February 19th - I'm Back!

Bryce "the Flexible", Ashley "the Injury", Terina "the Forms Master", Josh "the Hip Guy", Matt "the Change", Shilat "the Tiger" and then Me.

My Thoughts 😲

I'm finally back after so many days and there is so much to catch up on.

First things first, if you are going to China then you need multiple VPNs prepared incase they block one of them. You see, Express VPN went down on the 14th and just started back up today. In the time span of 5 days I found out a different VPN that works well on my phone called PandaVPN. So now, I use ExpressVPN on my PC and PandaVPN on my phone.

Tech lesson over, time for what has been going on.


The Update 💬

On the 13th we did some nice Qi Gong exercises called Yi Jin Jing (易筋经) which is supposed to be able to help stretch your tendons, different from Ba Duan Jin (八段锦) which helps your breathing and stretches your spine and muscles. We then did some pretty intense power training which was all legs and lower body strength. Everything from tree hugs, squats, duck walks, jumps, lunges, bear crawls and running. It was also the day that I noticed my knee was starting to hurt.

On the 14th I took part in my first test. We did some basic power stretching and warmed up then went into the testing. Three Masters watched and judged us, Master Ning (Tai Chi/Baji Master), Master Peng (Shaolin / Flexibility Master), and Master Yan (Shaolin / Sanda Master). Most people only performed one form but me and another girl performed two. (She performed it while injured so kudos to her) I performed the very basic 五步拳 and 集体拳. Nothing was said towards me which is good and bad but they did tell me later on I'll be getting ready to learn a new form next week. After the test, it was just me training on my own and relaxing.

Throughout the weekend I did my own training as I practiced forms and did various stretching so that I could stay in "ready shape" for Monday but I did notice my knee getting worse and worse as the days went on.

Then Monday came where we reviewed forms and worked on basics. It was this day that I knew something definitely wasn't right with my knee. It could've been the really cold weather that came in plus the intense training we do, I'm still not sure. All I know is after this day of training my knee was shot and I didn't want to do much else besides lay down and eat what snacks I had.

Tuesday was the day a Master finally noticed my injury during Jumps and Rolls class when I jumped and landed but my knee didn't support me and I just kinda hobbled away. Tuesday I did the best I could during training but most of my time was spent resting, stretching and watching others. It was a rough day for me to admit that I had to rest for a day or two. I still managed to do Baji Quan with Master Ning and had a good conversation with him on what exactly Neijia Martial Arts are and how they help you. Thankfully I took notes from our conversation as I think they will help me in the future.

My Second Favorite Meal so far: Fish, Veggies with Mushroom, Bean Sprouts with Chicken
Which leads us to today where my knee still hurts but I can walk and do stances on it. Today was an interesting day as one of the Masters was injured and couldn't teach so Master Peng taught us all part of a new form that was just made "official" for competition. (Maybe he wants us to compete in the future?) It isn't Shaolin though which disappoints me but it is still fun to do. It is a Long Fist Form (长拳) called "初级三路" or "The basic three roads". It is really long for a basics form but it does go over all of the basic movements, stances and hand gestures that we need to know for Kung Fu. Many of the students don't like it as it is hard and unrelated to many of their focuses. I enjoy it as it is one of the few things I can actually do at the moment so all of today has been spent stretching and studying this form.

In Conclusion...

Even though things at Maling Kung Fu School are not as what I expected or imagined them to be, I still like it here because at the end of the day my "problems" are so... simple compared to the problems I could be having in a normal life. Some of my problems are so silly like sore muscles, my knee, can't do a move or a form right, struggling with sparring and so on. But I have all of these problems because I chose to be here. I saved up the money, I traveled here, I put in the time and effort to make my body sore from all that we do. So, even though things are not as I expected (and things are still changing) its good to be here and see all the others here who are putting in the time and effort to come and learn Kung Fu, to escape the "normal life" for a little bit.

I'm just here trying to be a wannabe-warrior monk and I'm having fun doing it.

-Johnny "白武龙"

Don't forget to check out my Instagram for other posts. I can't post videos here due to the VPN issues and slow internet.

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