured below).  This cool sign lead me on my own little milk tea and waffle cone adventure where my mind immediately felt back in Shanghai, Nanjing, Suzhou, or Xiamen. It was quite a different peaceful feeling to just walk on my own and explore. Something I haven't been able to do since I've gotten here but it was something I did all the time in Shanghai but now, I have way more language skills than before which allows me to do more as well.

Part of the mall we went to
It made me realize part of why I came to this Kung Fu school. It wasn't just the training, it wasn't just the language learning. It was also the exploration of new places that brought me here. I had never been to a small Chinese country town before, never lived in a Kung Fu school, never been to Jiangsu, and more. I wanted to experience it along with my training and I had other travel plans too, like going to the Shaolin Temple in Henan or back to Shanghai before I returned home.

I still have time to do these things, I just have to remember them as you can get caught up in the moment when on a journey.

Found a lil' Love

Heading Back...

Which brings me back here; at Maling Kung Fu School. North of Cao Liu Village... I think. It is weird that this is my home for now but it isn't a bad home. Will I live here forever? Definitely not but I can certainly say I'm making the most of my time here as I'm learning so much from everyone here and can tell that we all are on our own paths as well.

My path is definitely changing but, just like the moves in the sword form, the beginning and the end are the same. It's just how to get to the end is what is always changing.

Hope you liked this as I enjoyed writing it.

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  1. So glad you had a great time today/yesterday for you. :) It must have felt great to be back in a city for a short time and to actually have some meat to eat. :D I love the pics. The Love sign reminded me of Shanghai and some of the stuff we saw there. It sounds like you are having an amazing time keep enjoying it.


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