May 13th - Over the Hump

Another Image From JD, Check out his work

Evening Reflections - Hungry, Thirsty, Tired

Its Wednesday. Motivation this week has still been a bit off but its probably more so my fault than anything else's. This week I've been forcing myself to do a little extra training here and there so that I'm not cooped up in my room feeling sore and tired. It has helped pass the time but that is about it, I don't feel much progress with my forms or my flexibility. It was said that summer was going to be the time where I'd gain the most flexibility because of the heat and all the tough training we'd be doing. Instead, I feel low energy, thirsty, and hungry all the time. The simple 2 km runs we do have turned into struggles for me while basic stances and moves have become quite difficult. The masters' responses to questions about soreness and pain is that it is normal with the amount of training we do but I continue to ask because isn't there something we should do about all of these pains, injuries, and aches?

Drink more hot water, probably....

Supposedly, an iconic "Baji Quan Pose"

Complaining aside, I really enjoy what I'm learning that the moment. Shaolin Yin Hand Form (少林阴手棍) and Baji Fist Small Frame Form (八极拳小家) are very fun. The staff is very intense and aggressive with a lot of spinning and jumping while Baji is also aggressive but uses forward movement with low stances. Though I'm terrible at both, I want to study/train each of them at a more in depth level so that I can perform them well. The Masters here always tell us various sayings/lectures where the meaning is to study a few things for a long time so that we can do them perfectly and yet... we feel pushed to learn the next form or the next class. Every student knows that they suck at most things here. Everyone has their "thing" that they're good at but, compared to the masters, we're not even close.

So, with my ever changing ideas and thoughts here, I'd like to leave this place with good basics and whatever other skills I'm taught, I'd like to fully understand them. Sure, there is other stuff that I'd like to learn but setting a good foundation will help me in my future Kung Fu Journeys. "If you have a good foundation, then the building can be build very tall", as the Chinese saying goes. Since teaching Kung Fu is still a possibility in my mind, having good basics and a thorough understanding of what I'm taught will let me be a better teacher in the future. Even though I don't fight well, I'd like to be able to teach others what I've learned from these great masters. (Most of whom are good fighters and/or performers)

Another Pose: lifting the opponent's arm, striking with the knee

We have another test coming this Friday which doesn't seem to be effecting any of the students that much. I've seen Philip, Terina, and JD putting in extra practice into their skills at various times but not the others. It makes me wonder if I'm truly prepared for the test? I'm supposed to perform what I know of the staff form and maybe my broadsword form, I think I'll also throw in Tong Bei Quan (通背拳) as well so that I can see if I can improve it in some way. To !be honest, I don't feel confident in any of my forms at the moment due to how this and last week have been going. Maybe this test will show to me that I have improved or it will show me what I need to work on. Either way it will mean more training!

Also, we did have something interesting happen today. The Chinese Foreign Bureau came in to do their yearly inspection of the school. It wasn't much of an inspection to be frank.... we trained basics for about 40 minutes until Master Yan cut class short so that we could all clean our rooms before the government officials arrived. About half an hour later two cop cars and a black car came up to our school and all of the 10-15 "cops" got out. Master Bao showed them around, showed them some of our rooms, showed them us and then took them to his office. Lisa called Philip and Matt up with them so that the government people could interview them. She then pulled me in last minute to "practice my Chinese". I stood in the room and wasn't asked a single question. They just asked Matt and Philip some normal stuff like where they were from, why did they come to the school, do you like China, what do you enjoy about learning Kung Fu but then the questions turned into asking about the virus and what they knew about the virus in their homes. It was awkward, it was quick, and all three of us were happy when they left. I wonder if they put us in a newspaper or on a website somewhere?

How has your guys' week been? Are you as tired as me?

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