May 7th - Vomit and a New Mindset

A Full Moon in the Dusk Sky

Evening Reflections

It has been a few days without posts and that is because I was in a lil' slump. My motivation was low for training and a small bit of homesickness didn't make it any better. Training has been tough and with it being a short week it has flown by all of us even though we've been dealing with various injuries, sleepiness, soreness, and overall a low morale. I've learned some more of the staff form which has been fun, I really enjoy it but looking at the videos of me doing it I realize I have a long way to go to mastering it.

Monday and Tuesday

Monday was a pretty lazy day where I didn't do much besides take care of Master Peng's dog, Hachi, and I went to Cao Liu Village in order to get groceries. It was quite gloomy and windy on this day which led to a massive lighting and thunderstorm in the night. It was cool to finally see a real storm while in a rural area of China. It was this weather that led us to continue our training on Tuesday. Master Peng still wasn't back by Tuesday and many of us were happy to go back to training which started off really well. Jumps and Rolls class was run by Master Yan; he taught us many new basics to practice as well as a cool headflip which I was able to do by the end of class. (Although, my back was sore after)

Then, Master Yan again taught applications where we focused on learning a "elbow twist" on someone if you got into a grapple/wrestling situation. It was alright, if you've read previous posts you'll know I don't really enjoy Applications Class too much. I think Sanda Takedowns was the "star" class of the day because we just practiced three take downs over and over again for the whole class period. This left me with some bruised ribs and arms but it taught me quite a lot.


Wednesday was the day I fully realized I was in a slump because I got out of it. Although the classes on Monday and Tuesday were good, they were rough on my body and my mind. I also didn't do any additional training afterwords because I felt so mentally exhausted. So, how did I get out of my slump? Not quite sure, I'm guessing persistence and patience because nothing was different about Wednesday and the previous days. I went to class, did my best, and felt sore and tired. In Forms Class Josh, Matt, and I learned some new moves from the staff form (阴手棍) and during Basics Class we reviewed many basic kicks but threw in some spins and more advanced kicks as well. During my lunch break I decided to stretch and do some basics practice even though I felt really tired. Then Sanda Class came and we kicked the bag for a solid hour while Master Yan told me why my kicks were bad/wrong. So all was right with the world. After.... I kept training basics. Sure, I was tired and sore but my spirits where high. In the evening I ended up practicing Five Step Form (五步拳) and then doing stance stretches to help with the soreness my legs felt. Something just clicked that made me happier; either that or I'm going crazy.

Our Food at the school, Veggies, Tofu, Chicken, and Rice

Thursday (Today)

Which brings us today's challenges... I mean classes. Qi Gong/Meditation Class was awesome. We went outside of the school near this abandoned little concrete building next to a pretty little river surrounded by blooming fields. It was at this place where we meditated led by Master Ning who changed up the normal mediation plan. This time we were supposed to think of the normal "fireball" and then do the water ontop of the fireball visualization but... in the water there is a lotus that we use to help visualize our breathing (breathe in, lotus closes, breathe out, lotus opens). This is the usual "meditation visualization" that Master Ning uses to help guide us; some days its just guiding this fireball from the top of your nose, down your spine, all the way to your dan tian. Today was different as he added a second step which focused on "rejuvenating our organs". Master Ning has us focus on the heart today, we were supposed to connect our breathing and somehow use that to help our heartbeat. I couldn't quite get that deep and quieted as my mind kept wandering to other things. Once Meditation was over, Master Yan had us all do Yi Jin Jing so that he could critique our form and to see if we were connecting our breathing with our motions... which none of us did. He did say that he wanted us to practice this Qi Gong Form on our own some more so that we really can improve it and feel how it can help our bodies. Morning, Night, Afternoon. It didn't matter, as long as we did it once a day.

Conditioning Class (Hard Qi Gong Class) was different today as Master Yan had us practice a different way to condition our bodies. We, from head to toe, hit different parts of our body on a wall for about 2-5 minutes each. I still disagree with some of the conditioning methods here. Conditioning the head and knee caps? I think it is more harmful than helpful but I also can't break a brick or iron bars over my head yet. So who am I to judge? During free time I managed to stretch some because my legs have felt like stone recently (which just means tomorrow is going to be pain) and then Power Training began. Man, it was a rough 4km run but I powered through it even after throwing up three times and then during the power training I threw up doing tree hugs. (Still held on to the tree though) Push. Push. Push. That is what I kept doing for the whole power training all so that Master Yan could say we didn't seem tired enough, and because of that, Master Peng would be taking over power training from now on. Like I told JD, Sometimes I wonder if the effort we put into this training is even worth it.

Even though I'm going through a lil' motivation slump I hope that you all are doing well this week. Maybe this will lead me to do better on the test next week, who knows?

Hope you enjoyed, also... Instagram


  1. Ok the title on this one got me. Had to read just to make sure you were ok and not sick. Hopefully you are not homesick anymore and are doing ok physically as well. At least you are a day closer to calling and checking in so hopefully that will help with the homesickness. Sounds like you had an eventful week and still training hard and enjoying it most of the time. :D Nothing new here... Just took grandma on a long drive on Sunday to help get her out of the house for a short time. Waiting on my furniture to arrive on Friday as dad said I could go find a few dressers and headboard - finally getting rid of the big HON monster in our room - moving it to the kids room but finally out of ours. :) It's dad's mom day gift to me since I don't want him to buy me candy or anything and have been talking about this for a while now. Have a good rest of the week - talk to ya tomorrow night. Mom

  2. You look exhausted in your video, but it looks good. keep up the hard work man. if anything it shows yourself what you are capable of, and how much you can really push yourself. i find that i injure myself in minor ways all the time (mostly to conditioning i did to myself when i was younger),but still okay just a little stiff muscles now and then. It is interesting to see about the fireball meditation, that was something that was taught to me a long time ago as well i just never thought about the origin of it before. I have seen you take any challenge with a sense of humility and usually grace so keep tackling them.

    -Sam Potato Gang 3rd shift

    1. Hey Sam!

      Glad to see you and the potato gang still checkin' up on me. I was exhausted at the end of this week but, honestly, making that video was a good way to see my own progress and to see how exhausted I was.

      I'll keep up the hard work, every day is a new challenge. I'm sure you're facing challenges of your own. Hope you all are doing alright in the factory and bein' safe.

      -Johnny, Kung Fu Man in China


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