What I Have Learned During My 1st Year Shaolin Kung Fu Training In China – Ch.12

KUNG FU FORMS, TAI CHI AND QIGONG FORMS

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LET’S HAVE A LOOK AT THE WHOLE YEAR and make some conclusions

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.

What I have learned were:

 

  • forms,
  • skills with sword,
  • skills with staff,
  • ability to do kick up and head flip,
  • being more powerful in my punches and kicks,
  • having better expression, being more relaxed and confident during performances.

FORMS

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 [Tōng Bèi Quán]

8th  week/ 5 classes

5. Kung Fu Broadsword Form 自选  [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 [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.

Few insights.

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.

However:

  • 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.

What’s more:

  • 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!

HAPPINESS
Not in another place
BUT THIS PLACE
Not for another hour
BUT THIS HOUR

Walt Whitman

About The Author

Basia

Hello :) I am happy that you are here. Let me introduce myself. I am Basia. I am a cofounder of DragonsWarriors.com. I was born in Poland in a small city close to a Baltic Sea. In 2013 I graduated MSc in Physiotherapy in Scotland. I am passionate about Movement, Traveling and Healthy Life. In 2016 I started an intensive training in Shaolin Kung Fu School in China. From that moment I decided to dedicate my life to explore and learn different movements from around the world. I love writing and sharing my experience and knowledge through articles. I hope you will enjoy reading my posts! Feel free to comment and ask questions.

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