May 12th - Maling Mountain

(Above Photos Taken By JD, Check out his work)

Morning Mumblings

Would you have ever imagined waking up at five in the morning and it being completely sunny outside? Well, that is how it is here in the Spring/Summer. It is a little disorienting but I think one day I'll miss these bird song filled sunny mornings. I'll miss the good feeling of writing or studying in the morning and seeing the world outside change completely. I might even miss the random sounds of fireworks. Maling Shaolin Kung Fu School... I certainly have a love-hate relationship with it as some weeks I love it here while other weeks are rough. But, rough or lovely week aside, living here and training Kung Fu is way better than a normal job. I really feel like an adventurer on my own journey at times.

马陡山 - A Beautiful Place

Sunday - Maling Mountain Adventure!

Speaking of adventure, on Sunday most of the students went on a little "field trip" to Maling Mountain in order to train and get some cool photos taken. Honestly, I wasn't expecting much of the mountain as it isn't a tall one and the entrance to it seems like a big tourist trap but after buying the tickets and walking in I immediately was proven wrong. The place was very beautiful, some of the sights were almost mystical. The place has many different kinds of scenic views from rivers, lakes, woods, temples, shrines and more. On our small two hour adventure we only explored the southern part of it. Many of us want to go back to see more.

A Cool Pagota

We didn't do much training, mostly looking at the sights and having JD take photos of us. (Which turned out great, check out his stuff) I did manage to slip in some Lian Huan Quan (θΏžηŽ―ζ‹³) and Tong Bei Quan (ι€šθƒŒζ‹³) practice in at a few of the cool looking locations. The others did a lot of stretching and "stance training" (Posing for the camera) which was still a lot of fun. Of course we all got looked at, not only for being foreigners, but also for dressing up in weird ancient clothes. Most people didn't bother us while we were taking photos but others would stop to "secretly" film us. Just part of being a foreigner in China.

Winding Trails

The Maling Mountain park was also another way to just unwind as there was something very tranquil about the place. When you'd stop to take in the sights your mind could just wander from one thought to the next until there was just nothing. That is probably the closest I've gotten to "quieting the mind" that Master Ning talks about during meditation and I wasn't even meditating. There were just certain feelings/senses I got here that were different from training. The Pagota we found, I felt super motivated to train there and I broke a sweat drilling some forms where as next to the lake on the bridge I felt that peaceful/quiet feeling. To be honest, that's why most people go to these kinds of hiking/scenic spots, right? To relax, unwind, see beauty, and maybe come back a little different. The smallest but longest mountain in China did that for me.

One of the many shrines

Monday - Back to Training

Monday arrived and I don't think anyone, including the Masters, were prepared for it. I practiced Yi Jin Jing Qi Gong (ζ˜“η­‹η»ζ°”εŠŸ) in the morning, got ready, ate breakfast, then headed out to roll call. Master Ning was the only master to show up for roll call. We ran our normal 2 km and then started stretching for Basics Class, after a while Master Peng hadn't showed up so we started working on our Monday splits on our own. It was then that he showed up. Splits. Kicks. Sweeps. Combos. That is what we worked on. Master Peng was a bit disappointed in us and told us that after a weeks of training the basics, no one was improving. He said we shouldn't just learn how to do the kicks and move on to the next but we should learn the kick and then perfect the kick. A bit of a downer but I used it to motivate my training... back to basics! Forms Class came and I reviewed my Broadsword form; after that, Master Peng continued teaching Matt, Josh, and I moves for the staff form.

Nice Flowers

Then, our two hour Lunch Break came. Remembering what Master Peng said, I ate my food, drank plenty of water and tea, then went down to the training hall to continue practicing. I worked on my stances, the new staff moves, the combos, and basics. Time flew by as I was almost late to roll call but, luckily, I wasn't. We all ran 2 km again only to discover Master Yan wasn't here to teach Sanda Class. None of the masters knew where he was, so we were told to review what we've learned before. All of the Sanda students went to the big training hall, which was very dusty and covered in pollen, bird poop, and more. Matt and I decided to sweep the big training hall while the others trained. After sweeping, I went to review the staff form until dinner. Dinner went by quickly. I decided to relax a little bit before I went to go do some late night training in the small training room. Just focusing on stretching, stances, and side splits. Needless to say, my legs were jelly by the end of the hour and a half training session.

Thinking Man

Evening Reflections

As I sit here and watch The Third Man with JD and Josh, I'm thinking about how my day went. During the two hour break, I rested for a little bit then went to do some stretching. I felt like I didn't make progress stretching but my body was tired enough that my legs were still shaking in roll call. Sanda Class just went by normally, my kicks sucked, my leg catches were bad, my take-downs worse, and my back hurt. My morale wasn't lowered too much because I don't expect much from my performance in Sanda. Luckily, Master Ning's Baji Quan Class allowed me to relax while still learning something new.

Baji Quan (ε…«ζžζ‹³) is an interesting martial art, always getting close to your opponent, striking his soft spots, or grappling. From what Master Ning said, it is for body guards who protect their client. You use your hips and "relaxed power". I'm not good at using my hips to generate power but Master Ning said that if I learn this then all of my martial arts will improve. I'm almost done learning this first Baji Quan form but I know I have a lot to work on in order to do it well.

Although I'm tired, sore, and feel like I have no energy, I'm still prepared to face the rest of the week to the best of my abilities. Like I've said before, every day is a new challenge and some weeks are harder than others. Master Yan always says that when you're the most tired is when you develop the best Kung Fu. This week must be my time to develop some good Kung Fu.

Hope you're all doing well this week.

Yup, Instagram still there


  1. I love love the photos - your friend did a great job! The mountain looks beautiful and I love the structures and statues you posted. So glad you finally got to go there and see it. Have a great week. Love - Mom


Post a Comment

Popular Posts