May 31st - 4 Months Later...

Another Month Down...

It's late but I really want to write my feelings after this long of a time. I'm 2/5ths done with my time at Maling Shaolin Kung Fu School and its been a great adventure so far. Even with the corona-virus, visa extensions, quarantine, school changes, and government stuff. Pretty soon we will begin learning new forms, new weapons, new skills and the days will meld together as one big memory.

Today feels different though, not only because I  finally have a monk spade of my own, but because I think at this moment I realize what I'm really trying to reach with this Kung Fu Journey. Its hard to put into words what it is, but today as I looked out on the foggy fields with my new Monk Spade. I realized that there is something "bigger" pulling me towards this path. Maybe it is simply wanderlust or a maybe I'm trying to find that feeling of adventure that Bilbo Baggins spoke of. Something is driving me, not only to train and improve what few skills I have, but also to keep thinking about how to keep it going.

2nd Staff and New Weapon
I know that my Kung Fu skills still have a long way to go. It has been four months and I still can't do the splits, still can't do any cool flips, and still can't spar/fight. The masters say that after one year you should have good basics, be able to do the splits, and some flips. Weapon and Form mastery comes during the following years. It's just a little frustrating to have such little progress after what feels like a long time.

So, how did I spend my weekend with all of these thoughts in my head? Training but... lighthearted training. I wanted to explore what other styles and methods were out there so I went online and tried stuff out. I wanted to learn how to use the "Iron Rings", so I spent a few hours messing around with those. I wanted to see how Hung Gar stances felt like, so I tried those out too. Once I got my monk spade on Sunday, I started watching videos of people practicing with it and mimicked them. Don't get me wrong, I did serious training too. Basic kicks, stances, stretches, and plenty side split work but I found that I could spent a lot of time "playing" and still be sweaty/tired at the end of it.

Sunday. The end of the weekend. Another night spent listening to Jazz. Another night spent typing away at the keyboard. Another night spent thinking what will the future hold for us. A common joke for us students here is that we don't use our brains often here, and while that might be true in most cases, I spent a lot of time here thinking. Thinking about how my thoughts on Shaolin and Kung Fu have changed. Thinking about how similar we are to these Kung Fu Masters. Thinking about how can I continue to live this Kung Fu life and thinking about much, much more.

Such an interesting place... so much to work on. So much to see and do. One day I'll be doing the splits but until then, I'll keep training hard, adventuring, and meeting new people along the way.

How has your weekend been? Hopefully it is going well!



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