What I Have Learned During My 1st Year Shaolin Kung Fu Training In China – Ch.12
SECOND HALF OF THE YEAR AT SCHOOL
I have to say that over time my attitude towards training changed a lot.
Firstly, the results after training intensively over 9 months, weren’t as impressive as I expected.
- In some cases my body felt worse than before, like my knees and right leg.
- After everyday stretching, I still couldn’t do proper splits.
- The strength of my arms didn’t change impressively.
- I was unable to walk on my hands or stay longer than few seconds in handstand.
I had learned during 1 year at Qufu Shaolin Kung Fu School
English Mandarin Pinyin
when I started to learn a Form/ how long it took me to learn it
SHAOLIN KUNG FU 少林功夫 [shàolín gōng fu]
1. Shaolin Five Steps Form 少林五步拳 [Shàolín Wŭ Bù Quán]
2nd week/ 3 days
2. Shaolin Continuous Fist Form 少林连还拳 [Shàolín Lián Huán Quán]
3rd week/ 3 days
3. Staff Form 阴手棍 [Yīn Shǒu Gùn]
4th week/ less than 4 weeks
4. Tongbei Fist Form 通辈拳 [Tōng Bèi Quán]
8th week/ 5 classes
5. Kung Fu Broadsword Form 自选刀 [Zì Xuǎn Dāo]
end of December, middle of the 3rd month / 7 weeks
6. Kung Fu Fan Form 功夫扇 [Gōng Fu Shàn]
3rd week of March, 5th month / 6 weeks
7. Xiao Hong Fist Form 小洪拳 [Xiǎo Hóng Quán]
1st week of June, middle of 8th month/ 5 classes
8. Guo Jia Shaolin Grading Form 国家规定拳 [Guó Jiā Guī Dìng Quán]
2nd week of July,beginning of 10th month/ 4 weeks
TAI CHI 太極拳/太极拳 [tàijíquán, t‘ai chi ch‘üan]
1.Tai Chi 24 Form 24式太極拳 [èrshísì Shì Tàijí Quán]
3rd week of October, 1st week of my stay at school/ 5 days
2. Tai Chi 32 Form 32式太極拳 [sānshí’èr Shì Tàijí Quán]
2nd week/ 5 days
3. Tai Chi 42 Form 42式太極拳 [sìshí’èr Shì Tàijí Quán]
3rd week/ 5 days
4. Tai Chi Sword 42 Form 42式太极剑 [sìshí’èr Shì Tàijí Jiàn]
4th week/ 3 weeks
5. Long-Tasseled Sword Form 式长穗剑 [Shì Chángsuì Jiàn]
3rd week of February, beginning of 5th month/ 5 weeks
6. Tai Chi Fan 52 Form 太极扇 – 52式 [Tàijí Shàn – wŭshíèr Shì]
3rd week of April, beginning of the 7th month/ less than 2 weeks
7. Tai Chi 85 Form 85式太極拳 [bāshí’wŭ Shì Tàijí Quán]
4th week of June, beginning of 9th month/ 3 weeks
QI GONG FORMS 气功 [qì gōng]
1.Eight steps Qi Gong 八段錦 [Bā Duàn Jǐn]
2. I Chin Ching; literally: “Muscle/Tendon Change Classic” 易筋經 [Yì jīn jīng]
My physique was similar. Maybe my arms and legs were more muscular, maybe I was a bit skinnier than before. But the difference was little.
First few months at school I was persistent to keep training hard no matter what. I pushed myself over limits. At some point I realised … it wasn’t fun anymore. I was often unmotivated and very tired. So I started to push myself less.
Also, I judged my flexibility. Each time I expected my right leg to go beyond 90° flexion. I expected to have better results doing splits. But improvement was slow and varied depending on a day.
The only rational response was to accept it and keep the expectations hidden and the attitude fresh. Enjoying the training was a key and avoiding comparing myself to the others.
I shut down the thoughts about what I wanted to achieve and I focused on the present moment, trying my best, allowing myself to have rest, but not agreeing for being lazy.
After one month reduced training (2h – 4 h a day) I come to a few conclusions. Before releasing them, it is worth to mention that during that time I put attention to how my body felt, what would make me happy and the training more fun.
The observations I made were:
- My right leg was much better. It didn’t feel so good since my first month at school.
- My knees didn’t hurt anymore. I could do pubu easily, consequently I could work more effectively on building the power of my legs.
- Generally, my body felt much more free and kind of soft/ flexible/ without pain and stiffness anymore – it felt like before and that feeling, I have to tell this, was amazing.
Because, finally, I could work with my body. I could use full potential of the power and energy I had at that day. There was no as much pain as usually, while doing kicks or jumps. Before, that pain many times didn’t allow me to progress.
- I felt more focused and present during the classes.
- I could train harder.
- I definitely didn’t feel as tired as before.
- Still, after some of the classes I had muscle sour and my legs or arms felt stiff.
- I still was getting very tired after the classes.
- When I went to the afternoon class, I still needed a nap in a lunch break. At these moments I felt a bit of laziness giving a word.
- The desire to train more started to build up.
One day, during the afternoon class, I looked around and I loved, what I saw.
There were students doing sparring, other training forms or wooden dummy. I was practicing flowers with staff.
Again, the realisation came to me:
– I am in Kung Fu School! Already one year! I am doing, what I always wanted to do – train.
I came to the Shaolin School just to make my body fit and flexible. I never had any bigger inclinations towards martial arts, dancing was my thing.
And here I was – standing in the middle of the training hall, feeling happy and proud of being in this place with these amazing people. I realised that I liked it – all the fancy weapons, jumps, kicks, the purpose of the movement – defence and fight. I liked it even as much as dancing.
I WANTED TO TRAIN MORE! I WANTED TO GET BETTER!
Not in another place
BUT THIS PLACE
Not for another hour
BUT THIS HOUR